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  1. #1

    Host Finder List

    On Host Finder Sites...

    I thought I'd mention that we have over 90 Host Finder sites listed at To see them, go to:

    We also have over 30 Free Host Finder sites listed at:

    We update the list all the time (especially when we receive notice that new Host Finders have gone online) and have been keeping track of them online since 1996 (beginning with the Ultimate Web Host List and a few others that no longer exist).

    Our reviews are undergoing a significant change as we are converting to more of a Host Buyer's Guide so we are looking for a few more reviewers that can work 5 to 10 hours a month. In a nutshell, our reviewers must be Web Developers with a lot of time in the saddle. They need to be fair, and they must know how to communicate well.

    Our reviewers are not paid. They are independent of and take on assignments from us based on our list of companies that need to be reviewed. We reimburse for costs when the reviewers purchase hosting services for their review purposes (which is generaly the norm).

    They must also be able to take lots of criticism

    There are a lot of people here that have very strong opinions about the hosting industry and that is what I am looking for. However, I am looking for those who can be very objective during real time tests of the servers, support and other factors we are looking for.

    If you are interested, please visit our site and let us know a little bit about yourself:

    If you have done so in the past, please try it again. Your information is kept in strict confidence.

    Our site always welcomes your participation.

    Check out our upcoming interview with Matt Freeman...

    Ron Dunlap, Editor
    Web Host Magazine & Buyers Guide

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    80,000 feet under the sur
    <<Please note : this post was originally split from another thread - in future please start your own thread instead of using someone else's. Thank you for your co-operation>>
    My 2 Cents.... (or is that 2.2 cents inc. GST...?)

    Have a think about this : Programming is like sex. Make a single little mistake, and you'll be supporting it for the rest of your life.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Phoenix Arizona

    I checked out your page and seemed to have missed the part about how you get reviewed. Any info on that would be great.

    Best Regards,

  4. #4


    Gee... you've got ***** ranked as the #3 full service host, and CobaltRacks ranked as the *cough* #1 dedicated server hosting. Your credibility just went in to the "worthless" category as far as i'm concerned.

    Also noticed that Burlee is the #1 NT host... and that Burlee, CobaltRacks, and ***** all have ads on your site... hmm... worthless.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    West Michigan, USA
    Cobaltraq is one of their advertisers. It's the very first ad I saw when I went there.

    ||| 99.999% Uptime SLA!!!
    Plenty of space and bandwidth to fit your needs! - - (WP Friendly - Premium Reseller Hosting and Cheap Dedicated Servers)

  6. #6
    Burlee is a previous winner of our NT Editors’ Choice award and they have done it again. Our review panel picked them easily over this month’s competition. Burlee is known for their Unlimited NT Web Host plan. At $14.95 per month, it is pretty tough to beat. Throw in Burlee’s stability, their 14,000 square foot data center, their attention to detail and their great support and you have this month’s 5 Star NT Host.
    I don't mean to be mean, but do your reviewers know about hosting, because everyone (here I hope) knows that they do NOT offer unlimited bandwidth or storage!! This is another case where advertisers buy spots!!

  7. #7

    A challenge

    Since our integrity has been impugned once again, I thought I’d respond:

    Some of you guys have great ideas and seemingly are experts in the Hosting industry and I would welcome your feedback about our reviews. I have been working full time in the hosting business since the mid 90’s and worked in the Silicon Valley in the PC industry throughout the previous decade. I don’t know if that is enough experience for some of you.

    Those of you that believe our reviews are suspect, I invite you to become reviewers for us and find our first hand how we do it. If you want to see how we do the full process, I challenge you to try it out and become a reviewer for us for a month or so. It isn’t easy and requires you to be fair minded and objective. It also requires you to throw away your prejudices about a company you may not like sometimes.

    It seems reasonable to me that if you are going to throw rocks at us, you should be fair about it and find out all the facts first. Join us and try it. I need three reviewers right now and the invitation is open to you.

