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Why WordPress.org Should Write an Honest Bluehost Review

The short version of this article is that we haven’t had great luck with Bluehost, and we’d like WordPress.org to be more transparent with their endorsement. For better hosting alternatives look at our WordPress hosting comparison article.

WordPress Hosting is a tricky business and finding an impartial Bluehost review is even more difficult. I’ve never been employed at a web host but I do have a lot of background working with systems that need to be online and available all the time. It’s hard enough when you have complete control over your environment, so throwing millions of sites into the mix that take full advantages of all the resources you have to offer can be a real strain, and can make being the best WordPress hosting company an extremely lofty goal. I understand all of that completely. Hosting ain’t no kids game.

I’ve talked about WordPress hosting reviews at length before, and I want to bring that same topic up again, but this time in a very specific context. After years of WordPress.org endorsing Bluehost, I believe it’s time they stop.

This is actually tough for me to write because I know people personally who work at Bluehost and this no fault of theirs. Many great techs and developers have no control over business decisions that have been hurting Bluehost’s reputation. They do their best to provide a great service, but they’re playing against a stacked deck and their service, performance, and uptime have tanked over the last year.

Things have gotten so bad that WPMU just awarded Bluehost with a wooden spoon for being the bottom feeder in an unbiased review of 5 different web hosts. Now I don’t know about you, but winning a wooden spoon doesn’t sound like a very awesome prize for a company that should be leading in a high tech industry. Maybe a Blendtec would be a better modern-day kitchen-inspired prize? I digress.

Unfortunately our experience with Bluehost over the past 6-9 months has been similar to what was represented in the WPMU post. Slower servers, poor technical support, and more frequent outages have become the norm, and not the exception.

And even after all of this, Bluehost still has a glowing endorsement from WordPress.org. Granted, this hosting recommendations page hasn’t changed in years, but that’s all the more reason to take time and carefully review who’s listed there. That’s what ended up happening with the theme and plugin marketplaces, right? Why not hosting?

A Missed Opportunity for a More Honest Bluehost Review from WordPress.org:

We’ve dealt with more hosts than you can imagine; in our opinion, the hosts below represent some of the best and brightest of the hosting world. If you do decide to go with one of the hosts below and click through from this page, some will donate a portion of your fee back—so you can have a great host and support WordPress.org at the same time.

Money Talks

So what’s WordPress.org’s motivation to continue to endorse Bluehost without at least providing users with a frank review of their services? Is it the good affiliate program that helps support the operation of the site and the community? Is it Bluehost’s frequent high-level sponsorship of WordCamps? Or is it simply a gentleman’s handshake that continues to stand?

It’s probably a combination of all three. I honestly have no problem with WordPress listing a host on the .org site with an affiliate link. It takes money to power an open source community like this one. Probably way more than I even know. The bigger issue to me is that they outright say that Bluehost is the “best and brightest of the hosting world” and unfortunately that’s no longer the case. I hope Bluehost does get things figured out, but until then, the WordPress foundation should probably ease off on the leg humping.

I’d honestly much rather see companies pay for space on the .org site than have new users getting bad recommendations. At least if .org was selling the space for $25,000 a month, everyone would know that was the situation and would be on their own for research. It would be transparent and people would know that “Daddy D’s Wacky WordPress Hosting” just had deep pockets, didn’t necessarily provide the best service.

What do YOU think? Should WordPress.org stop endorsing Bluehost? Should they at least provide an honest Bluehost review or some kind of real-life customer feedback? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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286 Comments

  1. kandra

    Wow.. i didn’t realize bluehost could be this bad for bloggers. Tell you the truth I would buy hosting service at bluehost for the reason that they being endorsed by wordpress. I have hosted on blogger for several years and had been trying to use selfhosted wordpress on local hosting provider.

    I want to leverage my blogging experience and I get info and experiencing bad maintainance from my local host provider. So I look up to wordpress and they say bluehost is one of their recomendation. I also find internet marketers that I learnt from also recommend blue host. thats why i would choose this hosting service, but all your trouble with the provider gives me a second thoughts. Make me reaally careful to choose hosting provider.

    I will refer to your post about bluehost. thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Bayu

    Thanks for review. It really help me choose the best WP Hosting. I think I decided to choose Siteground.

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  4. David

    After reading some of the comments, I guess I should consider myself lucky, but I sure do not feel that way. The bottom line is that I had thought that I could build a simple on-line business using Bluehost, but that is certainly not the case. I’ve suspended all web building and marketing until I can find a more reliable host, and in the meantime am only doing basic site maintenance. That is, I’m doing site maintenance during those rare times that I can access my editor – I’ve made the development of my site my full-time gig, but today was pretty much a lost day as my editor was only able to connect to the server for a couple of hours, and most of that time the server was painfully slow. I would not recommend Bluehost to even the casual blogger, but if you want to commit any real time to your site, then run away from Bluehost as fast as you can.

  5. zee

    The email never works properly. It shows ERROR each time I want to send an email, it kicks me out of the system a few times a day, in the middle of typing i get logged out, we do not receive some emails due “filtering”, same with sending. Bluehost says 24hr support but you can not reach them or it takes 40 min. I did ask for help hundred times and technical support does not hep! Ridiculous!
    We can not run the business this way! very unprofessional!

  6. Dima

    I don’t like and don’t recommend Bluehost at all. I’ve got 32 downtimes in one day and for a month I’ve had a lot. I signed up to Uptime Robot to monitor my websites, so I get notifications about downtimes. It was terrible. I thought it was a joke, but when I checked my website, it really was unavailable. After a month I decided to run away from Bluehost. Very regret that I didn’t do that earlier. It’s cheap and not reliable hosting. If you care about your visitors and website, don’t do my mistake, choose another host. Also customer support didn’t help me and seems very low quality at understanding and resolving issues. Hope it will be helpful to somebody.

  7. ucuz otel

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  8. Greg

    I chose Bluehost about 7 years ago (2008) to host my blog, which had been hopping from host to host with no real satisfaction.

