Web Hosting Ethics

Let’s talk about an uncomfortable fact that many people seem to know, but never put together until it’s too late. Many of the “detailed reviews” that you read online are nothing but lies and exaggerations. This is especially true in the world of Web hosting. Most of these reviews are written only to make the writers money. They don’t care about helping you find the right host or ensuring that you get adequate service. They just care about lining their pockets. How exactly are they making money? Most Web hosts offer affiliate marketing strategies. This is when someone becomes a partner with them, and any customers that are brought over from the writer’s site gets that person a commission.

There’s nothing wrong with this strategy, and it rewards writers for bringing you good information and directing you to the right services. However, the problem is that most people abuse this. They don’t want to recommend the best host. They just want to recommend the host that’s paying the highest commission. For example, almost every unethical website that reviews hosts lists HostGator as the best service provider. If you read the customer complaints, the poor list of services and check out the incredibly lax uptime, then you’ll see that HostGator is anything but a good host.

So, why are they always recommended? Because they will pay affiliates $100 or more for every new customer. Once again, there’s nothing wrong with someone using affiliate marketing to make money if they are recommending good services, but the Web host review model has become unethical and shameless. In fact, most of these reviewers don’t even look at or list the features. They just say that the host is good, and the people that don’t know that much about hosting will believe them.

Does this mean that every website reviewing Web hosts is unethical and just looking for money? No, but it takes some digging to find the good ones. You should look for websites that list good pros and cons, and actually give reasons as to why a host is good. You should also educate yourself about common hosting terms. One of the most common terms that people fall for is “unlimited bandwidth,” and most unethical reviewers will exploit your lack of knowledge. For example, the above term doesn’t mean that you’ll get an unlimited amount of bandwidth. That’s physically impossible. What you’ll get is typically subpar service with very few resources.

It can be difficult discerning the real reviewers from the fake ones, but there are a few red flags. The biggest one is placing the host with the highest commission on the top. Other red flags are overhyping the review, failing to list any logical cons and reviews that don’t really tell you why a host is good or not. While they are difficult to find, there are many websites that are dedicated to giving you adequate reviews that are honest, full of real information and they are not trying to rip you off. There’s nothing wrong with the reviewer making money, but there is something wrong with placing money above a good and detailed review.