Web Hosting Certification please


At the rate at which the Internet is growing, sooner than later, everyone on the planet will have some sort of hosted presence on the Web. This juicy market is therefore attracting all kinds of pseudo-hosts who want their share of the cake, without having the necessary funds, knowledge, aptitude or even hardware to enter this business. This situation results in too many poor and unreliable web hosting offers from unqualified “hosts” who bluntly publish what I’d call false advertising about their services. As a result, Clients have to switch hosts few times before they find a reliable one. It’s expensive, time consuming and frustrating.

Wouldn’t it be nice if Web hosting Co. could obtain some kind of a certification from a reliable independent auditing Organization? After passing the audit, the Web host would obtain a Certification label that it would be authorized to display on its web site. Such certified Hosts would have to be periodically re-audited in order to keep that assessment. At the sight of this proof of certification, potential Customers would know that this Web Host is staffed with professionals, equipped with modern hardware and high speed connections, secured, able to provide reliable customer service etc.

This would sure put some order in the actual Web hosting jungle where roaches and ticks are proliferating at our expense.

What do you think?

PS : See this thread for a good example of such a so called “host” that would have a hard time passing any kind of audit… There are unfortunately many such unsatisfying examples.

I understand your point of view, but I’m afraid that any certification, but the market value would be impossible to have and perhaps wrong… Consumers are the ones to decide who’s good and who’s not. The only Rule I think that shall be implemented is 30-days money back guarantee. It gives confidence to the consumers that they will not be ripped off when they are not satisfied of the service or when the provide fails to fulfill its promises.

Well, I’m not saying that Companies must get a certification in order to enter the hosting market. It would only be a voluntary, non-compulsory decision they could take in order to show potential customers that they have been assessed as being qualified to do so.

This would not limit the number of hosting offers and customers would still have the choice. The N days money back guarantee could be one of the criterias.



Any criteria that relies on what the host promises to do, is doomed to fail. Host promise uptime, refunds, backups etc. Few actually deliver, and that’s not going to show up on some every 6 months, 10 minutes quiz test.

There have been several “certification” attempts over the years, and they ultimately failed. The trouble is that they’re catching the attention of small hosting providers only, as they try to appear to be bigger, more respectable etc.

But if your “Oscars” only present B movies, you’ve got no real credibility.

Since most of the decent hosting providers already offer a so many days money back guarantee, what else is required? Either their hosting provides what they claim it does or you get your money back and move on.

When I say “a certification from a reliable independent auditing Organization”, I mean that, at the host request, a human being actually visits the host premises to assess the staff, the equipment, the connections, the contracts conditions etc. etc.

This would of course cost the host a fair amount but this investment could be soon paid back by a larger amount of customers, good reputation and reviews, long term relationships etc.

The very best web hosting companies also maintain offsite back-ups of your data and information that is stored on their servers to make sure that nothing is lost if they experience a catastrophe or a natural disaster. Last but not least, your web host should provide superb technical support that is knowledgeable, reliable, and perhaps most important, available when you need them.

felgall, you are surely a busy man and I am perplexed by your comment.

How do you know if they are “decent” in the first place ? Do you base your judgment on their nice looking website and/or on what they often deceptively advertise in their pamphlet ?

Having to move on is exactly what we’d like to avoid… It’s vexatious and expensive.

Thanks for taking the time to state what’s evident but how do I spot such a pearl without any serious assessment on which to base my choice ?

I mean that, at the host request, a human being actually visits the host premises to assess the staff, the equipment, the connections, the contracts conditions etc. etc.

This would of course cost the host a fair amount but this investment could be soon paid back by a larger amount of customers, good reputation and reviews, long term relationships etc.

With hosts in very varied places the costs would be significant, and the value of a seal being roughly the same whether coming from a true audit like you’re suggesting or a “top hosts” site that does nothing (customers usually can’t tell the difference), I see it very hard to establish this Certification. Maybe if it would be somehow backed by providers such as intel, cisco, windows and redhat, then hosts might find the motivation to pay for the audit.

Agreed. A good Audit Co. would have to have reps Nation wide in order to reduce costs.

I unfortunately have to agree with the last part of the above.

That’s an idea. Or maybe some sort of a “Consumer Defense” type of organization could back up such a project. Somehow, these orgs always seem to find the money to publish a cause to the public when the cause is worth the effort (I remind you that money spent in Web hosting is big and constantly growing).

Anyway, I can understand why most participants in this thread are pessimistic about trying to fix the matter. After all, Madoff was audited many times and passed on every count … :lol:

Thanks for the time you took to debate my elusive idea.


When people have a bad experience with a web host they tend to tell others about it.

If you find out how namy sites a provider is currently hosting is supporting and then consider the number of bad reviews about that host that should give you a pretty good isdea of how good they are.

The types of cthings the bad reviews say they had problems with will help you to decide whether you are likely to have the same problems.

The big companies that understand the requirements of hosting the best are the ones that are the biggest hosting providers. No one understands web hosting better than they do and so for any certification to be even slightly relevant they’d have to be the ones to set it up and administer it - that would of course give them way too much control in the industry.

This is what reviews are for.

Reviews are never accurate overall however if you check numerous sites and do your research you will find the right company.

It really is not that hard however if you are on a shared plan be careful about downtime by someone else on the account crashing the server.

if the customers choose not to research who they work with then this is on them and their choice.

If there is an organization similar to the ICANN for the domain names that would be better for the market overall I think.

Judging by that way they handled the Registerfly disaster a few years back (i.e. customers still got affected and lost business, progress towards a final solution was slow, reaction time was slow), I don’t really see a third party or regulator modeled after ICANN being able to do much in the hosting area either.

neither do I.

Also hosting has one big advantage compared to domain names in that regardless of what happens with your current hosting you can always obtain new hosting elsewhere, upload your site there, and by redirecting nameservers have your site up and running again almost immediately.

So a problem hosting provider is nowhere near as big an issue as a problem domain registrar would be.

That might be offered by many companies but provided only by few.

It should be relatively easy to do a search of the internet and find out if anyone has requested their money back from a provider offering a money back guarantee and not getting it so if you do such a search and don’t find anything then either they honour their money back guarantee or their hosting is good enough that no one has ever requested their money back.

felgall you are absolutely right. Everything is all about marketing and attrack the customer. The certification of web hosting company…when I think get the ISO certificate (which costs for audit and courses about $8.000) and you will be protected with the certification :slight_smile: (joking, but that is true)