Digitalfaq.com – Hypocrite – whinny disclaimer / excuses Part 3

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

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

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

Digitalfaq.com March 19, 2013 Host recommendations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digitalfaq.com’s Top Hosts 2013

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

Digitalfaq.com’s Best Web Hosts / Overall Hosts

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

Removed from the list is:

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

No explanation to the retraction by Digitalfaq.com.

Digitalfaq.com’s Best Unlimited Hosts

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

Digitalfaq.com’s Best Reseller hosts

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

Digitalfaq.com’s Best VPS Hosts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digitalfaq.com – Hypocrite – Claims of what makes a great host Part 2

Digitalfaq.com’s Top hosts of 2013 post claims to have the magic formula to spot a bad host. Never mind they have their own recommendations on who to host with.  But do the hosts Digitalfaq.com recommends stack up against their advice? Not to mention is the advice valid.

There is a site that has their own advice; it’s a review site that does not always focus on who gives the highest payout. Instead this is one of the few “blog” review sites out there that Digitalfaq.com claims the FTC is after.

I find those sites vulgar and unethical. Affiliate-driven lists are a cancer on the Internet, and to communication in general. In fact, that’s why the FTC has been more involved in blogging since 2009, to combat this nuisance.

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

An inaccurate statement, designed to draw your attention away from digitalfaq.com’s lack of data on the hosts they recommend. But this post is not the only one I have found that does not deal in facts. I’ll cover that in my last post about digitalfaq.com.

Digitalfaq.com’s attempt at distraction, or what they claim makes a great host.

Most review sites I have encountered are not blogs.  But hostingsthatsucks.com is one of the few exceptions. Sure they have their own top list of hosts. Yes all of the top hosts featured on the list are high payouts. But their approach is not to just focus on the high payouts, but any payout even if it’s a few bucks. The company focuses on being on the top of search engines for a specific kind of search. This is where the blog comes into play, with a theme of “(Hostname) sucks)”.  But seldom do the hosts that show up there actually suck (though that seems to change based on affiliate commissions or their free hosting is shut off). They used to be pretty good at being in the top of that particular search engine result but lately their traffic has been taking a dive. Zyma.com got one of their “reviews”, which was also without fact. Not to mention their site failed to mention that this site was brand new. My counter posts earned me the title of Benjamin the Grumpy blogger because I had addressed why a brand spanking new company had no negative reviews.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/unlimited-hosting/zyma.html

Sure I was accused of not liking new hosts, but I am more hurt by the fact that this site was not referenced (ok not really). The fact that Zyma.com had no negative reviews  (or any reviews) worked perfectly into Hostingsthatsucks.com’s formula. Which is to be on the first page, and better yet first result for when every you searched for “(hostname) sucks”, and than claim that the company has few negative reviews, or few valid negative reviews therefore the hosting company which they happen to be an affiliate for does not suck. Going through the searches myself I often found more than the claimed “few” results. It does not take a lot for them to make a page and spin the concept of less “sucks” results for a host = “good”, “so no need to look further click now, oh and we have coupons”. Hostingsthatsuck.com didn’t follow FTC compliance until I brought it up with Endurance International Group. But they are a blog, yet they don’t always go for the highest payout. But I will get into that with my last post.

Just like Hostingsthatsuck.com, they want you to see a lengthy post and than buy from one of the hosts on the list. But do any of these points have merit and/or do all the hosts live up to these standards?

Digitalfaq.com’s Points: Professional skills./ Wisdom only by age

The first two seem to be a knock against the young. Despite all of my years doing business online I have yet to come to a point where I suspected the person on the other side was a child. Though this may be an interesting point should Hostgator.com manages to find itself on the list. I have to ask is there anyone that knows the exact age of the person they are communicating with? There are times I don’t even know the gender on the other end.   Decades of good living have people checking my id and doing a double take whenever I buy over the counter allergy drugs. I hope that they are not just flattering me and that I do look more than a decade younger than I am.  Talking to your host generally involves dealing with them by phone, ticket, chat system, email, possible a forum, and maybe if you really like them their social media. You generally do not get to see how old the person is on the other side. While age is not apparent in communications, professionalism and skill are.

I got started in webhosting at a young age, and my current age is one of those facts I don’t care to share as its bad enough by this point I am reminded of my own mortality. My start came about from someone who had found my design work online he had helped me to get more clients and eventually to start 4 hosting companies. He was about 30. However it would be our other business associates that would be the road blocks to success.

If you read my blog earlier you will know about two of my business partners. The first of which was a man (age 52) who had 5 years of technical experience, 20 years’ experience of running his own company. We will call him Bob.  However at the greatest hour Bob freaked out. In a mere week we had over 5000 clients.  My first business partner and I were ecstatic, especially after months of work and spending our own finances it appeared we were near reaping the fruit of our labors. Not to mention this was miles beyond our expectations. For which everyone but Bob was working on how to adapt. Instead of remaining calm and hiring more people and buying more servers, Bob decided to lock us out. It was sheer lunacy. Talks of hiring more people and buying more equipment despite growing profits had alarmed him.  He had never had an influx of customers on this scale before. The first Business partner held control of the domain. Two weeks after the site launched, it died.  To this day my first business partner owns the domain, it’s a sad reminder of what might have been.

My first business partner and I went on to form 4 more hosting companies after that, to this day they are still around. Years later after launched a successful company he sent me an email wondering if we had a place for him. I blocked his email.

Due to a non-disclosure agreement I can’t discuss names. But I am not restrained from telling about our second business partner/CTO and how he almost killed our second attempt at a hosting company. We will call him Bruce. Bruce was 48, (64 now) more than double my age. He had 4 years of experience of running his own private hosting company and despite his failures continues to run it to this day. He also had 7 years of hosting tech experience. On top of that he had 7 years of software development experience. Despite all those years of experience, Bruce did not have the wisdom for success. Our CEO and I (CFO) had no idea how bad he was, because he appeared to be doing his part until a month after the launch. Between poor choices of script installment, bullheaded behavior towards hiring more techs despite a huge influx of customers, and apathy when it came to any form of a business meeting it was clear he was not someone you wanted in your company. Not to mention if he had been left unchecked he would have been cramming customers like sardines.

The nail in the partnership was when Bruce claimed to be taking time off for a funeral. Funny thing is his mom sent pictures of him para-sailing to the CEO’s mother

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 Digitalfaq.com has alienated a demographic.

Digitalfaq.com’s Point: Ownership and investment

In short the claim is ownership equals a reason to stick around. This may be true for many hosts, however there is no true data available to make a rational grounds for holding against a host not owning their own data center or servers. After all hostgator.com uses softlayer.com (formerly theplanet.com). I have no idea if they lease or own the servers. Note: hostgator.com (a host that offers unlimited hosting) is a sponsor of Digitalfaq.com.

