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.

Mindshark.ca – in re-review Part 1: Did 450 SEO experts hide my thoughts?

Mindshark.ca finds its way on hosting-reviews-exposed.com because of someone whose email had been harvested by Mindshark.ca. More about Mindshark.ca and their email harvesting in an upcoming post. I think yesterday this blog experienced one of its finer moments , a moment that I am very proud of and that was the point where someone did not take mindshark.ca’s or my word (really I mean me to) in regards to what the truth was and actually kicked the tires. By kick the tires I mean check the search engine results for “Mindshark.ca”, to see if I was able to outdo them in a game of SEO. After all they are an SEO company, and I am someone that literally was poke with a stick to know what I know about seo (true story).  So if anyone that should have control of their site’s search engine stats it would be a SEO company right? Mindshark.ca is also a reputation management company with 450 SEO experts, so I will not show up on the first 10 page or even 100 pages of search engine results for just the term “Mindshark.ca” right?

Here is the First Post: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/spammer/mindshark-ca.html

Here is the Second Post: http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/scams-to-avoid/mindshark-ca-%E2%80%93-seo-marketing-experts-or-spammers-part-2.html

And what most might not know is I was supposed to do a third.

 It has been a year and four months since I wrote my two posts on Mindshark.ca, I should not be anywhere to be found on Bing, Google, and Yahoo right?

 

On Bing, Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is on the first page 2nd and 3rd result right under mindshark.ca’s own site.

On Google, Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is on the first page 2nd and 3rd result right under mindshark.ca’s own site.

On Yahoo Hosting-Reviews-exposed.com is on the first page as the 8th and 9th result when searching for Mindshark.ca

Honestly its been a while since I checked to see where I was on Google with Mindshark.ca though over the last year it has always been the same spot, and until last night I had no idea where I was with Bing and Yahoo.

You might also notice Ripoffreport.com is on the first page for Bing and Google results as well.

Why does it matter where Hosting-reviews-exposed.com is on Mindshark.ca’s search engine results?

If I can’t make it clear enough, I am no SEO expert. Seriously I am bumbling my way through the internet any one that was serious about this sites traffic would have had it well beyond the Alexa score it sits at today:

130,691

Seriously part of that whole ADD problem I suffer is I have trouble concentrating.  Most of that SEO knowledge I have was a result of being bullied by friends.  Never mind a friend still comes in and puts in most of the keywords missing in my blog.  I even gets emails from other friends in the industry after I do a posts where I am asked “why oh why did you pick that as the title, its not seo friendly”.

Not to mention while I compose this post it is raining outside, and it is hard for me to stay inside and finish this as rainy days are rare in the Sonoran Desert.  I do enjoy being outside in the rain. But we were not talking about the weather here right? Not to mention is there a new episode of Futurama on tonight?  Oh and I get to find out what happened to Perry on Phineas & Ferb this Friday ……… No really I forgot what we were talking about. Oh yes we were talking about Mindshark.ca, and someone kicked the tires (they checked what Google said about Mindshark.ca).

But I think the bigger deal is, if I can get on the top page of Mindshark.ca’s search engine results, anyone can.

This is what the confident from yesterday had to say to Mindshark.ca

After reading the conversation you had with Benjamin and all the reviews I’ve read about your company, I’ve changed my mind about hiring you. Internet Reputation is one of your specialties, so why is it you can’t do it for yourselves???

Its  a good thing I don’t do what I normally do when reading email. Which is leaning back while balancing on one wheel. Its no wonder I go through a lot of office chairs. But I am sure what I would read next would have had me fall out of my chair.

Mindshark.ca’s response

Google penguin reshuffled rankings recently , however you will see that site moved off fairly soon.

They are also being legally served as we speak.

We recently were rated #1 SEO Company http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012Mindshark_Rated/08_Top_SEO_Company/prweb9814756.htm

None of the negative comments are from any real clients.   As you can see our BBB rating is A.     The internet allows anyone to post anything unfortunately.   We get things moved off very fast, but when google makes a change things can pop back up temporarily.

Feel free to check our case studies and testimonials to see how effective we are.  We also have over 300 SEO firms who outsource all their work to us.

tx

First off can’t  Mindshark.ca just have a Google sea lion chase off the Google Penguin? Or perhaps throw Google Penguin a Google Krill?  What the heck is a Google Penguin?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Penguin

Ok perhaps I don’t get the whole gist of this (because it seems a little boring), but it seems it is for getting rid of crap in search engines. But I can assure Mindshark.ca, this site has always been in the same spot for search engine results for Google, after all Yahoo and Bing back me up here. I know this because every time a Mindshark.ca troll posted on my blog (person either claiming to be a satisfied customer  that gives me a domain with an seo score as bad as freshly bought domain or not willing to provide one) I checked in some cases posted the Alexa score. On those trolls, that is the next post.