    Otherwise, your protests about our reviews are basically groundless.

    I respect your right to free speech, but speech without any basis in the truth is prevarication. Don’t just assume the worst about because you have been burned by other Host Finder sites.

    So, my challenge to you that protest here, if you seriously think our reviews are in question, join us for a month and try it.

    If you still think that our reviews are bogus, you can tell the world about it first hand up here, or anywhere else for that matter.

    That’s quite a challenge since it opens us up to incredible scrutiny and negative publicity and could even cause us to go out of business if some you have said up here are truthful.

    I am more than willing to take that risk, as I know how we do our reviews. I welcome your participation.

    Email me and lets get it started!

    Awards for Cash
    Those up here that believe Hosts pay us (through advertising or other means) for their awards have not done their homework. The facts are plain to any fair-minded person willing to be objective, and willing to find out the facts before they slam us. But it’s easier to assume the worst, and some of you have.

    Our panel has given good reviews to many Hosts that have never advertised with us, past or present. In fact, of the 29 current reviews we have online, only 5 are advertisers. ONLY ONE was an advertiser when we did the review and we state that in our review.

    We state whether a host or host finder is an advertiser or not. Most were not advertisers when we did their review. Some were. We post that. I don't know of anyone else who does that.

    For instance, and ***** were definitely NOT advertisers when we did their reviews. They opted to advertise after their review was completed.

    If a host receives a good review somewhere it is natural that they might want to advertise there. It is good marketing for them and there is nothing wrong with that.

    We have received a lot of flack for giving ***** a high score. I agree with many of the reasons why people have problems with *****, as I was personally involved negatively when they went down in 1999. We kept them off our pages for about a year after they went down and continued to handle and help many people that were affected by that.

    However, we decided to review them a year after the incident to see how well they would do and several of our reviewers bought personal services there and monitored support and services for at least two months. The review was based on their findings as well as from discussions with many developers that have contacted us over course of time that either used to, or currently had ***** services. We went back a couple of months later and did a review update on them and again they did well.

    I personally received many emails protesting the HostFactor rating they received and replied to each personally explaining it.

    Several of our reviewers had accounts with both ***** and to help them test the hosts. That has become quite normal in our reviews. I don't know anyone else in this industry that does that.

    We have received flack for giving Burlee a high score. Especially when it comes to their “unlimited” plan. I had a post up here that I cannot find now concerning the review and Burlee’s use of the “unlimited” term. I received some negative comments at that time from one of the guys that is a regular contributor up here that has a habit of slamming me for some reason. He doesn’t really know me though he has a post up here that implies that I worked for him. This is untrue and I may reply to that sometime, but for now I want to address the Burlee issue.

    I consulted for Burlee when the first became a Web Host back in 1997 or so. I helped devise the unlimited plan so I know it intimately.

    The way the term is used now has changed considerably and I have nothing to do with that. Originally the use of the word meant that Burlee did not set initial limits on the size of the Web Host plan. That is, instead of saying you received 10 MB disk space, they allowed the space to grow way beyond that if you followed their rules. The rules require things like making sure all web pages in the directories are linked to the main web site, etc. It is not for everyone, but I do recall one developer had a 300 MB site that gobbled up tons of bandwidth that followed the rules perfectly and they remained their at $14.95 per month.

    “Unlimited” is obviously impossible but again, it was originally explained quite differently.

    Again, our reviewers did their homework and came back with their findings. You can disagree with them, and disagree with the term “unlimited” but we have nothing to apologize for.

    I have used up enough space here. My challenge for three reviewers remains.

    Email me at
    Ron Dunlap, Editor
    Web Host Magazine & Buyers Guide

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    Some of your ratings are accurate but some arent. I have noticed though the ones with bigger adverts are higher up on your listings.

    I don't see company's such as in there and they are probably one of the Biggest Webhosts around is that because they dont advertise with you?

  9. #9
    You also claim is the best raq host out there..yet your reviewers dont even bother doing a speed test from their network to anywhere else.

