Digitalfaq.com has told their readers I am a conspiracy nut. So if you came here from Digtalfaq.com, this post is for you.
First off I am not asking you to trust me (far from it). After all Digitalfaq.com and I may have our own agenda, or worse I have my own agenda. Instead I am asking you to rely on your better judgment. This is my argument about what Digitalfaq.com claims I said.
This started out because I had been sent an email by someone who though I should reference Digitalfaq.com. Because they thought we had the same mind set. However I found them being hypocritical of hosting review sites, while doing the same thing as many review sites without providing any proof that they use the companies they recommend, so far there are only two sites that I can’t confirm have an affiliate program. Not to mention Digitalfaq.com is misinforming people on the very nature of the dark side of hosting reviews (in short they are not always a blog, they are not always about huge affiliate payments, they are not always about affiliate payments, they are not always done on a site they own by, and/or not always about a payment). I plan to cover the taxonomy of review sites in an upcoming post. But for now I am going to attempt to dissect what was said on Digitalfaq.com.
The counter argument by Digitalfaq.com, did not reference specific posts.
So as an example I am going to point to five links that I am referring to:
The first of which is their top 2013 host list, which started the first three posts on Digitalfaq.com:
Here is the snap shot I took of their post.
The second is the response to the first two posts (maybe three) of Digitalfaq.com:
Asides for not referencing specific posts, the owner of digtalfaq.com decided to modify my posts, without leaving sentences intact, or leaving the full context of a thought out.
The next three links are posts I made about Digitalfaq.com:
Ground work for my argument against trusting Digitalfaq.com:
This is where I take apart Digitalfaq.com’s guidelines on what makes a good host:
Last I dig into rather or not Digitalfaq.com makes money off the hosts they recommend:
In short only 2 hosts don’t reference an affiliate program, one site has an affiliate login area, while the other cannot be entirely ruled out because they have WHMCS ( Which has affiliate capabilities).
I am breaking this post into points, as there is a lot to take apart, and I am going to probable miss something. But I made it a point to do this in two hours.
Point 1. Where I might have went wrong
I might have been wrong about Digitalfaq.com on data server ownership. As what I had typed was when I first looked at their top 2013 criteria for a good host seemed to indicate that hosts ownership of a data center. However I made a dumb mistake and failed to make a screen shot of the post when I was reviewing it the first time around. For that matter I failed to take a screen shop the second time as well. It was not until the third time around and the addition of unlimited hosts was added. Upon my first and second review Digitalfaq.com, they clearly were against unlimited hosting, and original argument against unlimited hosting is still there.
“· A good host manages their resources (bandwidth, RAM, storage space), and creates plans that balance intelligent limits with actual costs.
- · A bad host promises ridiculous limits — or no limits at all! Unlimited! Yeehaw!”
“A bad host tries to hide “gotchas” in their often-buried documents, which are written in butchered “legalese” English, and hide limits such as SQL connections, inodes, email I/O, and file usage that turn so-called “unlimited” accounts into highly limited near-worthless web accounts. Many times, these documents are buried on their site, and thrown in the face of customers as the basis by which to charge them fees or outright deny service or tech support.”
Breaking away from what I thought was good advice was what fueled my interest.
Point 2: Where Digtalfaq.com was right
“Poor grammar and misspellings aside, the sole author would ramble about all kinds of companies, both hosting and non-hosting: anti-virus software, Amazon.com, WebHostingTalk.com, Cyberhost Pro, 3essentials, Wooservers, BurstNET, Site5, LayeredTech, MediaTemple, etc.”
Yes I have spelling errors, at times poor grammar, and yeah I do ramble when I suffer writers block. It also does not help to write on my iPhone, and even on iPad since I have these big hands. Not to mention I try to put a time limit as I have done with this post. I would like to think that I have gotten better. Not to mention I am not above correction. But I plan to correct past posts after I get my new house, unless any one knows a good editor. However I don’t apologize for going off topic, this is after all my time and my money (and it’s not like I ask for donations, or tell people how they can support this site). However I am starting my own personal blog soon and hosting-reviews-exposed.com will stick to hosting reviews based on unethical gains, and hosting related issues like PIPA, spam, fake seo companies, and other items dealing with websites.
