Bluehost Review: 5 Reasons Why Bluehost Is a Terrible Web Host

Somehow Bluehost has become one of the top web hosting services, but don’t fall for the glowing recommendations. It baffles me that bloggers continuously heap praise on Bluehost and enthusiastically recommend it. I’m I missing something? My one year of using Bluehost was marked by one problem or frustration after another.  I don’t even know where to begin to describe the incompetence of this company.

After dealing with endless technical problems and impersonal customer service, I canceled my subscription. I’m writing this Bluehost review to save you from making the same mistake I did. I’ll break down why Bluehost is a terrible web host for your blog and show you better options for web hosting.

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links as explained in my disclosure policy

A little background on Bluehost

When I created my first blog in April 2017, I signed up for Bluehost’s services because many top bloggers recommended it. In a few easy steps, I registered my domain name on Bluehost and chose their basic hosting plan. As a blogging newbie, I figured that if so many successful bloggers were raving about Bluehost, then it had to be good, right? Wrong!

Today, I no longer use Bluehost. I’m writing this Bluehost review to warn new bloggers to stay away and show current Bluehost users that there are better options. After a year of suffering through crashes, rude customer service, and slow loading times, I switched to Siteground. In this Bluehost review, I’m going to share my experience with the hosting service and explain why you should not use Bluehost for web hosting.

The Good

Before I get into my critique of Bluehost, I want to talk about the positives. First, their pricing is really affordable. I paid $2.95 per month for their basic hosting plan. That’s one of the cheapest prices on the market. If you’re a blogger who isn’t making any money yet, it’s great to save money wherever you can. I also registered my domain name for free with the hosting package – it’s normally $11.99 per year. The prices for domain registration and hosting for some of Bluehost’s biggest competitors – Hostgator, GoDaddy, and Siteground – are all slightly higher.

As a brand new blogger, I found Bluehost’s set-up process to be straightforward. Their guides for using the control panel, setting up an email account, and installing WordPress were easy to follow. The control panel was also well organized, making it a breeze to navigate. At the beginning of my blogging journey, I was quite happy with Bluehost. Then the problems started.

The Bad: 5 Reasons Why Bluehost Is Truly Awful for Web Hosting

 

1. The technical problems never stop

It seems like Bluehost is fond of technical difficulties! I lost count of how many times my CPanel was down. If not that, then it was internal server errors or bad gateways. This appears to be a problem for lots of customers. Go on any Facebook blogging group and type in ‘Bluehost technical problems.’ You’ll likely see a flood of discussions and people looking for alternatives to Bluehost. This comparison of Bluehost and Siteground tested both hosting services and sites technical problems as one of Bluehost’s major disadvantages.

Let’s get to the root of these technical problems. EIG is the company that manages Bluehost, along with HostGator and 80 other hosting companies. To reduce their costs, EIG programmers pack tons of websites into one server. Sometimes the server just can’t handle so many websites so it crashes. The programmers get it back up, but the underlying problem, too many websites, is still there. Of course, the server crashes again somewhere down the road, and the cycle continues.

2. The customer service couldn’t care less about you

The most frustrating part of using Bluehost was dealing with their unhelpful, incompetent, and outright sadistic customer service. After using Siteground for only a few months, I’ve realized just how inept and unreliable Bluehost’s customer service is. Case in point: let’s talk about my nightmare security experience. Bluehost provides a free SSL certificate when you sign up. That’s what makes your URL ‘https’ instead of ‘http’ – it’s an added layer of security against hackers and viruses. One afternoon, I tried to visit my blog and ran into a page like this one:

Bluehost review connection not private sample
I got an error page that looked like this

Terrified that my website had been hacked, I contacted customer support immediately. I logged into my account and started a support chat. It took a good 50 minutes for someone to finally respond.  This blogger had the exact same problem and had to wait 45 minutes to get a hold of someone.

