Bluehost Blues………………..

Posted by – January 9, 2008

Why I chose Bluehost? A little over two years ago, I had many websites hosted on single domain name plans by iPower, eDataRack, Lypha, 1&1, and others. All of the hosting providers were giving me acceptable to great service. Kudos should be given to iPower as their server hosting CrazyPenguin.us was listed in the top ten uptime category for two years by Netcraft. In fact I have used well over 20 hosting companies over the years with little to no problems. Bluehost was offering to host 6 domains under one plan with 15GB of data storage and 400GB of data transfer. The plan looked like it would be great for my purposes. On Bluehost’s website they offered:

With BlueHost you can depend on:
Highest customer service
Quality equipment
Maximum guaranteed uptime
Highly functional tools for adminstration
The leading feature set available
Secure and reliable backups
Solid and honest business

So how could one possibly go wrong with such a offer?

The very first week I had problems with a SQL database being corrupted on box67 hosting KernelPanics.com. OK, no problem, no need to contact tech support, so I reloaded the database. A couple of days later the site went down for 2 hours. The following day the site was down for 3 hours. Two days later site was down for 10 hrs. Being concerned about the downtime I contacted Bluehost technical support by email. Flavio assured me this was not a common occurrence and even claimed to extend my account one month due to the downtime. I only have one problem. I never received the one month extension to my account. The intermittent downtime had continued on a regular basis on two different accounts with Bluehost during the two years I had been hosted with them. If Flavio would ever come good on his offer, I think, I ought to be up to around about 27 years worth of extended hosting due to the continual downtime while being with Bluehost. But this was just the beginning of sorrows.

On another account, box88, I was hosting a forum, AlienChaos.com, with about 25 to 30 visitors. One of the members kindly notified me she was not receiving her email notifications when someone posted to her. Checking out the problem led me back to Bluehost’s technical support. After 4 days, over 25 emails, and a half a dozen phone calls with no results, my patience was wearing thin. So I posted my problem in the Bluehost forum to see if anyone else was having similar problems. Rando Bluehost’s “Mail Demi-God” tried to help solve the problem, which I thank him for his attempt, but nothing was resolved. After exchanging posts with Rando for an additional 12 days and 4 pages of discussions on the forum, I canceled the box88 account and was issued a refund. I just could not justify keeping the account with Bluehost due to not being able to use my site for over 2/3rds of the time in the first 30 days of service. Still wanting to make AlienChaos.com available to my members, I moved the forum to box70 where CrazyPenguin.us was the main domain. At last the email notifications worked for a whole two weeks and then died. Yikes! Now the email did not work for CrazyPenguin.us and AlienChaos.com. I finally ended up using a Gmail account to send email notifications for the forum since Bluehost’s email would not function. So far if this doesn’t make you want to run away from this company like a monkey with its tail on fire, I don’t know what would. But the drama with Bluehost gets even better.

Bluehost implies in their marketing material you can run dynamic websites using programs like WordPress, b2evolution, phpBB forum, Coppermine, Gallery, Drupal, Joomla, and other programs listed in Fantastico. And you can, but what they don’t tell you, if you do run such programs even with minimal traffic you will get the dreaded exceeds cpu quota error. And your site will be suspended for 5 minutes each time this happens. Wolfpackmars2 gets the dreaded “exceeds cpu quota” error with only ONE person accessing his site, his mother when he tries to share some photos with her. If you really want to have some fun just to see how bad this problem actually is, go to your favorite search engine and type in “Bluehost cpu quota” or “Bluehost cpu error”. You can spend endless hours reading about customers that are anywhere from very disgruntled to extremely pissed off. Bluehost will try to blame the “exceeds cpu quota” error on poorly written scripts or running too many process at once. The argument doesn’t hold water because all the rest of the hosting companies don’t have any problems running such programs. So what is the solution to the problem? Felgall, a self proclaimed computer consultant and chief, minion, moderator at Bluehost forum, has one solution. Static websites? Are you kidding? Any hosting company in the world can provide “static” web content. Even Steve Alligood (Principal Systems Administrator) aka “alligosh” infers that Bluehost would prefer you to use static pages on their servers with high traffic. What do you consider high traffic 10, 20, or maybe even 30 visits per day? How about 1 to 4 visits per day on JunkDraw’s site? I would say a couple thousand hits per day to be acceptable. The best gem comes from the “exceeded cpu quota” (circled in red) error page. “Using static .html documents instead of painful .php scripts will practically eliminate CPU usage.” Painful .php scripts? Good grief! I must admit it has been a painful experience being hosted by Bluehost. But not due to a php script. It has been painful because Bluehost claims to provide adequate uptime, functional email service, and to effectively being able to run dynamic content. Bluehost failed to deliver the services that they promised in all three areas.

