Another post in preparation of’s Black Friday Special Black Friday Spam has found it’s black Friday special on my blog for the third year now.

As I get back into the swing of things after the end of a rather intense work load, I find reason to write and that is the spam that comes from affiliates.

Just in case this time someone at reads my blog, just to be clear I am not blaming you for spam. However if you don’t address it, with more than a unofficial looking short email while still collecting new customers from this form of very annoying affiliates you might as well do the spamming.

Instead of pointing out who has spammed me this time I am going to instead put together recommendations. But first let’s look at the promotional email that put out last year:

Be ready to see a huge amount of activity and unbelievable sales numbers that will only come around once a year!

Here’s what we want you to do:

Post about the promotion on your blog
Post on Twitter and Facebook
Post about it on forums (follow all forum rules and don’t spam)
Tell your E-mail lists (Again, no Spam!)
Refer friends and family
Push all of your hosting related traffic to HostGator and EARN BIG!
Tell everyone you know!

From there I am going to formulate what should have been done.

  1. An official looking email.Seriously the last one I saw asides for being lite on content and poorly formatted was weak. Especially when the prior emailed encouraged use of forums, Twitter, Facebook,  email lists, friends, and family.
  2. Tell your affiliates their consequences and what defines spam. Let us put two and two together, you refer someone and they only pay a penny for service, and you get the full $50 – $125 refer fee.  In short it looks like how to spam, without actually defining what spam is. From the traditional perspective spam is an email only thing. But the truth of the matter is spam has come to envelope any form on undesired communication via the Internet.  From what looks like people trying to say how grand and wonderful my site is, while trying to get site with a url to something about Viagra in very long link. To the people sending me messages via chat to sign up with some date service or some other crap.
  3. Remind them of your Affiliate Agreement.
  4. If you are going to advise them to use of forums, Twitter, Facebook,  email lists, friends, and family. Advise them on a proper protocol as opposed to annoying people.

Hopefully this time around I am busy with online stores and their Black Friday deals as opposed to going to through my in box, YouTube channels, forums, blogs, and whatever else. – Comment spam friendly affiliate program in my opinion has the worst affiliate comment spammers.  Case in point my post on’s annual Black Friday special.

Where I plead with to email their affiliates and let them know that spam is not acceptable. Here is the reply I got from

Hello Benjamin,

Thank you for your email.

Please note that these comments and spam are not from HostGator staff members, these are from affiliates of ours. Please know that we do not condone spam in any sense and we will gladly do our best to track down the affiliates that are spamming and remove them from the affiliate program, as it is clearly against our terms of service that they have agreed to. Please simply notify us and allow us time to look into the matters and we will do our best to control the problem.

Please do also note that we do have a policy regarding disclosure and the FTC guidelines within the TOS, and this was emailed directly to all affiliates as well, letting them know of the requirements and changes in the TOS.

We will also be letting affiliates know in advance when communicating the Black Friday emails that spam is grounds for termination within the affiliate program with the loss of commissions previously pending/sent being a possibility should they spam.

Thanks again for your email. I hope this helps clear up your concerns that we are definitely against spam and we will certainly do what we can to help combat it. It can be difficult when we have well over 150,000 affiliates to control and keep up with their actions – but we certainly do try to have the best and cleanest program around!

Thanks again. We wish you the best this Holiday season.

Best Regards,
Taylor Hawes

Please feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.

I will say this about they are good about sending out a first response.  However they seem to lose interest after any first replies.  I realize of course that is not creating the spam. But they directly benefit from it. As any sale generated by their affiliates comment spamming is a benefit. My interest was that they would email their affiliates letting them know their policy on spamming.  We are less than 3 months away from this year’s Black Friday, and the comment spam has been from my own experience worse than it has ever been. In fact combined with all hosting spam I have received this year, it is dwarfed by what I get from these affiliates.  Just one person was responsible for most of the spam.

So what triggered this post?

