Hosting Reviews

Are you considering inmotionhosting.com? Caution READ my review before buying!!!

Are my eyes deceiving me? Because the number 6 of 25 webhostingstuff.com webhost In Motion Hosting appears to be on Hurricane Electric servers (he.net). One of the companies I started got its first cPanel start with one of their users called Powersurge.com, some how later I would be tossed off to fastservers.net. It was never clear as to why I mysteriously became a fastservers customer. But I had to deal with a rather un-delightful sales agent named Aaron, who was always happy to talk about new service. But when it came to problems such as faulty servers, he was slow to take action, but quick to blame me or my staff. In addition to their hardware problems (we had a 70% failure rate, and 40% reoccurring rate of failure), there were a lot of network problems with Hurricane Electric. Especially denial of service attacks. The problem was I had 9 servers with them, I can’t remember the amount of clients. But to solve my network issues Fastservers wanted me to buy new servers at their new location. Instead I went with ev1 (who merged with theplanet), as they were offering first month if I gave them a competitors invoice. Fastservers would soon become http://www.layeredtech.com/ right before the last of my servers were moved, Layered Tech was less interested in keeping my business then fast servers. There is a post about Layered Tech coming soon.

During one of the worst Hurricane Electric outages one of fast servers staff broke down and made claims on their forum that he did not know if the connection would ever be restored. It was eventually restored after a long and sleepless night, but I would love to find that link, I am pretty sure like most negative things about fast servers Aaron had a hand in cleaning it up. I don’t have the highest expectations that Hurricane Electric has gotten better since I left. So I can’t imagine in motion hosting customers have a lot of thrilling tales about up time and network speed. Maybe their location had better uptime then my location, I have doubts.

Inmotionhosting.com is another company that uses the same level of high payouts that other companies that use webhosting review websites.

  • 1 – 2 Sales Per Month: $50 Per Sale
  • 3+ Sales Per Month: $100 Per Sale

Also:

  • Please Note: InMotion Hosting has a strict policy against ‘Self-Sign Ups’ or attempts to earn commissions on your own hosting accounts.

Its hard to find bad things about in motion hosting. Probable due to the fact that there are so many variations to type inmotion, that it might cause confusion when posting or finding places to post. My recommendation if you ever want to make a bad post about this company is to stick with inmotionhosting.com, of for that matter a good review. Though it does not appear the affiliates and top host review sites are having the same problem. So for now I am going to focus on the order form and the terms of service.

http://www.inmotionhosting.com/policies.html

I figure due to the fact that their cheapest plan is only purchasable in 2 years terms, it might be a good idea to look at the refund policy. I understand why they might want to charge per year and 2 years, those $.22 – .35 fee per attempted transaction on credit cards really eat into a $3 fee over 24 months of monthly billing.

  • Notifications of cancellation must be made 30 days prior to successive rebill period. InMotion Hosting reserves the right to deny, forfeit, or refuse refunds at any time if necessary.

I think that is enough to address my concerns. Clear as day, they can refuse to give you a refund. Also if you cancel your account on the 3rd day of the 23rd month of your hosting account, you will be charged for another 2 years.

I have also noticed that they do not have PayPal as an option on their checkout. I am by no stretch of the imagination a fan of PayPal. But I consider them a necessary evil, especially when up to 20 % of my clients paid that way. Plus I was more likely to win a dispute through PayPal then my merchant. Otherwise they are not the easiest people to get a hold of, plus it takes almost nothing to kill a subscription, regardless if I or my client wanted it canceled.

I am a little surprised while looking at the order form to see that they include frontpage extensions, considering I have not seen a request for that in years. I am currently looking at the starter which most people will sign up on. It offers 100 gigs of space, 1000 gigs of bandwitdh. Further review of this package tells me that its no better then a unlimited package, maybe worse then a unlimited package. There are a lot of limitations that would make it impossible to use the full amount of space that they offer.