    At the time, Bluehost had great reviews as far as reliability and price point. Plus, they offered full compatibility with WordPress, which is the platform I blogged on. So I chose them and was able to hit the ground running.

    Over the years I had no complaints. They were easy to use, and I never had any issues except for maybe a few instances of downtime, which wasn’t a big deal.

    However, just recently, they appeared to have wrongfully erased all the data from my account, and they have not offered any kind of compensation NOR any explanation as to why this happened.

    The story goes like this: On October 18, 2015, I received an email telling me that my hosting account had expired, and I had 21 days to renew and keep my cPanel and data. After 21 days, they would permanently erase it from their system (or so their email said so).

    At the time, I didn’t have the means to renew immediately, but I did the math and calculated that I had until November 8 to renew safely without a loss of data.

    To confirm this, I wrote renewalsdepartment@bluehost.com, and they responded that indeed, I had until November 8, 2015.

    So, on the morning of November 7, 2015, I logged in to renew my site, and noticed that everything had been wiped clean. I got on the phone immediately with one of their customer service representatives regarding this, and, after putting me on hold for awhile, he returned to say that my data had been erased.

    When I explained that I had renewed the site within the 21-day period, he understood, yet had absolutely no explanation as to why they had erased my data regardless. Furthermore, he offered ZERO compensation for what I consider to be a severe loss—we’re talking about 7 years of content here.

    Obviously I was infuriated over the situation and demanded to speak to his supervisor, who was even LESS helpful. Once again, ZERO explanation and ZERO offers of compensation for my loss. Literally, the only thing he could say was “I’m sorry.” When I asked to speak to his supervisor, he directed me to feedback@bluehost.com. I wrote them a long email, and have not heard anything since. It’s been 4 days and counting.

    The bottom line is, if “I’m sorry” is all that Bluehost.com’s customer service can offer in a situation like mine, then they seriously need to reconsider their business model and their reputation as a reliable company.

    In the meantime, I’ve written a formal complaint to their VP of Customer Service, Mr. Ben Lewis. I’m hoping that he can resolve the situation.

  9. Steve

    I used to like Bluehost. Now they’ve become an ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE. They have horrible tech service. Servers continually crash because they’re overloaded.

    I truly believe that they are planting viruses on the servers so you lose your mind when you try to make repairs. There are so many server dependent issues and the viruses keep replicating regardless. They want to sell you on their overpriced antivirus. This is a perfect example of AMERICAN GREED.

    AVOID BLUE HOST LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!!! Try host gator instead. I just moved and so far no problems.

  10. Bernadette

    10 Very Essential Reasons why you need to *RUN* from Bluehost Shared Hosting service advertised at $3.49. From an Customer who is currently suffering under these atrocities.

    Disclaimer: I’ve enjoyed stellar service from these guys for the past 4 year’s. This year 2015 has been the worst experience ever in terms of Cost & Support.
    More Money + More Time = Bad Customer Service + Bad Hosting

    1. Support is so smug and confident about how awesome and good they are that chances are they might just diss you on the phone when you speak to them, rarely do you find one with good attitude, yawning, appearing uncoordinated are all signs that they are not ready to work or not equipped to work efficiently.
    2. Bad Support, just a bunch of monkeys trying to appear smart and dole out standard rehashed scripts for every other question. Almost, glorified front desk. It does seem like the smart ones are the ones who are outsourced and actually understand your issue. How do I know? I’ve spent countless man-hours chasing these nutcases in Sales, Billing, and Legal etc to keep on top of things but each department is uncoordinated with the next. Also their wait time is horrendous. So count on waiting 30-40 minutes easily during the day. Chat is also a good 30-45 minute wait while they put you on music and hold.
    3. Too Many Departments : Terms & Billing, Sales, Support and each one has no idea what the other one is doing. So if you have an issue you end up validating your domain, explaining the issue and promptly being moved to some other department because these monkeys don’t want to be bothered enough to work.
    4. Sales Department & Support Staff is trained to be misleading and corrupt and use unethical practices to sell you service you don’t need. How do I know? They sold me multiple services from SiteLock that I did not need or did not want. End result, they have got me to spend $700 to scan a domain that is a non-active domain with an SMART scan tool offering $89 + $100 of Premium Services. They eventually tell you they will listen to your phone calls to decide on outcome, and conveniently not offer refunds, because they will opt to eliminate phone calls that only “they” have access to when they promised the services and will not disclose.
    5. Bad Hosting Experience, most times the upload won’t work and when you circle back to them they will be prompt to sell you a premium hosting package that’s better than your shared package. They will tell “you” to fix it yourself and will not offer to investigate. I’ve understood that they use shared servers and when the server get’s full it will kick you out.
    7. They go by how many files/folders you have and will cap you on that one. Too many images, too bad you have to upgrade your services. Too many files too bad you have to delete some. The laundry list of what you cannot do with shared services is too long to describe. Of course, they are quick to upsell you something that will cost a whole lot more to line their pockets.
    8. Slow, Slow Slow. Website loading time is super slow, and when you work directly on your code in the backend or actively on creating blog posts prepare to have the server unexpectedly shut you down, sign you off and start acting up. I hate working on my server directly because it is so unreliable. You can work on a lot of content only to realize that even when you hit the save multiple times, it never worked because the server kicked you out and you need to relogin again.
    9. Upsell all the time, when you finally get them to speak with you they sell you something again and again. So even if you are thinking services are cheap upfront the real cost that you will be paying is a whole lot different.
    10. Domain name costs change from $11.99 to $14 and fluctuate depending on their mood. I would think it needs to be the same as what you see when you review the name, but no even though you see it as $11.99 you will get charged a whole lot more for JUST domain name. Privacy not included. Why does it change? Beats me.

  11. Jaiden

    This reply is directed to Collin Mattingly.

