The importance of a reliable web hosting service cannot be overstated when it comes to building a successful online business. Unfortunately, not all web hosting providers live up to their claims.
To ensure our readers receive transparent and valuable information, we have tested over twenty web host providers through manual examination of features and analysis of key metrics. Our commitment to providing honest and unbiased reviews is ongoing, as we believe it is essential that our readers know how we arrive at our conclusions.
1) We Analyze the Hosting Provider
At Web Hosting Advices, we follow a simple philosophy of transparency, and we strive to maintain the trust of our readers. We understand that you rely on our recommendations and invest your hard-earned money based on them, and that is why we are open about our research methods. Read on to learn more about how we conduct our reviews.
The web hosting service is thoroughly examined by us before making a decision to register. We assess the website of each hosting company for easy navigation, comprehensive details about hosting services, and clear terms of service. The plans offered and the features included are also scrutinized.
Any misleading advertising, ambiguous server technology, complicated terms of service, or confusing website navigation are highlighted in our reviews. Additionally, we conduct research to evaluate the hosting company’s reputation.
2) We Register
After completing the initial research, we proceed to create an account with a web hosting company and choose a plan, usually the most popular one. Our focus is on the following factors:
- Speed and ease: We consider the time required to activate the account.
- Payment options: We prefer hosting companies that offer multiple payment options.
- Hidden charges: Some hosts try to coerce customers into long-term commitments through discounts or include excessive features that inflate the price.
- Hosting setup: Creating an account is only one part of the process. Usually, the hosting environment is activated automatically after the payment, but sometimes unexpected obstacles may arise before the hosting product becomes accessible.
3) We Assess the Control Panel
In general, when you sign up with a web hosting provider, you are given access to two main areas: a client area and a hosting control panel. The client area is where you can input your payment information, pay hosting fees, purchase new products, and perform similar tasks, regardless of what it may be called.
On the other hand, the hosting control panel is where you can manage your hosting services, including adding domain names, creating new email addresses, accessing your website’s files, installing content management systems (CMSs), and more.
We review both of these areas and include their setups in our evaluations.
4) Create a Test Site and Monitor It
After exploring the host’s interface and features, we set up a trial website and link it to StatusCake’s monitoring systems. We use the 1-click installer offered by most modern hosting providers to install a standard WordPress site.
Subsequently, we link the website to real-time monitoring in order to track its basic response time and uptime. Every month, we conduct three tests to measure front-end speed, noting down the TTFB and load time. The results published are the average values obtained from the three distinct testing tools.
In addition, we use LoadImpact once a month to evaluate the test site’s ability to handle traffic. This test is highly valuable as it allows webmasters to understand how the server would respond under load, which is crucial for attracting and retaining visitors.
5) Customer Support and Knowledge Base
Before setting up a hosting account, we contact the customer service team to evaluate their performance. This helps us understand how the company operates. Later, we ask various technical questions, some basic and some complex, to assess their technical knowledge and response time.
We intentionally ask questions that are beyond their scope of support to see how they approach unfamiliar situations and their willingness to assist. This provides insights into their work ethics and dedication to helping customers.
6) Testing and Analysis
After testing web hosting services, we write reviews and assign ratings based on several factors. Initially, only our experts rate the new hosting reviews. The importance given to each factor is as follows:
- Uptime (30%): this is crucial for a website to be accessible all the time
- Speed (30%): this includes page loading time and server performance, impacting the user experience and site ranking
- Support (20%): this includes quick and knowledgeable technical assistance and useful online resources
- Price (10%): this is not given more weight as it varies with deals and discounts and must be compared to performance, support, and features
- Features (10%): This is closely related to the price you pay. We grade each factor independently, and their average becomes the final rating.
When a hosting provider accumulates enough user reviews, we add them, and they contribute 20% to the final rating.