Web Hosting History
I have spent a lot of time and effort into finding a trusted hosting solution for my sites, and my clients. Originally I was obsessed with the low price after having several sites hosted with Media Temple, burning a hole in my pocket. Media Temple is very fast, and very trusted, but you cannot afford to get any media mentions. By that I mean traffic spikes will either cost you a pretty penny, or they just let your site fail if you are on a starter shared plan.
All-In on BlueHost, Huge Mistake
I thought I had found the greatest thing ever: a hosting plan that includes unlimited domains, unlimited disk space, and unlimited storage for $12 per month. Immediately I signed up at BlueHost, moved my company domain, and started hosting my client inside my account and reselling hosting. Big mistake.
DNS and SMTP Fail
Everything started to go wrong pretty quickly. My PHP formail scripts stopped working for emails using the website domain. BlueHost required that you have an email created on the server, even though you did not use their server for email or DNS, becaue they couldn’t figure out SMTP.
The Famous BlueHost Cache Dictatorship
Next, they forced a very intrusive cacheing protocal for all WordPress sites. This was their “fix” to slow WordPress performance. Do you know how frustrating it is to make a simple change to a stylesheet and the client can never see it? It was so bad I had pre-built an email explaining cache busting and instructions to clear your browser.
How to Make SSL More Difficult
When HTTPS became the standard, things got even worse. BlueHost forced every site using SSL to have their own account, and a dedicated IP (mor money, more money). And (to this day), did not offer a free SSL solution. So now I had my clients create their own accounts, buy a dedicated IP, buy an SSL cert, and pay twice as much. This created more problems than it solved.
Verify Domain Ownership, But Not Through Your Email
Once my clients had paid for their premium account, BlueHost asked them to verify domain ownership. A pretty straight forward process… should have been easy… but no. The cPanel interface gave my client a large amount of email address to use for verification, including the ICANN regitered domian owner email. Makes sense. Waiting days for my client to verify their domain I decided to contact tech support. They said none of the email options, including the registered owner email, can be used. Your only option is to create a new email, admin@, no other email will work. Frustrating to say the least.
This is the best – once you verify your domain, wait extremely long to get it installed and working, your website will go down in exatly 12 months. That is due to their SSL autorenew script never worked. Every single client I sent to BlueHost had their site go down 1 year later. I was on vacation when one of my best clients SSL expired, I call in to BlueHost, spend 4 hours on the phone just to beg them to renew and reinstall the cert. They took a whole day to do it, and I lost a whole day of fresh powder. Admitidly, my anger and profanity probably added to the lack of urgency on their end. I was a dick.
BlueHost Does Not Offer HTTP/2
And finally, if you were lucky enough to get everything working again, you could not use HTTP/2. That was the solution to their WordPress problem a long time ago. WordPress experts my ass.
Switching to SiteGround
This domain was just forwarding to my web design company, so I decided to experiment with SiteGround. I signed up for the started package at $4 per month, accessed the cpanel, installed WordPress, and pointed the domain to the shared IP. Once the domain propagated I clicked on Lets Encrypt button, and with a quick domain verfication SSL was set. I changed the domain in WordPress and my site was secure on a shared IP (not possible on BlueHost), AND its using HTTP/2 automatically (also not possible on BlueHost.)
It was so damn simple to get everything I wanted, and it was/is $4 per month. Fuck you BlueHost!