How to Choose Web Hosting Service: Customer Reviews

SMS Text

Your website hosting service choice is crucial: it’s the foundation of your website success. A web host delivers your web site to the world. In case you make a bad choice, you risk getting into trouble:

  • Uptime: Apart from obvious damage to your website performance, frequent crashes often negatively affect SEO. Google won’t rank your website high if it is often unavailable or down (see tip #2 in the list of the ways of increasing Google crawl rate);
  • Security: Improperly managed web hosts are often attacked by hackers, so your website will often have troubles being labeled as one “that may harm your computer” (which also dramatically decreases the click through as well as damages your web resource reputation).

Now, there are plenty of web hosting services available and here’s a basic checklist I often turn to when choosing one for myself or my client:

  • My project budget (how much money am I able to spend on web hosting?);
  • Service reputation (I perform a few Google searches to check what people say about the service provider);
  • Basic features (no more than I need for the future project, some extra features I will never need won’t encourage me to choose one particular service provider);
  • (Very important) 24/7 customer support (I usually contact them prior to subscribing with a few basic (stupid?) questions to see how responsive and helpful they are).

To decide whether one particular service provider is compliant to my very basic requirement listed above, I usually turn to customer reviews. To properly search for “real” customer testimonials, I usually use the following tricks:

1. Google “Reviews”, “Forums” and Date Search

Before Google introduced side search help, I had used inurl:forums or intitle:review (and the like) search operators in combination with date range search within advanced search to find what people say about the service. But now it is even easier:

Hosting reviews: Google search

2. Hosting Comparing Services

There are a few helpful services that let you compare various services and packages as well as look through user reviews. is one of those: it compares web hosting services in multiple categories (free web hosting, dedicated server hosting, vps hosting … etc) in a handy table containing:

  • Web hosting provider;
  • Basic features (space, traffic, price);
  • Bonus features;
  • Reviews rating.

If you click the link in the last column, you will be taken to the whole list of independent reviews about the chosen hosting provider and package:

Hosting reviews: webhostinggeeks

3. Twitter Search

One cool hack that I often use to find negative reviews on Twitter is 🙁 search. Just add it to the search query and you will have the list of dissatisfied customers tweeting about their poor experience:

Hosting reviews: Twitter

And how do you decide if the hosting provider is worth a try?

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Steven Perez

    These are all good suggestions for learning more about a hosting service. For all of my clients sites, I use


  • in web hosting my choice is , no where but go to , awesome price , support and fast servers . really love there packages with no hidden cost

  • Hey Good post Ann.
    Those are really some good ideas. And truely the sidebar in Google has made searching easier for layman too. But still you cannot trust forums completely. Often the posts are made up by groups of people to praise or defame some company. webhostinggeeks are a good source though. I am not doing this to make my comment stick- can you come up with your views on s/w like senuke or bmd.


  • That’s a good post Ann. Especially the search in Twitter was awesome! It simply didn’t struck me… I think we could use it for more products rather than the Web host!

    Well done.

  • Good idea on the twitter search. Twitter really is becoming a great place to get customer feedback quickly. Its a pity there isn’t something like Google Alerts for it.

  • Great article, another aspect that’s very important to look for is how many years a hosting company has been in business. Some hosts are brand new and may seem great, but if they haven’t weathered a good number of years who’s to say they won’t be bought out, or make some “newbie” mistake. It’s just like other brick-and-mortar business, longevity matters. Just my 2 cents. Hope it adds to the checklist for people searching for reliable hosting.

  • kevinpuls

    I prefer to use Host Gator.

    They use C-Panel and their customer support is a very helpful group of people.

  • kevinpuls

    I prefer to use Host Gator.

    They use C-Panel and their customer support is a very helpful group of people.

  • Great post! choosing a good web hosting provider is even more important than before, if your are not shore which company to use have a look at my blog there you will be able to find some of the best in the business.