    You said: “I’d like to clarify a few things, but before I do… perhaps a bit of my background:
    13 Years as a Unix / Linux Systems Administrator – with emphasis on Web Hosting, specifically PHP / Apache (or Nginx, and a few others) / MySQL
    4 Years as a Visualization / Cloud / Cluster Hosting Engineer – with emphasis on Xen, Proxmox, CEPH, MooseFS, etc.
    18 Years as a PHP / MySQL Developer.
    5 Years developing WordPress plugins and Themes.”

    None of that is relevant to how good or bad Bluehost is. The majority opinion from current and former customers suggests that Bluehost is not exactly top drawer, and that is what people will go by.

    While I agree that those who host their own WordPress sites should take care of them properly, your plugin approach to security is not the best advice. Learning how to build a strong .htaccess file is a much better solution as adding too many plugins will only degrade the performance of WordPress. Wordfence especially is a resource hog and is aimed at people who do not want to learn other, and better, methods of security.

    In my opinion, the best WordPress setup for shared hosting is:

    1. A strong .htaccess file that blocks access to wp-admin from everyone but administrators. Set permission to 444.

    2. Place wp-config outside the public_html, or if that isn’t possible, set the permission to 400, so it can only be read by WordPress.

    3. Don’t use “wp_” as the table prefix, and don’t use “admin” as a login name. Pick a name complete unrelated to your site or identity. Set a display name. Pick a secure password. Remove all references to the author from the theme. Remove all references to WordPress from the theme.

    4. Completely remove the native commenting system (including wp-comments-post.php) and replace it with Disqus comments, with the guest commenting turned off. This eliminates the spam problem. Delete wp-trackbacks.php, too. Comments add extra overhead to a WordPress site. Let someone else do the heavy lifitng. The comments can be transferred to the database later, if needed. Just restore wp-comments-post.php and install the Disqus plugin. But really, why?

    5. Use a third-party service like imgur for photos. It’s like a free CDN. It also makes things easier when moving servers and will keep people from hotlinking and stealing bandwidth.

    6. Find a lightweight theme. Most paid themes are weighed down by unnecessary functions and shortcodes. Find a decent one that does the basics and learn how to modify it. CSS is easy to learn.

    7. Keep plugins to a minimum. Almost anything a plugin does can be done a better way by you.

    These tips are for those using cheap shared hosts with many limits like Bluehost. Obviously, if you have a VPS or dedicated server, you can, and will want to, do things differently.

    And really, Collin, stop wielding your list of credentials like a weapon. You’re not impressing anyone, and you come off as arrogant and rude.

    Have a nice day.

  12. My Bluehost Experience

    Where do I even begin with this host?

    1) The loading speed of all of our reseller hosted sites is horrendously slow. We’ve done everything from our end that we can possibly do but the sites are so freaking slow.

    2) The customer service is trash. It takes quite a while to connect to someone and then you get 5-10 minutes between responses because they’re always multi-tasking a bunch of people at once. I’ve never had decent help from Bluehost customer support.

    If they even attempt to fix the issue or figure out what it is (which they usually don’t), they usually just try to pawn the blame on you.

    3) We had a site that was hacked, despite having a secure password and everything being up to date on the site. We figured we’d contact Bluehost first to clean it and then, they locked the site saying we were using too much CPU. They did however $200 to clean it, I simply demanded they unlock and told them I would clean it myself.

    4 hours down the drain but I’m not giving these greedy dicks $200.

    4) We can’t send out newsletters or emails from GetResponse. Every single time we try, Bluehost blocks our email capabilities. We can receive but not send. The worst part is, it takes me several contact attempts and an hour of arguing with a rep just to escalate the issue to L2 or the spam team to confirm that they’ve been marked as spamming.

    We’re following the CAN spam act, we’re using a double-opt in and only sending out emails to people who choose to send out newsletters. Some of our clients want to keep in touch with customers so we offer that service and every single time we send out a newsletter, blocked.

    5) For all of our cPanels, they disabled PhpConfig. Why in the hell? For some reason, new accounts are all made with an old version of Php and we can’t use BackUpWordpress. Yet again, we contact Bluehost for a solution and they tell us that it’s not possible anymore and they can’t manually change it. What? Are you joking? I’ve never once heard of a host that refused to change the Php version of a site.

    6) We can’t even login to cPanels from our browsers anymore. We have to use port 2082 to login and what do you know, we contacted Bluehost YET AGAIN for a solution. The exact response I got was “yeah that doesn’t work anymore, we made changes to cPanel and you can’t do that anymore.”

    I realize this company used to be good but they are utterly awful right now. They’re slow, their reps have all been replaced with minimum wage workers that don’t know what they’re doing, they’re understaffed, if you have any problems, it will be your fault and they’ll for sure have some paid options for you that won’t do anything.

    Go to Site5 or any other host that hasn’t been bought out by the vulture capitalist known as EIG yet. We have to contact Bluehost twice a week and I don’t know why I even bother trying to contact them. They’re utterly useless.

  13. Pritush

    I once used bluehost – about two years ago. Since it was endorsed in WordPress and there was some promo going on there at Bluehost. So I decided to jump in. It was terrible! site going down frequently, slow speed and all those trouble. I stopped using after 3 months. Will never look back at them.

  14. Michelle

    1,000 times – YES! I just broke up with Bluehost, and this was the reason I gave them:

    “I’ve been a longtime user of Bluehost (I believe about 7 years). And I had been a happy customer until last year. It really seems the company has gone down hill in that time. I really wish I could choose more than one option above for my reasons. I selected “Unsatisfactory Experience with Support,” but I would also choose Email Issues > Delivery Issues, Server Performance Issues > Uptime/downtime, Speed/slowness, and Software Compatibility, Unsatisfactory Experience with Sales, and MOJO Marketplace. I have had so many issues in just the past year that it’s not even funny. Add to that your loooong Customer Service hold times and some really awful customer service representatives mixed in there and you’ve created a very unhappy customer. I honestly thought I was going crazy thinking that maybe it was just me, that Bluehost couldn’t have possibly really changed that much in one year – but it’s not just me. This article puts it very well: [I linked this article here]. So, in short, we’ve had a good run, but I’m breaking up with you. It’s not me, it’s you, and I really hope you get the help you need to get back to the top.”

