Why I Left Bluehost and You Should Too
Bluehost is one of the most well-known modern hosting providers in the world. Many people know it for its cheap shared hosting plans. Bluehost was my first hosting provider, and needless to say, I was not impressed. In this article, I will be discussing why I left Bluehost, and why you should too.
It All Started When…
It all started when I bought their premium shared hosting plan. I uploaded my website and noticed my site did not have SSL. This stunned me because one of Bluehost’s selling points is free SSL. I contacted them with my issue; they told me I would need to buy a private IP to use SSL. A private IP is not necessary for SSL on most hosting providers such as Siteground. Just an hour earlier, I had bought my plan, and they were already telling me I owed them more money.
Bluehost Server Speed
My next problem came after a few weeks of using Bluehost. I noticed that my site’s loading speed was quite slow at around six seconds. My first thought was I needed to speed up my websites. I spent hours fixing them to be as fast as possible. During this process, I stumbled upon my now favorite site speed tool, GTMetrix. In the report, it showed my site was loading in 1.5 seconds, and Bluehost was taking 5 seconds to begin loading my page.
In the tech world, we call this time to first byte (TTFB). To give an example, a host like Siteground or WPEngine has an average TTFB of around 0.5 seconds. That means Bluehost was loading 4.5 seconds slower than other leading hosting platforms. While researching, I found that Bluehost is one of many hosting companies owned by Endurance International Group. Most hosts owned by this company, which include HostGator HostMonster, and iPage, provide slow loading speeds.
When I brought my concerns to their support team, they told me 5 seconds was very fast for shared hosting, and if I wanted faster I would need to buy a dedicated hosting server. Lies. My current hosting provider loads my site in under two seconds on a shared plan.
Domain and Bluehost Email Issues
I did encounter some annoying and problematic backend issues with their domain service. As with most hosting providers, they wanted me to transfer my domain to their registrar. Their setup process was simple, but their DNS editing was subpar. Their shortest time to live (or TTL) was four hours! Compare that to Cloudflare’s two-minute TTL, and Bluehost is way behind. I encountered many errors with WordPress site creation on subdomains. It would create the website on a temporary domain for no reason. Even Bluehost support could not explain why this was happening.
I had issues with their email service too. I wanted to create different emails to facilitate form entries. It did not last long. After only a few days, I received a notice that my email had encountered an error. I contacted support and was told they would have to send it to their developer team. I could expect to hear from them within a week. A WEEK! Without this email, my forms would not work. This was a huge issue. After they finally fixed it, it broke again only one week later.
As you know SEO is crucial to good business, and in-depth auditing is essential to SEO. I use SEMRush for all audits I perform. When one day SEMRush sent me an email telling me it was unable to audit my site, I scratched my head. It had worked one week prior. After some research, I discovered that the server was blocking the crawler. I reached out to Bluehost support, and they informed me they had blacklisted the SEMRush crawlers. I told them this was very important. They replied with, and I quote, “If you are that concerned, you can simply leave Bluehost completely.” Little did they know, that’s exactly what I would end up doing.
The Few Positives of Bluehost
I will touch on the positives I experienced with Bluehost. First, the Bluehost user interface is one of the best I have seen. It is easy to navigate and looks very clean. Bluehost does allow easy WordPress site creation, and provides many tools. Despite its many problems, Bluehost does what it is supposed to do. It hosts your website, gives you options, and provides support. While I felt their support was uneducated on the system, they were always friendly and willing to help. Unfortunately, I cannot think of any more positives.
I would not recommend Bluehost to anyone. There are too many cons and not enough pros. If you do use Bluehost and have a differing opinion, I would love to hear how your experience is different.