– Less than a year to top host at is as I type this post being show cased as number 7 on’s so called top 10 list. Until this year I had never heard of, after all there are thousands of hosts I have never heard of. Earlier this month I was cleaning out a screen shot folder to get rid of the many files I will never use (never mind I should be focusing on packing for my move).Where I found a screen shot I took of a so called review site that show cased earlier. Never mind what should have caught my attention was a host I never heard of on the top 10 for After all I know all the hosts that find themselves on these kinds of lists. This so called review site thought it was cleaver posting spam on the Facebook page for this site, in hopes of milking it for traffic. Per usual I took a screen shot of the spam banned the person who posted it. At best this review site is worth a screen shot.

hostmetro spam

But a direct link would probable not be a good idea as their traffic score is no better than a newly bought domain. But they had me wondering who was, and why were they on the’s top 10 list? The question you may be asking is why even bother doing a post on Truth be told, this is more about and the big lie I caught them at. was picked by as a top host because?

Now before I go over the whole relationship between and I would like to make it clear what the connection is. like all of the hosts that appear on’s top 10 sites have an affiliate program.  Which pay out roughly in the $100 range per sale. With the exception of all of these hosts including have (commission Junction) affiliate programs as well as their own in house programs.

Once again I don’t have a problem with affiliate programs, even that of In short its just a form of advertising. In fact, I am an affiliate of many of the programs covered under At best I have an issue with the bulk of a customer’s payment going to an affiliate and not their service. Yet that does not make affiliate programs evil. The only reason hosting review sites like show case companies like is because of the high payout. has an affiliate program. has 2 affiliate programs. The first is directly through the payout is $65 per referral. The second one has far more appeal because a third party ( is involved and the payout is $100.  In addition goes further to say on

Our affiliate program offers $100 for each hosting account referral. There is no minimum hosting account purchase or term. If you can send more than 15 referrals each month we can increase your commission rate to reward you for being a high performing affiliate. We will also provide you with a dedicated affiliate representative to make sure all your needs are being met. ”

Normally most hosting affiliate programs offer a higher payout per amount of sales, but wants you to contact them to arrange a higher payout. Something I was not aware that had capability for negotiations. But as far as why a third party is a good thing in the case of an affiliate program, they get paid when the affiliate does. does not have FTC compliance in their affiliate agreement does not have a FTC compliance clause like many companies such as hosts with EIG (Endurance International Group). Several companies sent out FTC compliance emails in 2011 like this one:

The reason I bring up the affiliate program is to get a clear understanding of why would show case Which is they are in this to make money. Despite giving a editor’s choice award to (who happen to get 8/10 on user feedback with no customer feedback), they would not show case the host in their top 10. I have two theories behind that 1. The payout was not that high. 2. They gave an award to leech their traffic.

But is different from, as they have a high payout.

How old is hints at 3 – 5 years. Time for!!!

If you read what has to say about you would think the host was at least 5 years old:

HostMetro is an established, reliable web host based in Schaumburg, Illinois. The management and ownership team boasts a combined total of some 50 years in the website hosting industry; the support staff (all US-based) and server technicians have, on average, 5 years experience in web hosting support. This experience is a benefit to all customers – this is a company with deep roots and stability.

So in effect I think it is safe to say they have around 10 employees. . But to be honest, never out and out states that the age of There are other things to look at like Facebook, Twitter, and the Better Business Bureau to get a better grasp of how old might be.

According to the first tweet was on February 4, 2013. shows they joined on June 20, 2012. However they have no activity on their Facebook page.

Oddly they have 2,638 followers on Twitter (I am following them), and only 30 likes on Facebook.

According to the Better Business Bureau:

Business started 07/19/2012

BBB file started 12/28/2012

As I have stated many times before the BBB does not actually confirm the age of a company. The start date is something that the BBB asks, and they don’t bother to check any records to confirm this data. But I think based off everything I have seen that it is safe to say that was an honest answer. So as of today, is not even a year old. has reviews for all the way back to 2011.

So the BBB has a start date of July 2012, heck even has this for on March 2011 (a simple domain parking page). But when was the first customer review?

The first review was a negative one by someone calling themselves Robert, on May 10, 2011.  However I don’t believe there was a Robert. Nor do I believe most of if any of those reviews existed before last month.

So how is it that has reviews (62 to be exact) all the way back to May 10, 2011?

Not to mention has no history of any of those reviews prior to this month.

But there is another host on added not too long ago – has been around for a while, a lot longer than January 15, 2013 they had a total of 6 reviews from July 29, 2011 to September 16, 2011

Then back in March 2013 they somehow managed to go from 6 to 46 reviews and miraculously is 7th host on the top 10 list at Not to mention the reviews change, as the earliest they had any reviews was August 4, 2011. It appears the first 2 negative reviews were deleted. Plus where there were no reviews after September 16, 2011 on January 15, 2015 there were now 42 reviews that had been added in.

I think it is safe to say most if not all of the reviews at are fake.

But here is the weird part.,,,,, and don’t have any reviews after early April 2012. Over a year and 6 out 10 major hosting companies don’t have any reviews. That is unheard of for my site and I get less traffic than The only site I have no covered is and I even get positive and negatives on this host. So should be drowning in reviews from these companies both good and bad.

Somewhere after April 25, 2013 decided to add to their system along with the fake reviews. as I said before is in this to make money, and if they have to throw ethics out the door to do it, well fabricating fake reviews for and is a small price to pay when the truth does not matter. an award winning host

Now this might have been the end of the post, and I would not bother going any further with Yet like some hosts they decided to show case so called awards that had some pretty noticeable flaws. Either did not bother to validate the awards they received, or they hoped people would just be impressed by the sheer volume of awards. Looking through the awards I found the following problems:

  • No significant traffic (which was the bulk of the sites)
  • Don’t have links to proof of the award
  • Incomplete sites that were offering awards
  • No customer reviews
  • Certification or registered with a company, not an award
  • Non-active award site
  • 4 award sites are owned by the same group, and feature as number 1
  • An award from 2003, despite a business start date from 2012

What is perceived as an award by would be for starters: (award 2), did not start monitoring uptime for until May 2013. June 5, 2013 is when they supposable agreed to’s code of ethics. Never mind this is what WHS equate as ethics:

IMG_0469 IMG_0471 (Award 12) does nothing more than add to their system to give an “attendance” award.  There is no direct link to’s page on, where there are no customer reviews. (Awards (15 and 20) provided certification, not awards. (award 16) – award graphic simply says verified firm and “learned from reviews” (no idea what that means) they did not have any reviews until June 19 where they got 2, and another one on June 20, 2013.

While most of the awards for are vague some are nonexistent these awards stick out.,,, and (awards (5 ,8, 14, 17.21, and 23) are all owned by the same individual / group. Plus may have fake reviews, and like lies about the age of the company:

HostMetro has quietly and confidently been providing some of the best web hosting services in the industry since 2003.

Tevin — October 25, 2012 “HostMetro has quietly and confidently been providing some of the best web hosting services in the industry since 2003.

But never mind that, despite being owned by the same person/group their top 10 lists are not in the same order with each site, there is one host that is number 1. Which begs the questions does own these fake top 10 review sites? - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records (1) - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records (2) - Domain Dossier - owner and registrar information, whois and DNS records (award 19) – Looking at this domain you would expect to find at least 10 hosts listed, but there is only one host – I would not be surprised if this is owned by someone with in The domain creation date was December 18, 2012. (Award 25) is not actually an active website and has a launch page.

The last award (26) which I think is for has no link, and is an award for 2003 which is impossible considering was not around back then. proves that had nothing more than a coming soon page back in 2003: is another host that I will be following, and proof that is not to be trusted as unbiased review site. Top 10 questions for a review site and both lack data to back up claims for what hosts are good hosts. Yet only one site recommends hosts and gets paid, the other site is more so about ethics and business practices and not rather a host is a good service provider  (rarely if a host is a bad service provider). One site puts the affiliate disclaimer at the very end of their sales spill, while the other site places it before reasons for buying. One hints that there might be a payment; the other clearly states if a visitor clicks on a link and buys the owner of said site gets paid. Not to mention one has a donation page, the other does not.’s latest response to my response shows how much the owner may read or worse choose to fabricate.’s owner claims to answer things I was unsure on. Truth is I am not unsure on anything, sure I have questions. But my questions only play into my speculations.’s owner is not ready to answer the questions I have anyway, just the questions the imaginary Benjamin in the owner’s mind has. As to why had affiliate links to companies throughout their post trashing It should have been very clear to the owner since I drew attention to those links under “Point 4: What left out”. Something I will get to with the finale point of this post.

For the most part most of this post is based off of's reply rant to


My prior post:

Previous posts links about can be found in that post.

Like, I get frequently asked who to choose for hosting. I could have taken the path of putting up a list where 89% of the hosts I recommend have affiliate programs. As I may have used more hosts in the last three years than has in a life time.  But I failed to keep the very records I think all hosting reviews should have. Not to mention if I ever did do hosting recommendations I would have to live to a standard higher than what I think review sites should go by.  So for now the best I can do is provided advice for what to look for when looking for a host.

10 questions for

Since is interested in haphazardly answering what I ask, here are 10 questions for the owner of I am going to keep them short and provide my mentality behind them.