    The best test is simple, do a server to server transfer and it will take a week to transfer a 400 meg file

  10. #10
    Answer to objections:

    Objection: "Some of your ratings are accurate but some aren't. "

    Answer: You weren't specific but we do the best we can and try to be objective. We know that people may have different findings. These are our findings at the time of the review. We list our criteria online and our review panel follows it. We aren't perfect but we try to give reasons why a Host receives a good or bad rating.

    Objection: "I have noticed though the ones with bigger adverts are higher up on your listings"

    Answer: As I explained above, we list if a company is an advertiser or not when we conducted the review. If a host receives a good review somewhere it is natural that they might want to advertise there. It is good marketing for them and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Correction: I wrote that out of 29 current reviews, only 5 are advertisers. That is wrong. Only 4 are advertisers. is not a current advertiser. Their banner was left online by our media guy.

    Objection: "I don't see company's such as in there and they are probably one of the Biggest Webhosts around is that because they don't advertise with you?"

    Answer: I assume this is rhetorical as this objection has already been explained both here and online at We have a list of about 200 hosts now that have requested reviews or that have been submitted by other to be reviewed. is now on the list. Thanks.

    On a related note, we do not just pick a company and give an award. Our review process can take a month or more. About 2/3's of the hosting companies we have tested over the past year we do not display as they have not received a high enough score.

    Objection: "You also claim is the best raq host out there..yet your reviewers don't even bother doing a speed test from their network to anywhere else. "

    Answer: I agree, has had their share of problems. Our reviewers knew that going in. That is why they tested them hands-on using Cobalt Racks servers. At the time of the review, Cobalt Racks did well. Speed is one of the things we test. If their speed and bandwidth had been a real problem that would have been reported.

    One of our criteria when we begin a review is to throw all preconceived notions out the window and start the review fresh. We don't want a review tainted by bad past experiences. It has to be objective with current data. That isn't easy and we have held off reviewing some companies because of it.

    In 1997 I lost thousands of dollars due to bad Web Hosts. I lost a thriving business as well because a Web Host crashed on us and did not come back up for a considerable amount of time. I chose that web host because they listed high on the Ultimate Web Host List. Bad mistake. So I know full well what the frustration factor is with awards given out without some testing done.

    Our reviews aren't perfect. They are still our opinions. They are still a snap shot in a period of time. But we try to do our homework and be objective. Sometimes people will disagree with us. That is ok, and healthy.

    I read the information on the site and I will direct the reviewers to it.

    We periodically revisit the companies we review so I will make sure they are aware of the problems you have found.

    Thanks for the input.
    Ron Dunlap, Editor
    Web Host Magazine & Buyers Guide

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    I have to come to Rons defence here. You can never win this argument. Any hosting directory that gives awards will always be subject to a lot of sceptism.

    If we give an award to an existing advertiser no matter how good they are, we are accused of favouritism. If we give an award to a company that isn't an advertiser, and they subsequently become one, then we are accused of giving them an incentive to advertise.

    Its a catch 22 situation. I think with sites such as Rons which has been around for a long time, if their reviews didn't hold some water people would stop using them as a hosting resource.

  12. #12
    Originally posted by HostMag

    One of our criteria when we begin a review is to throw all preconceived notions out the window and start the review fresh. We don't want a review tainted by bad past experiences. It has to be objective with current data. That isn't easy and we have held off reviewing some companies because of it.

    In 1997 I lost thousands of dollars due to bad Web Hosts. I lost a thriving business as well because a Web Host crashed on us and did not come back up for a considerable amount of time. I chose that web host because they listed high on the Ultimate Web Host List. Bad mistake. So I know full well what the frustration factor is with awards given out without some testing done.

    Our reviews aren't perfect. They are still our opinions. They are still a snap shot in a period of time. But we try to do our homework and be objective. Sometimes people will disagree with us. That is ok, and healthy.
    Oh, so a host's reputation means nothing to you when you rate them? Huh? As far as I'm concerned, reputation is probably the #1 thing I consider when I'm looking for a host. And what does "preconceived notions" mean? You're not throwing notions out the window, you're throwing ESTABLISHED FACTS. Can you honestly tell me that a review of a host that's merely a "snap shot in a period of time" is the best way to review a host?

