Monthly Archives: May 2014

The Best Web Hosting Company

Who is the best web host? Which web hosting company is the best?

This is such a common question and people keep asking it. Why? Because there is no 'best' company.

Best is pretty well defined, but human perspective and opinion is not. Every company has many properties that define its service. Some examples of those properties might be customer support, price, uptime, hardware, software, sales people, and engineers. There are a few very defined properties like price. But price is meaningless without the greater context of 'What am I getting for that price?'

So really, we're left with a large set of hard to quantify and compare properties that make up service companies.

So let's throw our hands up and give up. Not quite. Some companies are definitely better than others. Some are definitely worse. Most occupy a middle ground of being ok. The larger the company, the more opportunity for variance in experience. With web hosting companies, most people's experiences are either touch the technical side or human side of the company. The technical side of webhosting (at least in the shared market) is quickly becoming commoditized. So that really leaves the human side to impact opinion of a company.

I have a personal opinion that you can attempt to quantify the somewhat intangible human experiences with big data. If you are able to collect enough opinions about multiple companies, you could compare people's average experience. That is the entire basis of Review Signal.

Check Out Review Signal's Web Hosting Review Data and Compare Web Hosting Companies

So we're back to the question of what is the best web hosting company? Based on the hundreds of thousands of opinions Review Signal has collected the answer is, it depends. No company is close to perfect. That seems like a reasonable outcome. People are going to have bad experiences and encounter problems with any service company. The highest rated company we are tracking right now is WebSynthesis at 84% (source: WebSynthesis Reviews - Updated May 2014). That means 16% of people expressed an unfavorable opinion of them. The lowest rated is MochaHost at 19% (source: MochaHost Reviews - Updated May 2014). So even the least liked company has 19% of people expressing favorable opinions.

So you could end up happy or angry with any company. All you can do is hedge your bets by picking a company that a greater percentage of people like, relatively speaking. The other issue is information and experiences change. Companies get bought/sold. They move. They make personnel changes. Opinions of a company can be fluid. However, there is rarely titanic shifting of opinions without a catastrophic event (for example: Post Mortem of the EIG Outage (August 2, 2013) That Affected BlueHost, HostGator, JustHost and HostMonster). You're more likely to see slow changes over long periods of time.

So what's the best web hosting company? It depends. But we've built a tool to help you make smarter hosting choices based on what everyone else is saying. Just check out the data we've collected.

How to send email from the command line with SendGrid

Sending email should be simple. It's something I really don't like thinking about.

I ran into an issue where I wanted to send email from the command line in a bash script that helps power Review Signal. A notification when something goes wrong.

The only problem, I don't have any mailing program installed. I also don't really want to send email from my servers because making sure they get through isn't something I want to spend a lot of time thinking about.

The first solution that jumped to mind was SendGrid, who I had the pleasure of trying out their API at PayPal BattleHack DC. It was dead simple. I had integrated it into PHP though. I didn't know if it worked from the command line.

I checked the docs and found they had a rest API.

curl -d ' Subject&text=testingtextbody&'

If you want to clean it up with variables:

SGTONAME='Some Name'
SGSUBJECT='Email Subject'
SGTEXT='Email Text'
curl -d "to=${SGTO}&toname=${SGTONAME}&subject=${SGSUBJECT}&text=${SGTEXT}&from=${SGFROM}&api_user=${SGUSER}&api_key=${SGPASS}"

Voila! Sending emails from my bash script is now simple.


Interested in seeing which web hosting companies people love (and hate!)? Click here and find out how your web host stacks up.