Why Real Customer Reviews Matter to Web Hosting Shoppers

Modern web clients have many choices for their hosting company. Gone are the days when clients were limited to a few local hosts. Today, email and low-cost long distance access have given users a choice of hosts anywhere in the country. These hosts have grown in sophistication from the hole-in-the-wall outfit containing a few machines to full-blown server farms. Modern hosts are easier to work with, easier to setup, and much more reliable. Now that hosts are as plentiful as oranges at the supermarket, how do you choose the best one?

Challenges to “Try Before You Buy”

Like many other things, you never really know when a hosting service is good until you live with it for a while. Some key checkpoints are:

  • The first billing problem
  • A year’s worth of reliability – a downtime check
  • The first technical problem – is the staff knowledgeable, professional, and competent enough to fix the problem quickly?

If your site passes this litmus test, then you are good to go. However, what do you do when it does not meet expectations? Even sites that offer a month-to-month billing plan, which is virtually a try-before-you-buy situation due to low monthly costs, unsatisfied clients must still transfer their sites and begin from scratch with a new host. For this reason, it is economically imperative that clients do all the homework they can before they commit.

Reviews Are a Strong Newcomer Strategy

The quality of hosts varies according to their offerings. For instance, a host that does a good job with a WordPress blog site may not be suitable for an Active Server Pages (ASP) application, or even a simple storefront. This means that unless a client has had a good experience with a hosting provider for a particular type of website or has a trusted friend with the same requirements, then they are virtually a newcomer.

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In that case, one of the best research strategies is to get information from reviewers. These reviewers have run the gauntlet with the potential web hosts and can talk about the journey.

By the way, do you need more real positive reviews for your business and recover unhappy customers early to prevent negative reviews? For this purpose our very good friends have created Grade.us, a great tool for automating the review generation process.

Different Types of Review Strategies

Modern hosting companies have the option to manage their own publicity. There are various channels, each with their own level of control by the hosts and their credibility. Some of these are:

  • Reviews by the host – many hosts offer “marketing blurbs” from satisfied customers. These often display prominently on their home page, or in a rightmost column on all pages. In general, none are negative. Companies generally get these blurbs by soliciting current customers although there is no mechanism to preclude reviews by the host site staff.
  • Review forums by the host – a slightly more credible source are support forums on the hosting site. The types of issues discussed at these forums give specific experience points to the client. However, these posts are often heavily regulated. Fair but critical posts do not always see the light of day.
  • Independent third party review sites – independent review sites have much more credibility than anything within the hosting company’s purview. These sites generally make their money by capitalizing on their traffic through ads and other marketing instruments. Because their money does not come from the hosts they discuss, there is no conflict of interest.
  • Third party review sites, subsidized by the hosts – some third party sites appear like independent sites, but in reality post reviews only by hosts that pay them an affiliate fee. This payment creates a conflict of interest, and the associated reviews may be suspect.
  • Social media sites – businesses of all sorts, including hosting providers, are taking advantage of social media as an advertising channel. Because all may participate, including the staff of hosting providers, there is a basic credibility for this source. On the other hand, there is not a mechanism for filtering provider shills as there is for many independent sites, and so many of those appearing as users on social sites may in reality be provider staff.
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Generally speaking, the more control a hosting company has over the reviews, the less credibility those reviews afford. Clients do best to follow reviews from sites as far removed from the hosting company influence as possible.

How to Choose a Real Review Site

One way to get the instinct for choosing a real review site is to study Amazon.com. Because Amazon’s reputation determines the level of their repeat business, they are careful to maintain the integrity of their review system. Some key signs are:

  • The review profile – like Amazon, many review sites post a histogram for each listing. This is a bar chart ranging from the highest rating to the lowest. A good product will be top heavy. A legitimate review site will not all have top-heavy histograms.
  • Common language – a give-away of influenced sites is common language among the reviews. Although a few of the reviews may be negative to add credibility, a similar tone in the writing indicates the reviews are all coming from the same person.
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Today’s environment of high accessibility has made a mindset of caveat emptor more important than ever. Sites that purport to be independent but in fact are not underline the importance of careful research. Those searching for the right hosting provider on the first try should focus their efforts on truly independent third party review sites.

Top Image ©GL Stock Images


33 comments on “Why Real Customer Reviews Matter to Web Hosting Shoppers

  • Web Hosting Review

    Extraordinary article. I ran over your blog and felt this was an incredible site and couldn’t imagine anything better than to be included on your blog or perhaps just referenced.

  • jones3210

    such a nice article.thank you.

  • Christine Macel

    Thanks for the information provided in this post. The information are really informative and helpful…

  • Webhost News

    Yup that absolutely right review matters a lot when the user rate it because of your review everyone gets to knows that how good or bad that product.

  • Piqued Digi media

    The reviews matters a lot and its a golden duck if it comes from the real customer.

  • Astha

    Wow Interesting post thanks.

  • Shelly

    Because of fake news. the world is now scary but we can’t deny that human still trust human that’s why authentic customer reviews give organizations and their products a human touch.

  • tips job

    I always rely on reviews, since they matter a lot! Moreover, I can easily identify whether the review is the real one or fake.

  • ServerGuy

    Real customer reviews matter – True.
    Not because it adds trust to your brand, but it says yes, this business can solve a real problem.
    When someone is looking to buy something, he has a question in mind and is desperately looking for an answer in the real time. While getting testimonials or reviews, make sure that you not only get compliments from them but the main focus should be – How you helped them solve their problem. This makes more sense.