The above mentioned post got a comment from one of’s affiliates and they wanted to post a coupon for which of course means they get paid a commission.  Had they read the post they would have realized the irony of comment spamming that particular post.

So I am angry about one little comment from one affiliate?

Personally I found it funny the particular post they decided to spam on dealt with affilate spam.  But what I dread is the comment spam on my personal accounts than there is this one affiliate that is under the YouTube user: Sophia9Lott3134. This affiliate decided to spam my YouTube video not once, not twice, not ten times, but 71 times. Were they not aware that some videos like mine have all comments approved?

Click the below image to see the full 71 spam comments from this affiliate.

Then there are these two YouTube users/ affilates that happen to have the same comment:

Those two shots and the ones below are all from my first video all of which were people attempting to post coupon codes for that would lead to them getting paid a nice commission. affiliates that spam comment only  targeted my video because it was in relation to webhosting?

I might have been their main target because my main topic is hosting, however a personal Youtube account of mine that has nothing to do with hosting and mostly videos of World of Warcraft has been target by affilates.

Bottom line needs to rein their affiliates in. the third of EIG hosts to comply with the FTC

I hate to be repetive, but is  added onto the list of Endurance International Group hosts to send out FTC compliance notices to their affiliates.  If you read my last two posts you will see that just like and they used the same exact notice.   I will continue to do a post for each notice I recieve from Endurance International Group.  Unless EIG stole this notices from,  I think it is safe to say that is a eig owned site.  I can only hope that is next.  After all it was a chat on and that lead me to look into their connection.

The first email about Federal Trade Commission guidelines was sent to Just Host affiliates.

I can only hope that is next.  After all it was a chat on and that lead me to look into their connection.

A copy of the Email from

Dear FatCow Affiliate,As you may know, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has strict guidelines that relate to affiliates who offer reviews, rankings, endorsements and testimonials; and we require all affiliates of our CJ program to comply with these requirements.To be compliant with the FTC

Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,

FatCow expressly requires you to disclose that there is a “material connection” between you and FatCow anytime you offer an endorsement or testimonial on our services.

View more information about FatCow’s strict adherence to the FTC Endorsement Requirement.


If you provide reviews, rankings, endorsements or testimonials about a service for which you receive commissions from us, you must clearly disclose the fact that you receive such compensation in a clear and prominent place–that is close to your endorsement.

The FTC takes the Endorsement guidelines seriously and has started to enforce them for both content providers like yourself and advertisers like FatCow.

As an advertiser, FatCow will monitor affiliate sites to be sure our services are represented appropriately. Failure to comply with the endorsement guidelines could result in removal from our affiliate program and the cancellation of commissions.


To make it easier for you, we’ve pulled together information, based on a recent FTC enforcement case, to illustrate ways you can disclose a material connection between you and your advertisers. Take a few minutes to review this summary at:

FatCow Affiliate Disclosure Requirements and Examples

The FTC also offers a variety of resources to help make it easier for you to comply with the guidelines, including:

Please note: These links are intended to provide guidance only. If you provide endorsements of some type, you should obtain legal advice on how the FTC rules apply to you.

Please take steps immediately to make sure your site is in compliance with these guidelines. Several of our leading affiliates have already posted their disclosures, and they continue to enjoy great success.

Best wishes,

The FatCow Affiliate Team

So what does this email from mean?

In short if your a review site, and you don’t disclose that you created your site for the purpose of making money they will remove you from the affiliate program.  Here are the steps they recommend to be in compliance with the FTC.

  1. Frequent: Disclosures must be available on any page that has an endorsement.
  2. Clear: Language must be easy to understand; don’t attempt to hide the fact that it’s a disclosure.
  3. Conspicuous: Place your disclosure close to your endorsement or review. Differentiate the disclosure’s font treatment from the rest of your site.
  4. Require no action: The user shouldn’t need to click, hover or scroll to locate or understand the nature of your disclosure.