So who is the brain behind Bluehost?

Matt Heaton is the CEO and uber evangelist of Bluehost, Hostmonster, and Fastdomain. Matt, in your blog (1, 2, 3, 4) you claim how Bluehost is always improving. But nothing has been for the better for me while being hosted with Bluehost. I still have the same problems with pages taking forever to load. You still provide the same lousy service with all the built in features like excessive downtime, malfunctional email, and those lovely “exceeds cpu quota” errors. By the way have you considered putting one of those nifty little flashing Bluehost banner ads on the bottom of the “exceeds cpu quota” error pages. Just think of the market presence you would gain! Matt, you have picked the right names for your companies. The choice of naming Bluehost couldn’t be more appropriate as it is the bluest (def: sad and gloomy; depressed or depressing) hosting company in the business. The name Hostmonster fits well as you truly have created a monster in the hosting world. Fastdomain on the other hand is an oxymoron, but fitting in a jocular sense none the less. Matt, I commend you for creating the most dysfunctional, unreliable, and pathetic hosting organization on the planet.

88 Comments on Bluehost Blues………………..

  1. Ger says:

    I can not even bring myself to hang out all the awful details of our brief experience with Matt “Headless Chicken” Heaton’s Bluehost. Let’s just say Matt the Missionary’s post on his blog about Mike the headless chicken who lived was the perfect metaphor for Bluehost. They are brainless and blissfully unaware of it as they goof along sabotaging their customers from behind a thick wall of arrogance that is exceeded only by their incompetence.

  2. Punkech says:

    Yeah they have done this to me. They have excellent customer services, but they took my site down. And left me in the dark. No emails. Its like they provided the service for free. I frigin payed for it. Hope I find a good host. Dont fall for the Unlimited crap.

  3. Another victim says:

    Yes, bluehost sucks. Lately I have had a lot of problems with them. Even though I have less traffic and fewer readers they have suspended my account, reason: site causing performance problems. A wordpress blog is causing problems?! Yes, of course, if you have a little successes. That hosting service is only for losers that nobody read. For static hmtl pages that never, never, will use the bandwith they pretend to offer you.
    I don’t understand. I don’t understand why wordpress recommends this hosting service.

  4. 14erjohn says:

    Just had my site suspended yesterday – the reason: keeping backups. Never mind that I was nowhere NEAR my 300 GB limit and the backups were from the site they were hosting for me. Shoot first, ask questions later… am currently looking for a new hosting company.

  5. Dhana says:

    bluehost and hostmonster are the same company, learned the hard way, thought i would let you know

  6. Hugeknot says:

    Reading your blog was like reading a well written version of my exact experience with Hostmonster (Blue host).

    It is a full time job, just keeping the site online!!

  7. alberto says:

    I found your website after having a problem with Bluehost. I am running one of the most visited websites about football. And I migrated my website in September using Bluehost. I have to admit, the monthly plans look very good. So I started to get those”exceeds cpu quota“ messages and I started to research and found your website, which as been very useful. My website is based on joomla and I posted the problem there, a user posted an answer telling me to switch hosting company, so I followed the ones you recommend here and I started to inquiry them and the best response was from the guys in downtownhost. I asked them about this issue and they told me that it was not a problem.

    One thing it burned me up with bluehost was when I tried to get a backup of my database from the jos_content table and using the CPanel mysqladmin even produced that message in my website!!. I could not even use ssh to backup directly from the database because they were asking me for an ID to access their servers!, so I was able to get my database, migrate everything to downtownhost and since the first very hour I asked my visitors to load the server, and no problems since then. I am very happy to have downtownhost with my website and also very happy to have found your website.

    Thank you and hopefully you can reach more people.

    BTW, when I asked to cancel my account in bluehost, they did not have any questions, they just cancelled my account , refunded my money and that’s it. They did not care if you are canceling for the bad service provided.