Point 3: Where Digtalfaq.com was half right
“If you look closely at hosting-reviews-exposed.com’s Facebook “Likes” box, you may notice it has lots of pretty girls. Further scrutiny of these accounts show them to be new accounts, and/or having little use with thin content.
- Not using accounts is not the demographic of Facebook. (Especially under-30 females.)
- Females is not the demographic for hosting.
- However pretty girls that never use their Facebook account is the modus operandi of fake Fiverr users”
Yes I did purchase likes on Facebook. As I could have done this with my Google + and my Twitter account. I did it more so for research on this and three other sites. Before I started I had 260 + fans by my own merits. I purchased 1,000 likes on this site, and clearly if I wanted to fake it I would have spent far more than what I did (it’s not like I am asking people to donate to me). My goal was to track how long it took for the seller to respond and enact, how fast the likes came in, where the likes where coming from, general makeup of the likes, and if any activity was generated by the likes (the answer to that is none). Not to mention a decay rate. After all I was at 1,300+ a month ago, and it decayed down to 740 yesterday. Today it is 695 last I checked (so I am literally losing likes as you read this). Though that’s not taking in that I get about 2 likes a week. I suspect that overtime my likes will return back to a valid number in less than a month as decay appears to be a direct result of frequency of activity on Facebook. But that is a post for a later another date. Though it will probable reveal my inner data crunching geekery.
Now for where Digitalfaq.com is wrong,
The first bullet point makes no sense (spelling/grammar?).
The second bullet point is false all on its own, and I am really trying to refrain from being sarcastic. If you understood my nature I am being very reserved here.
Based on my previous hosting companies’ customer records, females are a demographic. They were 35% of the client base. Granted even if they were a fraction of a percent, they would be a demographic. Which has always had me wondering what % of Godaddy.com customers are female. Either way gender has never been a determining factor of defining who I will take money from.
Bullet Point 3 assumes that I bought my likes off Fivver.com and that all of the accounts are always controlled by a single user. In which case Digitalfaq.com is wrong on both. Though it can be the case for both points. As for pretty girls, Digitalfaq.com is just trying to use derogatory comments to compensate, for what I have no idea. Either way I would love to see how Digitalfaq.com thought bought likes work.
Point 4: What Digtalfaq.com left out
I find it interesting instead of directing people to my posts to discredit me, Digitalfaq.com has links to their affiliate programs throughout their anti Hosting-reviews-exposed.com post. Interestingly enough to some hosts they think are bad.
Breakdown is Company / Affiliate ID / Commission
1&1 PID=3235990 / Earn up to $300
Godaddy.com isc=cjcmsc001t / payment varies 30% commissions on nearly all products
Amazon.com / digitalfaq-20 / 4 – 8% commission
Burst.net / aff=2993 / 15 – 25% commission
Cyberhostpro.com / id=246 / £10.00 – £40.00 (based on number of sales)
3essentials.com / aid=21e7151b $70 – $135
Mediatemple.net / aid=4fb618fb27a17 $80 – $230 based off sales/product
LayeredTech just redirects to Digitalfaq.com’s main page.
Hostgator.com (linked despite the claim of being removed as a sponsor) unable to determine the affiliate id, however payments range $50 – $125.
There also many they list in their top 2013 hosts that redirect to their affiliate programs.
But that’s not the only page with affiliate links, like for example:
I find this ID 3235990 interesting when clicking on Ixwebhosting.com, despite being listed as a comment spammer, you would not think I could click on a link to black listed host. By the way Ixwebhosting.com has a deeper history in fake reviews than Digitalfaq.com knows. Details on ixwebhosting.com in another upcoming post.
