BlueHost is dead

Due to high demand, hosting companies are very prevalent. It can be tough to find a great hosting company. I use “Great ” meaning zero downtime, fantastic customer support, a simple admin UI, bandwidth to spare, proper CPU and RAM allocation to handle high traffic peaks (like front-page DIGG articles) etc… It’s sad to report that a company I thought was doing a good job in many of these aspects, is failing repeatedly. A little secret of my design firm: We don’t host our clients sites. Why? The hassle isn’t worth the money. We stick to what we do best, and to be honest I don’t want to hire a guy to take calls from clients who’s internet is down (which means it’s the hosts fault…) when they could call their hosts’ customer support line. Anyways, I would have to charge them much more than what is available just to handle costs of having someone manage client’s hosting accounts. Ok, now that the secret is out… for the last year or so we have sent most of our clients with low traffic and bandwidth demands to BlueHost. We always felt their customer support was very fast, their tools were easy to use, and they had great uptime. Unfortunately, it seems BlueHost has been growing too fast to keep up (aren’t they taking on 500 or so new clients per day!). Downtime is more frequent, traffic spikes shut the site down, small mySQL databases cause CPU overload warnings etc… BlueHost is dead. Over the last few weeks I have noticed that their downtime has increased. One day in particular a few weeks ago, I noticed one of my sites was down. I went to another one of my BlueHost-hosted sites and it was down too. So I went to the BlueHost server status page… down. Then the BlueHost home page… down!!! Their entire system, even the server which they run their own site was down. This happened for about 5 minutes before one-by-one they started coming back. A few months before that, I had a site holding a national windsurfing contest. People were accessing the site nation-wide to get real-time results. All of a sudden the site went down. I frantically called customer support. The problem? A server maintenance/upgrade. I asked why it was happening at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Their reply: “Since our customers are international we do them sporadically”. (This is funny because the BlueHost office is about 10 minutes from my house). I asked why I wasn’t notified they were doing a server upgrade, and I can’t remember the answer because it definitely didn’t satisfy me. More recently (3 days ago) I added a site to BlueHost. It was running PHP and mySQL (BlueHost runs LAMP) . There was a table of listings in the db with about 129,000 entries. Although a large number, it is very minimal when it comes to mySQL. The table was indexed properly, optimized and in the PHP code my query wasn’t doing anything fancy with SQL functions. I was simply using AJAX to create drop downs based on “Select … WHERE” statements. This is one of the most fundamental queries. Anyways, as I was testing this I received a CPU high-load message on BlueHost, meaning I was using too much of the server’s CPU for my processing. Puzzled and thinking it was an error, I continued in testing, only to have the message reappear again and again. More tests, even while connected remotely using SQLyog, gave me a the same CPU high-load message, even if I ran any large select statements or exported the database for backup. So, needless to say in my opinion BlueHost is dead. With their huge affiliate kick-back and ever-increasing customer sign-ups they aren’t what they used to. So, I am moving on. Currently I have been pleased with Media Temple’s (gs) servers, and I like the option they have of running a separate mySQL box to cut down CPU usage. Last time I called Media Temple’s customer support, I was on hold for 37 minutes. Needless to say, I am still looking for the perfect hosting company… which with today’s demands may not exist. Farewell BlueHost… we had some good times together and it’s hard to let go. But in the interest of my client’s needs, it’s best if we just stay friends. Maybe for fun, post your favorite hosting company below.

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45 Responses to BlueHost is dead

  1. Richard. says:

    Same here… I loved Bluehost, but within the last 6-8 months or so, I’ve been disappointed repeatedly. Please share with me, when you do find the perfect hosting company.

    Thanks,
    Richard.

  2. Nate says:

    Great! What’s next? I’ll also be interested to hear what you find. Luckily I haven’t seen the down time much lately – but I’ve definitely had my issues with Bluehost. Hopefully they’ll pull through and upgrade everything before it’s too late.

  3. Vince says:

    I have had the same frustrating problem! I have a couple sites that suffered the “Digg Effect” RIGHT AFTER they went popular…the CPU quota was exceeded with only about 1k uniques/minute…that shouldn’t be a problem for them. What it means for me is 1/5 of the traffic I should be receiving. Great post!!

