Ask any marketing expert what they think of as being among the most effective advertising methods (especially for services) and they will say its “word of mouth.” The reason for this is that we have all become suspicious of the usual advertising hype and the way companies describe themselves and what they do and produce. Everything sounds perfect. In fact, it if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Word of mouth, however, is basically what people who have actually used a product or service have to say about it. They have no hidden agenda or ulterior motives. They used something and either liked or disliked it and will say why. You can put yourself in their place and understand exactly what they are saying.
More than that, you can believe it. Sure, you may sometimes get some extreme reactions or comments, but you can discount the language while accepting that there may be some truth in the facts themselves.
That is exactly what reviews are - facts. They are comments and analysis from people who have used a service – in this case a web hosting service – and want to tell other what their experience has been. If they are happy with the service they have received, they would like to praise the company and if they are unhappy, they want the world to know how the company has let them down.
Anyone looking for a web hosting service must take the time to read the review of a service, before deciding to go with them. A company may have a great web site with a lot of impressive numbers and great prices, but the reviews may show that they have let their clients down badly.
Web hosting reviews vary, depending on the forums they are in and the way they are presented, but by and large a good review should contain details of reliability, speed, support, customer service, fault rectification times and so on. The reviewer’s personal comments are usually included and often analyses of the reasons for the problems are also given. But don’t think that all web hosting service reviews are negative. Many have nothing but praise for services that have performed exceptionally well and have gone the extra mile to help out their clients.
One word of caution; there have been occasions where web hosting services have flooded the internet with negative reviews of the competition. Any excessive complaints over an extended period of time about a web hosting company that seems to be doing well should be viewed with suspicion. The same applies to excessive praise – a service may have planted these reviews about itself.
The best way to make use of web hosting reviews is not to look at specifics – one person may have been unlucky or may have caused problems for himself, which he will not admit – but to look at trends in the service of a web hosting company that the reviews indicate. This will give you a fair indication of what you can expect if you should decide to sign up with them.
One thing to keep in mind is that with thousands of web hosting service providers around, going through all the reviews will be impossible. Its best to first decide which of the three major categories of web hosting – free, shared or fully paid – is best for you, so that you can narrow down your search and the number of reviews you have to go through.