Confirmed... Bluehost has reconfigured PHP and switched to Blue lock on all accounts less than Pro level

I have one client who has a Bluehost Prime account and it is crashing like crazy. I finally got Bluehost to admit that all accounts were migrated to a new configuration that is ONLY optimized for WordPress and using any other CMS is at your own risk. They had the nerve to tell me to upgrade to a VPS to solve it. Be warned... EIG companies are all likely migrating all levels at some point in the future which will render C5 unusable in essence. Hostmonster says they have no intention at this point, but as an EIG sister of Bluehost it's only matter of time. Pro accounts are currently fine, but they won't tell me the truth about when/if they'll eventually modify them too. Any suggestions to migrate to?

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CMSDeveloper replied on at Permalink Reply

Yeh, budget hosters can turn from good to bad overnight.

You are not the only one complaining:

Did see on WHG some good reviews for

They (WHG) also link to a promo discount page:
Not bad specs. i did see.
Softaculous app installer.
Free SSL Cert.

captshaw replied on at Permalink Reply
I left BLUEHOST 4 months ago and I am much happier now.
Gondwana replied on at Permalink Reply
Bluehost is currently one the the officially-recommended c5 hosts:

Presumably they are paying to be listed on Portland Labs' site. Regardless, perhaps this arrangement needs to be re-evaluated.
Gondwana replied on at Permalink Reply
Further to the above, when we click the 'Bluehost' link from the c5 site, we supposedly go to Bluehost's c5 affiliate track (check the link URL). However, the resulting page mentions Wordpress six times and concrete5 zero times.
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
Yep, in light of this post we are reevaluating this relationship.

Can you explain more about what this "Blue Lock" means, @barkingtuna?
barkingtuna replied on at Permalink Reply
I wish I knew... it is what they are calling their new PHP configuration. I actually got more information from a Hostmonster tech because, being an EIG sister company, I called to see if they were going to screw with the accounts as well and they said no. When he asked further, he confirmed that Bluehost made a clear decision to, on all accounts less than Pro, reconfigure the server environment to be optimized solely for WordPress and that all other CMS's were at your own risk. If you'd like to PM me, I will give you access to my client's Bluehost Prime account that is experiencing these issues so you can see the environment better.
andrew replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks; Franz is on top of this and is going to be posting something to the blog/forums soon.
barkingtuna replied on at Permalink Reply 2 Attachments
Thanks for looking into it... this is what started my whole back and forth. This post has a screenshot of the PHP errors that I was getting. I hadn't logged in in over a month to her Bluehost account and when I did, the new interface was up. I actually was lucky enough to speak to a Tech who had a personal C5 website and he modified both the htaccess and php.ini files to try and see what was going on as well cleared cache from his end. He finally said that it has to be a PHP misconfiguration that he can't pinpoint. Turns out, it could be an intentional configuration that C5 doesn't play well with...
frz replied on at Permalink Reply

Well they're not on our budget hosting page now. ;)

I do know that EIG was a major investor in WordPress's last round.
I know they bought up BlueHost along with so many others before that.

