Yup this is me at Universal Studios next to Anubis

When Given Lemons Add Sugar and Make Lemonaid

The following is a post in response to a so called review of my services that was made over a year ago. I almost let it go but the accusations made in that post could not go unchallenged. You can read the post here http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/webhostingstuff-com/firedragonhosting.html 

From the back of the bus he comesHello Benjamin,

I recently tripped across this posting and while this posting is over a year and half old, as far as I can tell, the date is here but not the year. (I can only infer from the words in the post.) I feel I must address some inaccuracies in his post. While Benjamin here gets some things right, he gets many things wrong and casts dispersion on me and my company based on half-truths and incomplete information he has gleaned from the web. He simply did not complete his research only stopped halfway there, not bothering to verify anything. Now I can do the same about him and his way of posting based on the half information I can gather about him and I will after I have my say about what he has gotten right and wrong about me and my company.  That is provided Benjamin here lives up to his promise to post, in its completeness and unedited, my response. To show I have the power of my own convictions here, this complete post will be on my website at http://www.JohnOverall.com and this will be covered in my podcast WordPress Plugins from A to Z

Well, I will start at the top of his post and cover every point along the way discussing what he got right what he got wrong and where he makes some semi-serious innuendos without any basis or facts to back them up.

He starts off attacking my site design, layout and content. Well, he may have been correct there when he did this post. I was actually in the process of bringing my site up-to-date as it had been ignored for quite some time as my clients always take precedence over my own site.

As for pre 1999 and stuck in 1999, hmmm, well, that is all point of view I suppose.  It was post 1999 not pre.  Anyway, I would actually say between a 2001 and 2006 design, almost as bad but a little better looking I felt. As for his claims that my site was a mess he was correct there as I had not made any real changes in my site design for years. So yeah he kind of nailed it there, it was pretty ugly and hard to navigate. I must thank Benjamin though, it has made me rethink my current website again and improve it some more.

Yes, I did have too much there and have since embarked on a cleanup and a directed focus for my site which is now located at http://www.JohnOverall.com. firedragonhosting.com still exists but to get hosted on my servers now you have to be an excellent client.  I have many clients that I do their WordPress work for but it is now a privilege to be on my servers and be hosted with me.

Trash em allBenjamin goes on about why my site is in the top 25 for that review site.  Well, I never put it there they did that. Why? I have no idea. Maybe it was their way to try and get me to spend money with them, I don’t know how it happened. I have actually never spent any money with them to obtain a better listing rank. I simply listed my site there to get better exposure and maybe land a new client or two. At the time I ran a slightly different business and wanted some new clients.

He makes mention about the fact that I self-proclaim to be a small hosting provider and wanted to stay that way.  So, in his opinion I should not go after any other market aside from my local community. Why should wanting to stay small preclude someone from wanting to be able to have clients across the world? Who knows, sometimes people change their mind and decide to grow, I didn’t, but it happens.

He also points out that I have a reseller under me.  Although he did get their domain wrong, what he listed, http://www.canadaphotohost.com, is actually my own domain and was never a reseller account only a site I was attempting to build to sell stock photography.  He touches on the fact that, at this time, this domain was sitting idle with a Wild Wild West place holder and implies that was the type of hosting I provided, not even taking into account it may have simply been how the domain was parked after registering it.

Benjamin also makes mention about my having done business in my previous company name of SmartBomb.ca.  Well he may have arrived on the scene a bit late as I actually went through a proper company name changeover informing all my current clients and even carrying both names on my header for quite some time. The innuendo here was I was trying what some deceitful companies do when they simply close one business name that they have milked out and then open a new one to try and pretend they are not the same people.

We will pound them to dustHe goes onto to imply and place me in the same category as someone else he reviewed that only had a review placed by the owner of the hosting service. Then Benjamin proceeds to attack the reviews for their timing saying it is suspect that they all came in a short time span, never even giving consideration that it may have been a mass email request to all my clients to provide reviews.

If you run a business you may discover you do not have many reviews out there but know you have happy clients.  A mass email to your clients may give you a sudden response which is exactly what occurred in this instance, so I guess I am a rock star after all. Yes, webhosting can be just like that as well as any other business can be if you ask all your clients at once, who have never written a review, several will suddenly show up and write one.

So as for the great reviews that came though all at once, they are legitimate and came through at a time when I mass emailed all my clients asking for them to please review my services.  I even provided them with the link there to create the review and all of them are still clients on my servers.