But while we are the subject of companies like hostgator.com that use softlayer.com’s data centers; the following hosts that appear on digitalfaq.com’s top hosting list are also with Softlayer.com.

  • Asmallorange.com
  • Hawkhost.com
  • Site5.com (theplanet network info)
  • Froghost.com
  • Futurehosting.com

Furthermore the following hosts that do not appear to have their own data centers:

  • Downtownhost.com – Delaware U.S. owner, server in Argentina
  • Ninjalion.com – (belongs to downtownhost.com based off whois info) Delaware U.S. Owner, server in Buenos Aires
  • Stream101.com – private network info
  • Knownhost.com – private network info
  • Hostv.com – Osogrande.com servers

I can’t say with 100% certainty that they don’t own their own data centers. Nor would I know if they are not if they own their own servers.

Needless to say there is one unifying factor that all hosts find a reason to stick around rather they own their servers and data centers, and that is reoccurring income.

On a side note, Hostgator.com is a sponsor of Digitalfaq.com.

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Digitalfaq.com’s Point: Earned reputation

This is where I call bull shit, and yes I used a colorful metaphor. Reviews even with great detail may not tell the whole story. Just as all so called review sites may not be in it for large payouts.

One thing that I personally kills a review no matter how detailed as I have previously mentioned sif a domain is missing from the hosting review it is worthless. I see no data with this list of stereotypes that indicates any sites that are hosted with these “approved hosts” Domains give you a chance to look at the whois to see how old the site is and if they actually are hosted with whom they claim to be hosted with to see how long they have been hosted with the company they claim to be with. Not to mention actually looking at the site gives you some back ground into what kind of customer they may be. A just bought domain name, with a single page website can also make a review worthless. Another part to the domain is if the Whois info tells you that the hosting company owns the domain in the review (something I have caught some hosts doing).

Just as positive reviews are not an end all indicator of service; the same can be said of negative reviews. Happy customers are far less likely to write a review than an unhappy customer when it comes to hosting. A webhost is not going to get the same fandom like say Star Wars. Not to mention who is to say if detailed reviews are not being written by a host, and detailed negative reviews by competitors or customers that no one can please. Over the last few years I have found fivver.com, where surprisingly you can pay people to buy a cheap kindle book and give it 1 or more positive reviews. At the same time there are those that offer to buy your competitors book and write negative reviews.  For that matter the amount of likes on Facebook, followers on twitter, or other social media that can be bought as well.  I have seen 12,000 likes on Facebook for as little as $5. There are companies out there that specialize in nothing more than providing a false start, many calling themselves Reputation experts/SEO experts.

Speaking of companies that deal in providing reputation some of the companies on Digitalfaq.com’s recommendation list I have caught dealing with one of the worst hosting review sites out there, webhostingstuff.com:

These hosts paid not in affiliate commissions, but bid against one another for positions in a top 25 host list on webhostingstuff.com

Digitalfaq.com has no links to any solid reviews.

Digitalfaq.com’s Point: Successful longevity

As a general rule most businesses are likely to fail in the first 5 years, however that does not mean that a company will stand the test of time after 5 years. In my time hosting has greatly evolved. Social Media, Unlimited, Cloud and VPS hosting was not even a concept when I first started. FrontPage used to be something we highlighted to bring customers in.  Making your site compatible for a phone would have been a laughable concept. But here we are.

What Digitalfaq.com seems to neglect here is that a new company may be eager to bring in new customers. They have more at stake than an established company with a steady source of renewals. So ruling a company out because they are less than 5 years old does not make a lot of sense. At the same time reoccurring income is a great motivator for any company to keep going, and eventually get their own data center and servers. I for one was guilty of loving the reoccurring customers more than new customers.  Remarkable there are hosts out there that manage to scrape by on 10 year old concepts and terrible service. Like Burst.net.

Digitalfaq.com has another area they failed to disclose, and that is not every host on their list is 5 years +. One method I have to find out how old a site is by reviewing whois info. My preferred site is: http://centralops.net/co/DomainDossier.aspx

I have found many companies in the past that will try to claim they are a certain age. Like a company called mindshark.ca. They claimed that they started in November 2006, despite their domain being registered in 2010.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/re-review/mindshark-ca-%E2%80%93-in-re-review-part-2-proof-is-in-the-details.html

Based off the whois info I can often find out how old a company might be. There have been a few sites like iweb.com that has removed the start dates from their sites because I have pointed out their creation date was after their “start date”.

The following sites based off whois info did not exist 5 years ago.

  • Ninjalion.com – created August 26, 2010
  • Crocweb.com – created August 9, 2009

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However domain creation dates do not always equal start date. I have 2000 + domains that clearly did not start when I got them, at best they have ppc page.  Sites may start weeks, months, even years after the domain’s creation. Which is where another site called archive.org comes in handy. It gives you snap shots of how a site looked in the past all the way back to 1996. Using this site I found a few interesting points about the following sites.

  • Froghost.comDomain creation January 6, 2004. Froghost.com’s Facebook page says they were founded in 2009, they joined Facebook January 2011, first post was March 12, 2011. Their first tweet was on March 11, 2011. However archive,org shows a standard domain registration page launch page till February 18, 2010.
  • Crocweb.com, while created in August 9, 2009, does not appear to have an actually hosting page till August 22, 2010.
  • Futurehosting.com – Domain creation July 10, 2001, shows a coming soon page till December 8, 2008.

Froghost.com and Futurehosting.com could be classified as aged domains. Domains that are sometimes purchased for the sake of selling later. But are prized for having long creation date behind them. I have about 2000 domains that I have bought over the last 15 years. All of which I had planned to start something with. About 20 of them are hosting domains, all of which are 10 years or older.  Currently I am cleaning house and I put sites up for sale to bring in new design customers. You would be surprised that one of the biggest selling factors is the age of a domain. Aged domains are the reason why archive.org is a very important tool when reviewing a host or any site claiming to have years of experiences, regardless if someone recommends it or not.

Digitalfaq.com’s Point: – Knowing the limits

When I first looked at this section digitalfaq.com was clearly anti-unlimited hosting. But now clearly they are not immune to the huge payout to companies like site5, Arivixe, Inmotion, and Siteground.com who I have found buying top spots with webhostuff.com (or what webhostingstuff.com likes to call ppc advertising), Details about the payouts for these companies and their affiliate programs in the next post.

Unlimited resource accounts are not for the serious site owner.