    I actually moved to SiteGround and I couldn’t be happier. Their customer support is absolutely amazing. I even asked them to help me with the breakup. I also want to note that my sites sped up immediately after the transfer. Bye Felicia! 😛

  15. Michael Sunarlim

    Bluehost is forcing their customers to use their own nameservers in order to use the WordPress Hosting package. I find this quite silly and nothing more than an attempt to make it more difficult in case you want to move out in the future. You practically cannot make it work unless you follow their exact requirement.

    What’s even worse, if you do agree to change your nameservers, it will not migrate the existing DNS records. This is one way to break your domain configuration unless you carefully copy the records one by one.

  16. Molle

    Bluehost sold me an Sitelock Find option costing me upwards of $400 and tole me that it will fix malware. I was wrong, within a month I was given to understand that my $100 spent on the Malware cleanup the sold via Sitedoctor and the Sitelock find that came upto $500 was a waste of money.

    Why? Because my site got attacked by malware again within a month. Their recommendation now, buy Sitelock Fix another $89 per website and also buy $100 Sitedoctor to clean the malware.

    I’ve now spent close to a $1000 in wasted time and money and not close to closing on this situation as yet.

    Please be wary about bluehost, they have partnered with other companies are are out to make a fast buck. This is unfortunately my experience after a many number of years of enjoying their stellar customer service and hosting service. The landscape definitely is changing and the tactics are getting more cut throat and greedy.

  17. Collin Mattingly

    Several of our clients host with Bluehost. Are they the same as having your own Dedicated or VPS server? NO. They are a commodity level SHARED hosting company.

    Does Bluehost work well for MOST WordPress sites? YES — if you have reasonable expectations, and are a responsible website owner…

    Ask yourself these questions:
    Do I realize that Bluehost is SHARED hosting?
    Do I have a development/testing/debugging server that I can transfer hacked sites to so I can clean them up?
    Do I clean up my broken site BEFORE asking the hosting company to re-enable my account? — cuz you know, it would be like totally jerk-faced of me to expect all of the other accounts on that shared server to suffer from my irresponsibility.
    Am I hosting ONLE one (1) site in my hosting account?
    Am I using “admin” as my username?
    Am I using the free “WordFence” plugin?
    Is “WordFence” set to automatically update itself?
    Am I using the free “Sucuri” Plugin?
    Do all of my WordPress Database tables start with “wp_”?
    Do I keep WordPress core up to date?
    Do I keep all of my installed plugins up to date?
    Do I keep all of my installed themes up to date?
    Do I run daily security audits on my site? – or do I wait until my site has become a problem for all of the other accounts on the SHARED Server that I run on?
    Do I make daily backups of my site to a cloud backup service (Amazon / Dropbox / etc / etc)?
    Do I make understand PHP (and WordPress Core) well enough to find security holes in Plugins, WordPress Core, and all installed Themes?
    Do I submit proposed security patches to the Plugin Vendors, WordPress Core, and the Theme Vendors? — and implement them in my own site.
    Did I use the FREE Sucuri Plugin to “Harden” my WordPress installation?
    Do I understand Linux and SSH well enough to find NON WordPress based compromises in my Site?
    Is SSH enabled in my hosting account?
    Do I know what to do about them when I find them?
    Do I understand how to use .htaccess to prevent direct code execution in my wp-content and uploads folders? (as well as whatever other folders various plugins create that need to be secured)
    Do I read the change-logs before I update anything?
    Do I login to my admin dashboard every day to check for updates?
    Am I using Plugins or Themes that cannot be updated (because I DON’T HAVE A VALID LICENSE)?
    Does someone else do these for me? — and do I expect a hosting company to do this? if so WHY?
    Is it my responsibility to maintain and take care of my website? (many blame the hosting company – weird don’t you thin — to shirk one’s responsibilities and pass the buck to someone that really has nothing to do with it — that’d be like a Vegan complaining that their Rare Steak wasn’t cooked enough.. makes no sense whatsoever)
    etc.. etc..

    If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then use wordpress.com and stop using the open source community version of WordPress. or Hire someone to do these things for you.

    Bluehost is no more insecure than any other commodity level SHARED hosting company. Bluehost only shuts down sites that are problematic for their other customers. (why in the world do people think they can be the only one on the whole planet that is entitled to use any server resources when they are paying less than $20/mo for hosting?)

    EVERY OTHER SHARED HOSTING COMPANY SHUTS DOWN SITES THAT ARE BAD TOO.

    IT IS NOT YOUR HOSTING COMPANY’S RESPONSIBILITY TO MAINTAIN YOUR WEBSITE. IT IS *YOUR* RESPONSIBILITY TO EITHER MAINTAIN IT, OR HIRE SOMEONE ELSE TO.

    There you have it.. My two cents.

    And NO, I don’t work for Bluehost. And yes I have several clients at other commodity level SHARED hosting providers. And yes I have several clients with their own VPS / Dedicated server. And Yes I have a few clients that host on their own network of multiple servers.

    And YES their sites do get compromised sometimes. And YES they or I fix them. We never ask the hosting provider to do our job.

    Collin Mattingly
    CollinMEDIA

    1. Ryan Sullivan

      Hey Collin,

      Thanks for the comment. Collin’s my son’s name so you’ve clearly got a good thing going there. We actually don’t say Bluehost sucks in our article anywhere. We do comment on how support and reliability have slipped, but even beyond that, this article is a lot more about WordPress.org saying it’s one of the “best and brightest” of the hosting world, which just hasn’t been the case in our experience. Appreciate you stopping by. Don’t be a stranger!

      1. Collin Mattingly

        Thanks for the reply.. Perhaps I could have been more clear.. For what WordPress is (and for that matter is not), Bluehost is one of the “best and brightest” SHARED hosting solutions there is for WordPress — mainly because everything else in that realm of hosting is pretty much the same REHL / Cpanel hosting. That said, and more for clarification purposes, if you read the end of my reply you will notice that I have many clients that do not use Bluehost (some have needs that far outweigh the possibilities of Bluehost).