Mindshark.ca is legally serving me or Google?

If it’s me, perhaps Mindshark.ca can contact that anonymous person and they can unite against me?

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/speculation/drop-gang41.html

Than I can pretend to be like one of those super heroes with a league of super villains.  Ok I kid, which brings me back to this whole point, Mindshark.ca has 450 SEO experts. This should be something that Mindshark.ca could use in their testimonial “we were able to handle a guy who gets distracted by rocks, imagine what we could do for you”. But if I am going to be served what about Ripoffreport.com?

But as for the internet allowing anyone to post anything, I know this great site and they helped a girl who had nude photos of herself that were posted online and she wanted to hide them, and that company told her she could go online and sound like an expert to get rid of the ……. Oh wait that was Mindshark.ca.

As for the BBB, that will be in Part 2 as well as the reviews, which I would like to point out don’t have any sites attached on the ones speaking kudos for Mindshark.ca. I also plan to cover Mindshark.ca’s seo from last year to this year. As for PRweb and all this stuff mindshark.ca mailed my friend, that will be Part 3 unless of course I get distracted.

As always Mindshark.ca is welcome to post their own thoughts.

IXwebhosting.com wants a blog post to be happy, apparently 1 was not enough

IXwebhosting.com was far from my thoughts (ok I mentioned IXwebhosting.com in my last post), as I already have 20 posts literally waiting for me to finish on my desk top.  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 ecommerce.com.

Email from ecommerce.com on behalf of IXwebhosting.com

Hello,

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:
https://www.IXwebhosting.com/hosting-plans
You can even try them out for Free (7 days free trial)!

Please notice that we offer also industry leading VPS and Cloud
hosting.

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:

https://www.IXwebhosting.com/affiliate-program

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

Thanks,
Stepan

So IXwebhosting.com 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 amazon.com (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 IXwebhosting.com.

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

After all IXwebhosting.com appears on hosting-review.com’s top 10.

My other interest in IXwebhosting.com is the founder was also part of a company called featuredprice.com.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/hosting-reviews/IXwebhosting-com.html

In short the point of my post was I thought there was something common between all of the sites that did reviews for IXwebhosting.com. 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 IXwebhosting.com 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 IXwebhosting.com since I looked at the videos back in 2011?

houndsinthekitchen.com – Left at least March 2012
kellsband.com – Still there
digitaldynamicdesigns.com – Still there
yunbootcamps.com – Still there
1canalgirl.com – Still there
djscolumbus.com – Still there
ryanomics.com – Still there
fox-counseling.com Left around April 2012
kellisautosales.com – Still there and still at risk at having their domain taken away because of crap info entered in the whois,

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

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

The IXwebhosting.com question part of the blog

1. Was this site targeted by IXwebhosting.com 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 realized is that this site was created because a review site (webhostingstuff.com) 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 IXwebhosting.com affiliate agreement?

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

3. Has hostingsthatsuck.com been contacted  by IXwebhosting.com 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 IXwebhosting.com. They use this whole so called “*host name* sucks” to get people to sign up, and I was wondering if I will be writing a third post to explain how hostingsthatsuck.com is wrong.  One host in particular started up last year, and hostingsthatsuck.com 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 zyma.com on this site).  I know a lot of hosts don’t like their methodology. Would “IXwebhosting.com Sucks? Is this Hosting any Good?” sound like a good solution for selling services for IXwebhosting.com?

4. I would love to hear the back story of why alreadyhost.com removed their endorsement of IXwebhosting.com. Why did they lose/quit their affiliate account with IXwebhosting.com?

http://www.alreadyhosting.com/blog/tag/IXwebhosting-poor-service/

Unlike most review sites alreadyhosting.com barely tries when it comes to writing a review about a host. The review they have up on IXwebhosting.com 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 IXwebhosting.com or other 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.

http://www.alreadyhosting.com/blog/2010/07/mddhosting-com-review-removed/

http://www.mikedvb.com/?s=alreadyhosting.com

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

I don’t have a problem with IXwebhosting.com finding new affiliates

My concern is who IXwebhosting.com might be targeting, its one thing to ask internet related sites to do a review on IXwebhosting.com or place ads. Its another to ask sites that are into reviews for pure profit like hosting-review.com, alreadyhosting.com, webhostingstuff.com, hostaz.com, hostingsthatsuck.com, 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 ixwebhostin.com to get up to $300 commissions / $10k on a regular basis.

