Bluehost.com Is Suspending Photographer Accounts

- - Websites

I’ve just heard from a photographer that bluehost.com is lying about the unlimited hosting and bandwidth they advertise on the front page and “they have placed a limit of 50,000 files” which mostly effects photographers using it for proofing.

“Bluehost is shutting down everything….website, blog, email until the owners remove enough of the files to be under their new limits.”

You can read reviews of the downhill slide in service (here).

There Are 30 Comments On This Article.

  1. Yes, I’ve experienced terrible things with Bluehost. I was definitely making use of the resources I paid for — but then things went bad, with down-times that lasted as long as 5 days.

    I had no choice but to move everything to a new host – leaving my 2 year pre-pay with Bluehost. (I’d rather lose some money than have horrific down-times.)

    Contacting them regarding these issues made me realize that they are definitely not a web host for people who use resources, check their mail regularly, or depend on their website as a revenue source.

    Bluehost is for people who don’t know, or don’t care, if their website is up, or down.

  2. Jennifer

    I nearly went with Bluehost a few months back, but encountered issues with widgets from my mac website (graphics I had weren’t showing up properly and they said that they just weren’t compatible). So…I bailed and got my money back. How relieved am I??

  3. Your title of this post is very inacurate. Bluehost warned that photographer 2 weeks before they shut down his account. Bluehost isn’t lying about anything. They do have unlimited space, unlimited transfer, b ut they do have a max file count of 50,000. I’ve been with them for 2 years and my file count is barely 31,000. To have a file count of 50,000 is tremendous. Bluehost has never been a problem for me, and I will continue to use them until we get large enough to need a dedicated hosting account. For those who are proofing, you should really be on a dedicated server to begin with.

    I mentioned this on dwf, but I guarantee if enough photographers rally, then they will raise that cap.

    • Hostgator gives 250,000 inodes-5 times that of BlueHost. No one will ever reach 250,000 but as shown in the above example, 50,000 is a limit which can be reached without that much difficulty.

      • @photoTristan, 250k is just 50k x 5 … so I wouldn’t say “no one will reach it” … you’ll just hit in 10 years instead of 2

        • 250k is just a recommendation with HG, not a policy. They just recommend you not have that much but guess what? They won’t cut you off if you do.

    • @nick haskins,
      Where is the max file count listed?
      It’s not just 1 photographer so I’m not sure why you think this is “inacurate.”

      • @A Photo Editor, what up Rob!
        In the tmp folder, there is a file named “userquota.” Inside that file are the numbers of files in different folders. You can either tally the numbers, or just ask Bluehost through chat. IMO, the title of the post is misleading because it’s stating that photographers are targeted, and their accounts are being shut down on a whim. With that being said, I have to give you props on a headliner that grabs attention, albeit it may not be the whole truth.

        • @Nick,
          Hey Nick. I meant where is it listed when you sign up for an account.

          I sometimes write the headlines thinking that people will google certain words so in this case I felt like photographers should be warned if not by bluehost then by me that there actually is a limit.

          • @A Photo Editor, totally understood Rob. I do think it’s important to note that there is a cap. However, I also think it’s important to note that you will not reach that cap for several years, and even then the cap may be expanded as Bluehost grows. I am all about giving fair warning, but we also have to be fair and evaluate both sides of the story.

    • @nick haskins,

      Save your B.S for the courtroom. This is clearly a tort. They can change their policy anytime they want but it doesnt mean the policy change will not bring about legal action. Hey guys….some of you were sold a bill of goods and services without getting what you paid for. Lucky some of us are attorneys.

  4. In general, I think using a shared hosting account or a dedicated server for heavy proofing or long-term storage is no longer a “best practice” …

    Using cloud-based technologies (such as Amazon S3) is going to give you infinite storage capabilities and you’ll simply pay for what you use (like any utility). Plus, you never have to worry about upgrading hard drives, servers, etc.

  5. Why does anyone believe unlimited means unlimited? Nothing is ever unlimited. It’s naive to believe hosts when they say this is the case. These issues have been coming up for over 5 years now, that unlimited does not mean unlimited etc.

    In my experience, cheap hosts are just that .. cheap.

    @Erik Dungan, you are correct. The cloud is the way forward (if it is well managed). It has other issues, but on balance, seems a better bet. You pay for what you use and you are not tied to hardware that gets old.

  6. afashionshooter

    I have been with Bluehost for a couple years now – they are hosting my photo site, which now has a bunch of streaming video as well. They have been great. The site is always up, and when I call, a real and friendly person is on the phone within a few minutes to solve the problem. I’ve really had great service. Hopefully it will stay that way.

  7. leavingbluehost

    I signed up over a year ago, w/ the promise that they would house my 500,000 files… book cover images.. left a site that was already functioning to do this based upon their ‘sales pitch’. A few months ago they told me that I had a lot of images in one directory, it was causing issues, so I spent a month modifying it so they would be split up into multiple sub directories. I did that, now guess what. Sorry, you have more than 50,000 files, I know we told it was ok before, but you agreed to a terms of service saying we could change our policies anytime we want, and we decided to tell them. Thanks a lot jerks. All because their backup system is taking a couple more hours than normal for backups.

