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.
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.
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.