WebsiteSetup is committed to providing you with the most comprehensive, real-world reviews, and this is how we achieve that.

Assessment Criteria

Our rigorous assessment criteria are based on real data, not merely those advertised by a web hosting provider. We assess almost every hosting company for over a year to gather real-world insights to help you make a decision.

We assess every web host based on:

  • Price
  • Reliability (Uptime)
  • Performance
  • Features
  • Security

Our 6 Step Process to Assess Over 40 Web Hosting Companies for You

We have refined a 6 step process over the last five years to test every web hosting provider in real-world conditions.

1. Buying a Test Domain Name

We start by purchasing a test domain name to associate with each host. That allows us to test the web hosting provider’s name servers with an external domain name.

For example, for testing out SiteGround web hosting service, we first bought the domain name;

SiteGround test site's URL

We do this as translating domain names can have an impact on performance if configured poorly.

2. Signing Up With Each Web Hosting Provider

To ensure an accurate assessment, we never use free accounts to assess web hosting providers. We have discovered this is often not representative of the paying customer’s experience.

We choose their cheapest (shared plan) for the maximum length. That ensures we have enough data and time to compare it against other providers.

By selecting the cheapest shared plan, we ensure a consistent benchmark across all web hosting providers.

Below are examples of invoices that we’ve paid to different web hosting companies:

LiquidWeb invoice
Liquid Web invoice
Hostwinds invoice
Hostwinds invoice
Bluehost invoice
Bluehost invoice

3. Deploying a Standard WordPress Installation

Once we have connected the domain name with our web hosting provider’s servers, we deploy our standard test WordPress installation.

The size, structure, and theme of each website are identical, making monitoring page load speed more accurate.

4. Gather Uptime And Load Time Data for Over Year

To accurately represent real-world performance, we monitor all websites for at least one year using industry recognized benchmarking tool, Pingdom.

Pingdom checks the hosting at one-minute intervals to ensure the site is up and to monitor its performance. This data is available to you through our Pingdom dashboard.

5. Testing Customer Support

Customer support is a crucial component of any web hosting provider’s review.

You want to be confident you can get help when you need it, which is why we always test the customer support experience.

We assess customer support based on the two most critical criteria; the speed of response when your website goes down and the accuracy of customer support answers.

6. Reviewing Features and Price

Finally, we assess web hosting providers on their overall package.

These vary between web hosting providers, but critical include:

  • Price.
  • Renewal costs.
  • Free domain options.
  • Whether the site is secured through SSL.
  • Whether the site has the performance benefits of a CDN.
  • Refund options.
  • Customer support quality.
  • Load time.

Why You Can Trust Our Reviews

WebsiteSetup is run by a team of three experts who have been assessing web hosting providers for the last five years.

Our team is made up of people who have long-term, real-world experience of hosting websites and so are familiar with the kinds of problems you face with a web hosting provider.

On this site, you can find genuine, accurate, and up-to-date hosting reviews from people who have actually bought hosting from the companies they write about.

The service is funded through commission earned when you sign up for a provider. However, these commissions do not impact the results of our rankings, as that would undermine our credibility, which is extremely important to us.

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