 IXwebhosting.com seems to appear on a lot of so called review sites.

Zyma redeemed or up to the same old tricks?

Zyma.com’s Khuram requested I do another review. He also wanted to give the readers of this blog coupon codes.  Which in a way would mean I endorse zyma.com, right? Sorry to disappoint but there are no zyma.com coupon codes here.

Zyma.com, hostingsthatsuck.com, and hosting-reviews-exposed.com

For those unfamiliar with how Zyma.com got my attention it started last year when they sent me a request for doing a review for free hosting back in January 2011.

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

Like so many hosting companies, zyma.com was under the impression this is a review site. Regardless of this not being a hosting review site I have nothing I am willing to risk on an account that is at around $10/ £4.95 per year. Not to mention I have a feeling that I would not be placed on the same servers as the customers. If I was to actually do a review I would want to do it as a secret shopper. The review sites that I advise against trusting don’t feel the same way.

Hostingsthatsuck.com was one of the first hosting review sites to jump on Zyma.com’s free hosting offer, after all they offer a 40% commission. I doubt hostingsthat suck put anything of value on this hosting plan.  Hostingsthatsuck.com has an advantage over most so called top 10 sites, and that is they can write a post on any host that comes along. All of which done in a way that gets them to the top of search engine results based on “*X host* sucks” search engine results.  After you hit their site they don’t want you to look any further than their site. Take their word for it if you will (I suggest you don’t).

What Zyma.com did not realize is I had my eye on hostingsthatsuck.com because I think the whole methodology of using “*host name* sucks” and some random number that is not based on the actual results to prove a host does not suck.  Trust me on this when I can tell you cannot tell if a host is good or bad just based off search engine results.  The one detail hostignsthatsuck.com left out was that zyma.com has just started.  After finale reading what it was I had written they claimed to have killed hostingsthatsucks.com hosting and affiliate accounts. When it came to the subject of what exactly amounted to “normal usage” in to how much space a customer actually got I got some avoidance and then nothing at all.

By October 2011 Zyma.com suffered a serious outage as some of their customers came to comment on my blog about the down time. For which I had sent an email because I had customers contacting me asking what was up. I never got a response back.

By January 2012 I decided to do another review, as Zyma.com seemed to have gone through another outage. Not to mention based off the comments on my first post it seemed there had been at least three server migrations.  Zyma.com customers (a few I think were trolling my blog and not really customers) mentioned being moved to a panda server, then to the tiger server.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/hosts-that-use-exposed-reviews/zyma-com-a-year-later.html

It became pretty clear that since hostingsthatsuck.com had a hosting and an affiliate account after Khuram had told me he had removed it. How do I know? Because a full year after I was told they had been removed, hostingsthatsuck.com changed their approval to a rant against zyma.com.  Hostinsthatsucks.com waited till January 2012 to complain about the downtime from October 2011. Downtime that happened 9 months after I was told hostignsthatsuck.com no longer had an affiliate account or hosting plan. All because Zyma.com had canceled the free account with hostingsthatsucks.com and several other sites that got hosting for free because of a review. But in zyma.com defense there was no mention of how long this free hosting was for. Both parties were pretty devious in my opinion.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/review-sites-exposed/hostingsthatsuck-com-versus-benjamin-the-grumpy-blogger.html

Hostingsthatsuck.com’s last post they decided to tell everyone I was a grumpy blogger, and I hate new hosts. Grumpy when I don’t get my coffee, hating new hosts far from it.

Here is the latest email I got from Khuram of Zyma.com:

Hi Benjamin,

Firstly I would like to apologize for the late response as well as if I have annoyed you in anyway. That was not my intention at all. Over the past year we have made some significant changes to improve our hosting service and as a result we would be grateful if you could re-review our hosting service on your website.

I understand we did not start in the best of ways, but we would like to make amends by offering your visitors a coupon code with our new review post to show that we are not like other hosting companies, and that we do genuinely care about all our customers.

We believe in second chances and this is our way of showing yourself and your visitors that we have changed and we are here to stay. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have and I look forward to your response.

Kind regards,

Khuram

To start with I am not annoyed about not getting a response on the down time, It really is not my job to report on how zyma.com is going to handle an outage to their customers.

