There are a number of website hosting providers that offer rock-bottom pricing – Bluehost is just one of them. With plans that start at $3.50 per month (or less), you’ll get what you pay for.
Bluehost, HostGator and other ultra-cheap website hosting companies practice something called “overselling”.
Overselling website hosting
Amazing! $3.50 per month gets you a hosting account for an UNLIMITED number of websites with UNLIMITED storage! How do they do that? Well, dear reader, let me tell you about a dirty little hosting industry secret called “overselling”.
Hosting accounts are a place on a web server where you can place the files and databases that make up your website. The physical web server itself is housed at a secure data center but is accessible online around the clock by anyone with an internet connection. Web servers cost thousands of dollars and hosting companies pay fees to house their web servers in data centers. They make their money by renting space on each web server to you and their other clients. The more hosting plans they can cram onto a single server, the more profit they’ll make. Overselling!
The big problem with overselling is related to performance. It’s important for you, your users, and search engines that your website load quickly. Fractions of seconds matter in the web world and websites that take more than a few seconds to fully render are considered unacceptable.
Well, when your web server is hosting LOTS of websites and one of those websites starts to get a lot of traffic, the web server is going to be busy trying to keep up with that traffic and guess what that means for your website? That’s right! Yours slows down! Well what did you expect! You get what you pay for.
Unlimited disk space? Red flag!
How does unlimited disk space work? Great question! It’s a marketing gimmick!
Just like your computer, phone or tablet, web servers store their data on a connected disk (hard drive or Solid State Drive (SSD)). Even if your web server has multiple disk drives, it still has a limited capacity. There’s no such thing as a disk drive with unlimited capacity.
An average sized WordPress website uses about 1 gigabyte of disk space but let’s say your website needs a LOT of disk space. Let’s say that you’ve got lots of videos, images and PDFs and that amounts to 10 gigabytes of stored data. Well, that’s ok! From your point of view, you’ll never run out of disk space, even if that number doubles but realistically it’s important to realize that you do NOT have truly unlimited storage.
Forget about good support
It should come as no surprise when you pay less than $1 per day for website hosting, support will be sub-par. Most economy hosting companies send their live chat and phone support requests to overseas call centers.
In my experience, unless you have the most basic of issues, prepare for an incredibly frustrating and time consuming dead-end, every time.
Breaking free of Bluehost
Leaving Bluehost or other similar budget hosting providers is pretty straight forward. At least it’s supposed to be.
We move client websites from oversellers to our own web servers all the time. It’s an easy process that can be done without downtime but recently we’ve had a heck of a time moving client domain names (yourname.com) from Bluehost so that we can take over management.
Transferring a domain name between registrars is a 2-step process that starts at the losing registrar, in this case Bluehost. First we unlock the domain and then generate a domain transfer authorization code. Both of these can be done from the Bluehost control panel.
Then we initiate the domain name transfer at the new registrar and enter the transfer authorization code (also called ECC) that was provided by Bluehost.
Here’s where things fall apart.
The last few times we’ve done this, Bluehost provides a bogus transfer authorization code that doesn’t work. Live chat is a dead end and phone support is a dead end. In both cases, the overseas support agents assure us that the code they provided is correct and that it’s not possible to generate a new one – it’s literally an impossibility!
After an hour+ of confirming account information, spelling and re-spelling the domain name in question, repeating basic information a thousand times and explaining the issue over and over again, the agent agrees to escalate the issue to “advanced” support who will respond in 24-48 hours via email. The agents promise that our team will receive an email from support even though we’re not the account owner. That never actually happens. So now we wait the 24-48 hours for the account owner to receive an email from support that they forward to us. Guess what? Support had to generate a new authorization code and now the domain name transfer from Bluehost will work just fine.
Super frustrating but it’s been happening over and over again.
Let Gecko Designs host your website!
We love hosting our client’s websites because it makes things easier for everyone. One point of contact. One team to go to for support. Oh yeah, and we actually care about our clients!
Our web servers are built from the ground-up specifically for performant WordPress website hosting. We don’t oversell and carefully monitor server loads to make sure that one website doesn’t cause problems for others. We include nightly backups, SSL certificates and a bazillion other great features that make your website secure and fast.