Bluehost Review: Don’t Let Affiliates Trick You Into Using Them (They’re Slow, Lack Features, And Owned By Newfold Digital)

Bluehost review

In case you didn’t know to stay away from Bluehost, here’s your warning.

Most people recommending them are affiliates who make a big deal about how they’re “officially” recommended by WordPress. Maybe you didn’t know this, but Bluehost pays WordPress and their affiliates to recommend them, so this is about as unofficial as it gets.

Here’s the classic Bluehost story. Some “how to start a blog” YouTuber recommends Bluehost, so you sign up and get locked into a 1-3 year agreement. You pay it, setup your website, and all is good. Until a few weeks/months go by, then you wonder why your site is slow and goes down all the time. Their support doesn’t help, so you go to a Facebook group and ask the community:

Bluehost is horrible 1

By reading that story, hopefully I just saved you a couple hundred dollars and years of headaches. Because that happens to way too many people (usually people new to hosting).

Now let’s dive into why Bluehost isn’t good.


1. 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.

Classic affiliate marketer pros cons 1

Don’t trust any blog that recommends Bluehost.

How to start a blog bluehost affiliates

Bluehost how to start a blog affiliate links


2. 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 wordpress hosting affiliate disclaimer


3. 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.

Bluehost hosting review


4. 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.

With Bluehost’s lack of resources, I don’t recommend running WooCommerce, Elementor, Divi, and high-usage plugins on most shared hosting (especially Bluehost’s).

Bluehost cpu throttling
Source: Bluehost’s Wikipedia page

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.

Inodes 200,000
Database tables 5,000
Database size 10GB
Single database 5GB


5. 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.

Bluehost slow ttfb keycdn


6. 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.

Bluehost downtimes

Bluehost server down

Bluehost outages downdetector
Bluehost’s Downdetector profile


7. 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.

Bluehost hostgator sitelock scam

Don’t fall for it.


8. Renewals Are Up To 338% Intro Prices

You only get 1 year of the intro price or 3 years for a somewhat discounted price. Then depending on which plan you use, it can renew up to 338% more (see their monthly pricing).

The main problem with this is that as your website changes and you add more plugins or get more traffic, your website will require more server resources to accommodate it. But since you signed up for 3 years upfront, your plan may not have enough resources and you will need to upgrade anyway. Not to mention once you learn how bad Bluehost is, you’ll want to leave but can’t since you’ve already paid upfront. And at that point, the money is considered a sunk cost.

Don’t fall for 3 year price traps especially with Bluehost.

Bluehost prices

Renewal Rates:

Plan Basic Plus Choice Plus Pro
12 Month Term 10.99/mo 14.99/mo 19.99/mo 28.99/mo
24 Month Term 9.99/mo 13.99/mo 18.99/mo 27.99/mo
36 Month Term 9.99/mo 13.99/mo 18.99/mo 26.99/mo

Never pay for more than 1 year of hosting


9. No Automatic Backups On Lower Plans

Again, if you check this comparison table, don’t get automatic backups on most plans.

Bluehost shared hosting limits


10. 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.

Bluehost support review


11. 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.

Bluehost slow dashboard

It’s nice they use cPanel even after cPanel increased prices, so that’s a plus:

Bluehost cpanel 1

Their general dashboard isn’t bad either which includes server caching.

Bluehost dashboard


12. 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.

Newfold digital hosting companies


13. What People Say About Bluehost In Facebook Groups

How many times do you have to hear it?

Join the WP Speed Matters Facebook Groups to get less biased feedback. Many groups are run by affiliates, and SiteGround’s community manager/affiliates are also admins for several groups (that’s the only reason you see SiteGround promoted everywhere). Don’t fall for either of them.

Bluehost is dogshit

Run from bluehost

Migrate from bluehost

Stay away from bluehost

Ditch bluehost eig

Eig bluehost hostgator bad review

Bluehost is terrible

Bluehost is miserable

Bluehost hostgator godaddy worst choices

Bluehost choice plus vs cloudways vultr


14. 5 Faster/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 LiteSpeed! You get to use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin which does an excellent job with core web vitals, then use my tutorial to configure the settings. You’ll also use LiteSpeed Cache to setup’s CDN which supports full page caching and several speed/security features. This will run circles around Bluehost and pretty much any shared host.