I am sure they are going to explain affiliate links embedded though out their attempt to trash me and other posts in a similar fashion as this Hostgator sponsored banner.
But when it came to Hostgator.com being a sponsor of Digitalfaq.com, the owner choose this part of my blog “Plus since Digitalfaq.com loves Eurovps.com so much why does Hostgator.com and other companies get a far bigger banner.
Note: hostgator.com (a host that offers unlimited hosting) is a sponsor of Digitalfaq.com.”.
To explain this away, Digitalfaq.com explains: ”This is false. On about 3/5 the site’s sponsor chose not to renew, and the site ads reverted to filler from a year or two ago — way before HostGator was sold by Brent Oxley to EIG. At that time, it was still pretty good, and was suggested. In addition to that, it was in rotation with several other filler ads for Meritline and SuperMediaStore.com, so this criticism is exaggerated at best. It was removed when caught. As of 3/19, we have a new sponsor anyway.“
This does not really address why EuroVPS.com gets the short banner. Did Hostgator.com cancel Digitalfaq.com’s affiliate membership? Up till March 19th which was after my three posts, Hostgator.com enjoyed the possible free traffic Digitalfaq.com was pushing their way. As for Hostgator.com choosing not to renew with affiliates after EIG bought hostgator.com, I don’t buy it. I have actually been signed up with them through Commission Junction (cj.com) so that I could get a copy of FCC compliance and Black Friday emails. In almost 2 years Hostgator.com has not canceled my affiliate membership and continues to send me emails.
In short yes Digitalfaq.com may need charity/ donations because the very owner/admin(s) that give advice on websites are too sloppy or done have the time to clean up rotating banners and remove companies not paying for referrals / advertising. Which makes me wondering if they are also failing to update critical areas of their site. So they have this page to tell you how you can support Digitalfaq.com, which has not declared non-profit status.
Nothing stops hosts that were recommend to be avoid from being advertised so long as no one points to the hypocrisy.
“So it’s somewhat aggravating to have to take time out of my day, in order to respond to nonsense that was posted on the blog at hosting-reviews-exposed.com. It’s time I could put to better use working, or helping others.”
Yet I inspired Digitalfaq.com to remove an Endurance International Group host off their sponsors. To them I say “Your Welcome”. No telling how many people clicked on the banner taking them somewhere Digitalfaq.com does not recommend. Though it’s not really clear that Hostgator.com removed Digitalfaq.com as an advertiser. But I suppose that is coincidental in Digitalfaq.com’s opinion. The moment Digtalfaq.com felt Hostgator.com was a poor option, they should have removed them from their rotating banner (though they may appear in Adsense but that they can be addressed as well). Not to mention whatever they are using to high light specific word(s) with affiliate links.
Now here is the point where Digitalfaq.com either haphazardly reads my blog, and selectively picks to highlight what I wrote.
“I honestly would not have a problem with Digitalfaq.com doing their own recommended hosts if they actually validated their recommendations with facts, not to mention disclosure upfront that they make money if you sign up with a host they recommend.“
Digitalfaq.com responded with:
“Unlike other sites, we rank hosts based on their merit: uptime, support, server hardware quality, etc. It’s in no way biased by payouts like those fake lists that suggest Godaddy, 1&1, Yahoo, and EIG brands. If the pay commissions, great! We use those funds for the site. If not, that’s fine, they still get our recommendation!”
While adding affiliate links to Godaddy.com and 1&1 hosting.
After hatcheting my sentence (that should have been two): “I honestly would not have a problem with Digitalfaq.com doing their own recommended hosts if they actually validated their recommendations with facts”.