If sticks with this, I have to commend them on doing things ethically.  I hope they did not start doing this because the FTC contacted them first.  I will be sure to contact them should I find any violators.

Be warned if you run a so called top review site, and you have Fatcow.

Who says I hate affiliate programs?

For some bizarre reason people have this feeling that I hate affiliate programs.  If you saw the post where I get “exposed”  on you will see thats what I was accused of.

Never mind there are ads on my site, some how a hypocrisy has been in the works.   Have I been using hosting affiliate programs to make a buck by making claims of some host was the best host?  Read enough of my posts and you will see that the answer to that is no.

Yes Google occasionally dishes out ads for webhosts, I actually screen a lot of the ads.  Never mind that a direct affiliate link will pay out more then what Google will pay me. There are no claims that any host despite having a affiliate program or not are a top host here. But your not going to find any where I say hate I hate affiliate programs.   I do point to a lot of affiliate programs that do payout in some cases most of or more of the initial customer payment.

There also a lot of hosts that I have reviewed that have low payouts, or no affiliate program at all.   In which case why would I do a review about a host that does not have an affiliate program if I my main focus was affiliate programs. This site is about  exposing hosting review sites, and the hosts that use them.   Some how  I have yet to encounter a so called review site that was no bias.  Either they get a paid amount for the 1  – 1o spot.  But in most cases they just go to sites like commission junction and pick out different hosting affiliate programs, or go directly to the host (which is what perfers).   I can’t look into the minds of host’s owners and tell you if they created the high payout affiliate programs to create a very saturated so called review industry.  I know some hosts like and own their own so called review sites, where amazingly they are the top hosts.  It does not take much imagination to see where most so called hosting review sites got their business idea from.  In up coming months I will be looking into the ethics not to mention the legality of running a review site

So do I hate affiliate programs?

Truth be told, I like spending money more then making it.  I have a huge music obsession, not to mention my many other hobbies.  So where does the money come from?  While a big part of my income comes from graphic design,  part of it comes from affiliate programs from others sites.  There is a huge difference in what I do and what hosting review sites do, what I do is advertising.   Where you see content you might find ads from Google adsense, or banners for, Adobe, and Coral.  Companies I actually buy from.  I don’t tell you that so and so is the best, unless of coarse I actually use their product.  Any recommendations I have would be if I  actually use the product, which I do pretty often in my personal blogs.

If you read enough of my posts, I have yet to put my name behind any host. I engage in true advertising.  I don’t create a so called top list and claim that any host is a the best host.  If you read that post on you will see claimed that they were advertising.  If your familiar with Google adsense, as tried to say was doing, where is the ppc ads at?  Advertising is not what the so called top sites call it. even claims that the top 25 positions were not for sale.   While (who was all over the place), did not claim they paid for the top 25 spots, they did not deny they were. They don’t want you to know that they are rather bias about who is on that list, and most of that has to do with if a host has an affiliate program or not.

To be honest I am not big on the idea of programs that pay our more then 20% of an initial sale.  From a business stand point every dollar you spend on a affiliate commission is a tax deduction.  Not every sale is going to come from affiliates, not to mention not every sale that comes from an affiliate in certain circumstances awards a commission.  Like for example, if a customer decides to go away from a page they get this pop up window that will knock off 50% off the cost of an order.

When I was a hosting provider I would rather focus on other forms of tax deduction that improved services.

Affiliate programs are not evil

I tend to think of affiliate programs as neither good or evil.  But I do blame hosts that do nothing about a top ten site that features their site.  Which have no proof a host is number one, or for that matter not even hosted with any of the top 10.   Regardless if they turn a blind eye to these sites they are still responsible for their unethical nature.

Lets face it, even without the affiliate programs the people who make review sites would be doing something else regardless of any ethical issues.   One review site that most of my efforts into actually has other ventures, which is  Micheal low is actually an affiliate of several other companies that are not even hosting related:

Despite his top 25 being a pay to play system, he seems to be removing it to add hosts that pay out affiliate commissions.