1. Does have any proof they use the hosts they recommend other than

The very thing that could have given the rights to declare “The Digital FAQ = Vindicated” (insert some smiley face like the kiddies do) was data. Providing proof of use would have given me little ground to even bother writing a post. Yet what was provided was selectively edited extractions from my posts, insults, false claims of my experience, and at what can be best described as an ego trip.

When it came to discussing who pays the claim was “Some have affiliate programs, some don’t”.  Out of 27 hosts, 3 might not have an affiliate program. So at best 3 of 27 (11% may not, 89% do pay a commision). has a problem with disclosure. Yet he is begging me to go through and figure out the averages of payments “Most shared hosting pays about $20, and the few that we get each month go to pay for this site.” with this little pity party. Especially when it was a $10-$15 average a few weeks ago prior to my write up affiliate payments.

digitalfaq old disclaimer

Also in regards to “And unlike the author of the blog, I know the owners of these companies — I’m not guessing.

No’s owner is really assuming here.

2. What was it that did from 1977 – 1993?

I realize I am asking a question that was already answered. But I have my reasons.

The business has been around since 1977, when the blogger/author was crapping his Huggies.” Despite the assumption of what my age is, there was no internet back then. But still they give better detail on their about page where I got that quote.

What began in Dallas, Texas in 1977 as a part-time typesetting/layout operation, has slowly morphed as technology developed. By the late 1980s, computers entered our daily operations, and desktop publishing, graphics and advanced layout services were added. ”.

Texas a red state, what a lovely state to hold this view:

It reminds me of those political kook blogs you can find online – mostly Republicans/conservatives these days, but it infects every political spectrum. Or conspiracy sites (9/11, JFK, the moon landing, etc). 

The late 80’s is the best number they can give you for when they were using a computer.  Even though I got a head start with Timex, Texas Instruments, Apple, and Commodore computers from the early to late 80’s. Yet like some hosting companies out there I have encountered they use the start date of a company that had nothing to do with webhosting, and in this case  a company that did not start out using computers. The true web experience for does not start until 1993. But they did not have a website till 2002, which brings us to question 3.

3. Why did wait till 2002 to get a website, and what was the original domain.

Since wants to provide trivia, I had my first site in 1998 with Virtualis.

4. Why did abandon that website in 2004?

Even though I did not keep my first site up, I do keep a redirect up having the domain redirect. The value in this is I have gotten back design clients I had a decade ago. Did just abandon their original domain?

5. Does count all the hosts with EIG as 1 or more hosts?

According to a host with a fairly new domain name gets to count the company they are part of for a start date, not the date when the site actually started.  Does count that as one host or by the amount of hosting sites own by a particular group? I ask because many of the providers I have used were bought out, so if I ever do get around to counting how many hosts I have been with I will know that EV1, Fastservers, and Softlayer count as 3 or 1.

6. Where did suddenly get unlimited hosting experience from?

Considering last month was against unlimited hosting, how did get enough experience over a few weeks to judge an unlimited host as good?

Time machine?  (Sorry had a sarcasm leak)

7. What hosting companies actually employee kids? made the following claim “A bad host, or “kiddie host”, is often run by minors (children, teenagers) from their bedroom, or even colleges kids from their dorm room.” If this is true could name the companies that do this. Otherwise, needs to reconsider labeling anybody a conspiracy nut.

Considering that many countries have child labor laws it would be a great way to put “kiddie” hosts out of business if the owner would share this information.

8. Is there anyone else that is biased against?

So far it appears that anyone younger than the owner of,  female, and with the Republican Party. Never mind that some of the owners of the companies he thinks are good are younger than me. But here is a little sample of his bigotry.

  • The site is essentially random online rants by one person. It reminds me of those political kook blogs you can find online — mostly Republicans/conservatives these days, but it infects every political spectrum. Or conspiracy sites (9/11, JFK, the moon landing, etc).
  • Females is not the demographic for hosting.”  Him caveman, Him bang chest.
  •  “The biggest problems with teenagers, or even college aged adults, is they move on. That’s why so many hosts fail, sell out, or disappear in under 2 years. We don’t have the time or patience for that.

That last line gets interesting when you pair it with this thought. is the current online presence for a family-owned media business that started in 1977.

Things that make you say hmmmm. has already alienated a large part of the population, why stop there?

9. So, what exactly is the conspiracy that has?

Generally, when you make a claim you at least back it up.

10. Why is it ok for to profit off of hosts their site blacklist?

The last question is less so a question than a chance for some level of redemption. At the end April if I see affiliate links to companies that openly blacklists, I will contact said companies and see how they feel about’s membership in their affiliate programs.

As a man that I am sure is much older than the owner of (and defiantly far wiser) once taught me as a kid, two wrongs don’t make a right. Of course, the owner of can insult my grandfather. But my grandfather had some wisdom behind that as well which I have been employing.

I may very well agree with the owner of on reasons for blacklisting all of these hosts like Endurance International Group. But the spirit of an affiliate program is to pay those that advertise or recommend their business. Not to reward people for failing to convince someone not to sign up for service.  Being a business owner I would be looking to retrieve any payments made to any individual that did that to my company. I defiantly would not continue to allow a review site like to continue to profit off my program. Especially when they say:

First, it allows us to track (or attempt to track) those who ignore our advice and sign up with one of those hosts anyway. It would mean that our advice is falling on deaf ears, and we’ve not said what was needed — the misleading marketing is winning out over our unbiased information that exposes companies like EIG. That’s unfortunate.

Second, if somebody is stubborn, and going to sign up with one of those hosts anyway — likely due to the lure of cheap “unlimited” — then yes, we’ll take the affiliate commission for it.

So a choice of a post at the end of next month, or can wait until next year for my re-review when they can set things right. Intermission – To the Readers of has told their readers I am a conspiracy nut. So if you came here from, this post is for you.

First off I am not asking you to trust me (far from it). After all and I may have our own agenda, or worse I have my own agenda. Instead I am asking you to rely on your better judgment. This is my argument about what claims I said.

This started out because I had been sent an email by someone who though I should reference Because they thought we had the same mind set. However I found them being hypocritical of hosting review sites, while doing the same thing as many review sites without providing any proof that they use the companies they recommend,  so far there are only two sites that I can’t confirm have an affiliate program. Not to mention is misinforming people on the very nature of the dark side of hosting reviews (in short they are not always a blog, they are not always about huge affiliate payments, they are not always about affiliate payments, they are not always done on a site they own by, and/or not always about a payment).  I plan to cover the taxonomy of review sites in an upcoming post. But for now I am going to attempt to dissect what was said on

The counter argument by, did not reference specific posts.

So as an example I am going to point to five links that I am referring to:

The first of which is their top 2013 host list, which started the first three posts on

Here is the snap shot I took of their post.'s rant

The second is the response to the first two posts (maybe three) of

Asides for not referencing specific posts, the owner of decided to modify my posts, without leaving sentences intact, or leaving the full context of a thought out.

The next three links are posts I made about

Ground work for my argument against trusting

This is where I take apart’s guidelines on what makes a good host:

Last I dig into rather or not makes money off the hosts they recommend:

In short only 2 hosts don’t reference an affiliate program, one site has an affiliate login area, while the other cannot be entirely ruled out because they have  WHMCS ( Which has affiliate capabilities).

I am breaking this post into points, as there is a lot to take apart, and I am going to probable miss something. But I made it a point to do this in two hours.

Point 1. Where I might have went wrong

I might have been wrong about on data server ownership. As what I had typed was when I first looked at their top 2013 criteria for a good host seemed to indicate that hosts ownership of a data center. However I made a dumb mistake and failed to make a screen shot of the post when I was reviewing it the first time around. For that matter I failed to take a screen shop the second time as well. It was not until the third time around and the addition of unlimited hosts was added.   Upon my first and second review, they clearly were against unlimited hosting, and original argument against unlimited hosting is still there.

·  good host manages their resources (bandwidth, RAM, storage space), and creates plans that balance intelligent limits with actual costs.

  • ·  A bad host promises ridiculous limits — or no limits at all! Unlimited! Yeehaw!


A bad host tries to hide “gotchas” in their often-buried documents, which are written in butchered “legalese” English, and hide limits such as SQL connections, inodes, email I/O, and file usage that turn so-called “unlimited” accounts into highly limited near-worthless web accounts. Many times, these documents are buried on their site, and thrown in the face of customers as the basis by which to charge them fees or outright deny service or tech support.

Breaking away from what I thought was good advice was what fueled my interest.

Point 2: Where was right

Poor grammar and misspellings aside, the sole author would ramble about all kinds of companies, both hosting and non-hosting: anti-virus software,,, Cyberhost Pro, 3essentials, Wooservers, BurstNET, Site5, LayeredTech, MediaTemple, etc.

Yes I have spelling errors, at times poor grammar, and yeah I do ramble when I suffer writers block. It also does not help to write on my iPhone, and even on iPad since I have these big hands. Not to mention I try to put a time limit as I have done with this post. I would like to think that I have gotten better. Not to mention I am not above correction. But I plan to correct past posts after I get my new house, unless any one knows a good editor. However I don’t apologize for going off topic, this is after all my time and my money (and it’s not like I ask for donations, or tell people how they can support this site). However I am starting my own personal blog soon and will stick to hosting reviews based on unethical gains, and hosting related issues like PIPA, spam, fake seo companies, and other items dealing with websites.

Point 3: Where was half right

If you look closely at’s Facebook “Likes” box, you may notice it has lots of pretty girls. Further scrutiny of these accounts show them to be new accounts, and/or having little use with thin content. 