I also see no option for WordPress or other blogger applications on the starter. The reason for that probable is because there are no mysql data bases on the starter package. I am not sure how anyone is going to use a 100 gigs of space when their account has no mysql databases. Its a little unclear but it looks like I can only get one domain on the starter package.

I thought I would look at their Pro the only package under Business Class that has monthly terms, the first thing that sticks out when I go to the Shopping cart is:

  • 1 Month – $19.95/mo + $40 Setup

That is a pretty high step-up fee, which I am sure is non-refundable. But that’s not all that sticks out:

  • Supports: 16 Separate Web SitesUnlimited domains with email (see terms) and 200 MySQL Databases

Support 16 websites, yet unlimited domains? See terms?

http://www.inmotionhosting.com/policies.html

Unlimited Disk Space & Bandwidth

  • While IMH does not meter disk space & bandwidth, the purpose of an IMH hosting account is to host web sites. Using a hosting account primarily for online file storage or archiving electronic files is prohibited.
  • IMH Personal & Business Class hosting are shared hosting environments, so to ensure fast & reliable service to all of our clients, accounts that adversely affect server or network performance must correct these issues or will be asked to upgrade to a virtual or dedicated server.

Still not clear on what is meant by 16 sites, with unlimited domains. But lets take a look at the bottom of the terms of service.

  • IMH does not make implied or written warranties for any of our services.
  • IMH denies any warranty or merchantability for a specific purpose. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, wrong delivery, and any and all service interruptions caused by IMH.

Still not clear, and I find there are no guarantees that their service will work. Not to mention no warranty should they be the cause of my service interruption.  Sounds like a great webhost.

Awards? Yes inmotionhosting.com has afflialates….. I mean Awards!!!

http://www.inmotionhosting.com/about.html

Webhostingstuff.com, Hostaz.com and more phoney baloney review for pay websites.

I could go into each of the awards, but I would be repeating myself on many of these sites as to why they are affiliates, and not true review sites.

The Inmotionhosting.com chat session.

After reviewing their terms of service, package, and order form I had questions. I was particularly disturbed with what I had found.

My chat session started with 8 people ahead of me, but I was soon forwarded to a chat operator.

You are now speaking with Brian C. of Sales.

Brian C.: (8:9): Hello Benjamin.

Benjamin: (8:10): Hello Brian

Brian C.: (8:10): How may I help you today?

Benjamin: (8:10): I have questions, first let me ask can I pay by PayPal, I don’t see the option on your orderform

Brian C.: (8:11): If we place the order for you via chat or email we can accept Pay Pal on 6 mnth or longer billing.

Benjamin: (8:11): ok, why is it not on the order form?

Brian C.: (8:12): Due to how Pay Pal is processed we have to place the order so we can do a request for payment via Pay Pal.

Benjamin: (8:12): strange, you should consider whmcs

Brian C.: (8:12): What type of hosting plan were you looking to get setup on?

Benjamin: (8:13): well I am still looking at the moment

Brian C.: (8:13): Also we do prefer to take all orders via phone or chat to ensure everything is setup properly the first time and to avoid mistakes.

Benjamin: (8:13): Am I correct on that I can not install wordpress on the starter and it only has one domain?

Brian C.: (8:13): The starter under Value class hosting?

Benjamin: (8:13): yes

Brian C.: (8:14): Or were you referring to the Launch plan?

Benjamin: (8:14): the $3 per month plan

Brian C.: (8:15): No as Word Press requires a MYSQL database. If using WordPress you would want a minimum of the Launch plan. Also we do not accept Pay Pal on Value class hosting.

Benjamin: (8:15): If I place a order via your ordersystem with out contacting you on chat or phone how long will it take to get the order setup?

Brian C.: (8:16): After you place the order the confirmation / fraud check will take up to 30 minutes. After that process is completed a confirmation specialist will need to give you a call to go through all the information. After that call the account will be setup.

Benjamin: (8:17): also you did not answer me if the starter only gets one domain

Brian C.: (8:18): Correct.