I was in a panic! When a customer service representative finally responded, he had a couldn’t-be-bothered attitude. He essentially blamed me for the problem. It turned out that my SSL certificate had expired and the auto-renewal wasn’t on. Apparently, it was my fault that I didn’t know their free SSL came with an expiration date! Fixing this issue should have been simple, but I had to wait a couple of more hours before they could resolve it. In the end, I was just relieved that my website was back to normal.

Thinking my dilemma was over, I continued my work on WordPress. I asked two blogging friends to provide some feedback on my content and logged off to take a break. When I came back, they had both sent me messages stating that they couldn’t access my website due to a security warning. I checked my website, and the same warning from before was there! Ugh, I was able to pull my braids out! That was the last straw. I put in my final support request and then switched to Siteground.

3. Bluehost has slower loading times than competitors

Your website’s loading time is critical, especially when you’re trying to establish yourself. If it takes to long for your posts to load, people may just leave. That drives up your bounce rate. According to WPBeginner, a 3-second delay can lead to a 50% drop in traffic! You want a web hosting service that can deliver super fast load times or you will lose potential subscribers, customers, readers, and whomever you’re targeting.

Remember that Bluehost’s parent company, EIG, packs tons of websites into one server. Slow loading times are another consequence of that practice. There have been numerous tests comparing loading times for different hosting companies. Take a look at how hosting companies stack up with regards to loading times. Siteground comes in 2nd while Bluehost comes in 14th.

Bluehost review average loading times
Source: webhostingbuddy.com

4. Real customers rate Bluehost poorly

Bloggers who promote Bluehost often cite facts like ‘Bluehost is the top-recommended hosting company on WordPress’ to convince you it’s great. So what? WordPress is a business, too. Who knows what kind of agreement they have with Bluehost?

You also have to remember that these bloggers are affiliates of Bluehost. The standard commission for referring a new customer is $65. Siteground, in comparison, is $50. Bluehost also offers affiliates tons of incentives to sell more plans, sometimes raising the commission to $100. I’m not saying that everyone who recommends Bluehost is just trying to make money. No, it could also be a lack of awareness. Some bloggers have their own web developers so they don’t have to deal directly with any hosting issues.

If you really want to know the quality of a web hosting company, you need to read the opinions of people who have nothing to gain – web developers, small business owners, and the like. I decided to do some investigation of my own to find out what impartial customers have to say.  I joined WordPress Facebook groups and read through the discussions going back as far as I could. Here are some things I found:

Bluehost review site is down
Bluehost review - 2nd page of site is down

On Webhostinggeeks.com, 748 Bluehost customers rated it on five criteria: user-friendliness, price, reliability, tech support, and software. Out of those reviewers, 57% gave Bluehost 1 or 2 stars. On the flip side, 22% gave it 4 or 5 stars. Let that process for a minute. Almost 60% of customers were dissatisfied with Bluehost! Why is this company still in business? Oh yeah, because bloggers with massive audiences keep promoting it to earn thousands of dollars in commissions every month.

You may also like: How To Transfer Your Website from Bluehost to Siteground

5. Bluehost uses unethical business practices, resulting in lots of complaints

EIG is the quintessential greedy corporation that doesn’t care about anything besides the almighty dollar. This company will find a way to squeeze every penny out of you. Case in point: they lure you to buy their $2.95 per month hosting plan. The catch is that you need to sign up for a 36-month package to take advantage of that offer. If you just want a year to test the waters, too bad. It will cost you $7.99 per month. Let’s say you cancel your Bluehost subscription after one year. Do you get the money you paid for the remaining 24 months back? Nope. You can only get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days. Basically, Bluehost wants you to fork up a ton of money upfront. On the other hand, most hosting services allow you to choose a one-year plan.

Bluehost review 36 month

Another warning sign is the staggering number of complaints you’ll find in Bluehost reviews regarding payments and refunds. If so many people are complaining about being ripped off, you have to pause and wonder why that’s the case. You may be their next victim! The last thing you want when you’re already overwhelmed with your blog is money problems.  Here are just a few of the complaints.

