Bluehost web hosting – a big no no for websites with decent traffic!

I had recently started my blog and chosen Bluehost as my hosting provider. The reason for choosing Bluehost was that I had hosted many static and low traffic websites on their servers previously and also because Bluehost was featured on wordpress.org under the hosting tab.

A side-note, for professional work I have always been working on dedicated servers or VPS, so didn’t have much experience of hosting decent traffic web apps on shared hosting.

Initial thoughts

Now initially it didn’t really go all that bad, my blog was up and running in no time. There wasn’t much traffic initially. I installed WP Super Cache plugin as well and I was quite satisfied that because of caching there really wouldn’t be much load on apache or mysql server. And besides that I really didn’t install many plugins and any that I did were custom built by me so I was sure there was no performance loop-holes.
WP Super Cache caches the entire output and saves it as an html file, so all the web server really had to do was churn out static pages and that’s what made me satisfied.

Strange happenings

But lo and behold, all my expectations were grounded, only after a month or so after setting up my blog. I had posted a blog post about this plugin of mine named ‘jSpotlight’ and it attracted quite a large number of visitors on my website. And as soon as that happened my blog started going down randomly, the web page would become unavailable, posting comments would become impossible, the admin panel became unresponsive and I started getting emails from visitors saying that they couldn’t comment.

Signed up for http test service

I really wasn’t amused and I decided to see how much time my blog remains down. So I signed up for a really nice free service “was it up?” What this site does is you provide it a web url and an email address of yours, and the service would notify you whenever the web your monitoring goes down.

Blog goes down for 20 to 30 minutes every 4 hour

“Was it up?” started sending me emails every 4 hour or so, notifying me that my blog had gone down, it would take around 20 to 30 minutes for it be back up again. That really is pathetic keeping in mind that my blog is cached and that the web server would really be spitting out static content.

CPU throttling (limiting)

CPU throttling is an excuse used by hosting companies to limit CPU usage for websites that are utilizing “too much” CPU resources. But that too much is really too little, and it is an excuse being used by hosting companies, which allows them to host a greater number of websites on their already drained-for-resources server. Now coming back to the point, my blog would be throttled every 30 minutes or so and hence loading very slowly for my visitors.

MySQL server issues

Now as the number of visitors grew, it really became very painful to manage my blog. During peak time I had to face following issues with Bluehost’s MySQL server:

  • Unable to post any comment
  • Unable to publish my post or save drafts
  • Unable to use sections of admin panel

Anywhere where, the MySQL server was being accessed, it really made my blog look bad, it wasn’t able to cope with a small amount of load, and small amount of load it is because of the caching stuff that I mentioned earlier.

Anyhow facing these issues made me peak into the slow query log and man was I let down when I looked into the queries that were logged because of having taken too much time. There were some queries in there that were examining fewer than 10 rows and still taking more than a second to execute, that’s really bad.

Pathetic technical support

Adding to my woes was the technical support that Bluehost provided. It really can’t be called technical at all. These so called techies didn’t know anything about what was happening literally and were of no help either. The only thing that they knew was to mention the slow query log, and when I would tell them how simple queries examining less than 10 rows were logged in there, they had the audacity to tell me that WordPress generally has such problems and that I should switch to some other blogging software.

Final thoughts

My experience with Bluehost has really been a bad one and I would recommend against anyone trying hosting a site on Bluehost that would receive even 100 to 200 visits per day. Bluehost might be cheap and good for sites that are static and don’t receive much hits, but for dynamic sites it’s a big no no.

On a final note, I have moved to Linode and signed up for a $20 a month VPS and it is so far so very good. I have disabled caching (for testing out load bearing capabilities of my Linode VPS) and so far the results are very good, there is not a single query in the slow log and the serving time is close to 3 seconds, which is pretty good with caching disabled. I will have more updates available about my Linode VPS after I have benchmarked it more thoroughly, so stay tuned.

