One of the issues facing anyone who has ever had a website is where to host that site. There are numerous ways to research website hosting companies. One great resource is The Hosting News and the various showcases devoted to specialized hosting. Another is simply to type the name of the company into Google and check out the results. Using a variation of this technique, one can investigate searches such as:
hosting company reviews;
hosting company best support;
hosting company special offers;
And so on. So if you have narrowed your search down a bit and now want to compare or investigate a company or two – there is a relatively new way to conduct website hosting research: Twitter.
If you have been living under a rock and aren’t familiar with Twitter – it is a micro blogging service that limits posts (called Tweets) to just 140 characters. Twitter is an open platform that anyone can use from just about any web-enabled device. Often Tweets include company names, URLs or tags to identify the companies being discussed. Let’s say that you had narrowed your search down to two companies: UK website hosting firm 34SP.com and
eUKhost. Here’s how to research your companies using Twitter.
Step 1 – Find the official Twitter feed for the company – Just as with any social media website, Twitter suffers from name squatting where early adopters swoop in and tie up a company name despite the fact that they are not the actual company behind the Twitter account. In order to locate the company you seek, you’ll need to access the internal search function within Twitter. That means you ought to sign up for an account to gain access. Once signed up, you can look at the upper right corner of the page when logged in and you’ll see a link labeled ”Find People”. Type in the company name – in this case 34SP.com, or eUKhost – into the search box.
What you will find is that 34SP.com has the Twitter account name – 34SP (.com extensions are prohibited by Twitter). However, you will not find an account for eUKhost – this is a red flag – but will not prevent us from conducting further Twitter research on the company.
Once you have found the official Twitter feed for the company, you can read the Tweets that the company has put out themselves. These messages will usually be quite positive, and may be of just limited value in determining the true nature of the hosting company. There may still be good information there though. For example, 34SP.com has Tweeted feedback from current clients in its Twitter feed. Here are a few examples:
Client Feedback: “This is truly the best customer support I’ve ever experienced.” – James H.
Client Feedback: “A quality of support that cannot be improved upon. First rate, indeed! This is truly exceptional service.” – Steve F.
Client Feedback: “As a reseller 34SP.com’s high level of technical support makes my job a lot easier!” – Philip B.
What we truly need, however, are the opinions of customers directly from the customers themselves. That’s where Twitter’s search feature comes in. Even if you don’t have a Twitter account or are not logged into Twitter, you can still conduct research on what customers are saying by going to the Twitter homepage at: http://twitter.com – and using the search function. Just type the company name into the search box and view the results. These can be quite revealing.
Remember too the Twitter search results are delivered in almost real time. So the results you see today are not the same as the results you will see tomorrow. Therefore, it is a good idea to conduct your research over the course of several days to get a well-rounded view of a company.
Here are a few of the customer comments that have been Tweeted about the two companies we are researching in the past few days – using only the customer comments, not those of the company itself.
andromedas13 10 Days past but still no solution from eUKHOst. – UK Web Hosting
wardy7 @MaFt #eukhosthacked Our sites are also down, just not showing anything. Eukhost saying they don’t know the exact problem at moment…
MaFt Anyone else use eUKhost and been hacked? #eUKhostHacked
qwghlm @jopkins 34sp are 4 quid a month and quite reasonable, I find
MafundiCrafts @apacheuk Went with 34sp.com in the end. So far so good! Better than 4shites. i.e. they work!
Jason_Cobb Hurrah to @34sp – speedy resolution of server outage. On a Sunday morning as well. Blimey.
As was stated earlier, remember to check the Tweets over a period of time. There can be a problem that arises and creates a flurry of negative Tweets, but really isn’t representative of the true performance of the company. Good luck finding a quality website hosting company. Hopefully these tips on using Twitter as part of your hosting research will steer you in the right direction.