NOTE: In this article I recommend Siteground. At this current time, they have a bug that is preventing the auto-renew feature on Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates. This means when the SSL cert expires (about every few months), your website might lose its cert and becomes “unsecure” to your visitors. Basically, if the SSL doesn’t renew, people can’t use your HTTPS website. It’s a big problem that’s affected many of my sites. I’ve been talking with the SG team and I’m holding out that they will fix the problem soon. If they don’t, I will be migrating away from Siteground. I’ll keep you posted.
Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting companies on the web and I will never use them again.
As a developer, I interact with web hosts nearly every day. It’s my livelihood. So whatever I’m using better work. Website downtime means I’m losing customers and money.
During my time using Bluehost as a host, I frequently experienced site outages, unacceptable wait times with their support team, and when I finally did reach their team, they were often unable to help solve the issues.
There have been several times large portions of the internet have gone out due to major issues regarding Bluehost’s shared hosting packages. After a little digging I found this tweet from October 2014 noting that my site went down 4 times that month.
— Jeff Large (@realjefflarge) October 14, 2014
I’ve had sites literally go down for 6+ hours at a time. As noted, when you make a living online, any downtime is bad. *Site downtime happens so often the hashtag #bluehostdown has grown in popularity. It’s worth looking at if you’re considering Bluehost.
My previous Bluehost account was set to expire on February 12th of this year. I intentionally turned off all auto-renewers and everything else in my account associated with extending my Bluehost services. I transferred my remaining site to my new host and was waiting for the service to expire… except it never did. It wasn’t until I logged into my Bluehost account after the 12th that I saw they automatically renewed my contract.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the wait to reach a Bluehost support person was ridiculously long. How long is ridiculous? I was able to reach Siteground’s (my primary host which I’ll discuss shortly) support team via chat on one issue and resolve it, reach Siteground’s support team via chat on a different problem on a separate account and resolve it, AND submit a ticket on a third account and resolve that BEFORE I ever reached Bluehost’s online support. So much for the Bluehost estimated “11 minute” wait time….
If Bluehost really is that bad why are they still so popular?
Part of the issue is that Bluehost has a very healthy affiliate program and are promoted by many business personalities because of the healthy affiliate incomes it supplies.
Affiliate income works like this: I recommend a service or product and provide a special hyperlink that takes you to said service or product. If someone uses that link and signs up for the service or purchases the product, I receive a payment from that company for helping with the sale.
Let’s put this in perspective:
In January 2016, John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire made $1,950 from Bluehost affiliate income. Couple Lindsay and Bjork would run food blog pinchofyum.com brought in $5,750 from Bluehost affiliate earnings in December 2015. In the same month, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income made $40,800 in Bluehost affiliate sales.
The list goes on.
Affiliate relationships aren’t bad. I have several. However, the chances of these modern bloggers and thought leaders giving up 5 figure-per-month income to stop promoting Bluehost isn’t likely. It results into two problems:
- The audiences of these bloggers and leaders will blindly listen and follow bad advice to use Bluehost because they don’t know any better and because they trust the person(s) telling them to do it.
Other bloggers with little experience in the web design/ hosting space want part of the action and set up their own affiliate relationships with Bluehost, perpetuating the cycle.
- Thus the Bluehost recommendations will continue and honest people trying to start a website will continue to be bamboozled with a sub-par web hosting service.
What do I use now?
As mentioned above, I have gone all-in with Siteground. As of 3 weeks ago, every one of my business, personal, and hobby sites are hosted on Siteground. I recommend Siteground to every one of my clients. I recommend that you check out Siteground as a possibility for your website host.
Full disclosure, I participate in Siteground’s affiliate program. If you use this link (or other Siteground links scattered across my site), I receive a small commission (usually $50) for your purchase at no extra cost to you.
So how am I any better with my affiliate perks than the people I’m talking about?
The product I’m suggesting works, that’s how!
Personally, all of my sites have experienced 100% uptime. Out of all of my sites and the dozens that I build and manage for clients over the past 3 years, there has never been an issue that wasn’t resolved in a timely manner. Siteground understands and helps with WordPress-specific issues. Last, it’s easier for me to have all of my sites on one platform that I know and understand.
Don’t believe me? According to WhoIsHostingThis.com, Siteground was rated the #1 best host of 2015. WPSiteCare.com is using Siteground as their hosting partner. WPBeginner.com gave Siteground a 5-star rating as a WordPress host. Siteground released these fantastic stats from their 2015 client assessment.
All I’m trying to point out is that your best choice is not Bluehost.
Still have questions or want to learn more? You can watch my How to Set Up your Website Hosting in 3 Minutes or Less tutorial or contact me here with more questions.
It’s our job as responsible web users to take a stand and help the ill-informed. You, your site, and your readers deserve more. Save yourself the disappointment and choose something better than Bluehost.