Either way the reform of hosting review sites don’t need to come from affiliate programs, but the hosts that turn a blind eye to their affiliates and how they bring in customers.

Bottomline is I have no issues with affiliate programs, as I am an affiliate.

Endurance International Group – Which of their hosts pays the highest affiliate commission

One of the things I have noticed with Endurance International Group is that they have a referral and affiliate program.   Clearly its better to be an affiliate then send a referral.   Lets take iPage for example, they pay $115 per sale on their affiliate program, but only $25 per referral.  Credit does not have the same face value as money.  After all a $3.50 a month plan might only cost them $3, giving your $25 credit less value then $25 in your pocket.

Endurance International Group – Which sites are on Commission Junction

Once again your finding me doing what seems like work that benefits the Endurance International Group.  But to be honest I am seeing what I can do to cost them the most.  This is a Organization that is hides what sites they own.   As stated in one of my previous posts iPage is the cheapest of the hosts.  At  $3.50 a month, why would anyone else want to spend more with for the same thing?  If I really wanted to help Endurance International Group, I would try to sell you on buying from WebHost4lfe (Instead I intend to have a post telling you about the horrors of the buyout and forced migration)  As much as I had hoped, iPage is not the highest payout.  But it Certainly with a few other sites that share the second spot.  StartLogic is the highest at $125, with a unlimited hosting plan that costs $5.95 a month .  Host4life while the most expensive at $19.95  of the 20 unlimited hosting accounts is one of the second lowest in payouts at $75.00.

If you must be an affiliate with these Endurance International Group sites, I recommend doing it through Commission Junction.  I have found many complaints with several affiliates about not being paid directly.  Not to mention its in the Endurance International Group’s interests to pay Commission Junction.  What I list does not cover’s commission for each payout.

Here is a list of the 25 sites this graphic seems to point to that I have found have affiliate prorgarams out of all the known Endurance International Group sites:

So far I have found 25 hosts that offer a affiliate program, but I suspect there are far more sites out there.

Endurance International Group Affiliate Payouts

Host Name Pay Out With CJ
Dot5Hosting $80.00 Yes
PowWeb $95.00 Yes
FatCow $110.00 Yes
EasyCGI $110.00 Yes
iPage $115.00 Yes
Ipower $115.00 Yes
IpowerWeb $115.00 Yes
StartLogic $125.00 Yes
HyperMart $60.00 No
DomainHost $60.00 No
ehost $60.00 No
Enteryhost $60.00 No
FreeYellow $60.00 No
HostCentric $60.00 No
IMOutdoorsHosting $60.00 No
NetworkHosting $60.00 No
USANetHosting $60.00 No
Xeran $60.00 No
BlueDomino $60.00 No
Globat $75.00 No
ApolloHosting $75.00 No
Webhost4Life $75.00 No
Spry $100.00 No
VPSLink $100.00 No
BizLand $110.00 No

Endurance International Group Affiliate Terms of Service

Its been my experience when looking at their terms of service on their sites that they have pretty much the same thing.  But I recommend that you read for yourself.  Commision Junction seems the most up front what you can not do which is:

Commission Fees may not be paid for the Qualified Purchase if the Referred Customer has been offered or received coupons, refunds, credits or discounts from the Affiliate or if the Referred Customer has joined a business-opportunity program (as determined by FatCow in its sole discretion) that is managed or participated in by the Affiliate, unless FatCow has provided its prior written permission.

Thats pretty much what the terms of service for each of the Endurance International Group’s CJ.coms look like.  But I suggest reading these terms of service for each Endurance International Group sites for yourself.

Awardspace, what is so rewarding?

Awardspace is my second host out of  7 of 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  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.


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:

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.

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’s top 25.   But in the end I think that Awardspace being in the 9th position spells trouble for webhostinstuff. another webhostingstuff operation

As I stated I would write a review of hostaz.   In short this is just another “top 10” , the only thing that makes it different is that it belongs to one Michel Low, owner of    This was inspired when I first read webhostingstuffs promise:

Unlike some dubious “top 10 hosting sites”  that promote web hosts based on affiliate commissions, our fair and honest ranking system helps visitors find the real top web hosting companies.