What bother me were all the contests for free hosting that are still going on.  I am annoyed by hostingsthatsucks.com keeping their affiliate and hosting accounts. There is no telling if zyma.com removed hostingsthatsuck.com’s affiliate access.  Because hostingsthatsucks.com still keeps an affiliate link up for a site even when they don’t approve of a host any more:

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/hosting-reviews/hostingsthatsuck.html

Zyma.com making amends to me by offering coupons for cheap hosting for my readers is more so to Khuram’s advantage than it is to anyone who reads my blog and wants hosting.  A second chance must be earned.

Zyma.com will not be endorsed because:

  1. Any product that gets my endorsement has to be a product I will use.
  2. I will not use any so called unlimited hosting because I know there are limits (see the chat from the first discussion I had with Khuram). http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/unlimited-hosting/zyma.html
  3. I do not see any significant changes with zyma.com. The only change I see is the price. Maybe now zyma.com offers 24/7 tech support?
  4. I have seen tons of contests for free hosting with zyma.com, just do a search on Google for “zyma.com contest”.
  5. You have awards from review sites that are on par with hostingsthatsuck.com.  Which is why I wrote my first post on zyma.com. Seriously this is an anti-review-JUST-for-a-commission website.
  6. I was lied to when I was told that zyma.com had removed hostingsthatsuck.com’s hosting and affiliate account.
  7. No serious hosting alternative is being offered. Should a customer go beyond “normal usage” their account is shutdown.

I realize on points 4 and 5 you are trying to grow your business. But seriously contests for free accounts, when you are offering 40% commissions equals a headache at less than $10/ £4.95, or as hosting-review.com ( a site I have been meaning to write a post on) puts it less than 50 pennies a month. You literally need hundreds of customers to bust even and make a profit.  The less money going to service, the lower quality service will be. That is not even taking into consideration the support headache as I am pretty sure most of zyma.com cliental are new to hosting.

As for the review sites, I am not even going to mention three of them because I don’t want to help them out on traffic their stats are so poor seo wise that a simple mention here would help them out.  But I can assure you hosting-review.com is going to regret doing business with you because there is no way you won an editor’s pick based on merits.  As for the reviews, one of which is from a site that shows a date of January 9, 2011 back when Zyma.com was handing out free hosting for reviews. The other site can easily be faked. For all I know zyma.com is offering free hosting for positive reviews.  I see nothing from any of these reviews that prove you are a good host. Only that zyma.com is willing to try the same unethical tricks that this blog is about exposing.

Zyma.com is not worthy of a second chance, but then again a lot of crappy hosts continue to thrive.

Hostgator.com support going down hill?

A few days ago, I forget which post it was but I was giving praise to Hostgator.com in regards to their support. After all I have used hostgator.com, godaddy.com, and a few of the Endurance International Group sites (EIG) and honestly hostgator.com is the better of the hosts mentioned. I do design for a living, and while my rates are not cheap my customers can be. They sometimes think that the hosting should be dirt cheap, as they have no idea what is going on beyond the curtain.

Hosts like Hostgator.com are the equivalent of Panda Express.  

Many customers I have that want cheap hosts like hostgator.com have a mind frame like my nephew.  When he was 12 he refused to eat French fries at my place as he was afraid they were made from some kind of vegetable (Keep in mind I am a strict vegan), soon he got a lesson from his non-vegan grandmother what they were made of. This year he turns 20 and he thinks places like Panda Express offer custom made food. For those that are unfamiliar with what Panda Express is, they claim to sell Chinese food (ok I am no fan). You grab a tray point out what is under a hot lamp and they dish it out to you, not cooked to order in what amounts to a school lunch line.  Personally never been a fan of Chinese restaurant chains and prefer locally own places. If you are ever in the Phoenix Arizona area I recommend a place called Uncle Lee’s and sons.  Granted only been there once but they really know how to cook tofu.

With anything that is cheap you can’t expect perfection. One of my colleagues had an issue dealing with one of their online techs. Well not just one issue but several. This time around hostgator.com went two days without responding to a ticket.

Do you think this personally bothers me that hostgator.com took 2 days to deal with a ticket?

In short no, I actually expect worse.  Apply the whole cheap hosting against the car industry and you will get a glimpse into my thinking on the hosting industry.  Companies like hostgator.com want you to think that they offering you a Ferrari, when truth of the matter is they are offering you a Pinto, Gremlin, maybe even a 1970’s VW beetle.   Don’t get me wrong these are cars that will get you where you want to go (provided they are taken care of), and often they may be the most practical solution given a person’s means. But that does not mean you are going to win any races against a Ferrari. Even if hostgator.com was not to do this, the others would for sure.  After all people generally gravitate to where the biggest perceived deal is.  Hostgator.com has no problem pushing people to buy on such deception especially under the guise of getting your hosting for $0.01.

