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. Hi Tom,
    I’m glad to find your honest review about populare host share service while I’m gonna build a website first time. With my short knowledge on share host, I had found bluehost as a beginner friendly through a vlog.
    But i decided to research more about. Now I find how horrible bluehost is!
    Few days ago, i found Namecheap share hosting service Through the recommendation from an SEO expert.
    Tom, I would like to know what’s your opinion about Namecheap?

    • Hey Zinnat,

      Funny, I was just updating this review. I wouldn’t use NameCheap either. Get hosting from a hosting company, not your domain registrar or page builder. For shared hosting, I generally recommend a LiteSpeed host.

  2. Hey Tom,
    Nice article I’m hosted on Bluehost and I evertime I noticed my site slow. I even made a table to record when my site speed drops. It’s sad I already got Bluehost 2 months ago and paid for a whole year. I didn’t make enough research . Enough said when the time comes I will ditch them completely.

    • At least you didn’t pay for 3 years like a lot of people. Sounds good, lmk if you have questions when the time comes.

  3. Hi Tom,
    I stumbled across this review just before signing up for Bluehost – thank you! I know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about code or building websites and would like your recommendation. Where can I build an easy website (all by myself) and purchase a domain with access to a business email? I’m an interior designer and just need a basic website and email with my domain so I look more professional. Thanks in advance! -Amie

    • Hey Amie,

      Whew, glad I could stop you in your tracks! Yeah, definitely go with someone else.

      Instead of Bluehost, look at ChemiCloud. They’re similar to Bluehost between their prices/cPanel, free domain for 1 year, email, etc. But their performance/support are waaaay better. Once you buy a hosting plan and register your domain, you’ll need to install WordPress while adding free Let’s Encrypt SSL (to make your site HTTPS). Once WordPress is installed, they will give you a URL to your WordPress dashboard.

      Login to WordPress, go to plugins > add new, then search for “Astra Starter Templates.” They should have a few themes based around interior design. You’ll be able to import these to your site in 1-click which makes your site look exactly like the template. When you import it, you’ll choose between Elementor, Gutenberg, etc. Elementor is definitely easiest and is drag and drop. It’s not the best for speed but using Bluehost would have been much worse. Then it’s just a matter of learning WordPress/Elementor.

      Of course I’m all about speed so… one thing you should definitely do is install the LiteSpeed Cache plugin and use my tutorial to configure it.

      If you wouldn’t mind using my affiliate link to ChemiCloud I’d appreciate it (if not, no biggie).

      Lmk if you get stuck or have questions! ChemiCloud + WordPress + Astra Starter Template + Elementor would be my top recommendation based on what you said.


  4. Bluehost is a scam. I only used them for a short time, for a temporary website. When I tried to cancel, I was ignored, and the recurring payments kept being charged to my credit card. When you call the phone number, the automated service says to enter a code that’s been sent to your email (which 2 years ago when I tried cancelling the first time, didn’t work at all, and the emails never came through). There was no other phone number and no other way to get through to a human. I had to go through my CC and ask them to block the charges, since Bluehost was impossible to actually get ahold of. MONTHS later, after being charged yet again for several. months, I somehow was able to finally get ahold of a human (I can’t remember who ended up giving me the “secret” phone number). The lady said that it was their policy to only refund the last 90 days, so they wouldn’t refund ALL of the MANY months that they’d overcharged me. She claimed to have made sure that my account was completely cancelled (even though I had already tried to do that over a year before).
    Guess what?! My CC was just charged yet again for $59…over a full year since the last mentioned “cancelling/refunding”. I called my CC company, and they said that even though I have a new CC since this all happened (fraud last fall), Bluehost had requested to “Push Through” the charge, which I guess something that Visa and Mastercard are allowing! Before I called her, I had tried to call the Bluehost phone number yet again, and this time the email actually did come through with a 6 digit “code”, but when I entered it on the phone like the automated voice said to, it didn’t work and it just kept repeating to “enter the number”. The lady at my CC company said that all of these tactics are very popular with shady companies, even big decently well known ones! DO NOT get roped into Bluehost, as it’s 100% IMPOSSIBLE TO CANCEL YOUR SERVICE OR GET REFUNDS LATER. And you will be wasting MANY HOURS of time trying to deal with it later…like I still am 3 YEARS LATER!

    • Damn, sucks you had to go through that. I hate when companies do this. Even when try hide the cancellation button in their dashboard I get a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve seen many reports GreenGeeks and Hostinger do something similar.

  5. Thank you for an honest, comprehensive review Tom. BlueHost = frequent downtimes; snail slow websites and worst customer service. Over 2 weeks ago I was giving a developer access to one of my sites via MAESTRO when the databases of ALL my sites vanished in front of my eyes (and his). I was on when apparently the BH agent I was talking with did not like that I told him he was not been very helpful and decided to delete all databases. WTF? I’m moving my sites away from BH! Your review has been very helpful. Thanks

    • That’s absurd they would do that. Yes, any time! Us affiliates gotta make a buck somehow, but I ain’t selling my soul to promote POS companies.