  • Not using accounts is not the demographic of Facebook. (Especially under-30 females.)
  • Females is not the demographic for hosting.
  • However pretty girls that never use their Facebook account is the modus operandi of fake Fiverr users

Yes I did purchase likes on Facebook. As I could have done this with my Google + and my Twitter account. I did it more so for research on this and three other sites. Before I started I had 260 + fans by my own merits.  I purchased 1,000 likes on this site, and clearly if I wanted to fake it I would have spent far more than what I did (it’s not like I am asking people to donate to me).  My goal was to track how long it took for the seller to respond and enact, how fast the likes came in, where the likes where coming from, general makeup of the likes, and if any activity was generated by the likes (the answer to that is none). Not to mention a decay rate. After all I was at 1,300+ a month ago, and it decayed down to 740 yesterday. Today it is 695 last I checked (so I am literally losing likes as you read this). Though that’s not taking in that I get about 2 likes a week.  I suspect that overtime my likes will return back to a valid number in less than a month as decay appears to be a direct result of frequency of activity on Facebook. But that is a post for a later another date. Though it will probable reveal my inner data crunching geekery.

Now for where is wrong,

The first bullet point makes no sense (spelling/grammar?).

The second bullet point is false all on its own, and I am really trying to refrain from being sarcastic. If you understood my nature I am being very reserved here.

Based on my previous hosting companies’ customer records, females are a demographic.  They were 35% of the client base. Granted even if they were a fraction of a percent, they would be a demographic. Which has always had me wondering what % of customers are female. Either way gender has never been a determining factor of defining who I will take money from.

Bullet Point 3 assumes that I bought my likes off and that all of the accounts are always controlled by a single user.  In which case is wrong on both. Though it can be the case for both points.  As for pretty girls, is just trying to use derogatory comments to compensate, for what I have no idea. Either way I would love to see how thought bought likes work.

Point 4: What left out

I find it interesting instead of directing people to my posts to discredit me, has links to their affiliate programs throughout their anti post. Interestingly enough to some hosts they think are bad.

Breakdown is Company / Affiliate ID / Commission

1&1 PID=3235990 / Earn up to $300 isc=cjcmsc001t / payment varies 30% commissions on nearly all products / digitalfaq-20 / 4 – 8% commission / aff=2993 / 15 – 25% commission / id=246 / £10.00 – £40.00 (based on number of sales) / aid=21e7151b $70 – $135 / aid=4fb618fb27a17 $80 –  $230 based off sales/product

LayeredTech  just redirects to’s main page. (linked despite the claim of being removed as a sponsor) unable to determine the affiliate id, however payments range $50 – $125.

There also many they list in their top 2013 hosts that redirect to their affiliate programs.

But that’s not the only page with affiliate links, like for example:

I find this ID 3235990 interesting when clicking on, despite being listed as a comment spammer, you would not think I could click on a link to black listed host. By the way has a deeper history in fake reviews than knows. Details on in another upcoming post.

I am sure they are going to explain affiliate links embedded though out their attempt to trash me and other posts in a similar fashion as this Hostgator sponsored banner.


But when it came to being a sponsor of, the owner choose this part of my blog “Plus since loves so much why does and other companies get a far bigger banner.
Note: (a host that offers unlimited hosting) is a sponsor of

To explain this away, explains: ”This is false. On about 3/5 the site’s sponsor chose not to renew, and the site ads reverted to filler from a year or two ago — way before HostGator was sold by Brent Oxley to EIG. At that time, it was still pretty good, and was suggested. In addition to that, it was in rotation with several other filler ads for Meritline and, so this criticism is exaggerated at best. It was removed when caught. As of 3/19, we have a new sponsor anyway.

This does not really address why gets the short banner.  Did cancel’s affiliate membership?  Up till March 19th which was after my three posts, enjoyed the possible free traffic was pushing their way. As for choosing not to renew with affiliates after EIG bought, I don’t buy it. I have actually been signed up with them through Commission Junction ( so that I could get a copy of FCC compliance and Black Friday emails. In almost 2 years has not canceled my affiliate membership and continues to send me emails.

In short yes may need charity/ donations because the very owner/admin(s) that give advice on websites are too sloppy or done have the time to clean up rotating banners and remove companies not paying for referrals / advertising. Which makes me wondering if they are also failing to update critical areas of their site. So they have this page to tell you how you can support, which has not declared non-profit status.

Nothing stops hosts that were recommend to be avoid from being advertised so long as no one points to the hypocrisy.

So it’s somewhat aggravating to have to take time out of my day, in order to respond to nonsense that was posted on the blog at It’s time I could put to better use working, or helping others.

Yet I inspired to remove an Endurance International Group host off their sponsors. To them I say “Your Welcome”. No telling how many people clicked on the banner taking them somewhere does not recommend.  Though it’s not really clear that removed as an advertiser. But I suppose that is coincidental in’s opinion.   The moment felt was a poor option, they should have removed them from their rotating banner (though they may appear in Adsense but that they can be addressed as well).  Not to mention whatever they are using to high light specific word(s) with affiliate links.

Now here is the point where either haphazardly reads my blog, and selectively picks to highlight what I wrote.

I honestly would not have a problem with doing their own recommended hosts if they actually validated their recommendations with facts, not to mention disclosure upfront that they make money if you sign up with a host they recommend. responded with:

Unlike other sites, we rank hosts based on their merit: uptime, support, server hardware quality, etc. It’s in no way biased by payouts like those fake lists that suggest Godaddy, 1&1, Yahoo, and EIG brands. If the pay commissions, great! We use those funds for the site. If not, that’s fine, they still get our recommendation!

While adding affiliate links to and 1&1 hosting.

After hatcheting my sentence (that should have been two): “I honestly would not have a problem with doing their own recommended hosts if they actually validated their recommendations with facts”.

He also gives the kind of advice you’d expect from a know-nothing consumer: (1) Use Godaddy, or (2) use Rackspace. The former is terrible, and the latter is overpriced and honestly not that much better these days. (Rackspace is so 1990s!) From 2007-2010, the “site” was nothing more than a one-page rant hosted at Godaddy, and an amateur video on YouTube. In fact, from what I could tell, those are two of the only three main hosts this person has ever used, with Media Temple being the third. Most of the “exposed” posts are completely without merit. 

I don’t actually full out recommend, I did a review and had an affiliate link (until Bob Parson shot an elephant), and at best recommend them for a starter/ single page website. The full review can be found at:

Even when I had the affiliate links up, I made no money. it proable would helped if I didn’t say things like “Sometimes getting a hosting solution with is a roll of the dice” But when they were up I did disclose I made a commission at the start of the review. Not well past the place where people click and are brought to a host.

Rackspace I will get to, as it has been pointed to – incorrectly I only dealt with 3 major hosts, and knows it.

Which brings us back to this “Poor grammar and misspellings aside, the sole author would ramble about all kinds of companies, both hosting and non-hosting: anti-virus software,,, Cyberhost Pro, 3essentials, Wooservers, BurstNET, Site5, LayeredTech, MediaTemple, etc.

A post was a brought into this because a host that I found on’s fake top 25 was a customer of Burstnet (wooservers).

That and it turns out I was once a customer. I guess that means thinks days to get a server rebooted and being unable to contact said company for many days after  were not worth noting.

Which brings us to Layered Tech. I started out with, than some how I became a client, and last  Though I am a bit confused about how I transitioned from a to a customer as I got a roundabout response on that. I have to ask, can I count that as 3 hosts or just 1? But that’s not the only provider I was with that got bought out. The issues I had with Layered Tech (and its counter parts) had to deal with Hurricane Electric among many other things.

And while we are on the subject of hosts that were bought out that I was with there was Virtualis, Dialtone, Server Beach, EV1/ which was bought out by Theplanet who was later bought out by Softlayer,  OChosting (which had been absorbed into a name I forget), and honestly more than that in names that I have forgotten over the last 1.5 decades. We have gone past the number three mark, but really there are more.

Which brings us to Pingdom, Rackspace, Mediatemple,  and another dumb comment:

He also makes the novice mistake of relying on Pingdom to blame hosts (i.e. Media Temple) for downtime that may not have actually happened. As I frequently explain to others, Pingdom can give false results. To truly check uptime, you need to have at least three monitors, and at least two of them should agree before you bother checking it. I don’t mean free services either, but monitoring tools run from your own VPS, such as Nagios. That’s the only way you can know if a sever is up!

There is a good reason that this site is on and not, and it does not have to do with Pingdom. Pingdom only validates the down time I experienced. However It does not validate my service complaints (like moving my databases, and leaving them inoperable). Nor at times what felt like dealing with as would probable call them “teenagers”.

Also Pingdom does not run out of my house. So if I get a message that says my site is down, and when I check and see it is down that probable means my site is offline. But really my reason for leaving can be found here:

Which brings us to “He also gives the kind of advice you’d expect from a know-nothing consumer: (1) Use Godaddy, or (2) use Rackspace. The former is terrible, and the latter is overpriced and honestly not that much better these days. (Rackspace is so 1990s!) From 2007-2010, the “site” was nothing more than a one-page rant hosted at Godaddy, and an amateur video on YouTube. In fact, from what I could tell, those are two of the only three main hosts this person has ever used, with Media Temple being the third. Most of the “exposed” posts are completely without merit.”.

