Digitalfaq.com – Hypocrite – Whinny Disclaimer / Excuses Part 3

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Digitalfaq.com on my first inspection did not have a disclaimer. But on second review I see this at the bottom of a lengthy fact less sales spill:

Disclaimer: If one of our suggested hosts has an affiliate program, great, we join it, and the funds are used to support the costs of maintaining this site. If not, oh well, good is good, and they still get our suggestion. A few splog owners have contacted us, crying that we’re hypocrites by having some links that earn small affiliate payments ($10-15 average), yet deriding their spammy sites for doing the same. Sorry, but it’s NOT the same — it’s not even close. Our list is based on quality of hosts, not their payouts. If this list was based on payouts alone, it would recommend high-paying ($100+) lousy operations like GodaddyIXWebHosting or Bluehost. Notice that our #1 suggestion, EuroVPS, had no affiliate program for years.

http://www.digitalfaq.com/forum/web-hosting/4432-top-hosts-2013-a.html

Digitalfaq.com March 19, 2013 Host recommendations

I am not calling the owner of Digitalfaq.com a hypocrite for having affiliate links. As for EuroVPS having an affiliate program, good for them. But is Digitalfaq.com implying that because Eurovps.com did not have an affiliate program that somehow it’s bad for a host to start out with one?  Digitalfaq.com’s disclaimer implies that affiliate program are some how wrong,

I am calling the owner a hypocrite for not providing any data, just stereotypes. After all Digitalfaq.com claims their rankings are based off of server/network performance. That means Digitalfaq.com should have at least data for one of the many measures that determine if a host is good or not. Another detail that would go father is/are domain(s) that were hosted with companies that Digitalfaq.com claims to have used.  Which would allow anyone to see if that more than a single web page was put up, or a full working site(s). Data that is far more valuable than just having the uptime of the hosting companies site’s server ( For those not aware an established host is not going to keep their main site on the same server as their customers). The data would be even better if backed by a third party like Pingdom. Instead like all so called review sites Digitalfaq.com wants you to take their word for it. Never mind there are no list of domains hosted currently with the recommended hosts (not even going to start with domains no longer hosted with the recommended), with a detailed history.  That was after all one of the criteria, detailed reviews. Instead Digitalfaq.com can’t even offer a up time % for any of the hosts they recommends servers.

Digitalfaq.com is doing the same concept that every review site they want you to avoid does. It would be a cleaver (though dishonest) trick if the fake hosting review industry had not already thought about that one. Webhostingstuff.com one of the oldest of fake review sites says “Unlike some dubious “top  10 hosting sites” that promote web hosts based on affiliate commissions, our fair our fair and honest ranking system helps visitors find the real top web hosting companies.”.  Instead webhostingstuff.com (not a blog) had hosts bid on the top 25 positions (the only affiliate program they ever appeared to use was Hostgator.com). The same owner of webhostingstuff.com also owns other sites that does exactly what Michael Low preaches against on webhostingstuff.com on sites like hostaz.com (which runs off affiliate commisions, with so called top 10 format, and no not a blog).

Is Digitalfaq.com the same as all the other so called hosting review sites?

In short yes. What Digitalfaq.com fails to do at the very first in what is a very long post is disclose up front they earn money if you sign up with one of the hosts they recommend. Many so called review sites claim their competitors are being dishonest. Nothing more than a slight of hand trick. Take the obvious and use it for distraction. Instead of providing data like many so called review site, Digitalfaq.com provides stereotypes as a distraction from the lack of facts.The disclaimer reads like one written with a kid caught with his hands in the cookie jar.

the funds are used to support the costs of maintaining this site

I can say the same, what Hosting-reviews-exposed.com brings in does not cover the costs of running it.  Yet I would be lying if I said I would not like it to make insane profits. Also unlike Digitalfaq.com I disclose that I make a commission up front whenever I have recommend a product (example Kindle Fire). Yet some how Digitalfaqcom, whom I seen nothing declaring they were a non-profit organization, though they take donations seems uncomfortable with making buck.

If Digitalfaq.com had disclosed up front their relationship with the hosts lists, I doubt I would have read any further. Making a commission off a recommendation is not evil. But instead to distract from what they are doing they bring up the behavior of other so called hosting review sites.  Yet that alone was not enough from my attention deficit order from distracting me.   I was only further inspired when they broke from what was a very good recommendation “A bad host promises ridiculous limits — or no limits at all! Unlimited! Yeehaw!” . This only drove me to want to address the inaccuracies in their claims. Clearly getting $25 – $150 + (by plus I mean bonuses when you sign up a certain number) per sign up was hard for Digitalfaq.com to resist.

Digitalfaq.com’s Top Hosts 2013

As I mentioned in my last post, I notices affiliate links the moment I started clicking on hosts listed. Yet that was not my first clue that they were part of a affiliate program. It was the fact that Digitalfaq.com had coupons. After the addition of unlimited hosts I decided to see who had an affiliate program and how much they paid out. Plus on average what is the payout? Was it really as little as $16? I visited every site and found the least each host had was an affiliate login area.  Breakdown is Affiliate page / payout. Those with (NEW) were added after I started, not to imply that they are a new host.