Bluehost review money complaint from Ini
Bluehost review money complaint from Ini
Bluehost review money complaints from Heather
Bluehost review money complaint from Amber
Bluehost review money complaint from Amit

Why You Should Choose Siteground for Web Hosting

Now that you know that Bluehost is a terrible choice for web hosting, I bet you’re wondering what better options are out there. I’ve read great things about Flywheel and WP Engine and think you should consider them. But what I know for certain is that Siteground is absolutely phenomenal! I wholeheartedly recommend Siteground. The last 2.5 years of hosting with Siteground has been nothing short of outstanding. For $6.99 a month, you get excellent service and peace of mind.  

Siteground hosting plans

Consumer Advocate, a group that performs in-depth research on consumer products, tested 12 top hosting companies and found that Siteground provided the best overall value. Not only regular consumers, but independent consumer research groups and web hosting experts recommend Siteground.

I don’t have a single complaint as of now. If anything comes up, I’ll be sure to update this post because I’m all about transparency. Let’s go over some of the best things about Siteground.

The customer service is fast and helpful

When I was switching from Bluehost to Siteground, I was so impressed with how quickly the Siteground customer service responded to my support requests. I signed onto chat and a customer rep, Whitney, responded within 30 seconds. She gave me an overview of the transfer process (which is free) and told me I would receive an update when it was complete. Three hours later, I received this message:

What I thought would be a cumbersome process was actually painless. They did all the work for me! At that point, I knew I had made a great decision by switching to Siteground. Since then, I’ve contacted customer service dozens of times, and the reps were equally personable and quick. Siteground also offers phone support, which I’ve used once. I got through to a person in less than a minute. If you’re looking for a support team that treats you like a person, you will not be disappointed with Siteground. Trust me, technical issues come up, and you’ll need to reach out for help. Having access to well-trained, personable customer service makes everything so much easier! When choosing a host, make sure to seriously consider the quality of the customer service.

Site transfer is hassle-free with the Siteground Migrator plugin!

If you’re worried about the hassle of switching hosts, don’t fret! Siteground has an automatic migrator plugin to help people transfer their sites seamlessly. There’s no need to do anything manually, which is great for people like me who aren’t particularly tech-savvy.

All you need to do is follow a few simple steps and you’re site will be transferred to Siteground. 

Siteground backs up your website daily

How gut-wrenching would it be if a WordPress malfunction happens and you lose months of your hard work? You’d probably want to throw in the towel, right? Siteground protects you from potential disasters like that by automatically backing up your website on a daily basis. You don’t need to worry about if your backup is up-to-date. It always is. You can learn more about Siteground’s daily backups  

Siteground performs a security scan for your website weekly

Because I experienced that security scare with Bluehost, I appreciate this service even more. At the end of each week, Siteground sends you a status update on the security of your website. The company takes security seriously and goes the extra mile to protect your website.

Reviews from real customers are overwhelmingly positive

On Webhostinggeeks.com, 788 customers rated Siteground on the same five categories as Bluehost – user-friendliness, price, reliability, tech support, and software. Here are the results: 92% gave Siteground 4 or 5 stars while only 4.5% gave it 1 or 2 stars. Let’s take a look at Bluehost and Siteground side by side.

Bluehost review - Siteground rating graph
Siteground ratings
Bluehost review customer rating chart
Bluehost ratings

There’s no competition here. Siteground beats Bluehost in every criterion. Compare the reviews of both companies and see for yourself. I’ve had such a great experience with Siteground that I would promote it for free! Yes, I’m serious. I like to root for the underdog! Bloggers constantly promote Bluehost so people rarely hear about Siteground. I want more people to learn about Siteground because the service is far superior. For just $6.99 a month, you can save yourself tons of headaches and stress. 

Choose your web hosting carefully. Read real customer reviews. Check Facebook groups. Ask other bloggers about their experiences. Do yourself a favor and avoid Bluehost. You’ll thank me later. 

Have you used Bluehost? What has been your experience? Do you agree with my review?

One more thing: if you found this review helpful, please share it!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Paul says

    Hi,

    You nailed it and your review post on Bluehost is spot on. I really enjoyed the entire review post. Your content is so simple and easy to follow. By the way, an excellent write up. Thank you this information! Much Success!
    Thank You and Have a Blessed day ahead!

