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Why You Shouldn’t Trust That Web Host Review

coffee heartWeb host review sites have been around pretty much as long as there have been web hosts to review. And a quick Google search of “top ten web hosts” or “best web hosts” or any variant thereof confirms there’s no shortage of ’em. On the surface, they’re nothing more than a group of genuinely helpful people offering up their side-by-side comaprisons of different hosts. With thousands of web hosts to choose from, what could possibly be wrong with getting a little help on choosing the right one for you?

As it turns out, quite a lot.

You see, a great many “web host review” sites are nothing more than thinly-veiled affiliate links. Major web hosts sometimes pay out big bucks for people who refer paying customers their way. For example, iPage — just one of many hosts with an affiliate program — pays $105 for each shared hosting customer you send their way. Hostgator pays up to $125, Dreamhost pays up to $97, Arvixe pays up to $70, Lunarpages pays up to $300 … and the list goes on and on.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with affiliate programs. In fact, we have one ourselves. But spend a few minutes surfing through most “top web hosts” site, and you’ll notice two things:

  1. The “best” hosts are usually the ones with the highest-paying commissions.
  2. The same dozen or so hosts — those with the highest-paying commissions — seem to always the ones reviewed.

Quite a coincidence, isn’t it?

The good news is that there are a few exceptions out there. One such site we’ve been watching for a while is ReviewHell. As you’ll see in a moment, ReviewHell actually signs up for accounts at the hosts they rank. They put the host’s support and performance through their paces. And we can attest that they don’t let the host know that they’re doing this in advance. They review both major providers (like GoDaddy and Bluehost) and smaller companies (like us!) alike.

Long story short, if ReviewHell says a host is good — or bad — their opinion is based on their actual experiences and not the value of a commission check. That carries a lot of weight with us, so we were thrilled to see our name pop up in their review list:

Fresh Roasted Hosting Review

We scored among their top hosts overall, and knowing the two (as of this writing) hosts who ranked higher than us, I’m excited to have us ranked anywhere near their companies.

Whether you’re a blogger running a personal site or a developer hosting sites for your clients, you owe it to yourself to find a good host. Our next post is going to talk about what you should look for (and what you should avoid) in a host, but if you can’t wait, ReviewHell has their own guide that’s well worth a read.

If you’re tired of poor support and weak server performance, it’s time to switch to someone better. Take a look at our SSD-accelerated web hosting and reseller hosting, our Xen-powered VPSes, and our enterprise-grade dedicated servers. We even offer co-location right here in Harrisburg!

Finally, if you’re already a Fresh Roasted Hosting customer and want to share your thoughts with the world, why not drop us a review over at GetKudos?

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