Despite the fact that on webhostingstuff rankings are paid for – I had to laugh to myself, because Micahel Low was doing just that with   His site has 10 top hosts 8 of which are probable through commission junction or directly through the hosts themselves.   Though I have to wonder why not go through Commission Junction when there seem to be too many problems with being an affiliate directly with a webhost.  By Micael Low’s opinion hostaz is a dubious site.  I have to wonder how many people that click on the top 10 realized that.

I honestly thought this site was owned by someone in Arizona when I first heard of it.  I should have looked at the whois information:

Domain name:

Registrant Contact:
   W3Centric Network Pte Ltd
   Michael Low ()

   9 Bukit Batok Central Link
   Singapore, SE 658074

I would not be surprised between the two webhosting review sites that there are more that he runs.  When you look at the commissions that many host pay out there is a lot of motivation to make a webhost look better then they really are.

How much does Michael Low get paid per referal at

All but two sites are listed on Commission Junction, A2 Hosting and Green Geeks.

Lunarpages $95.00
ix web hosting $50 – $150
justhost $100 – $200
fatcow $110.00
a2 hosting $85.00
hotgator $100 – $200
green geeks $50 – $100
bluehost $90.00
hostmonstor $90.00
startlogic $125.00

The dollar figure is per sale, every time someone clicks on one of these ‘top 10’ and buys hosting Miachel Low gets a rather huge chunk of change for no real valid reason.  Its not hard to believe the only hosts for consideration for being in the “top 10” are hosts that have a nice pay out for just one click.   There is little work done to put a host in the top 10 or in their directory.

How does Hostaz prove to you that their top 10 are the best hosts

They simple do not prove any thing.  The editors do nothing more then echo simple details that can be found on a page.  Anyone can do that, the details they provide can be repeated by anyone that bothers to go from host to host.  Or better yet goes to and looks up hosts to promote.

According to them:

Our Top 10 Hosting Chart features the top 10 website hosts reviewed by our editors. From web page hosting to web site hosting, tm offers webmasters a concise and useful web site hosting directory that busy webmasters can use to quickly find the best web hosting service to host their websites.

There is not much detail to what their “editors” review.  Looking at their review on Lunarpages:

Lunarpages is just their top host, and it reflects all the hosts that they “reviewed”, The moving blue arrows on the site are put there to inspire someone to click to the top 10 hosts where they get you to buy hosting.

Why trust hostaz?

First of all they are not hosted on any of the top 10 hosts that they recommend.  Why should you turst a host that they are not willing to use? I have more reason to trust reviews at in regards to a book I am about to read.   You get far more details in the initial review, and then you get reviews from consumers that bought the book. I don’t get many details from this site only cost per month, but no mention of how long I have to pay for to get that price.  No Set up, regardless that most hosts don’t charge a set up fee these days.   Disk space and bandwidth, and platform.   Nothing to mention how fast you can get support, methods of support.   Not to mention reviews from other customers.  There is no reason to trust hostaz, because they give no information to prove that their top 10 are better then any other hosts.

Are and the same company?

In May 2010 was number 12 on’s top 25 list. Now they are not on the list. That does not mean I forget. This is another so called green company. Their focus is on green energy credits, going paperless, furniture from renewable or recycled materials, and energy efficiency compliant technology. Though I am, suppose to take them at their word from this page with limit information to prove they are green.

Plus a few well known green facts that seem more like fillers to make a full page then actual facts on what makes their company green. To me it seems they are using “green” as marketing gimmick. There is nothing in regards to recycling of old equipment or details in what makes their data center green. While many companies such as my bank don’t send paper statements, that does not stop them from sending marketing to my mail box, nor is it going to stop employees from bringing cans of soda to work. The one word that does not come into play is recycling. There are a lot of elements from the periodic table in computers. Some of which you don’t want to end up in a land fill.