I have my doubts knows what this site looked like from 2007 – 2010.  But as far as goes further to say “By contrast, since 1993, the admins/mods/owner of The Digital FAQ have used at least 100 hosts.”. forgot to tell you I don’t make my living off (if I did I would have to have beg for charity, and write more than I do), I am a web designer. I don’t I always get to pick where the client hosts. Not to mention if you read this blog you will find that I complain about transfer rates whenever I do design work for a customer that just has to have one of the EIG hosts.  I am often told I charge and arm and a leg, and yet those that are willing to bear what I ask can some times make the mistake of thinking $5 a month host will work. I have been on prior to it being bought by EIG, and as of today I am on their servers for another client. I am currently using and in addition to

The reason is on, is I don’t have the time to fuss around with it being down. If it needs more resources I get billed. I can evaluate why it needed the resources at my convenience. Downtime has been minimal, and what I have experienced is well below 99.9%. Not to mention Since January 2012, I have not had a reason to put a support ticket in for any issues. What I pay really does not bother me, and gives me piece of mind that did not give me. Not to mention is far more Word Press friendly.

Oh and he forgot to mention I used to own 5 companies (1 failure (described in the first and other posts), and 4 hosts that still live on), and before that I was a web designer. He completely forgot to mention the origin story of how was the inspiration behind But why be bothered with details?

Point 5: What got wrong (or made up)

The site is essentially random online rants by one person. It reminds me of those political kook blogs you can find online — mostly Republicans/conservatives these days, but it infects every political spectrum. Or conspiracy sites (9/11, JFK, the moon landing, etc).

The main focus of this site is hosting reviews done solely on the basis of profit in an unethical manner. There are probable better people out there to do the job, and if I meet them I will happily hand the keys over. But for now you got me.

I take pride in being called weird, and I make it a point to make fun of myself before I do others. But this comes from a person that believes “Females is not the demographic for hosting.”, “The biggest problems with teenagers, or even college aged adults, is they move on. That’s why so many hosts fail, sell out, or disappear in under 2 years. We don’t have the time or patience for that.”. Yet as I stated before, no one really has any idea of the age of the person they are communicating with, but skill and professionalism are very apparent. Not to mention if you want to see that wisdom does not come with age, you have my personal invitation to view the three big retirement communities outside of Phoenix, Arizona.

So if you’re female, child, teenager, college age adult, and/or Republican/Conservative does not respect you. Might as well throw in Yin to the Republican/Conservative Yang; Democrat/Liberal as the Youth and Female votes these days are leaning that way based off the last polling data. But why bother with polling data, I should be outside yelling at kids to stay off my lawn (well I am in Arizona so I should say gravel). Sorry it really is hard to refrain from sarcasm.

In fact, probably half of the blog (or more) has nothing to do with “exposing” others. And that’s a shame, given how fake affiliate blogs pop up almost daily.

Note the word probable, meaning did not actually check.  There is a reason I don’t cover every review site that is out there, and that can reason can be found by reviewing the traffic scores. I got after sites with traffic, not to mention I try to compose posts that can advise people about how to shop for hosting. Yet he is not the first review site to tell me how to run my site. = Pro Kiddie Host

The biggest proof of editing of what I can be found with’s piecemeal extraction of several lines of my posts.

The first two seem to be a knock against the young. Despite all of my years doing business online …

I got started in webhosting at a young age…

Putting that aside there are a lot of teenagers out there that have contributed to the internet, so before you go knocking them make sure you are not using any of their creations. Age does not equal wisdom. If anything has alienated a demographic….

What seems to neglect here is that a new company may be eager to bring in new customers….

Never mind that last line had nothing to do with kids/teenagers/ or as I have now learned college aged adults. It was in response to framing new hosts in a bad light. But they really don’t just have a problem with new hosts.

And unfortunately, probably 80% or more of the industry is comprised of bad hosts.  — You have to be careful who you use!

Probably once again = assumption. Like when assumed (or lied) about me only having used 3 major hosts.

I still would like to see proof that there is a web host using kids. After all it was that accused me of conspiracies, the very least they could do is prove what hosts actually use children.

Point 6: What ignored

When it came to reading the terms of service of any company that chooses to refer to this comment by me:

If you think this is the point where you don’t have to read the TOS because read it for you, think again.’s response “This is false. In fact, there are companies NOT being suggested because we disagree with what’s written. The example that comes to mind most is (Namecheap-owned) and, because of the odd “WordPress modules” clauses. We warned folks about that back in December 2011. SiteGround’s ToS is fine.

I did say that wants you take their word for it, after all “SiteGround’s ToS is fine.”. I don’t care who tells you they read the terms of service for you, read it yourself. Besides has a financial interest in, $50 – $150 per sign up to be exact.

When it came to new companies this is what had to say:

Successful longevity.

  • good host has been around for 5+ years, and is a true test of running a successful hosting business. This business isn’t kind to the ignorant.
  • A bad host usually fails within 1-2 years, if they even make it that long.”

In short claims a host is good if it has been around for 5 years or more. You would think if there were any exceptions those would be addressed in advance, and a valid reason given as to why. After attempting to unravel’s claims about 5 year or older hosts,, chooses to selectively use only part of how I mentioned how to determine the age of a host.

Based off the whois info I can often find out how old a company might be.

However my explanation is much longer than that and more than I care to paste in what is already becoming a very long post. But can be read at

The excuse given for the age of some companies is that they are part of another company, which is at best weak. As I am betting despite this company being part of another company, counts by domain name, not hosting group how many hosts they have been with. Like say Endurance International Group with some 40 + sites.  Yet shows that not all the hosts are within the good host limit: has been around since August 2009, though it did not operate a public site. It’s a good enough host that ~4 years has been enough to prove themselves.

What I had on, while created in August 9, 2009, does not appear to have an actually hosting page till August 22, 2010. is another exception, having been around for ~4 years now. Not just that, but it’s a young-run host! More on that another day. Very impressive!

So what domain for exist under prior to August 2010?

Perhaps in a later post I will dig into the other hosts that claims to not be less than five years old. These are the two hosts that didn’t have a straight forward affiliate program I mentioned earlier. However as I mentioned, not all hosting review site do reviews for just high affiliate payments.

But here is the kicker

Trivia: If you look up the domain name for, you’ll find that it was only registered in 2004. But we’ve been online since 2002. The business has been around since 1977, when the blogger/author was crapping his Huggies.

Classy, I guess. Assuming that I was a toddler during 1977 despite the fact I am not very forth coming with my age as addressed when I did my post dispelling their claims of what makes a good host. Either way they have mad internet skills from the disco era.

And my two hours are up, on this post.

If or anyone else tells you to trust them without backing their claims with data, that’s the point you find someone that will. – The next top host? Part 1 finds its way to my blog not because I found them on a review site. Instead they clearly were shopping around for review sites that will promote them.  Originally I had planned to write this post on back in October, which sort of mutated to a full scale write up of all the hosts that had written me in 2012 asking me to write a post about them.  That soon fell apart because I don’t always have an abundance of time. So in short I am going to take the second highest on traffic stats to ask me to advertise them. The top host in traffic stats was done last year (  Since I don’t have a lot of time and may only get a few more posts done this month I am going to start with outlining how wrong’s email exchange was and plan to do a review of (terms of service, affiliate program, ect, ect). If next month is not as busy as the last few months I may come back to the topic of other hosts that thought it was a smart idea to offer to pay for a review.  Those reviews will be based off traffic stats from highest to lowest.

How do I know was shopping around for review sites?

Because a rep at sent me this on September 19, 2012 and twice on September 20, 2012 when I did not respond.


You currently promote hosting companies via their affiliate system. We
would love for you to join ours. We are a simple and low priced
hosting company. We offer web hosting and VPS. Our prices start at $6
paid monthly not yearly or more like most hosts.

We are paying $100 per sale. Our EPC is $425.

We are part of the CJ affiliate network.

If you are not a member you can sign up at Our merchant id is
3812192 and Interserver is the company.

If you have any feedback please respond back to me. If you do not want
to join our program please let me know why and if there is anything we
can do.

Thank you,

Okay at best I think it is safe to assume that Mike of glanced over my site. Copied and paste a ready-made response to anyone he thought that might promote his company. Two words attracted him, “hosting” and “reviews”. The third word in this site’s domain was completely ignored which is “exposed”.  Michael also ignored my contact form that made it clear I would post his email. So I sent a warning.

Hello Michael,

No there are no hosting affiliate programs on this site, simply Adsense. Not to mention what you see on for ads depends on what you were looking at in search engines. Clearly you have no idea what does. The purpose of this site is to expose unethical web host marketing. Like for example a host contacting review sites to get them to promote their company.  While that review site does nothing to disclose their relationship with the hosting provider.

I suggest before emailing any other site, especially if you are under the assumption they are a review site you actually read their content before sending them an email.

Please be advised that if I find your site on any so called top 10 lists or other so called review sites I will post this email.



The last response I got from Mike of

Sorry for the miss understanding. But your right 99% of all review sites are promotions for affiliate programs. Make that all review sites. Add all coupon code sites to the list. When I am looking for information about a product I am looking to purchase lets say a vacuum all the information is garbage. Google will eventually catch on to this and make review sites that are affiliate linking go away. But until then google ads is not enough marketing for a hosting company. So when you do see us on review sites with affiliate links I am accomplishing my objective. 

I appreciate your time and keep up the good work. 


Let’s read between the lines, in short the rest of the industry is doing this, so will to for as long as it is feasible. That is why went from being on warning to being on my to do list.

