Recently, I saw a news that a web host launched a site for their customers to submit reviews for their service. And a question come to my mind immediately that should I trust the reviews on that site.
Product testimonials (or review) have been considered as an effective way to generate sales, which is extremely true in web hosting industry. Unlike some other consumer products, people could see or touch it before purchasing, ASP.NET hosting is a service fully sold online. Before buying, the main information a buyer could refer to are hosting service reviews from some professional editor or their customers.
So, reading testimonials from trusted resources is critical for people to make a right decision on buying. So, what are the right place?
No for Testimonials in the Sites Owned by Web Hosts
You might see customer testimonials from the official sites of some hosting companies, one good example is Greengeeks. Their testimonials page is flood with positive reviews. Surprisingly, there is no one complaint about their service. But this might make sense as this testimonials page is owned by Greengeeks, I don’t believe they would like to publish any negative review.
Let’s come to the news I have mentioned at the beginning, is there any different if the reviews are posted in a separated site which is owned by the hosting company. I don’t think so. It’s just another site where most of reviews (if we don’t say 100%) are positive.
Yes for Independent Hosting Review Sites
Independent ASP.NET Hosting review sites are what we recommend to. Many web sites allow people to publish their hosting reviews, but unfortunately, most of those sites haven’t put effort to filter out spam reviews which make them as places for faithless web hosts to dispraise competitors or praise their own.
So, what good independent hosting review sites we recommend?
HostUCan.net is definitely the best one I have known so far. People could review their web hosting service by providing their web site information and the review comments. Before the review is published, the editor in that site will verify whether the reviewer’s web site is or have been hosted by the service they are reviewing. If not, the review will be treated as spam review and be removed before publishing. This manual process introduce some efforts, but it really improve the quality of the reviews in that site.
What even nice is that they have done the data mining on the reviews, and you could find many valuable information on the web host profile pages, such as “Customer Distribution of a web host and the relevant satisfaction rate”, “Average score on price value, customer support, reliability, speed, and ease of use”, “What kinds of web sites are hosted from their most happy customers”.
WebHostingStuff.com is another web site we would suggest where tons of customer reviews could be found. They require the reviewers to input their web site and share it in the site. This has been proven to be an effective way to avoid review spams. But compared with HostUCan.com, they haven’t done enough data mining.
The other 3 great hosting review sites are WebHostingGeeks.com, WebHostingSearch.com and Web-Hosting-Top.com. Each of them will do a review verification before publishing. But unfortunately, they accept the reviews without the reviewers’ site url, which means there are defectiveness of their review spam audit process, and people could easily cheat them and make their review data un-trusted.