    Your Friend,
    Paul

  2. Noor says

    There are some corrections regarding the affiliate payment. SiteGround offers 150$ for each sale if you bring more than 21+ per month, whereas Bluehost only pays 125$ for 21+ sale. Standard 50$ for SiteGround is if you bring only 1-5 sales.

    However, I agree with your other points that SiteGround is way better than Bluehost in every other department.

    • sugwueze says

      Hi Noor,

      You’re right about the commission structure. Siteground starts at $50 and then builds up the commission in tiers. For some reason, I was think that after 21 sales, you get $125. Good catch.

  3. DeNise says

    Hey how is it going? Nicely done work. I am commited to begin a full time blog and hopefully sooner rather than later begin to earn some amount of compensation from it. I can’t afford any type of $50 or $60 deal for a year but also I want/need to start with more than just a single month. So would one.com would be suitable for a web host just to start a single beginner blog? Hope to hear from u soon. Thanks, take care.

    • sugwueze says

      Hi Denise,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m doing great. You’ll find that most hosting plans have a minimum contract length of one year. I’m not too familiar with one.com, but based on reviews I’ve read, the uptime is not so great. That means your website could be down more often than with other hosts. That said, it could be a good place to start though if it’s the most affordable option for you. I hope that helps.

  4. Rebekka Geiss says

    Hi,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. I am currently looking for a website to start my own Blog. I read so many things about bluehost and was about to sign up with them ( I am a newbie in blogging).
    THANK GOD I read your review.
    I too was a little annoyed by their subscribtion offer, Since I am NEW and didnt want to commit for 36 moth right away, and how am I supposed to know in 30 days if that would be the right website to be able to receive a refund?
    I am really glad that you´re so honest and brought it on point what exactly bothered you and didnt just hype bluehost up just because everyone else does.
    Im looking forward reading more of your blog and am sure to follow up with it!
    Best wishes,
    Rebekka

    • sugwueze says

      Hi Rebekka,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you found my review helpful! And I feel relieved for you that you didn’t sign up for Bluehost. I feel like a lot of the bloggers who promote it aren’t being entirely transparent. That’s why I felt the need to write this to give new bloggers a different perspective. I hope you enjoy the rest of my blog.

  5. Leonel says

    I wish I had read your review before. I signed up with blue host about 3 months ago because they are one of the 3 web hosting providers recommended in the WordPress.org site itself.

    I honestly don’t know why WordPress recommends them: I very often lose access to my Control Panel and my sites go offline. I have called them at least once a week since I signed up I think. They have good customer support service, they solve the issues but then, after a few days It happens again and they haven’t been able to solve the problem once and for all.

    I definitely do not recommend this hosting provider.

    • sugwueze says

      Hi Leonel,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your experience with Bluehost. You’re not only. I come across such Bluehost complaints all the time. Hopefully, you’ll be able to upgrade to a better hosting company and say goodbye to the nonstop technical problems.

  6. Florida Suncoast says

    I am so sorry I did not read this. Now I am stuck for three years. The just deactivate your website for “performance issues” and then it takes them forever to bring it back up. Never had these kind of issues with my previous hosting.

    • Somto Ugwueze says

      I’m so sorry to hear about the deactivation of your site. That’s inexcusable. I hope it doesn’t cause you too much trouble!

  7. Michael Harter says

    Bluehost sucks!! Been trying to build website on WordPress for 2 months.
    Little support with very unknowledgeable staff.
    Worthless UI and utterly confusing interface.

    I created a free website with Go Daddy in under 10 minutes, that blew everything away!!
    Now I need to pay for that service and lose these losers for good!

    WordPresss – NO
    Weebly- NO
    Bluehost builder???- still waiting for them to implement over 2 weeks!!!

    • Somto Ugwueze says

      Hi Michael,

      I’m sorry to hear about your experience with Bluehost. Their service sucks indeed. I had a similar experience as you. I’m glad you’ve found a better web hosting company!

      Somto

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.