The Worst Web Host: Bluehost Sucks


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Looking for a web host for your WordPress blog? Bluehost sucks and I recommend looking elsewhere. | Oh, She Blogs!

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.

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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:

EIG hosting

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.

Bluehost alternatives

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*:

GreenGeeks

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:

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“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

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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Lisa Koivu

Founder at Oh, She Blogs!
Lisa Koivu is the founder of Oh, She Blogs! A seven year blogging veteran, Lisa can also be found posting shopping deals and steals at ShopGirlDaily.com . In her free time (ha!) she is also a freelance writer who has written for About.com and U.S. News.
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  • Thank you Lisa! Thanks for blogging about your real experience with BlueHost and for also spreading the word about the reason for their poor service, EIG.

  • Thanks for sharing! I had issues with Bluehost at the top of last year and they were like I need to spend money to fix it. I wasn’t paying for somethings that I didn’t cause. So I let my membership lapse. In the meantime I found a groupon deal for DreamHost. Much better! They update my site regularly and I haven’t had an issue in over year.

    • That’s great to hear about DreamHost! I haven’t heard much about them, but I’m Happy to hear they’re an improvement over Bluehost. Server issues can be such a headache!

  • Thanks Lisa for your article and spreading the information about EIG.
    I believe that the bloggers who speak out about this hosting group stand out in a good way.
    By the way, for one of my sites I use the host that you recommend (SiteGround) and I like it!

  • Hi again Lisa,

    Now why didn’t I see this list before? Powweb was the hosting company when my blog network was hacked and Just host was the company when my church’s website was hacked. They both tried to assign blame to me for their error. My church’s site is now with inmotion and I’m happy to see that they are not on your list of hosting companies owned by EIG.

    I’ve been thinking long and hard about which hosting company to choose. I was leaning towards Blue host because a personal friend uses it and is happy with them. Now…I don’t know.

    I’ve also used site ground before in 2004 when I first began blogging. I had some kind of issue with them, so I switched. I can’t remember what it was now, but it makes me leery to think of going back to them…sigh.

    Back to the drawing board

    • Finding the right server can be hard, especially since no one company is perfect. I think when it comes to servers the old adage “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” is extremely applicable! Let me know what you end up choosing!

  • Hmm this is interesting to read. Bluehost has been super nice to be and hasn’t asked for any money when I’ve come running with a newbie issue. HOWEVER, I’m all about hearing others stories and learning new things. While I do recommend Bluehost, it’s because I have had a good experience with them. I do know people who use SiteGround though, and Dreamhost and Fly Wheel too. I’m sorry you had a bad time with Bluehost. WiredTree looks cool, but super expensive -_-.

    • Yeah, the cost for WiredTree is why I don’t recommend them to newer bloggers. Paying that much for hosting doesn’t make sense in the beginning, but for upgraded servers they’re actually pretty average!

  • Bluehost didn’t cause me trouble when I first signed up for them three years ago–But then, I came from an even suckier free host. (You get what you pay for etc.) But they recently got rid of support tickets, which upset me, especially with all the issues my site began having this summer. I couldn’t get PHP to work, my site loads were terrible, etc. In checking error logs, I saw other sites on my server having the same problems with PHP.

    I used live chat a few times to resolve issues back in May, but I think one of the reps messed up my site directories. Another one had to fix it because I couldn’t get it to work. Nobody really seemed to know why my site was malfunctioning. While in the past, techs have been able to actually *resolve* my issues using support tickets.

    I read about Siteground, so I checked out their website. I was very impressed with what I found there, especially things like their virtual walls around websites on shared servers, so one website’s problems will not affect another. They still have support tickets. They actually *help* you with your website, so hopefully, if the problem is on my end, I’m not stuck Googling for hours/days trying to figure it out. The price is less than I was paying for Bluehost.

    I made the switch the other day, and all the problems on my website vanished. Now it loads lightning-fast and behaves normally. Hmmm….

    It’s too soon to know for sure how Siteground will work for me, but so far, so good.

    • I’m so sorry you had to go through that and hope that Siteground ultimately works out better for you! I honestly can’t believe that Bluehost got rid of support tickets. Where does it end with them?!

    • Yeah, I just tried to submit a ticket to bluehost and discovered that it’s not available any more. what a load of crap. the live chat said it would be 2 minutes, 2 minutes ago. Now it says 5. I am going to go to siteground and build a website called bluehostsucks.com if I don’t get my money back. I’m getting more pissed by the minute.