Digitalfaq.com’s Point: Transparency

If you think this is the point where you don’t have to read the TOS because Digitalfaq.com read it for you, think again. I cannot stress enough that you should read the terms of service with any company.  What is really missing here is what to look for in the terms of service.

Since I don’t have a lot of time I am going to deal with one company I know that operates like many hosts that Digitalfaq.com considers the worst offenders. Which brings me to Siteground.com. What was it Digitalfaq.com said?

good host has easy-to-understand policies, rules and agreements.

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.

For starters Siteground.com has 12 web pages in regards to terms of use. That alone makes it harder to understand the company’s policy as the SiteGround Terms of Service web page is lengthy on it’s own (and opens up in a pop up window). This web page is 21 pages long, 15,185 words. The word refund appears 35 times over 11 different sections.

In addition this is what they consider unlimited space for “Unlimited web Space applies to your use of web pages only (html, php, etc.). All other files are considered as premium storage for which our Fair Use policy shall apply.. The phrase “fair use” appears which translates to unspecified limits. :”Fair use” appears 20 times in 4 sections. Which translates to when you become no longer profitable they can give you the boot.

Digitalfaq.com’s Point: Upgrade paths

One of the big problems with hosts like many that appear in so called hosting review sites is they are very limited in their offerings. There is no way Endurance International Group (EIG) will allow you to host something on the scale of Google.com or Amazon.com with one of their unlimited plans. Never mind that’s the impression they want you to have as you look over their nutritional mock up on fatcow.com where it uses words like “oodle” and “free”. The sad truth is there are many out there that don’t even know that EIG has 40 + hosts, and leaving one in angst they may go to another expecting better service (never mind this EIG host may be cheaper than the last one). Considering how companies like EIG operate, you may have picked their most expensive host, but may very well be subjected to the same restraints/service as their cheapest hosting plan. The hidden limit at which they kick you off or put a bottleneck on your account is determined by profit. All hosting is about profit (well maybe except when it comes to charities). That is not to say making money is bad, but there is a problem when you don’t know how far you can expand. But if a host tells you they are not concerned about profit, I tell you don’t walk away, run.

With companies like Rackspace.com I know if I exceed my borders I get billed for it. Which to me seems better than wondering at what point I get the boot. I have design deadlines to worry about not rather my site will be up or not. No sorry that’s not a recommendation, as I myself have not prepared or kept enough data to make that recommendation. So no affiliate links, perhaps the stray Rackspace Google ad.

In short Digitalfaq.com’s recommendations fall short of what makes a great host

I don’t fault any one for recommending a host, and getting paid to do it.  On other sites that’s how I make money. Making money is not evil, nor the root of all evil. The method used to make money is a different story.  Digitalfaq.com uses sterotypes. Teenagers are bad, so they would not know how to operate a server and are dumb. In which case I ask, what hosting companies are employing teenagers, or better yet kids? Hosts that own their data center and servers ” For them, failing is not an option.”.  Yet that did not stop companies like Enron and Hostess.  Not to mention Blockbuster is just around the corner, seriously they are shutting down all over where I live, being replaced by competitor’s vending machines. Than your supposed to go by reputation, yet some of these companies have bought and paid for it, and some even build their own review sites like siteground.com.

In the end Digitafaq.com offers nothing but hearsay and stereotypes with hosts that fall at the standards that were set.  Digitalfaq.com has done nothing to prove the hosts that they recommend are worthy of your patronage, just provide a distraction and affiliate links.

Digitalfaq.com – Hypocrite doing what other Hosting review sites do Part 1

Digitalfaq.com finds its way here because of an email I got from someone that did not know better but thought Digitalfaq.com was a great resource. The person who emailed me thought I might want to reference digitalfaq.com as an unbiased source.  The page on Digitalfaq.com I am referred to claims to be against “affiliate splogs (spam blogs/sites)”.  Going further to claim “These splogger sites simply list the companies that pay the best commissions, and the top site is always the one with the highest payout.“. Now to add to the interest digtalfaq.com adds their own top lists. No surprise but I don’t see a company that does not offer an affiliate program. Which I notice while I am clicking on those hosts I am getting affiliate cookies.

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

Once again (because apparently a few hundred times may still not be enough), I am not against making money or affiliate programs. But I am against what Digitalfaq.com is attempting to do.

I have often been called a hypocrite because I have ads on this site. I am not sure how me having ads (which can often not be about webhosting), makes me the same as someone claiming hosts on a list are the best, giving out “awards”, or unverified reviews all for the sake of a payout. Also the payout when it comes to reviews sites is not always focused on high payments. Some companies like Alreadyhosting.com, hostingsthatsuck.com, and hosting-review.com have ways of profiting off the really low.  Hostingsthatsuck.com was promoting a host that pays out less than $5 per sign up (zyma.com).

I don’t endorse the ads on this site (i.e. making false claims about some company being too good to be true). Digitalfaq.com is engaging in the very hypocrisy that I have been often accused of. While I on the other hand don’t mind anyone being suspicious of me having personal agenda, so long as you realize that it’s very possible that the sites I am trying to warn you about may have their own agenda as well. If you’re not open to exploring the possibilities of what I am trying to disclose read no further

I honestly would not have a problem with Digitalfaq.com 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. Instead when I first reviewed it there was no disclaimer, now there is one that is at the very bottom of their long winded fact less “trust me just buy from these guys”. I suspect digitalfaq.com has been called out by others that saw “hostname here”/affiliate/(affiliate id) when their browser was redirecting to one of the digitalfaq.com’s recommended hosts.

Never mind how much Digitalfaq.com tout they have been with Eurovps.com, their domain whois information suggests Digitalfaq.com last change something back in November 14, 2012. Plus since Digitalfaq.com loves Eurovps.com so much why does Hostgator.com and other companies get a far bigger banner. Bigger banner means a better chance of the ad being clicked on. I suspect from the ads I have been seeing they are all affiliate programs.

Over the next couple of days I will be posting a dissection of what Digitalfaq.com is doing and how they are like most of the hosting review sites out there.

Manashosting.com Spams again!!!

Manashosting.com is not going to be happy with this latest post. Regardless of what anyone at Manashosting.com may have to say about this post, spam is not legal in this country. I don’t care if Manashosting.com put a disclaimer in their email stating I am not supposed to share it. That somehow an email address they were not supposed to have and marketed to I am supposed to respect confidentiality.

