Here is a warning in case you weren’t aware that Bluehost should be avoided.
The majority of those endorsing them are affiliates who make a big fuss about how WordPress “officially” endorses them. This is about as unofficial as it gets since, in case you didn’t know, Bluehost pays WordPress and their affiliates to endorse them.
Here is the traditional Bluehost tale. You sign up with Bluehost after seeing a “how to start a blog” YouTuber endorse it, and you’re then tied into a 1–3 year contract. Everything is fine once you pay it and set up your website. You don’t start to question why your website is slow and constantly goes down for a few weeks or months. Their assistance is insufficient, so you ask the neighborhood in a Facebook group.
Hopefully, I just saved you a few hundred dollars and years of headaches by having you read that narrative. Because far too many people—usually those who are brand new to hosting—have that experience.
Let’s now explore the reasons Bluehost is bad.
Too Many Bluehost Affiliates
Anyone will say anything to gain financial gain. Bluehost offers affiliate commissions of up to $150+ per sale. Do the math: a $5.45/month plan for 3 years will set you back roughly $196. The remaining $46 is the “real value” of their hosting after deducting $150 in affiliate commissions. Do you believe that $46 will bring you quality hosting? No way.
They Pay To Be Recommended By WordPress
Bluehost and their associates boast about how WordPress recommends them. Have you reviewed the small print? Bluehost “donates” a portion of the price to WordPress (the exact amount is unknown, but one can only speculate). Take this “recommendation” with a grain of salt because money now dictates everything in the hosting sector. The same is true with SiteGround, which I also do not advise.
Bluehost Is Slow
You don’t want to launch your site with a slow TTFB, especially since there are hosts that average 100ms, due to Bluehost’s slow servers and Cloudflare’s lack of complete page caching on its free plan.
Using KeyCDN, you can gauge TTFB (time to first byte) in various places.
TTFB contributes to 40% of your LCP score and is a component of core web vitals. Bluehost’s sluggish servers and “free Cloudflare” aren’t ideal because hosting and CDN are two major TTFB contributors. In truth, Bluehost’s TTFB was often about 1 second when I set up a website on the Plus Plan. Given that PageSpeed Insights alerts your TTFB if it exceeds 600ms, as they did, this is not ideal.
CPU Throttling + 200k Inode Limit
Their hosting page simply displays fundamental information like the amount of websites and storage, rather than explicitly stating how many resources (such CPU cores, RAM, and inodes) you get on each plan. Even if they bury additional information on this page, several fundamental specifications are still missing.
This is typically a warning sign.
As you can see from their resource policy and inode limits, they have established restrictions on inodes, database tables, and most significantly, “excessive use of server CPU and memory resources.”
This implies that Bluehost will throttle resources if your website consumes too much CPU or memory (whether it’s from increased traffic, plugins that use memory, or even bots attacking your site), which may slow it down and might result in 5xx problems. Basic specifications like CPUs and RAM are typically not listed by hosts since they have very low restrictions; otherwise, they would be readily apparent in their comparison table.
Bluehost’s resource policy limits shared accounts’ inodes to 200,000. Numerous other shared servers permit between 400,000 and 600,000. This implies that if you use Bluehost for email, your account will likely use up a lot of inodes (files) and your quota may be exceeded. Although the 1M inode limit for VPS plans is substantially greater, I still wouldn’t choose Bluehost for that.
Only 6 Data Centers With No Full Page Caching
Additionally, their interface with Cloudflare does not provide full page caching, which increases TTFB in programs like KeyCDN. Your TTFB will be faster the closer the data center is to the testing location (and your visitors). TTFB is extremely sluggish due to its few data centers and lack of full page caching.
Frequent Downtimes With No Guarantee Or Status Page
Look for the word “down” in the 1-3 star TrustPilot evaluations of Bluehost.
Without going into too much detail, all those “99% uptimes tests” typically signify nothing, especially when “scheduled maintenance” is not taken into account. That’s why I like to see how frequently the word “down” appears in negative evaluations. Although Bluehost has a lot, they just provide a brief network service uptime agreement and a blocked network status page in place of an uptime guarantee.
Bluehost, HostGator, and other Newfold Digital brands have an ongoing scam where they say you have malware, take down your website(s), then refer you to Sitelock (their partner) who quotes you hundreds of dollars each month to remove it and a monthly fee to protect your site.
Renewals Are Up To 338% Intro Prices
You can either purchase 3 years at a slightly discounted price or 1 year at the introductory price. Then it can renew for up to 338% more depending on whatever plan you pick (see their monthly pricing).
The primary issue with this is that your website will need more server resources to handle it when it evolves, you add more plugins, or there is more traffic. However, because you pre-paid for three years, your plan could not have enough resources, and you will still need to upgrade. Furthermore, after you realize how awful Bluehost is, you’ll want to quit but can’t because you’ve already made a payment in advance. The money is then viewed as having been spent.
Poor Support, Long Wait Times
You’re not going to get great support with cheap hosting, period.
You can expect long wait times (i.e. 30+ minutes) and they will most likely refer you to articles. I always look at TrustPilot reviews even though they’re solicited by most host’s support team. Bluehost used to have a horrible 1.5/5 star rating but it seems to have improved since it’s 3.8/5.
Navigating Bluehost’s dashboard is a pain. It can sometimes take 5-10s for pages in the dashboard to load. It’s not a huge deal but can be frustrating if you’re used to working quickly.
Stay Away From Newfold Digital
Bluehost is owned by Newfold Digital (formerly EIG).
They have a long history of buying hosting companies and running them into the ground like they did with HostGator. They’re known for cutting costs and “streaming” their services. But probably the worst part is a lack of innovation. As LiteSpeed, cache plugins, and other features continue to improve WordPress speed, Bluehost / Newfold Digital do little to progress forward.