Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, November 14, 2021

Nearly a month ago, I switched hosting companies for this blog from BlueHost to HostGator, due to BlueHost’s increasingly unreliable service, i.e. downtimes of at least several minutes throughout each day.

Turns out all that downtime wasn’t the only thing BlueHost was screwing up:

I noticed right away a speed boost in page rendering under HostGator, mainly in the WordPress backend — posting, in particular, went from taking nearly a minute to just a couple of seconds. I was less aware that this slowdown was affecting the entire site. But it was, and the traffic increase I experienced immediately after moving to HostGator’s servers proves it: Discounting a couple of atypical spikes during that time (the result of linkages from bigger and badder blogs than this one), daily visits have risen a good 20 percent.

There’s no other reason for this to have happened. Referral source for that traffic continues to be search engine (basically all Google) queries. The only conclusion I can reach is that BlueHost’s servers were crapping out even more than I’d suspected, including taking several seconds too long to render pages, resulting in potential visitors quitting a page before they could view it.

So BlueHost was costing me traffic pretty much every second of every day. Bad enough, but it gets worse:

My Akismet filter would regularly contain a cache of a few thousand comment-spams, with a couple hundred getting caught per day. I didn’t think this was so unusual, even for a fairly small site like this one; in fact, I practically bragged about it.

But in the three-plus weeks I’ve been on HostGator, that Akismet spamhole has steadily shrunk. As of this writing, it stands at 159 saved entries. Maybe a half-dozen are added per day.

Again, there’s no other way to account for this significant drop, other than the switching of hosts. I can’t quite figure out why BlueHost would be such a spam magnet, but it is. The only positive is that it didn’t materially matter, in that the vast majority of that caught spam was indeed caught, and didn’t appear on the blog. Still, I’d just as soon not have all that cruft punch through in the first place, even if it does land in the Akismet queue.

So, in a nutshell: BlueHost not only significantly depressed traffic to this blog, it also put more strain on its backend by attracting more comment-spam toward it. Quite the combination in webhosting incompetence.

I pretty much never revisit negative customer-service episodes, especially when they’re primarily all about me; I’d said my peace in my previous post on the matter. But discovering that BlueHost’s service was this bad, even worse than I originally thought, practically compelled me to write this follow-up. To state that “BlueHost sucks” doesn’t cover it. I had already resolved to not use them again for myself, nor to recommend them to anyone, on any level. In light of all this, that resolution is hearby underlined, with extra emphasis.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/14/2008 11:48:57 AM
Category: Bloggin', Business
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  1. [...] to address this question: Do some Web hosts attract more comment/trackback spam than others? Costa says yes: My Akismet filter would regularly contain a cache of a few thousand comment-spams, with a couple [...]

    Pingback by dustbury.com » Some ducks sit differently — 11/15/2008 @ 11:06:37 AM

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