  • How unfortunate…I literally read at least 50 different articles about blogging and EVERY single one of them recommended Bluehost…so I bit. Not even up and running yet, so this is not very encouraging. Very good information. Thanks for sharing. Just wish I would have seen this a month ago…

  • I hate Bluehost – I always have, and I’ve been dealing with client’s on their hosting for years upon years, even before they were bought their CS was better, but thier services were still crap.

    I honestly don’t think EIG is the issue though because each company still has different people who run it – some who care, some who don’t. I’ve been on Dreamhost for almost 10 years in one form or another, I’ve had clients on them, I have clients on them now, and no one has ever had any issues – but their CS is incredibly transparent. They’ve usually emailed me about a problem before I even knew it was one, if they’re upgrading the servers I’m on or anything like that I know weeks in advance, and their CS hardly ever takes longer than a few hours to get back to me – and often times have helped with issues I’ve contacted them about without it even actually being their issue.

    Now, I’m not saying no one has ever had a problem with DH – but I’ve heard horror stories about Bluehost, Godaddy, A Small Orange, etc, and nothing even remotely comparative about Dreamhost – and seeing as they’ve treated me super well I felt I needed to stick up for them a little bit 🙂

    Thanks for telling people about Bluehost though, I don’t think many people realize how extremely horrible they are until it’s way too late.

  • Yep, Bluehost is not very good these days! There was a recent outage of over 12 hours…chat support was down, phone lines over 1-hr hold time.

    The best way to get in touch with anyone at Bluehost is Twitter, or call their renewal department, they’ll pick up on the first ring LOL.

    They are also the only hosting company I’ve used that requires a phone call to cancel a plan. They try to up-sell/cross-sell you to keep you on board.

    That was the last straw for me and I moved those sites to SiteGround.

    What’s interesting is A Small Orange (part of the EIG conglomerate?) has only been great for me the last 2-3 years. Great support, and never have server issues (knock on wood!).

  • Exactly right. I used to build websites back around 2008-09. Bluehost was great back then. I recently jumped back into the biz and purchased a plan with them. At the end of day one I haven’t gotten anything but errors and my site is already messed up. Which led me to google “why does bluehost suck so bad they used to be good” and found your blog. Hoping to get my money back. Thanks for the info

  • I’m having trouble with Blue host too. One bit of malware and they shut the whole site down, along with 5 others that I host. And they won’t unsuspend it unless I pay for Site Guard at US$15 per month, which is more than what the hosting costs.

  • Very refreshing to read an honest (non affiliate income driven) piece on Bluehost. I’ve got a mixed bag of experiences with them and I’ve had some major issues with them in the past, luckily their money back guarantee has always come to the rescue.

  • I’ve been with Bluehost for two weeks and have had nothing but trouble. Unfortunately, I’ve already thrown away hundreds of dollars trying to get things going. At this very moment I’m not even able to login to my account at Bluehost.com. I proceeded to google: “why does bluehost suck so bad?” when I found your post. Do you have any recommendations for ending my account and getting some sort of refund?
    -Matt

  • I used to have BlueHost and I was happy with them. That is, until it was almost time to renew. They told me that the tier I had signed up with had since been eliminated, so I was going to have to “upgrade,” ie pay more money for the same service (I didn’t need the extra features). So I shopped around and found GreenGeeks. Affordable price, great service from a small company, and they’re eco-friendly! They transferred both of my websites quickly and painlessly, for no additional charge.

  • Yes!!! Bluehost totally sucks! Thank you for the other recommendations, I will be switching. I’ve been with Bluehost for about 2 years and was pretty happy at first, but now my site is constantly going down. When I contact support, they either tell me that my site is being throttled (impossible based on my Google Page Speed Score) or that there’s a known server issue and the specialists are working on it with no ETA. Awhile back, I received an email saying that one of the sites on my server had been hacked and to contact support for a security check/scan. The support rep seemed clueless, but said that my site checked out fine, a few months later, I realized my site had been pharma hacked! My list of grievances with bluehost goes on and on!

  • My website was down 2 times, and now they are closing my account.

    They say my wesbite was consuming too much resources, I think it was hacked or something. But they dont say what is causing this. they just want to delete accounts.

    Its 06 04 2017 I dont recommend bluehost.

