Bluehost problems update

Hilarious (in an annoying way)…here’s what I sent off to support after my site went live again.

Thanks for putting my site live again.  What is the threshold at which my site would be deactivated and how can I monitor to make sure it’s within that threshold?  I really don’t want to be deactivated without warning again…especially when I have had the same site up and running for almost a year without any problems!

Thanks for the quick response and help

Important question to ask you might think!  I don’t want to be caught unawares with my websites being deactivated with no warning.  Here’s the “friendly” response I got from support today…

There isn’t a specific threshold.  Your website can not cause performance problems on our server.

Abuse Department

Terms of Service –

Notice they put the link to the terms of service in there.  At first I took it as meaning that it is impossible for my site to cause performance issues with the server (as in their service is robust enough to handle anything we throw at it)…but am starting to realize that what this is really saying is, “too bad, if we decide your site is doing something to our servers you’re out of luck and we’ll shut you down”.  Uh, oh.  This is absolutely RIDICULOUS!  They’re telling me that there is no way for me to know if I’m causing problems for the shared server I’m on until they decide my website is causing performance issues and they shut me down!

Further, I did a quick scan of their terms of service and here’s the only thing that I could see may be related to the previous sequence of events…

    1. What “Unlimited” means. BlueHost.Com does not set an arbitrary limit or cap on the amount of resources a single Subscriber can use. In good faith and subject to these Terms, BlueHost.Com makes every commercially reasonable effort to provide its Subscribers with all the storage and bandwidth resources needed to power their web sites successfully, as long as the Subscriber’s use of the service complies with these Terms. By not setting limits on key resources, we are able to provide simple, consistent pricing to our Subscribers as they grow their websites. As a result, a typical website may experience periods of great popularity and resulting increased storage without experiencing any associated increase in hosting charges.
    2. What “Unlimited” DOES NOT mean. BlueHost.Com employs complex mechanisms to protect its Subscribers and systems from abuse. BlueHost.Com’s offering of “unlimited” services is not intended to allow the actions of a single or few Subscribers to unfairly or adversely impact the experience of other Subscribers.BlueHost.Com’s service is a shared hosting service, which means that multiple Subscriber web sites are hosted from the same server and share server resources. BlueHost.Com’s service is designed to meet the typical needs of small business and home business website Subscribers in the United States. It is NOT intended to support the sustained demand of large enterprises, internationally based businesses, or non-typical applications better suited to a dedicated server.BlueHost.Com will make every commercially reasonable effort to provide additional resources to Subscribers who are using their website(s) consistent with these Terms, including moving Subscribers to newer and bigger shared servers as necessary. However, in order to ensure a consistent and quality experience for all Subscribers, BlueHost.Com does place automated safeguards to protect against any one site growing too quickly and adversely impacting the system until BlueHost.Com can evaluate said sites resource needs.
    3. Unlimited Hosting Space. BlueHost.Com does not set arbitrary limits on the amount of disk space a Subscriber can use for the Subscriber’s website, nor does BlueHost.Com charge additional fees based on an increased amount of storage used, provided the Subscriber’s use of storage complies with these Terms. Please note, however, that the BlueHost.Com service is designed to host websites . BlueHost.Com does NOT provide unlimited space for online storage, backups, or archiving of electronic files, documents, log files, etc., and any such prohibited use of the Services will result in the termination of Subscriber’s account, with or without notice.
    4. Unlimited File Transfer. BlueHost.Com does not set arbitrary limits on the amount of visitor traffic a web site can receive or on the amount of content a Subscriber can upload to his/her/its website in a given month, nor does BlueHost.Com charge additional fees based on increased use of bandwidth, as long as the Subscriber’s use of the Services complies with these Terms. In most cases, a Subscriber’s web site will be able to support as much traffic as the Subscriber can legitimately acquire. However, BlueHost.Com reserves the right to limit processor time, bandwidth, or processes in cases where it is necessary to prevent negatively impacting other Subscribers.
    5. Unlimited Domain Hosting. BlueHost.Com does not set arbitrary limits on the number of domain names a Subscriber can associate with the Subscriber’s web hosting account

I use WordPress on all my hosted sites and have done so for over a year.  I don’t use any of my webhost space as backup space.  I am not a heavily visited destination for the internets (but have had some spikes up to 700 visitors/day related to my Organize Series plugin).  What bothers me most about this fiasco is that there was no warning given to me that my website(s) were causing performance issues on the servers and I’m not being assured that there will be any warning given in the future.

I know he won’t, but I’m hoping Matt Heaton, the CEO of Bluehost sees this.  I really don’t want to have to go host shopping again but I will.

(I post things like this because finding a good webhost is really difficult these days… Bluehost was awesome for me until this past week.  I gladly welcome any comments from any BlueHost employees – your support channel is of very little help in this case…)

  1. My experience with Bluehost was dismal. Basically, they want to offer the world, but give you a patch of dirt. Essentially, their terms of service redefine “unlimited” to mean “unlimited, except when limited.” I simply moved on. Let the marketplace force a “remedy.”

  2. I work as a freelance computer programmer doing web applications and database programming. So I have several years experience dealing with a variety of different hosting companies. One of my biggest clients, who sub-contracts alot of work to me, was setting up all of their clients’ websites to be hosted at BlueHost. Mainly because they were cheap and promissed alot.

    At first it seemed like a decent hosting company. But after a while I started to notice all of the sites we had hosted there slowing down greatly and then started to notice alot of down time. When this first started to occur I called their tech support and found out they were under what is called a denial of services attack from some hackers in China. This is actually very common. What is not common though is a hosting company that has no clue how to deal with it.

    The first time it happened I gave them the benefit of the doubt and was very patient while they took almost a month to get the sites back up and running half way decent. But in the months to come it was happening all of the time. I could never get any development work done on the sites we were building and the sites that were live were down more often then they were up. And the ones that would still come up were extremely slow and produced tons of errors on the pages.

    I again called their tech support when they again told me they were under a denial of services attack and as a result they had to disable many basic and common services on the server which is what was causes the errors. They did this without informing or warning any of their customers and then told me that it would be at least 2-3 weeks before they could turn them back on.

    As I said before I have several years dealing with a variety of hosting companies and BlueHost is by far and without a doubt the worst option available anywhere on the internet!

    Several months ago I began testing several other hosting companies to find a replacement for the accounts I had hosted at BlueHost. The one that I am the most happy with is HostGator. I have had no performance issues whatsoever with them. They have a 99.999% uptime garauntee and they take that very seriously. They have 24/7 tech support by phone and live chat. Their cPanel is the same as with BlueHost. And they have hosting plans as low as $4.95 per month.

    If you are currently hosted at BlueHost and have noticed the same problems that I did I highly recommend you take a look at HostGator. And if you are thinking about hosting a site at BlueHost…Don’t waist your time and money.

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