  4. I’ve had great experience with DreamHost, never ever had a problem.

  5. Justin says:

    I have been using Dreamhost for sometime now and have had very few times where I have had problems. When I did have problems they were resolved very quickly, both on the phone and via email. They offer large amounts of storage and high bandwidth each month that grows each week. When it comes to affiliate programs they offer many options of a flat fee or a percentage of each sale that is linked back to you. I hope that you check them out.

  6. I love to throw in my two cents whenever I can about hosting.

    I’ve been using LiquidWeb dedicated managed for over a year now and I couldn’t be any happier.

    take a look at them.

    http://www.liquidweb.com

    or you can take a look at the specific reason I use them.

    Liquidweb. Strongly recommended.

  7. vic says:

    it’s strange, on this report it says they are growing

  8. patrick says:

    Hi vic. I didn’t use the term “dead” in that the company shut down. I meant that they were dead in my book of trusted hosting companies.

  9. Keith says:

    Media Temple is all marketing fluff with absolute crap customer service

  10. Well, as a re-affirming comment, I still strongly recommend LiquidWeb.

    They aren’t marketing fluff, they just have great customer service (24/7 via phone) and great service/products.

  11. I’ve had my fair share of hosting hell with a half dozen companies.

    I too have been loving DreamHost.com. When I had a problem, they were totally on top of it.

    I’m not looking for hosting perfection, just acting like you care and want to keep my business is a good place to start.

    Karin

  12. Rajapandian says:

    Thanks for your review…now i realize bluehost and … will search good hosting provider…

    Rajapandian (PHP Programmer)

  13. Arthur says:

    Same here, my site byteburn.com is hosted at bluehost and now it is down. server status has confirmed that most of the services are down, including the all important mysql database.

    I need to look for another host since my account with them will expire soon.

    No more account renewal at bluehost.

  14. troy says:

    my site is at bluehost, and I have had no problems.

  15. Ok….. honestly… when you said bluehost and then said this:
    I use “Great ” meaning zero downtime, fantastic customer support, a simple admin UI, bandwidth to spare, proper CPU and RAM allocation to handle high traffic peaks (like front-page DIGG articles) etc

    I right away knew you were a idiot… your definition of bluehost is 10 miles away from it. I definitely know you know jack about what ” Shared Hosting” means, you want zero downtime, you want allocated resources. all that for 5 bucks a month. You sir, are stupid. Everything you described fits a DEDICATED, or A VIRTUAL PRIVATE SERVER. which is no where near 5 dollars a month you moron. If you want ” zero down time ” then administer your own server for about 300 to 500 dollars a month you re-tard…. Seriously… people like you are so worthless… reselling hosting for 5 bucks a month and DEMANDING dedicated server performance… what a bunch of faggits.

  16. patrick says:

    Hey “somebody with a brain”, you obviously haven’t read what BlueHost advertises. Currently they offer “Unlimited” storage AND bandwidth. You should know that it’s not really possible to offer that, especially on a shared solution, but they do it anyway.

    We are currently am on a shared server, and they are able to allocate RAM and CPU peaks properly to handle traffic spikes etc… Also, we don’t resell servers. We give our clients a couple options and allow them to choose for themselves. I think you need to do a little more research about what Bluehost guarantees, and what they deliver.

  17. ketyung says:

    I also experienced many times of CPU load exceeded with my wordpress hosted on Bluehost. I did add in quite a number of appropriate indexes for the wordpress tables. And I also use wordpress super cache, which automatically generates static pages for frequently accessed web pages to stand hikes of traffic.. this has become better, but occasionally it’s come back with the site suspended too, due to too much CPU load… so sad

  18. Joel says:

    I can’t agree more. Think about this: Bluehost literally removed or destroyed the database behind my CMS site. When calling support, all they can say is “Ooops!” — since they had NO backups.

    And they’ve just changed their sales site from “Daily, Weekly and Monthly Backups” to read “Courtesy backups”. In other words — if they don’t back it up, they don’t have to be sorry.