“He also gives the kind of advice you’d expect from a know-nothing consumer: (1) Use Godaddy, or (2) use Rackspace. The former is terrible, and the latter is overpriced and honestly not that much better these days. (Rackspace is so 1990s!) From 2007-2010, the “site” was nothing more than a one-page rant hosted at Godaddy, and an amateur video on YouTube. In fact, from what I could tell, those are two of the only three main hosts this person has ever used, with Media Temple being the third. Most of the “exposed” posts are completely without merit. ”
I don’t actually full out recommend Godaddy.com, I did a review and had an affiliate link (until Bob Parson shot an elephant), and at best recommend them for a starter/ single page website. The full review can be found at:
Even when I had the affiliate links up, I made no money. it proable would helped if I didn’t say things like “Sometimes getting a hosting solution with GoDaddy.com is a roll of the dice” But when they were up I did disclose I made a commission at the start of the review. Not well past the place where people click and are brought to a host.
Rackspace I will get to, as it has been pointed to – incorrectly I only dealt with 3 major hosts, and Digitalfaq.com knows it.
Which brings us back to this “Poor grammar and misspellings aside, the sole author would ramble about all kinds of companies, both hosting and non-hosting: anti-virus software, Amazon.com, WebHostingTalk.com, Cyberhost Pro, 3essentials, Wooservers, BurstNET, Site5, LayeredTech, MediaTemple, etc.”
A Burst.net post was a brought into this because a host that I found on Webhostingstuff.com’s fake top 25 was a customer of Burstnet (wooservers).
That and it turns out I was once a Burst.net customer. I guess that means Digitalfaq.com thinks days to get a server rebooted and being unable to contact said company for many days after were not worth noting.
Which brings us to Layered Tech. I started out with Powersurge.com, than some how I became a Fastservers.net client, and last Layerdtech.com. Though I am a bit confused about how I transitioned from a Powersurge.com to a FastServers.net customer as I got a roundabout response on that. I have to ask Digitalfaq.com, can I count that as 3 hosts or just 1? But that’s not the only provider I was with that got bought out. The issues I had with Layered Tech (and its counter parts) had to deal with Hurricane Electric among many other things.
And while we are on the subject of hosts that were bought out that I was with there was Virtualis, Dialtone, Server Beach, EV1/ which was bought out by Theplanet who was later bought out by Softlayer, OChosting (which had been absorbed into a name I forget), and honestly more than that in names that I have forgotten over the last 1.5 decades. We have gone past the number three mark, but really there are more.
Which brings us to Pingdom, Rackspace, Mediatemple, and another dumb comment:
“He also makes the novice mistake of relying on Pingdom to blame hosts (i.e. Media Temple) for downtime that may not have actually happened. As I frequently explain to others, Pingdom can give false results. To truly check uptime, you need to have at least three monitors, and at least two of them should agree before you bother checking it. I don’t mean free services either, but monitoring tools run from your own VPS, such as Nagios. That’s the only way you can know if a sever is up!”
There is a good reason that this site is on Rackspace.com and not Mediatemple.net, and it does not have to do with Pingdom. Pingdom only validates the down time I experienced. However It does not validate my service complaints (like moving my databases, and leaving them inoperable). Nor at times what felt like dealing with as Digitalfaq.com would probable call them “teenagers”.
Also Pingdom does not run out of my house. So if I get a message that says my site is down, and when I check and see it is down that probable means my site is offline. But really my reason for leaving Mediatemple.net can be found here:
Which brings us to “He also gives the kind of advice you’d expect from a know-nothing consumer: (1) Use Godaddy, or (2) use Rackspace. The former is terrible, and the latter is overpriced and honestly not that much better these days. (Rackspace is so 1990s!) From 2007-2010, the “site” was nothing more than a one-page rant hosted at Godaddy, and an amateur video on YouTube. In fact, from what I could tell, those are two of the only three main hosts this person has ever used, with Media Temple being the third. Most of the “exposed” posts are completely without merit.”.
I have my doubts Digitalfaq.com knows what this site looked like from 2007 – 2010. But as far as Digitalfaq.com goes further to say “By contrast, since 1993, the admins/mods/owner of The Digital FAQ have used at least 100 hosts.”.
