bikegremlinbikegremlin ModeratorOGContent Writer
edited January 1 in General

This LES FAQ was originally published on the BikeGremlin website, with the idea to serve as a, well, a LES FAQ:
LowEndSpirit forum (LES) – why it’s awesome!
However, its place is on LES, so here it is, the long-overdue, years in the making, the answer to life, the universe, and everything:

Table Of Contents (T.O.C.):

  1. Introduction
  2. LowEndSpirit (LES) founding
  3. How it's going
  4. Basic LES info (FAQ, rules)
  5. Conclusion
  6. Follow-up questions

1. Introduction

This is the post that got me to write all this:

How long has LES been around and what prompted its creation?

Is the “other” forum referred to here LET? What kind of toxicity exists there? What was the “preventable incident” mentioned in the OP?

What is OGF, referred to above?

And where does WHT fit into this discussion?


The LowEndSpirit forum, referred to as LES, has many new members, and I hope this “crash-course introduction to LES” will help them understand what it’s all about.

You ready? Let us begin.

- T.O.C. -

2. LowEndSpirit (LES) founding

It’s good to take the matter into your own hands. It’s even fun, if you have Parkinson’s.


This is the “About LowEndSpirit” post on the forum:

People interested in using inexpensive hosting (and Net) infrastructure, and making the most of it, had a nice community called LowEndTalk.com (LET).

However, human greed and stupidity seem to have taken its toll, and that forum is a place many of us just no longer visit (well-known fraudulent deals and providers were allowed to post offers – to name one problem).

On either LES or LET, the “other green forum” is often referred to as, well, “Other Green Forum” (“OGF“).
* See the comment below by @Nekki for more context.

WebHostingTalk.com forum (WHT), on the other hand, has a crazy moderating policy (there’s no nicer way to call it). I’m all for preventing abuse, spam and shilling, but WHT is way over the top, so even helpful and legit posts can get you “infringed” if not outright banned. It’s not shady, just nonsensical and, hence, not nearly as helpful for its members as it could be.

So, we needed something better.

In 2013, Anthony Smith of Inception Hosting made another forum – the LowEndSpirit (LES). In 2019, LES became what we know today – an alternative forum for people interested in low-end hosting (primarily), without any shady deals or crazy moderation.

LET members who switched to LES at that time have “OG” tags next to their nick, which stands for “Original Gangster.”

You can read more about LES origins in this post by Anthony Smith:
A year in LES – Reflections, Thoughts, My history and the future for LowEndSpirit.”

- T.O.C. -

3. How it’s going

If you can walk away from a landing, it’s a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it’s an outstanding landing.

Chuck Yeager

After a while, Anthony decided to step down and let the LESbians take charge. In February 2021, @Mason and @mikho became co-admins of LES upon Anthony’s departure. Ant is still around on occasion under his new moniker @InceptionHosting and always in spirit.

Then, in 2022, Mason and Mikho decided to ask for help and see if some LESbians would be happy to help with forum moderation. Here, you can see how that went (and how just a couple of bit-coin bribes can sway an election 🙂 ):
Looking for LES Mod (Community Manager)

In hindsight, my taking the mod role was a good idea for a reason I hadn’t initially though about: I’m in a different time zone compared to Mason, Mikho (and FrankZ, soon to follow, as noted below).

Pretty soon after that, @FrankZ joined the mod. team, and I like to compare that move to AC Milan’s hiring of Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten, and Ruud Gullit! 🙂

Yes, three guys, ’cause that’s how much work FrankZ does, and that’s what’s helped LES become a top-class, renowned hosting-related forum (just like AC Milan – turned into one of world’s elite!). 🙂

- T.O.C. -

4. Basic LES info (FAQ, rules)

Don’t be a dick.

LES rules page

Forum’s general leitmotif is for the members to help each other survive on a low budget – and not behave like dicks. That’s what it boils down to. More technicalities and details are on the LES “RULES RULES RULES RULES RULES” page.

There, it is explained why we are weary of any Colo Crossing based providers (a huge amount of fraudulent offers come from there), and other details.

LES is a buyer beware market, but we do try to vet and remove/ban the obvious frauds and known fraudsters. Members aren’t allowed to post any offers without passing a vetting process and receiving a “Hosting” or a “Service Provider” tag.

