Here’s Why I’m Leaving BlueHost

bluehost suspended

I’ve hosted my websites with Bluehost for about 10 years now since setting up my very first website in 2006.

They seemed great and have gotten a lot of praise for their service from the likes of WordPress.org themselves and other bloggers. I’ve also recommended the web hosting company as well because I was fine with what they had to offer.

But something happened this week that I’m not too happy about as it affects my business. I simply can’t carry on with this company so I’m working on transferring my websites and leaving Bluehost behind.

Bluehost Claimed I Violated Their Terms of Service

Bluehost temporarily suspended my entire account because of what they claimed to be a terms of service violation. They said that my website was causing performance problems and I needed to contact them.

I contacted them to find out that one of my websites was getting spammed and I needed to fix this issue before they could reinstate the account.

I was given a database where the comments were being spammed. Not knowing much about databases and such, I inquired about the corresponding website and how to get to the database.

They couldn’t or just didn’t want to tell me which website the database belonged to for some reason. This meant that I had to find it myself but not before emptying the comments in the database they pointed out to me.

Since I have a bit of WordPress websites that I had set up but didn’t work on, I figured it would be one of those but after searching for the database and not finding anything, I decided to look up the database for this website.

Turns out that I had emptied all 1300+ legitimate comments that I had accumulated over the years on this website and I couldn’t get them back because I didn’t have a backup.

It was my fault for deleting the comments before checking which website it corresponded to but I feel that Bluehost had to blame as well. Here’s why I think so.

Bluehost is Petty

(1) First, why take down an entire account when only one site is getting spammed?

I mean, I get that it’s a shared hosting account and the terms of service explains that this would happen but seriously, why not just shut down the one website and notify the owner?

(2) How come the technical support can tell me which database is getting spammed but they can’t tell me which website it belongs to?

Had they told me which website was getting spammed, I would have dealt with the situation differently. I would certainly not delete over 1300 legitimate comments.

(3) It makes me wonder if this is a case of them misidentifying totally legitimate comments and activity for spam. Just because my website seems to be doing well, it’s causing performance issues and violating the TOS.

(4) On the chat, I half joked that I might leave Bluehost because my chat support guy took 8 minutes to give me a response in what was an urgent situation (I wanted my sites back up). He said he was helping multiple customers and my patience was appreciated).

To me, this is unacceptable and I’m seriously leaving Bluehost for good.

“Problem after Problem with Bluehost”

Someone posted the following comment on a blog about Bluehost.

bluehost comment

 

I found most of what was said in this comment to be true.

(1) “Down far too often” – I used a plugin to monitor downtime on another site that I had just started and every day or every other day I will get a notification that my site was down for anywhere from 2 minutes to half an hour. I don’t know how often this site is down because I don’t monitor it but I can only imagine.

Over the years, I have had extended periods of downtime but those have become less frequent in recent times. However, I don’t think “down far too often” is too far from the truth.

(2) “Support is abysmally slow, uninterested and condescending” – 8 minutes to give me a response in an urgent situation – yeah that would be slow and uninterested. And then telling me that you are dealing with other customers so I need to be patient.

I still rated the chat a 7 because they told me what to do and the issue was resolved as soon as I fixed it but that was before realizing that my comments were gone.

(3) The third part is exactly why I’m leaving. Its a true reflection of my situation. I have a successful site getting legitimate traffic and comments and I’m being flagged for TOS violation. Why? Is my website not supposed to have any activity at all?

If you were to visit any of the articles on this site, you’ll see that they all don’t have comments that predate April 19th. In reality, lots of my articles have dozens of comments and activity. Losing them could hurt my websites SEO and rankings in the search engine and how my website is perceived by visitors.

Where I’m Moving To

I’ve hosted my websites with Bluehost and at one point I used Hostgator. I didn’t see the point of having to pay for two separate web hosting accounts so I cancelled Hostgator and kept all my websites hosted at Bluehost.

I also have some websites hosted at Wealthy Affiliate on their web hosting platform.