Digitalfaq.com’s Best Web Hosts / Overall Hosts

  1. http://www.eurovps.com/blog/post/affiliate-program 20 Euro = $26
  2. http://www.stablehost.com/affiliates.php $25
  3. http://www.jaguarpc.com/affiliates/ $65 – $110 (based off number of sales)
  4. http://www.hostingzoom.com/affiliate-program.php $65 (NEW)
  5. http://www.downtownhost.com/affiliate-program.php $40 – $100 (based off number of sales)
  6. http://www.mddhosting.com/affiliates.php  $15 – $25
  7. https://affiliates.arvixe.com/ $70 – $135 (based off number of sales)
  8. http://www.hawkhost.com/Affiliate 25% Up to $159.87 based off step 1 of shopping cart on highest plan
  9. https://secure.ninjalion.com/index.php?/affiliates/ $30

Removed from the list is:

http://asmallorange.com/affiliate/ 200% of monthly price up to $200

No explanation to the retraction by Digitalfaq.com.

Digitalfaq.com’s Best Unlimited Hosts

  1. http://www.site5.com/affiliates/ $25 – $100 (based off number of sales)
  2. http://www.jaguarpc.com/affiliates/ $65 – $110 (based off number of sales)
  3. https://affiliates.arvixe.com/ $70 – $135 (based off number of sales)
  4. Glowhost.com – http://www.shareasale.com/shareasale.cfm?merchantID=17701 $50 – $125, + bonus at sale 10 of $100, Bonus at Sale 25, $500. (NEW)
  5. http://www.inmotionhosting.com/hosting_affiliate_program.html $50 – $100 (based off number of sales)
  6. http://support.froghost.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/149/25/do-you-have-an-affiliate-program 50% Up to $215.10 based off highest item found on product page
  7. http://www.wirenine.com/affiliates/ $50
  8. http://www.siteground.com/affiliate_program.htm  $50 – $150 (based off number of monthly sales).

Digitalfaq.com’s Best Reseller hosts

  1. http://www.mddhosting.com/affiliates.php  $15 – $25
  2. http://www.hostdime.com/affiliates/ $40 – $150
  3. http://www.stream101.com/affiliate/ 15% – highest possible is $15 based off order=form.
  4. http://www.site5.com/affiliates/ $25 – $100 (based off number of sales) (new to list)
  5. Geekstorage.com – http://www.geekstorage.com/about-geekstorage/affiliate-program.html $25 – $75 (NEW)
  6. http://www.downtownhost.com/affiliate-program.php $40 – $100 (based off number of sales) (new to list)
  7. http://www.stablehost.com/affiliates.php $25
  8. http://www.eurovps.com/blog/post/affiliate-program 20 Euro = $26
  9. Hostingzoom.com (labeled Reseller Zoom) https://www.hostingzoom.com/affiliate-program.php  $65 (NEW)
  10. http://www.jaguarpc.com/affiliates/ $65 – $110 (based off number of sales)
  11. https://www.crocweb.com/clients/affiliates.php no clear info, but affiliate login area present

Digitalfaq.com’s Best VPS Hosts

  1. http://www.eurovps.com/blog/post/affiliate-program 20 Euro = $26
  2. http://fhpp.futurehosting.biz/  100% – $709.95 based off highest item in shopping cart
  3. Mediatemple
  4. http://www.liquidweb.com/cn/c/refer/index.html One time commission $60 – $5000 or 5% reoccurring monthly
  5. http://www.downtownhost.com/affiliate-program.php $40 – $100 (based off number of sales)
  6. Solarvps.com – http://www.dedicateddollars.com/ Tier 1 ( 0- 9 sales monthly (75% of first bill), Tier 2 (10 – 19 sales monthly) 100% of first bill, Tier 3 (20 + sales monthly). (NEW)
  7. http://www.jaguarpc.com/affiliates/ $65 – $110 (based off number of sales) 125% of first bill.
  8. http://www.knownhost.com/affiliate/ $25
  9. http://www.wiredtree.com/affiliate/ 75% probable $3985.65 based off of highest item
  10. Modvps.com – part of Hostingzoom.com http://www.modvps.com/affiliate-program.php $65  (NEW)
  11.  http://www.hostv.com/affiliates.shtml Double the monthly amount, possible $690 based off order page
  12. BuyVM.net not program found, however WHMCS present and has affiliate capabilities. Domain creation April 26, 2010. (NEW)
  13. Evolucix.com, https://www.evolucix.com/clients/affiliates.php no information available however noticeable affiliate login area from the Client area (NEW)

Two new additions are not 5 years old (as Digitalfaq.com recommends) based off domain creation.

Ecolucix.com – Domain Creation October 19, 2011
BuyVM.net – Domain creation April 26, 2010 (though the design looks like it’s over a decade old).

Other than crocweb.com (which seems like a rip-off of hostgator) and Buyvm.net every host has a clear and present affiliate program. Despite the lack of information for an affiliate program for crocweb.com there is a login area for affiliates, and Buyvm.net has WHMCS which has affiliate capabilities. An average is hard to determine without spending more time taking into account of hosts that pay base on percentage,   $16 does not appear the average, but many of these companies . Once again no data to validate how each host earned a recommendation.

Its worth noting that only one host offers does not offer payments in the U.S. dollar ($), and that is the host that Digtalfaq.com has gone on the record for hosting with Eurovps.com. Which pays more than $16 per signup.

Either the owner of Digitalfaq.com doesn’t understand that not all hosting review sites work the same, or is neglecting to leave it out.

After all Digitalfaq.com’s disclaimer seems to insist that the FCC is going after blogs(As if all review sites were blogs). That the problem was all about affiliate commissions, yet they signed up for affiliate programs if they were there. That assumption alone tells you that Digitalfaq.com is not a source for facts.

My last Digitalfaq.com post will cover what they don’t understand about review sites.

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