Finding The Right Low-End VPS Providers – Part III: Reviews Reviews Reviews
OK, now you have done a great assessment, you know how much you are willing to pay approximately and the level of service you are going to get, and perhaps, you’ve even gone a step further from my previous post to start looking for a VPS provider and is somewhat shocked by the myriad number of choices that you have. The question then becomes, naturally, how do I find the few ones that you know you can trust with your precious websites/programs?
Step 1: Reading reviews
Few people actually bother to sit down and read reviews from the Internet these days, partially because if you search in Google by typing in “VPS Reviews”, there are perhaps millions of links shows up. On the other hand, most of the them are perhaps nothing more than meta tags embedded in the web pages, hoping to attract more traffic, and the remaining ones, they could be paid 10USD per review to write them.
I would generally look for reviews on the following website:
Both of them have been around for a while and is more or less reputable. LowEndBox is more of a deal-finding website than a review site, however the admin of the site was able run some basic checks to get rid of the offers that are just not trustworthy. Also, it is often interesting to read the comments section of the blog post, more often than not it should give you a pretty good indication of the service you are expecting.
WebhostingTalk, on the other hand, has been around for perhaps more than 10 years and is one of the largest forums in the world today dedicated to web hosting-related information. The forum moderators normally does a good job to check for the IPs/domains to make sure the reviewers have actually purchased the service before writing the review. Although this could not prevent customers from writing reviews hoping to get a service credit/discount, it is at least useful to ensure the reviewers are genuine customers. They have a very nice search feature. For example, if you would like to see the reviews about BuyVM, type in “BuyVM review” will normally give you quite a few relevant ones.
It is important, though, that you do not just run a search and look at the titles of the review and judge the reviews by the titles. Many of the reviews I have read in WHT were simply due to the customers who are over-expecting the service that they are paying for. Most of the complaints that are directing towards BuyVM, for example, are related to their slowness in responding tickets or they take forever to set the reverse IP, without realizing that it is an unmanaged service and they are paying 15USD per year.
For the reviews that are genuinely indicating problems, it would normally be really helpful if you could read up on what the hosts would respond. Some of the host respond in a very professional manner, even in the event that they are not completely at-fault, some of the hosts, on the other extreme, act more like 16-year-old kids than a professional business person. For those teenager VPS hosts, needless to say, are the ones you should really avoid.
When I was picking up my first few VPS hosts, what I did was that I actually sit down and read the the first few pages on the VPS sub-forum of the WHT and I think I was be able to short list to about five providers that I will be looking into further.
Once you have shortlisted a few potential candidate, we can start a few tests/verifications, which I will explain in the next post, to finally pick up the one that is most suitable to you.