  8. Bad bluehost

    I have been with bluehost for 5 years. We have had many issues from the start. We were hacked twice. One time it was the whole box being hacked. This included all backups. The only backups we had were 4 months old. We were backing everything up on the server. (back up wizard) It took us weeks to redo our site.
    When blue host upgraded to unlimited I called them and asked if our site was included since we started out with only 5 gig. They said yes we would see a change. I asked what unlimited meant? They said I could put any amount of files on the server, they also said most people would never take advantage of this. But if the sever became too full they would just move accounts to another box. I didn’t really expect unlimited to be unlimited. But I also did not think they would wait until I hosted 3 websites (domains) and tell me they were suspending my account because I had too many picture files. I build websites and have put at least 75 people on bluehost. When I asked if they could keep my site up until I could transfer the files they told me I could only have accsess to the cpanel to use my ftp. I have always paid on time and have tried to be understanding. The Sales manager was rude and told me I miss- pronounced his name and if I didn’t like the term go some where else.
    Last week they dumped all my data bases with a certain user name.
    I have lost money with bluehost. I will no longer refer anyone to them. I think they are not honest anymore.

  9. I have been hit by bluehost file cap, I have (had) 355,000 images as i do event photography. they quoted the T&C in an e-mail, but when I checked the T&C from the link on the front page there was no mention.

    I asked a number of questions of the abuse team (who live up to the name on the phone) and never got a response, i was then suspnded even though there were outstanding questions

    I then wanted to use FXP to simplify (and speed up) the transfer to a new host – FXP is server to server transfer – but they dont support that, so I have to download all 355,000 and then re-upload to the new host.

    The new host – justhost – have stated that their unlimited is that and that there is no limit, and have given me a temp ip address so I can get the site sorted and the files uploaded before I start the dns transfer, so the xfer will be seamless – which is rather essential for an e-commerce website

  10. FYI… their official stance now is that they *WILL NOT* deactivate you if you’re under 200,000… they’re just “encouraging” you to keep it under 50,000. That’s right… their new file count limit is 200,000.

    Also, if you do not understand the Internet enough to know the pros and cons — differences — between shared hosting and VPS, then you need to do a little homework before you start slamming a company for doing what they need to do to keep server performance reliable for the vast, vast majority of their customers who don’t have anywhere close to 200,000 files in their accounts. That’s ridiculous anyway.

    I have a hosting account with them… a Joomla install, and three active WordPress blogs and I’m not even at 30,000 files. If you’re a photographer that has half a million files in your account; stop being a cheap-skate and go spend another $15-25 a month and get yourself a much more reliable VPS.

  11. I run a photography business. I don’t know if they have been sued for false advertizing or not. A limit on file number is for all practical purposes a limit on size. I got the 50,000 warning. Bluehost was good a few years ago but they expanded hired a bunch of people. Tech support is not in the drain. Their FTP service no longer works. Their answer to me was use another FTP program; Nothing but problems last few years. This is a classic case of a good company selling out for profits now. A few years ago I recommended this service to friends. No more I’m getting out. It’s just going to take some major work to transfer.

    • @Steve,

      “Their FTP service no longer works.”

      Are you on crack?

      There is nothing wrong with their FTP service.

  12. VIDEO EDITOR

    Bluehost will take your money thats about it, I also do photographic and video editing I also called and asked before I started using their servers to do FTP. SURE NO PROBLEM GO AHEAD SOUNDS GOOD AND blah blah blah. I had my customers upload their videos files and you know USING the website to conduct business, I received a notice yesterday saying I had 14 days to remove all the material…what a deal..I have no idea what I am going to do with all my material that took me months to setup. I also recommended bluehost to a lot of people….NOW ALL I CAN SAY IS STAY AWAY FROM BLUEHOST!!!

    MY ADVICE IS TO STAY AWAY FROM BLUEHOST IF YOU WANT TO USE THE INTERNET FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

    I NOW HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO MY BIGGEST CLIENT THAT WE HAVE TO STOP THE PRODUCTION UNTIL I CAN FIND ANOTHER WEBHOSTING OR FTP CLIENT.

    BLUEHOST WILL ABSOLUTELY LIE TO YOU. I ASKED BOTH SUPPORT AND THE ABUSE DEPARTMENTS IF I COULD USE THE SERVERS FOR FTP OF LARGE FILES AND KEEP THE FILES UNTIL I COULD DOWNLOAD THEM, AND THEY BOTH TOLD ME SURE…NOW ITS SORRY ABOUT THAT YOUR DONE IN 14 DAYS.

    THE KISSY FACE LASTED ONLY A MONTH, NOW ITS YOUR A SORRY BAS*^&% GET OFF OUR SITE!!!!