If you have an existing concrete5 site with them and they've somehow changed configuration to break it on you, please do yell at them till they fix it. If you're getting nowhere, pm me details.
tjbphoto replied on at Permalink Reply
Morning all,
I'm having a similar problem.
I've been with Iomart since the mid 90s who became Easyspace on the hosting side. For the last 12 months I've found that editing has been really hit and miss.
I changed to C5 a year ago because my JS wasn't showing up. It took them 12 months to agree it was their fault and recommended C5.
They now tell me that all their security locks are keeping me out as they " think " I'm a hacker. They now recommend a VPS but more money to push on a client.
When I do the rounds of the low budget hosting companies and there are hundreds of them, they all say you need a VPS with C5.
I strongly believe it's just a way of getting more money. After all, it wasn't a problem when I first started.
Thanks for listening.
barkingtuna replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks Franz.... it's really frustrating to have put such trust in Bluehost to have them indiscriminately alter the environment in a way that plays havoc with an otherwise stable C5 install. I'm a small fish in a big bond, but collectively I have probably 30 sites hosted between a half dozen Bluehost and Hostmonster Pro level accounts and this single "Prime" level account is currently the ONLY one that they've reconfigured to be hostile to C5. If you have any information on the likelihood that they'll do the same to Pro accounts and when, that'd be tremendously helpful. Incidentally, the 8.3 install in production under a subdirectory of this account seems to be working fine with no errors until I try and turn on URL redirection. That's when this new .htacess policy of theirs comes into play and effectively breaks the site. Also, just as an FYI, Mojo Marketplace's install script does NOT work on Prime level and below with Bluehost but still does with Pro level accounts which further confirms that their environment reconfiguration is the culprit.
Steevb replied on at Permalink Reply
We have been using an britain based hosting company for over six years and have never had problem. Prices are very great, speed is phenomenal and options are amazing.

@frz, maybe add them to your list?
mesuva replied on at Permalink Reply
I have a client using Krystal, and I've seen nothing but good speeds and reliability.

Although I've not directly taken out hosting myself with Bluehost, I've had to administer quite a lot of accounts for clients. I've seen:
- cPanels that error randomly for days
- A server that has crashed completely and wasn't brought back online for 3-4 days
- customised cPanel setups that have talked about being 'old/deprecated' for years
- non-standard cPanel features, that appear to then encourage unnecessary plan upgrades
- PHP versions that are old and/or not working

So although they are cheap and can be quite reliable if you are lucky, I've personally encountered lots of problems. The SSL policy just seems backwards too.. I believe they offer free SSL certs for Wordpress installs, but not if you plan to use anything else.. you still need a static IP address and can't install the certs yourself.

We run 4 different reseller accounts through 4 different providers here in Australia, but regularly work with all sorts of setups across the world.

I tell you what works really well for us - a _standard_ cPanel setup on a regular Linux server (CentOS or CloudLinux or similar). I don't mind if servers want to brand their cPanel/WHM headers/footers, but as soon as they create their own heavily customised panel and want to lock common features, it's always ended up a mess.

I want:
- standard PHP setups
- the ability to log into WHM and cPanel and it just be a vanilla setup.
- SSD drives, or equivalent speeds
- the ability to write normal .htaccess rules
- a quality server backup integration (like R1Soft) installed
- support that I can ring and get someone within a few minutes, or at least will respond to email tickets within half an hour or less (and then be able to talk tech straight away)

One other recommendation for a US based hosting could be:
I have one client using them and it's been very standard and reliable hosting so far. I found them through Reddit recommendations.
enlil replied on at Permalink Reply
Bluehost. The hosting company that will bill you for features which their reps will tell you months later never even worked, right when you needed it to have been working. But don't get pissy and complain or ask for a refund. Your be ignored in regards to the money they stole from you and your server will begin running REALLY slow. End of rant!

EDIT: 5 months later and they still don't get it :l
barkingtuna replied on at Permalink Reply
That's a healthy mix of truth AND conspiracy theory... maybe it's aliens ;). Nevertheless, I totally agree that they have been and continue to go rapidly downhill in terms of performance and customer service and I am looking for an alternative for sure.
barkingtuna replied on at Permalink Reply
FYI... It looks like Hostmonster has now gone down this same f'ing rabbit hole and URL Redirection is not possible on new installs. They don't allow you to manually insert an htaccess file either and the site breaks. This is infuriating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
tamarosher replied on at Permalink Reply
Thanks for the referral to the VERROTECH web host that is currently supporting Concrete5. My current web host was chosen several years ago because it advertised as uniquely specializing in Concrete5. However, months after joining them, the service went down, such as websites and individual pages of websites being offline. Today, that web host purposefully has all my websites offline, and there's no way to get my money back.