By spamming I mean that Manashosting.com was soliciting to an email address that did not opted into Manashosting.com’s mailing list. I seriously have no interest in hosting with any company similar to the nature of Manashosting.com. So I have no intention of giving them my email address. Nor will I give anyone from Manashosting.com the email address for my other personal account they decided to spam. Just to make it that much easier to delete my email address out. As I half suspect they may have deleted every Yahoo.com address. So I am not going to tell them the domain that email address is under. At best I will say that it is with Microsoft. So a few more domains for Manashosting.com to remove out of their list.

If Manashost.com does not want me to do posts on their company than perhaps they should avoid spamming. No requests for removal of this post from Manashosting.com will be honored. But as previously stated they should delete all email lists, and stick strictly to double opted in address.

A short history of my interactions with Manashosting.com

As I first stated I had no interest in this company, for that matter they spammed me a few times before I decided that this blog should take on spam. After all like fake review sites, spam is a form of unethical marketing.

First Manashosting.com spammed my Yahoo. Email account – November 11, 2010

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/scams-to-avoid/manashosting.html

Not long after that someone named Anthony John contacted me for Manashosting.com. Saying that I should have clicked on their unsubscribe link in their spam, as opposed to making blog post about them spamming me. Anthony of Manashosting.com also asked for the email address of the email they had spammed me by. Since they had spammed me I saw no reason to give them my personal email address.

Amazingly after this email, the spamming stopped from Manashosting.com.

Than a second look at Manashosting.com – November 19, 2010

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/scams-to-avoid/manashosting-com-a-second-look.html

Than they decided to spam comment on this very blog – October 16, 2011

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/spammer/manashosting-com.html

Manashosting.com demands I remove my posts on their company – January 15, 2012

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/spammer/manashosting-com-fun-and-games-by-email.html

In short Anthony of Manashosting.com decided to point me to the whole law book from India on Internet Law. Without pointing me directly to what exactly law states I cannot post proof of their wrong doing. Never mind that Manashosting.com’s spamming violates U.S. law.

So far it seems that Manashosting.com wants me to do an annual post on their site.

Manashosting.com finds another of my email accounts – January 17, 2013

Normally I don’t use my Microsoft email all that often, I have had it almost as long as my Yahoo address. The bulk of the use of this account was mostly for Windows Live Messenger. But from time to time I use it for other reasons. I mostly use it for companies I don’t pay a lot of attention to their emails. Like Commission Junction, and other companies that like to send a lot of email. One of the companies that I bought a script from had sent me an email with some coding I needed. I could not find it in the main folder so I decided to check the spam folder, where I found the email I was looking for and Manashosting.com’s spam. I tend to think that the company I was looking for email from was marked spam because of the coding they sent me. But I find it most interesting that Microsoft decided to mark this email as spam and that they would delete it within 10 days of being sent. Which means I have no idea how long Manashosting.com has been sending me spam. Because I don’t normally check the spam folder when I do log into my Microsoft email. Generally I only check it when Trillian has a pop up with an email subject I may be interested in. I don’t believe that Trillian will notify me of any email that is marked as spam.

manashosting spam

Manashosting.com’s latest spam

Create Unlimited Web Pages just for Re 1‏

From: Manasahosting.com (g4genuine@in.com)
Sent: Thu 1/17/13 12:37 PM


Warm Greetings dear customers,

Is your requirement related to Designing a website? Or do you have a requirement of SEO (search engine optimization) for your existing website? Or are you planning to have a high power Hosting Package? Whatever your need is we are here to help you to get the perfect solutions.

Website Designing:

Innovation and creativity is the name, and at Manashosting Designing we master the art of designing. It is absolutely essential for large and small businesses alike to have a web presence. That seems simple enough, but with countless new websites coming up every day, uniqueness can be primal.

Get high quality web sites designing from experts who have more than 30 years of experience in designing at world’s lowest cost.

Limited period offer 100 web pages designing just for Rs 10,000. You get world class high quality design for just Rs 100 per page.

Become a Hosting Company Alliance and make 99% profit over income. To know more click here

Dedicated server plans starting from Rs7000 per month

SEO (Search Engine Optimization):

SEO focuses on bringing your website to the top when someone searches for a product or service using a few keywords. All possible keywords related to your company need to be identified and made a part of the web content to enable ranking your company on top.

Results of a good SEO ranking results in:

  • Traffic
  • A good number of quality back links
  • Increase in Page Rank

Manual working on your SEO to give natural ranking to your web site:

Keyword Rank, Keyword working, Customize Keyword, High Complicated Keyword, Regional Keywords, Web Pages Optimize, Search Engine Submission, Classified adding, Blog, Forum, Article Submission, Directory Submission, SEO related Content Writing, Image Submission, Audio Submission, Video Submission, Back Links and more

All this and more starting just at Rs10000

Low cost Domain Registration: Register domains at world’s lowest price

Call 1800-258-0258

TO KNOW MORE VISIT: MANAS HOSTING (DOT) COM

We also provide low cost VPS, VDS and Dedicated servers.

Thanks and regards,

Sales Team

Toll Free: 1800-258-0258

24518 Harper Avenue

Saint Clair Shores Michigan 48080

USA

Disclaimer: The information contained in this message (including the enclosure(s) or attachment(s) if any) is confidential and may be proprietary or privileged. If you are not the intended recipient or have received it by mistake please notify the sender by return e-mail and permanently delete this message and any attachments from your system. Any dissemination, use, review, distribution, disclosure, printing or copying of this message in whole or in part is strictly prohibited. Please note that e-mails are susceptible to change. Manashosting shall not be liable for the improper or incomplete transmission of the information contained in this communication nor for any delay in its receipt or damage to your system. Manashosting does not guarantee that the integrity or security of this communication has been maintained or that this communication is free of viruses, interceptions or interferences. Anyone communicating with Manashosting by email accepts the risks involved and their consequences. Manashosting accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email.

Unsubscribe me from this list

Header information for the Manashosting,.com spam will be posted in the comments area.

From design, affiliate program, SEO, to hosting. Manashosting.com’s offering is all over the map.

Speaking of maps, what I find interesting is that address.

http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/16997272/24518-Harper-Avenue-St-Clair-Shores-MI/

Calling the number that Manashosting.com provides gets me the name of another company once I called: Target Information Management.

The network whois for Manashosting.com tells me:

Comment: Please send abuse complaints to abuse@cybercon.com

CustName: DreamWorx Hosting

Address: PO Box 806332

City: Saint Clair Shores

StateProv: MI

PostalCode: 48080

Country: US

RegDate: 2009-04-20

Updated: 2011-03-19

 

Interestingly enough the address for DreamWork Hosting (PO box) and the address Manashosting.com provides are 1.2 mile drive from one another.

I will be sending abuse complaints to Manashosting.com’s partners.