Litespeed vs nginx vs apache

Which web server do you use recommend

Litespeed cache litespeed server

Litespeed litespeed cache quic. Cloud

Litespeed pagespeed scores

Which web server do you use

Litespeed on litespeed server

Litespeed cache vs. Wp rocket

Divi litespeed

Choose a LiteSpeed Host

FastComet, NameHero, ChemiCloud, or Scala are the LiteSpeed hosts I recommend (just whatever you do, don’t use Hostinger). FastComet has the best pricing but uses SATA SSDs. ChemiCloud costs more but most of their data centers use faster NVMe SSDs (they also have a Turbo Plus add-on which doubles CPU/RAM to 6 CPU + 6GB RAM)… which means even if you sign up for 3 years, it’s scalable. NameHero and Scala are great for US-based sites and use NVMe SSDs on their US data centers (use NameHero for shared, Scala for cloud). They all use cPanel (except Scala uses sPanel), have at least 2x the inodes as Bluehost, with better uptimes.

Here are the specific plans I’d use:

Bluehost Choice Plus Plan FastComet FastCloud Extra Plan NameHero Turbo WordPress Plan ChemiCloud WordPress Turbo Plan Scala Entry WP Cloud Plan
Type Shared Shared Shared Shared Cloud
Cores/RAM Not listed 6 cores/6GB 3 cores/3GB 3 cores/3GB (scalable to 6/6) No limits
Storage type SATA SATA NVMe (US data center only) NVMe (9/11 data centers) NVMe (US data center only)
Storage 40GB 35GB Unlimited 40GB 50GB
Database MySQL MySQL MariaDB MariaDB MariaDB
Object cache x Memcached Redis Memcached Redis
Data centers 6 11 2 (US + EU) 11 3 (US + EU)
Server Apache + Nginx LiteSpeed LiteSpeed LiteSpeed LiteSpeed
Cache plugin x LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache LiteSpeed Cache
CDN Cloudflare free ($.02-.08/GB) ($.02-.08/GB) ($.02-.08/GB) ($.02-.08/GB)
Full page caching x
Control panel cPanel cPanel cPanel cPanel sPanel
Inodes 200,000 500,000 500,000 500,000 Unlimited
Major incidents Claims of hosting terrorist sites 2022 DDoS attack on 3 data centers 2011 2-day node outage None None
Migrations Free on qualified accounts only 3 free 1 free 200 cPanel + 10 non-cPanel 1 free
Support D B B B B
TrustPilot rating 3.8/5 4.9/5 4.6/5 4.9/5 4.9/5
Monthly price $5.45 (1 year) $5.49 (1-3 years) $9.98 (3 years) $5.99 (3 years) $14.95 (3 years)
Renewals $19.99/mo $21.95/mo $19.95/mo $19.95/mo $24.95/mo

Namehero vs a2 hosting vs bluehost eig

But Tom, then why do you use

Simple. Because they average a <100ms global TTFB since it’s cloud hosting with Cloudflare Enterprise, 32 CPU Cores 128GB RAM, NVMe SSDs, and faster than SiteGround’s cloud hosting, Kinsta, Cloudways, and pretty much any other cloud host. The catch is – they cost more! The lowest plan is $25/mo and has just 50GB bandwidth. But if you’re willing to pay more for what I’ll call the “best/fastest hosting” I’ve used in 10 years of writing hosting reviews, that’s who I use. Since it’s a bigger investment, you should probably read my review beforehand.

But, you can try them for $1 your first month with code OMM1.

Bluehost to cloudways to rocket. Net

Siteground to rocket. Net

Kinsta to rocket. Net migration

Siteground to cloudways to rocket. Net 2

Siteground to rocket. Net post 2

Bluehost to cloudways to rocket. Net

Moved to rocket. Net vs siteground

Rocket. Net positive review

Rocket. Net trustpilot review

Keycdn performance test cloudflare 1
Cloudflare free

Rocket. Net woocommerce elementor

Rocket. Net facebook review 1

Rocket. Net vs siteground comment

Rocket. Net no competition

Rocket. Net is amazing

Rocket. Net vs kinsta

Kinsta to rocket. Net ttfb redis

Rocket. Net vs cloudways vultr hf trustpilot review

Rocket. Net keycdn performance test 1 + Cloudflare Enterprise

Whatever you do, don’t Bluehost with a 10-poll foot. Or SiteGround/Hostinger for that matter.


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  1. My gallery has been in business since 1985. My website has been with BlueHost for 10 years, beginning when they where in Provo, Utah. Ten years ago, I would have given them ten stars for service. Here’s a message to abusive, woman-hating “Bob” in billing in Arizona: today, if I could join a small claims lawsuit against BlueHost, I’d be right on board. Because that’s not going to happen, I’m suing you for $10k.