Overkill verification with hostgator.com

The below is a chat session with hostgator.com to be clear I am not the one named AngryMonkey. Generally I try to remain calm even if things are really slow on the host’s end. The reason being I have clauses in my design contracts that stipulate that I get paid for any time that goes beyond the contract when caused by a third party that was selected by the customer.  Third party in this case is hostgator.com.  Most of my overage fees are with Endurance International Group hosts. The below chat is not something I recommend both for customer or hostgator.com.

(7:12 am) [System] Customer has entered chat and is waiting for an agent.
(7:13 am) [Cody B.] Welcome to HostGator Live Chat. My name is Cody. I’m happy to assist you today.
(7:13 am) [Cody B.] Hey there AngryMonkey, can I have the ticket ID this is regarding please?
(7:13 am) [AngryMonkey]:  *REMOVED*
(7:13 am) [Cody B.] Thanks 🙂
(7:13 am) [AngryMonkey]: Does HostGator still own SEOHOSTING.COM or is it out of business?
(7:14 am) [Cody B.] I assure you nothing has changed about SEOHOSTING.COM.
(7:14 am) [Cody B.] For security purposes, I will need you to verify your identity by providing the PayPal transaction ID of your most recent payment, or the last 4 digits of the credit card on file for the account, depending on your payment method. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 
(7:14 am) [AngryMonkey]: Unbelievable. One minute. I will log into the account.
(7:14 am) [Cody B.] I do apologize.
(7:15 am) [AngryMonkey]: *REMOVED*is the last transaction ID
(7:16 am) [Cody B.] I’m sorry, it would be PayPal transaction IDs only. I can accept the last 4 of your credit card on file, or the 4 to 8 digit number known as the security PIN number on the account.
(7:16 am) [AngryMonkey]: Jesus Christ. I’m logged into the account, I have given you a ticket number, and I’m complaining with regard to a ticket that has NO response in 2 days. Just a minute. I will log into my PayPal account now.
(7:17 am) [Cody B.] I can send you an email at your gmail account and have you reply if that’s easier.
(7:19 am) [AngryMonkey]: What would be easier if you  just updated the ticket. But go ahead and send me an email and I will jump through your hoops.
(7:20 am) [Cody B.] It is sent, if you could please reply back to me via email I will have you fully verified. I do appreciate your patience.
(7:20 am) [AngryMonkey]: This email is to confirm that the owner of this email, and the related HostGator account, is in Live Chat with a HostGator agent named Cody. You are requesting personal information about the HostGator account. Please reply to this email confirming that you are the owner and that you are currently speaking to this person via chat. 

Best Regards, 

Cody B. 
Phone / Chat Support Technician 
HostGator.com LLC 
http://support.hostgator.com
(7:20 am) [AngryMonkey]: Happy?
(7:20 am) [Cody B.] Can you please send me a reply via email?
(7:21 am) [AngryMonkey]: I just replied via the ticket
(7:21 am) [AngryMonkey]: Now, do you want to tell me what’s going on? I have other HG accounts, but not purchased via SEOHOSTING.COM — and I am already regretting my decision.
(7:22 am) [AngryMonkey]: I understand you need to verify my ID, but that has NOTHING to do with getting adequate response to a ticket.
(7:23 am) [Cody B.] I just need to fully verify your ID so I can give the ticket to my supervisor and have someone take care of it right now.
(7:23 am) [Cody B.] I’m just trying to help but in order to put in the request I need full verification, I’m not seeing a reply to the ticket at this time. I know it seems kind of silly and I do apologize.
(7:24 am) [AngryMonkey]: Well, congrats. You’ve covered your ass. But if you just looked at the ticket, you would see it has nothing to do with security or access and everything to do with getting a response.  It’s absurd. Seriously, when a customer is inconvenienced due to a lack of support and/or response, to inconvenience that person further is just absurd.
(7:24 am) [AngryMonkey]: Is there anything else you need from me at this time?
(7:25 am) [Cody B.] I need you to send me a reply to the ticket please.
(7:27 am) [AngryMonkey]: Sent.
(7:28 am) [Cody B.] Thank you so much. I have you fully verified. I’m going to get with my supervisor and get this ticket taken care of for you right now.
(7:29 am) [AngryMonkey]: Great. Wonderful.
(7:32 am) [AngryMonkey]: Anything else I need to do at this time?>
(7:33 am) [Cody B.] If you could just remain in chat for a moment just in case there’s anything the migrations team needs from you that I may be missing. 
(7:35 am) [AngryMonkey]: Cody, I’ve been waiting TWO days. I’ve jumped through your employer’s silly hoops. IF you and HG haven’t figured out by now that making a client wait for support is a bad idea, then I’m out of here. If I don’t get a response to the ticket within 12 hours, I will simply cancel. I’m not waiting any longer. Sorry. I do apologize. I know you don’t make the policies, but no… I’m not going to wait any longer. I’ve been on chat for 23 minutes.
(7:35 am) [System] Chat closed by customer request.