Benjamin: (8:18): On the Pro (business class) it says that I can have 16 separate websites, yet unlimited domains. Can you clarify on that?

Brian C.: (8:19): The unlimited domain names are referring to parked domains which are pointers basically. For example www.abc.net would point to abc.com.

Benjamin: (8:19): ok, finale question

Benjamin: (8:19):
I see a graphic that states 30 or 90 day guarantee, does it matter what I order to get the 90 day?

Brian C.: (8:20): All Value class hosting includes only a 30 day money back guarantee. Business class has a 90 day.

Benjamin: (8:20): sorry one more question

Benjamin: (8:21): Usually I sign up for the max amount of time for optimum savings

Brian C.: (8:21): I completely understand.

Benjamin: (8:21): Lets say I experience a long period of down time and I am force to move my account to get active again

Brian C.: (8:22): We have actually maintained 99.98% uptime across the board since 2001.

Benjamin: (8:22): and its after 30 days would I be eligible for a refund, and how much

Brian C.: (8:22): We do not give refunds past the specified time.

Benjamin: (8:22): are you on hurricane electric servers?

Benjamin: (8:22): or should I say network

Brian C.: (8:23): Our datacenter is tier 3 datacenter utilizing 30 day diesel generators.

Brian C.: (8:23): We also on business class and above offer multiple bandwidth providers over multiple OC-48 lines.

Benjamin: (8:23): the trace route shows he.net, and I was on their network before

Brian C.: (8:27): Unfortunately that trace route is inaccurate as we are not on he.net network. Also the network depends on which hosting plan and server you are tracing.

Benjamin: (8:27): I am tracing your main domain

Benjamin: (8:28): what state are your servers located in?

Brian C.: (8:29): We have two data centers. One in Los Angeles and one in Washington D.C.

Benjamin: (8:30): ok thank you, have a good day

Nice how there chat sessions have a time stamps.

My Finale Thoughts on inmotionhosting.com

I got my answer on how a site can have 16 sites yet unlimited domains. Its not really unlimited domains, and I know of many domain registers that allow you to just forward your domain where you want. The bottom line is you get 16 websites hosted under 16 domains. Nothing unlimited about the domains, other then you can set them up as many as you want to forward to one of the 16 domains / sites under their pro plan.

I think the biggest red flag I get from this company is the fact that they offer no refunds regardless of the reason for canceling the account. As out lined in there own policy even if it was their fault that you canceled. My suggestion is to go the bbb if you have problems with getting a refund, though there is no guarantee that they can help you or for that matter will not take inmotion’s side. But every drop in the bucket counts

http://www.la.bbb.org/Business-Report/InMotion-Hosting-Inc-13192913

I did not mean to get out of customer mode in the chat. Instead of trying to point their network location, I should have got him to concede in regards to a refund would happen after extended down time. After all what do they have to worry about if they have no down time. I don’t buy that they are not using Hurricane Electric. Perhaps I am wrong.

http://he.net/ip_transit.html

Equinix LA1 600 W 7th Ave, Los Angeles CA 90017
One Wilshire 624 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90017

Then there is the PayPal issue, they don’t indicated that its available. You have to ask for it on chat or by phone. Its limited to certain types of accounts, and no less then 6 months or longer as out line by some of the complaints I have found.

http://forum.cs-cart.com/showthread.php?t=12450

Its not that hard to configure for that matter I used to manually generate subscriptions before we got a new billing system. It was a bit cumbersome, but no where near as bad as sending out billing notices every month. Every day one of my staff would review the previous days subscription payments and enter them into the billing system. Atleast until we got a new billing system that still processed if for us. But we did weekly audits to ensure all payments were tracked.  But “Due to how Pay Pal is processed we have to place the order so we can do a request for payment via Pay Pal.”, meaning they login to PayPal.com and send you a money request.

