Everybody who runs a hosted site has web host horror stories to tell. My story is about BlueHost.com. This site has been with them since May, 2005. They’ve been OK, but not much better than that in terms of customer service and server quality. There are outages though they didn’t seem to last long until two weeks ago. Their representatives try to be helpful but they only have one person who knows much about .htaccess and that’s unfortunately where most of my needs fall. Usually, when there’s a problem they try to tell me that it’s the fault of my blog installation–even when it turns out it’s the fault of their own server.
The last straw was a new CPU quota error that started about 10 days ago. At first, the outages caused by the error were intermittent. As of yesterday, they happened 50% or more of the time when accessing my site. I’ve called Bluehost four or five times about the problem (of course they tried to claim it was caused by php script within my WordPress installation). Finally, today someone acknowledged the problem was on their end and not related to WP. They claim they’ll have it fixed by today (but who knows?). The other poisonous problem with this particular outage is that whenever there’s a CPU overload the server uploads a new highload.html .htaccess file to my site which renders it inoperable for at least 60 seconds. So you can’t even try to use your site in that interval. When you do try again, you can usually perform two commands within the site before the error recurs.
UPDATE 1: The problem looks like it MAY have been resolved today (November 3rd). I haven’t had any CPU errors in about 6-8 hours. So I may be out of the woods. But I’m still going to move hosts.
So I’m on the hunt for a new reliable host. I have low memory/storage requirements. I need moderate bandwidth due to images and mp3 files hosted here. And I need to be able to upload mp3 files of up to 10 MB each. I also need .htaccess, IP Deny Manager, Hot Links Protection and redirection capability (most of which are standard with cPanel). Any suggestions? If you comment, please be specific about what you like about your host.
UPDATE 2: The hope expressed in Update 1 that the server errors were ending was FALSE. For further information on what can cause CPU errors please read another later post I wrote about my Bluehost experience and my move to a new host.
In short, Bluehost is an execrable (that means “piece of crap”) host. I warn anyone who believes they should sign up with them because of their low price–you get what you pay for (or I should say you don’t get what you don’t pay for). I did a poll at the Mozilla forum and most posters strongly recommended Dreamhost (though I’m currently using a friend’s virtual server). You pay a little more, but hell isn’t it worth it to avoid the type of problems I describe above?