Don’t get me wrong there is a point and time to be secure and ask for things that identify a customer as who they are. But I think a big identifier is when a customer points to a hostgator.com ticket that has not been dealt with for 2 days.  Frankly security is the last thing hostgator.com  should worry about here, as who is going to know that ticket has not been dealt with for 2 days aside for Hosgator.com? Seriously the hostgator.com tech spent too much time trying to verify who a customer was rather than looking to see that a ticket was dealt with.

But that is beside the point; we are talking about cheap unlimited hosting offered by hostgator.com. Customers are not individuals in this market they are numbers.  What can you expect from a company that charges as low as $3.96 a month?

Since my friend has had other issues with Hostgator.com he has noticed a few other problems with chat. First is it seemed the line on support was getting longer. But a change happen this month where instead of showing a place , a time with a really long decimal point was coming up. Personally not a bad touch if only they would change it to two decimal point. But here the second problem and it’s a real kicker they answer the chat and find some reason to “look at the issue” to take another 15 – 20 minutes.

Hostgator.com chat Before

Hostgator.com chat After

Normally I try to refrain from profanity being posted on this site. By my friend (aka AngryMonkey) had this to say about Hostgator.com:

Comment retracted at author’s request

I don’t quite see the same thing, but perhaps a clue to the server’s problem may be that servers should not be in a swamp. Look down mister hostgator.com, look down.

iPage.com – Now a top 5 Endurance International Group trusted host review site

iPage.com got my attention the other day when I decided I was off topic once again with this site. That topic being that review sites are not honest, and want you to buy who they recommend so they can get a payout. What do you expect I suffer ADD (attention deficient disorder). Shiny things like the new iPad or even as simple as a shiny pebble can easily get me off topic.  Seriously I have a lot of rocks I have picked up over the years. So I figured while I wait on new tablet accessories I would do what I used to do and actually look at search engine results, and try and stay focused.

This time around I looked at “host reviews” on Goggle, what caught my eye was what appeared at the top in a paid position was an ad by iPage.com titled ‘ 5 hosts that don’t suck”.

I had to do a double take, was I reading this right? Was this a sub-d0main off of iPage.com. Yes it was.

Wait a second, iPage.com is one host. But for those that do not know like I did not 2 years ago, iPage.com and around 40 or more hosts belong to a company called Endurance International Group.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/endurance-international-group/endurance-international-group-inc.html

Didn’t they send out FTC compliance emails to their affiliates about disclosing affiliate relations to them?

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/endurance-international-group/ipage-com.html

Well they do disclose, but not very clearly you have to click on the link labeled:

About top5hosts.ipage.com

http://top5hosts.ipage.com/disclaimer.html

Where iPage.com states:

Top5Hosts.ipage.com is presented by iPage to provide information about hosting solutions offered by iPage and other hosting brands our company operates. We wholly own and operate all sites listed on top5hosts.ipage.com.

In compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION (FTC) 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, we want to be sure our visitors understand that this site is a promotional vehicle, and the opinions expressed are those of our company.

We operate this site because we believe that our brands offer an outstanding value, and we want to give customers an opportunity to compare our brands to each other.

To bad they can’t do some disclosure on how they are 100 % windpowered. Not to mention some explanation on what separates them from Justhost.com which for all intents and purposes seems nothing more than a clone of fatcow.com and justhost.com.

So in short EIG (short for Endurance International Group) threw together a subdomain that lists 5 of many of their sites who are part of the iPage family on to what is called a “promotional vehicle“. I can’t say I find any of what Endurance International Group did impresses me. They seem more interested in buying hosts than actually working on owning and maintaining existing companies.  This is really a cheap attempt at marketing that amounts to a fancy tinfoil wrapping.

“promotional vehicle” is really a colorful way to say oh drat you decided to read the about iPage.com page, guess we better disclose.

