How to know if your web hosting sucks?

Hosting suckage ratio

We often hear people complaining web hosting (insert hostname here) sucks but the statement is never backed by quantitative facts and numbers.

Not now anymore.

For all the geeks that can’t resist pouring numbers to every aspect of life, here’s an interesting way to check does your web hosting suck or not:

  1. Open an Excel sheet for data processing.
  2. Google ‘X-hosting rocks’ and record down the number of results returned, say figure ‘A’.
  3. Google ‘X-hosting sucks’ and record down the number of results returned, say figure ‘B’.
  4. Divide figure ‘B’ (the number of X-hosting sucks) by the sum of figure A and B.
  5. The answer of the equation in (4) is the “Suckage Ratio”- the lower the number, the better the hosting company you’re reviewing.

Example: Calculating the suckage ratio for Bluehost

Take Bluehost for example, when search for the term ‘Bluehost Rocks‘, we get result of 122,000; when search for ‘Bluehost sucks‘, we get 23,200 results. The suckage ratio, thus is equal to 23,200/(23,200 + 122,000) = 0.066 = 6.6%.

The number itself does not convey any meaningful information. However when compare with bunch of other web hosting suckage ratio – it tends to work as a benchmark system to decide whether Bluehost is worth trying or not.

Make sense, huh? This interesting rating method is introduced by Hosting That Sucks where web hosts are rated mainly based on the suckage ratio.

Hosting That Sucks

The rating methodology is a good (and creative) way of numerical based analysis, which sometimes is better than review based on personal likes and dislikes.

Modified Web Hosting Suckage Ratio

But you see, the Suckage Ratio can be improved if we implement a little searching trick with Google. What Nor (owner of Hosting That Sucks) used was the search results of ‘X-hosting sucks’ and ‘X-hosting rocks’ where the search term itself can be misleading. A document with just the word ‘sucks’ or ‘X-hosting’ (any host name) might appears in Google’s search result page, which in turn skew the accuracy of our calculation outcome. The twist, is to search with the quotes (“” – something like this) and to divide the number with the popularity of the host name (result returned when we search with the hostname).

The twisted suckage ratio calculation, therefore, is:

The number of Google results in ‘ quoted X-hosting sucks’ divide by the number of Google results in ‘X-hosting’.

Confused? Don’t be. The concept is pretty simple when example is given. Let’s take my other favorite for example – Hostgator. Google “Hostgator Sucks” (with quotes) return 1,650 results; ‘Hostgator’ (without quotes) on the other hand return 2,510,000 results. Thus the twisted suckage ratio = 1,650/2,510,000 x 100% = 0.07%.

Web Hosting Recommendation based on Suckage Ratio

To make this post meaningful, I had calculated Suckage Ratio for some of the major hosting and here are my results. (The lower the suckage ratio the better.)

Web Hosting Hostname “Hostname Sucks” Suckage Ratio
BlueHost2,050,0002,2200.11%
HostMonster1,650,0007330.04%
Hostgator2,580,0001,6500.06%
HostRocket491,0002090.04%
LunarPages1,630,0001,6000.10%
Dot 5 Hosting405,0001170.03%
iPower2,000,0001,7500.09%
Fat Cow442,0003960.09%
Pow Web956,0008690.09%
AN Hosting94,500490.05%

To my surprise, it’s Dot5 Hosting that comes up top in the result (I was expecting Hostgator instead). Dot5 is the hosting with least results in ‘Hostname sucks’, in other words – sucks the least.

Is Suckage Ratio reliable?

Well as said, suckage ratio is just a good numerical way to rate and compare web hosting services. As the formula is rather over-simplified and the input numbers are based on Google’s search index, the rating is nothing better than just a references.

Personally I think it’s just some-what-accountable and wouldn’t take the numbers for too serious.

But then again, it’s fun calculating and seeing the results don’t you think? People always say this and that sucks but they have no hard numbers to support their statement. Well not with web hosting now, you can act nerd say “PowWeb Sucks” and it has a 0.09% suckage score! :)

So does your web hosting service suck? I’m more than happy to read your input.