Tag Archives: mochahost

Review Signal Ranking Algorithm Update

In a recent article, The Rise and Fall of A Small Orange, it became quite apparent that our ranking algorithm here at Review Signal needed an update. Review Signal launched on September 25, 2012 which was almost 3.5 years ago. At launch, we had data from as early as 2011, which means this site's data is up to 5 years old today. It wasn't an issue back then because the oldest data would be at most, two years old and still relevant.

Today, our older data isn't really as relevant as it once was. A Small Orange exposed that weakness. It was an issue I knew I would have to deal with eventually, but nobody has really made the system fail until now. Since writing about The Rise and Fall of A Small Orange, I've been working hard to figure out a good way to update the ranking algorithm.

The solution I have come up with is a decay function. Older reviews will be worth a fraction of their more recent counterparts.

(1/(ABS(TIMESTAMPDIFF(YEAR, NOW(), max(timestamp)))+1))

This is the mathematical formula that Review Signal will now be using to calculate the value of a review.

An English explanation would be that for every year old the review is, it becomes worth one divided by years old. A one year or less old review would be worth 1/1 or 1.00. A two year old review would be worth 1/2 or 0.5. A 3 year old review would be worth 1/3 or .33 and so on.

This allows old reviews to still be a part of a company's rankings, but with a strong bias towards more recent reviews so that if a company starts performing poorly, it will decline faster in the rankings.

Checkout the full chart of how these changes affect the rankings and ratings of every published company.

Perhaps the most interesting column is how the Overall Ranking changed because of this algorithm update which I have included below. A Small Orange has the biggest change by a wide margin. HostWay lost a lot as well, but it was already at the bottom and the difference between 36% (old) and 27% (new) isn't very meaningful when you only fall two ranking spots.

HostMonster, Arvixe, HostGator, JustHost, BlueHost and some other EIG brands falling a bit more isn't surprising. It does highlight how old reviews were keeping them slightly higher than they should be, but none were ranked particularly well.

WebSynthesis dropping was a bit of a surprise. Still a decent rating at 62%, but a pretty substantial of 7 ranking places which dropped it from 10th to 17th.

On the other end, there is a lot less change upwards. However, Pagely got a nice little boost which jumped it 8 places upwards to 12th.

Then there's MochaHost, which has the dubious honor of jumping up one slot, to not be the absolute worst company we track, which is now Arvixe.

Name Overall Change
A Small Orange -10.57
Hostway -8.55
Host Monster -6.89
WebSynthesis -6.13
Arvixe -6.02
Linode -5.35
HostGator -5.24
LunarPages -5.15
ServInt -4.99
JustHost -3.52
BlueHost -3.09
NetFirms -3.01
IX Web Hosting -2.53
Flywheel -2.49
West Host -2.29
SingleHop -1.73
Verio -1.36
iPage -1.32
RackSpace -1.06
Hetzner -1
MediaTemple -0.97
1 and 1 -0.95
SiteGround -0.83
LiquidWeb -0.49
WPEngine -0.38
Heroku -0.24
Digital Ocean -0.24
Godaddy -0.2
Site5 0.2
Azure 0.48
SliceHost 0.81
AN Hosting 0.93
InMotion 0.96
Amazon 1.35
GoGrid 1.42
MidPhase 1.5
SoftLayer 2.12
Dream Host 2.13
WiredTree 2.4
KnownHost 2.65
HostDime 2.67
MochaHost 3.34
Pagely 4.9

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.