Getting Tricked By "The Best" Web Hosting Services of The Year
The "Best Of" is one of the most popular genres in web publishing. People are advised by many web publishers which services or products would be the best to buy. Is there a problem with such publications? Yes! A big one! They are a tabloid form of technology journalism and are not based on knowledge's careful examination or quality. Most authors who write on such topics, usually lack the necessary technological expertise to compare the products or services they are covering and distinguish those who are good from the average ones.
It is all marketing! Virtually 100 percent of publications titled "The Best" of something are created to advertise any specific company that pays the website to promote their services. This is a real shame! Instead of good journalism, the audience is offered a biased and very often, dishonest opinion about any product or service.
Take a look at PCMag's article titled "The Best Web Hosting Services for 2021" for example. The authors claim to offer "top, expertly tested picks". All companies mentioned in the article are selected either because they are popular and display in the first few pages of Google's SERP or as some form of commercial affiliation with the publisher.
The review articles are full of banal observations such as "If you own a business of any size, web hosting is a necessity; it isn't a luxury. An internet-connected world demands that businesses have websites, even if the pages simply detail locations and hours of operation." or "Web hosting services offer varying amounts of monthly data transfers, storage, email, and other features."
This particular article is written to be indexed by Google and other search engines and hopefully ranked high in the search engine results pages, rather than being read by those who need to find a professionally written web hosting review. Take a look at the explanation of what Share Hosting is, offered by the author of the article mentioned above. According to the writer "Shared hosting is web hosting in which the provider houses multiple sites on a single server. For example, Site A shares the same server with Site B, Site C, Site D, and Site E." This is true, but the same can be said for VPS Hosting. In the traditional VPS Hosting, the virtual servers reside on a stand-alone physical server. So, the websites hosted on different VPS also share the resources of the same underlying server. The writer adds that "The upside is that the multiple sites share the server cost, so shared web hosting is generally very inexpensive. It's "cheap web hosting". The last sentence "It's cheap web hosting" is there only because the author has been told to make the phrase "cheap web hosting" a link to another articled published in PCMag - "The Best Cheap Web Hosting Services for 2021".
What is the difference between "The Best Web Hosting Services for 2021" and "The Best Cheap Web Hosting Services for 2021?" This is a legitimate question. The answer is "There is no difference." One of them is written for the sole purpose to feature "Web Hosting" in the title, while the other is to do "Cheap Web Hosting". Both publications feature the same class web hosting services with a minimal difference in pricing. This is how a popular, trusted brand like PCMag does journalism?!
Such publications are deceptive by nature. They create confusion on any market niche they cover. In the web hosting industry, posts like this point consumers' attention to a handful of companies, who are willing to pay the media for something that we can call "fake reviews". Unlike fake news in politics that is a relatively new media phenomenon, fake journalism and fake reviews have been dominating the web hosting industry for more than two decades.
What could consumers do to make sure that they aren't getting misled to spend their money with a web hosting provider mentioned in a fake review. We suggest few things:
1. Go to any Maps (Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any local Business Directory) and check is there any web hosting provider in your local area. Then go and compare the local web host's offerings to those advertised in the "Best Web Hosting Reviews". Sometimes any local web host might not look like a better choice, but it would be. Especially if you make a contact.
Do not get caught by the advertised low price. It is usually a 3-year subscription price, not the monthly cost of the service you are looking for.
Avoid choosing a web hosting company that offers anything "Unlimited" or "Unmetered", especially those who claim to do "unlimited storage" or "unlimited data transfer". In simple words, they are lying to you! There is nothing unlimited. If any provider offers "unlimited", it means that they oversell their infrastructure. Overselling often results in technical failure. You do not want a web host that would fail, because a failure might result in data loss.
Send an email or open a support ticket with few web hosting providers and send them a list of questions. Then compare the answers and go with the one that looks most friendly and willing to walk an extra mile for you.
When you are looking to get web hosting or any other digital products or services, consider going with any small or medium provider, not with one of the biggest on the market. Big is not good in web hosting or the Cloud. The bigger the provider is, the less important would be you as their client.
Those five suggestions will help you pick a good web hosting provider, not "the best" one. Considering that "the best" does not exist in the world of web hosting services, choosing a good provider is the right choice!