Why do I write about hosts that appear on webhostingstuff.com’s top 25 list? The real question is why how did they appear on the top 25.
Some of the hosts contact me and tell me I had no right to do a review on them because I did not use their services. For some reason, they either don’t know that I know, or they don’t know themselves that the “advertising” they paid for actually is a bidding contest between other hosts. The proof of why a host is a top host is not there. Data that breaks down the numbers are absent; there are no facts to tell you why one host was better than another. Some of the sites that are on there don’t have any reviews from customers. A few don’t even have an 80% approval from their customers. Webhostingstuff.com wants you to take their word for it. I want a little doubt, as it is a good thing and protects you from a bad deal. While I had lost my original screenshots and email from when I first started the video that gave my site its initial boost of traffic, almost a year of looking at every host that appears on this so-called top 25 list gives me the data to prove that the system was rigged. At this time, I have found 61 going on 64 hosts this month that appeared on webhostingstuff.com. So if you are reading this, here is where my right to post my findings on any host that appears on webhostingstuff.com top 25.
How effective is your ‘advertising’ if webhostingstuff.com is blocking people from coming to your site?
The point of advertising is to get as much exposure as possible, right? If you had the choice of a billboard ad on a small town in the middle of nowhere or a 1-minute ad on some hugely popular reality show, which do you choose? It does not take any business guru to tell you which you want. A few months after I started taking monthly snapshots and writing posts on webhostingstuff.com, they started blocking my location. Perhaps in part because I let them know what my provider was. But it’s not just my location but also friends around the world and their communities because they started taking screenshots. At some point, it seemed the owner started blocking off large areas of the country, as he understood that I was not bound to one IP. At first, it was triggered by several inquiries, only down to one. Its also been people that have no connection to me at all. Despite their blocking me, more people are volunteering to take screenshots for me. So even though they may block someone, someone else is getting through and getting me the screenshots I ask for.
But the real question is if they have nothing to hide, why would they block anyone? The answer to that is their own data shows why you should not choose any of the hosts that appear on their top 25 list.
Can you afford to pay a site that blocks people that may be looking for hosting?
I7net, the one host on webhostingstuff.com’s top 25 that was not even online
I first found i7net on webhostingstuff.com in June 2010; the problem was it was not even online. Between June to November of 2010, the site appeared between the 21 – 25 spots.
Granted, those are not the only posts I did on i7net. But if you search webhostingstuff.com, you will find nothing.
By December 2010, Webhostingstuff.com’s Michel Low must have finally paid attention to my blog because I7net is missing from his database, well more like deleted from the directory. It seems almost like an attempt to sweep this mistake under the rug and hope that many people did not notice this mistake. It may very well be overlooked. It’s not like I have huge amounts of traffic coming in (though it increases with time), and the truth is told, I may be the only one that finds I7net fascinating. Traffic is not that great for the topic i7net, but this is my best argument for not using webhostingstuff.com. I can not help but say that I7net was the dead canary no one bothered to look at while browsing for a host. Though while i7net may no longer be in the database, I have screenshots showing that they were indeed there in the top 21 – 25 and that webhostingstuff.com even knew about the downtime.
Ioxhost.co.uk – the first host to admit the system is rigged
This year I made a host mad because I posted the owner’s emails stating, “I agree with you the webhostingstuff website is missleading where itsays “top 10..” when its not based on anything apart from there bid.” I did this because even though he knew it was rigged, he chooses to go back to using it.
Later on, I would have other hosts, such as Cornhusker tech that admitted to buying the advertising. Another host contacted me privately via email, admitting he was paying for advertising. He also disclosed another review site that operates on “the pay to play concept”. Granted, my non-disclosure depends on the fact that I never find that host on another so-called review site. But if you choose to contact me via email, I reserve the right to post your comments on my blog.
How about a host that wrote their own review? Like Webinternethosting.com
This host, which is a customer of Hostgator.com, broke one of the rules of Webhostingstuff.com:
“If “positive” reviews have been removed from your company profile, here are some common reasons:
- The original reviewer asked us to remove their review in writing.
- Review was found to be inappropriate.
- You posted your own fake positive reviews!“
Also, “WebHostingStuff takes a firm stance against web hosts that attempt to post fake positive reviews. Enforcement actions include termination of listing and blacklisting on our site.“.
Since September 1, 2010, I contacted Michael Low, and he, of course, blocked me. This review is still up.
Perhaps if this host had been smart enough not to include that site on their BBB record, I would never have found it.