I wrote a sarcastic (humorous?) “New proposed LES FAQ” (you need to be registered and logged in LES forum to see that thread). There, you can see what the “OG” tag next to some member profiles doesn’t mean. 🙂

LESbians who contribute guides and tutorials to the LES Talk section (which I’d strongly encourage, since knowledge is power) get a “Content Writer” tag next to their nick (I’ll abuse this opportunity to once more bother Mason to change my tag to a “Restless Writer” 🙂 ).

My drivel about the importance of (sharing) knowledge:

- T.O.C. -

5. Conclusion

Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Some crazy German

If you like computers, hosting, sharing knowledge, helping each other, and don’t mind occasional politically incorrect joke or GIF, LES is an awesome place to be (if you’re a dick or a Karen, there is still Facebook).

Long(er) drivel:
I’ve been reading online communities (and maintaining and moderating a few) since the time of BBS (when Keith Richards was still young, and when God told Adam and Eve he has no idea who the guy is, as Keith’s been there before God arrived). The stuff I’m writing about below hasn’t changed with Usenet, or the first forums, and it is still relevant today – because humans haven’t changed.

Similar people flock together. If a community is toxic (hate the way that word is used nowadays, for everything, but have no better English word for it), then more toxic people will join, and it will usually bring out the worst out of the non-toxic folks too. Likewise, communities that are cool usually attract more cool people, and bring out the best out of the “grumpy” ones.

Moderation can help steer the community. It is a powerful tool (if admins and mods are dicks, they can ruin even the best communities). But without high-quality members, even the best mods in the world can’t save a shitty forum from being shitty.

On LES, relative to the number of members and posts, there is very little toxic posting and flaming (high-quality trolling is OK, for as long as it’s high quality 🙂 ). On the few occasions a bad post occurs, it usually gets flagged right away by one member or another (often by several members).

That is a tremendous help for moderation!

At the same time, there is next to none flagging of the legit posts (folks here seem to have a good sense of humour and almost never flag the high-quality humorous and joking posts).

Brevity is not my virtue, but my point is that forum is what members make of it. LES was founded on good ideals, and it’s still on track as far as I can tell. That’s why I volunteered to help – but it’s fair to note that @Mason and especially @FrankZ do all the “heavy lifting.” …I can’t help it – it’s my Montenegrin roots – I was born to be a manager! 🙂

- T.O.C. -

6. Follow-up questions

Joseph posted some more questions that are frequent (i.e. what many new members don’t know and ask on occasions), so I’ll answer them here, as a part of the article.

The original question comment:

Let me begin:

“What changed in LES in 2019 from the LES from 2013?”

It “fluctuated” a bit – changing from Inception hosting sales page, to support forum. Then, in 2019, LES took its current “shape.”

“How bad is the toxicity at LET?”

This depends on who you ask I suppose. The forum is open, you can read it (and register there) and see for yourself what’s it like for you (there are some cool members still left there, for sure). I ended up visiting it less and less (pun intended), but that’s me.

” What are examples of disreputable providers on LET that aren’t welcome on LES? In what way are they fraudulent?”

The first that comes to mind is the former Alpha Racks owner (Dustin Cisneros), who now runs RackNerd and sells a lot on LET. Some LET-AlphaRacks popcorn stuff:


“I see there’s a whole lot of members posting simultaneously on both sites. Is it fair to say that if rating forum site activity and size from largest down the order would be WHT, LET, LES?”

WHT activity is dying, to a great degree being killed by their moderation policies (at least that’s my opinion based on my knowledge and experience).

LET is probably more active than WHT.

LES is still young and growing. As far as I’m concerned, it’s already the best of the three.

“Is the focus of topics discussed on LES more or less the same as those on LET and, perhaps, even WHT?”

WHT is aimed towards hosting in general.

LET and LES are primarily aimed towards the budget-friendly, low-end hosting offers. That doesn’t mean that high-end providers don’t get discussed – but they don’t post offers there (LES has strict pricing limits written in its rules, limiting any offers to be budget friendly).

Now, a dumb question from an old man:
What does “MJJ” mean?

Relja Novović

Mason’s explanation:

MJJ is a short phrase “没鸡鸡” in Chinese hosting forums.
Direct translation means: Lack of VPS
Meanwhile the homophonic is: Lack of penis.
The word used by poor members self-deprecating.
Targets who have no money but wish to buy a good server.

Additional info:

Relja BrevityIsNotMyVirtue Novović

- T.O.C. -

Relja of House Novović, the First of His Name, King of the Plains, the Breaker of Chains, WirMach Wolves pack member
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