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Old 06-03-2019, 07:31 PM
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Changing site hosting, Pros & Cons of BlueHost


I've had a thread about wanting to leave GoDaddy for another site to host a business.
The most immediate reason is because the webmail e-mail accounts they provide with
each domain have become unreliable in sending & recieving e-mails. Whereas GoDaddy
would assist us before, now they just want to sell us Office365 e-mail, so we've about had it.

BlueHost looks like our best alternative. However, GoDaddy says their plentiful e-mail
accounts will basically have similar pitfalls. I asked BlueHost & they responded:

"It is true that emails based on shared environments are the most prone to issues cause by that environment.
When emails use the server IP address to send emails, they share that ip address with all email accounts on the platform.

We do offer support for these emails types..."

Has anyone had problems with BlueHost's e-mail accounts?
What are BlueHost's pros & cons as a host?
Are we jumping out of GDs frying pan into the BH fire?
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:03 PM
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Warning


Note, not specific to bluehost, but migrating a site of any scale should not be done lightly.

One of my IT customers moved a large site between hosts and a minor shift in some part of the infrastructure of the site forced on them by the new host blew every scrap of web placement and indexing "cred" they had. They went from top 3 organic search hits on google to 4-5 pages down the list. They also had to spend months fixing broken links. The host even had their support people do the migration, and claimed it must be a problem with their site coding.

The URL went from XXXX.coolblogsite.com to ZZZ.coolblogsite.com even I can see this is gonna break things, and I am not a web guy, but the host swore up and down everything would work fine.
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Old 06-04-2019, 02:48 AM
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Seriously though, why not switch to Office365 or GSuite? Outages with Gmail or Outlook are pretty rare, and if it's for your business, isn't it worth the expense to have good deliverability and reliability?

Your email service does not have to be tied to your hosting service. In fact, I can think of no good reason to use either BlueHost or GoDaddy for your email besides cost savings. GSuite is just $5/user/month. If reliable email for your employees isn't worth $5/mo/person... why bother having email at all? =/
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:18 AM
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Thanks for the advice so far.

What questions should I be asking BlueHost or any alternate hosts we choose?
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Old 06-04-2019, 12:56 PM
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What sort of business is it? What's on your website, and what does it run on (Wordpress, etc.)? If you can link to it, great. If you can't discuss the specifics, just talk about the technical stuff... what you're running it on, how much space does everything take up, how many visitors you get, how much bandwidth you use, what is your current and max budget, etc.

BlueHost and GoDaddy are usually budget hosts for small business websites. They're fine for just getting started, or if you're a small restaurant or studio or whatever, but they're rarely the best choice because your site is just clumped together with dozens of other ones on shared, not-guaranteed resources. Their support are not really there to give you meaningful comparisons with other budget hosts; they're generally not paid or trained well enough to fight for your $10/mo.

IMO a better choice for small businesses, that usually won't break the bank, is using a slightly better host for your website (such as Dreamhost's DreamPress for Wordpress sites or putting it behind Cloudflare, whoever your host)
+ Gsuite for email
+ Mailchimp or similar for newsletters, so that your mass mailings aren't interfering with your transactional or personal contact emails

Total for all that is usually still like <$50/mo. Not sure if that's feasible for your budget.

Using an email account on a shared server to send out newsletters by CCing everyone is pretty much the *worst* practice possible, and if that's what your business (or the other ones on your host) are doing, then yeah, it could cause deliverability problems for everyone. One of the benefits of using Gmail is that nobody can afford to blacklist Gmail's servers, but that really shouldn't be an excuse for doing it, because Gmail also has its own internal limits and will start bouncing back emails as undeliverable if you exceed it.

Last edited by Reply; 06-04-2019 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 06-09-2019, 10:53 PM
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We're using Wordpress. I don't have the stats at the moment, but BlueHost & GoDaddy are quite sufficient for are needs & our rather modest budget. If it were up to me, I'd just pay for Office365 or a similar professional e-mail. However, the partner makes the decisions & wants to move out of GoDaddy, and it looks like BlueHost is the best option.

