At GOODHost, we’ve recently started focusing on marketing ourselves better. To do this, I’ve tried looking into how people purchase their web hosting plans online.
One of the biggest surprise i found is that there’s so many people who seem to get tricked by a bunch of review sites for hosting that’s neither objective, nor credible.
Most of these review sites embed an affiliate link on every outgoing link to the web hosting provider they recommend.
And guess what happens? All of the providers they recommend just incidentally turns out to be providers who pay their affiliates the most.
As i considered myself quite active and ‘in the know’ about most web hosting companies they mentioned, it almost seem like a joke that they still recommend Blue Host, Hostgator, Site 5 and the likes. These are mostly companies who used to be good but then got acquired by the giant hosting company crusher and ruiner called EIG.
I thought at first, well, these review sites look quite fake, i mean, just taking a gander at it for five seconds will show you their true motivation, which is for you to signed up and stay for at least 60 days so they can get their payday.
But it turns out people actually fall for this. It’s pretty often i have people visiting the site, hit up the live chat and said, “Hostgator offers unlimited hosting, why don’t you?
Then people who came to web hosting forum, mostly trying to get a recommendation on what hosting company is actually good, and then mentioned that they’re considering Hostgator. Or GoDaddy. Or Bluehost.
It’s not in my nature to take a shit on providers, since i know there’s good people working there, and providing quality support is actually really hard, especially if you have that amount of customers.
So why do they still get the same amount of attention?
Maybe the hosting industry, especially the shared hosting part of it, is just too oversaturated and the noise just push customers into picking providers that they heard the most often, but these review sites truly is another beast entirely. They illustrate and contribute to the scummiest part of this industry that i hate the most, which is marketing lies.
There’s no unlimited hosting. There’s no unlimited bandwidth. There’s resource limits hidden in page 73 of their TOS, and if you go past the limit, your site will either be slowed down to hell, or they’ll tell you to upgrade. They’ll not help you optimize your site, they’ll just kick you to the curb.
I don’t know the answer to solving this issue, but i know that people need to speak up more often and post reviews on providers they actually liked. I’ve seen some review sites try different methods and not use affiliate link at all, and i hope in the future they got more attention because this is just bad.