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A friend once told me that I was the most tactful person she knew, but right now I am going to be uncharacteristically blunt. I am going to tell it like it is, which is this: Bluehost sucks. It is the absolute worst.
If you are a new blogger looking for a web host, you’ve probably googled things liked, “what is the best web host for new bloggers?” or “where should I host my wordpress blog?” or “what is the best host for my wordpress blog?”
Chances are great that one of the web hosting companies recommended most frequently will be Bluehost. You’ve probably even seen a blogger or two or three that you admire recommending Bluehost.
If you are currently in search of a web host and if you happen to find this post, PLEASE do yourself a favor and run screaming in the opposite direction.
Please do not set up your new WordPress blog using Bluehost. Bluehost is the absolute worst. I am not even remotely exaggerating when I say that Bluehost sucks.
Shortly after launching my first blog I decided that I needed to be self-hosted, so I started looking around for how to set up a WordPress blog and where to host a WordPress blog. Even back then (or especially back then), it seemed like most bloggers were using Bluehost so that’s what I did too. It got glowing reviews. Everyone seemed to love it.
My Bluehost horror story
I followed the recommendation of many and registered for Bluehost and regretted it almost instantly.
From day one my site would go down constantly. I’d get random errors that nobody could figure out. I was constantly on the phone with them because my site just wasn’t working. They told me that I was using too much data… but I pretty much had an empty site at that point. At some point I had malware on my site because one of the other sites on the shared server was a porn site… I don’t even understand how this happened! If I had an awesome traffic day the site would slow down because the Bluehost server just couldn’t handle it… and by awesome I mean like 1,000 people. We are not talking crazy numbers here! Over time, the service kept getting worse and worse, with the site going down for hours at a time with absolutely no explanation or apology from Bluehost.
Bluehost eventually reached out to me and said my site was getting too big for their basic hosting plan, so I’d need to upgrade to a VPS (virtual private server). I readily agreed because I needed some stability and assumed more money would fix the problem. Wrong again. I paid more for the site to go down even more frequently. I was in constant contact with them and basically they just kept telling me that I’d need to pay them more money to get things to work properly.
I eventually decided that I’d had enough when they told me that I’d have to start paying $100 per month in hosting fees. At that point I was out. It’s not that I thought $100 was excessive – I’ll be honest: I’m paying more than that now – but if I was going to pay big bucks then I was going to pay for a host that actually WORKED.
I quit Bluehost and have never looked back because I found a web host that I love – BigScoots.
Guess what? I haven’t had a minute of downtime since switching to BigScoots and they aren’t constantly calling and telling me to give them more money. (Don’t worry, while I love BigScoots, I don’t think they’re the best web host for new bloggers. I recommend a couple of affordable web hosts at the bottom of this post.) The problem wasn’t my site or that I wasn’t tech-savvy enough. The problem was Bluehost, plain and simple.
Why do so many bloggers recommend Bluehost?
If you’ve made it this far you’re probably wondering why so many bloggers recommend Bluehost.
Frankly, it’s (mostly) all about the benjamins.
Bluehost offers a higher affiliate commission than any other web host. In fact, they typically offer DOUBLE what other web hosts offer.
Most hosting companies pay their affiliates in the ballpark of $50 per referral. That’s pretty big money.
Bluehost, however, offers their top grossing affiliates around $100, and possibly more, per referral. That’s an incredible amount of money!
$100 is enough that I almost can’t blame my fellow bloggers for recommending Bluehost. Almost.
EIG is the reason Bluehost sucks
From what I’m told, Bluehost actually used to be a pretty good web host. Then in late 2010, they were bought by Endurance International Group, which is a conglomerate that goes around buying up lots of web hosting companies. Those web hosting companies continue to exist but their service typically suffers from that point forward. EIG currently owns 80+ web hosting companies, and personally, I’d recommend staying away from all of them.
EIG-owned hosting companies include:
Note: Whenever I talk to people about EIG-owned companies, I inevitably hear that they’ve had a great experience with Bluehost/ HostGator/ A Small Orange, etc. I think it is absolutely awesome if you have had no issues and I wouldn’t recommend that you switch hosts if you are happy! However, if you are a new blogger trying to find the best web host for WordPress, then I recommend saving yourself future headaches and going with a company that’s not on the list above.
Lest you think I’m just bitter about my own poor service there are plenty of others who concur that Bluehost sucks. Here are some other Bluehost reviews:
If you are in any blogging-related Facebook groups, Bluehost is a frequent topic of discussion where many people recommend staying away. I’ve even noticed a few custom blog designers stipulating that they will no longer work with clients with Bluehost hosted blogs because there are too many hoops to jump through.
So, if we’re mostly in agreement that Bluehost sucks, then you might be wondering about Bluehost alternatives and EIG alternatives. Luckily there are plenty! I personally recommend the following two hosts as being great options for new bloggers*:
If you want an affordable web host with no affiliation to EIG, GreenGeeks is a fantastic option! Packages start at $3.95 per month, and that includes web hosting, email, unlimited space, a transfer to their servers and more.
Something that’s neat about GreenGeeks is that they’re powered by renewable energy. According to the GreenGeeks website, here is why using renewable energy to host websites is important:
“Website hosting servers pull energy from the grid, most of that energy comes from fossil fuels. Each web hosting server produces 1390 pounds of CO2 each year! There are tens of millions of servers worldwide and growth in web hosting services is estimated to be greater than 400% each year for the foreseeable future.”
SiteGround has been getting a lot of buzz as being one of the most stable and affordable web hosts for bloggers. Prices start as low as $3.95 per month for your first year and you also get a free domain name for one year. One great thing about SiteGround is that you can scale your service so you’re not paying for server space that you’re not using. For instance, the cheapest plan works until you’re receiving 10,000 visitors per month, at which case you may want to upgrade to prevent downtime. Having options like this are rare, but makes SiteGround one of the best web hosts for new bloggers!
Want to learn more about SiteGround? Check out my post about how to start a WordPress blog on SiteGround in under 10 minutes.
*While I use BigScoots for my sites, I frequently help others set up their own blogs, and these are the two hosting companies I use for those sites!
Don’t buy the Bluehost hype
There are always going to be people who have a good experience with anything, so I’m sure some Bluehost users will see this and feel exactly the opposite way that I do. There are tons and tons of people who use Bluehost with few to no issues and if you register for Bluehost now, you might be one of them. On the other hand, you might end up with constant problems that will force you to eventually switch hosts.
I highly recommend that if you are a new blogger looking for a web host for your blog, that you ignore the hype and use a Bluehost alternative from the very beginning.
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