The website looks out of date, which makes me wonder if they are using an outdated billing system as the order form is not that impressive. The failure to have a PayPal on that system makes me wonder how out of date their billing system may be or for that matter how secure it might be. I can understand wanting to call to confirm my order is valid. But not every customer wants to be called. The setup questions are obscure at best on the order form. Setup questions could be addressed on the order form.

Basically if you choose to go with InMotionHosting, you better hope that nothing goes wrong. Because they reserve the right to refuse a refund.

More fun Reading

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/archive/index.php/t-368804.html

HostGator = Bad Web Host? Read Honest HostGator Review

We now come to Hostgator number 5 on the top 25 and #5 of 10,293. with webhostingstuff.com. The only host whose top 25 ranking matches its popularity ranking. Also the only company with a single digit ranking in traffic popularity on webhostingstuff.com. It does not seem in the last 2 years that hostgator, while their claims of growing popularity have not been able to get past number 5 in rankings.   You would think they could at least beat Arvand.  Perhaps hostgator paid in advance for their “advertising” on webhostingstuff.com for that 5th spot. I would suggest contacting webhostingstuff.com to get a push up on those rankings, perhaps hostgator can get in a bidding war with iPage for that number 1 spot …… sorry I meant advertising Webhostingstuff.com does not “sell” rankings *eye roll*. Did I forget to mention the mysterious disappearing negative fee back.

Clearly Hostgator has no problem with listing awards from websites that are nothing more then elaborate or not so elaborate affiliates.

http://www.hostgator.com/reviews.shtml

There are only a few of those that offer an award that don’t have an affiliate link, or better yet a coupon. Plus webhostingstuff.com is on the list.

Though one of the affiliates……….. I mean award sites does not have all good reviews:

http://www.reviewshut.com/web-hosting/hostgator.html

I am not sure the point of these “awards” when most of the sites don’t have any visible advertising, other then coupons and affiliate links. Clearly they have to pay for their hosting some how, nor is anyone going to write tons of content for nothing. After all are you going to bad mouth an organization that will pay you $50 – $125 per sign up, or are you going to sing their praises. This is nothing more the a list of reviews for profit, not an unbiased set up like Consumer Reports.

Hostgator Affiliate Program(s)

So far I see that Hostgator.com has two commission programs. One at Commission Junction and their own.

Through Commission Junction you get a flat $100 fee per sign up

At Hostgator.com directly

1-5 a month $50 per sign up
6-10 a month $75 per sign up
11-20 a month $100 per sign up
21+ a month $125 per sign up

It appears unlike other companies I have reviewed this is on any term Monthly – higher terms.

Depending on your marketing skill if your not that great your better off with Commission Junction, if your really good your better off with Hostgator.com.

But the big payouts are reason why they are growing so fast is just like the other 4 hosts I reviewed they have a large payout that encourages their affiliates to flood the search engines with tons of crap. You can see this when you do a search on “host gator sucks”, real complaints are hidden in between the “I have your coupon” sites and other affiliates.

Hostgartor.com likes to brag about numbers, which I imagine impresses people to believe they are a legit operation. Which is why I got so many comments on my video from people who need an lesson on ethics, that having the money does not mean you need to cheat. Their large numbers are based on a high payout. What I would love to know is the amount of cancellations versus the amount of new orders. The amount of refunds. How about operating costs? Numbers that I don’t see. Their company may be growing, but they are going to suffer loses. Another number I would like to see is the number of affiliate payouts. What they are paying Commission Junction, after all the affiliate gets $100 per sign up, and commission junction is not a free operation.

Then there is this link http://www.googlelady.com/1281/exhostgator-employee/

I am not sure how valid the information is, but there are several points that ring true such as the affiliate program. But anyone can look that up. Its not like the person she is supposedly interviewing is not disgruntle or for that matter real. But having worked at Wal-Mart during my college years I know how those benefits that drew me in were not immediately available and had tons of catches. Two examples were their health insurance and college tuition programs. They claimed I had to be a full time employee (did not matter I was working 40 hours a week for 18 months). But on the flip side I have been with good employers that had dirt threw at them that were lies, such as one company I only had to wait 30 days for my health insurance to kick in. But I have to wonder if hostgators employee pages http://www.hostgator.com/benefits.shtml is nothing more then veneer. After all they have make sacrifices some where to make sure that their affiliates that drive those big numbers and drown out the negative feedback.