  • Cybercon.com
  • targetinfo.com
  • in.com

Once again if anyone at Manashosting.com bothers to read, no I will not remove this post.

20130124-213316.jpg

Webhostingstuff.com, not every host that was a top host survives.

Webhostingstuff.com has been the focal point of this blog at several points in the last few years. They claimed to be a place for fair and honest hosting reviews. However Webhostingstuff.com has been a shinnying example of everything that is wrong with the hosting review industry. But I have reached the point that I feel like I am beating a dead horse, if not a dying horse. Unless somehow webhostingstuff.com manages to reinvent itself in a way that revives it this is the last post to pick apart their methods.

So far the only change webhostingstuff.com has been capable of is remaking the so called top 25 list into something that is cumbersome. It no longer starts on the main page of webhostingstuff.com.  You have to actually look for it among a list of items for “best hosts”.  Than you only get to see 5 of the some 23 – 29 Best Hosts. Anyone wanting to see the next 5 Best Hosts would have to scroll down past “Show me more Hot Deals …” link.  Where there were 10 hosts to past.  To find “Next  >>>”, and without clicking next I would have no way of knowing that that is how I get more “Best Hosting”.  Which is why since April 2010 my posts on webhostingstuff.com have been far less.  Anyone past the firth position was not going to get their money worth.

On top of that, right now I cannot access their site.  Because one too many inquires triggers an IP block. Never mind that real people in need of hosting may be researching multiple hosting companies to find the right one.

Then there was the original fair and honest ranking webhostingstuff.com page had this:

To build a fair and honest ranking system, ranking is always performed automatically by the system – free of human interference.

Not far into the whole spill about honesty, they lay down the justification for the advertising they offer. Advertising that I have yet to see.

Human editors are also needed to maintain the high level of integrity of our trusted reviews. Webmasters and system administrators are needed for the smooth running of this large site.

No surprise but that wording is no longer there.

I was going to do several posts on hosts that closed up shop or switched gears. But that seemed long, tedious, and boring (remember I have ADD). But I am going to boil it down into one post. After which my next post is going to deal with what a lot of people have been asking me since my mindshark.ca posts, and that is how to find a seo expert. So one post that focuses on the closures (or switch from hosting to something else).

Why hosting-reviews-exposed.com became a blog and focused on webhostingstuff.com

The very issue that started this site to have a blog was a host called hostdawgs.com. Another host that had watched my video decided to track one month of top 25 hosts that appeared on webhostingstuff.com (it was either 2008 or 2009), a few months after they posted their finding hostdawgs.com a host that appeared on that so called top 25 list at webhostingstuff.com was out of business.  Clearly there were some obvious kinks in webhostingstuff.com’s armor.

Into my second month blogging I found i7net.net on webhostingstuff.com

What could be worse than a host that went out of business mere months after appearing on webhostingstuff.com’s top 25?

How about a host that was not online at any point when I found it on the top 25 list (from June – November 2010) of when I was doing reviews. Between the 21 – 25 positions.  Never mind the worst part was webhostingstuff.com clearly indicated they had 72.62% uptime, and had stopped tracking uptime in July 2009. Which means it had been offline longer than a year.

I emailed Michael Low of webhostingstuff.com in June 2010 about what I had found. It took him until December 2010 to do something. Which was to remove i7net from webhostingstuff.com’s data base.

I7net.net became the keystone in my argument against webhostingstuff.com.  Which can be found at:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/webhostingstuff-com-a-rigged-contest.html

The other “top” webhostingstuff.com hosts that went offline or are out of the hosting business:

Since my 10looniehost.ca post  about them forgetting to renew their domain (who last I checked was still a best host) I figured I would look and see who else on webhostignstuff.com’s top 25 list was offline.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/10looniehost-ca-is-offline-and-perhaps-out-of-business.html

These were hosts I found between May 2010 – April 2011. I did not track any that entered into the top deals or best host lists.  Because out of 64 hosts, I found a lot of flaws. Some of which I am amazed they are still online

Firedragonhosting.com – Former Webhostingstuff.com top host – Status *Unknown*

When I first reviewed this host (May 2010), it appeared that it was some messed up Godaddy.com Wild West reseller. By which I mean it appeared the owner of the site was purchasing what people ordered through his reseller account.  If you know as much as I do about Wild West Domains, its illogical. With Wild West Domains your job is to maintain the main site, while working on means to bring in traffic. I know a lot of people that are pretty good with their program. But this guy seems to have a separate order form, where after you order he goes to the reseller and orders what you ordered.  Plus on top of that he is going to have to offer support for a reseller account that is supposed to do the support for you.

He also charged $49.95 to set up WordPress and $9.95 a month for what is essentially a free very easy to set up program.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/firedragonhosting.html

I know that the domains are under a reseller account because the register shows me Wild West Domains, which is a godaddy.com reseller program.  On top of that most of the domains in this sites reviews were under the name of the owner. Plus hosting was on Godaddy.com’s servers.

Keep in mind I think it is a very bad idea to keep your domain with your hosting company.  However what is worse is letting a hosting provider register a domain for you, and keep it under their name. Webhostingstuff.com was supposed to have a policy of not allowing Wild West Resellers from registering as a host in their system.  Webhostingstuff.com placed it in the top 25, it was number 23 when I reviewed it.

When you goto fire dragonhosting.com there is no product page. It appears to be a login page. I see the ability to order, but I get this message when I click on the order link:

Filling out the order form does not guarantee you hosting on my servers

So they might as well be closed.

Topgreenhost.com – Former Webhostingstuff.com top host – Status *Closed*

There is not much to add here, other than I have control over topgreenhost.com, and if you type that domain in you will see my first post on this former webhostingstuff.com top host.

Yaspe.net – Former Webhostingstuff.com top host – Status *Unknown*

October 2010 was when I first found Yaspe.net on webhostingstuff.com’s so called top host list. At the time they claimed to have 20,000 customers. The problem with that was their Alexa score did not validate that.  Yaspe.net was at 1,812,782 with Alexa in October 2010, and as of today it is at 12,348,306. Keep in mind low numbers are good with Alexa and high numbers are bad.  The traffic stats did not back up a claim of 20,000 clients.  At 12,348,306 they may have one visitor a day.

So far yaspe.net devolved into what I can only assume is a web design contact form.  The banner on the bottom goes to securedservers.com, which Alexa says country with the top traffic is China (42,600).  They offer a $75 per sign up or 10% monthly reoccurring payment.

I think it is safe to assume yaspe.net is out of the hosting business.

Aquariusstorage.com – Former Webhostingstuff.com top host – Status *acquired*

“As of June 2012, all Aquarius Storage operations are now officially part of DJAB Hosting.”