Interestingly enough they bought their domain in 2008 and they have no problem with stating that. To forgo the problem of not using an aged domain they claim to be formed by “web hosting industry experts”. Which I assume would be Webhostingpad shows up on the network whois, and when you go to you find a similar single unlimited package. No signs of the ability to resell on their network. I think the finale part that tips me off is the award(s).

This link takes you to

Greenville hosting has no awards of its own. Not even the one from on their site, though that might have to due with greenville no longer being on the top 25, no telling as I did not review the site before they were off the list. Webhostingpad has a bunch of awards from paid spots as well as their affiliates. If I was to choose who to be an affiliate for it would be greenville for a $100 per sign up, versus upperhost which is $75 per sign up.

But lets get in to my phone call and there terms of service. Clearly when any company tells you they are unlimited, their not being honest. Here is the dandy I found in their terms of service.

Server Resources
Any Web site that uses a high amount of server resources (such as, but not limited to, CPU time, memory usage, and network resources) will be given the option to reduce the resources used to an acceptable level, or upgrade its service to a VPS plan. Greenvillehost will be the sole arbiter of what is considered to be a high server usage level. Please see our
abuse terms for a detailed listing of our resources. Any Web Hosting account deemed to be adversely affecting server performance or network integrity will be shut down without prior.

And at

VPS Server Billing

VPS servers are billed on 1 month or 3 month cycles. Payments are made in advance based on the billing cycle selected. Accounts are automatically renewed at the end of each billing cycle for the next cycle to avoid interruption of service.

To cancel service, you must confirm the cancellation by completing our cancellation online cancellation form at

In the Reason field, please state”Canceling VPS service”. No refund is issued for cancellations or for termination of VPS account.

Here is the thing I find fasinating, while the terms of service mention VPS, there is no vps plans listed any where on their site. I called them because there were two things I wanted to find out . 1. How much it cost to keep the free domain if you planned on leaving (which is $14.95). 2. Specs and a page for the vps plan listed in On number 2 I pretty much stumped the new sales person. It took 8 minutes to find out Greenvillehost does not offer a vps plan, or remedy should you go beyound the unwritten resource limit. I decided to go to and find that unlike they do offer chat. I did a screen shot of this rather slow chat. I was able to get a link to the vps plan but it did not cover quarterly billing.

I think the most disturbing thing is that when I click on the bbb link on the bottom I get the following screen:

Going to the BBB’s site I get an even less favorable view of

Looking for greenvillehost bbb I get this interesting link:

I too have had a lot of trouble with the WebHostingPad affiliate program, I have not been very impressed with them in the past but recently they got a new affiliate manager. The new manager seems to respond a lot more quickly than the old one; however, I still think they have a lot of work to do.

What I find humorous is that (in my sights)  a company that works much like (Also owned by Micahel Low of a site that claims to be “ is an independent web hosting review site.” is complaining about

04-21-2010, 09:50 PM

I too have had a lot of trouble with the WebHostingPad affiliate program, I have not been very impressed with them in the past but recently they got a new affiliate manager. The new manager seems to respond a lot more quickly than the old one; however, I still think they have a lot of work to do.

04-22-2010, 03:58 PM


I also agree that you better join an affiliate network like Commission Junction. The commission rates at CJ are higher than those inhouse affiliate program of Web Hosting Companies.

I would have to disagree.. I really dislike CJ. A host that I deal with has a CJ affiliate program as well as an in house affiliate program. They ran a test and estimated that affiliates who chose the CJ route lost about 15% more sales than those who did the in-house program.

NOW.. If you have a dishonest host you would be better off going with CJ.

WebHostingPad recently was moved up to the #3 spot on our site! is known for their affordable web hosting package that includes a free domain. Web hosting for only $1.99/month!”

Is essential to your hosting needs, read to find out!!!