    My website wasn’t set on auto-renew so it expired November 19 and was offline. No big deal. I renewed for a year on November 23, the same day I received an email from WordPress that our site had a critical error. How is it that a site is offline, then injected with malware the same day it renews? After paying for the website renewal and three months of CodeGuard, we never saw our gallery site again. BlueHost ran a scan, then told me I had to buy a Sitelock subscription to secure the site and clean it of malware. Okay. Fine. They couldn’t restore a backup because SiteBackUp Pro had never been installed on the sub-domain. When they tried to restore using Codeguard, that didn’t work either. This was a small website. No ecommerce, thankfully. Can you imagine? All of my customers would have been compromised.

    By the time I’d paid for Sitelock, I’d already been on the phone with support for twelve hours. I’d been verbally abused by Bob who refused to acknowledge they’d never protected our subdomain with the backup we’d paid for (that’s easily proved in court). Here it is. Seven days later. The site is still down. Sitelock is blaming BlueHost for not updating or correctly installing the SSL and BueHost is blaming Sitelock for not removing the malware. And I’m stuck in the middle.

    Bluehost was great when their support was based in the USA. It is all offshore now. They fired their entire American staff.

    Here’s most of the email we received from Codeguard:

    “…We were not able to completely restore all of the files for your website. (My note: they restored none of the files)…

    “This can happen when the FTP or SFTP user associated with your website does not have the necessary permissions to add, remove, and change some files, your server runs out of disk space, or if the connection between our servers and yours becomes unreliable for an extended period of time.

    We were unable to restore the following paths to your server. This can happen if your server runs out of disk space or if we do not have the permissions necessary to add the files.

    What do I do now?
    Don’t worry, we still have your data! (My note: There is no data—the data is gone.) Please review the following questions to determine what to do next:
    1.Did you modify your website or database during the restore? (NO, we did not!) Modifications made to your website or database could have interfered with our restore process, and it may be the reason your restore failed. If this is the case please restart this restore from your
    dashboard now.
    2. Did your server go down during the restore? (NO, we did not!)
    When we lose the connection to your server during a restore, we will attempt to try again at a later time. After several attempts, the restore will fail permanently. If this is the case please restart this restore from your dashboard now.
    3. Are you a developer, or do you know one? (NO, we did not!)
    If you feel comfortable attempting a manual restore, please request a zip file of your website backup and the corresponding database backup from your
    dashboard now.
    If something’s wrong with your website and the questions above do not apply to you, then please
    email our support team. We’ll make sure everything gets straightened out!

    We could not restore some files
    CodeGuard Team
    Sat, Nov 26, 2022 at 5:45 AM

    As an aside, Bluehost started sending us invoices meant for other customers. The information included the customer’s credit card number, name, address, product. we contacted the customers to let them know.

    Thank you for posting this website and giving us a chance to vent. We loved Bluehost once, but they just don’t care about us.

    • Stories like this are rarely heard because of the crazy amount of censorship and affiliate bs. Sorry this happened, shame on them.

  2. I totally agree with you Tom. I used to use Bluehost before they joined EIG. At that time the performance was quite good. But after that it just seems to look good because of the many good reviews from affiliates. This keeps the real bad review hidden. A few years ago I switched to Asphostportal, which I like that they are more stable and have friendly staff. I can’t stand Bluehost anymore.

    • Yeah that’s mainstream hosting for you. They all get too big and the quality goes down because they want more profit/marketing.

  3. Caveat emptor. My review on TrustPilot:

    How the Mighty Have Fallen

    A year ago, my wife asked for web host recs for her new business. I recommended Bluehost.

    Don’t I look like a choad. In case you’re not aware of the carnage going on at Bluehost, it’s truly unbelievable. BH users have flooded Reddit to describe being locked out of their sites for weeks or even months and being offered one month’s free hosting rather than a fix.

    Go on to Twitter and search “bluehost support.” Hordes of angry business owners whose sites have been locked up, locked down, and crashing — for months. BH support is lazily pasting the same canned response that they know, they’re trying, blah, blah, blah.

    Whatever. Working people can’t afford excuses. Not that Bluehost is even bothering to make them anymore.

    So, my wife built her company’s site using Bluehost’s Website Builder, which is now broken and — like all of the other problems at BH — has absolutely no ETA on a fix.

    She described contacting tech support and talking to someone who knew about as much about web hosting as she did. The upshot is that she cannot change so much as a comma because it’s all locked inside the BH Website Builder and the Website Builder is hopelessly borked.

    I’m speechless, honestly. I’d been with BH for several years and found their hosting and prices to be good, and their support to be excellent. My site isn’t super elaborate so I have less exposure to the kinds of things that might gum up a website, but the few times I had a hiccup with my site, I opened a chat box and a BH tech fixed it immediately.

    I read from several sources that BH began its decline after they were acquired by multi-national host-wrecker EIG.

    That tracks. The old Bluehost is gone forever. Run, don’t walk.