Before I go into what is so wrong about this email exchange with, about this part of the first 3 emails “Our prices start at $6 paid monthly not yearly or more like most hosts.”.  First off that is not true. When I first looked they had more than monthly pricing. I have found annual pricing on’s packages as well as monthly terms.

internetserver pricing copy

Then they added semi-annual, biannual and 3 year pricing.

interserver new pricing

I don’t see an issue on what terms a customer pays. I personally made it as flexible as possible and the more a customer paid up front the cheaper per month their account was. The limits of how much time a customer paid were pretty much dictated by my merchant. But to be honest I preferred they paid month to month as to avoid lose income from the discount. Some people prefer to pay more than a month, for reasons not always in relation to the discount. The less billing options you have the less likely someone is going to want to sign up.

As for this nonsense about Google catching on is also just that nonsense. Google can build the proverbial better mouse trap, but the problem is those proverbial mice evolve. Truth be told those proverbial mice seem to evolve faster than Google even thinks about adapting.  Over 5 years I have seen auto blogs lose no traction in search engine relevance. Blogs that are ran purely off spun content (ones that would make the people who love to check the grammar on my site go nuts (sorry my typing is not that great on my iPad/iPhone)). When Google attempts to adapt those adaptions are not always well thought out. Like there October implementation that hurt traffic for domains like because of the dash(es) in the domain. Relevance could very well be the undoing on Google.

The second thing that is stupid about Michael of thoughts on Google is that Google would remove sites with affiliate programs out of search engine results. The only sites that I have made that do not have affiliate programs in them are generally religious and political sites. Not to mention sites that sells their own products, but sometimes they also have ads up for products that complement their own offering. Most sites that I build are made for the purpose of advertising and/or using affiliate programs.

Commission Junction ( has over 1000 companies that use them to get affiliates ( among them). Which leads to all of those affiliates with legitimate content. Legitimate content that people search for on Google.  Don’t forget that Google has its own advertising program called Adsense.  Which you can find Affiliates of and other programs vying for desirable keywords.  Which leads to the question: how much in advertising fees would Google lose if they kept sites with affiliate programs off their search engine?

Which begs the question how will get customers if search engines don’t show case sites with affiliate programs? After all I can’t find what key words would be ideal to target for a company trying to get in the same ranks as and

Also the other reason that Michael of does not know what he is talking about; Google has their own affiliate Network.  It’s called Google Affiliate Network.

SEO Experts – Top 10 Tips To Tell If They Know What They Are Doing

SEO experts seem to be a dime a dozen these days.  But not everyone claiming to be a SEO experts knows what they are doing. I think the best standard is that they have to know more than I do.  I am by no stretch of the imagination an SEO Expert (I am a self-proclaimed SEO noob). Everything I know about SEO is reflected on this site. Not to mention I have literally been poked with a stick to know what I know (I would have preferred to play video games).

So before I go into a whole spill about not being an SEO expert and having ADD, and that I find SEO boring; I know enough to spot a crappy SEO Expert.

The reason for this post was because of so called SEO Experts  In July 2010 prior to them starting up they decided to harvest my email from this site for the purposes of spamming. One of their first spammings was about my competitors having an edge.  Granted if someone else came along and actually did what I do better than me, I would happily stand a side. But it does not appear anyone wants to write reviews about hosting review sites.  Because these so called SEO Experts decided to claim I opted in I decided to complain to Netfirms and wrote two posts, one of which was to prove they were not the SEO Experts that they claimed to be.

I re-reviewed them last month. Which triggered a furry of emails asking me who to go with. While I know some really good people in the business, you may not want to pay what they ask for (probable because no one returned my email after mentioning they were not cheap). I can tell you how I spotted the problems with; those details can help in making an informed decision when shopping for a SEO Expert.

Top Ten Tips for seeing if your SEO Expert is Valid

1. tells you how well SEO Experts rank

If you read enough of this blog there is no surprise that Alexa is at the top of the list. Out of any SEO detail I find interesting. Which maybe has to do with the fact that belongs to, or maybe it has to do with history graphs. Yes, amazingly historical graph charts can keep my attention.  If any SEO Expert tries to tell you that is not a valid measure of a site’s traffic, promptly mark their emails as spam.

I have used Alexa in many cases to prove that hosts may have just started or to show how popular they may be. It can work just as well for looking at SEO Experts and their sites. In fact can tell you a lot about rather if someone is actually a SEO expert. They should be able to do for themselves what they claim they will do for you.

In case you don’t understand how Alexa works, low numbers good, high numbers bad. For more details see:

Examples of some sites I visit: – 1 – 2 – 4 – 8 – 10 – 96 – 240 – 1,497 – 5,223 – 18,996 – 74,178

After 21 days how did do compared to so called SEO Experts – 125,586 formally 129,240, a loss of 3,654. Nice but I am sure other people could do better. says this about

There are 125,585 sites with a better three-month global Alexa traffic rank than – 768,973 formally 637,187, a gain of 131,786. In terms of being SEO Experts this is really bad.  That number should be going down.

Another warning sign is when you see this “Historical data not available for sites ranked > ~ 100,00”, if you see that with any so called SEO Expert run, don’t walk. For some reason is showing historical data for I can only assume because their system predicts this site will go below 100,000.

However is not fool proof, there are ways so called SEO Experts can fool the system. I suggest avoiding any service that artificially enhances your Alexa score as this can have a negative effect on your site later on.

There are places you can go online to pay to ping a site to fake traffic numbers, most can get you below 100,000 on However that does not guarantee there are no tell-tale signs. Clearly that is the case with this site that rigs Alexa scores.

Another thing to look for is what countries that are highest in traffic.  For example, so called SEO experts claims “Home to the latest and greatest Internet Marketing Strategies in North America,”

No Surprise but, self-proclaimed SEO Experts are not even big in their own country Canada.

Which if there is any place you want to have traffic in, it would be your own country. Especially when their propaganda lists Toronto, London, and Sydney along with New York and Delhi.

Another tell-tale sign is if the extreme ups and downs in traffic history.

The above chart is from one of those Alexa score boosting companies, clearly their attempts to manipulate the system have back fired. I think at worst the highest a SEO Expert’s site should be is at 100,000 or lower.

2. and – When a SEO Expert’s history matters

So you get claims that someone has been using an SEO expert for years, maybe even a decade or more. Perhaps this SEO expert uses their BBB record as proof that they were around that long. Problem is the BBB does not verify when a company got into business.

Domains whois information on the other hand is next to impossible to fake.

However creation dates don’t tell the whole story. Maybe like me they had the domain for years before using, or they purchased it as a “aged domain”. Which is why I recommend looking at (thewaybackmachine).  This site will tell you what a site looked like from creation to today. Few changes indicated little was done with the site. A domain providers  start up page for years at a time indicated they were not active. One site that is a perfect example is it was formally a construction site out of Spain, and late 2010 they became a British hosting company.

3. What the Better Business Bureau can tell you about SEO Experts

I know I just told you not to trust the start date.  Anyone that knows me might think it a bit odd that I would use the BBB as a reference. But there is a valid reason.  One thing to note is it took years before was actually registered with the BBB, and they contacted me not long after we launched. Perhaps it is not the case for everyone.

But that is not what I think should be focused on. The real issue I have with this SEO Expert’s BBB record they claim they have 200 plus resellers, 300 plus SEO firms that outsource to them, and 4,000 plus clients.

This strikes me as odd:

Why might I find a record that has zero complaints odd? Because it is too good to be true. There is always going to be a customer that cannot be pleased, especially when you offer “Affordable SEO services”, i.e. cheap. Not to mention no company is perfect.  Never mind this SEO expert claims to be in business since 2006, the last three years have zero complaints.

No one can please every customer they have, even if they cherry pick who is going to be a customer.

4. SEO Experts with Google Page Rank less than 5 need not apply.

I recommend using this site to see what your SEO experts page rank is.

From what I am told a page rank of 5 is the lowest you want to go with someone that claims to be a SEO expert.

As for what Google Page rank is:

5. Search Engine results, what,, and Google tells you about SEO Experts.

At worst any self-proclaimed SEO expert should have the main page populated keeping off any negative feedback about their company for any search for just their name.

Example what searching for “” shows on,, and To date I have at least two posts on the first page of their search engine results.

6. How social are SEO Experts – Social Media Facebook / Twitter

About 4 years ago I learned a trick for getting Twitter followers. That is to follow someone who follows whoever follows them. There is software that can do this for you. It is super easy to spot.  Example someone has 17,000 followers, and they are following 17,000 people.  For my twitter account for this site @hostingscams, I have 1,700 followers, yet I follow about 20 people.  I don’t follow everyone that follows me simply because there is no way I could keep track of every tweet. Plus not every twitter account is following me for the sheer sake of seeing who I am doing a blog post on.  I get at least 3 – 8 a day that stop following me after 24 hours.

Clearly is using this method.

Twitter followers can also be purchased. You might want to check the followers to see how many people they actually follow.

Facebook is a harder thing to figure out. I know that likes can also be purchased.

My own page has 675 followers at this time. While appreciate the likes I tend to doubt my Facebook pages represents normal active websites and their social media. But there are some clear details I see when looking at the visitors for self-proclaimed SEO Experts

What I see as problematic is the age bracket 18 -24 year olds. The other problem is the rate of visitors is rare. So rare that the best week was 1 visitor.  Even with 675 likes I appear to have more engagement with the people that liked my site, despite my lack of daily activity.