    Your "method" of reviewing hosts works convieniently for you (considering your advertisers are ***** and Cobaltracks), but as far as educating innocent consumers on what's the best choice for their hosting service, your reviews are IN MY OPINION completely worthless.

  13. #13

    Please don't take my words out of context.

    A host's reputation is very important. However, there are a lot of people that have prejudices and preconceived notions from outside influences that may not be true. It is very important to come to the table with an objective mind.

    I could have used terms like one-sidedness, partiality, inclination, predisposition, slanted, etc...

    Someone like you might come to the table with the objective to find EVERYTHING wrong with a host and that the Host can do NOTHING right. THAT is not what I am looking for.

    If you find something wrong in your review, report it. If you find something right. report it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I get the feeling, that you would do more of the the former and little of the latter.

    I'm looking for fair-mindedness and objectivity when you go into a review.

    You must be kidding about your "snapshot" in time comment right? Again, if you read anything I wrote before you would know what I meant in context.

    But in case I wasn't clear, I'll try again. Our reviews last about a month, maybe two. The review covers the real world findings for that host during THAT time in history. We can't objectively cover a host 5 years ago, or two years ago, when our review covers now. We especially can't cover a host in the past when we don't have enough objective material.

    In a case like *****, we covered them elsewhere on, in detail, and the only exclusive interview with them a month after their crash. We were not easy on them and we did not revisit them until over a year later. In fact, we decided to see how they were doing only after sufficient time had past to see if they had cleaned up the problem.

    Our reviewers had accounts with them (not through of course as they were not to know we were reviewing them) and they came up with their findings as they saw them during the two months they reviewed *****.

    THAT was a snapshot in time for THAT review. Nothing else. It did not cover the meltdown as that was not part of the hosting services they reviewed. The meltdown was covered sufficiently, and negatively I might add, when it happened.

    ***** was claiming that they had spent millions of dollars to put in the failsafes to prevent such problems from happening again. They should have done it before the meltdown. But again. that was a year and a half ago.

    Is it possible for someone to purchase services from them today and not have that same thing occur? Are their services worth reviewing?

    As I wrote "Our reviews aren't perfect. They are still our opinions. They are still a snap shot in a period of time. But we try to do our homework and be objective. Sometimes people will disagree with us. That is ok, and healthy. "

    I don't have any clue concerning your background, or if you were personally affected by ***** like I was.

    Despite the fact that I was affected in a negative way by *****'s shut down, I still wanted a fair-minded review that looked at their hosting services today, not a year and a half ago.

    A reputation is important But just as important is how you deal with adversity. ***** made a lot of mistakes. They did a lot of dumb things. We have talked with dozens of people that lost businesses because of *****'s shut down and discussed the court battles etc. with people that were part of it. But we believe that every company deserves to bounce back.

    I don't want to get into a philosophy session on this, If we all took your example in life, no one would deserve any consideration for a second chance in life. I'd rather take a more optimistic view and as everyone and every company has done dumb things that have hurt others.

    My experience has born this out. I was in the PC Industry for about 15 years total and the internet now for 7 and I have seen a lot of failures turn into successes over that time.

    In closing you mentioned that our reviews are completely worthless. I understand that is your opinion, but once again, I extend my invitation to you to do a review or two for us and see how we do it before you deem it worthless.

    Thanks for the input,
    Ron Dunlap, Editor
    Web Host Magazine & Buyers Guide

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    I think you're taking this the wrong way, by the looks of it -- I might be wrong. These people are not saying company's can't improve or don't deserve over one opportunity to repair their reputation and service, etc. Some company's simply don't deserve another chance, depending on the circumstances. Truehosting, is one example. Out right fraud and theft, relentlessly and continually. The former owner of that host has opened new one's -- same problems, more fraud. They do not deserve any good review whatsoever. That's simply an example, not reflecting on *****, etc.

