If you’ve been searching for a web host the chances are you’ve come across one of many “web hosting comparison” sites. These sites generally follow the same format with a highly visible “Top 10” or “Recommended” list of web hosts.
You may have visited several such sites and you’ve noticed the same hosts company names keep appearing - they must be good to be recommended on some sites you might think, but wait, there’s something you should know.
The myth of web hosting comparison sites
These sites are not actually giving you the full story. In reality all those links to Top10 and Recommended hosts are in actual fact affiliate links - if you click on a link and buy some hosting the comparison site owner makes a commission on the sale. Fair enough you might think, but the point is that they want you to click those links because they can make money from sales and it’s not an indication that the host is any good.
Let’s use 1and1.co.uk an example
The company 1and1 is a German based hosting business and, apart from a massive advertising budget, it uses affiliate marketing to incentivise web site owners to send them visitors in exchange for a commission on every hosting plan sold.
If you look around some hosting comparison sites you’ll probably find 1and1 in the Top 10 recommends list and get the impression that you’d get a good deal. However, if you dig a little deeper and look at a “real” review site you’ll see a different story.
They’re not all bad
Even if these hosting comparison sites push hosting using affiliate marketing it doesn’t necessarily mean that all the hosts are necessarily bad, but they do prevent you making a proper informed decision.
My advice would be to use a proper “review” site where real people give their opinions rather than a “comparison” site, such as http://www.hostratings.co.uk/ and http://www.reviewcentre.com/products100.html.
by Rob Allen | Filed in The Internet