This host was recently acquired by djabhosting.com. Which does not offer unlimited hosting, so I have to wonder how the unlimited customers transferred over. At best from what http://web.archive.org tells me, they came online December 2008.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/aquariusstorage.html

Webhostingstuff.com, where awards are bought

To me one of the prerequisites to being a top host is the ability to stand the test of time.  In some cases hosts have not even had to be online to be a best host at webhostingstuff.com (10looniehost.ca and i7net.net), others did not even have to be online a month (Hostinglocker.com).  I have hosts like KVChosting.com that tell me that they are paying for advertising.  Advertising is really hard to find on Webhostingstuff.com. But it is really easy to find hosts that did not earn the right to be called a best host or top deal on webhostingstuff.com. Hosts that have no reviews, little to show for experience. Webhostingstuff.com is too lazy to even fabricate a fake review for the new comers or slow to take off hosts.

Can Webhostingstuff.com evolve? I don’t think webhostingstuff.com can, and if they do it will not be anything in the realm of ethics.

Hostingsthatsuck.com versus Benjamin the Grumpy Blogger

On Sunday Hostingsthatsuck.com decided to retract their approval of Zyma.com.

http://www.hostingsthatsuck.com/zyma-sucks/

The original post is gone, though I still have a screen shot. I suspect like several other people that choose to promote this host, hostingsthatsuck.com  had their free hosting account closed down last month.  Now that the gravy train is over, the happy thoughts go away.  Because despite the negative reviews that came in October 2011, Hostingsthatsuck.com did not disclose this email then.

An email from Zyma.com to Hostingsthatsuck.com

On October 4th one of the servers (panda) in our network experienced a serious software fault, which consequently lead to an outage lasting a total of 10 days. Our engineers have been working hard to resolve the problem, and we are now pleased to say that issue has now been permanently resolved and that no data loss has occurred. We acknowledge the fact that no information was sent to our customers and we deeply apologize for the lack of information and updates sent to the affected customers regarding this matter.”

Compensation:
We understand that customers experiencing this problem felt alot of anger as they were unable to reach our tech support team during the downtime period. To show our commitment to constantly improving our service, we are now offering all affected customers 2 months of free hosting credit being added directly to their account. To redeem the free credit, simply send a quick email to support@zyma.com and the domain name that was affected during the downtime period, and we will add the extra credit.

Despite the rumours, the company is in excellent financial standing, and we are no way in risk of any kind of bankruptcy. All customer hosting accounts are 100% safe for the duration of their purchase. We are here for the long run and are constantly striving to improving our services. We don’t overload or oversell the number of hosting accounts on any one of our servers.

Once again we sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience and problems caused by this issue and we would like to re-assure all our customers, that this issue has been permanently been resolved, and will NOT re-occur now or in the future.

Thank you for your co-operation and patience in this matter.

Regards,

Support Team
Zyma Technologies

In short Khuram lied to me about deleting hostingsthatsuck.com hosting account and affiliate program. He stated the following on my first post:

Khuram / January 26, 2011

Quite frankly, we were completely unaware that hostingsthatsuck.com were being dishonest in their review. We believe that people should write accurate and honest reviews about hosting companies, whether it is good or bad, which is why we have revoked hostingsthatsuck.com affiliate license with us, as well as removed their website from our servers.

If that is true, why did hostingsthatsuck.com get the above email?

It really did not bother me so much that Khuram lied to me, I pretty much figured he did since until this Sunday there was an endorsement page for zyma.com on hostingsthatsuck.com. What bothered me was the lack of disclosure on Hostingsthatsuck.com’s part until February 2012. They did it for what amounts to peanuts in affiliate fees.  After all how much can you squeeze out of  less than $10 a year payment? Unlike your so called top 10 sites, hostingsthatsuck.com can promote anyone that contacts them.  After all that is what Zyma.com did, they sent me the same exact invite that they sent hostingsthatsuck.com.

So things went sour between Hostingsthatsuck.com and Zyma.com

Instead of owning up to their mistakes they decided to throw an insult my way, without referring who “a grumpy blogger named Benjamin” was, that would be me.

As mentioned by a grumpy blogger named Benjamin on another website, Zyma hosting is a relatively new and just a small company as compared to other players like Godaddy or 1and1. Benjamin believes that this website should not give recommendation to a new host and we should let the big companies have it all. We disagree with this reasoning for not recommending a company, and we still believe that being a smaller company also means a hosting company may be able to take better care of their customers. So to any angry blogger who believes our method is totally flawed, we suggest you stick with your big companies like 1and1 and we wish you good luck.

I love how they call me out by name, but they failed to reference this site or the two posts about Zyma.com. Yet I am a grumpy person? I am pretty sure I was fully caffeinated when I wrote every post dealing with them. With no lack of coffee I have no reason to be grumpy. Honestly I like to think I approach topics like this with some level of satire. But the two posts I wrote about zyma.com seem dry in regards to any form of emotion. But what else can Hostingsthatsuck.com do when I am writing counter posts, surely the use of actual facts is not the best way to counter my posts. Like explain to me where it is I said I don’t think new hosts should get a recommendation.

Perhaps Hostingsthatsuck.com are Grumpy Bloggers? After all they had a 10 day outage and probable lost their free hosting account last month.

What did hostingsthatsuck.com leave out?

As stated they left out that this was a new company back in 2011. But there were a lot of other things they didn’t do.  Like tell you what domain they have hosted with them. How much resources they were using.  Instead of giving real data, they gave cropped screen shots that gave little detail and general information that could pretty much cover any hosting company.

Post from last year when Zyma was trolling for exposure:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=1618

Post from this year to see where they were now:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2945

If I am supposed to avoid the new hosts, than hostingsthatsuck.com are supposed to avoid the old hosts? Frankly they don’t get the say on who I do a review on, just as much as I don’t get a say on who they try to peddle on anyone that comes to their site. This was not a matter of if this host was new or old, small or big. It’s a matter of ethics.  The author for Hostingsthatsuck.com that wrote the Zyma.com post choose to completely ignores the fact that would not help result in a sale, and that was the fact that this host was new. They choose not to disclose til now that they received an email about the down time in October 2011.  So seriously why did it take this long to share an email from October 2011?

So is Hostingsthatsuck.com right about me thinking new companies should not be endorsed?