    The point being, if a host has and is known to be continually problematic in many aspect(s), then one good streak of a 60 "decent" days of service and uptime, doesn't well make a good stand point for the "before" and "after" and to what degree someone else's needs might be (not to mention the "while"). However, even you agree that you can only review the there-and-now, and how long are you expected to host with the company first-handed? You can't and each individual, especially depending on their needs with hosting, varies and is always their personal determination factor. Your explanation does seem fair, but it also does seem to simply ignore some long standing and perpetual problems with said web hosts.

    This is why the wording may have seemed to be taken out of context, but only due to the fact that it seemed you were saying just that. That's to say; the "throwing all notions out the window". It very much so seemed to me, that you appeared to be saying you have to ignore all the past problems, poor service, reputations, etc. If that was the case, no host could possibly have a bad review -- unless that month or 2 you were hosted on them, likely not needing any great amount of tech support on any issues that were beyond basic one, had deemed otherwise in _your_ opinion. And, that's kind of part of the point I'm going to make -- is that people trust not just the experience and "opinion" of reviewing sites, but they have to trust they've researched it and include some reasonable amount of negative aspects that can and will likely affect them and find themselves possibly dealing with some day, which they'd like to avoid. Many services can be good, for a short period, but years of poor service and another good review? Furthermore, speaking of; how important would a current issue be and how would you determine good, excellent, poor or average service?

    My opinion is, that no web host review site is trustworthy, other than to warn people of bad hosts. Rather than having reviews of "who seems the best this week", have warnings. Realistically, almost every host will have it's problems and will have it's up's and downs -- some will be an important factor, some will be minor or improved. However, the fact remains, it's too dynamic and it's all going to be a personal choice for a person's "personal needs". All you can provide, is a review saying "while we tested them for a month or two, they seemed good, or very good".. or the opposite. That is unhelpful to long term clients, which is the point some might be trying to make.

    The information people need to know, is the things that are wrong with a web host, encourage that web host to repair the problems and improve their service (technical, support, whatever). Saying a web host seemed good (do you say what was good, important things? -- I didn't visit your site), isn't much help, as I've seen many people thrilled with the service of a company that 95% of the other people would be very unhappy with. Again, it's a personal opinion, based on your personal experience. Things can go wrong before or after, or while you review a host that has nothing to do with you or that you don't know about, and can't predict. I'm sure you try and do a good job for what you offer, it's not easy to rate a web host. However, every single aspect must be included in a rating, including any past issues. I'm not talking about something years ago that is old technology and never used anymore or the like, but some things are relevant.

    If a high percentage of people are extremely unhappy with the service of a web host and you come in and host on it for 2 months and it seems okay to you, you seem that that's all you need to know. Excluding other people's experiences and opinions is reasonable, but only to a point. Of course, you can't go off of what you hear or people just complain about, but you can't dismiss it entirely either. You must consider some aspects, other than what happens in the short time you host, as compared to people that are looking for long term hosting for a real production, heavy trafficked site. I can name a few web hosts, probably including some you've been discussing, that I simply can't see any valid or fair or accurate reason to give a good review to -- not under those circumstances.

    Again, I'm sure you're doing the best, most accurate, fair and open minded review you can, but we can't miss the big picture here either. I'd rather see a site that investigates and verifies claims of poor service, fraud and the like, well structured and informative, than site's that go and just rate the amount of praise a host should get at a certain time and place. That sort of thing can never have much credit to it, especially if it's that dynamic to say "well, now they seem good" and wait to see if they get worse again. to me, that's about the same as people posting in this forum saying that so-and-so host is the best one they've been on (to date), while they just began hosting on them. It's not informative or helpful.

