Bluehost had been my first ever commercial host and my experience has been well, mediocre. I wont call it a bad experience , neither would I say that it was a Bluehost nightmare. This is the most honest Bluehost review you will ever get from someone who was on Bluehost for around 2 years and had quite a few low and high traffic domains hosted with Bluehost. Being an Indian one is more likely to end up with shady hosts, but since my domains were doing pretty well I decided to go to Bluehost for stability and the price and reputation was good.
After moving to Bluehost, I experienced downtime the very 2nd day, pretty significant, I got in touch with the Bluehost live chat support (pretty useless most times) who told me (in different words) , This is shared hosting, we cant do anything about downtimes or server issues, please take your issues elsewhere and switch to VPS. I very honestly asked the support person that I am bringing downtime to his notice and he is asking me to shift, suddenly he became soft and told me I had the choice to switch to another host but they wont take care of errant sites on server and neither will they assure me that downtimes would be reduced. It was like downtimes are Ok.
Anyway I kept on with Bluehost as it was overall reliable, then came the next blow : CPU throttling. Its every blog owners nightmare. PHP scripts would routinely be timed out and every time a wordpress page would load, my account would be throttled to ensure their grossly oversold servers are ok. I tried everything, using super cache, cleaning databases, removing overheads etc. But none of these helped. In an experiment, I myself would access a cached age of my account and still find that on each pageload my account is throttled. Page source would confirm a cached page was served. I own small sized blogs and such throttling out was giving me nightmares.
I don’t care what Bluehost tells you but CPU throttling is a deal breaker for me, the site would become excruciatingly slow during access.
Then began the search for the new Cpanel host. Stablehost was suggested by my brother as it had an offer offering 75% lifetime recurring discount. Interesting i said but warned him that if its too good to be true, it sometimes is. So I started to find bad reviews about Stablehost but surprisingly there was no bad review of Stablehost on the Internet, only people praising their personal customer support. I was impressed and those who know me know that customer service should be really good to impress me .
So I have signed up for Stablehost and its been more than a week and haven’t faced a single issue yet, all websites were transferred to the new account and things seem to be running smoothly. However I hope I don’t have to eat my own words. The reason I switched was that unlike other hosts, I can take a 6 month contract, yearly contract etc. for the same rate so switching is easy.
The customer care has been prompt and smooth, maximum time taken to respond was 12 hours for a domain transfer request to be initiated, otherwise I would get a reply within 10 minutes. Such a nice standard of personal customer service is a refreshing change from the robotic customer care of Bluehost who would routinely ask me to cancel my account in case of any downtime and never once reimbursed me for downtime.
Stablehost still has a 50% off coupon running on their website (use BDAY or TOS, both work) and if you are looking for a good, friendly host that offers realistic hosting, please have a look at Stablehost. The 5 GB space 100GB bandwidth plan would barely cost you $36 for the year after the discount. That’s much cheaper than bluehost and other hosts and they dont grossly oversell like Bluehost.
UPDATE: We have used StableHost for about 2 years now. Sadly, as the company has grown bigger, so has its indifference towards users and attitude towards its customers. The shortcoming of Stablehost is that they now recommend their shared hosting only if you have a low traffic site which would require at most 2-3 PHP scripts running a second. They recently implemented a policy (without notice to their existing customers) about restricting maximum (not average) running processes to 10 (down from 20). If your site is just serving static pages, they might be useful but for anything more complex than a low traffic WordPress blog, their admin advises you to look elsewhere.
P.S. : These are affiliate links, but the review is 100% original and not sponsored.