In previous posts I’ve covered why you shouldn’t be so trusting about expert reviews of web hosts. What I haven’t talked much about is why you shouldn’t necessarily believe user reviews, either. There’s good reason for this. Most of the bad user reviews are from customers with web hosting problems related to a mistake they’ve made, not necessarily something the host has done.

The thing is, most of these bad reviews are written without the customer even trying to ask the host to fix the problem. You’d be surprised at how quickly an issue can be resolved if you just ask. Going and writing a scathing review isn’t going to fix your problem, it’s just going to give you short-lived satisfaction.

That’s not to say all user reviews are fake or shouldn’t be believed. There are some that you should take with a grain of salt, however. The most common ones I’ve come across are as follows.

The “My account was suspended” complaint

Here’s the thing the people that write these reviews don’t understand. No hosting company suspends an account for no reason. Any hosting company that would do that would be out of business. There is always a reason for a suspension, and that reason is warranted 99.9999% of the time. Whether the customer wants to believe it or not, it’s not an attack on them personally, but a result of them violating the terms of service in some way.

The “my account was automatically renewed” complaint

The vast majority of web hosting companies have accounts set to automatically renew. The reason is that they don’t want your service to be interrupted. Imagine if you’re running a business and happen to gloss over the fact that you need to renew your hosting account. Would you be more upset if your business website was shut down because you forgot to pay, or be more upset that you were automatically billed for a renewal that keeps your website up?

The vast majority of web hosting companies also have a way to disable this automatic renewal if you decide you don’t want it. Not only that, every hosting company I have ever tested has renewal notifications emailed beforehand. If you’re pissed off about your account being renewed chances are it’s your own fault.

The “this host sucks” complaint

Great, you may think the host sucks, but that doesn’t mean they actually do. Give some evidence as to why, don’t just say “omg they suck” and leave it at that. There is zero useful information in your review. Good job!

The “My site got hacked” complaint

If your website gets hacked then it was because of something on your website. I can guarantee with virtual certainty that if your website was hacked it wasn’t because of a server security issue. If you use any CMS or any plugin on your website you are susceptible to being hacked. It’s the nature of websites. You need to be in charge of what’s on your hosting account and making sure your site is secure.

At the end of the day it’s about accountability and understanding. Your web host has a support department for a reason. Complaining about something you did wrong isn’t going to solve your problems. Do yourself a favor and try to ask your web host what to do before writing a crappy, useless review.