    Such a good article!
    Apart from that, I would like to ask you one question:
    How much time does it take to the provider registration to be visible?

  • ModulesGarden

    No one likes buying a pig in a poke. Unless it’s an item as cheap as dirt and we wouldn’t get too upset seeing it doesn’t live up to our expectations. But before sinking our money into something large-scale, we want to be 100% sure it will do the job perfectly. And that is why genuine customer testimonials are so invaluable.

  • Penyebab Gatal Di Kelamin

    This article is very interesting.
    Thanks for sharing information .. 🙂

  • NazakatMunawar

    I enjoyed your article. Some great points on the various options. This blog got the contents that helped me a lot in understanding the matter. Thank you for sharing this valuable article.

  • Hostingmzd

    Great Work Keep going……

  • Hostingmzd

    Great Work, Keep going and guiding people to get the best Web Hosting Provider.

  • Robert

    Thanks for sharing these no investigate malleable tips, Web hosting is much taking into consideration fashion, web design is forever and a day varying as soon as than trends and fads coming and going. When it comes to creating a website that will make a professional flavor,

  • Kriya

    Yes now-a-days online buyers go with any site for buying any product or for subscribing with any service only based on genuine customer testimonial. Which are the genuine web hosting review sites? I want to check out about hosts before subscribing with any.

  • Tina

    This article has been helpful but I’m still unsure on how I should pick the right web site hosting site. It’s scary to think I’ll have to transfer my site to another domain or start new if I’m not satisfied the first time. . Do you have any recommendations for your readers on good site domains to use for blogs.

  • Md Istiaq Hossain

    I agree with you. Customer’s review is most important for online sale. As a buyer I always see people’s review before buying anythings. Full article said that things which I really care. Happy to see that.

  • Larry Noell

    Hey, you are right. Customer reviews play a large role in online sales. I buy many products frequently on Amazon and there is no way to physically examine the products like we do in physical stores. That’s when reviews come in. Common review language has been my strategy to separate good products from mediocre.

  • Donald Adair

    Hi, there are many people (hosting review sites) that tell one host is better than another because they pay better affiliate profit. I’ve been ripped off like this once. Someone suggested me 1and1.com and I purchased through his link. It was not worth it. Then, I found your website and switched to inmotionhosting and now finally my site has gained momentum (I don’t want to share my website link sorry).

  • Mitchell

    Reviews and indeed real customers reviews are very important for web hosting shoppers. The first time I set up my WordPress blog, I did hosting via a recommendation from a friend but I failed to search on the internet what other users are saying about the company, I wasn’t so satisfied with the services, I wanted to change host and this time I took time to look at reviews from existing user and that guided me to the one I needed.

  • Gabriela

    I found the information contained in this post to be very useful. As I believe in reading reviews before buying any product or service online, as it gives a glimpse about the web hosts. I hope to see more blog posts from your class.

  • Jeff Carson

    Thanks for sharing these very helpful tips, Web hosting is much like fashion, web design is constantly changing with trends and fads coming and going. When it comes to creating a website that will make a professional impression, you will always do well to keep everything up to date and on trend.

  • Rahul

    Yes, i am agree with the customers reviews,ratings and feedback. It helps customers to stay aware from false things.

  • DNN

    I always tell people if you make content marketing your full-time online side hustle alongside daytime employment, it’s a wise idea to have a customer review based site. Reason being is because the site owner not only ones their unique content to get traffic and sales from search engines and social networks, but they also want their readers to share those publicly published pages on social networks like Pinterest.com, Google +, Facebook, Twitter, and discuss in YouTube videos, thus giving the site owner free advertising from the strength of their target reading audience. Customer reviews on the best form of long-term free advertising because I feel it’s the people that will get you more referrals which will equal to more sales, inbound links, and improved long-term search engine optimization (SEO) goal achieving. Do you agree with me on this? 🙂

  • John

    I can relate to this since real reviews from customers give us specific areas that can help improve the user experience in hosting. I think it’s better to have unique reviews that having the same ones that is usually posted.

  • Mark Harmon

    I’m also big fan of real reviews whenever I am looking for any product online. First I will browse Amazon or any other sites and I moved to review section. If I see more positive reviews then I will take a decision to buy that particular product. If I’m not satisfied with that reviews than I will not buy.

  • Diego

    There are web hosting companies that offer too good offers just to attract clients. That is why we should really scan the web for authentic reviews. We should be careful from fake good or bad reviews because they could lead us into a wrong decision. However, finding reliable and real reviews is quite challenging.

  • Charles Dan

    I always believe in reading reviews before buying any product or service online on some really good websites. Because Real customers shares their experiences with it is good for us. You’ve written nice post, I am gonna bookmark this page, thanks for info. I actually appreciate your own position and I will be sure to come back here.

  • Jen

    I completely agree — real customer reviews are so important, and readers can see right through fake reviews.. Nobody trusts a company that relies on fake customers to make them sound good.

  • Hostople Inc.

    Real customer reviews give a glimpse of what the web host is like. Always go with them. I have seen some web hosts, which are genuine and good to work with.

  • Molly

    I think that the best bet would be to use third party reviews…anyone can pay some one for a good review or fake it for themselves. Thanks for a good article!

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