About Down.com & Our Web Hosting Tests

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Hi! I’ve been burned by crappy web hosting companies.

Every time I need a new host I spend tons of time researching who is the best host. All I find are “reviews” that don’t give any concrete information, just opinions. Regardless, I’d finally pick one and start the process of transitioning sites, files, databases, and email accounts. If you’re like me and you have more than one site, then you know this is a lot of work. After all that is done, I’d swith the DNS and pray.

Usually the switch would go okay, but then months later I’d start to notice my site was unreachable, or my server stats would show much longer load times than before. That’s not cool. Then I’d reach out to their customer support. And after what feels like an eternity I’d finally get a response from someone who hasn’t a clue what he’s saying (actually I’d be lucky if it even was a personal response instead of a canned, generic one).

I’d eventually get fed up with this host, and repeat the process all over again – trying to find someone more reliable.

Does that sound like you? I’m sorry if it does. It sucks.

I wanted to make sure that the next time I switched hosting would be my last.

So I decided to test them all myself. I created accounts at the top web hosting companies and placed an identical sample site on each one. I have services that constantly monitor the uptime of each of those, and each month I run tests that measure the speed in many ways to see who really is the best.

Hopefully this is the last review site you have to visit to help you make up your mind on a new web host – since I don’t offer opinions, I show you proof!


Why don’t you share the urls of the test sites?

In order to ensure the most accurate test results, I must keep the urls of the test sites private. Although I’d love to let you know about them so you can run your own tests, it could compromise my tests if you’re running tests at the same time. Plus, I don’t want the hosts to give me preferential treatment if they’re aware of which account I’m under. Sorry, but you just have to trust me on this one 🙂

You’re comparing a $5.95 host with a $10.95 host. How is that fair?

For each host, I picked the cheapest package that would allow for monthly contracts, while still allowing for basic features. I could opt for more expensive packages, but they typically only increase disk space, which is irrelevant in the scope of my testing. Usually all shared plans are hosted on the same server regardless of the type of plan.

I always suggest monthly plans even if you can save money with a longer contract. Two times I’ve been burned by hosts that I paid yearly for and their service degraded and I had to fight to get my money back. Although most hosts offer a money back guarantee after your purchase (typically 30-45 days), paying monthly is the only way to ensure you don’t waste money after that trial period.

Besides, in some categories the $5.95 host beats the $10.95 host, showing that cost is not always an indicator of quality.

Which host do you use?

I get this question a lot, and I’d love to answer it, but I don’t want to influence your hosting decision. The purpose of this site is so that you can make an unbiased, factual decision on your own instead of relying on opinions. Besides, what I find important in a host, you may think is irrelevant. Figure out which metrics are critical to you, and see which hosts performed the best in those categories.

I run a web hosting business. Can you test my company?

I’d love to test your hosting company, but I also can’t let you know I’m doing it. See, I like to think of myself as like a “secret shopper.” I worry that if you know I’m going to be testing you, you’re going to set me up with an account on your best server, which is not going to be the average user experience. Plus, since I’m paying for all these hosting costs, I need to limit who I choose as a host. Because of this I have to be very selective. Maybe I will eventually add you, but it’ll be when you don’t expect it.

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