This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission, at no additional expense to you, if you make a purchase using these links. (The links to Sucuri and SiteGround are both affiliate links because they rock! The link to Bluehost is not an affiliate link because they don’t.)
Imagine finding out on a Sunday that all 3 of your business websites have suddenly been taken offline by your host. You try to call the host, but they’re not the least bit helpful because you must speak to the Terms of Service Compliance Department and they are already gone for the day. They’ll be available via chat late that night but in the meantime, your websites are completely gone.
It sounds like a bad nightmare but this actually happened a couple of weeks ago. And unfortunately, it gets worse. Let me back up a bit…
We received an alert that there was malicious code in the website files so we contacted Bluehost to discuss options and next steps. The first technical support representative we spoke with assured us that there was likely no problem at all, even though we told him a Sucuri scan was telling us otherwise.
He was confident there was nothing malicious in the files, but at our insistence, he offered to forward us to the Terms of Service Compliance Department where they would be able to perform a complete website scan.
The Terms of Service Compliance representative was also confident that there was nothing malicious in the site files. “Sucuri exaggerates to sell their software,” he said, “but I can scan the sites to be sure.” We remained on hold while the sites were scanned and the representative then gave the sites a clean bill of health.
Phew! False alarm, we thought. Surely Bluehost is a reliable expert.
Fast forward 2 weeks later and all 3 sites have been deactivated by Bluehost’s Terms of Service Compliance Department due to malicious code.
Wow, thanks Bluehost!
Later that night on chat with the Terms of Service Compliance Department, we’re told there is a “very extensive and nasty hack” infecting the site files. While clean up is the most important priority, we had to ask how such an “extensive” hack could be overlooked in the scan they performed a couple of weeks ago and were told, “No scan will find everything.”
Sure, we believe that to be true, but how could a thorough scan not raise a single red flag if there was an extensive infection? Not a single one! Was the scan even performed as we were told it was? The representative was unable to say how that was possible. He just repeated that no scan would find everything and there was an extensive hack that needed to be addressed.
We’re calling Bullsh*t on that one. If a scan was actually performed, the malicious code, even a portion of it, would have been discovered and could have been addressed immediately. We would have avoided being blindsided on a Sunday afternoon.
Mistakes happen, right? Is this enough of a reason to leave Bluehost forever?
We believe so. We need to be able to trust the businesses we work with. But beyond this incident, we’ve been increasingly disappointed with Bluehost. We used to contact their technical support and receive great service. The representatives were nice, knowledgeable and helpful. However, in the past year, the hold times, whether by phone or chat, have become outrageous. We have literally sat on hold for over 45 minutes. Who has time for that?
Our decision to move away from Bluehost has been a long time coming. We’ve spent a lot of time researching alternative options.
We work with a lot of small business owners who rely on our honest recommendations and we never want to steer them in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, that’s already happened since we’ve recommended Bluehost to clients for quite a while. No more!
We now recommend SiteGround. We’ve been incredibly happy with them! Because we want to leave Bluehost entirely, we’re offering to migrate any of our current website management clients who are hosted with Bluehost to SiteGround for free. (Update: We migrated all of our website management clients at the time of this post and are no longer offering the migration as a free service.)
If you’re worried about losing money on hosting services you’ve already paid Bluehost for, not to worry! Bluehost will refund you for unused services. (Update: Bluehost no longer issues refunds for unused hosting time. They will only refund if you cancel services within 30-days of purchasing a hosting account.) Click here to read their policy.
If you’re not a current Type B Studio website management client but you’re with Bluehost and you want to leave them too, feel free to contact us. We’re glad to talk to you about options to help you move as well.
The Winning Combination is:
- Sucuri for malware cleanup & security
- Siteground for secure hosting
- Type B Studio for professional website management
Have questions? Get in touch!