        I’d like to clarify a few things, but before I do… perhaps a bit of my background:
        13 Years as a Unix / Linux Systems Administrator – with emphasis on Web Hosting, specifically PHP / Apache (or Nginx, and a few others) / MySQL
        4 Years as a Visualization / Cloud / Cluster Hosting Engineer – with emphasis on Xen, Proxmox, CEPH, MooseFS, etc.
        18 Years as a PHP / MySQL Developer.
        5 Years developing WordPress plugins and Themes.

        So.. to be very succinct and hopefully a lot more clear…
        1. Bluehost is just as good as every other SHARED hosting provider for WordPress (and honestly better than most).
        2. The reason most people have issues hosting on Bluehost is that they themselves have not done their part to maintain their websites.
        3. The reason Bluehost (and all of the other SHARED hosting providers) shut down accounts (sometimes without notice) is to protect the integrity of the server itself.
        3-a. If i lock someone out of my house, it is because I don’t want them causing me problems.
        4. If someone has a bad experience hosting WordPress on Bluehost — and that someone doesn’t correct their negligence of their website – the WILL HAVE A BAD EXPERIENCE WITH EVERY SHARED HOSTING PROVIDER.
        5. If SHARED hosting isn’t enough for someone’s WordPress site, there are other alternatives.
        5-a. SHARED hosting IS enough for MOST WordPress installs, and Bluehost’s specific server setup is among the best of all SHARED hosting providers. (I have personally toured their data center, discussed technical things with their management and their server technicians, as well as with their network engineers.) I have also done this with several other hosting providers. Bluehost – thus far has the best, most stable, and most extendable (without network downtime) setup of all SHARED hosting providers that I’ve extensively looked into.
        5-a. I did all that to make sure I was making an informed decision when making a hosting recommendation to my clients.
        6. So Bluehost supports WordPress with some kickbacks.. That does not negate their network and setup.
        7. Bluehost just recently (late spring 2015 through mid Summer) finished installing a whole load of new, top-level servers for their SHARED hosting customers.
        8. I never said that you (or any commentators for that matter) said anything to indicate that Bluehost Sucks — didn’t even use the word Suck or Sucks at all. [Ctrl] + F … for “Suck”
        9. Some commentators did actually say that they suck. Well they don’t. Irresponsible webmasters suck.
        10. I really was replying more towards the irresponsible webmasters on this thread that B/Flame Bluehost for their own lack of responsibility towards their own website.

        Non-the-less, I like your site, and I do appreciate your article.

        And to all readers out there… WP Site Care offers these: https://www.wpsitecare.com/plans/

        ** No I am not an “affiliate” or otherwise related to WP Site Care ** (I just wish people would take some level of responsibility for their website — or hire someone that can)

        So, if you don’t want to, don’t know how, or simply can’t take the time to maintain your WordPress site (wherever/however you host it) there is a solution for you… https://www.wpsitecare.com/plans/

        Another thought… Saying that Bluehost isn’t among the best in their class of hosting without touring their data center, and interviewing (face-to-face) their staff/management/techs/engineers seems contemplative at best. Actually I thank you for that. People should contemplate these things. (Yes, I realize that this entire paragraph is an assumption on my part… so please correct my assumption if it is unfounded.)

        And, the final thought.. Your son has an excellent name — he will grow up to be a well-rounded genius, liked by all. I am sure of it. 😉

        My best regards,

        Collin.

        ps.. Other good hosting providers:
        Digital Ocean
        Linode
        Hostmonster
        Godaddy (If you can get past their egregious terms of srevice)
        Dreamhost
        Aplus.net was good a few years back.. (not sure now, it’s been a while since I investigated them)

        p.ps.. My personal experience with “WordPress” optimized hosting has NOT been good, they all seem to have caching problems, and are prohibitive to a whole lot of common and very useful plugins.. like for example: Woocommerce.

  18. Scott

    Bluehost has twice, with no notice, deactivated my account claiming I was hosting malware. Both time I spent over 30 minutes on hold to find out what they claimed the problem was. They offered to clean it for me in 48 hours if I paid them $200. The problem was a hack into a WordPress plugin. I spent hours cleaning it up and they couldn’t ever give me guidance on what they claimed the problem was. Finally one person gave the the line of code that was a problem and I was able to fix it in minutes.

    In the meantime, they lock my account so I can’t even download my files and go the F somewhere else. Bluehost is trash.

  19. NeverGoingBack

    I’ve finally decided enough is enough. Bluehost has cost me more money and headaches then any other aspect of my businesses operations process. If the above did not scare you away from trusting this archaic beast with your money, time and business, then allow me:

    Incident #1

    • This past February I launched a website for my clients new business. Immediately this client complained that they weren’t receiving any emails from the contact forms on their website. I spent over an hour checking every aspect on the website’s backend and making sure my client had their email client set up properly.
    • Finally I contact Bluehost to ask what might be happening. They told me the issue was definitely not on their end. I spend another hour double checking everything and contact them again. Again, they tell me it’s something to do with my web forms or my client’s email app (yahoo mail).
    • A few days later my client contacts me saying that it’s not just emails from the web forms that aren’t showing up, it’s all emails to that address! I contact Bluehost immediately asking them what is up and the service rep is just as utterly useless as the other two. They tell me their supervisor will contact me within 24 hours.
    • 72 hours later, still no word and so I contact them again. This time the non-english speaking rep assures me the supervisor will contact me via email “today”.
    • 4 days later I get an email from Bluehost telling me I should contact yahoo (really!?). I contact yahoo and they immediately reply that there are no issues on their end, it’s definitely my web host. I copy and paste their message to me, to my response to Bluehost.
    • It has now been over a week and my client has not been able to receive ANY emails. This is the week of their businesses launch, remember. Just panic and anger all around the board. I call Bluehost and demand an answer to what is happening and at least a temporary solution. The rep connects me to his supervisor. I explain the back story, again, and he tells me he’ll call me back after he reviews everything. I literally yelled, “NO! If you hang up on me without giving me a solution I will be filing a lawsuit on my behalf and my clients behalf!”
    • After about 30 mins of waiting while on hold he returns and tells me that they have escalated the ticket to the highest level of tech support. He explains that something is wrong with their server and nobody knows what happened. I ask to be transferred to another server and he tells me he cannot do that, but promised the issue would be solved in 24 hours by their “high-tech specialists”. Seriously.
    • 3 more days go past (I am running a business with dozens of other clients, by myself at this point), and I decide we need to pull the plug. After almost 2 weeks of lost emails for a brand new startup, I called Bluehost up and canceled the account, transferred my clients website to another host and paid for the entire year myself and then wrote them a check for a 10% refund on their website out of goodwill (and an attempt to keep a seriously pissed of client).
    • In the end, I lost the client and over $1000 (in refunds and purchasing hosting for them).