7. How did you find this SEO expert, or did they find you?

One of the things I have noticed with is that they literally phished for details. They got my email by going to my contact form, replying to them justified adding me to their mailing list. Never mind their initial mail out did not have my name. Others had their email and phone numbers harvested through sites that were meant to connect with professionals. They meant to connect with other people that would provide them work, not the other way around.

First Contact from a SEO Expert firm should not start off with a one size fits all mail out. I can understand a firm contacting a website, and providing details one what they see with their site, and what potential the site has with hard numbers.

Did the SEO Expert contact you?  Did they have permission to put you on their mailing list? If they put you on their mailing list avoid them.  Never do business with anyone that spams you.

I wish I could tell you how to find a SEO expert but the best I can do is tell you to try forums and advertising.  The people I deal with generally word of mouth from designers like myself.

8. SEO Experts Testimonials

One thing that stuck out to me with was the testimonials. A site claiming to offer SEO services should have websites in their testimonials.  There were none.

Should a site(s) appear in the testimonials points 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 should be used to see how well they performed.

9. SEO Experts awards

If there is anything to be learned from the hosting review industry, its awards are not always earned.  They are often bought.

Look for:

  • Awards that are vague on details.
  • Awards that look like they were written by the SEO experts.
  • Awards site that has a link for advertise with us, when there is no visible advertising on the site.
  • Awards sites that have no visible source of income.
  • SEO Experts Awards that do not link directly back to the independent “unaffiliated” party
  • Awards that are more so an affiliation than an award (example they use a merchant so that merchant gives them a page to promote from).
  • Things that are listed as awards that let anyone put their site up.
  • They received an award from a site that has a top 10 list of SEO Experts, and the one you are looking at has an affiliate program.
  • Award sites with the same whois and/or network details as the SEO Expert
  • Award sites that fail at points 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6.

While I am no expert on SEO Expert awards, I can only assume that what was very visible in the Hosting Review industry would apply very well to the SEO Review industry.

10. The SEO Expert warns you about other SEO experts, sends you testiomonials and awards. Yet the SEO Expert fails to send you ideas.

One thing I noticed from the emails I got that was sending out was warning about:

These signs have been compiled after close examination of the common features of many Unethical and Inexperienced SEO firms which exist.

Clearly what this is for is to keep you from looking at other SEO Experts; it is designed to cause doubt. The awards and testimonials I have already covered how to look at. But clearly they are being sent to impress.

What you should be getting from any SEO expert is a plan of action. If you are in a field that is competitive they should be able to tell you what your competitors strong points and weak points are.

Finding SEO experts is no easy task

Things to remember:

  • There is no such thing as a quick fix
  • Its not a one time deal
  • What worked 10 years ago, 5 years ago, or 1 year ago may no longer work today.
  • They should have targets like traffic, keywords, and demographics.

When it comes to any service be they SEO Experts or whatever else, buyer beware. wants a blog post to be happy, apparently 1 was not enough was far from my thoughts (ok I mentioned in my last post), as I already have 20 posts literally waiting for me to finish on my phone.  Not to mention this is an election year and I am hurting for free time, and I am not hurting for work.  But I got this email (and others that provide me with new post ideas) just a few hours ago from Stepan who wrote me from an email address from

Email from on behalf of


I’m currently Affiliate Manager at IX WebHosting and noticed you don’t have our review on your website! This is really sad, and I would love you to add us to your website.

You can check all our current Shared Hosting plans from the next page:
You can even try them out for Free (7 days free trial)!

Please notice that we offer also industry leading VPS and Cloud

What I want to offer you is not only to advertise us on your website (place review), but also get money out of it! As I said, I’m affiliate manager @IX and I would like to invite you to our Affiliate Program. You can get up to $300 per signup! I know this may sound like a lottery, but… This is the way our affiliates are earning up to $10K on a regular basis. As I see from your website – you may be one of those successful ones. You can check our Affiliate Program from the next link:

Feel free to contact me in case you have any questions or interested
in future beneficial cooperation.


So does not understand what this site is about?

Personally, I would think that most hosts would be happy not to be featured on this site, except of course (and I don’t mean the hosting side). As no host has got a glowing endorsement from me. I am not about to endorse any company that offers unlimited resources like

Stepan had no problem finding the contact form for my site,  where I make it clear I will post emails in the interest of full disclosure. Yet I am not sure Stepan understood the nature of this site. is not on the main page of this site but I did do a post on in July 2011. Part of my interest in them is like many hosts that appear on this site, is  and other large commission sites are often found on so-called top 10 sites.

After all appears on’s top 10.

My other interest in is the founder was also part of a company called

In short, the point of my post was I thought there was something common between all of the sites that did reviews for Which there was and that was they were all done in the same city, and all were filmed by the same crew. Remarkable Lisa Grice of contacted me the next day after I did my review.

“I’m the Customer Service Director for IX Web Hosting (yup, in Columbus, OH). I am commenting here because while your post is factual – I’m confused at how we’re ‘busted’”

Despite my critic testimonial page has not much since I last reviewed. The page does not disclose the back story behind what I found.

IX Web Hosting is trusted by over 500,000 websites and their owners all over the world.

Not being the best person at marketing I think I could do a better job of disclosing the scenario by adding just this sentence. ”Here is what the people of Columbus Ohio think about us.”

So who is still with since I looked at the videos back in 2011? – Left at least March 2012 – Still there – Still there – Still there – Still there – Still there – Still there Left around April 2012 – Still there and still at risk of having their domain taken away because of crap info entered in the whois,

All things considered, kept a fair amount of the sites that did reviews.

Lisa stop responding when I asked why had not joined the many hosts such as and Endurance International Group hosts in asking their affiliates to follow FTC guidelines. I had two customers who left comments on my blog who looked like they could have used some assistance as well from One of those customers who seemed in need of industry-leading VPS service.

The question part of the blog

1. Was this site targeted by because it used the terms hosting + reviews?

I have had a lot of hosts ask me to do a review, most failed to see that “exposed” part in my domain hosting-reviews-“exposed”.com. What most don’t realize is that this site was created because a review site ( choose to unfairly delete my companies positive feedback. This event made it a core mission of this site to expose the real relationship between hosting review sites and hosting companies.

2. Why is there no FTC compliance in the affiliate agreement?

Many of the big names(, fatcow,,……..) in U.S. hosting have required their affiliates to follow FTC compliance guidelines in regards to sites that make a commission based on a review or perception of a review. So why has left that out of their agreement? Below is a copy of’s affiliate agreement.

3. Has been contacted by as well?

I just ask because there are a few hosts that have contacted this so-called review site around the same time they ask me for a review. As far as I can tell they have not done a review on They use this whole so-called “*hostname* sucks” to get people to sign up, and I was wondering if I will be writing a third post to explain how is wrong.  One host, in particular, started up last year, and failed to mention this was a new company. But they made it sound like a good company because there was no negative feedback in search engines (look up on this site).  I know a lot of hosts don’t like their methodology. Would “ Sucks? Is this Hosting any Good?” sound like a good solution for selling services for

4. I would love to hear the backstory of why removed their endorsement of Why did they lose/quit their affiliate account with

Unlike most review sites barely tries when it comes to writing a review about a host. The review they have up on is weak at best and I am supposed to take his word like every site (which has an affiliate program with a nice payout) that I was supposed to choose or another site.  I have seen content spinners put more effort into promoting a post.  But I was in contact with one host that removed their affiliate program due to cookie stuffing.

So it really is not hard to imagine that removed’s affiliate program for the same/similar reasons and is just covering up.

I don’t have a problem with finding new affiliates

My concern is who might be targeting, it’s one thing to ask internet related sites to do a review on or place ads. It’s another to ask sites that are into reviews for pure profit like,,,,, and a list that is way too long. All of these sites want their viewers to think they are independent sources to trust when someone is looking for their hosting needs.  Sites that want their viewers to pick hosts like to get up to $300 commissions / $10k on a regular basis. seems to appear on a lot of so-called review sites.

An open letter to

Hello, Corey of,

I am not sure you understand the nature of blogs.  Generally, any blog that is ran with any common sense moderates the comments.  Only 2% of the comments I get are approved, as the other 98% of the comments, this blog gets are spam. Rest assured I will not stop you from posting your comments on this or any related post.  I have approved all of your comments, regardless if they are duplicates as I do not delete or modify a contact for a host’s comments.

However, I have pre-approved you for future comments.  Since I got your attention with the last 2 posts on, I am doing this third one with questions.  I have emailed you the questions; here I will explain the questions in detail.

18 questions about

The Basics of

I have friends that think I should ask some of the basics which would be questions 1 – 4

1. When did you purchase the domain
2. When did you actually start up
3. How many servers does have?
4. What is the collective experience in the hosting industry of the owners?

Not much to explain here, other than question 4.  As an example, I will give out a short history of my experience.

I started out as a web designer with work in databases over 3 years.  I meet another designer who also had a lot of experience in sales who with a programmer decided to start up a hosting company.  The first try ultimately failed as the programmer got paranoid and greedy and locked us out.  The second time was the charm which would give me 11 years working experience where I and other partners formed 4 companies.  Two years ago I would sell all my shares and get out of the hosting industry, in hopes going for what I wanted to do, as well as time to breath.

The partnership:

partnership is an arrangement where parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.

It’s pretty clear what’s interests are, what are’s interests? I happen to be monitoring cookies when going from’s Trusted Partner page to  Which interestingly enough I get a cookie once I reach called AffiliateId.