    DO NOT USE BLUEHOST FOR ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    CAUSE RIGHT NOW I AM TOTALLY SCREWED, AND OF COURSE RIGHT WHEN I NEEDED THEM THE MOST AFTER YEARS OF PAYING AND RECOMMENDED BLUEHOST TO OTHERS. I GET THE OLE BOOT OUT THE DOOR.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!STAY AWAY FROM BLUEHOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • VIDEO EDITOR

      OH YEAH AND WITH 6 MONTHS OF PREPAID SERVCE LEFT….FORGOT TO MENTION THAT…… BLUEHOST NEVER MENTIONED ANYTHING ABOUT A REFUND, HOW KIND.

    • @VIDEO EDITOR,

      “I also do photographic and video editing I also called and asked before I started using their servers to do FTP.”

      You asked them WHAT? If you could use FTP? You can use FTP with Bluehost; that is no problem at all.

      Bluehost is NOT a file storage dump, though. They’re a webhost.

      If they suspended your account, you violated their Terms of Service.

      Cry more.

      • @Some Guy,
        Bluehost is NOT a file storage dump, though. They’re a webhost.

        YOUR RIGHT ON THE DUMP PART, THOUGH
        Yeah your right absolutely I guess I just need to pay them money for nothing….whats the point of being a hosting company if all they do is take my money and provide nothing in return. host a few pages yeah big deal just more blah blah blah…front page of blue host UNLIMITED HOSTING UNLIMTED FILE TRANSFER…FTP = FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL..UNLIMITED MEANS UNLIMITED NOT OH BUT ON SUNDAYS ONLY FOR 2 MINUTES AND TWICE ON MONDAY FOR THREE SECONDS….IS THAT WHEN YOU GET UNLIMITED FILE TRANSFER…
        This post must be a
        Blue Host employee obviously… which accounts for the attitude.

    • @Alex Brown,
      Yeah I have found a couple that will do what they say they will do. I found these two so far,
      HERES THE EMAIL REPLY.

      Unlimitedhostweb.com
      to me

      show details Sep 14 (3 days ago)

      Hi,
      yes you can do that. however please be sure that we do no allow our servers to be backup servers and not a place to store files.

      THIS IS THE EMAIL I SENT THEM
      On 10-Sep-09, at 5:20 AM, wrote:

      I am a video editor and I need a solution to my problem maybe you can help
      heres the deal.

      my clients have raw unedited video footage that they need to upload to my website so that I can download that footage and do the editing.

      sometimes that footage can be quite large, but heres the thing after I finish doing the editing I delete the files and start on the next project

      but i cant find anyone that has this ability. can you help me?

      I called these people here

      http://www.exclusivehosting.net/hosting/cp_demo.html

      and was told that I could do what I described above but get it in writing before you start…dont rely on a phone conversation…
      I TRIED THE PHONE CONVERSATION THING WITH BLUE HOST AND GOT CANCELED SO GET SOME PROOF BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING THESE DAYS.

  13. This is complete BS, I’ve been a customer of Bluehost for over 4 years and they have always had excellent services. As they grow, they seem to always on top of the game with the latest php and mysql available on the net. They have new ways of monitoring, but any shared hosting you get yourself signed up with will hold the same tactics. If you people are using high file counts, you should be paying for a VPS or dedicated account.

  14. Bluehost Is Evil

    While I see many posts raving about the positive customer service of Bluehost (of which I happen to agree) they are overshadowed by the horrible stories to the contrary. I am one of them.

    I am a web marketer and photographer. I happen to host the websites of some of my clients for free and I also have my own personal photographic website up on the same account. I’m moving all of them, over 50 websites, to Hostgator as we speak. I can assure you, this is no small task by any stretch of the imagination and it’s worth every minute to escape the ludicrous policies of Bluehost.

    About a year ago, one of my clients, an energy drink company, put some photos up on their website of a “hot barmaid” contest they sponsored at a local bar. There was no nudity in any of the photos but one of them had a picture of a barmaid pouring beer down her chest. Nothing you wouldn’t see on MTV. They suspended my entire account, without ever calling or emailing me notice, due to “adult content” on the site. So, to get ALL of my websites back up, I had to log in, pull that photo, and beg them to turn on my account again.

    The second time they shut off my account was when I was at the DMV renewing my drivers license. My phone rings from a client asking why none of their emails are working. Unable to give them a quick answer, I had to tell them it would have to wait for a few hours for when I got back home. As soon as I hung up my phone, it rings again from a different client asking why their website was down. Realizing this was no coincidence I tried to pull up my website on my phone and it was down too. I called Bluehost and they told me my account had been suspended AGAIN for adult content. Inquiring what it could be, it was from one of my client websites that I had been hosting for over a year. Their “adult content” that was so offensive was that they manufactured stages for gentlemen’s clubs. That’s right, they were a stage design company who happened to cater to the adult industry…no nude photos on their website, no porn, no nothing. Just photos of stages and it was deemed as “adult content” to the point of Bluehost turning my account off without notice.

    The third time was two weeks ago. Similar stories as above but this time they shut my account down due to an “accident”. Nobody, including the supervisor I screamed at, could tell me why my account was shut off for half of a day. That was when I decided to do a migration to HostGator.