    Incident #2

    • For some reason, while I stopped using Bluehost for my clients websites I kept my own company’s website with them. Last month I realized my website was loading very slowly so I began to implement performance optimizations. I did everything that Google and YSlow recommended. These optimizations definitely helped but my site was still loading very slowly (9.7s – 12.4s).
    • I contacted Bluehost support and asked them what else I could do to speed up my site. They told me I should upgrade my account to the VPS Pro, assuring me I’d drop my page load speed down to under 4s. Naively, I bit the bullet and upgraded.
    • A week later I contacted them again because my site was still loading slow (8.4s – 10.2s). They told me I should be using a CDN and (surprise, surprise) that I could subscribe to one inside of their cPanel (for $15 extra a month). I again bit the bullet.
    • Now I was paying $45/mo and my site was loading at just 7.5s – 9.7s. I contacted them again and they basically gave me the run around, saying my page was too big/heavy (1.45mb), said I should add more CPU cores and RAM to the server… all in broken english and with very poor grammar. I laughed to myself for about 30 seconds and then told them to transfer me to sales, where I proceeded to cancel my subscription.
    • Now I’m with WPEngine and what do ya’ know!? My website loads in 2.8s – 4.5s, smh. Oh, and I’m spending $15 less a month.

    Basically, F*** Bluehost!

  20. Sierra

    I signed up for BlueHost when I switched over from free WordPress.com blog to a hosted blog at WordPress.org. I got their name from a list at WPBeginners.com who will help you do the switch for free. (I would have paid for this, but I don’t know anyone who provides this service except them.)

    My first experience with BlueHost: they auto-dialed me, put me on hold for over 5 mins, then I was told by their robot voice to leave a message, and someone would call me back. Their message box was filled, and the system hung up on me.

    This is a huge red flag. This company clearly doesn’t have their act together. I’m getting out now while it’s early and choosing another hosting company.

  21. Kate

    Used BlueHost for the past 6-years for hosting and registering my domain name. Had a credit card on file for last 4-years, with all monthly/yearly payments set to auto-renew, which were charged like clockwork.

    Well, BlueHost didn’t auto-renew my yearly domain name registration charge last month and they said it was my fault. Bluehost did charge the same credit card the normal monthly hosting fee, security and back-up but for some reason the auto-renew did not work for my domain name.

    Bluehost’s rep was really nasty about the whole thing. And when I asked him to move files to the .Net, he put me on hold for 20 minutes only to announce it was moved to some hosting site I have never heard of in my life.

    I loved bluehost before and am in utter shock right now at how unhelpful, unprofessional customer service has become. Bluehost has ALWAYS been great in the past, and this was not my fault.

    I have now learned that there is an actual name for this and it is called Cyber/Domain Squatting….whatever it is it is this kind of stuff is sneaky, sketchy and sleazy. I NEVER expected Bluehost to stoop this low to make a buck.

    1. Thoshi

      Sorry to hear that Kate. Yes, a couple of the big names go rampant with domain squatting. The elephant in the room being GoDaddy. One minute you are searching for the availability of high value domain which you find to be available. Come back to buy it the next week, it’s gone!

      No prizes for guessing who the registrant is. GoDaddy! Guess what? They are willing to sell it to you, at just the price of $1200; which was valued at $12 a week ago.

      Just wanted give you a heads up. GoDaddy and EIG owned companies are to be taken with a grain of salt. I know I wouldn’t be throwing my money at them. I have had nothing but bad experiences.

      Hope you find better services for your site. There are some really good ones out there.

      Good luck 🙂

  22. Eric Kindley

    I have 2 customers that have Bluehost. Poor servers, even poorer technical support, and seemingly an unwillingness to address the issues. Both are transferring to new hosting. Don’t know why WordPress endorses them at all. I have had several tech support chats with various hosting companies from time to time. None of them except Bluehost has ever directed me to search on Google for a max_Input_vars problem. One even suggested I hire a developer..lol If that would have been my customer they would have just gone into a terrible downward spiral. If we treated our customers like that we would get fired.Oh well fortunately there is

  23. Tuan

    I had moved all of the sites that we support elsewhere but one from Bluehost. I receive and email on the 07/12/2015 at 7:03pm telling me that my hosting is “expiring..” and that I need to renew. I had made a decision to move it anyways so logged on and was planning on backing it up for the move. To my surprise, I find that Bluehost had already shut the site down demanding money. I called them and was able to reach someone (after a 10 minute wait on the phone) explaining the situation. I won’t bore you with the details but here is a summary:

    1. He (Brian from Bluehost doesn’t know how it happened) but he couldn’t do anything since it is Sunday.

    2. The ONLY way for me to get back on my site was pay for a month – guess what, you can’t. You have to pay for 3 months. @ $44 and change.

    3. I told them it was not right to send an email letting the customer know the same time you shut down a site. That’s just poor customer service. He didn’t care. See #2.

    Bottom line, I didn’t have a choice but to pay them and now fighting to get a refund on the amount for the remaining two months. BTW, I opened a dispute with Paypal and Bluehost immediately canceled my account. What a classy company.