  6. Hi Tom, it’s so refreshing to see an honest review! I am about to start a blog and have procrastinated for about a month over hosting. Initially I was naively just going to go with Bluehost as they seemed to be coming out top in all the reviews. It was only once I started watching videos of one particular high-profile blogger, where he stated that one way he makes money is that companies pay him to be moved up the ranking in review posts, that I started to catch on (naive I know!). In addition, in several of his videos he states that he uses and recommends WPX (and at one stage directly compares them to Bluehost), yet WPX appear nowhere in his ’27 Best Web Hosting Services of 2023′. Hmm, strange. Now I am absolutely sick of every blog I read recommending Bluehost when they’re clearly not the best (and they’re also over-egging themselves with an incorrect Trustpilot rating on their homepage). I obviously want to make money via affiliate marketing but this all seems a bit on the unethical side to me (especially as I’m doing a finance blog where somebody could be investing their life savings using a platform I ‘recommend’!). Anyway, I’d actually come across WPX prior to the above-mentioned videos and was leaning towards them. Have you had any experience of them? Keep up the good (honest!) work. Thanks!

    • Hey Laura,

      Yes, most blogs are paid garbage. A lot of people stopped using Google search because most blogs simply don’t tell truth and just care about affiliate commissions. TrustPilot reviews are usually very solicited and don’t give an accurate picture of the company.

      As for WPX, I wouldn’t use them either. They don’t have a redundancy system which is VERY risky as they’ve already had a bad worldwide outage, the CEO is irresponsible and doesn’t admit to mistakes or uses it as an opportunity to improve the company, and it’s still shared hosting with frequent downtimes. They blew up mainly because of a certain blogger who I bet you can guess his name. However, his “best hosting list” is laughable where he lists Bluehost as #6, WP Engine #3 (who offers a whopping $200/sale in commissions), and SiteGround/Kinsta as #1 and #2. Again, these are “mainstream hosts” ranked by affiliate commissions, not quality.

      For low traffic sites on a budget, and for those that don’t require lots of resources, I usually recommend a “LiteSpeed host” like NameHero or ChemiCloud. They’re cheap, fast for the price, have decent support, and the LiteSpeed setup with LiteSpeed Cache is great.

      For higher traffic sites or those that require more resources like WooCommerce/dynamic sites, I’d probably jump straight to cloud hosting. Something like Cloudways, Scala Hosting, or I’m obviously a big fan of which is who I use. It also depends on how hands-on you want to get, for example, there are many control panels like RunCloud and even Cloudways which can be more confusing than someone like

      Sorry, I know it’s getting long, but one last thing to consider is the location of the site’s visitors. If you plan on using a CDN with full page caching (i.e.’s paid plan, Cloudflare APO, or’s Cloudflare Enterprise), then location really doesn’t matter as much. But if you’re not going to be using a CDN with full page caching, you’ll want to choose a host who has data center close to visitors.

      Please lmk if you have any questions – always here to help.

      • Just want to let you know I’m chatting with guy at and I told him I came through you. He spoke highly of you. Chad his name was.

      • Got to also add chat service at was SO kind and helpful. I could not have been better taken care of. With your post I arrived there. I was overwhelmed for days prior to this. So thank you. To both you and Chad at

        • Thanks Rebecca! Chad is awesome, sometimes promoting hosting gets old but yeah, their team is a breath of fresh air. I appreciate you and lmk if I can be of any help.

  7. Hello Tom,

    I found your review through a google search for Bluehost alternatives. I know that your audience is more experienced than I am when it comes to website building, but I was curious to know your opinion on some alternatives for a hosting site for beginner bloggers like myself. Yes, I am a beginner, but I’d rather start with a hosting platform that I won’t have trouble with later on as my blog grows into a business. I’ve read enough reviews to know that although Bluehost “seems” like the better choice for a beginner blogger, it is not the best for what I’m looking for. Any advice would be helpful.


    • Hey AC,

      NameHero and ChemiCloud are both good for beginners. Similar pricing than Bluehost with cPanel, but faster. And unlike Bluehost, you don’t have to pay for a cache plugin to get the best results since you can use the free LiteSpeed Cache plugin. Inside LiteSpeed Cache, you’ll see an option to add which has a free CDN plan. This way, you get the benefits of a good cache plugin/CDN with no or minimal cost (only cost would be if you were to upgrade to QUIC’s paid plan). Both NameHero/ChemiCloud have better support than Bluehost IMO.

      It’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll switch hosts eventually (even if it’s years down the line as your site grows) since you would likely want to scale into VPS hosting like Scala Hosting, Cloudways, or… which tend to be better at VPS hosting than most shared providers). As a starting point though, the first 2 I mentioned should “last longer” than Bluehost since they’re faster, can handle more traffic, and have less limitations.

      Hope that helps – lmk if you have any follow up questions.


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