Our Web Hosting Review Process
Learn all about how we review and rank web hosts in order to provide our users with the most accurate sets of data possible.
We Conduct an Initial Overview and Analysis of the Hosting Provider
Before jumping head first into a hosting service, we take our time and study it thoroughly just so we can get a rough idea of what to expect. We start by navigating the company’s website and looking for anything that stands out from the crowd.
We’re particularly interested in detailed information regarding the provider’s various hosting-related services and their prices. Companies that are straightforward and transparent when listing their prices always make a good impression and we don’t hesitate to praise them in our reviews.
Likewise, we don’t hesitate to point out any shady business practices or deceptive marketing techniques we notice during our initial analysis. This includes any convoluted terminology found in the company’s terms of service.
Finally, our first research phase also involves looking up the company on trustworthy review aggregators and forums. This is so we can get an idea of the company’s reputation and find out what kind of experiences, both good and bad, regular users have had with the service in the past.
We Acquire a Domain Name for Each Hosting Service we Plan to Review
Once we finalize our initial analysis of a hosting service, we proceed to acquire a domain name for the future website. Whenever possible, we try to secure a domain name that reflects the service we’re testing in order to keep things neatly organized. We also try to acquire all our domains from the same source for similar reasons.
We Sign Up for the Service and Evaluate the Control Panel
Our next order of business is to sign up for a web hosting plan and we make sure to get the package that’s most popular with regular users. That’s usually the cheapest shared hosting plan, however, we occasionally choose other packages if our review focuses on a different type of hosting, such as VPN or cloud hosting for example.
We almost always sign up for long-term contracts (usually 3 years) as this allows us to test and monitor our sites over long periods of time. We never use free packages offered by the provider in order to remain completely unbiased.
Before we start building our website, we spend a good amount of time analyzing every component of the control panel. While a lot of hosting companies use the standard cPanel, which we’re already very familiar with, we do come across unique variations every now and again.
Meanwhile, some services use custom control panels that we haven’t seen before. We make sure to include any relevant information we can find in our reviews so our readers know what to expect in case a company uses an unusual control panel.
We Set Up a WordPress Test Site and Begin Monitoring It
As soon as we’re comfortable with the client area and the control panel of the service we immediately start building our website. In order to keep things as simple as possible, we set up a minimalistic WordPress site with very few elements that could slow it down.
We usually stick to a 1-page setup and use the same theme and placeholder content on all our websites to maintain consistency. By eliminating such variables, we can monitor our websites while being confident that our results are not skewed by any external factors.
We Test the Performance of our Website
Our next step of the process, and one of the most important ones, involves testing the performance of the website over a long period of time. We usually keep an eye on the speed and uptime for at least 1 entire year before we review the service. This allows us to get accurate results that take into account occasional outages, which are difficult to monitor when testing for short periods.
We have a variety of tools in our arsenal that we use to test each of our websites. We start by testing the speed and performance using GTmetrix Pro before doing a more in-depth analysis with K6, a developer-focused load testing tool. In addition, we also have our own in-house developed testing tools that complement the commercially available ones.
We Contact Customer Support Using All Available Channels
Assessing the quality of a company’s customer support service can be tricky because not every user will get to chat with the same supports agents or use the same support channels. That’s why we contact support multiple times in the hope of chatting with several agents and also we use all available channels, be it live chat, phone or ticket.
Most of the questions we ask agents are very simple and are the types of questions a novice user may be interested in. We appreciate agents who are patient and give helpful answers to our questions even though they probably answered similar ones hundreds of times in the past. Likewise, we make note of agents who are dismissive or who aren’t able to help fix very simple problems.
We often also like to take things one step further by asking highly technical questions that most support agents are not trained to answer. We don’t necessarily expect a direct answer in these cases since we’re primarily interested in seeing if the agent is willing to try helping us or if we’re immediately directed to a tech specialist.
We Check All Other Relevant Features and Asses the Total Cost
While we try to maintain a high degree of consistency when reviewing hosting services, sometimes we have to go off the beaten path because certain companies offer unique features or extra services that we don’t usually come across.