Unlimited Hostgator.com plan, you must use this much space in order to apply

http://blog.hostgator.com/2008/10/20/all-you-can-eat-hosting/

I am not sure how many customers read the cartoon and saw the irony in Hostgator talking about the wonders of overselling and unlimited space. But you have a heavy set man at a all you can eat buffet next to what is mock “you must be this tall” roll coaster ride sign, indicating you must be this thin to enter.  Subliminal truth?

The Hostgator.com Traceroute

Tracing route to hostgator.com [67.18.54.28]…

hop rtt rtt rtt ip address fully qualified domain name
1 1 1 1 70.84.211.97 61.d3.5446.static.theplanet.com
2 90 1 1 70.87.254.5 po101.dsr02.dllstx5.theplanet.com
3 0 0 0 70.85.127.109 po52.dsr02.dllstx3.theplanet.com
4 9 1 1 70.87.253.122 te1-3.dsr02.dllstx2.theplanet.com
5 1 0 0 70.87.254.94 te1-2.car09.dllstx2.theplanet.com
6 1 1 0 67.18.54.28 gator.hostgator.com

Even though Hostgator has their own building, it does not appear they have their own server center, and they to like the first three companies I reviewed that are also using theplanet.com.

My finale thoughts on rather anyone should buy from Hostgator.com

Even though Hostgator.com is only in number 5th position, they probable should be in the top position at webhostingstuff.com. Granted I consider the top 25 hosts, a list for the top 25 to avoid because their main concern is raking in money, not making investing in infrastructure that advances their services. Developing “unlimited” / “overselling” is not investing in infrastructure, but concentrating on the misinformed world wide consumer that may not understand that you get what you pay for. Bernie Madoff did the same thing with promises of over optimistic promise of high returns on investments.  Anyone that offers a higher then 100% commission on a first payment is more interested in bringing customers in then keeping them.

This is my own personal rant against hostgator.com

In many ways hostgator.com has been a good host for me, and I am not saying because I hosted with them. I say that because I would get a lot of their dissatisfied customers. Customers that thought before hostgator that my prices were too high, only turn around and realize that being cheap on your source of income was not all that smart. For that matter I think at the time I loved hostgator.com at least until I saw this post back in February 2009:

http://blog.hostgator.com/2009/02/06/bad-economy-good-for-hostgator/

It was as if Hostgator was telling everyone in the United States we have jobs but you ignore us. Their a big host, but it does not mean everyone is going to know who they are. So in the search for jobs they are not on the top of the list. Better yet not everyone is going to have skills to deal with computers and customer service. My grandfather a soft spoken person, awesome at fixing cars (for that matter he spent more time with his truck then my grandmother) and generally any thing mechanical would not have the first idea of how to use a computer. I could not imagine him on the phone trying to handle customer service, as he is not very loud.

Somehow the 10% employment was a result of people being lazy. It had nothing to do with the mismanagement with companies, the deregulation to prevent those companies from being corrupt, or did it? Apparently Brent has never had to go door to door with a resume. What job that you might be able to get barely pays the bills so you have to get a second job and still its not enough. The jobs that you have skills for won’t hire because you had no experience (in my case) or you were too old (my grandfathers case). The first job I had to settle for did not even involve a resume but an application. I am sorry Brent, but you need to walk in the people that are getting welfare’s shoes before complaining about handouts. I encountered these problems when I was in school and my scholarship that only covered so many of of my expenses had to be supplemented. The effort to find a secondary source of income was killing my grades. Yes there are dead beats, and even those that milk the system to get a nice pay check from the government. But its not everyone.