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  • joe

    This is why i hosted my blog on google app engine.
    for all intensive purposes, it’s free, and extremely capable of handling increased traffic

  • joe

    This is why i hosted my blog on google app engine.
    for all intensive purposes, it’s free, and extremely capable of handling increased traffic

  • This is how $10 shared hosting works. At that price range, they have no choice but to cram as many people as they can on a single server where the limiting factor often winds up being the cpu.

    If you can spend $20/month, get a VPS.

    I’ve been with Linode for 3 or 4 years now and they have been great.

  • This is how $10 shared hosting works. At that price range, they have no choice but to cram as many people as they can on a single server where the limiting factor often winds up being the cpu.

    If you can spend $20/month, get a VPS.

    I’ve been with Linode for 3 or 4 years now and they have been great.

  • jay

    Expected. Though, bluehost is pretty good for static and low volume web sites. Thanks for the linode and Google apps idea. I will check it out.

    Any suggestions on servers for low traffic e-commerce site?

  • jay

    Expected. Though, bluehost is pretty good for static and low volume web sites. Thanks for the linode and Google apps idea. I will check it out.

    Any suggestions on servers for low traffic e-commerce site?

  • Well jay what exactly is the low traffic number,. let me know and I will be glad to give you some good advice.,

  • Well jay what exactly is the low traffic number,. let me know and I will be glad to give you some good advice.,

  • @a web developer
    well you are right, if its cheap then it won’t actually be that good, but my point is that they shouldn’t then be advertising promises that they can’t keep, people should be told the truth, so that they can make better decisions, and then there is so much fake good bluehost reviews on the internet as well,.

    and about linode, i myself have moved my blog to linode,. till now i am pleased with the result,.

  • @a web developer
    well you are right, if its cheap then it won’t actually be that good, but my point is that they shouldn’t then be advertising promises that they can’t keep, people should be told the truth, so that they can make better decisions, and then there is so much fake good bluehost reviews on the internet as well,.

    and about linode, i myself have moved my blog to linode,. till now i am pleased with the result,.

  • Tim May

    I agree Bluehost is of no use!

  • Tim May

    I agree Bluehost is of no use!

  • sanjay

    i have faced similar issues with their mysql server!!

  • sanjay

    i have faced similar issues with their mysql server!!

  • jimmy

    which hosting do you recommend then??

  • jimmy

    which hosting do you recommend then??

  • jesse

    Fwiw, any query that doesn’t use an index gets tossed into the slow query log, too. That’s not to say you were wrong on the exec time listed, but I know I’ve confused myself because of those before.

  • jesse

    Fwiw, any query that doesn’t use an index gets tossed into the slow query log, too. That’s not to say you were wrong on the exec time listed, but I know I’ve confused myself because of those before.

  • yeah queries not using index go in there if 'log-queries-not-using-indexes' mysql var is set to 1.
    having said that,. the queries logged were in fact using index 🙂

  • yeah queries not using index go in there if 'log-queries-not-using-indexes' mysql var is set to 1.
    having said that,. the queries logged were in fact using index 🙂

  • Hershel Moorhead

    I like to read your blog a couple times a week for new readings. I was wondering if you have any other niches you write about? You’re a very interesting writer!

  • Hershel Moorhead

    I like to read your blog a couple times a week for new readings. I was wondering if you have any other niches you write about? You’re a very interesting writer!

  • Anonymous

    hmm lets say, site that is able to serve 10-20 concurrent users. Apparently, bluehost is not good for static pages either. Today, they have shutdown their servers without informing anyone. I am unable to receive my business emails. I guess, I should move my emails to google.

    PS: I am Jay.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah that happens,. they routinely shutdown their servers without informing anyone,.

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  • Goldentongs

    BEWARE of Bluehost if you are an UK or EU customer, they will charge you VAT but will not provide your statutory consumer rights, and cannot provide and will not provide a VAT number as they are not VAT registered, hence not permitted to charge VAT as you need to be VAT registered to do so. i have been with bluehost for years with multiple accounts but BEWARE as to their new tactics.