    They are very, very dead. My half-dozen sites are outta there.

  19. Jamie says:

    My site (swashedbylife.com) on bluehost has been down for more than 5 hours. I don’t know when it will come back.

  20. HKS says:

    Media Temple: Poor performance and intellectually bullying customer service.

    Bluehost 6.95/month: Promises way more than delivers. Overloaded shared servers cause basic, low traffic sites to overrun CPU allocation. Responsive customer service but no visible concern about degrading performance. For hobbyists only…

    Bluehost 19.95/month: There unadvertised hi-cpu servers with many less accounts per server… We’ll see…

    Any one else have a good experience with liquid host?

  21. kevin says:

    Dreadfully slow. Page loads >> 30 seconds at times.
    User support totally unresponsive and clueless. They
    are a ripoff. Avoid these clowns at all costs!

  22. Dmitry says:

    Damn they down Bluehost is totally down right. My all sites are down because of this hosting….. Can’t even access their main site and support forum…

  23. Miyagui says:

    So true.
    I’m currently looking for a new hosting, I’ve been with bluehost for almost 4 years alredy and now It’s sending me this CPU bs, with querys I’ve been using for quite a while in the same hosting plan.

  24. I like bluehost because of their top customer support and easy account control panel.

  25. Jack Smith says:

    This host has turned to pure garbage. Everyone should avoid this Host like the Black Plague. I have a server with them that has been down for close to 80% of the time in a two month period. This is ridiculous and this Host is beyond dead.. STAY AWAY – AVOID AT ALL COST – STAY AWAY !!!

  26. Russ says:

    Mark my Words. Bluehost is making a huge comeback and will once again be the premier web hosting provider of the future.

  27. Daniel says:

    Yes, BlueHost is going down everyday now, I think it’s time to move to VPS or Dedicated Servers. I suggest we backlink the hell out of this post with the term “BlueHost” so it is at least listed for second search results for that keyword.

    Guys, everyone should know what is going on with BlueHost so they either stop selling so much or upgrade big time.

    Great post.

  28. Great post. I am CURRENTLY having problem w/ BLUEHOST. My website is down at least 3xs a week. I call them everytime and its always the same excuse. DO NOT USE BLUEHOST. They have over 500 servers (according to a Rep.) and yet they refuse to transfer my website to a different server.

    I am looking for a new hosting company. Great customer support but Hate their servers.

  29. Keith says:

    Yeah, I have to agree. I recommended this company for years, but lately I have seen some terrible service. The funny thing is that my original site, put up over two years ago, hardly ever goes down. But the sites my boss put up (at my suggestion) always go down. They are on different servers then my personal site. One of our sites was just down for over a half an hour. Tech said they were doing “upgrades”. I guess the owners are really only interested in making a quick buck.

  30. iwebie says:

    I get the freakin CPU Exceeded error a lot of time. http://www.iwebie.com is hosted in Bluehost Shared Hosting and Installed using the Fantasio script that comes with Bluehost.

  31. Kennedy says:

    WebhostingPAD.Com providing excellent service. They don’t have any down time during the peak hours. Plans are very cheap. Excellent customer care service. Really fast servers and fast response from the support team. If you have any issue with the account it will be resolved within one hours. Hats off to webhostingpad. I really really appreciate them providing such a good service.

  32. revive says:

    Does anyone have any feedback re: Mosso Cloud Hosting?? Looks stable (rackspace spawned company) and the prices are more competitive than Liquids. I’m online with tech support at Bluehost now, ironic I know.. due to combination pilot error and software foul up,.. ALL files under public_html are gone. ALL client sites included!!! Come to find out.. they have no backup and the cPanel File Manager, their new one, doesn’t have a ‘Trash’ bin to restore files from!!! Woooh. Tough lesson about backing up that data.. Just got done with the dev. on our local server, was optimizing and then going to backup.. bummer. Guess you can add another shopper to the ‘pool’.

  33. Max Elliot says:

    I have been with Bluehost for years, and have never had any problems. Their customer service has always been great to respond when I’ve had a question, the email service has been impeccable, and the uptime is outstanding. I’d recommend them in a heartbeat, and do quite regularly.