Digitalfaq.com forgot to tell you I don’t make my living off hosting-reviews-exposed.com (if I did I would have to have beg for charity, and write more than I do), I am a web designer. I don’t I always get to pick where the client hosts. Not to mention if you read this blog you will find that I complain about transfer rates whenever I do design work for a customer that just has to have one of the EIG hosts. I am often told I charge and arm and a leg, and yet those that are willing to bear what I ask can some times make the mistake of thinking $5 a month host will work. I have been on Hostgator.com prior to it being bought by EIG, and as of today I am on their servers for another client. I am currently using Hostdime.com and Liquidweb.com in addition to Rackspace.com.
The reason hosting-reviews-exposed.com is on Rackspace.com, is I don’t have the time to fuss around with it being down. If it needs more resources I get billed. I can evaluate why it needed the resources at my convenience. Downtime has been minimal, and what I have experienced is well below 99.9%. Not to mention Since January 2012, I have not had a reason to put a support ticket in for any issues. What I pay really does not bother me, and gives me piece of mind that Mediatemple.net did not give me. Not to mention Rackspace.com is far more Word Press friendly.
Oh and he forgot to mention I used to own 5 companies (1 failure (described in the first Digitalfaq.com and other posts), and 4 hosts that still live on), and before that I was a web designer. He completely forgot to mention the origin story of how Webhostingstuff.com was the inspiration behind hosting-reviews-exposed.com. But why be bothered with details?
Point 5: What Digitalfaq.com got wrong (or made up)
“The site is essentially random online rants by one person. It reminds me of those political kook blogs you can find online — mostly Republicans/conservatives these days, but it infects every political spectrum. Or conspiracy sites (9/11, JFK, the moon landing, etc).”
The main focus of this site is hosting reviews done solely on the basis of profit in an unethical manner. There are probable better people out there to do the job, and if I meet them I will happily hand the keys over. But for now you got me.
I take pride in being called weird, and I make it a point to make fun of myself before I do others. But this comes from a person that believes “Females is not the demographic for hosting.”, “The biggest problems with teenagers, or even college aged adults, is they move on. That’s why so many hosts fail, sell out, or disappear in under 2 years. We don’t have the time or patience for that.”. Yet as I stated before, no one really has any idea of the age of the person they are communicating with, but skill and professionalism are very apparent. Not to mention if you want to see that wisdom does not come with age, you have my personal invitation to view the three big retirement communities outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
So if you’re female, child, teenager, college age adult, and/or Republican/Conservative Digitfaq.com does not respect you. Might as well throw in Yin to the Republican/Conservative Yang; Democrat/Liberal as the Youth and Female votes these days are leaning that way based off the last polling data. But why bother with polling data, I should be outside yelling at kids to stay off my lawn (well I am in Arizona so I should say gravel). Sorry it really is hard to refrain from sarcasm.
“In fact, probably half of the blog (or more) has nothing to do with “exposing” others. And that’s a shame, given how fake affiliate blogs pop up almost daily.”
Note the word probable, meaning Digitalfaq.com did not actually check. There is a reason I don’t cover every review site that is out there, and that can reason can be found by reviewing the traffic scores. I got after sites with traffic, not to mention I try to compose posts that can advise people about how to shop for hosting. Yet he is not the first review site to tell me how to run my site.
“hosting-reviews-exposed.com = Pro Kiddie Host”
The biggest proof of editing of what I can be found with Digitalfaq.com’s piecemeal extraction of several lines of my posts.
“The first two seem to be a knock against the young. Despite all of my years doing business online …
I got started in webhosting at a young age…
Putting that aside there are a lot of teenagers out there that have contributed to the internet, so before you go knocking them make sure you are not using any of their creations. Age does not equal wisdom. If anything Digitalfaq.com has alienated a demographic….
What Digitalfaq.com seems to neglect here is that a new company may be eager to bring in new customers….”