    I used to have quite a few accounts with them but their level of service, professionalism and reliability has gone downhill. After this fiasco, I will tell my other colleagues to stay away from Bluehost – sad.

  24. Paper Town Books

    We signed up for Bluehost back in Oct. of 2013. We were told by their sales rep that the load (25k books) we needed to place on the website could be handled on the program he recommended and we bought. At the point we reached around 4500 books our website crashed, and we crashed the other 70k websites that were sharing our server (so Bluehost actually told us). So, in Bluehosts infinite wisdom, they moved us to a VPS server program and told us that will definitely handle the 25k books we wanted to load on the site. We reached 6000 books, our website crashed again, during the busiest time of year (from Nov. to Dec.) and we thousands of dollars. Bluehost blamed it us (yes, they actually told us it was our fault for putting so many books on our website) and then when we sent them the copied conversation actually showing that they said we could do that without any issues, they blamed it on Woocommerce and Word Press. We left Bluhost for a far superior server (Corecommerce) we have had no issues on the new server, and we really do not miss Bluehost at all. We can now actually focus on our business and not our website. This is especially important since we are book sellers, not website builders. In short: Bluehost Sucks! We DO NOT recommend them at all!

  25. pelagic

    have been trying to get wp installed. for the last couple of days.. contacted customer support.
    u know what they said,, i quote u not..” yea, its been hit or miss lately” we are trying to fix it. i said, what do i do? just wait? they said .”yep”, i had this same problem about 2-3 months ago.. took about 3 hrs to get wp installed

  26. Dave

    I had problems with my bluehost site as well. Their tools are sloppy, such as log files only giving you one day worth of visitor info, nested .gz files for logfiles, etc.

    During site development I needed to do a restore after a bad woocommerce update. Their tool was not working so I contacted customer service. They dumped my entire site back to the wrong revision, and lost the good version causing me tons of work to manually fix the site. No apology was made, they placed blame on me when I specifically requested a certain date to restore to.

    To REALLY make me despise them even more, I started hosting at smugmug, and was told clearly that I could cancel my hosting account and keep the domain registered at bluehost to direct traffic to the new site without any issues. My site is now offline and will be for up to 7 days while I transfer to a new domain registrar – bluehost says they cannot support DNS forwarding unless I pay for a hosting account! So they actually sell you domains that are essentially unusable unless all you want is to park a domain (which you can do cheaper elsewhere). Useless.

    I contacted 3 different customer service reps about my businesses website being offline due to bluehost’s error, (their cancellation form even said I could still use the domain!!!) and all were fairly abrupt and apathetic, made ZERO offer to right the situation- even though they could EASILY restore the old site and forwarding until a domain transfer completes (I know this because I can restore the site in one click if I pay them ridiculous upgraded hosting at four times the price I was paying). One of the arrogant untrained service monkeys said it wasn’t his fault that a corporate email and then cancellation form blatantly made a false statement and that there was nothing at all he could do. The attitude I sense from the company is blatant incompetence combined with apathy. What does bluehost care, they are making millions off of newcomers to web hosting.

    Fortunately for me I have moved on to greener pastures, but I sure hate looking dumb having a business site offline for a week with no help.

    Their pricing sucks anyway and they have deliberately confusing renewals that make you jump through hoops to get the same ‘low’ rates after your first year. They always put you in for upgrades you don’t want and make it hard to turn them off prior to paying.

    What a HORRIBLE company. Just. Avoid. Bluehost.

  27. Matt

    Good to see that these problems were not just with me. I’ve used Bluehost for a few years, but I’ve had consistent problems the last six or so months, and even more recently my website is down and times out more often than not. I plan to switch over this weekend to a new provider, and hope the slow response times will end.

    Thanks for the site confirming the problem was not just with my WP site.

  28. Mike S

    I am currently with HostGator, which is owned by EIG who also owns…. BlueHost! I find it funny that HostGator’s fees are much higher when they are owned by the same company and offer the same services. Can someone explain why these 2 are competition, yet no one knows that they are owned by the same company.

    1. Nemanja

      Fiat owns Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati, and all the Chrysler brands, including Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and SRT. It does not prevent them from competing with each other; it’s not like they are the only ones on the market.

      Bluehost and HostGator are for the most part independent companies who only share some aspects of their service (if you look up their servers you’ll see that all of EIG are on Unified Layer).

      1. Tara

        I’m so glad I did a search for Blue Host reviews before signing up with them!! Something told me to just look a little deeper before going in. Thank you everyone for your honest feedback on this particular host. Thank you Ryan and a few others that have mentioned Siteground as a reputable company!! You have saved me a lot of time and aggravation.

  29. Dissatisfied Customer

    Bluehost is a big disappointment. Their website web hosting information is inaccurate and misleading. They spend too much effort trying to force you to spend more money. I had three major issues with Bluehost.

    1. Their starter plan indicates that it includes 5 parked domains. But they don’t explain that you have to pay extra for each domain.

    2. When you set-up WordPress, the online workflow makes it almost impossible to select a free WordPress theme.

    3. I purchased the Starter plan for $60 but was charged $119. When I complained to Customer Service, they provided a partial refund. When I asked why they overcharged me, they indicated that I must have used the refresh button on my browser during the check-out process, so all the default added services were including in my purchase. But their online e-commerce workflow does not include a confirmation page or a receipt page or a confirmation email. If it did, I would have seen this problem immediately. Instead I saw the problem when I got my monthly credit card bill. But Bluehost only does full refunds within 3 days.

    4. After having so many negative experiences, I decided to move my domain and web hosting to another service. But ICANN regulates require that you wait 60 days. Hence, after moving my domain and cancelling my Bluehost account, they refused to give me a full refund under their ‘money back guarantee policy’ which is only good for 30 days. That is useless when you consider the ICANN regulation.

    If Bluehost can’t manage with their current pricing, they should raise their price or change their marketing or be more specific about what is included and what is extra. But I want to control how my money is spent and I don’t appreciate their scam tactics and unethical business practices.