Since we’re adamant about looking at each and every important aspect of the company, we pay close attention to any special features that stand out, whether in a positive or negative manner. A lot of the time these special features are major selling points for potential customers so we make sure to highlight them in our reviews.
Before we proceed to the final step of our process we assess the total cost of the service and compare it to what other companies are charging for similar services. It’s always a good indication that you’re getting a good bang for your buck when the web host offers better services at an equal or cheaper price than its competitors.
We Conduct One Final Evaluation Where We Take Into Account Each Aspect of the Provider
There’s a lot of data to sift through when putting together a comprehensive review so we make sure to conduct a final evaluation of the service, just to make sure that we didn’t overlook anything during the previous steps.
Companies tend to change the prices of their hosting plans every now and again so this final evaluation is essential, as it gives us an opportunity to check the current prices before we write the bulk of our review.
Prices aside, we compile all data gathered during the testing period and make note of other key factors like navigation and ease of use, tools and features, speed, uptime, and customer support.
Once we’re happy with all the data we’ve collected, we’re ready to start writing our review.
The location of the server hosting your website can have a major impact on several performance metrics. Most notably, page loading speed. Server location is a very important factor to consider before you sign up with a hosting service because this is something that affects not just your own experience while navigating the website, but also that of the user. In order to ensure an ideal user experience try to have your website hosted on a server that’s located as closely as possible to the bulk of your audience.
Unless you’re running a website for a small local business, chances are your audience is scattered across multiple states, countries, or even continents. Choosing the perfect server location can be particularly difficult in these situations and tends to require a good amount of testing. That process is normally time-consuming but, as with many other things involving web hosting, you can rely on us to do all the heavy lifting for you.
We consider it an essential part of our review process to test the servers of every web hosting service from a wide variety of locations. We do this partially to ensure that our data is as accurate as possible when calculating the average response times of a server and partially because we know how important this information is for websites that attract a global audience.
- Vancouver, Canada
- Dallas, USA
- Hong Kong, China
- London, UK
- Mumbai, India
- Sydney, Australia
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Tokyo, Japan
- San Francisco, USA
- Washington D.C, USA
- Stockholm, Sweden
MamboServer is comprised of a team of experts who test and review hosting services for a living. More than just a job, reviewing hosting providers is a passion for us. We have first-hand experience with all the hosting services we review, which is why we always feel so comfortable talking at length and in great detail about them.
In addition to our desire to provide quality content for our audience, we also invest a lot of time and effort into our reviews because we want to make sure that our data is always accurate and up-to-date. And given that hosting providers are known to make changes to their services fairly regularly, we feel it is essential to buy and thoroughly test every single service we review in order to stay true to our mission statement.
If you have any questions and / or suggestions, feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
|Web Host Name||Test Site Url||Hosting Plan||Uptime & Speed Data||Monitoring Since|
|Bluehost||mambo-bluehost.com||Shared Basic||See on Pingdom||November 2020|
|WordPress||mambo-wrdpress.com||Personal||See on Pingdom||November 2020|
|Squarespace||mambo-sqrspace.com||Personal||See on Pingdom||November 2020|
|DreamHost||mambo-dreamhost.com||Shared Starter||See on Pingdom||November 2020|
|InMotion Hosting||mambo-inmotion.com||Shared Lite||See on Pingdom||November 2020|
|WP Engine||mambo-wpengine.com||Startup||See on Pingdom||November 2020|
|Hostinger||mambo-hostinger.com||Single Shared||See on Pingdom||November 2020|
Like many other websites that test and review hosting services, we sometimes use affiliate links to generate the revenue necessary to keep MamboServer going. We earn a small commission whenever a reader purchases a hosting service after using one of our links. These commissions are invaluable in keeping our website afloat.
Affiliate links don’t impact our readers in any way, nor do they affect how we go about reviewing a service. Our primary goal is to review every noteworthy hosting service in an unbiased and truthful manner, and that’s not going to change anytime soon regardless of these links.
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