  34. Kirk Z says:

    I am in the same exact boat as the publisher. I have several clients on BlueHost and one in particular has been down three times in the past week!!! Asked to be moved to a new box but no help or willingness to help. They are too big now and the hosting is become horrible

  35. Charlie Rudson says:

    I find it quite sad that these hosts advertise so much space and transfer and when you try to use it they throw this cpu exceeded crap on you. I have a site with bluehost and recently got a bunch of traffic, my visitors were greeted with an exceeded cpu message!

    I am looking at moving to a vps or maybe the cloud hosting providers? I looked up a few, any one have any experience, how good is it?

    http://www.mosso.com, http://www.gogrid.com, http://www.uptimehost.com

  36. Susan says:

    I have to agree, BlueHost has gone down dramatically. I used to be happy with them, but for the past 6 months I’ve seen nothing but continuous outages that they have no resolve to permanently fix. It happens every day, the same time – go figure. I’m extremely upset.

  37. NODADDY says:

    if you expect Tier one performance of a dedicated box from a tier 3 shared webhost you are DELUSIONAL

  38. NODADDY says:

    hint:

    do NOT patronize webhosts offering either unlimited diskspace or unlimited bandwidth… as it’s not possible to honor such a wild claim

  39. sean browne says:

    I think Bluehost are great. However I found this article whilst looking for a server status for Bluehost because right now all my sites (10+) are down.

    That said, it’s the first time I have noticed in a year and nobody is perfect. I am sure they are doing what they can to put things right.

    I recommend BlueHost.

  40. Tico says:

    I had one client using BlueHost and just putting up a static site was hell with them and installing a Joomla CMS caused the account to become frozen which was due to quota usage. Luckily I missed that bullet and agree they are dead.

    I asked around and people suggested Media Temple and like the other posters here, Media Temple sucks too. They claim great service but deliver crap. Their tech support told me that my site surfinjaco.com which basically has 3 plugins and built on the default WP theme is causing too many queries and as a result is slow to respond. This is a joke and to make it worse, they said if I upgraded to 128MB RAM for the MySql container it would perform much better. That would mean $400 per year for something HostGator does for $60.

    So I wanted to search for a new provider and was asking all providers for how much RAM allocation is given to the MySql queries since this seems to be the key to having a good WordPress hosting account. I asked Godaddy.com and they sent me an email back saying they could not answer that question for Security Reasons…WTF??? I guess that means they do not offer any slice or guaranteed RAM. It seems like Cloud computing is the future but it is still pricey. I cannot imagine needing to pay $100 per month for a WordPress blog even with SuperCache turned on. Media Temple is a Media Crypt

  41. David The Italian says:

    Friday 17th, July, 2009.
    Bluehost ERASE my server COMPLETELY. “No backup available. We apologize for any inconvenience”. THANK YOU GUYS! The BADDEST EVENT in 15 years of Internet Service Consulting to Firms. I can’t BELIEVE!!! 100 email accounts deleted, 40 websites in simple html or dynamic php+mysql TOTALLY CANCELLED! I can’t BELIEVE!!! Iam desperate!

  42. Mike says:

    Try ICDSoft.com never had a problem in ten years! Awesome customer service.

  43. Toby1 says:

    Wow – I had no idea. Been using Bluehost nearly a year and had no problems – but have not tested high demand at all.
    I had foolishly assumed that they did some kind of backup of their own – this is a real eye-opener.

  44. Malvern says:

    Looking for a new-customer cheaper option to Powweb, I decided to investigate BlueHost through forums, personal recommendation etc. The problem with web articles or forums is that an original thread can be very old, and its formation date somewhat obscured or not visible at all, meaning that people can be responding to an issue that is out of date, and may not be an issue at all presently.
    This web article was written over two years ago, and much can change over two years. It is a common bugbear with such web articles that writers don’t date-sign adequately, and don’t provide occasional updates.

  45. som says:

    Bluehost is not giving support, very bad service. Even after hours of reporting website down, no responses, who rated them in the first top hosting providers.
    Please do not opt bluehost, it is waste of time and money

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