When I first started the reviews I thought I would do 1 or 2 a day and spend no more then 2 hours per post. But here I am at number 11 of 25  for May 2010 of Way over the thirty days I intended to have this all done. As of this weekend I had learned that is having people bid on spots. I learned this from one of the hosts that are on my lists. I am debating as to rather posting that email even though they asked me not to. But there is indeed a post tomorrow in regards to what they have told me. They told me that they are contacting to remove them from their list, I have advised the host that they can plead their case on my site.

Anyway, number 11 of 25 for May 2010. As of today they are now number 6 host. is not exactly a site that I find appealing. But then again some of the best sites are not the best design. As with some of the other sites in the top 25 doing a search on 3essentials does not lead to results unique to So for this review I am going to stick to the webpage, perhaps in the future I will do more of a

The first thing that grabs my attention is a bunch of links at the bottom of the page where normally the terms of service, about, and contact links are. Instead they are amongst these links.

3Essentials, Inc. © 2001 – 2010 | Terms Of ServicePrivacy PolicyCopyright Policy |Web Hosting ComparisonReferral Program | Hosting ArticlesGetting StartedRate Our ServiceASP.NET Web HostingPHP|ASPCheap Web Hosting | DotNetNuke MSSQL MySQL |Reseller Web HostingWindows Dedicated ServersWindows Web HostingWindows vs Linux |WordPress

Most of those links look like they belong in a faq section and not at the bottom of the website. Though I do find a rate our service link an appealing idea.

Next stop is the terms of service for Here are the parts that stick out for me.

6.e. Maintenance. 3Essentials may, at its own discretion and without notice, temporarily suspend all service for the purpose of repair, maintenance or improvement of any of 3Essentials’ systems. 3Essentials shall restore service as soon as is reasonably practicable. Client shall not be entitled to any setoff, discount, refund or other credit, in case of any service outage which is beyond 3Essentials control or which is reasonable in duration.

I wonder what does not qualify as “ reasonable in duration”

7. Auto Upgrade Of Plans. Client agrees that in the event the clients plan exceeds its allotted data transfer or storage that 3Essentials may automatically upgrade the clients plan to the next plan that will cover such transfer or storage. 3Essentials agrees that in the event of such an upgrade notice shall be given in the form of email. In the event the client does not receive the email, the client shall not hold 3Essentials liable. Client further agrees that no refund(s) will be given.

What bothers me here is that it seems there is not a method to stop a person from using more space then they have paid for. Instead there is monitoring so they can charge you should you go pasted a given amount of space.  IT was pretty much my operation that person could not use more space then they paid for.  To use more they would have to pay for more.  No surprise bills.

9.b. No refunds will be given, for any reason, to accounts that are older than 30 days, this includes, but is not limited to data loss, server or systems being unavailable, or websites being unavailable.

9.f. Pre-payment. Accounts that pay in advance for a specific period are not eligible for a refund if the client cancels the account prior to the renewal date, or the account is terminated by 3Essentials due to a violation of these terms.

9.h. Auto-Renewals. Client agrees that the term of the plan automatically renews on the renewal date for the same term. Cancelations that are received after the plan automatically renews are not subject to refunds.

Translation no refunds regardless if 3essentials is at fault or not. Something I am finding in a lot of terms of service for cheap hosting companies. I am tempted to say to avoid companies that state no refunds regardless of the hosting companies fault or not should be avoided. My own policy was to charge a customer under monthly terms if they broke quarterly or longer commitment after the thirty day guarantee. Then provide a prorated refund. No refunds were issued after 6 months. I have to wonder if merchant providers are willing to back them up on this. Generally the max amount of time to pursue a charge back is no later then 3 – 6 months.

According to the BBB they only have 3 employees and they have been in business since 2004. Unless this is just a failure to update details, this is a good indicator that this company is not growing. I know that Fat Cow and iPage who are own by the same corporation have several employees, and clearly so does HostGator. Yet back in May 2010, 3essentials with three “essential” employees was six spots away from Hostgator.

