Web Hosting Rating

If you are looking for ratings of web hosts, you can find 28,800,000 on the Internet, (yup—that’s how many results you get if you search on web hosting rating). A large number of these will be completely worthless, and some few may be valuable to you. So, how do you sort them out?

Assuming you don’t want to read indiscriminate praise, for example, you can skip over the web hosting ratings that are provided by affiliates. Also to be left in the dust are the articles on pages loaded with click-through ads, especially those loaded with mistakes, where the person is obviously writing about A in order to get you to make him or her some money by doing B. That’s not information you can trust. Sponsored reviews are another waste of your time—who’s going to offer criticism, however valid, of their sponsor?
Okay, now that we’ve got those cleared out, the main thing that’s left is sites that compare a bunch of web hosts or provide a top-ten list. Some of these will not tell you anything that you cannot find out on the company websites—they just configure the information so that you can compare it (as long as they take the trouble to always provide all the relevant information, which many don’t). For example, just because you see that one host offers Free $75 Google Adwords credit and the next one doesn’t have that listed doesn’t mean the site doesn’t offer it—it more likely means that the compiler has not done a careful job. Skip these, too.
Better, are sites that do an in-depth review of each of the hosts they recommend and provide both a comparison chart and an in-depth review for each candidate. Of these, I recommend:
  • Consumer-Rankings.com http://www.consumer-rankings.com/hosting/
  • http://web-hosting-review.toptenreviews.com/
You need to make sure that it’s focusing on the kind of web hosting that you’re interested in—I’ve chosen the shared Linux hosting in each case. Let’s compare how they rate a web hosting site, say HostMonster.
  • Consumer Ranking rates HostMonster 5 out of the 10 site it reviews, after iPage, FatCow, JustHost, and BlueHost.
  • In “Ease of Use,” Consumer-Rankings downgrades HostMonster for having fewer ad credits than other sites.
  • In Customer Support, Consumer-Rankings points out that HostMonster does not have an FAQ list.
  • In “Features,” Consumer-Rankings points out that HostMonster doesn’t offer as many shopping cart applications as some other hosts.
The full Consumer-Ranking review, during which the HostMonster site was actually used by the reviewer, appears here: http://www.consumer-rankings.com/hosting/hostmonsterreview
TopTen Reviews places HostMonster in 20th place out of 38, and ranks iPage 3rd, FatCow 11th, JustHost as 1st, and BlueHost 12th. The web hosting comparison shows that they lack these features available from other web hosts:
  • SMTP Email
  • Email Aliases
  • Additional Domain Name Transfer
  • International Domains
  • Live Chat Support
  • phpBB
  • Mambo
  • Coppermine
  • SEO Service
They also have a full review here: http://web-hosting-review.toptenreviews.com/hostmonster-review.html
I note that on the HostMonster site, they do, in fact, claim to have Coppermine, which only goes to show that even with these higher class web hosting rating sites, one should not take everything on faith, but check with the web host itself to verify.
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