  • I am sorry to say that Bluehost is not only in a “race to the bottom” after the acquisition by the Endurance International Group, it has hit bottom and is dragging us along with it at the bottom of the ocean. Our company has 3 DEDICATED SERVERS at Bluehost, and technical support for these servers has been severely compromised. Two of our dedicated servers have been unavailable for over 10 hours, and when we reported the outage and requested that the servers be rebooted we were told that it was not possible to reach anyone at the data center who could perform a hard reboot of the servers, and that all that could be done was to create a trouble ticket that would be looked at THE NEXT MORNING !! We provide services to the global financial community, and this lack of 24/7 support for DEDICATED SERVERS is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. Bluehost apparently is happy to cater to static marketing websites for the likes of vitamin supplement scams and is not capable of stepping up to the cloud-based hosting and resource provisioning required by businesses needing both performance and high availability. Very sad. We are looking to get off this platform as soon as we can. 🙁

  • I have Blue Host and I HATE it! My site goes down often. When I get lots of shares for a post, it’s guaranteed to go down! It can’t handle the traffic. Even on a slow day, it can’t seem to handle the traffic. Thanks for these alternatives. I’ve contacted one already and will check out the others.

  • Hi Lisa,

    You’re so correct, I’ve had clients who are hosting with Bluehost and it has been a nightmare. Another hosting company that I wouldn’t recommend is GoDaddy.

    Unfortunately, there are many marketers who only care about the affiliate commissions. People who listen to their reviews find themselves wasting more money by having to move their site to another hosting account.

    I used to host with Hostgator for over 8 years. I finally decided to move my sites to another hosting account. I spent so much time reading reviews online, although, I am always a little skeptical about reading reviews on affiliate sites.

    However, after spending days reading several reviews, I decided to go with SiteGround. I can honestly say that I am happy with them and have nothing but good experiences.

    It’s nice to know that there are affiliate marketers like you who are honest with their reviews. I’ve never heard of Big Scoots, but it sounds like they are very good.

    Thanks for sharing, have a great day 🙂

    Susan

  • I totally concur with this blog post. I have had many issues with Bluehost that I never had with any other service provider. Bluehost is absolutely the worst webhosting and VPS provider, in my opinion and 20+ years experience of using webhosting services. Avoid it like the plague!

  • Thank God someone finally revealed the truth about those assholes at Bluehost! I was with them for many years, and I USED to love them – and recommended to them to all my clients. Then, right before they were bought out, I noticed their customer service started to get worse and worse. Then, all my sites were down constantly. They always blamed me and always tried to get more money from me. I finally had enough when my hosting expired and they wanted me to renew and wanted a lot more money to renew. Thank you Lisa for finally speaking the truth about Bluehost!
    I switched to Green Geeks about a year ago, and honestly, I’m not all that impressed. Don’t get me wrong – they’re a huge improvement from Bluehost, but almost anyone is. I still hate Godaddy equally as badly Bluehost. I just can’t believe Bluehost has gone to the horrible level of GoDaddy. It’s sad. Green Geeks has helped me with a lot of things, but other times, their customer service chat is complete crap! But as long as new bloggers avoid Bluehost, Godaddy, and the EIG companies, they’ll be in better hands. <3

  • Agree that bluehost is complete cr@p and I’m sick and tired of these bloggers recommending hostgator and bluehost just to get a commission. I have even seen well respected youtubers recommending the same. I have lost respect for them.

    Siteground and A1 hosting are much better and faster too! thanks for getting the word out.

  • I am a business owner as well( Owner of http://www.mountaincultures.com ) I have had the absolute worst nightmares happen to me while hosting/ dealing with Bluehost. I won’t get into details as they are fairly complex. Everybody please save yourself much headache, loss of revenue and time by avoiding BLUEHOST. We know host with Lightspeed and have had a great experience.

  • Add me to the list of folks who have been burned by Bluehost. I had four domains with them, one of which was my money-making domain, and now – poof! – they’re gone!

    They hit me with the “malware on your site” nonsense too. It’s interesting that your site got infected because of a shaky site sharing the same resources. Shouldn’t Bluehost be responsible for ensuring this doesn’t happen?

    The worst part of this is that I have lost considerable respect for some otherwise cool folks, (Pat Flynn, Mr. Money Mustache, etc.), who whore themselves out by still recommending Bluehost. Shameful!!