  30. Darrell

    I have to say I agree.

    I’ve hosted many of my sites with Bluehost over the last 7 or 8 years.

    I have just made the decision that any new site I host will be with a different provider.

    Outages, slow loading are one of the main reasons. However, I have to say the tech support has always been fine.

  31. Shri

    Just run away when its Bluehost. I have my website and it runs WooCommerce. On my other hosting i had things run perfectly fine. After paypal transaction orders were getting processed automatically. But not the case on Bluehost. When contacted them back about some security loophole or maybe Varnish Cache problem that they have on their server all they could come up with answer was contact your web developer.

    Hello guys i am the web developer. I know how WordPress works from past 5-6 years. I know how thing works. I am telling there is some security problem which doesn’t let the IPN to pass and hence orders weren’t processing automatically.

    They won’t listen as you know. Back to my old hosting. Avoid Bluehost if you need serious hosting.

  32. Ben

    I wish that I wasn’t even reading this post, because that would mean that I was super happy with my Bluehost support. I started with a shared plan because of the recommendation I saw on WordPress.org’s website. I was mostly impressed with their service because I didn’t have any other experience with hosting. When compared to GoDaddy, I found that I liked it more, but GoDaddy shouldn’t be the standard by which to judge hosting.

    I eventually upgraded to a reseller plan, and it was great for a while until I found that they were allowing simplescripts in that reseller accounts to deprecate. I don’t have as many outages lately that I used to have, but I get complaints from my clients of slow speeds.

    My biggest issue is that support recently has been really bad. I expect beginner level support on shared plans, but reseller specific support should be staffed with people who not only know what they are talking about, but who have been through these things themselves.

    There are a few that really know their stuff, and I’m lucky and grateful when I get them, but there are some other people on their team who seem green…and that’s not what you want when you’re paying for premium support.

    I haven’t seen any clear winners in any reviews for other hosting options. They all seem to be a give and take, and some with affiliate bias. Bluehost has a decent market share and just needs to get their priorities in order. I’m very close to migrating over 40 sites away from Bluehost to some other solution. I just need to find it first.

  33. Matthew

    I had bad experience with them too. Then switch to rosehosting.com and the problems disappeared. Thanks

  34. Bruce

    Bluehost RUN ASAP!!!!! I chose Bluehost for our company’s webhost several years ago. Once a reliable responsive organization they have gone to the absolute worst customer service that we have ever experienced with any organization of any kind. They totally ruined our website and grossly misrepresented the services we paid for. Malwear hit our site which was supposed to be protected WHICH WE PAID FOR!! Then charged $189 to fix what they were supposed to protect in the first place. Then they promptly ruined it by eliminating the front page and all widgets and plugins. After hours and I mean 7+ hours mostly on hold and after 5 different tech support that claimed the site backup and all these features were missing. Finally a senior IT person fixed what they damaged in, no kidding, 10 minutes. We can go on and on, but don’t have the time to cover it all. We are to soon move our webhost after we can insure a backup is made. RUN Forest RUN!!!!!

  35. Bluehost Customer

    I hate Bluehost !!! Bluehost SUCKS beyond belief! I signed up in November of 2014 and paid an annual fee and moved SIXTY websites over to them. Not one month later they announce they no longer will sell a reseller package and took ALL THAT MONEY people paid for an annual good deal like I did–and used that money to do TV web ads targeted at just developing web sites for people directly. Sure we got to the end of the contact but moving is a pain and we would never have signed for some temporary relationship. AND service sucks since they changed stream.

    Meaning Bluehost financed this real goal (real profit maker) with a fake offer [fake meaning no intent to really keep long term reselling accounts–but sold them cheap to pull in BIG revenue] This is close to PONZI type scheme where Bluehost cannot do a profitable venture without the profits of the less profitable venture (Reseller accts) This causes great stress to those who did sign up and have to move a ton of sites all over again. Now the big issue is many of our 60 websites being DOWN ALL THE TIME because they are shoved a bunch of shady people on same server as our sites.

    SO Bluehost UPTIME is a lie. And Bluehost packages in general are about as safe as Enron who sold air.

  36. Doug

    I would have preferred to stay with Bluehost but they obviously don’t care about the small players and just want the big bucks now. i am offline at present trying to get my new hosting going. Seems like it is all about the do re mi now. I think a hosting co could clean up by offering lower cost plans for the smaller players like myself who really are low maintenence

  37. Christopher Ohlsen

    I have been with Hostgator for a while now and still have a WP multiste network running on their shared grid hosting platform. It runs well but I am running out of room and wanted to get a deal on a VPS. I am keeping my host on hostgator but I’m also starting a new project and will need the full resources of a VPS for that purpose. I found a deal on Bluehost; first month around $15 and around $30 a month after that. I set it up and installed a WP network… I have done this more than a dozen times and I did it exactly the way that I know how to on my new VPS… The wildcard is all set, all of the edits have been made to wp-config.php and .htacess. and I installed sunrise.php for domain mapping. I was able to successfully install the network but after that when I create a site it redirects me back to the domain when I try to visit and back to the main domain admin pages when I attempt to visit the dashboard. I have been trying to troubleshoot it for 2 days but I did not do anything differently in the setup than I have ever done before with any other host… Admittedly this is my first time using a VPS as opposed to shared hosting so it could potentially be something to do with the server configuration… I reached out to Bluehost. They took more than 24 hours to respond and their response was pretty lame. I took the domain with the VPS package and I like it… Not sure if I can take it with me if I cancel the package but I may cancel anyway and go with one of the ones you recommended above. You have any idea what would cause this issue with Bluehost?

  38. Emly

    I have been with Bluehost for years because of their excellent service and solid reputation. However, I will need to look elsewhere as their packages have increased exponentially. I’m told I was on a “starter” package and that it was nice for promotional purposes. When did this change??? Bluehost had one package and it was great, great price, great service, and now they have gone the way of so many before them seeking more money with increased traffic and not giving the customer better options. That is so sad to see.

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