Along with the proliferation of web hosting companies in recent years has come a proliferation of web hosting review sites.  Do these sites actually serve a useful purpose, or do they just confuse the issue still further?  In this article, we’ll review the review sites.

Why to read hosting reviews before buying

On the plus side, a good hosting review site is an absolutely essential part of the online landscape.  There are so many web hosting companies these days, that choosing between them can become a nightmare, especially for the uninitiated.  This is because they all offer the same sorts of services for the same sort of price, so a choice will inevitably come down to technical details.  Hosting reviews come into their own when they consider these technical details.

A good site will have an independent team of experts, who can rate each hosting company according to the main criteria.  These include disk storage space; bandwidth allowances; security; hosting software; customer service; technical support; server uptime and general reliability.  By looking at these criteria side by side, you should be able to compare a number of web hosting companies at a glance.

A good site will also have space for customer comments.  Expert opinion is all very well, but it’s the daily experience of actual users that counts.  After all, expert opinion on what should happen doesn’t help you out if you experience a problem in practice.  One thing to bear in mind is that it only tends to be people who have had a bad experience who bother to post, so treat overly negative comments with caution.

A good hosting review site, then, will be an invaluable aid to anybody looking for a web host.  They allow you to “try before you buy”, so to speak, giving you some idea in advance about what life with a particular web host will be like.

The problem is, how many good hosting review sites are actually out there?  Many so-called independent review sites are anything but.  If they’re not written by the hosting companies themselves, they’re written by affiliates, who are trying to get people to sign up to the host company in order to get paid.  This doesn’t encourage impartial and unbiased reviews.  As a general rule, avoid anything that has the name of the hosting company in the title, and anything that’s badly written.

So, it pays to be just as cautious with hosting review sites as it does with the hosting companies themselves.  That said, there are plenty of good review sites out there, just as there are good hosting companies.  Dig a little deeper, visit several sites, and you should be able to find some invaluable sources of guidance.

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