We've discussed this before (1, 2) and never really decided upon much. The reason why I want to bring this up again is two fold:

  1. We're getting a lot of these requests and they really aren't very productive

  2. We're starting to get a lot more spam in existing questions

My proposal is to create one question titled, "How to find web hosting that meets my requirements" and use it as a reference for all questions seeking hosting. (Those questions get closed as a duplicate of this question). This question should:

  • be community wiki
  • start off being protected to stave off most spammers
  • not specifically recommend any hosting providers
  • give tips on determining a site's needs before searching for hosting
  • general advice from users (as answers)

After this master question is posted we should lock existing questions to prevent further spam and keep the focus on the new question. This can be done at once or as they get bumped, etc.

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Thanks for kicking this off. I've thought about this, but never got round to a concrete proposal. –  paulmorriss Oct 7 '11 at 8:14
    
Great idea. I've offered an answer as a starting point with some headings and subheadings; will aim to flesh it out over the next couple of weeks, but others are welcome to add and edit. –  Nick Oct 11 '11 at 10:42
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Good idea, but disagree when you say "not specifically recommend any hosting providers" –  Marco Demaio Dec 22 '11 at 20:50
    
I will try Quora as I can hardly get any provider reviews here ... –  ohho Jul 11 '12 at 11:09
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@ohno, that's the point. Provider reviews are not acceptable here. –  John Conde Jul 11 '12 at 11:23
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's a good idea. The site could use one of those canonical questions to point all future ones of a similar bent towards.

One detail I suggest to include would be the difference between shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting.

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+1 I agree about separating the types of hosting. –  Marco Demaio Dec 22 '11 at 20:49
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My proposal is to create one question titled, "How to find web hosting that meets my requirements" and use it as a reference for all questions seeking hosting. (Those questions get closed as a duplicate of this question). This question should:

Perfect example of

http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2011/01/the-wikipedia-of-long-tail-programming-questions/

Go for it!

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I finally had a chance to sit down and get this started. –  John Conde Oct 11 '11 at 3:55
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Definitely agree about making one hosting big question to tight them all.

Totally disagree when you say you don't want specifically recommendation about any hosting providers. I think you should encourage recommendations as long as they come with at least a brief explanation.

Let's look for a while at this Community Wiki question on SO about JS Frameworks.

Do you think is not useful and it should be closed? It's very useful because it could help in most cases choosing a JS library/framework saving hundreds of days that could be spent learning (and using) each framework just to discover that the JS Framework you find to be a good one is also the same one suggested and plussed 1 by most users of the community.

So if you think such question on SO is useful, why don't you think it could be useful to let user recommend also a web hoster in the one hosting big question?

Reputation on SE sites is real reputation. I would definitely give a try on an hoster suggested by Jeff Atwood or John Conde or some of the guys on SO like cletus, bobince, Gumbo (I can't cite them all) because I know that if they don't know a good webhoster based on their experience they would shut up rather than talking crap suggesting something they did not really try.

Reputation it's like in real life, there are people talking crap all days that you don't trust, and people you do trust because you hardly ever heard them giving out wrong suggestions/answers.

Webhosters are a real Ocean! I think there are more webhosters in the world than any other type of businesses. The only way to find one that is a good mix of affordable/reliable/fast is to try them one by one. But it would take forever (even more than finding the right JS Framework). That's where suggestions coming from reputable users come into an hand. I could start trying with the ones suggested instead of wasting weeks testing webhosters around.

So why not let people add their suggestion in the Big Webhosting Question? The +1 / -1 as always will do the rest, by distinguishing between the answers/suggestions more appreciated by the community and the ones that are not. The total reputation of each user answering would not be affected anyway, because it's already a Community Wiki.

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The difference between hosting and javascript frameworks is spam. We were, and still are, getting spam by webhosts looking to promote themselves. That was one of the reasons why the looking for hosting questions were problematic. It wasn't the only one but one of them. Allowing people to make recommendations leaves us wide open for spam. If we encourage users to post great information about educating themselves on finding webhosting that best suits their needs, they won't need recommendations. They'll have no problems finding a great host on their own. –  John Conde Dec 22 '11 at 20:58
    
@John Conde: Again I disagree. It's true the hosting environment is more competitive therefor it's reasonable that becomes a huge spam target. But the +1/-1 should take care of this. I suppose you use some sort of DB viewer, then have a look at this other question on SO stackoverflow.com/questions/395512/… It would have took me 1 day of work to find out a good MySQL viewer, but thanks to SO in 10 minutes I'm using probably one of the best MySQL browser out there and even free!!! –  Marco Demaio Jan 6 '12 at 11:05
    
@John Conde: and BTW this question you asked webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/16746/… where you were talking about HostGator gave me a great hint. HostGator is an excellent hoster (pity is only in US), and your hint was more useful than running hundreds of searches on WHT wasting 5 days of work. –  Marco Demaio Jan 6 '12 at 11:10
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