Hostdime.com – a VPS customer’s review

Normally Hostdime.com would not find its way on this blog.  I have yet to find it on any of the review sites that I have monitored.  Yet they are guilty of offering so called unlimited space hosting accounts. I could of coarse read their terms of service and find some way out offering you space that goes beyond their profit margin. But hostdime.com’s unlimited space accounts are not the reason for this post.

So if Hostdime.com is not having so-called review sites push their product why would I have a post on them?  Sure I could go into a long rant about the flaws of unlimited hosting.  This is the first time an outsider is responsible for most of the content on a post in this case a friend of mine that has been trying to get me to sign up with hostdime.com for the last few months has had a change of heart.  I had held off on signing up because his few months with the company was not enough to inspire me choose them. At the time he was referring me to hostdime.com I was having my own problems with mediatemple.net.

http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/?p=2872

He decided to write a review on hostdime.com and he did not want to give a flawed review industry anything that would help them. I have yet to post reviews by other people because they all lack any detail and are not willing to answer any more questions.  My friend assures me that he will answer questions and he sent me 3 pages worth of content.  By questions I am referring to either those by me or those that are working at hostdime.com. Hostdime.com like any other host has a right to respond to any post that I write about their company. He of coarse reserves the right to remain anonymous.  I have in the past offered this to people that wanted me to take on their host, but they wanted me to do all of the leg work, which is pointless as I don’t have their experiences to write a review for them.

It’s up to hostdime.com to either take this feedback and improve their services, or outright ignore it and continue on like Burst.net.  Sure Burst.net has lasted more than a decade, but I honestly can say I would not want to run a company that has so much angst against it.

A hostdime.com review

Why am I submitting this post for your blog? Because right now, I have nothing better to do.. all of my HostDime VPS’s are down… All of my friend who I referred to HostDime are b*tching and complaining because all of THEIR virtual private servers are down, too…

So I have nothing better to do while I wait for HostDime to fix the problem… While I wait for the goodwill I created with my clients to erode because of HostDime’s negligence… While I wait for any trust I built with my clients over the course of years to evaporate… While I watch my sites and my business unravel…. While my friends email me with remarks like, “I thought you said HostDime was good…??”

Yeah, it’s hell right now and the bottomline is: HostDime sucks. Oh yes, indeed. HostDime sucks BIG TIME.

Let me explain…

I opened a HostDime VPS account 6 months ago… and I was amazed at the speed of the server. But my amazement was short lived….

At first the speed was breathtaking. It was almost like having my own server. SO I bought another HostDime VPS… and another… and another… all over the course of 2 months. I had 4 VPS’s to host approximately 50 sites total. Yes, a bit exorbitant, I agree… but I believe in safety in numbers. I like to diversify my investment.

At first, I was happy the speed was great. It was amazing. But I was worried…. It looked like all of my VPS’ were on the same node. Cause for alarm? Not by judging the glorious reviews on Webhosting Talk. They all spoke of HostDime’s proactive support and performance…

Well, I know people tend to exaggerate. To be honest, I didn’t find their support that “proactive”. On weekends, I was lucky if I could find a HostDime technician who would answer my chat within 10 minutes. Often times, when I initiated a chat request, I would have to wait 10-15 minutes for an “available operator” to pick up…

Well, I’m a forgiving person by nature. I mean, my troubles weren’t major. I could wait 10 or 15 minutes for an answer to a non-critical question, so all in all I was happy…

So, immediately began referring my friends and clients to HostDime. After all, why keep a good thing to myself, right??

WRONG.

In fact, it seemed like the more people I referred to HostDime who bought their VPS, the slower and slower my own Virtual Private Servers became.

After referring 5 clients to HostDime, I immediately noticed something wrong: They were all placed on the same node as my other 4 HostDime VPS accounts …

WARNING, WILL ROBINSON! WARNING!!

Then, within days, it all went bust… All of my VPS accounts… and all of my client’s VPS accounts.

The tragedy began with intermittent uptime. I would go to one of my sites and it would fail to load. I would hit refresh a few times… and then… finally, after a few server errors, they would come back up.

Then my clients began emailing me. “Hey… my VPS is down…  what’s up?”  or “I thought you said HostDime was good. For the third time this week, all of my sites are offline…”

Well, what could I do?  I wasn’t operating HostDime. I just recommened them. I wasn’t working their chat system for them, I was just trying to help my clients by referring them to what I thought was a good host.

