Our Reviews Are Different - Here's Why...
The webhosting reviews racket is broken - and we want to fix it.
You're here because you're smart. That's why we want you on our side. You're not duped by other pay-for-placement 'hosting comparison' sites or the astro-turfed hosting reviews you read elsewhere.
We see our integrity as a win-win. You get straightforward, honest and reliable hosting reviews; we earn your respect and, hopefully, your loyalty. Our aim is that, one day, you'll buy hosting via our referral links to help fund our good work.
First though - before respect or loyalty - comes trust. Here are the key reasons why we're different from other review sites:
#1. Power to the People
Review websites are meant to help you research and choose your perfect web hosting plan. This means you need the ability to objectively compare hosts across lots of different requirements - from cost to customer support to packages offered.
Our Competitors: Many hosting review sites try and steer you towards a particular host in order to earn more money. They'll deliberately tailor your results to favour the companies that pay big, and hide or even remove what may well have been the best deal for you.
Our Approach: The idea is simple: we give you so much control over how you search and sort through our list of hosts that there is no scalable way for us to control over which hosts you research.
Try our hosting comparison tool and you'll be able to search, slice, dice and filter to your heart's content. And we're not just talking 'price' or 'ratings'. At the time or writing, we have around about 270 different features that you can search by.
#2. Our Writeups Are Honest & Real
Most hosting review websites suck big time. They're not just poor quality, they deliberately attempt to misinform and mislead users. We're all about the long-term relationships, so it's important that you don't get duped when you're on our site. Here's how we achieve that:
Our Competitors: Hosting review sites will 'endorse' a particular host by praising its services as loudly as possible. The review site gets a payoff when a customer is duped by the endorsement and parts with their cash. More often than not, bear little or no resemblance to reality.
Our Approach: Any host profiles published on our site are by writers who have no explicit knowledge of our relationship with the host they are writing about. They could find it out if they wanted to - but frankly there's no reason they should care. In short: that's because our writers have absolutely no financial incentive to lie about a host.
Our Competitors: The more reputable a hosting company appears, the more money hosting review sites typically earn from that host. This leads to hosting reivew sites cooking the books with user reviews.
Since user reviews are used to illustrate a solid reputation, some hosting review sites aren't above using dirty tricks. The most common is the use of 'sock-puppets' - fake users - paid to write phoney positive reviews ('astroturfing').Contrary to popular belief, astroturfing is a criminal offence in both Europe and the United States).
It's cheap enough for companies to pay a few dollars on Mechanical Turk to have cheap overseas labor churn out hosting reviews en masse. These companies hope that customers will be swayed by social proof.
Our Approach: We use incentives (eg, $15 free at web.com) to encourage users to review their webhosts.
Unlike many of our competitors, reviewers are in complete control of what they say. All we ask is that it be a true and accurate review, avoid bad language and be specific about the issues they discuss (and that means providing detail - not 'OMG Host X sucks!').
All reviews submitted to us have to jump through several hoops before publication:
- Every review is moderated. Our team can smell out an inauthentic review at fifty paces.
- Reviewers must supply a full name for publication.
As you can imagine, it's a challenge to publish only genuine user reviews - but we do everything we can to keep it that way.
#3. We Don't Play Pay-for-Placement
It's bad enough that hosting review sites try to dupe their customers with shill hosting reviews, but the worst is yet to come...
Our Competitors: Most review sites have a few 'Top 5' lists of the 'best web hosts'. Seriously? They must think you're entirely devoid of brains. Some major review sites auction off the top spots in these top lists to the highest bidder.
Sometimes the price-list for those positions are just one or two clicks away from the homepage, so be sure to have a snoop around.
(Yes, we have an 'advertising' page, but we make clear it's for selling banner ads etc - not recommendations.)
Our Approach: We don't play games with our host rankings - and, dear reader, we can assure you that it is not for lack of offers.
#4. Ads Are Clearly Ads
Another tactic for the 'we think you were born yesterday' category. Advertising is an important part of how many websites pay the bills. But many review sites try to take you for a ride.
Our Competitors: Many hosting review sites are plastered with ads. Sure, it's annoying - but at least it's not dishonest. The dodgy stuff comes when review sites disguise asd as editorial content. The hosts advertising on the site will pay a much fatter premium if they don't have to admit that the favourable but un-advert-like image and link is officially an advert.
Our Approach: We aim for every ad on our site to be clearly labeled as such. We see no need to go down the route of subterfuge and counterfeit!
If you don't think we're there yet, then we want to hear what your feedback on exactly what we could be doing better. We aim to reply to every piece of feedback we receive.
Thanks for your support.
We've talked about how our reviews are better and our team. Read on to find out why we're doing things differently.
Why We're Different
Our business model is different from 99.9% of hosting reviews sites for one simple reason: We believe in long-term relationships.
We've talked elsewhere about how sleazy many 'hosting reviews' sites are: shill reviews, pay-for-placement, outright lies etc. However, as well as the obvious moral implications, this approach just doesn't make good business sense.
We believe that honest reviews & useful information to help you choose a host mean a more profitable business for us in the long run. If you can't find honest, useful information now - why the hell would you ever come back?
Our hope is that you'll use our site time and again - like if you choose to upgrade from shared hosting to a VPS. Or when your neighbour asks for help choosing hosting for WordPress. Heck, maybe your boss might ask for suggestions for Joomla hosting for work one day.
We could play the fly-by-night game that most hosting reviews sites choose. But, in the long term, we'd lose out big time and. And, frankly, we'd also lose sleep at night.
Our Dream Scenario
You want to create a website. You use our search function and reviews to do your research and you find the perfect host. All goes well and your business starts to take off. Before too long, you decide you want an host upgrade.
You'll remember how useful we were and will visit us again. Because you like the service, you'll make the decision to use one of our special links to make your next purchase.
Then you'll go and recommend us on your 50,000 subscriber blog (hey, this is our dream, remember?)
How You Can Help...
The referral fees we receive are how we survive as a business (more on that on our 'full disclosure' page). It doesn't cost you anything extra and it means we can keep delivering the same high-quality service.
And if you did actually blog about us? Well, endorsements like that count for so much, so you'd directly be supporting us in our efforts to make the hosting industry an all round better place.
It's the second best thing you can do for us after buying via our site. See our 'spread the word' page for some of the wonderful things our users have said about us (and be sure to contact us if you've something we ought to add there).