Never mind that last line had nothing to do with kids/teenagers/ or as I have now learned college aged adults. It was in response to Digitalfaq.com framing new hosts in a bad light. But they really don’t just have a problem with new hosts.
“And unfortunately, probably 80% or more of the industry is comprised of bad hosts. — You have to be careful who you use!”
Probably once again = assumption. Like when Digitfaq.com assumed (or lied) about me only having used 3 major hosts.
I still would like to see proof that there is a web host using kids. After all it was Digitalfaq.com that accused me of conspiracies, the very least they could do is prove what hosts actually use children.
Point 6: What Digitalfaq.com ignored
When it came to reading the terms of service of any company that Digitalfaq.com chooses to refer to this comment by me:
“If you think this is the point where you don’t have to read the TOS because Digitalfaq.com read it for you, think again.”
Digitalfaq.com’s response “This is false. In fact, there are companies NOT being suggested because we disagree with what’s written. The example that comes to mind most is web-hosting.com (Namecheap-owned) and WebHostingBuzz.com, because of the odd “WordPress modules” clauses. We warned folks about that back in December 2011. SiteGround’s ToS is fine.”
I did say that Digitalfaq.com wants you take their word for it, after all “SiteGround’s ToS is fine.”. I don’t care who tells you they read the terms of service for you, read it yourself. Besides Digitalfaq.com has a financial interest in Siteground.com, $50 – $150 per sign up to be exact.
When it came to new companies this is what Digitalfaq.com had to say:
- A good host has been around for 5+ years, and is a true test of running a successful hosting business. This business isn’t kind to the ignorant.
- A bad host usually fails within 1-2 years, if they even make it that long.”
In short Digitalfaq.com claims a host is good if it has been around for 5 years or more. You would think if there were any exceptions those would be addressed in advance, and a valid reason given as to why. After attempting to unravel Digitalfaq.com’s claims about 5 year or older hosts, Digitalfaq.com, chooses to selectively use only part of how I mentioned how to determine the age of a host.
“Based off the whois info I can often find out how old a company might be.”
However my explanation is much longer than that and more than I care to paste in what is already becoming a very long post. But can be read at https://hostingrevex20.wpengine.com/review-sites-exposed/digitalfaq-com.html
The excuse given for the age of some companies is that they are part of another company, which is at best weak. As I am betting despite this company being part of another company, Digitalfaq.com counts by domain name, not hosting group how many hosts they have been with. Like say Endurance International Group with some 40 + sites. Yet Digitalfaq.com shows that not all the hosts are within the good host limit:
“Crocweb.com has been around since August 2009, though it did not operate a public site. It’s a good enough host that ~4 years has been enough to prove themselves.”
What I had on Crocweb.com
“Crocweb.com, while created in August 9, 2009, does not appear to have an actually hosting page till August 22, 2010.”
“Evolucix.com is another exception, having been around for ~4 years now. Not just that, but it’s a young-run host! More on that another day. Very impressive!”
So what domain for Evolucix.com exist under prior to August 2010?
Perhaps in a later post I will dig into the other hosts that Digitalfaq.com claims to not be less than five years old. These are the two hosts that didn’t have a straight forward affiliate program I mentioned earlier. However as I mentioned, not all hosting review site do reviews for just high affiliate payments.
But here is the kicker
“Trivia: If you look up the domain name for digitalFAQ.com, you’ll find that it was only registered in 2004. But we’ve been online since 2002. The business has been around since 1977, when the blogger/author was crapping his Huggies.”
Classy, I guess. Assuming that I was a toddler during 1977 despite the fact I am not very forth coming with my age as addressed when I did my post dispelling their claims of what makes a good host. Either way they have mad internet skills from the disco era.
And my two hours are up, on this Digitalfaq.com post.
If Digitalfaq.com or anyone else tells you to trust them without backing their claims with data, that’s the point you find someone that will.