I like the idea of having a separate web hosting account but I don’t see myself quitting Wealthy Affiliate soon so I’m planning on moving my websites to their hosting.

What kept me from moving them sooner was that at one time, WA Hosting was just not that good. They’ve improved it over the years and it has become just as powerful as some of the quality web hosts available online.

The web hosting is part of the Site Rubix system and along with the website builder and the fact that website owners can benefit from the training available through Wealthy Affiliate, there are some great features I really love about WA Hosting.

siterubix hosting

Since Site Rubix is built on WordPress, the servers are WordPress optimized and fully managed. The sites are monitors for hacking and intrusion, malware and other issues and daily backups are created.

There are a few cons:

  • No chat system – you need to create a ticket
  • No cPanel – the hosting system uses Plesk but rarely do you have to see this backend.
  • You have to be a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate to use the hosting. This isn’t a con for me as I’m already a member but if you’re considering a Bluehost alternative then this may not be your best option.

WA Hosting is really a hosting solution built into an all in one system where marketers don’t have to go elsewhere to host their websites or even buy domain names.

I’m already hosting some websites there and I’m going to move my other websites there to get rid of Bluehost. I’m also removing the recommendation from my resources page.

Since this incident, I’ve read a lot of comments which seems to point out that Bluehost isn’t the ideal hosting solution as they are very strict about their terms of service and also not very good in areas a web host should be excelling on ie. uptime and support.

If you’ve had problems with Bluehost or want to show them your support, lets have a discussion in the comments area about it. Tell me how you feel.

Comments

  1. Thank you for the information, Jay. Personally, I am not that technical, but I think I may have had a somewhat similar experience, though it was not on BlueHost. I was running a WordPress blog and was accused of spreading viruses somehow or something like that. I scan my computer all the time so I wasn’t sure what else to do. It was a nuisance, but eventually I went elsewhere and think is was on their end, but that was years ago. Today, I think Wealthy Affiliate is the best and easiest choice for anyway and am glad to see you recommending it to your audience.

    • I think I know the situation you were in. It might have happened to me before where someone managed to hack my website and left malicious code on it. That can be a pain to deal with.

      Mentioning that WA does have malware and virus monitoring as well as hacking and intrusion monitoring so I feel confident that this would not happened to either of us as long as we’re hosted there.

  2. Wow, sounds like I need to stay clear of Blue Host.

    I understand how an active website would be a drain on their otherwise stable hosting, lol

    I too host at Wealthy Affiliate and have been there 4 years now? Maybe closer to 5 years and I am happy to be there.

    The thing I love is while like you said you have to make out a ticket for support the average response time of the tech team on those tickets is 1.5 minutes!

    I am sold and like you, I recommend Wealthy Affiliate to anyone looking for an all in one place marketing network!

    Shawn>>

    • Shawn, I hadn’t used Wealthy Affiliates ticket support much before but since this post, I’ve used support asking them to move my websites from Bluehost and they’ve been very fast in responding. I’ve already moved this website and a couple others over to WA now.

  3. Hi jay.

    I read your post and understand why you decided to leave BlueHost. If technical support told me they had to shut down my account because of spam on my website, I would be really worried. Worried about losing SEO rankings and customers because it’s so important for my business. I agree with you. If you had gotten the name of your website with your host, you woldn’t have to delete all your 1300+ comments. I can see why you are mad at them. I would have asked BlueHost why you had to delete all your comments before you could visit your website. That’s odd to me. It doesn,t make any sense at all. I’am truly sorry for your loss.
    I have a question about TOS. I am new to this community and don’t know what TOS violation is. I would like to know more about what that is.
    The post was helpful to me because I learned something about a host, especially about what I can expect to get as a customer.

    I wish you the best in moving your websites to WA.

    Cheers
    Tove

    • You are correct. I believe that they could have easily given me the corresponding website to the database they asked me to take care of. I can’t forgive them for this.

      TOS violation is a violation of the hosting Terms of Service or the rules you’re supposed to adhere to as a hosting customer. I believe they have some rule that says that I will not partake of any activity that causes poor performance that affects other websites on the same shared server or something like that.