New companies have a big challenge of bringing in customers than say a company that can afford to run commercials during the Super Bowl (i.e. Hostgator) or run full page ads in Popular Mechanics (i.e. 1 & 1). Hostingsthatsuck.com used the trick of telling you to search for “Zyma sucks”, and yeah there were none out there at the time. Other than other people trying to pull the same tricks as hostingsthatsuck.com.   Hostingsthatsuck.com makes it a point to be in the top of search results for “(host name here) sucks”. Not so much to provide details about a company sucking, but to get buyers to sign up with the company for what may be peanuts like Zyma.com or big pay like Hostgator.com.

I make it an effort with any review of a new host to point out that if they are new, that should not be criteria to use against the company. New companies stand to lose more than older and bigger competitors with the loss of a single customer. Meaning they have more reason to work on keeping a customer. Not to mention there are large old companies like Burst.net that I advise avoiding like the plague. This had to deal with disclosing details like they had been contacted by zyma.com to do a review, and that they were new.

Back when I made my top 10 list for finding a host, I made my feeling clear on new hosts July 10, 2011:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2351

On a side note a new company is not a bad thing; we all have to start somewhere. This is why I recommend that on the initial sign up that you do no more than 30 days the first time around, and sign up for more time later on. Also a new company may be more eager to work to keep your business, where as a large establishment may consider you more of a number.

The whole searching for bad things about Zyma.com was flawed because there was nothing negative out due to the fact it was a new host. Lack of (Zyma.com sucks) does not mean that the host was good, nor does it mean they are bad.

But even when this “(host name) sucks” is used on old / big hosts hostingsthatsuck.com sales pitch ignores actual facts. There has not been a host yet that they have recommended where I was able to find more negative comments using the same criteria “(host name) sucks)” just going over the first few pages I can find more negative posts than what they say there are. Never mind their claim includes all search results. They want you to look no further, I want you to look beyond what they say.

I want to make it clear again:

I do not have a problem with Hostingsthatsuck.com making money off affiliate programs.

I do not have a problem with Hostingsthatsuck.com referring people to new hosts.

I do however have a problem with hostingsthatsuck using junk logic to make a buck, especially when they ignore the facts.

An open letter to Brainhost.com

Hello Corey of Brainhost.com,

I am not sure you understand the nature of blogs.  Generally any blog that is ran with any 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 brainhost.com 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 Brainhost.com, I am doing this third one with questions.  I have emailed you the questions; here I will explain the questions in detail.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2996

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2980

18 questions about Brainhost.com

The Basics of Brainhost.com:

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 Brainhost.com?
2. When did you actually start up Brainhost.com?
3. How many servers does Brainhost.com have?
4. What is the collective experience in the hosting industry of the Brainhost.com 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 data bases 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 Flippa.com/Brainhost.com partnership:

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

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

5. Why did Flippa.com choose Brainhost.com over hosting companies that have an established history like Hostgator.com?

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 (http://www.Brainhost.com/dedicated-servers), but most Flippa customers who choose us do not need this level of service.

I don’t see any explanation as to why Flippa.com chooses you to be a partner.  No offense but I would not have choose 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 then 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 flippa.com 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.

Brainhost.com package questions

7. Does Brainhosting.com 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 to 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 to from the main page of Brainhost.com.

Brainhost.com reviews and awards

11. Can you explain why most of the complaints out there complain about too much money being charged on 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:

http://www.web-hosting-top.com/review/Brainhost.com

Now I think the explanation for unexpected charges could be sites like Brainhostreview.net 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 Brainhost.com get the award for 2012 webhosting top 10?
13. Where did Brainhost.com get the award for Most Reliable Web Host 2012?
14. Where did Brainhost.com get the User’s Choice Web hosting Award?
15. Where did Brainhost.com get the Rated #1 Web Host award?
16. Where did Brainhost.com get the awards show cased on http://Brainhostreview.net/about-us/

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

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

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

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

The only place I can find any positive feedback for Brainhost.com, is on Brainhost.com’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 Brainhost.com/NSA Technologies Connection

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

During my review of feedback about brainhost.com 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 brainhost.com 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 on this Brainhost post.

Manashosting.com – Fun and Games by Email

Manashosting.com found its way to my blog because they choose to spam my personal email account back in November 2010. Not because manashosting.com spammed once, but several times through 2010. I was in the middle of writers block when another email came in from manshosting.com.

Manashosting.com was the encouragement for starting posts on companies that spam.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=1040

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=1152

I was emailed by someone claiming to be Antony John with Manashosting.com telling me I should have used the unsubscribe link. They asked me to remove my posts about Manashosting.com, 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 Manashosting.com.

By October 2011 it seemed Manashosting.com 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 Hostgator.com post to get people to go to Manashosting.com. Frankly I thought It was distasteful to use a negative post I made on a host to try and advertise manashosting.com. For which I made another post about Manashosting.com:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2706

Manashosting.com 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, Manashosting.com.

An email exchange with Manashosting.com

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 Manashosting.com, 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
Manashosting
Bangalore, India

I only received one email from Manashosting.com, 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 hosting-reviews-exposed.com 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 Manashosting.com

Anthony,

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.

Regards,

Benjamin

Manashosting.com’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) www.mit.gov.in/content/information-technology-act.

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.

Regards,

Antony John
Manager Branding
Manashosting
Bangalore
India

I did try to dig into their laws, but frankly I doubt even Manashosting.com 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 manashosting.com.

Anthony,

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  http://www.webhostingreviews.com/manas-hosting-reviews.htm

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

http://www.web-hosting-top.com/review/manashosting.com

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.

http://indian-web-hosting.blogspot.com/2008/09/manas-hosting-spammer.html

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”.

Antony
antony@manashosting.com

Message:
Hi,

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.

Regards,
Antony John

Sent from (ip address): 117.192.180.91 (117.192.180.91)

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.  Unlimitedgb.com, 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.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2461

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.

Regards,

Benjamin

P.S. Spam pisses me off to no end

Manashosting.com 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.

Zyma.com – A year later

I think it is safe to say that Zyma.com is proof that review sites like hostingsthatsuck.com are not to be trusted. A year has gone by allowing for real feedback to come in. Not like the arranged positive feedback that was given out in exchange for free hosting.  Not to mention nothing to stop these sites form signing up for “our affiliate program is one of the most attractive schemes around.” which paid out 40%. Granted I would not have used the word scheme. I can’t say I fault Zyma.com for contacting people for reviews to promote their company.