    • It’s decent but there are better options IMO. Need to use higher their 3rd highest plan for it to be worth it with LiteSpeed, etc. I would look into NameHero or ChemiCloud instead.

  4. Yes, I totally agree with you Tom. Most of the bloggers recommend Bluehost for just their earnings through affiliate. Some are didn’t even use the Bluehost ever. Support and speed are the main concern. I switched to Delegate Hosting 5 years ago, speed and support is much appreciated.

      • Yes, I am struggling with bluehost. I use their bluehost website builder plugin to create my pages and it’s not working for over a month. I am not able to add/edit contents for a month and they don’t have any timeline when the issue will be fixed.

        I am exploring alternatives. Can you suggest something which is easy as drag and drop and cost effective to build a basic blogging site? I definitely want to switch over from bluehost. It’s a pain.

        • For drag and drop Elementor is what a lot of people use. It does add extra CSS/JS/fonts so just make sure you optimize them (I have a tutorial for it in the “themes” category).

          Just make sure you have a good host and cache plugin (i.e. NameHero Turbo Cloud, Cloudways Vultr HF, and LiteSpeed Cache or FlyingPress.

          I use GeneratePress and although it’s not drag and drop, it’s still pretty easy with Gutenberg.

  5. Many of us who built our site with Website Builder have been receiving the message “We couldn’t connect Bluehost Website Builder” when we try to edit our sites. I know I’m not the only one because Bluehost told me this is a known issue and no one promised the builder would work! It has been months of trying and waiting as “our team is working on this” with no proactive contact on progress. They aren’t working on it. They know this is an issue and continue to sell and promote the product. Complaint posts about this by others seem to get frozen from comments or deleted instead of resolved. You who have used Website Builder, try editing your site. You who suffer this with me, maybe we can we put pressure on them if we speak up together like in a class action.

  6. Hey Tom,
    I host my website on Bluehost and I am an affiliate (not one of those 10k-100k affiliates though). I started blogging on shared hosting, I’m now at a stage where I’m abit more serious and decided to switch to a VPS with Bluehost. Its ofcourse not as cheap as shared hosting, but in conjunction with that, my theme & CDN, site speed is quite good.
    I consider myself to have an honest look at those that I am affiliated with and only recommend those that I use. I will admit that the shared hosting can be slow when you start generating traffic or have a heavy site, but I personally cant fault their support. Im not sure how often you’ve personally come into contact with them, but for me, I’ve had one ocassion out of approx 30 where I thought they werent going to be able to help me (i kindly asked to speak to someone else, who was capable). They helped me move over from shared server to the VPS aswell, and this support Im mentioning Ive had on shared and the VPS, so it wasnt just a matter of paying more for better service… Although the waiting times are much shorter.

    I recommend Bluehost for people starting out with a blog, especially the shared plan, as 99% of people who start dont have the perseverance to actually turn their blog into a money making business. The low cost provides an easy entry point to “test the waters” and learn a thing or two before getting serious.

    Obviously if you arent new to blogging and have a plan and knowledge to implement it, then go straight for faster hosting like VPS/Cloud/Dedi, whether thats from Bluehost or wherever.

    I actually came to the comment section to point out that in your one pic of everyone recommending bluehost, that Neil Patels article also recommends and is affiliated with Bluehost

    • Hey David,

      You’re right, I think recommending one host over another comes down to your audience. For people who are just starting, Bluehost is cheap, easy to setup, and is a decent option the test the waters as you say. Most of my audience is somewhat experienced with speed/hosting in which case it wouldn’t make sense to recommend them.

      Yes, Neil Patel, Patt Flynn, and many popular bloggers recommend Bluehost. Then again, their tutorials are more aimed at beginners and to be honest, I think many of them are also influenced by commission rates. I think most SEOs prefer to get their info from places like Backlinko.

  7. I agree with almost everything you said. I have used bluehost for three sites. The service was not very good. In fact they continue to charge me for site that I had closed down and it took many tries to get a hold of someone who can get me my money. Really frustrating. I ultimately switched to siteground because the bluehost cannot handle the speeds of a WooCommerce site.

    One thing that I don’t agree with this article is that a stock ticker means bad service. While this can be the case, it really is in the interest of the stockholders for the company to put out the best product. While there are some examples of publicly owned companies that do not take care of the companies underneath them and just cut cost, overall that isn’t the case. Just one example that comes mind is Google fiber. Google has a stock ticker however Google fiber is by far the best internet service I’ve ever had. I have had internet service from some private company that’s so small and their service didn’t even compare.

  8. wordpress Officially recommendedbluehost as best web hosting as it provide best sitelock for our website it prevents from cyber, malware, ddos and hacking attacks. one of the cheapest service provider in the world.


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