Don’t Let Affiliates Trick You Into Using BlueHost Hosting

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.

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

People will say anything to make a buck.

Bluehost pays up to $150+/sale for affiliate commissions. Do the math: if you sign up for a $5.45/mo plan for 3 years, it costs about $196. Minus $150 in affiliate commissions leaves $46 which is the “real value” of their hosting. Do you think you’ll get great hosting with $46? Hell no.

Don’t trust any blog that recommends Bluehost.

They Pay To Be Recommended By WordPress

Bluehost and their affiliates brag how they’re recommended by WordPress.

Did you read the fine print?

Bluehost “donates” some of the fee back to WordPress (this is an undisclosed amount, but one can only imagine). Everything in the hosting industry is influenced by money now, so take this “recommendation” with a grain of salt. Same goes for SiteGround who I also don’t recommend.

Bluehost Is Slow

Between Bluehost’s slow servers and no full page caching on Cloudflare’s free plan, you don’t want to start your site with a slow TTFB, especially when there are hosts that average <100ms.

You can measure TTFB (time to first byte) in multiple locations using KeyCDN.

TTFB is part of core web vitals and is also 40% of your LCP score. With hosting/CDN being 2 main TTFB factors, Bluehost’s slow servers and “free Cloudflare” aren’t ideal. In fact, when I setup a website on Bluehost’s Plus Plan, Bluehost’s TTFB was usually around 1 second. This isn’t good considering PageSpeed Insights flags your TTFB if it’s over 600ms – which they did.

CPU Throttling + 200k Inode Limit

Instead of clearly listing how many resources you get on each plan (like CPU cores, RAM, and inodes), their hosting page only shows basic information like number of websites and storage. You can find more details which they bury on this page, but it still doesn’t list some basic specs.

This is usually a red flag.

Because in their resource policy and inode limits, you’ll see they have set limits on inodes, database tables, and most importantly, “excessive use of server CPU and memory resources.”

Which means if your site uses too much CPU/memory (whether it’s from more traffic, plugins that use memory, or even bots hitting your site), Bluehost will throttle resources which makes your website slower and can cause 5xx errors. Hosts that don’t list basic specs like cores/RAM usually have very low limits, otherwise they would clearly list them in their comparison chart.

In their resource policy, Bluehost only allows 200,000 inodes on shared accounts. Many other shared hosts allow 400,000 – 600,000. Which means if you want to use Bluehost for email, those emails take up a lot of inodes (files) on your account, and you may end up exceeding your limit. VPS plans have a much higher 1M inode limit, but I still wouldn’t recommend Bluehost for that.

Only 6 Data Centers With No Full Page Caching

Bluehost only has a few data centers and doesn’t let you select the location at checkout.

Provo, Utah (US) Mumbai (IND) Hong Kong (CN)
Orem, Utah (US) London, UK (EU) Shanghai, Mainland (CN)

Plus, their Cloudflare integration doesn’t support full page caching which improves TTFB in tools like KeyCDN. The closer the data center is to the testing location (and your visitors), the faster your TTFB will be. With limited data centers and no full page caching, TTFB is very slow.

Frequent Downtimes With No Guarantee Or Status Page

Search the word “down” in Bluehost’s 1-3 star TrustPilot reviews.

Without getting too technical, all those “99% uptimes tests” usually don’t mean anything especially because “scheduled maintenance” doesn’t count. That’s why I like to check how many bad reviews mention “down.” Bluehost has a lot, and instead of an uptime guarantee, they only have a brief network service uptime agreement with a blocked network status page.

Malware/Sitelock Scams

You can read a detailed review of this.

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.

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.

Slow Dashboard

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.

Better Hosts Than Bluehost

After all that talk about affiliates, here I am suggesting Bluehost alternatives. But I assure you, all these hosts are significantly faster than Bluehost with better support (and TrustPilot ratings).

For shared hosting, use ASPHostPortal! ASPHostPortal is a specialist Windows ASP.NET hosting provider that also provides Linux shared hosting plans plus cloud hosting, reseller hosting, email hosting, and associated services such as domain registration.

This company markets itself as the “#1 Recommended Windows and ASP.NET Spotlight Hosting Partner in the United States,” and it hosts more than 50,000 websites. It has been in business for over a decade, and it has 12 data centers across Europe, North America, South America, Asia, and Australia. Its website is in English.

Most ASPHostPortal plans run on a Windows server and use the Plesk control panel rather than cPanel. But it does offer a few Linux-based shared hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated server plans for which you can purchase cPanel.

Flywheel offers a more affordable alternative to WordPress agencies and freelancers than BlueHost. It offers workflow tools that freelancers and agencies need to collaboratively create WordPress websites for themselves and for their clients, as well as features like caching, CDN, staging sites, and daily backups to keep your sites fast, secure, and reliable — all on its lowest plan. To get these same features, you’ll have to enroll in BlueHost’s Managed WordPress Pro plans, which are more expensive.

HostForLIFE Plesk Web Hosting is perfect for individuals and professionals for hosting personal websites, blogs, and forums. Whether you are looking to move your website over or to work on your next big project, Plesk hosting is a great all-around choice for small to medium websites and blogs. It gives you complete control over your web hosting with the industry-leading Plesk control panel — with a useful range of add-ons bundled in like one-click installation software.

Agnes Berry