How many times have you found reviews of webhosting companies only to discover they’re filled with affiliate links? The presence of an affiliate link leaves the validity of content in question. HostingReviews.io by Steven Gliebe, hopes to solve this problem by documenting micro reviews without any affiliate links attached.
HostingReviews.io works by documenting what people say about their webhosting provider on social media sites such as Twitter. These micro reviews are stored in a queue that Gliebe and his helpers process. Tweets that clearly express happiness or dissatisfaction are marked as such.
The Technical Details
Gliebe collects tweets matching certain keywords into a database using Twitter’s stream API. There are keywords setup to cover each host as best as possible. For example, Site Ground, SiteGround, and @siteground. This process means there is nothing special people have to do other than mention their host.
It is not really a submissions site where someone can say “I want what I say to be there” which can be abused. Gliebe describes the process being similar to a researcher taking a sample large enough to draw conclusions from. “I want to cover a lot of hosts eventually and that would be expensive to human-process so again that means not everything will be included, but whatever is excluded, will always be done so across the board at random as not to unfairly affect scoring.”
“Some people have asked me to add specific tweets. I decided not to do that because it will skew results (ie. someone submits only good or only bad ones for specific hosts). I’m sticking with the data Twitter themselves automatically roll in 24/7.”
If the user’s statement is in regard to a specific aspect of hosting (support, uptime, etc.), that is noted too. The micro-reviews and the data derived from them are presented on the site. Since users are more likely to Tweet dissatisfaction with their webhost, the overall scores are low. Gliebe notes that comparison is key.
The site is relatively new so there isn’t a lot of data to work with but what I’ve seen so far matches what I’ve noticed in my Twitter feed. Flywheel leading the pack doesn’t surprise me as I’m consistently reading tweets raving about their service and support.
In the past few months, there’s been more positive tweets about Pagely than I can remember. So being the number two webhosting company on HostingReviews matches what I’ve seen.
The site is a great resource as long as it keeps its promise of not using affiliate links. While 140 character tweets leave out a lot of context, I still think they have value. If you’re looking for webhosting reviews without an agenda, consider browsing HostingReviews.io.