    I am still working on my website and I will have a link to this website when joomla and webhosting have to be mentioned.

    cheers

  8. John says:

    Just a quick follow up on my expulsion from Hostmonster: I just received an email saying that I’ve been refunded my money via Paypal. Only two months after I was kicked off, might be a record… Anyway, it’s good to see that at least someone at that abomination of a hosting service has their ass in gear. Maybe Heaton’s lawyer told him that people have a case if you just piss on them with no reason. I’m quite overjoyed that I will no longer have to deal with the boobs at Hostmonster, Bluehost, or any other company that Heaton runs.
    By the way, when I initially moved to HM all my SQL tables lost the unicode character set and thus rendered all my posts in Japanese a useless jumble of garbage? It made everything run off the Swedish character set. This happen to anyone else or am I unique in that experience?

  9. Sam says:

    I have to agree with you 100%. I tried putting WordPress MU on my bluehost site and it was a NIGHTMARE. You cannot install any dynamic CMS PHP software on Bluehost. You might as well go with another host or dedicated hosting. Bluehost promises the moon and delivers zero. You want to host static html files… do it with Bluehost. You want to host a simple wordpress site that gets more than 10 visitors a day… get another hosting company.

  10. The Truth says:

    I’ve been with bluehost for about 5 years. I have several domains with multiple sub-domains. Up to this day i haven’t had any major problems with there hosting service. The minor problems that i had was solved over the phone with tech support. I to have read all the negative comments about bluehost, so i played like i didn’t know how to do nothing. What i mean is i had them to tell me exactly on the screen where different buttons were. I must say that the support people that I’ve talked to over the years really knew what they was talking about. About the database problem, I’ve been dealing with data management for 18 years and as anyone should know it’s better to cover your on a–, that means don’t depend on a hosting company to backup your data, do it yourself and that way if the database on the serve is lost or gets corrupt then you know that you have a copy of the database. It’s a simple step in phpmyadmin to export the database, click on save as, use a directory on your home computer or external drive and boom, your database is backed up. I use cronjobs in cpanel but i also back my website files and databases up my self. So before anyone bashes an entire company, stop and think; is is something i did wrong, did i have and attitude with support. It could be just a problem in your area. Just remember this servers are a great tool to use, but humans have to look out for them and to this day i don’t think there is a perfect human on earth.

  11. And the rest of “The Truth” is the pidgin above is an affiliate pawning off Bluehost on any sucker that is willing to fall for his trap.

    Would you like me to post your affiliate link from your web site?

    It never ceases to amaze me. The people selling this crap Bluehost service never, ever have any problems with it.

  12. John Mitchell says:

    BlueHost is an unmitigated disaster – they are, with PowWeb, the most unreliable webhosts. I know several people who have been kicked off BlueHost’s servers for “terms of service” violations, but in fact they had done no such thing and BlueHost refused to give a reason, or their money back.

    If you have a site that might offend ANYONE, do not host it with BlueHost – they WILL shut you down without warning or remedy.

  13. alex says:

    wow wish i saw this when i was looking into hosts for my client. When I called bluehost for tech assistance on a webiste I’m working on the guy who answered was rude and argumentative; even after I told him I didn’t like how he was speaking to me he continued. Email support is no better; they give canned responses and 2 or 3 lines of quick comments; no solutions offered outside what you could find doing a simple search on Google. Their other departments (billing and sales)were good friendly and courteous (no surprise – both want your money lol) but not tech support – stay very far from them, now on to searching again for a host – probably go back to Hostgator or 1and1, never had this kind of problem with them.

  14. James says:

    I came across this site about a year ago and laughed it off as a few people whom had a bitter experience with Bluehost.

    After 3 years of reasonable service with Bluehost I am no longer laughing. A while back the server I was on crashed and Bluehost lost all my data. I was able to get most of my sites up and running from my backups, only to have Bluehost suspend my sites for using too many resources. The weird thing is, if anything, I was using less resources after the crash than before running 2 less sites on my account and 1/3 of my forum members left due my site being down for days.

    Dealing with Bluehost is like playing Russian Roulette. It is only a matter of time before they pull the trigger and kill your account. I apologize to all the people which I recommended to use Bluehost. If you are using Bluehost, I bet it is a matter of time before they shut you down for some BS reason.

    Signed no longer laughing,

    James

  15. Tyler says:

    I can’t even run echo”Hostmonster Sucks!”; since they implemented ‘CPU Throttling’

  16. Miko says:

    If Matt Heaton’s blog is to believed (post of July 26, 2009), the “CPU Quota Exceeded” message will soon be a relic. Bluehost is implementing some kernel mods that will, in theory, prevent any single user on a shared server from consuming more CPU resources than the system can provide without adversely affecting other users:

    http://www.mattheaton.com/?m=200907

    Joke???

