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Since 2004, WebHostingGeeks.com has provided reviews and rankings of web hosting companies. They provide an annual list of the top ten web hosts, as well as annual awards for categories like “best budget web hosting.”
The Good -
Featuring their overall top ten list on their homepage: People love top ten lists because they provide useful information in an easy to digest format. This is especially true when people are trying to make a decision about buying a product or paying for a service. Because their overall top ten list is one of the most valuable pieces of content that they offer, giving it their homepage’s best screen real estate is a good decision.
Useful navigation menu: WebHostingGeeks has done an excellent job of making their navigation menu very useful to visitors. If someone comes to the website looking for a host that offers a specific feature, they can use the navigation menu’s first section to access a top ten list of hosts offering that specific feature. And if someone wants to find the best host in a general category, they can do this with the second section of the navigation menu.
Encouraging detailed user reviews: By encouraging users to leave honest and detailed reviews, WebHostingGeeks ends up with reviews that are much more useful than a standard one or two sentence comment.
In addition to allowing users to individually rate nine different areas of a host’s service, the website also explicitly provides general suggestions and ideas for writing reviews. This results in reviews that actually help readers decide whether or not a specific host is the right choice for them.
The Bad –
Dull editorial content: While their user reviews are great, their editorial content is pretty brief and dull. And in some cases, the editorial content is just copied from the host’s website -
Use of banner ads: WebHostingGeeks is an affiliate driven website. Each time someone clicks one of their hosting links and signs up as a customer with that company, WebHostingGeeks is paid a commission. Because web hosting is a competitive industry, most of the commissions paid by these companies are quite generous. Therefore, there’s really no reason for this site to use banner ads. Although three of their four banner ads are affiliate links, I think the banner ads add unnecessary clutter to the site.
Poorly written educational articles: In addition to its reviews, WebHostingGeeks also provides articles to educate people about web hosting. While this could be a great addition to their website, many of their articles are of lackluster quality. As an example, read the first two sentences of the fourth paragraph of their “Web Hosting Instructions” article, and your reaction will most likely be “what?” -
Linking directly to hosts instead of the reviews: On any of their top ten lists, if you click the name of a host in the “web hosting provider” column, instead of being taken to the WebHostingGeeks review page, you are taken directly to the host’s website. While this is done to increase their affiliate conversions, I think it’s a poor user experience. These links should lead a visitor to the WebHostingGeeks review page, where they can read the editorial and user reviews, and then visit the host’s website.