HRANK is a site that offers information on web hosting companies. It has a fairly large number of reviews along with a transparent methodology and something that most review sites don’t offer – comprehensive data on web hosting company uptime and performance.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Victor, owner of HRANK. Through him I found that the story of HRANK is probably one of the more unique ones I’ve come across so far. With their roots in providing SEO services specifically to businesses in competitive niches, HRANK had considerable personal experience with web hosting companies.
We’re not talking about helping one or two small businesses here – we’re talking about them helping literally hundreds of companies with the SEO and hosting needs. As they say, the best way to learn is through experience.
We hosted all our sites with 200 hosting companies. After several years we understood how they really work and how is difficult to find the best one if you are a newbie.
HRANK is Turning Data into Helpful Information
Because of the sites they helped manage and the sheer spread of hosting companies they worked with, HRANK found themselves with a massive amount of data. This inspired them to do what all geeks do with it – turn meaningless data into valuable information.
HRANK was built around the proposition of turning data received from web hosting companies into something that would help newbies to the industry. That ‘help’ ended up being a massive ranking table of web hosting service providers along with critical information such as their uptime and speed.
Our goal is simple; To bring some transparency to the web hosting market and show people the facts on the ground. – Victor Kluchenia, Co-Founder, HRANK
Also included was other information which could be helpful in some scenarios such as the number of shared IPs that they identified web hosts as running along with the number of sites that shared those IP addressed.
“It is exciting for us to create something new and useful in this market that no one has done before. Having faced so many challenges in the past seeking the best hosting to go for, we know that the information will help others out as well,” says Victor.
HRANK currently only monitors shared web hosting because according to them that is what most of their clients use. To clarify, Victor mentioned that the term “shared” is used a little loosely. The reason for this is because the actual structure of how web hosts configure their technical infrastructure isn’t transparent and what we see on the front may simply be marketing speak.
“We never know how any of them are really configured and how many virtual machines are actually working to present this infrastructure to the front-end. As such we work on a reasonable assumption that a single shared server is represented by a single IP address, each of which hosts an average of 50 websites. Anything less would fall into the territory of it being a VPS or dedicated server,” he said.
How the HRANK Scoring System Works
Explaining the HRANK score, Victor said that they started out analysing around 150 million domains. At the same time, they also started monitoring each hosting server to create a record of its uptime. As of now, HRANK only tracks records of shared hosting services.
Once all that data is in, they reviewed each one of those companies and threw in their own thoughts as well. The result was a unique HRANK Score which according to Victor is currently something that’s quite unique to the industry.
Ultimately, HRANK score is an aggregation of various factors which include uptime, response time, how well the host supports its customers, time in the business, history, and experience. They also look at individual websites hosted on providers to assess overall appearance and usability.
The data recording carried out by HRANK commenced in June 2018 and has been ongoing since then. At this point of time, they are monitoring over 40,000 shared IP addresses from more than 300 service providers. That’s an estimated 11.8 million websites and counting.
What Drives the Team
Although HRANK does earn money from affiliate programs, Victor is adamant that that isn’t what motivates the team. His opinion is that their journey towards success will be based on offering users a truly useful product, perseverance, transparency and a real interest in the industry.
While this may sound like the usual excuses a company makes, there is something to note about the HRANK system. The first is that it is based primarily on data and that’s reliable. The second is that it is offering the system to users for free,
This means that the general public, which is anyone who needs help, has a free source of reliable information to come to for information about choosing a web host. Imagine the cost and trouble that could save for so many newbies to the game!
I’ve been writing about web hosting and technologies for years now and yet I can still remember my early days when I couldn’t tell Host A from Host B apart if their websites didn’t have logos on them.
What’s Next for HRANK?
As a company that has its roots in the SEO market, Victor has mentioned two rather expectable things. The first is that their hope now is for better recognition. After all, they are offering something new and rather unique in a highly commercialized market.
The second is that they are relying on traffic from search engines, which due to their inherent expertise, I have no doubt they will get given the right amount of time.
Right now, they are still feeling their way forward to gauge where they stand in the market. Not a simple thing given the fact that they are competing against the traditional bulwarks of the web hosting industry – massive affiliate sites which have been run successfully for many years.
Still, the objective is clear to Victor; to be the service that people come to for web hosting evaluation and to help them compare and select the best for their own website.
About Timothy Shim
Timothy Shim is a writer, editor, and tech geek. Starting his career in the field of Information Technology, he rapidly found his way into print and has since worked with International, regional and domestic media titles including ComputerWorld, PC.com, Business Today, and The Asian Banker. His expertise lies in the field of technology from both consumer as well as enterprise points of view.