The problem with any review site (& google) is that it is hard to be sure who the posters/reviewers are and what motivates them to do the review. I agree with Siropal that it is worth asking here if anyone has experience of them - but you must remember that many/most posters here are relatively interested & proficient - they might be more demanding in terms of features, flexibility, support speed & uptime than many users & less demanding in having their hands held in what (to them) may be simple matters.
Ideally, you want the experience of people like you with needs like yours (whatever they may be), so it is also worth asking on sites where that is most likely to be the case.
It's is also worth checking hosts forums (when they have them), but remember that some hosts remove at least some of the negative posts.
You can also do things like check ping times & look up other info about the site to see if it works as it claims. Some hosts seem not to use the servers or backbones they say they do.
Also need to remember that some people will be very lucky with a poor host & others lucky with a good one. At the end of the day it is probably a gamble & the best you can do is push the odds as much in your favour as you can by doing your research.
regardless of the level of reliability of hostsearch, don't depend only on their reviews. Compare their reviews with two or three other host directories, and compare what's there with what people say in forums. You can also try to speak to real customers.
If you want a host you can put confidence in, do the research yourself.
I just stumbled upon hostsearch.com. Is this something I can put confidence in?
How unbiased does this all seem to be?
Any personal experiences here?
Well hostsearch has been around forever but as far as the user review section I would just "check" the reviews closely. You can tell if you see a bunch of reviews on a same day, same host (?) those may not be honest. At hostsearch the reviewer does have to acknowledge an email before the review is posted. The user review section though is completely free so no host is paying for reviews in that section.
I would also suggest running a potential host name through google.com and see what results.
@ Dormouse: I have come across some of your comments in various threads and I have found your insight to be well written and sincere. I wish we there were more members posting in such a manner, so as to ellicit better quality reading and writing here. Thanks for your efforts![/tangent]
@ sunshine: Good question. HostSearch is a doubled-edged sword. I am willing to bet that the majority of written reviews there are submitted by real customers who want to share their exprience (myself, I submitted a review there for a host I have now used for 3+ years), but there are also a great many reviews that are simply posted by employees themselves (and it doesn't take a genius to identify them based on how they read). Keeping that in mind, you also must realize that on almost every hosting directory or rating site, the listings of hosts you see there are sold at whatever the going rate is. I believe HostSearch falls under the same category. Even though the reviews you find there are voluntary, the listings themselves most probably are not. Taking all of that into consideration shouldn't lead one to conclude that sites like HostSearch are useless, but rather they are just limited in their validity. I'd feel comfortable adding them as a step in the research process, but by no means would I count on them single-handedly.
After looking at a few reviews you realize they almost never agree. A host rated highly on one review won't even be listed on another. There are many reasons for that, some good some less, for the most part, reviews are rarely updated after their created. Also, new hosts need to prove themselves before even appearing on reviews. It's often the newer, smaller hosts that offer the more reliable hosting than the established, overselling hosts.
No review of a host beats your own review after trying them. Even then, a host suitable to one customer is certain to be unsuitable to other potential customers. Hosting is so affordable that it costs very little to try a few hosts before deciding which one to keep for the long term. Any good host will offer some way to try out their services. Money-back gurantees, monthly contracts, or other attractive offers for example.
You cannot completely trust the reviews on HostSearch, although they do list information such as the user's IP, domain name, email address with each review. If the same person was submitting false reviews, you can see the same IP posting different reviews on their website. They also require confirmation via email.
You can do a search on WHT, it's unlikely to have any biased or unreliable reviews.
It's often the newer, smaller hosts that offer the more reliable hosting than the established, overselling hosts.
Careful. You might want to rethink that one. I don't know what budget you're operating with, but equating "new" and "small" with "reliable" and "established" with "overselling" is quite possibly a mistake. Established hosts aren't just the ones who's names are dropped for months at a time on WHT....they're the ones who also grace places like Netcraft, the ones who are seldom mentioned here, yet never fail....the Pairs, the FutureQuests, the NYI.nets of the world. They are the hosts who I think of when you say "established." Yet they hardly oversell to the degree that most newer and/or smaller hosts do around here. And if by associating reliability with size you mean to infer that established hosts are not, by and large, reliable, then you would be mistaken there as well, given the names I just mentioned.
I think any smart one can know the real and the fake review, the fake review usually use some promotional copy that you can catch easly.
the good point at hostsearch, they show the IP for the reviewer, you can see the reviews if it come from around the world or just from single IP.
the good thing about hostsearch.com that they do not use CJ, they will not baise for some paid hosts.
when you find many reviews in short time for one host, then this may be because the host ask the users to do the review, we some times email some users ask them to review us in some websites, some do, some ignore, some do and give us bad rank