Web.com, 3 Million customers and only one site to show for it.

Web.com is on television rather frequently. Often with promises of “Helping your business succeed online.”  Not to mention that all too alluring Get a custom built website from the experts at Web.com for FREE!”  Who can argue with free right?

At the same time you have people giving their testimonials. Which is where I come into all of this.

Recently I was emailed by one of their customers who showed me their invoices. I can’t say I have not been interested in their operation. No I never entertained the idea of trying them. From the websites I have seen displayed on television everything looked cookie cutter.  But I have never really gotten a look at their work.  Despite testimonials they don’t show websites. Its not like Web.com does not have time or the customers under their belts for posting websites that are well worth show casing.  Web.com states” Web.com has 30 years of experience helping over 3 million small businesses succeed online.”.  Which begs the question, when was the internet first available to the public? The first website was created in 1991. However 1998 web.com appeared to be doing something other than webhosting.

http://web.archive.org/web/19980204093516/http://www.web.com/

But this has more to do with the people that appear in the television commercials. 3,000,000 plus customers and they don’t show case customers sites just their name and company.  Searching for the site with both details has been problematic like for this person’s site:

Steve greenup fse

What that asterisk means:  “*These results are not typical. Search Engine Optimization is only one of the factors that affects search engine ranking.

http://www.web.com/radio/default.aspx

Searching for “Steve Greensup  F.S.E. Inc.,”  I don’t find a conclusive site. The site I found does not match the one that Web.com has in this graphic. But fsesd.com seems to fit the bill as there is a “Powered by web.com / Register.com” on the bottom. I think the site looked better before web.com got to it.

http://web.archive.org/web/20090916003557/http://www.fsesd.com/

Web.com’s Stuck in the 70’s television advertisement

But there is one video I am highly certain I found all of the web sites:

  • Mark Castelluci – a safer pool edge – asaferpooledge.net
  • Martha Smith – a loave affair llc – loaveaffair.com
  • Lory Rosa  – Cleveland living – cle-living.com
  • John LeProvost – Malibu Real Estate Today – maliburealestatetoday.com

These 4 people also appear on the video locate here on web.com:

http://www.web.com/websitedesign/smallbusiness.aspx

It took a bit, but I found the domains for these 4 customers that gave glowing testimonials for web.com.  The first three sites are no longer active.  Search engine results by name and company did not take me directly to the first two asaferpooledge.net and loaveaffair.com. But Archive.org confirms that the Web.com logo was on the bottom of both sites.

http://web.archive.org/web/20120126045455/http://www.asaferpooledge.net/

http://web.archive.org/web/20120425174216/http://loaveaffair.com/

The third cle-lkiving.com was a bit more tricky as all I could find was a profile page with lationcleveland.com and a Facebook page.

http://www.latinocleveland.com/latinolink/95-lory-rosa/profile.html

https://www.facebook.com/ClevelandLivingMagazine

The last site is active, Maliburealestatetoday.com.

Web.com’s effect on Maliburealestatetoday.com

Maliburealestatetoday.com gives me a chance to see what web.com does, and personally I would have picked a different customer to  show case. There is too much wasted space at the top of the site. Plus take it from someone that has spent the last three years looking for a house.  The Property search  is not user friendly. While I can enter in criteria, I can’t sort the results and I only can get 5 listings per page.

Search engine ranking for Maliburealestatetoday.com  is abysmal

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/maliburealestatetoday.com#

The page rank is 1.

Search engine results are even worse.

I have to wonder what a web.com television ad might do for customer whose site address is actually shown.

Web.com and Jim Furyk

When it comes to golf (or any sport really) I am by far no expert. Personally I find golf boring. Yet there is a whole channel on Directv dedicated to just golf.  No matter how unentertaining I find golf, it is a huge market.  When I watched web.com’s recent commercial with Jim Furyk something caught my eye.  I have dealt with many Facebook pages and what I saw on a 80 inch screen stuck out like a sore thumb.

Jim Furky fake and real facebook page

The top part of the picture is the actual Facebook page which was not easy to find as I thought it would be.  The Bottom part is a doctored up Facebook page that was show cased in the commercial.  From what I can see there was nothing about the site being enhanced or anything.  But the advertisement clearly lists 43,145 likes versus the reality of 309 yesterday and 311 today.  There is no videos or foundation tabs on Jim Furyk’s Facebook page.  What interested me about the Facebook page that web.com showed was it had no thumbs up by the number of likes. Below on the left is a snap shot of the real Facebook page for Jimfuryk.com, on the bottom right the fake. They can be clicked on for a better view.

