topgreenhost – is another greenwashed hosting company?

Topgreenhost is my fifth host out of  7 of September 2010 list.  Oddly this site makes me think of hostgator  design.  As you probable guessed its another host that claims to be green.  I call it a green washed company as their big method of being green is energy credits.  So far there has not been a host that I have looked at that does not buy energy credits.  If your read my previous posts on the top of green hosting, you will know that I call this green washing.

Greenwashing (a portmanteau of “green” and “whitewash“) is a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products (such as goods or services) are environmentally friendly.

So about that Topgreenhost EPA partnership

When you click on the EPA Green Power Partner link it takes you to

So either they belong to green geeks a host that I reviewed before, or they thought they could piggy back off of Green geeks links.

If you read through you will see I contacted the EPA, and the EPA in a nutshell said.

1. This is a program that allows companies to boast that they buy energy credits.

2. The EPA does not actually confirm that a company is still buying energy credits.  There is a lack of true oversight.

So does topgreenhost belong to greengeeks?

Off to Domain Dossiair where I find that is less then a year old:

But lets look at the trace routes:


17 32 32 32


11 29 29 29

That seems to confirm that Greengeeks owns topgreenhost.  Along with that EPA link.

When I went to I thought this host was similar to some host.  I could not think of who.  At least until I clicked on that epa link which brought me straight to green geeks.  But the trace route makes me wonder if they have their own servers or if they are part of another company.

So why is topgreenhost cheaper then greengeeks for the same package?

I suspect that topgreenhost was made because the unlimited market is extremely competitive.  If you look around enough you find that hosting companies are constantly lowering the price for a unrealistic package.  If you look through the Endurance International Group’s line up hosts you will find the same package ranging between $3 – $20.   As a former hosting provider I can tell you that I encountered a lot of people that were more concerned with cost that an actual service.  The humor of it was the people that claimed to be losing thousands over less then an ten minutes of downtime.  Never mind the hosting account they purchased may have been $1.99 a month.  While cheap does not always indicate inferior service, it defiantly does not guarantee quality service.

So if you must have a greengeeks account, buy from topgreenhost.  Better yet avoid topgreenhost and find a true green host that does not buy energy credits.

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.

GreenGeeks Not for Geeks? Is it a iPage clone or just another host that sucks?

Number 17 of May 2010, GreenGeeks another greenwashed company.   When I loaded this site the first thing I thought was that this company looked like another company I reviewed.

Side by side this company looks a lot like iPage.   But from there I have a trouble finding any other similarities.  They are owned by different entires on separate parts of the country.  They are not even on the same network.   Asides for the same chat program I am not sure if there is much else that would connect them.   But I think there may be a connection, more then just a shared theme.

But the real problem is this is a greenwashed company, not a green host.   Their big claim to being green is that they buy energy credits, but so does British Petroleum.   At this point its hard to imagine BP having any positive environmental impact.   There is not a lot of detail given by companies that offer green credits for sale.

Greengeeks have alot of links that are in reference to being a green host.

The first link is

Here you find a link to this company,

I am not sure if I am correct in my assumption but it looks like you pay them per every page view you get or you are paying for traffic that you get from their site.  That or you can buy traffic from them.   But its unclear how this offsets carbon.  Not to mention this site seems to have mostly .dk / Denmark domains, which may have to do with them being from Denmark.  Not that I have a problem with doing business with a foreign company, but I like to know details.   For an organization that does so much, there are so few webpages with data on how they do it.  Not everyone sees the green movement as a way of life, some see it as something to capitalize on.   There also those that see that they don’t have to be green to capitalize off of the green sector.  Those are companies that are called greenwashed.  Its not clear as to what Greengeeks gets from this company other then a fancy banner, and perhaps greengeeks gets traffic.

On the same page I find their reseller program, where you can sell unlimited reseller accounts.   I have a hard time believing that unlimited hosting can be associated with quality hosting, let alone a company claiming to be a  green host.  Green and efficient are two words that come to mind when being eco-friendly  Effiecent technology is not cheap in the beginning, and for that matter technology thats not part of the main trend is not cheap.  The cheaper the hosting cost, the more customers the company needs to pile in to make a profit.

They have made the claim : “It is important that this industry becomes green and GreenGeeks is the world’s most eco-friendly web hosting company”  Other then a lot of pages telling people what to do and how they can be green.  There is nothing to show exactly how green they are,  the biggest thing that is missing are the numbers.   Numbers like the amount of electrify that they use per year.  Details are also missing like what company is receiving money to run wind generators.   I am looking at actual hosting companies that have their own data centers at buildings built from the ground up to be green.  Which include solar power straight to the source.  Not buying offsets.   They can be claim to leaning towards green when they talk about rigorous recycling of paper, but nothing in regards to equipment.  But clearly they a recycle text from their web pages.

The finale link I am going to review is

From here I find a link to the EPA.

I decided to contact the EPA, because I wanted to know if you really had to provide any proof in order to be a member.


Email Exchange with the EPA

From: Benjamin
To: Matt Clouse/DC/USEPA/[email protected], Blaine Collison/DC/USEPA/[email protected],Allison Dennis/DC/USEPA/[email protected]
Date: 08/03/2010 05:18 PM
Subject: In regards to green power partnership

Hello Matt, Blaine, or Allison,

I was wonder what documentation I would have to provide to be part of the green power partnership.

Thank you for your assistance.

To: Benjamin
From: [email protected]
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 17:21:10 -0400
Subject: Re: In regards to green power partnership


Thanks for your inquiry. The information requirements are included in

the Partnership Agreement here:

The program is designed to cover only commercial & institutional sector purchases. We’re not able to recognize residential partners at this time.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have additional questions.


From: Benjamin
To: Blaine Collison/DC/USEPA/[email protected]
Date: 08/03/2010 06:35 PM
Subject: RE: In regards to green power patnership

Hello Blaine,

I am not seeing what the EPA requires an organization to submit as valid proof of participation. From what I see you merely take the word of the submitter as opposed to any documentation. Is this the case, or do you require copies of receipts and other valid documentation?



Subject: RE: In regards to green power partnership
To: Benjamin
From: [email protected]
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 19:10:30 -0400

Ah. Right you are, Benjamin. We don’t require that partners submit proof of purchase. We do, however, check our lists partners with the listed providers once or twice/year: This is what we think we have, could you, the providers, please confirm our understanding of your clients’ numbers?

Hope that helps.


RE: In regards to green power partnership‏
From: Benjamin
To: [email protected]

Hello Blaine,

I am actually contacting you for research in regards to green credits. So far I am not finding any information from the companies that provide credits and those using the credits. One of the companies that I am looking at is listed in your Green Power Partnership. But the only numbers that are given is 300%. There is no number telling me what their on the grid power consumption is. Or what companies the credit seller is getting the wind credit from.

I find it rather disturbing that the credit sellers, the companies that buy the credits, and the EPA are not disclosing numbers, facts. documentation and reasoning that a company is using renewable energy.



I never got a response back to my email from the EPA.  But it clear you do not have to give them valid proof to be in their green power partnership.  Without numbers and other data they can not prove that they are a green host.  Other then a lot of pages GreenGeeks has no relevant proof they are green,

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!”