Benjamin then cites a single client who reviewed me and had moved off my server.  Although the domain cited, cowmug.ca, did move and it is not because the person who gave the review lost faith in my services but because he no longer controls that domain.  He does however, still host his other sites with me. Funny thing here is Benjamin actually made me think about my clients for my hosting business and as I looked back over the past 10 years of doing this, I have actually only had about 10% of my clients leave me and it was usually due to them dropping the domain or other changes in their needs for hosting.

When Benjamin quotes the reviews he does not even quote from the review itself only the headline, which does not provide the complete picture. He even implies they are all false simply because the domains are registered to me. He does concede that they could be real since he used to buy his clients domains for them.  Yes I agree and I do not recommend letting your designer or hosting provider register your domain in their name as you can lose control of it that way.  I still do this only for a select few clients who have specifically requested it.

Reaching enlightenmentNow for Benjamin’s WordPress issue with me.  Well I am sorry he has not found a model for using open source software to earn some income from it. The way he writes this, it sounds like I am charging my clients for the software which, is of course free. I do not charge for the software, nor have I ever charged for the software. What I do charge for is my time involved in installing it and I do not mean simply the famous five minute install from WordPress. I go above and beyond that.  I install and configure a select set of plugins to enhance the user experience for WordPress.  In case you’re not aware of it, setting up WordPress past the five minute install takes time.  Sure WordPress can be installed in about ten minutes but for a good WordPress install simply installing WordPress and starting to post is not enough. It requires basic configuration and a few select plugins to do things such as stop spam, visitor tracking and more depending on the clients intents for the site. So to completely configure it and install some very useful plugins and configure them takes about an hour to do. He seems to think this hour of my time has no value and should be given away. So is it wrong to charge for my time no matter how little of it is used?  The monthly fee is for hosting.  While not the cheapest, my service provides a better server for a WordPress website than many out there.

Benjamin talks about himself as not being technically inclined but that he is still able to keep his WordPress site up to date.  While it is very easy to perform the updates for WordPress, many users out there do not want to be bothered or would rather have a pro do it in case something breaks. It does sometimes happen during simple updates, that a WordPress website breaks and must be fixed. There is also a little more than simple updates for WordPress that need to be considered such as creating and maintaining regular backups and monitoring the site for security flaws and making sure those updates are done a.s.a.p.  Many clients don’t even know about these updates such as the recent script flaw that still has millions of WordPress websites vulnerable.

At this point of his “review”, he again accuses me of reselling my hosting though Wild West.  His accusation is wrong.  I have my own servers that I maintain and tweak specifically for WordPress. I take specific issue with the fact that he says I am not doing the install for WordPress at all.  I wish to fix his half attempt to believe I take an order and then get stuff through Wild West domains. Well, when I would register their domain I did go through Wild West but for hosting every time I have taken an order they have been placed on my servers.

Now to deal with his summary judgement about my company, character and his opinion of my expertise in the webhosting industry. He starts by saying there is no logical reason for me to be in the top 25 and I pretty much agree with that.  (Again, I have no idea how I got there or why since I do not spend money with them).  He goes on again about how, as a self-proclaimed small company, I should not be trying to gain business outside my community. Why not, what’s wrong with that?  Besides, people in my community have actually found me through listing sites such as that one. So it seems to me to be a pretty dumb idea to not avail myself of every outlet I can for promotions.

So again, as for all those positive reviews yes they are all real and I will let my clients know about this and maybe they will drop by and have their say.  I will encourage it anyway since Benjamin is attacking their reputations as well as mine. And he is right about it not being a good idea to have your designer or hosting provider register your domain.  I actually transferred all my clients domains that were in my name off to them with the exception of a select few who asked me to continue managing them.  I guess they have faith I won’t screw them out of their domains.

Now onto Benjamin’s final line…….. “Are you considering Firedragonhosting?  Frankly I think you can go else where for cheaper and a more qualified webhosting company that FireDragonHosting.” (sic)

Well what can I say?  Yup, there are always cheaper hosting providers out there.  In fact you can even still find free hosting if you look.  As to qualified, what determines that?   Is it someone whose servers have had a 99% up time for the past 10 years? Then I qualify.  Is it someone who will answer the phone or your emails and actually provide help when needed? Then I qualify.  Is it someone who can help you track down a hack in your website, determine what is causing your site to have loading issues, stop a spammer who has hacked your website and any number of other issues your site may face? Then I qualify.  Is it someone who, when you have an issue or need a question answered, sends you to a Wiki page, an FAQ page, or sends a response that says it’s your site not us? Well then I Do Not Qualify!