Jim Furyk facebook page realJim furky video fb page

This is the reality that web.com is not showing:

https://www.facebook.com/jimfurykgolf

When I search for Jim Furyk I get the following results.

Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk has a page made by a fan that could easily be tapped into to bring in more likes. I am more than certain if asked, the page operator would be all too happy to send fans to the official fan page. Frankly whomever generated the fan page looks like they would be better at managing the Facebook page than web.com.

When I first looked at Jim Furyk’s site, at first glance I missed the Facebook page link as it blended in with the header graphic and not a traditional blue and white that Facebook comes in. Perhaps if Web.com had done more than just Facebook for social media for Jim Furyk than I would have noticed it sooner. According to this link http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7ZE7/web-com-golf, the golf ad has ran 116 times. Maybe if web.com actually showed the direct link and corrected the Facebook link they could improve the likes for Jimfuryk.com.

Keep in mind web.com charges $189.95 for their Facebook package.

I will be keeping an eye on the progress of jimfuryk.com under web.com’s handling.

Awardspace, what is so rewarding?

Awardspace is my second host out of  7 of webhostingstuff.com September 2010 list.  This is the second host to have a free hosting plan.  However unlike the last host I reviewed there is a very limited 200 meg account.  Not really something you can get a basic word press blog on.  But there are still things that trouble me such as their own forums.  That there site appeared on phishtank.com.  Repeated hack attempts against their own forum which resulted in down time.  I supposed from one angle you could say that its a level of transparency that most hosts simply do not do.

Its not all bad, atleast awardspace does not tolerate hate speech

One of the first things I did was search on google for awardspace sucks.  The second result was troubling, and was pure hatred of Africa.

Below is the least offensive page from this subdomain site.  The rest of the pages were enough for me to wish sites creator a long and painful fate.

However a chat with a Awardspace sales person had the site removed immedatly

Andrew: Hello

Andrew: There are no additional charges

Andrew: The free plan comes for no price

Benjamin: ok, one thing I need to know.

Benjamin: While looking up your site I found something disturbing and I want to know if this is allowed content.

Benjamin: http://africasucks.awardspace.com/

Andrew: Well, this ain’t acceptable

Andrew: The site is closed down

Benjamin: I found it while on the first page of search engine results on google it appears to have been up for 2 years

Andrew: Thank you for notifying us about that

Andrew: We really do not tolerate such sites

Benjamin: thats good

Benjamin: is there any other pages with details on the free account? I just want something to start out with an upgrade later

Andrew: Basically here are all the free plan characteristics:
http://www.awardspace.com/web-hosting/free-shared-hosting

Benjamin: ok thanks I will review

—————————–

Andrew of awardspace had immediately removed this garbage off.  For that I a commend Awardspace.  But I have to question their judgement because this was on the very first page of ‘awardspace sucks’.  It appears to have been up for 2 years.  This is one of the reasons I did not want to offer people subdomains off my hosting companies because of the bad press that they may bring.

If it was someone that was my customer I would have made sure to refund every penny they paid.  I would not want to profit off a person that does such crap.  Not to mention against my business partners wishes, called the bastard up and give them a piece of my mind.  I really do not like this level of intolerance, and pure stupid hatred.

Is Awardspace a green host?

I have no idea, they point to a European energy company, whose site is in German.  Other then that there is nothing else to indicate hey are green.

Stadtwerke Kiel AG

I know that Europe is ahead of the U.S. in green.   But that does not mean this is not a energy company that buys energy credits.

Finale thoughts on Awardspace

The biggest positive is that they deleted the Africa sucks site.  But there are things such as 50% affiliate commission.  Then there is their refund policy thats not clear and straight forward.  It reads pretty much like if you have to have ‘x’ to have ‘y’ in order to have ‘z’.  It only applies to 1 – 5 year terms.

http://www.awardspace.com/information/terms-and-conditions/refund-policy/

I have a problem with 5 year payment plans.  Time changes, and thats one month out of 60 to see if you will commit to a plan. If after 31 days you don’t like the plan then your stuck or out more money.

Then there is the troubling fact that they are in the 9th position of webhostingstuff.com’s top 25.   But in the end I think that Awardspace being in the 9th position spells trouble for webhostinstuff.

