For a long time we've believed that the web hosting industry hasn't had enough transparency around performance & uptime. Our aim is to provide a transparent platform that gives you the data you need to make the right decisions when choosing a web host.
We've built a method for running UnixBench server benchmarks in the cloud, currently this is only available for Linux based servers. Every benchmark has a unique key that when completed syncs securely with our server & passes the benchmark data back. We use the hostname to check if the server being benchmarked matches up with the host it's attached to, we also look at some other metrics like hard drive space, RAM & the CPU's to make sure the plan matches up.
Once the benchmark is complete we'll send you a report that shows your current plan in comparison to similar plans. For example if you're on a VPS we might show you similar VPS plans with better performance & some lower tier dedicated servers. The benchmark then gets assigned to that host giving us richer data for the next time we run a report. We also have a benchmarks section which groups the data by server type, so you can see the current top performing dedicated servers or cloud providers.
Running the benchmarking script on your server is a completely secure process, we understand that some people may not feel comfortable running a foreign script on their server. Our aim is to be transparent so you can view the code we're executing on GitHub.
In the 8 years I've been working with the web I would say we've used approximately 8 web hosts:
As you can see our case there's a distinct curve in the level of hosting we've required as the years have progressed. Back when we were starting out, I knew little about hosting in general, I compared plans based on features like "How much bandwidth I was getting" or "Whether or not CPanel was included." Nowadays, I can do everything via the command line, I'm more concerned about performance over features & I certainly almost know what I want when I need a new server.
That being said, I'm probably a small percentage of the web hosting market. There's still a huge amount of websites out there that cater to my uneducated former self looking for a low cost plan that will fit my needs. Many of the current sites that compare plans, purely compare features & you end up not knowing what the end performance will be on the server you might possibly share with 100 other people. Not only that, but you end up getting a biased view based on which web hosting affiliate program is paying the most per referral, this in itself offers no value to the user other than funnelling most of the leads through to a particular "flavour of the month" web host.
This is what we're trying to fix, it's an easy fix for VPS or Dedicated plans. Running our benchmarking script is fairly easy, it's not so easy on Shared plans (which quite often give you no access to a shell, or shut you down for using too many resources).
Our aim here at ServerBear is to give the public a way of comparing servers not just by features but also by performance. We have created a unique score (GrowlRank) which gives you an idea of the amount of performance a server has to offer per $1 spent, higher scores are better & lower scores indicate that you're currently paying too much for poor performance. But we don't want to stop here, we believe there's other vital statistics that need to be made public:
We just starting but we feel we can change the way people find new web hosts, we are extremely open to feedback & would love to hear any ideas or things you'd like to see included. If you'd like to help out we're always looking for more data, we aim to have all of our initial web hosts provide benchmarks (we will mark these as web host provided).
Web Hosts have affiliate programs, which we'll be using if they are available (this will not play a part in how we rank or score hosts/plans), we may also in the future provide subscription based tools.