You will find hosts out there that have had their positive reviews deleted, hosts that do not pay for the so-called “advertising”.
I have found hosts online for three months or less that found their way on the top 25 list. hostinglocker.com, 10looniehost.ca, hosthttp.net, and spacenets.com come to mind.
Before I go off into ramble here, I want to clarify that I have no problem with new hosts. Every company had to start somewhere. There is also the chance that a new host could take the industry by storm; in this market, that’s always possible. One company that comes to mind is justhost.com, which did just that, but unfortunately, that was one host that got a false start and was even at one point on webhostingstuff.com. Strangely enough, they left the webhostingstuff.com top 25 host list after I started this blog and covered and other hosts that are owned by Endurance International Group (Fatcow.com and iPage.com). This is about new hosts that were/are paying for “advertising” with webhostingstuff.com. New hosts, which at the time had zero reviews when they first appeared on webhostingstuff.com. Would you not think customers would have some say in rather a host is good or not? Also, would you not think a host would have some time under its belt before being a top host? Considering I recommend no less than 30 days guarantee (you will find me repeating that often).
Hostinglocker.com is the first time I found a host that is online less than a month
This was a host I found on the top 25 for November 17, 2010. If you look at their whois record, you can see the site was up less than 30 days before getting the number 11th spot out of 25.
It’s a host that offers a 7-day guarantee, which I will never recommend. If a host offers less than 30 days, I suggest avoiding that host.
While their whois info says the domain was created in July 2010, but webhostingstuff.com indicates that they started keeping track of uptime on 12/15/2010.
Despite having purchased the domain in October 2010, the site does not appear to have gone live till February 2011
Another host that had been online less than 30 days, for that matter 16 days by the time I examined them. Somehow they managed to beat out Siteground, who was in the 20th spot, by being in the 13th spot. Worst yet, they don’t have a valid phone number.
Is that that all that is wrong with webhostingstuff.com?
The answer to that is no, and there are so many more hosts that serve as an example of why not to trust this top 25 list. But if you want proof, here are a few more:
First, I have to ask if this host was on the top 25, why was Godaddy.com not on the top 25 list? After all, this is a Wild West Domains reseller, which is owned by godaddy.com. Worst yet, it appears this host is putting his customer’s domains in his name.
All I can say is read the reviews from customers on my post and other review sites.
Avahost.com and Siteground.com: It’s not hard to be on top when you own your own fake hosting review site.
Both of which own their own so-called review site where amazingly they are always the top host with their top 10 sites.
Avahost.com owns cheap-web-hosting-review.com
Siteground.com owns besthostdirectory.com
The first thing I found was that 5 out of the 9 reviews they showcased on their site were not even hosted with ampheon.co.uk. This can be explained by the fact that only a small area of the main page of the site is dedicated to hosting. There is no direct link to a secure support area on the main page; you have to navigate around the site to find it. This is a company that treats hosting as a secondary operation, if even that, which can find out when you read what “out of hours” means.
“customers using this service without the appropriate support agreement will be charged £125 per hour, pro-rata to a minimum billing period of 15 minutes if an urgent response is required before the beginning of the next working day.“
While I may not know the exact conversion rate of a pound to a dollar at this time (roughly $2 is about 1 pound), 125 pounds sound like a lot of money compared to what other hosts would charge, especially since most these days offer 24 / 7 service.
……………. and the list goes on of hosts that at one time or another appeared on Webhostingstuff.com’s top 25 list
The webhostingstuff.com / hostaz.com connection
But this is a site that claims to be against the top 10 list methodology:
“Unlike some dubious “top 10 hosting sites” that promote web hosts based on affiliate commissions, our fair and honest ranking system helps visitors find the real top web hosting companies.“
So, in short, trust this site of mine, not my other site? Hostaz.com is one of those sites driven by affiliate commissions. Interestingly both Webhostingstuff.com and Hostaz.com are owned by Michael Low.
Does webhostingstuff.com delete negative feedback?
The answer to that is yes. I will be pointing the proof in my April 2011 review of which host of the 25 had 2 negative reviews deleted, driving its two out of five-star rating to a three out of five-star rating. This means I need to start copying feedback of customers, which you will see starting this month with my monthly reviews of WHS.
Ask yourself, do you really want to do business with a site that fakes your rank? Better yet, do you want your company associated with the hosts that I have listed? Webhostingstuff.com is only the first of the hosting review sites I plan, and I am already in the works of new methods of digging up the truth.