But this is coming from someone pretending to be a bum for a day:

Oh look I see my video to the side when you go to youtube to view his  video 🙂

Review Arvixe. Is arvixe.com a bad host? Arvixe Sucks? Complaints?

Back in the early years of my self-employment, my business partner and I would brain storm with domains. Though I think it was more of a war of philosophies. Alot of the time I would buy the domains I thought had value, though admittedly I have close 500 domains that are doing nothing, over 10 years.  He never would have bought a domain like yahoo.com or google.com. I would, I like that they are unique yet easy to spell, and not to mention stick in your mind. My philosophy had always been to make it memorable, not always short, and make sure it can be spelled with out much thought.. His would be some sort of business philosophy he picked up from forums and other so called “gurus”. But I think we can both agree this is not a domain either of us would have picked. While it fits my desire of short, I doubt people that first see the domain are going to remember how to spell it on the fly. After all what is a arvixe? It seems that they have the monopoly on the term and its probable made up.

But before I go any further into how I think a domain should be, that’s really not something in relation to bad hosts.   They have an affiliate program like the first three, but they are not on commission junction. Which means they are another high payout, that encourages tons of crap when you try to look for information on a webhost.

https://affiliates.arvixe.com/

What I found in regards to search engine results about arvixe is disturbing.

http://www.yelp.com/topic/redwood-city-bad-review-and-complaint-about-arvixe-com-web-hosting-company-and-godaddy-com

In a nut shell customer tried to order service from a site that promises 24 / 7 tech support and prompt set up of order. After not receiving the order the customer tried to contact the company during a day and could not reach anyone. I can’t say I would not be alarmed after giving my credit card information to a company that had no one to contact. So customer went to yelp.com to complain. Arvixe choose to to counter response, and apparently their response to their customer was so inappropriate yelp.com deleted it. For the most part the other reviewers were with the person who posted the complaint. When someone brought up complaining to the BBB, Arvixe was quick to state the person was not a customer because they did not take their money. Not to mention argued the point that they never signed up. As far as I can tell they never addressed the inability to be contacted. Perhaps this person is lying, but there is nothing that indicates that they were. But as far as I am concerned, until you tell someone their order was declined after taking their credit card the person is a customer. Simply not responding to their emails or phone calls…….. hiding from them is not an indicator that someone is not a customer. I wonder what their merchant would think of this philosophy.

Then on their own forum.

http://forum.arvixe.com/smf/general/what-is-meant-by-ddos-when-applied-to-arvixe/?wap2

One of their customers found complaints about dos (Denial of Service) attacks. The customer wanted clarification. Arvand who seems to appear where ever there is a complaint did not treat this person like a customer, but more of an attacker. Ever where I see Arvixe complaints that allow for posting, I find Arvand attacking the negative feed back. I wonder if the customer signed up for 2 years, I know I would not. It it was me I would have stated when the last dos attack was, and what we do to prevent them and if in the rare case they get through what we do to fix it. Because this post and every post Arvand has gone against only add more fuel in not buying from them. This was defiantly not a place to be defensive, this was a time to give a customer cool and calm response.

My question is when do they have problems do they take responsibility for them, or are they going to attack the customer that asks what the cause of the problem is. I have said things in the heat of the moment I wish I had not said, but I can count on one hand the amount of times over 11 years. But that is not the case for this company. Instead its a policy of attacking the customer, and I don’t see much point in reviewing a company that engages in such a philosophy any further.

Bottom line, I don’t recommend this host. Even if they were not using over the top affiliate payouts and sites like webhostingstuff.com (Traffic Popularity: #77 of 10,293 companies) to get a position that was not earned. Their responses to problems is not acceptable, and I tend to wonder what problems are going on behind the scenes when every response is a defense mode. I don’t see much point in further review of this company, or future reviews unless they change their philosophy of attacking the messenger.  There is no point in hosting with a company like this.