Recommended Free Hosting – or you get what you pay for it

A question I have been getting lately is who do I recommend for free hosting.    Honestly I did not feel the free market needed much review.  Other then one company that tried to spam their affiliate link on my video on YouTube.  000webhost.com, was the spammer.   My own opinion about free hosting is not to expect much, and complaining about free hosting is for suckers.  There is no such thing as a free lunch comes to mind.  One of the last emails I got asked me for which free hosting had the most bells and whistles.  He had complaints about the load time on his site, the speed at which he got support, and too many limits.    Keep in mind he was paying nothing.

I am not going to explore free hosting on who is best

I have no need for free hosting.  I tend to favor having my own dedicated platform be it for business or personal use so I am not exactly the person to ask about shared hosting either.  I only had 4 shared hosting accounts they are all with godaddy.  Other then that I am doing vps and dedicated hosting.  But I am still shopping around for a better provider based on service.

My last host review with kvchosting.com had me looking at their free hosting plans

http://www.kvcwebhosting.com/free-web-hosting.php

** Our Free Web Hosting is different from other free hosting sites. We do not place banner ads or other distractingly big advertisements that might annoy your users. However, we place footer texts that mention our company name and the text size will not be big either. It will only be visible to users who scroll all the way down. Our free website hosting requires a one-time payment to set up your free web hosting. The package includes add-on features such as 3000+free website templates, 70+SEO tools, and rvsite builder. We have more than 10,000 satisfied clients who use our free web hosting services. They have often remarked with amazement about our server speed. We never oversell our free web hosting plan and pride ourselves in maintaining fast and efficient services.

There are flaws in this statement “your users” for one, and they don’t appear to actually have 10,000 clients, let alone 10,000 domains.

They don’t appear to have had any traffic  going on til the second quarter to this year.

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/kvcwebhosting.com#

If you happen to look through kvchosting.com’s free hosting plans you will notice that there is a $4.99, $9.99, and $19.99 set-up fee (called a 1 time fee).  So its not truly free hosting.  Its also a convenient way for kvcwebhosting.com to have your credit card on file.

One last thing.  They offer a 45 day guarntee on their free accounts.  However the terms of service contradict this:

http://www.kvcwebhosting.com/webhosting-terms-of-service.php

Money Back Guarantee

We offer a 45 days money back guarantee to our clients. This is valid only for GENUINE cases and we accept only relevant causes/reasons, for your dissatisfaction with our money back guarantee. Setup fee or add on packages will NOT BE REFUNDED for any hosting plan. It is to be well noted that KVCHosting reserves full rights to inquire about the website demanding money-back guarantee.

Until a further review of 000webhost.com and other free hosts I did not realize how the different the free hosting market has changed since I used Geo-Cities  12 years ago.   There was no getting an affiliate commission for my sign up on geo-cities.

Translation: they reserve the right to not give you money back on a free hosting account

Frankly this is another host that I will have to review a year from now because I have a feeling things are going to change.  I imagine all the traffic they have gotten has come from the award sites.  According to spyfu.com they have spent nothing on goggle adsense.  I imagine they have not spent any thing on advertising anywhere.  Other then ‘biding’ on webhostingstuff.com.

000WebHost.com offers free hosting and you can earn $5 for every visitor that you send

One post that I have found which is proable the best post to explain why you should avoid this company is:

http://www.thecaymanhost.com/hosting-reviews/beware-free-hosting-with-000webhostcom

Its a bizarre setup, after all why would any one pay for visitors to a free hosting service?  Granted there are allot of former  affilates out there that claim that

While my opinion has not changed about free hosting, there are things to look out for.  There is a reason they are paying people to bring new people in.   Even though there are several times I have found the affiliates  are not getting paid.  So much so that there videos about it, tons of posts on forums and blogs.

The next host on my list Awardspace.com offers free hosting

The first thing that comes to mind is I don’t get to see much details in regards to this free account.  Clicking on it brings me to a order form.  Keep in mind the ‘free domain’ is $19.95 if you choose to leave them.  But my post on awardspace.com will explore there free hosting service, and the lack of details in its offering.  The only reason I am exploring this is because they appear on webhostingstuff.com’s top 25 list.

When it comes to free hosting, there really is not much to complain about.  You pretty much risk losing your site at any minute because the reoccuring income is not a motivator in keeping a free hosting customer.  At the same time if they charge a fee, its not truly free hosting.