    Miko

  17. CrazyPenguin says:

    Hi Miko,

    Thanks for the information about Matt’s blog.

    What I found really interesting was in the area in his blog where he is trying to promote his software to other web hosting providers.

    You can FULLY EXPECT to double your user density with MUCH better speeds for your customers with these two solutions in place.

    The above statement clearly states his hidden motive why he is implementing the software into the Bluehost / Hostmonster borg. He wants to pack double the amount of users presently on each server.

    What is even more interesting was the forced exodus of clients which did not fit into Bluehost / Hostmonsters new agenda. Clients which were using too many resources were eliminated before the new program was initiated. Many clients which had over 50k files, databases with too many queries, and resource issues were no longer a burden on the system. Therefore it is easy to implement such a new programs such as “Shared Hosting CPU Protection”, “Hosting Nirvana”, and “Hyper Speed MySQL Databases”. A very simple solution just get rid of the problem users and zing you have the fastest web hosting provider in the World in theory. But in reality it yet remains to be proven in the long term real world.

  18. Mandy says:

    Bluehost is the fecal matter of the web hosting world. Their servers are pathetically slow. When there is a problem on their end, tech support twists things around to make me feel like I was causing the problem. Tech support was so rude and nasty to me that they made me cry.

    After 18 months of this kind of abuse I finally left for a better web host.

    The straw that broke the camels back was when they started throttling my site with only 5 people on it. It was so slow it wouldn’t even load.

    Bluehost is rotten to the core. Do not use them.

    I am with Hostgator now and everything works great.

  19. Sandy says:

    Don’t even think about hosting Drupal sites at Bluehost.
    http://drupal.org/node/701994
    Bluehost=EpicFail
    So can anyone recommend reliable hosting for Drupal webmasters?
     

  20. robin says:

    My sites are down. Have been for 2 days. Tried live chat but they don’t fix nothin. Tech support hung up on me 2x. Bluehost I hate you.

  21. robin says:

    Twitter tweet Why Bluehost sucks.
    I really hate it when I have to explain to tech support what they need to do to fix the problem! Bluehost you are on my last nerve tonight!
     

  22. robin says:

    Twitter Tweet Bluehost sites down 4 days.
    I’ve called #Bluehost 3 times with no answers. Say they can’t be certain things will be back to normal until 18th. #epicfail

  23. robin says:

    My Bluehost sites are still down. They don’t know when they will be up? They don’t know? Say what? Obviously they don’t know what they are doing.

  24. robin says:

    Twitter tweet No Bluehost Rep on Twitter. :(
    Seems there are no official #bluehost twitter accounts. All affiliates. So who do we blame for downtime?
     

  25. robin says:

    Past being frustrated?  My Bluehost sites are still down.  And no one there knows when they will be up.  All I know is my sites are going through DDOS attack.  Well that’s what the guy on live chat said.

    Twitter tweet Why Bluehost is down so much.
    I’ve learned of 5 different DDoS attacks against Bluehost sites this past week. Anyone have logs? Correlating the attacks may be interesting
     
     

  26. Steven says:

    So what in the hell is your damn problem.  You haven’t even used Bluehost for two years.  I have been with Bluehost for four years and never have had a problem.  The uptime at Bluehost has been great for me. Just get over it and move on with your life.

    (Edit: Affiliate links removed by CrazyPenguin)

  27. Crazy Penguin says:

    1)  As written in my blog, the service I received from Bluehost was substandard for the reasons I explained.

    2) While you say you haven’t had any problems, many people have experienced problems with Bluehost.  This site allows individuals the liberty to voice their issues they have encountered with Bluehost.

    3) While I haven’t used Bluehost for approx two years, the same or similar issues continue to be major problems for their clients.  If Bluehost would actually fix these on going issues and provide reliable service, the complaints and rants would cease and this site would have no reason to exist.

  28. Robin says:

    My sites are still down. Will this ever end?

    Twitter tweet Don’t feel lonely.
    Having server trouble with bluehost. Anyone else use another host that they would recommend for wordpress?

  29. Robin says:

    Twitter tweet Right on spot.
    I left Bluehost for MediaTemple just over a year ago and I couldn’t be happier. Bluehost has really gone downhill.

  30. Robin says:

    Twitter tweet Wow Can I relate.
    thanks bluehost for taking my side down all night.

