Oh, Bluehost. The problems just don’t stop, do they? In my in-depth Bluehost review, I’ve already documented my nightmarish experience with Bluehost.
But I wanted to go a step further to outline all the Bluehost problems that users often experience.
If you’re currently using Bluehost or considering signing up for Bluehost, I want you to understand the real cost of using their hosting services. Don’t be lured by a low starting price for their basic plan or the recommendations of established bloggers and entrepreneurs. Likewise, don’t stick with Bluehost if you’re experiencing nonstop problems. It’s not worth the trouble, and there are much better alternatives out there.
In this post, I’m going to outline the most common Bluehost problems and offer alternatives for hosting, whether you’re just starting a blog or looking to switch your web host.
Let’s jump right in.
Among the top problems that Bluehost users experience is lackluster customer support. The customer service team is simply ill-equipped to provide timely, quality assistance to Bluehost users. It’s the norm to wait 45 minutes to an hour to get in contact with a representative. Once you do get a representative on chat or on the phone, they are often indifferent, lazy, or downright rude. They won’t give you a proper answer to your question or try to actually help you resolve the issue. Don’t expect any empathy or assistance from the Bluehost support team. They have a couldn’t-be-bothered attitude as if someone forced them to be there.
I experienced the horror of Bluehost’s customer service countless times during my one-year subscription. 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:
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.
In addition to server problems, Bluehost is also prone to security problems. We’re not just talking about unrenewed SSL certificates. The security problems are rooted in Bluehost’s internal configuration. A 2019 study conducted by Paulos Yibelo, an independent researcher, found vulnerabilities in Bluehost’s system that would allow cybercriminals to easily take over customer’s accounts in one click. Yibelo also found a lack of password verification and potential for customer information leaks.
Bluehost of course responded by saying it would take the study seriously and investigate the problem. However, after my own experience with multiple website hacks, I wouldn’t take any chances. It’s not like the customer service would help you resolve the security issue should it arise. Security problems are anxiety-provoking and outright pain in the neck, especially when you can’t get anyone to help you resolve them. This was the main reason why I left Bluehost. I want to run my business with some semblance of peace of mind, and Bluehost couldn’t give me that.
Bluehost 503 service temporarily unavailable-Downtime issues
Uptime refers to the percentage of time within a given period (month or year) that the server hosting your website is up and running. The closer to 100% this number is, the better. All web hosting companies aim for 100% uptime, but having a perfect uptime is highly unlikely. Technical glitches and server problems happen usually. The best that web hosting companies can do is to keep those issues at a minimum.
Downtime is the opposite of uptime. It refers to the percentage of time within a given period the server hosting your website is down. Naturally, web hosting companies want to keep downtime as close to zero as possible. However, occasional maintenance and technical issues mean that any web hosting company will experience downtime once in a while. The best web hosting companies have the least amount of down time.
Why does downtime matter? You want your site to be up and running whenever visitors land on it. Otherwise, all the time and effort you put into producing content, curating products, or optimizing for lead generation will be in vain. If your web hosting service is constantly down, so will your website. This is terrible for business because consumers won’t return to your website if they have a negative experience. This results in lost leads, lost affiliate sales, lost ad revenue, and other missed opportunities. In a nutshell, you won’t be in business for long if your web host’s uptime is low. That’s why you should most definitely pay attention to the uptime of any web hosting service you choose.
It’s also quite common to hear about people getting charged unexpected fees or being overcharged for their plan. Billing issues are among the major complaints that Bluehost users have. Unauthorized autorenewals of hosting plans seem to be a recurring issue. Take, for instance, this recent comment on my Bluehost review post:
While I personally never experienced any billing issues when I used Bluehost, many other people have. This is just something to keep in mind if you’re considering their services.
Is Bluehost Good for Beginners?
Bluehost has an affordable starting price ($3.95/month), which makes it appealing to beginners. However, you have to factor in the cost of frequent downtime, security problems, server problems, unhelpful customer service, and other limitations. When you consider what you don’t get from Bluehost, you’ll understand that it’s better to pay an additional $2-$3 a month for a better web hosting service.
How Reliable is Bluehost?
According to Trustpilot, Bluehost’s reliability has a poor rating. Its web hosting services have an overall rating of 2.2 out of 5.0 out of 800 reviews. A total of 78% of users rated Bluehost as poor or bad. The low ratings and regular complaints from Bluehost users about downtime, server problems, security problems, and poor customer service indicate that Bluehost is not a reliable web hosting platform.
What is Better than Bluehost?
There are many web hosting services that are better than Bluehost in terms of customer service, uptime, security, and other important criteria.
They web hosting services include:
Out of the aforementioned hosting companies, I would recommend Siteground. I haven’t used the other companies so I’d recommend you research them as well. I have been using Siteground for nearly three years, and it has exceeded all my expectations. From the uptime to the customer service, Siteground is in a class of its own. But don’t just take my word for it. Look at the reviews on Trustpilot. Siteground has an excellent rating of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars.
Right after I switched from Bluehost, I knew I had made the right decision. The customer service team was timely, attentive, and incredibly helpful. They made my transition seamless. It takes about 30 seconds to get in contact with a customer service representative, and they are properly trained and courteous. Working with them is a joy! Read my full Siteground review to learn more about the pros and cons of their services.