5. Why did choose over hosting companies that have an established history like

As a Flippa Trusted Partner, we offer web hosting and free site transfer to Flippa customers who have less complex websites, like a simple WordPress site. We do offer dedicated hosting as well (, but most Flippa customers who choose us do not need this level of service.

I don’t see any explanation as to why chooses you to be a partner.  No offense but I would not have chosen to partner with your company.  Your company has been running for around a year, a year does not give the definition of established. On top of that, the feedback from your customers is less than stellar.

6. Are you willing to sign an affidavit that Flippa does not receive any kind of compensation? Be it monetary or some other action that benefits them directly.

Anyone that sells on understands that Flippa will create any gimmick that makes them money.  Something I plan to explore in my next post.  One example is a $50 fee that will put the sale on the first page, my experience is that this only lasts for an hour.  No surprise but just a quick glance at the other trusted partners I can see on a lot of the sites they offer an affiliate program.  I don’t even have to look at odesk as that is an ad I purposely put on my site. package questions

7. Does have only one “unlimited”/shared hosting plan?
8. If your hosting company only has one “unlimited” hosting plan, why is the $6.95 a month (2 years) not “The Best Value”?

From the chat I had last week, it seems the only variety you offer is Month to Month, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years.  The package page gives the illusion that there is more than one package.  Not to mention wouldn’t a 2 – 4 years term be better than a 1 year?

9. Per your company’s terms of service, free accounts do not get the same features as paid plans, so what are the differences?

I am well aware that you changed your terms of service after I did my post. You have completely removed the section on free accounts not having the same features as a paid account.  I don’t have a problem with that, but the differences have to be noted, especially on a plan that offers a free year.  Honestly, I did a 3-month free hosting plan, and it was enough to make me want to tear my hair out.  Compared to the affiliate programs people were 80% likely to keep their accounts over a year.  Whereas 95% of the three free month accounts were closed by the end of the free period.

10. Why do you not offer dedicated to them, as well as have this “unlimited” service available through your site?

Regardless of your assumptions about what most Flippa customer’s needs, why do you not have the dedicated offer on the offers page for Flippa, or for that matter on your site?

Take it from someone that was in the business of selling dedicated servers, you can’t sell them unless they are out there for people to get to.  You point me to a link that I can’t seem to find a way navigate from the main page of to. reviews and awards

11. Can you explain why most of the complaints out there complain about too much money being charged to an account?

A lot of the complaints I looked at are complaints in regards to charges and in some cases multiple charges.

Here is one site that serves as an example:

Now I think the explanation for unexpected charges could be sites like offering $1 a month, but the order form that their site takes you to gives no such offer.  On the other hand, I really cannot guess as to why people are complaining about multiple charges.

12. Where did get the award for 2012 web hosting top 10?
13. Where did get the award for Most Reliable Web Host 2012?
14. Where did get the User’s Choice Web hosting Award?
15. Where did get the Rated #1 Web Host award?
16. Where did get the awards showcased on

You should check out the review site What I find interesting is sites that try to tell you that you should host with a host like But like many of the review sites that I look at, they don’t host with who they promote.  Guess where is hosted?

I can’t tell you how bad it looks when a review site that is dedicated to your is hosted with Godaddy.  If they don’t host with why should I?

The problem with a lot of the awards for is I have no idea where you got them from.  There are 4 on your site, and then their 5 more on

17. What are the websites for the people that wrote you testimonials (i.e. John, Michael, and Anna).

The only place I can find any positive feedback for is on’s main page. The one thing that could add some viability to those reviews is putting some websites that are hosted on your service behind them.

The Technologies Connection

18. What is you or your collogues relation to the company NSA Technologies?

During my review of feedback about, I find several comments that mention NSA Technologies. I am not going to go into the details; I will leave that up to you.

As I have stated through multiple posts, I have no problem with you being new in the industry. New hosts can be more inclined to work towards keeping a customer. The things that concern me about are that you offer an unlimited package, which there is no such thing.  Then there is the $175 payout that ultimately cuts into what could actually pay for service. I truly believe it’s easier to keep customers then it is to bring new ones in.

I look forward to a response to this Brainhost post. – Fun and Games by Email found its way to my blog because they choose to spam my personal email account back in November 2010. Not because spammed once, but several times through 2010. I was in the middle of writers block when another email came in from was the encouragement for starting posts on companies that spam.

I was emailed by someone claiming to be Antony John with telling me I should have used the unsubscribe link. They asked me to remove my posts about, and to give my email account, so they could remove me from their list. I made it clear that I would not give my email account as I never gave it to them to begin with. Hence why I labeled manashosting a spammer.

After which the email spam stopped from

By October 2011 it seemed decided to do something that they had done on many other sites to my site and that was to post fake positive feedback. They tried to use a post on a post to get people to go to Frankly I thought It was distasteful to use a negative post I made on a host to try and advertise For which I made another post about choose the wrong person to spam

I have a lot of reasons to hate spam. Being a former hosting provider being the ultimate reason for hating spam. I can’t even begin to speculate the countless hours of money and man hours lost in dealing with spam. The more domains that were put on our servers, the more spam that the servers were forced to endure. On top things like spam assassin ran making it to where we had to put less clients on a server. Then there is all the legitimate email that I lost because of measures to avoid spam.  Some cases this would cost me clients. Then there was the occasional asshole that thought they could use our servers to spam. Sometimes my servers were held hostage by the likes of spamcop to pay what very well may be deemed as black mail to white lists IPs. Don’t get me started on Comcast whose own spam policies costs me hours of man hours to fix. They had adapted a stupid practice of using abandoned email accounts to catch supposed spammers. That is only a small taste of why I cannot stand spammers and I could write novels of what can only amount to a burning rage. But this is about one company that will use illegitimate means to get customers,

An email exchange with

I had to meant to post the email exchange between me and Manashosting back in December 2011. But as I stated super busy with issues such as the loss of a family member, work, and well the holidays.

This email came in again from someone claiming to be Anthony John on December 7, 2001.  The Subject was “ACTION REQUIRED
Am writing on behalf of, on your website there have been several occasion of abuse of service by posting unreliable and false statement about our company which is hampering our business to a greater extent and also its affecting our branding. We from the company have brought this to your notice several times and no action has been taken yet with this regards. Now that there has been a new rule implemented by the Indian government to protect company’s interests and individual interests we request you to remove these folly reviews from your site at the earliest. The rule that is governing is called as Information Technology Act (ITA). If you are unable to remove the folly reviews we recommend that you remove our company from your website completely. All the keywords that are added with our name Manashosting and or Manashosting needs to be removed from your website.

Thanks and regards,

Antony John
Branding Manager
Bangalore, India

I only received one email from, from this guy claiming to be Anthony John. This time around I have no idea why he has my email, as I never sent a reply back to him through the Gmail account. I simply posted his email to the first post, and allowed the blog to email him with a email from the system.

Here is my response to


Your company spammed me, hence why I did an article on your company.  Had you not spammed me you would not have found yourself on my site.

As for I where I lied, point out where and I will see if there is an actually correction needed. Otherwise instead of issuing threats you do not understand, I would suggest in your next email you ask me how you can work to resolve this and change your company to a viable option. By that I do not mean a bribe, but following business practices I lay out.  If you do not want to see any more articles stop spamming me and every one else.

I have done reviews on far bigger companies then you, and they are willing to work with me.

Also Anthony, don’t lie your company only contacted me once, as I published your companies last email.


Benjamin’s response:

Hi Benjamin,

Its nice of you to respond with your grievances and we do apologies if we had spammed you earlier, but what we would like to tell you is that due to this review on your site we are losing business to an extent, and more over we had never approached you on this, now since there is a law that is in place in our country where we can approach the site owners and let them know about the hindrance caused to us and we would like to settle the matter in a more amicable manner rather than seeking the justice through law Information technology act (ITA)

We do also understand that there might have been a mistake from our side by spamming you. At the same time we would like you also to consider the amount of work that is done from our side to bring our company’s branding and there by would like you to take us of your website.

I hope that you would surely consider this request.


Antony John
Manager Branding

I did try to dig into their laws, but frankly I doubt even understands the link they sent me. It’s a pdf file so not exactly easy to search for the exact law they are trying to point to. I could care less about there lose if Manahosting is going to fake their reviews and spam. But in short I get the last word with


You spammed a U.S. citizen.  I am not a citizen of your country.  Therefore your law does not apply to me. Spamming is illegal in my country. Which means any severs that you have in my country must comply with U.S. law, not India law.  Never mind my first amendment rights.

But if you want to go after people that have negative things to say about your site, how about

I also know your spam commenting like you did on my blog my biggest case in point is:

If you care to debate it I can make it a point to have that company review the positives.  You have a trend of creating positives (and you’re not good at faking it) every time there are negative comments.

Trying to point me to a law that does not affect me, is not going to help you.  Point to me where you thought there was an actual lie.  I suggest you read each of my posts on your site word for word.  But I know I am not the first to complain about your spam.

Also there is no question about if you spammed me, you did spam me.  I never gave your company  my email nor would I ever give your company my email address.  Which makes the emails your company sent to my private yahoo account spam.  There is no might of about it.  I will not accept a half assed apology.  Simply put I should never have received any of your companies emails.

As for never approaching me on this your full of crap.  I have your previous email from “11/14/10”.