We don't send out newsletters or mass e-mailings?
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by FriarTed View Post
We're using Wordpress. I don't have the stats at the moment, but BlueHost & GoDaddy are quite sufficient for are needs & our rather modest budget. If it were up to me, I'd just pay for Office365 or a similar professional e-mail. However, the partner makes the decisions & wants to move out of GoDaddy, and it looks like BlueHost is the best option.

We don't send out newsletters or mass e-mailings.
We don't send out newsletters or mass e-mailings. The ? should not have been there.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:04 AM
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Again...

What questions should I be asking BlueHost or any alternate hosts we choose?
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:09 AM
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All I can say on the matter is GoDaddy is the trash host of the internet. I left them before due to shady pricing practices, and I would never go back. As a designer who has to deal with other people's hosting purchases, Go Daddy's documentation and customer service is the worst I've encountered on the internet. I've not worked on a single website tied to them that doesn't result in me having to wait on a phone call or in tech chat to figure out some technical issue of theirs.

There's not much questions to ask, really. Review the Terms of Service and just go with the provider that has actually good service reviews. BlueHost is one of the better ones.
  #10  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FriarTed View Post
Again...

What questions should I be asking BlueHost or any alternate hosts we choose?
Sorry, missed your responses earlier.

I agree with Macca26, there's not really much to ask them beyond what's on their feature pages. First-level support is unlikely to be able to give you useful information beyond what's already on their website, and even less likely to be able to give you a fair comparison to other hosts.

At the lower end, Wordpress hosting is like the used car marketplace, most hosts are shitty but adequate enough most of the time.

Features that are worth looking for (you normally don't have to ask, just look on their info pages):
  • A caching solution -- basically a way to instantly serve up pre-generated copies of your pages
  • A backup/recovery solution
  • A "managed" server so you never have to worry about OS/Apache/etc. updates
  • "Jetpack" support included; it's an addon made by the company behind Wordpress that adds many useful features
  • Good support (you really only know this ahead of time via word of mouth)

My personal choice would be Dreamhost's DreamPress packages, which includes built-in caching and backup/recovery along with very good support. Caching is great especially on a shared server, because it means your site can be much, much faster even under heavy load on the shared server. This affects conversion rates and SEO. Their backup process is a little more convoluted, requiring you to set up a billing plan with their cloud storage service, but that only takes a few minutes. They've been around for a decade or longer, and are usually very responsive and knowledgeable in their support.

I considered A2Hosting as well with their LiteSpeed cache, but they were hacked earlier this year and took a week to recover services -- a death sentence for many businesses.

Pantheon.io is another good one, but it's targeted more for developers than small businesses. It's fast and has a great staging workflow, but if you're never going to use that (or don't know what it is), it's overkill and harder to use than DreamPress.

BlueHost's offerings seem fine too but don't seem to be cached. They're on SSDs, which is an improvement, but probably still won't be as fast.

I keep mentioning caching and speed because one of the big downsides of shared Wordpress hosting (which is what all of them are unless you're paying several hundred dollars a month) is that they're usually really slow during peak traffic times unless they're cached. It makes a big difference to your users (and anyone in your business trying to edit things).
  #11  
Old 06-10-2019, 10:23 PM
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GoDaddy hosts my domain, and forwards some emails addresses. There's an email service that I pay for separately (FastMail) and my husband buys server space somewhere.

I'd like to get off of GoDaddy, and haven't mostly because I don't want to deal with figuring out how to. I'm watching this thread with interest.

(I do not have any trouble with either my email or my website. Some systems don't like my domain name (____.US) but I've never had an issue due to the underlying provider. My website is extremely minimal, most of it isn't publicly indexed, and I just use it as a giant "dropbox" to give other people access to stuff.)
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
GoDaddy hosts my domain, and forwards some emails addresses. There's an email service that I pay for separately (FastMail) and my husband buys server space somewhere.