How my review of Zyma.com began

Last year Khuram the owner/marketing director and from what other people tell me the support for zyma.com contacted me to offer me free hosting account in exchange for a review. Not the first host to ask for a review. But like all of them, the owner of Zyma.com did not bother to actually look at this site and see if it’s actually a review site. I told him there was no way I would trust any of my sites on a $10 a year account. Shortly after I find that not only did he contact me he contacted a review site that uses “(hosts name) + sucks” as a marketing strategy in search engines like Google.  That site was hostingsthatsuck.com. The whole premise was this must be a good host because there were no negative reviews about this site. Never mind that before Zyma.com was a U.K. webhosting site, it belonged to some construction company in Spain. The review was disingenuous.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=1618

Khuram of Zyma.com was not happy with me

My review of Hostingsthatsucks.com review had Khuram the owner/marketing director/support and probable sales agent for Zyma.com contact me sharply protesting my review for calling his site a scam. This had to be a record in response time as he contacted me the same day I had posted this blog article. He asked that I remove my review of Zyma.com. I declined removing the post as I will only do that if I am wrong. I also made clear I only quoted one of the other people that he asked to do a review, which was hostingsthatsuck.com.  Hostingsthatsuck.com used words like scam and sucks, everything that someone would not want to hear about their site.  A site that has appeared on my site before and will continue to appear as long as hostingsthatsuck.com continues to use a false negative context while obscuring other negative search engine reviews.

After Khuram finale really read what I had wrote he conceded and claimed to have contacted hostingsthatsuck.com to remove their post, and that he removed their free hosting account and affiliate link:

which is why we have revoked hostingsthatsuck.com affiliate license with us, as well as removed their website from our servers.

With regards to hostingsthatsuck.com, we have requested them to remove the post, however we cannot force anyone to do anything, and so we are limited as to what more we can do.

Honestly I don’t believe him as the so called review for zyma.com at hostingsthatsuck.com has remained unchanged as you can see from the attached screen shot. I do not believe that the owners of this fake review site would leave a post-up for a site that will not pay them.

But the true gem out of all of this was the discussion on unlimited hosting. I could not get an answer on what normal usage was. It’s the same spill I get from any unlimited hosting advocate.  But in order to know what normal is you have to have number that’s your base line.  At less than $10 a year Zyma.com’s normal is going to be lower than what hostgator.com considers normal usage.

Why the Interest in Zyma.com again?

There are a few factors in why.  Last year I had promised to do a re-review of Zyma.com. I was going to do a re-review.  But with of the big hosts doing FTC compliance the need for a template review became unnecessary. It seemed better to just go after any review site that show cased a host with an FTC compliance requirements in their terms of service. After all my issue is not that affiliates are making money, it is that some affiliates try to label themselves as review sites and do not mention they are biased for the sake of a payment.

Another reason I bring up Zyma.com again is because of this unreal unlimited hosting plan. Not that I think any unlimited plan should be trusted for real hosting needs. Zyma.com offered this so called unlimited hosting plan for less than $10 a year.  I call it unreal because it’s not something done by other providers such as Hostgator.com and Endurance International Group. There are a lot of good reasons behind that. First and foremost it takes money to make money. One thing I am certain of is that Zyma.com does not have the capital and buying power that any of the popular so called unlimited companies have. In short Hostgator.com has the power to buy machines that can handle hundreds of people for far less then Zyma.com would.

Too often I encounter people that think that hosting should make up less than 1% of what they bring in. These are the same people that fall for any cheap solution. To anyone that thinks hosting should always be cheap, it is time to wake up from fairy land. When you buy hosting your data is not stored in another dimension where there is infinite capacity, its stored on a hard drive on a server, which in turn is stored on a rack that is hooked into a router.  This server’s rack is housed in data center that receives utilities such as water, electricity, and perhaps natural gas. Not to mention phone lines, the connection to an upstream provider. Plus if the provider offers backup options such as a gas powered generator and battery backups there are even more expenses.  Plus there are no gnomes working for free in the back ground. A human being in needed to do the maintenance and support for zyma.com, and most preferable more than 1 human being. If these human being are not outsourced from another country like say the Philippines or India and is in Great Britain then the costs go up even further.

Don’t forget that they offer 40% payment to people in their affiliate scheme (once again their choice of words not mine). Though I doubt at less than $4 per sale most review sites would be interested. That and merchants are not exactly allowing you to collect money for free. Which at the time Zyma.com’s only merchant was PayPal.com, that alone could cause less people to sign up as there are a lot of people that are not fans of PayPal.com who has decided to have a 30% retainer on proven participants. Then there are other fees such as business licenses. Running a business is not as simple as snapping your fingers.

The quality of the equipment and human interaction elements to a degree depend on how much is paid for them.  In short don’t expect a Porsche 918 Spyder on a budget that could buy you a 1985 Chevrolet Chevettee.  But while we are on the subject of human interaction back in January 2011 they were only offering 14 – 16 hours of support. This is my own opinion that Khuram was the only person at Zyma.com.

By October 2011 Zyma.com appeared to be falling apart at the seams

While I got a few comments on the down time at Zyma.com, most of the customers that contacted me via email. Per my own policy I do not publish the emails of customers unless they give me permission; sadly none of them contacted me back.  Down time seemed to be as long as 10 days. Review sites like hostingsthatsuck.com had people complaining about down time as well in October.

I contacted Khuram to get his side in regards to people complaining about down time, but I was never contacted back.

So what about the people that promoted Zyma.com?

I have looked at lot of sites that did a so called review based off of the free hosting plan from Zyma.com. One in particular did not have their hosting account continued this year by Zyma.com:

http://www.pingable.org/zyma-com-cheap-webhost-review/

Out of all of the sites that I have found with in the first 2 pages of search engine results on Google, this is the only one I find that retracts their positive feedback.

At the top of the page has been added a notice of:

We have received a lot of comments saying how bad Zyma have been, constant down time, and poor service. Zyma were meant to provide us with a free account for life, and they did not renew our account after 12 months, so all I can say as I would not trust these guys. Over the space of the year, we found that our site was down more often, and that it was slower to respond. So if you are considering Zyma, I would not go with them as a provider.

Never mind that was a 2012 update, a far cry from the complaints they also received in October 2011. It seems the only reason that they did an update was because of the removal of free hosting. I did not see anything in the email that was sent to me by zyma.com that stated a free for life account; then again I saw nothing of how long the free hosting would last. I can’t see any affiliate links despite the previous endorsement still intact below this despite a warning to avoid zyma.com.

Is Zyma.com a scam?

It would be safe to say that Zyma.com was a scam if people did not say that their websites had come back up.  But sites have come up. There is a back story that has yet to be told. I can only speculate as to what the cause was. But I personally feel the only way Zyma.com can move forwards is to get some pricing similar to the competitors they try to compete with. It was ok in the beginning, maybe in the first month to bring new customers end. But in the long run it’s a bad idea to not have a package that ensures a company does not struggle.

If anything I think Zyma.com is at worse a company that treads on despite its failures.