18 Comments

  1. Gaurav Tiwari
    · Reply

    Nothing new. They have been doing this for a long time now. Take this video as an example: https://youtu.be/eqQORI5Ehd0?t=15

    Due to my interest in WordPress/Hosting I have seen this ad several times on YouTube (which uses Adsense to show ads) and Hotstar. (WP logo has been deformed as well.)

    I also remember an ad published by BlueHost India in TimesOfIndia Newspaper’s front page with a clear WordPress logo and tagline saying that it has been recommended by WordPress.org since 2006.

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  2. Dumitru Brinzan
    · Reply

    They had those affiliate links for a few years to measure the impact.
    So if it was $20,000 / month in 2007 and then it was $40,000 / month in 2009, they can estimate the benefit of the link based on traffic to that page.

    Matt claiming that he is the one responsible for what goes on that page, is basically an open invitation to be “friends” with him.

    Oh well. Nothing new 🙂

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    • Dave Warfel
      · Reply

      “They had those affiliate links for a few years to measure the impact.”

      How do you know what their purpose was for using affiliate links? Were you a part of the team making those decisions? Did you speak with people who were?

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  3. Anthony Hortin
    · Reply

    “Bluehost, for example, does the best job I’m aware of in keeping the largest number of WPs on the latest version”

    What kind of a lame benchmark is that, for being listed on the page! So, because they host a large number of WP sites they deserve significantly preferential treatment to other hosts!? Bluehost is consistently one of the worst hosts around and recommending them to new WordPress users only does them a disservice. It’s no surprise that Bluehost is owned by EIG. Just ask anyone who’s been in the WP community for a few years and who’s dealt with client websites, just what they think of EIG owned website hosts.

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  4. Dave Warfel
    · Reply

    “Bluehost removed the ad proactively…”

    Interesting use of the word “proactively.” 🤔

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  5. Miroslav Glavic
    · Reply

    So, as of me typing this comment, we have three hosts:

    Bluehost – EIG owned company.
    Dreamhost – Not EIG owned company.
    Siteground – Not EIG owned company. Has sponsored WordCamps, including WordCamp Toronto.

    I don’t think any EIG owned company should be on the list in the first place.

    What about GoDaddy? They have sponsored WordCamps in the past. They even hired a former WCTO organizer.

    I have used GoDaddy in the past due to their sponsoring WordCamp Toronto in the past.

    I think hosting companies who contribute to the WordPress Community should be listed on the page, that are not EIG owned companies.

    By WordPress Community, I don’t mean just Canada/USA.

    Once a year rotate the list, or twice a year. Include some smaller companies too.

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    • David
      · Reply

      Worth adding: Endurance invested in Automattic in 2014. That bit of information seems to always be excluded from these sorts of articles.

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    • Robin M.
      · Reply

      People are always quick to lambaste Bluehost and EIG (which I personally think has more to do with it being a large corporation buying up hosting companies than anything else) but rarely do I see them bragging about the excellent hosting providers that they have found, unless of course they are posting their own affiliate link on a forum or in a discussion group on social media. I would like to see some of the Bluehost Bashers tell us who they use for hosting and how many clients then have on that hosting.

      As I have stated in my own post below, I currently have 22 of my own sites and 85 client sites on Bluehost (and had another 40 on Bluehost since 2007 that are no longer active as the businesses either closed or the individual has died) and the service has been excellent.

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      • Bianca
        · Reply

        People are always quick to lambaste Bluehost and EIG (which I personally think has more to do with it being a large corporation buying up hosting companies than anything else

        Not necessarily. A few years ago I used to be a happy reseller for a hosting company that got aquired by EIG. As from the moment of acquisition, things took a turn for the worse. And not in the slightest way; A lot of downtime, no responsive support anymore etc. I remember reading a lot of similar experiences from others that went through the same frustration as me. So it’s not just that EIG is a big company, I think.

        There is a lot of pain amongst ex clients. Maybe EIG cleaned up their act by now, I don’t know. When I see a hosting provider that is owned by EIG, I avoid it because of my experience with them, not because it’s a big company.

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  6. Ronnie
    · Reply

    Thanks for keeping the conversation going, Sarah 🙂 You ended with a call for more guidelines before opening up applications for hosts to be included on this page, but I would advocate for there to be no hosts listed on that page. There are just too many and there’s no good way to keep up – especially when you consider an increase in users wanting (and needing) to host their websites in their home countries. Best I can tell, only one of the listed hosts has managed WordPress hosting options outside of the US.

    Instead, maybe the page could have some helpful content on the different types of hosts and what to look for?

    Also of note, these same Bluehost ads date back to at least May 2018 on Facebook, with several active campaigns currently running: https://www.facebook.com/ads/library/?active_status=all&ad_type=all&country=ALL&view_all_page_id=235969756424648&sort_data%5Bdirection%5D=desc&sort_data%5Bmode%5D=relevancy_monthly_grouped

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  7. Harald Baldr
    · Reply

    It should be noted that Bluehost is owned by Endurance Internet Group (EIG).

    Why is this noteworthy when talking about anything involving Bluehost, EIG, WordPress and Automattic?

    EIG is an investor in Automattic.

    Follow the money.

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  8. Torsten Landsiedel
    · Reply

    It is not just about the hosting page. On the download page there is a block above the Download button showing those four recommendations (Bluehost, Dreamhost, Siteground and WordPress.com), even on every locale page.
    For example: https://de.wordpress.org/download/

    This page is not editable, so there is no recommendation possible based on the locale.

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  9. Juergen Klein
    · Reply

    The most unfortunate aspect of the WordPress hosting recommendations is that mostly newbies will use this guidance.
    If you read any board or group specific to WP hosting none of the listed hosts actually satisfies users’ long-term requirements. All they achieve is a “suboptimal” (to remain friendly in tone) introduction to WordPress and its complex server demands.
    With Google Pagespeed becoming a ranking signal the frustration with the recommended hosts will only increase.

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  10. Shawn
    · Reply

    I’ve used all three of those hosts as well as godaddy, and seen their services degrade as they got bigger. I find this to be true of other hosts as well. I’m using a relatively small host at the moment and get exactly the service in all respects, that I aim for– I figure I have a few more years with them until they get too big for their own britches. Deploying wordpress is a breeze no matter what the size of the company is, or how many times it gets used. That’s a useless metric these days.

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  11. Sally G
    · Reply

    I would never use just one source for recommendations (though I have found wpbeginner to have a lot of worthwhile “best of” articles along with how-tos, I will check elsewhere and certainly click through at least a few links before making a final decision).

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  12. Richard
    · Reply

    I find the recommended hosting page and Matt‘s reasoning for keeping Bluehost absolutely absurd. Clients’ and personal experience have been terrible or under average for WordPress hosting … this is 2021! The market has expanded.
    Maybe we are those few percent, but there has been so many far better experiences with other hosts besides Bluehost.

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  13. Robin M.
    · Reply

    I cannot speak to anyone else’s experience with Bluehost, but I have been using them for more than a decade for my own sites and for client sites; currently I have 22 of my own sites and 85 client sites on Bluehost shared hosting and I have had nothing but excellent service from them; I have rarely had any issues and when I have had issue their tech support has been responsive in 5 minutes or less and issues were resolved with the first contact.
    My clients are mostly individuals, small businesses, professional practices, and a few very large blogs. I do not have experience with their dedicated hosting, WP managed hosting, or large ecommerce hosting. But with the types of clients I work with their hosting has exceeded my expectations.

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