I'd like to get off of GoDaddy, and haven't mostly because I don't want to deal with figuring out how to. I'm watching this thread with interest.

(I do not have any trouble with either my email or my website. Some systems don't like my domain name (____.US) but I've never had an issue due to the underlying provider. My website is extremely minimal, most of it isn't publicly indexed, and I just use it as a giant "dropbox" to give other people access to stuff.)
So what are you dissatisfied with? If nothing, maybe you should just save yourself the headaches and stay

As a web dev, I dislike GoDaddy because they're big enough to be assholes and bullies, but if it's working for ya and you're OK with their ethical stances, well... they do the job, and maybe you have bigger battles to fight?

As for moving to another host, the difficulty depends on what kind of website you currently have. If it's a Wordpress or another similar site, many hosts will do the whole move for you so you don't have to worry about any of it. Just pay, and a day or two later you're on a new host (usually).

For my random private sites, I like nearlyfreespeech.net because they charge by usage, and my bill for the year can come out to like four or five dollars. But that's for my *extremely* minimal websites that I only use every once every few months. The downside is that they don't do any of the fancy managed stuff like Dreamhost does... you have to really know what you're doing.

If you have specific gripes about GoDaddy or their service, tell us and maybe we can find you a better alternative. Otherwise, well, a lot of web hosting these days is commoditized and the differences between any two hosts isn't very noticeable unless you're an IT professional.
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Old 06-10-2019, 10:55 PM
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Oh, my only issue with GoDaddy is their ethical stance and that they are assholes and bullies. I've never had a problem with their service. That's why I'm still there. {shrug} I just feel a little bad about it.

My website is even simpler than WordPress, it's literally some hand-written HTML on the home page, with a link to a paper I wrote, and some completely unformatted, unindexed links to some other files. It's just a handy place to post that paper, and to share photos I took of an event (that are too bulky to email) and ... I'm sure I could re-do the whole thing from scratch. It's getting the new domain host to point to the right places that I'm worried about. (And I'm much more worried about the email working smoothly than about the website. I also have a DropBox account and a free Google drive. If I were more proactive about moving stuff on and off, I could "host" all my content on DropBox and/or Google.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:19 PM
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The Dropbox/Google solution works if you have, say, a few dozen visitors a month. Once it reaches a few hundred/a few thousand people a month, Dropbox and Google will both throttle your downloads/pause your account until the next week/month (can't remember which). Not sure how popular your stuff is.

Could Arxiv or Medium.com or Academia.edu be an option for you? Not sure what kind of paper you're posting, but those could take some of the hassle out of the process.

The rest of what you mentioned has to do with a DNS move, which is (as you said) making sure the new domain host points to the right places. That is a little more convoluted, and usually involves cloning your existing stuff to a new server first and then switching the DNS to the new host. The DNS system is how other people's web browsers know where to go when they type in "puzzlegal.us". It usually takes 24-48 hours for the change to spread across the world. But if you have the same content on both the old and new hosts, it doesn't really matter which one they happen to go to, they'll see the same thing. And after a couple days, they should all end up at the new host.

Your email probably won't be affected because both the old and the new DNS entries would still point to the same place (FastMail). That's one of the benefits of separating your web hosting from your email hosting.

I really dislike GoDaddy because of their (utter lack of) ethics. If you're serious about wanting to move, PM me and I'll help you do it for free.

Last edited by Reply; 06-10-2019 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 06-10-2019, 11:41 PM
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Thanks -- I may have 3 visitors a month in a hot month. My website needs are extremely basic.
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Old 06-11-2019, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks -- I may have 3 visitors a month in a hot month. My website needs are extremely basic.
Heh, just donate a few bucks a month to some organization that you think is actually doing good work Or say something nice to someone once a month. GoDaddy karma is easily offsettable
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