    No news, is good news. Positive opinions need not be said or known. Good reviews are based on opinion. A claim of poor service is not an opinion, so much as it is a fact (if true and verified). A host is good, as long as it's not reported poor and what's poor in a way that affects me. Some people have poor reasons to say a host is bad, some have good reasons and evidence to show why. How can that compare to a good review? You haven't had any bad experiences, yet? Don't get me wrong, if there's a good host out there, people ought to know about it and be steered to it for a good hosting experience. However, dissmissing the many problems with the company's you did give a good review to, completely defeats that purpose, even if you didn't have a poor (or extremely poor) experience.

    What would be important to me and I'm sure a lot of people that would be looking for web hosting (I'm not, don't get me wrong), would be to see the important, relevant and factual "bad things" wrong with a host. Be it poor support, poor performance, poor security, poor network integrity, whatever. You can't rate only good, it doesn't work. Giving poor rating's is not what I mean to offset that either. Surely, good, stable reviews over a long period of time can say something, but that's highly unlikely to be factual, helpful or informative on any real level. Of course, that's my opinion too.

    I'm just saying, when there's a _lot_ of people over a very long period of time, even very recently, having many problems with a great many things with a company, and you go in and rate them by your own sole experience over a semi reasonable amount of time for your own hosting "test" needs, it doesn't give many (or any) people much confidence. It seems you want to be fair and accurate (and that's great), but the problems can not be avoided when this list only appears to be the same rankings with the same company's as many other people do that have vested interests (not saying you do) in it.

    Nonetheless, if you just give every host that has past, recent and most likely future problems, and a massive amount of them, and give them a good review based on some (forgive me) seemingly "cheesy" and biased review out of "fairness", you can see why people would be suspect. Your offer for people to review might have an interesting outcome, but you can see how some of us, in the meantime, might just wonder why and how another host that is definitely poor (and I'm speaking of in the "now"), has yet another positive review. It's just hard for some of us to ignore -- having nothing to do with even which one might be an advertiser, it does make people question the qualifications, care, concern or genuineness of the reviewers -- perhaps that might explain why?
    Last edited by Tim Greer; 05-20-2001 at 09:22 PM.

  15. #15

    Great points. Thanks.

    Our reviews are not a one time thing. We re-visit each of the companies we review periodically to determine if they have improved or got worse. This has occurred twice thus far Some Hosts rose, others fell.

    Reviews have to begin somewhere in a point of time and our findings will continue to evolve each time we do the testing.

    But the process works both ways.

    On bad reviews, how many people that write bad things up here or in any other discussion group have actually had hosting with them?

    Many of the people up here log on with anonymous names and handles and provide no way of doing any follow up to see where they come from.

    I believe in good honest debate and disagreement, but I think people who hide behind a handle are suspect.

    The lack of Internet security is a big pain and no one wants their personal information online, but then how can anyone take credible someone who hides from scrutiny?

    When I see this and want to contact someone I email them through the discussion group email function and in most cases NEVER receive a reply back. They want to remain anonymous and hide behind their handle.

    About a year ago we did a check on discussion groups for this industry and overwhelmingly the people who complained the most are the ones who remain anonymous. I doubt if that has changed much.

    Related to this, if you go to the Host Finders that provide for input from people pro or con, how many of the ones that complain about a host actually had hosting with them?

    I have seen hosting companies up here complain about other hosting companies. What is their motivation? Are the trying to injure a competitor or is it for the edification of the group?

    On our reviews, it would be nice if people who read them responded to our invitation to provide us feedback. They don't always do that.

    Our staff has debated these things, and I have done so at conferences with others in the industry. We believe there is a need to provide good objective information.

    We have been trying to get a more robust test off the ground for sometime and don't quite have the means to do it yet.

    Take a look at and let me know what you think.

    Again, its not perfect, but its a start.

    I think its also important to understand what our motivation is. We really do want to provide a service that will be responsible. I can assure you that the debate up here and the objections will all be a factor in that process and we will change the review process accordingly.

    Again, I appreciate the feedback.
    Ron Dunlap, Editor
    Web Host Magazine & Buyers Guide

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