They May Be Nothing More Than A List Of Copied And Pasted Features
You see it all the time, those so-called “reviews” of web hosting services that are nothing more than a listing of features already displayed on the web host’s sale page. That’s not a review, it’s redundant information that you can get by yourself just by going to the web host’s home page.
Get Objective Web Hosting Reviews
While low pricing and an abundance of features all play into selecting the best web host for your needs, the most important thing to look when doing your research are comments from real people who have dealt with the technical staff, customer support or billing department, good, bad, or indifferent.
Look for objective reviews from real customers based upon first-hand experience. Anything else is nothing more than subjective commentary. Did they get answers from the help desk in a timely manner? Were their issues resolved, if not, why? Was the staff courteous or did they act like they were doing the client a favor by even showing up to work that day? You want to hear from people who actually have web hosting accounts with the hosting company. Is the system slow? Is there a lot of down time?
Help Desk Systems Are Not All Alike
Do they have a ticket system where you can submit questions and then track the replies, or is their version of a help desk simply passing emails back and forth? Emails have a way of disappearing in spam filters, lost over time or accidentally deleted. Names also get dropped in a maze of cc’s and bcc’s when being passed off from the help desk to the technical staff.
Write Down Your Pre-Sale Questions
If you can’t find any customer comments to your liking and you have pre-sale questions, make a list and don’t hesitate to contact the company. While placing a phone call is quicker, emailing or using their ticket system is best because you’ll have their reply in writing, should you need to use that information at a later date. Plus, you’ll also be able to gauge how quickly they answer tickets.
Guarantees Should Be The Money-Back Kind
Most web hosting companies have a 30-day guarantee, but not all guarantees are a 100% money back guarantee. Make sure you understand the guarantee before you sign up. Be especially wary when customers complain of calls to the billing department going unanswered, refund requests being promised, but nothing happens, or “the check’s in the mail” gimmick.
Check The Company’s Reputation With A Reporting Agency
If you’re in the US or Canada, go into the National Sites section on the Better Business Bureau website to see if any complaints have been filed.
Be Wary Of “Too Good To Be True” Testimonials
Check for testimonials on the host company’s site. Do they look credible or made up? They should include real names and URLs of the people making them.
Does The Web Host Have Any Awards?
Take any awards they have displayed with a grain of salt unless they are from reputable companies and publications. Click on those awards and follow the links to the site that issued the award. If necessary, contact the award giver and ask them why they issued an award to the web hosting company.