Ugh. Was I ever wrong. The problems continued and I became intimate with their support team: Ashton, Christian, Sanjin, Jason…  I knew them well – because I was chatting with them every day, complaining about my VPS’s being offline… and reminding them that my own client’s ALSO were wondering why their own Virtual Private Servers were dead in the water.

Here’s what I learned about their support “methodology”. If you use their chat system, be prepared to for unpredictability.  They might answer right away. Or you might be waiting for for up to 30 minutes all-the-while being exposed to their self-aggrandizing messages such as, “Did you know we have our own data center in Orlando, Florida? Please continue to hold. The next available technician will be with you shortly.”

Now in retrospect, who in their right mind would host with a datacenter in Florida?  Hello? Hurricanes. Torrential rains. Seasonal power outtages. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

But I digress…

To make a long story short, right now I’m trying to LEAVE HostDime… but I can’t; I’m their hostage. While my sites are online  and I can access my Webhost Manager (WHM) via VPS, I have absolutely NO FTP access…. So I can’t move my sites off. Whenver I *can* access my sites via FTP, HostDime’s network is grudgingly slow. I  might be able to move two 12KB (yes, kilobytes… tiny, tiny files) files before HostDime’s network crashes.

Simultaneously while I am trying, furtively, to escape HostDime and move my sites away, I have all of those clients I referred to HostDime emailing me… Skyping me… calling me…  saying, in sum:  “Thanks a lot, Assh*le… We trusted you… You can forget about any future business from us”

So here I am…. Waiting… watching my income go down the drain, wondering if I will EVER be able get access to my data on my multiple HostDime VPS accounts… So far, no luck. I have over $15K in developed website inventories…  held hostage by HostDime…. Sites I can’t sell. Sites I can’t move because of HostDime’s stupidity… because of my stupidity for trusting them and their rave reviews on WebhostingTalk.com –

You can say I am bitter, yes. But the fact remains: If HostDime is as successful as they claim to be WHY did they, over the course of 5 months, put me and ALL of my clients onto the same node? It stands to reason that their VPS inventory is limited, that they have few Virtuozzo licenses…. And so they must cram as many VPS clients as they can onto a single server in order to break even. Why else would HostDime oversell a server? There’s not another reason for it?

One final note about HostDime support: It’s formulaic. Is your issue simple or do you just need a reboot? No problem a phone call or a chat is all it takes (if you don’t mind waiting for 10-15 minutes at times). Is your issue complicated? Does it require sophisticated technical expertise? Lo and behold: After chatting with “John” or “Mike” or “Jason” or “Ashston” they will say, “I have to open a ticket for you….” Then, you’re communicating with “Sajin” or “Sachin” or “Inder” or something like that —  outsourced, offshore support. In other words, it appears that HostDime can’t afford “expensive” US-based support for complicated,… If you have a serious problem, a ticket is created… then you wait for an outsourced provider to respond.

That’s where I am right now: My sites are offline. “Ashton” wasn’t able to help me on chat, so now I am waiting for “Sanjin” to respond via the ticket system. Same old story – except this time, that story is coming to an end – finally… just as soon as I can access my sites again and leave HostDime once and for all…

A few thoughts about the hostdime.com review

I have to say I am baffled by the placing of multiple accounts for the same person as well as those that had been referred by said person on the same node. It does not make any sense.  For that matter when I ran a hosting company we made it a practice to not place shared accounts by the same customer on the same server.  While many people were not happy with a practice of manual approval of all orders it did more than just prevent fraud, it allowed for changes such as making sure a customer’s new account was far from existing accounts, even when it came to vps and dedicated plans.

Why would I do that? Well a good example of why not is a customer of mine that had 10 accounts with us.  One of his accounts was on a server that was down for 6 hours.  If all of his accounts had been on that server it would have been very hard for him to justify staying with my previous company hence that old proverb of not putting all of your eggs in one basket. It makes no sense to put them on the same node unless the customer asks for it to be done.  In my experience customers never ask for this.  If anything they ask to be placed far away from existing node, just as I have never had customers ask for their account to be on the same set of IPs.

Hostdime.com questions:

  • Why would all of these accounts be placed on the same node?
  • Are the problems still going on with hostdime.com (realize its less than 12 hours since I was emailed this)?
  • Is the reviewer still in progress of leaving hostdime.com?
  • Exactly what parts of the world are the staff of hostdime.com located?
  • Are different departments stationed at different parts of the world, or are their staff for each department located as these international facilities?

It’s been my experience that many times when someone says they are going to cancel their account, a person is simply letting off anger, perhaps hostdime may retain this customer.

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.