[email protected]


It looks like we have sent emails to your personal mail id. This could
have been amicably settled because we also give links for DND which we
update on a regular basis. We request you to mail your email id so
that in near future you would not receive any emails from us. And we
also request you to take the content off your site.

I hope that you would surely do the same.

Antony John

Sent from (ip address): (

Then there is your email from earlierWe from the company have brought this to your notice several times and no action has been taken yet with this regards.

So yes you have approached me on this.

I have dealt with another host from your country on the same issues., of course they did not try to pull some law on me, they tried to bribe me.  Which did not work out so well from them either.

Read the blog and actually correct everything I pointed out.  Doing so means I will work with you and update the posts.  The posts will not be removed.

Either way you spam my email, blogs, YouTube account or whatever else I will write up another post.  So before you spam anyone, think twice as I have over 30 email accounts with various sites, 26 blogs, and 5 YouTube accounts.

Once again there was no might have been about the spam.



P.S. Spam pisses me off to no end can choose to respond to this post, or learn from their mistakes to avoid having to suffer further consequences.

I hope I do not have to give Manashosting any more lessons in ethics.

Goodbye – Perhaps we will meet again!

First off let me be clear, was not directly responsible for the downtime on

Before this, all began I had already entertained in October 2011 the idea of migrating, after all, traffic was up and the site was performing slower.  Not to mention a month earlier another site that shares this account had its database moved by Per usual the tech at MediaTemple did not bother to check their work.  The site was offline for at least 8 hours. This is something that can easily sour me on a company. They simply do something and do not bother to see if what they did fix a site or made it worse.

By mid-December 2011 it became clear that there were some serious problems with Pingdom shows that I had 132 outages. Per my last post, I had not had a lot of time to dedicate to this site and the sites that shared the account at MediaTemple as they were not in any shape or form income makers.  Between a death in the family and a rather serious customer trying to regain a nice sized 5 figure a month income. But December 22st would change that. As I would have a 5-hour outage and unlike the other outages this time the server would not recover within a few minutes.

The problem ultimately was with a plug-in that did the fancy color bars that told you what posts were popular that week (personally glad to see it go as I thought it was tacky).  After removing that plugin, the site ran perfectly.’s response was to disable every part of my site leaving only bare-bones WordPress.  On top of that, they disable the theme for my site. Though clearly, they realized that was a mistake because 5 minutes after doing so they re-enabled the theme before I could. Keep in mind it was Rackspace that pointed to the exact issue.

MediaTemple wanted to shoot first ask questions later

I am not a telephone person.  I hate my cell phone. You can thank this bank called Bank of America (who stores their money in the Caribbean), they cured me long ago of ever wanting to talk to someone on the phone for customer service. Maybe someday I will go into my gripe with them. About the only thing that will get me on the phone to talk to someone is a site being down.  I made it to a point to put a ticket in first with MediaTemple.  But it was pretty clear I should call them after all Mediatemple has this 20 hour response time up when I post a ticket.  In the cyber universe, an hour is an eternity too long. I grudgingly listen to reggae music while on hold.  Not that I hate reggae music, I truly love it. It just should not sound like it’s going through a broken speaker that puts out a lot of static.  Anytime I was placed on hold I had to bear with this, which is why I requested not to be placed on hold. The first time I was on hold I had to endure 12 minutes of this.  My mood was pretty sour after listening to this tortured music, not like I could have hit mute.  I mean from a business standpoint it would have made sense For MediaTemple to go with something neutral like elevator music unless of course, it has the same static effect that wore my nerves thin.

Keep in mind I am not a programming person, I am a graphics person. I delegate the non-design part to other people.  Perhaps that’s something I should have explained to the person on the other end at MediaTemple. Since my usual webmaster (whose name is on the account with MediaTemple) was busy with the holidays, I figure why not hand this off to Mediatemple. I asked how much it would cost for them to remedy this. I mean seriously, I offered more money to make the problem go away. Next thing the guy on the other end went into a ramble on stuff I could hardly understand.  The part I did understand was the word theory; after all, I am someone that wanted to be in a field of science (biology). The way he used the word theory is that he speculated on what the problem was and that they did not have concrete proof of what the problem was.  It was at this point I had to ask if this meant he had any idea of what was wrong. because it seemed like he didn’t.  He told me that he did know exactly what was going on.  Hence no need for the word theory. But clearly, his conclusions were that it had something to do with my plugins as he disabled all of them and even the theme for my site. After another ramble, I thanked him for bringing the site back up and told him I will have it migrated off to another provider. This is where I notice that he disabled my theme trying for Redemption

Shortly after hanging up I had contacted Rackspace because I wanted to look for another solution. The MediaTemple tech I was on the phone with updated the ticket and wanted to arrange for me to speak with a supervisor to try and retain my account.  They were supposed to call me around noon. At the same time, he had re-enabled the theme to

While in contact with Rackspace and telling them about my problem with MediaTemple while trying to re-enabling plugins slowly to see which ones were slowing the site down.  It was Rackspace that pointed to top posts plugin.  Enabling every other plugin but this one, I could see a drastic improvement in service.

Two hours before noon, the MediaTemple supervisor decided to change the time to 3 pm.  Since I had missed the update too late and had a client to deal with I missed it, honestly I saw no point in updating the ticket.  By 5:15 pm he updated the ticket.

Before I go any further, this is a point where he could have changed my mind, he could have pointed to what was the exact problem. But what I got was a very long list of suspects and:

Please let me know a good time and number to reach you at, I’m available Tuesday – Friday 10am-9PM.”

This was December 23, 2011, Thursday so a total of 3 days where any host has a chance to win me over. Heck, even Virtually and Dialtone had someone to talk to on the 24th and 26th of December.  Keep in mind they were lousy companies that were eventually bought up.  Sure he can celebrate the holidays, and yes I do celebrate Christmas, but it has not been a full day off for me since I became self-employed 13 years ago.

The worst of it was the supervisor while not calling on time, had decided that he would list every single plugin that I ran in conjunction with WordPress and how many in quantity that I had on the other sites that shared the server. I can’t say that impressed me. It pretty much pointed the finger at every single one as if they were the problem. This had me believing knew less about what was going on than they had led me to believe. They could not point to any particular plugin that was the cause of the problem.  Never mind this is after I disabled the plugin that Rackspace had pointed me to for almost 24 hours, and I had updated the ticket with that information.

After that and up to the time I migrated the site had run better then it had in months. In fact, if it had run this well before I would not have been inclined to migrate off MediaTemple.

I was not beyond being talked out of migrating to another provider. Between the loss of a family member, a new client with a ton of work, the holidays, the cost and time of having someone migrate this site and other sites, and on top of that going from $40 a month to $150 a month I would have loved a reason to not migrate.

But they were unable to do what RackSpace did in a few minutes, and that is point me to a problem.  Another problem that I have not really got into is’s in-house control panel.  If it worked that list of plugins would have been shorter. I should have told him that part of the reason that there were so many had to do with the fact that their control panel did not delete sites that I tried to get it to delete. While the control panel says we have 15 sites, you can log in through FTP and see that there are 20. Keep in mind I said I am not a technical person, but I do know how to use FTP, meaning there is a serious issue when I can see this problem. Yeah, I guess I suppose I could have contacted them in the past to fix this.  But I am not here to debug their stuff for them. That is the job of whoever develops the MediaTemple control panel. Another annoying aspect of their control panel is adding a domain to the control panel.  It is not instant like most control panels, it can take up to 15 minutes for their control panel to add a domain (the process relies on a cron).  I figured after a year and a half that would have this fine tuned.

Is WordPress Friendly?

When you search for “Mediatemple WordPress” you find they have landing pages just for WordPress. But it has been my experience a lot of plugins do not work with their service.  One in particular vital to someone that does not know how to back up their site, case in point is BackUpBuddy. There are some others that I am not mentioning purely because some tricks of the trade are up to the software providers to get out there, and the less that know about them the better off I am. But I found myself constantly having to re-enter my serial numbers in.  At first, I had thought it was the plugin developers favoring cPanel.  After all a very popular control panel, you go where the masses are.  But after relocating for the first time WordPress sites on RackSpace I am more inclined to think it was  BackUpBuddy is working perfectly.  Also, those licensed plugins are not asking me to re-enter my license information. MediaTemple is not as WordPress friendly as they could be.

Final thoughts on is capable of great things. I would like to think they are a step above companies like and  But there are things like this that keep me from wanting to list them in the big boys club. They have done what I wanted to do which was to create a control panel. There is defiantly room for a competitor to cPanel.  But it has been an unfinished product in the 1.5 years of my using it.

Then there are things like this:

Is this the point where I tell you that you should avoid at all costs? Their control panel while being homegrown, is an unfinished product. At times they seemed understaffed. Don’t even mention outsourced support to them (regardless if it can be done successfully).

Despite these failings MediaTemple is not a company that I will ultimately lump with the likes of Virtualis, DialTone, OChosting, FastServers/Layeredtech), and Burst.Net. They may very well be in the same position as Server Beach. Which honestly after my first dealings with them I would have told you to avoid Server Beach. But before I left the hosting industry I was approached by a company that had bought them out. Frankly, the salesperson they had to contact me had changed my mind, though I had left by the time my previous company started using them. It was because they did what those companies I listed as failures would not do, and that is to seek redemption. MediaTemple did at least try to do some damage control, something I can not say about those I list as failures.

Regardless of how this ended, I can’t say that I would not consider MediaTemple in the future.