  • Bender

    Actually, Bluehost is registered and they have a number, check this link out:

    http://www.bluehost.com/cgi/info/vat_information

    Here is the part you should read:
    In order to fulfill our EU VAT obligations, we have opted to register for VAT under the special scheme for non-EU suppliers of electronic services, also known as the one-stop scheme, in accordance with Article 357 to 369 of the above EC Directive rather than register for VAT in each EU member state individually. Our VAT identification number is EU826015180.

    Just FYI

  • I think they have improved over time and are now one of the best out there.

  • Try different web hosting for now, they accepting costumer and server bad for that, which is not good. But I think bluehost again grow up now, following with HostGator. Good luck!

  • Hello

    Good One

    Thanks

  • Hello

    This is really interesting topic you have shared !!
     I really like your blog and will keep visiting your blog..

  • Hostgator is better features than Bluehost.

  • am with bluehost now am planning to move to different hosting company do you know any best hosting company outher please let me know. my site keeps loading slow 

  • Anonymous

    I also use Bluehost. but i even like http://www.perthwebsitedesign.com ,They have a one-click WordPress install (using SimpleScripts). I recommend Bluehost to my students, as well, as they have all had nothing but great experiences. Unlimited bandwidth is a nice thing to have, too.
    have your nice time!

    Website Design Perth

  • I want to start Google ad sense please advice me the domain to buy Hosting

  •  I had never heard of BLuehost until I now find it pops up every time I try to get on to Google along with ads for dodgy sounding products. I eventually get to Google. I have no idea how to stop seeing Bluehost ten  times a day.

  • Omnis is doing the same thing now. I think I will switch to something else. 

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  • Steve Wilson

    I respect your review, for us Bluehost is one of the most reputable host out there, i discovered them from one of the most transparent review sites on earth, check it from Web hosting reviews.

  • web designer ,john

    Hi there, awesome site. I thought the topics you posted on were very interesting. I tried to add your RSS to my feed reader and it a few. take a look at it, hopefully I can add you and follow…

    Web Hosting India

  • Hải Bùi Hoàng

    How many visits per day did you have when that happedn?

  • I have never tried this web host so not sure about these problems, it is very crucial that you select a trusted web hosting company so that you don’t face such issues.

  • Completely agree with you. blue host is non of use.

    Joomla
    Web Hosting Business

  • vps hosting india

    hey tariq. its nice to know about your experience with blue host and many other issues that you found and then solved. Thanks for sharing

  • Bluehost was good once started but now turned into a miserable piece of crap and hostgator is next to follow. There are some unknown but good services like hawkhost, webhostinghub and many more

  • You are lying. Actually my websites on Bluehost are getting worst every passing day. The only reason is that previously you people used to host around 20 – 30 sites on a single server but now I have noticed that you host around 1000 sites on single ip address so how can you expect us to like you. After having two accounts and 4 years of worst performance I am happy to change over.

  • Marvin Manhold
  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you. penning this article plus the rest of the website is really good. Thanks for your insight! I have tried the Dedicated Server in Australia and having a Dedicated Hosting really is beneficial. At Palcom Online we works 24×7 instant support.

  • Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you. penning this article plus the rest of the website is really good. Thanks for your insight! I have tried the Dedicated Server in Australia and having a Dedicated Hosting really is beneficial. At Palcom Online we provide best dedicated server solution in India.

  • Zara Whitaker

    Well, it’s a nice one, I have been looking for. Thanks for sharing such
    informative stuff.small
    business backup solutions

  • Gestione Beb

    Bluehost was the worst experience I never had since I work with hosting providers.
    I have abandoned Bluehost as faster as I could!

  • Thanks for the warning. It will really help people to choose a better Web Host for them like Godaddy, Znetlive, Hostgator.