Thanks for Reading

John Overall
WordPress Specialist



Well after I wrote this I took a little time to check out the rest of Benjamin's website.  So, what did I find?  A person who seems to think it is ok to use innuendos and false unfounded accusations about the web hosts he claims to review. It is not a review but a slam job of a business he has had no dealings with at all. Why a company chooses to advertise themself on a review site is no different than why they would list anywhere else or even buy Google Adwords. He has no care that he throws around false unfounded accusations and blames the hosting provider for the way the review site does its business.

He does not bother to verify any of his statements at all.  As I discovered in several places on his site, where he simply accuses me of selling pure Wild West hosting to my clients, which I do not do. He asks a question at the end of one post “Do you still have to ask why I wrote a review about your hosting company because you appeared on webhostingstuff still?”.  Yes, if it was a review and not an attack which is what he does. If he wrote actual reviews he would sample or use the service (like he does in his review of umm say the kindle) then give a review. It is not possible to do a review otherwise, since if you have not even checked out the product or service, all you’re doing is spouting an opinion.


Burn Baby BurnSo now on to Benjamin!!  What can we infer about him from the half-truths of the web without doing any fact checking or verifications of anything at all and just what is found though search and Whois.

First Benjamin hides behind a wall of anonymity, so you don’t even know for sure it is him who runs the site at all. A check on his domain shows he is hiding behind Domains by Proxy.  So Benjamin, I would say that your position on things has no real value since you are not man enough to stand there and be called down when you might be wrong.

Domains by Proxy, Inc. <[Symbol]- Hiding because he is too scared to admit when he is wrong>>>
Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain servers in listed order:

Where does his ability stem from to be able to tell when someone is qualified to run a hosting company? He talks about his expertise but there is no way to verify it at all. He makes mention on his about page of having owned companies in the hosting industry but anyone can claim anything if there is no easy way to track and verify it. So due to lack of any corroborating evidence then he must simply be a fake. Hmm, facts let’s not cloud the issue with any facts here.

Oh and he really should hire an editor or at least have someone review his stuff for spelling, punctuation and grammar as much of his writing seems to get lost and cuts at half thoughts. After all someone who can’t tell the difference between coarse and course really needs a dictionary. So we can assume from simple things like this, that are regular appearances in his posts, that he is of low education especially since he feels the need to apologise for it in several posts on his site. Or maybe English is his second language.

And wow I thought I was king of sentence fragments. He is trying to present himself as a professional and expert in the hosting field or so his postings would imply, but with those types of spelling and grammar issues it casts doubt on his attention to detail. He looks completely unprofessional, this in turn casts doubt on any statements he makes about other companies and since he is so piss poor at this, nothing said on his site should be taken seriously, in fact it might just be one big parody site after all.

What else can we assume about Benjamin?  Well, we might assume that is not even his real name since he hides this site behind anonymity. Maybe her name is George Gina Sue and not Benjamin at all. Hell we don’t know as there is no picture of him/her here and while that would not necessarily make it so anyway.

We can also assume that he/she does not observe others copyrights due to her violation of my copyright for an image being used on his/her site http://hosting-reviews-exposed.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/firedragonhosting-wordpress-fees.jpg . He/she may think it is being used as fair use but it is not since it is not a necessary component of illustration and the fact that he/she stole it from my website and uploaded it to his/her website.  It is not a screen shot but just my graphic for my WordPress promotion I was doing at the time he/she wrote this. I could ask for a DCMA take down of his/her website over it but that just requires additional pointless letters be created. It is enough to point out he/she has no respect for others copyright.

He/she does such incomplete research it makes it hard to believe anything, like when he/she thought I had a reseller with the domain http://www.canadaphotohost.com.  A little more research into that one and he/she would have seen that it was not a reseller. The reseller he/she refers to is actually one of the site reviews I received and he/she mentions that on a different post but forgets. He/she takes a line of assumption and builds it into full accusation by the end of the post.

He/she does not even bother to insure any links going off his/her site to reports or other information are still functioning another loss in detail I guess. So all you can really glean from his/her website is that she performs (reviews, term used loosely of course or is that coarse hmm not sure) slanderous opinionated reports, of numerous webhosting ranking sites and attempts to exposes scams. He/she does some proper reviews of products that she uses and makes sure to fill the post with affiliate links and has advertising all over the place guess you do need to pay the hosting fees.

Oh yes I caught somewhere on a post that he/she is such an avid vegan that she will not even use leather… Hmm guess the lack of B vitamins has caused a deprecation in the brain where coherent thought does not even come through.

So is this Benjamin simply a pissed off person who had a bad experience and now every hosting company that gets into the top 25 is a fake or fraud or is he/she real? It would seem so since I stumbled across one of his posts describing how he started this due to a dispute that he had with the review site.