  31. robin says:

    Twitter tweet No kidding.
    Bluehost is undergoing a DDoS attack. How wonderful. http://ow.ly/i/wJv

    Twitter tweet Leaving Bluehost soon too.
    Setting up my new slice on slicehost. Goodbye bluehost, don’t let the door hit you in the ass in the way out! #bluehostsucks

    Twitter tweet
    bluehost ate my photoblog. and they don’t even care. evil!

    Twitter tweet
    wow, bluehost is trying to prove to me that big business customer service is dead.

    Twitter tweet
    Are you with Bluehost? I am having major problems with my site right now. Very slow to load.

    Twitter tweet
    That’s the 2nd DDoS I have had with #Bluehost in two weeks. Last one lasted 3 days! Bu=bye @BluehostCoupon. You stink!

    Twitter tweet 
    #Bluehost is still down for me. WTF? What a joke.

    Twitter tweet
    Looks like bluehost is down. Can’t get my email & sites are down. Anybody else?

  32. Vijay Varadan says:

    My site’s been down for 2 days now. Going on day 3. They have no ETA for the DDOS fix. My users are unhappy. My own judgment is now in question – how do we trust our business to this guy when he can’t even pick a decent host? Customer support was polite but ineffective.
    I haven’t run into the CPU exceeded or too many users issues that others have mentioned here, but looks like it will only be a matter of time.

  33. Crazy Penguin says:

    The days of the “CPU exceeded errors” are long gone.  With the introduction of CPU throttling you will probably never experience the famous “dreaded CPU exceeded” error.

    What you are going through brings back memories…none of which were good.  I hope you get it all sorted out soon.  Good luck!

  34. robin says:

    Some advice for Bluehost. 
    Twitter tweet @Bluehost need to pull their finger out, fix their servers and realise there is actually an issue with their hosting of our site right now

    More happy hosters with Bluehost.
    Twitter tweet Dear #Bluehost, if you fuck up my sites any worse, I’m going to be a teensy bit annoyed. (Aussie understatement of the YEAR.)

    Twitter tweet I’ve lost track of how many outages I’ve had in the 1 month of hosting from @bluehost. Would not recommend unless something improves.

    Twitter tweet ohhh @bluehost is really failing right now! Like REALLY!

    Twitter tweet Found a new home for all our webhosting. Dumping #Bluehost shortly. The moving truck has left the loading dock…..

    Goodbye Bluehost. I am soooo glad I am done with you. Hello Hostgator. All my sites are moved and working great.

     

  35. webmind says:

    Thanks for the great info on Bluehost. I also tried them before and left because their tech support was terrible. Acted like they didn’t give a damn about you or your problem. I think the problem is that Bluehost has gotten too big and don’t really care about their customers anymore.

    Solution? Find a high-quality, small “boutique” host that will respect you as a customer and allocate more resources to your websites.

  36. Kumar says:

    Bluehost have very good customer services but today my all sites are down (except html pages). I have hosted 38 websites and 35 are not working that is using Datbase. Talk to customer support and they said it would be live in next 45 min, administrator is working on it. Hope it wont happen again :(

  37. Kevin Sanders says:

    I don’t aggre with you Kumar. Sorry to say that. I like their price, but not that service. They are very slow. Sometimes I got a terrible headache. Very dissapointed me. Now, I trust my site with http://www.asphostportal.com. I really recommend this provider. But, if you speak about price, BlueHost is cheaper than them. But, about the service, I really really like them. Very amazing and professional. I realize now that you’ll get what you pay for. Good luck…

  38. Android says:

    The Bluehost forum is a joke.  If you bring up anything which maybe construed as remotely less than positive about Bluehost, the moderators always shout,

    “This is a user to user forum – not Bluehost Support. You will have to contact them directly for information on your account.”

    The Bluehost forum sucks!  The moderators are very rude and way to overbearing.  There is no freedom to discuss any real problems about any issues on the forum.

    Bluehost service sucks!  No matter what the problem is. It is never their fault.

    Bluehost servers suck!  My server goes down all the time leaving my web site dead.

    The throttling at Bluehost sucks!  It will bring your site to a crawl with the least amount of traffic.  The throttling at Bluehost is good for Bluehost but not for the client.

    The email at Bluehost sucks!  I have been informed on several occasions where an email was sent, but I never received it.

    Bluehost just plain sucks!  If I would of only found this place a year ago, it would have saved me a lot of grief and aggravation.

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