Their profile page on is no better then the one written for

Here is the thing I find interesting:

How We Operate

3Essentials takes pride in providing quality support to our customers. Our technicians are available 24×7 via email or online chat to resolve problems that our customers may experience. Each ticket is read by our staff and the problem is researched to determine the correct method of assistance to provide.

With three employees they have to research issues. I don’t recall my techs having to do research every time they had a ticket. Perhaps that’s because they had experience to deal with issues and rarely had to learn on the job. Most of the learning came from new things. I am not sure I would be in business if my techs had to “research” all the time “to determine the correct method of assistance to provide”. I would sooner have an experienced staff over staff that has to learn as they go.

3essentials affiliate program is a bit more interesting.

You get up to 50% of each sale, but the commission would be no greater then $100. I feel that there is a play on words in the affiliate. It seems they are implying that if you make 20 sales you get $2000. But clearly you would have to sale 20 packages that ensure you get $100 each. Their lowest package is $24.96 for 1 year the personal Linux Hosting, which has a $15 setup fee which I am sure there is no commission on. That’s $12.48. commission. I decided to chat with them to make sure there is no commission on the set up fee. I was correct. chat session

Benjamin: Curious about commissions through your affiliate program.

You are now speaking with Paul of Server Sales.

Benjamin: Hello Paul

Paul: Hi Benjamin.

Benjamin: I was wondering if I would make 50% off of all sales I refer to you, including setup fees

Paul: Affiliate commissions are 50% up to a maximum payout of $100 per sale

Paul: hosting plans must be active for 90 days to receive the commission

Benjamin: yes I can see that, but I do not see what is considered a commisioned item

Paul: any item that is purchased via your affiliate link can earn comission

Benjamin: including the set up fees?

Paul: ah.. good question. you are not payed 50% of the setup, just 50% of the hosting plan price.

Paul: the setup fee is passed to the customer to help us pay your omission.

Paul: *

Benjamin: is there a link to fine print for your affiliate program?

Benjamin: ie terms of service

Paul: not that I am aware. we do have a general TOS for all “3Essentials Customers” but not for affiliates

Paul: If you have a specific question about the affiliate terms, please send an email to [email protected]

Paul: the questions will be directed to the manager in charge of that program

Benjamin: ok thanks

Benjamin: how long have you guys been in business?

Paul: since 2001.

Paul: and a BBB member since 2005

Benjamin: and where are you located?

Paul: our coorporate offices and staff are in NC.

Paul: our servers are in Dallas texas

Paul: we also have hardware techs on site in Dallas

Benjamin: ok

Benjamin: have a good day

Paul: you too

Paul: thank you.

Paul: and let us know if you have any more questions.

Paul: bye.

Your party has left this session.

As you can see the chat operator did not bother to read my initial question. Anyone that has worked with me knows better then to pull such a stunt. You answer the initial question, if you feel there is something else to add you do it after answering the question.  When someone does not answer my question, I tend to wonder if the person on the other end knows what they are doing or if they understand English.    There is no agreement for the affiliate program that outlines the affiliate and 3essentials parts in the affiliate program. Something that would outline setup fees are not part of the commission program.  Not to mention that making it clear that the affiliate can’t make claims such as buying hosting will make them rich, cure baldness, make you thin……….

Well the chat operator did not know what he was talking about as I did find Terms and Conditions:

If your reffering from a free hosting account you may want to pay special attention to the terms of service.

3. Commissions. We will pay you a commission of %50 of the plan price.

There is nothing in here about $100 cap, or for that matter nothing in regards to not getting a commission on the setup fee.  So this is where I stop on the review of their affiliate program as their staff and the initial page to get you to sign up do not agree with the conditions.

Their are alot of things that strike me as quirky about this company, such as this text I received while waiting for someone to chat with me:

Welcome Benjamin! Please hold while we contact a representative. If a representative does not respond in a few seconds, then he/she is not available at this time.