Bluehost Reviews

BlueHost's customer service has become unacceptable. So I left.

Negative Review by JohnFastman
about Bluehost and Let's Encrypt, SiteGround Jan 2017

I've been a customer of BlueHosts' from 2009 to 2015 and in that time their customer support has declined drastically. Live Chat support, in particular was excellent once; now requests for this are met with waiting time estimates of 20 min. Which increases to 30 and 45... Once you are connected to a human being (in under an hour counts as lucky), the chat app automatically issues a pre-emptive apology to lower your expectations: the person helping you is busy helping other customers at the same time - their attention is divided. Over this 6-year period it became increasingly rare that the first person to help you would be sufficiently knowledgeable about anything except the most routine matters. Tedious conversations, in which the onus was on me to prove I was above the level of the idiot they took me for, became routine. ("Yes, I've switched it off and on already." And "Yes, I know how to get into cPanel.")

Don't misunderstand me; BlueHost support people are curteous and well-meaning. But they seem understaffed and over-worked. And that's not their fault. It's BlueHost's.

Eventually, I had had enough. I looked for alternative services ranked highly for customer satisfaction and support. [SiteGround](Small Let's Encrypt iconLet's Encrypt) came highly recommended, so I contacted them to ask about sales and switching from BlueHost. Their sales rep was incredibly helpful and expedient. To my delight, this has continued after I paid (now a year ago). Their support is so good, I rarely reach for the Live Chat option. Their Support Ticket system is most often answered within minutes, and mostly with perfect accuracy at the first attempt. I've had one support ticket answered in under a minute. The most technical issue required three back-and-forths and we were done.

In the meantime, [Let's Encrypt has become available](Small Let's Encrypt iconLet's Encrypt) (it's a free, open source alternative to paying for TSL certificates). I don't know about BlueHost, and I don't care to check, but SiteGround offer free help in setting up Let's Encrypt to make your website accessible by https, despite previously raking in the dollars on expensive proprietary solutions. It's a welcome development and they even sponsor the Let's Encrypt, along with the EFF and Mozilla (amongst others), which warms the cockles of my heart. (I'm a sucker for hot cockles!)

There may be other considerations, but at first glance SiteGround and BlueHost offer very similar packages across the board. I run several small websites on domains I've registered and for that SiteGround are worlds better than BlueHost in everything but the cost, the difference is small enough for me to disregard. Admittedly, BlueHost might have improved in the year since they lost my custom, but I can't even be bothered to find out.