      If this was the case then you have to wonder how is it that I’m getting legitimate traffic and comments and that would affect a server negatively. That doesn’t make sense at all. Do they want me to have a dead website where nothing happens? Or maybe they do this to get customers to upgrade to more expensive services like VPS and dedicated hosting?

      Whatever it is I’m done with them and have already moved this site and in the process of moving the others.

  4. Hi Jay. Thanks for the up date. I am with WA also and have had no problems with them. When I had a problem they were back to me right away. I have to say I believe you are making the smart move of moving everything out of bluehost. I have lost some comments because I changed from rolling post to a front page set up. By doing that I changed the creation date and that made my comments look as if they were made before the site was built. As far as WA goes you already know what you have. If you have been at this for 10 years I am sure you will get back to where you were.

    • Yes Carroll, my only fear is that my website might drop in rankings a bit for some of the articles that perform well in Google. However, I’m going to try to make up for that by publishing more frequently and using all the SiteRubix resources available for boosting my websites visibility.

  5. This is remarkable because I have heard mostly glowing reviews about Bluehost. It’s so unfortunate that they were unable to help you with the database, and then to lose all those comments! – Ouch! That’s years of hard work down the drain.
    To have a company just arbitrarily shut down your websites is downright scary – especially when it comes to your livelihood.
    Here’s hoping that you can recover soon…
    All the best!

    • Thanks, I’ve already moved my websites. I once had respect for Bluehost and would have been a contributor to the tonnes of glowing reviews but they have just as many detractors (rightly so) as supporters. I’ve never done a full review of their hosting for some reason but I’ve recommended them on my resource page (because I use the hosting). However, that’s all come to an end now and I’ll be recommending WA from now on because I’ve used the hosting for a while now with no problems.

  6. Does anyone have any opinions on Hostgator or Godaddy?
    My domain is parked with NameCheap, but after reading these posts and
    the subsequent comments, I will not go with Bluehost.
    Look forward to hearing from some of your readers and of course you as well Jay!
    Feel free to contact me personally at
    Just add to the subject line: Comments re hosting accounts.

    Thanks Jay and others.

    • Hostgator is pretty much the same as Bluehost – They’re both owned by the same company. I haven’t used Hostgator in about 5 years. I used to have an account with them before they said that I was getting too much traffic and needed to upgrade to something other than shared hosting. That wasn’t a problem for me but I dropped them to consolidate my websites on one hosting platform since I had sites hosted at Bluehost also.

      I’ve since heard that Hostgator, who used to have great customer service and hosting, has lost marks with their service. I dont’ think I could recommend them.

      Godaddy has always been terrible with web hosting so stay away from them. Every story I’ve heard about Godaddy and web hosting has almost always been someone’s nightmare. They’re better at offering domain names which is their main product.

      Maybe another reader might know of a great webhosting company that you can use. I have all my sites currently hosted at Wealthy Affiliate.

  7. I’m a proud WA user & just had a conversation tonight about WA vs. Bluehost. My recommendation was WA as well. I like the training interface & the price gets cheaper when you host multiple websites.

    • You are right. Since I left Bluehost in April, I’ve been wondering why I hadn’t left earlier. WA Hosting is amazing and I have to point out that one of my cons was that there was no chat support but the ticket support is really fast. I’d submit a ticket and get a response in 2 or 3 minutes. Compare that to the time you have to wait sometimes to get a hold of a technician on chat at Bluehost and Hostgator – sometimes up to 10 minutes.

  8. Jay, I noticed SiteGround is your #1 hosting recommendation now on your resources page. Have you shifted your preference since leaving Bluehost? Are still hosting sites with WA?

    • Dave, I’m still hosting my sites with Wealthy Affiliate. My recommendation for Siteground is for people who are just looking for website hosting and not necessarily online marketing training. If I wasn’t using WA Hosting then SiteGround would be my alternative to Bluehost based on my own research for a quality web host.

      I still have to do some updating on that resource page though.

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