Why should you care?
Because their more popular brands like Bluehost and HostGator grew from their affiliate program, not because the service is actually good. The service itself is bare bones with limited resources, a slow architecture with outdated technology, and there’s also a lack of innovation.
Other hosting companies are now adding LiteSpeed servers, NVMe storage, building cache plugins, using dedicated resources, and putting significant effort into improving what most people look for in a host (speed of course). The hosting companies owned by Newfold Digital are simply not up to par with hosts who’ve made a point to put their customers before profits.
1. Aggressive Affiliate Programs
I have a love/hate relationship with affiliate marketing.
On one hand, it’s been my career for about 10 years and has made me more money than any other job I’ve had by far.
On the other hand, it’s made online reviews completely biased even if places you wouldn’t expect. “Hosting recommendations” have become a joke because whoever is giving advice is usually associated with a company. And whichever company pays the highest commission is often the one they suggest. And Most times, the person has no clue what they’re talking about.
Newfold Digital brands have always had aggressive affiliate programs. Some people think they’re officially recommended by WordPress when Bluehost clearly pays (a lot) to be there.
The amount of “how to start a blog” YouTube videos/blog with Bluehost affiliate links is completely insane. Of course you need hosting to start a blog, but the sole focus of of most these articles is monetization. This often involves listing 10+ benefits of Bluehost, yet 0 cons.
Say it with me now: genuinely helpful should come before monetization.
2. Slow Infrastructure
These used to be standard, then LiteSpeed came along.
Apache servers are now one of the slowest servers compared to LiteSpeed and NGINX. You’re also more likely to run into CPU issues since they can’t handle as many simultaneous visitors with higher memory and CPU consumption. Which is why many hosts are turning to LiteSpeed.
When too many accounts share the same server, you may not have enough server resources to accommodate anything beyond a simple static website. Newfold Digital brands are known for packing people on their servers (likely an effort to reduce costs), but leads to slower load times.
No Cache Plugin
Many WordPress hosts developed their own cache plugin: SiteGround Optimizer, Cloudways Breeze, and even LiteSpeed Cache for LiteSpeed servers. To my knowledge, no Newfold Digital hosting brand has a cache plugin. This means you will either need to use a free cache plugin (which often doesn’t do a good job addressing core web vitals), or buy a premium cache plugin.
Most people know Bluehost/HostGator for their shared hosting. While this isn’t specific to Newfold (except for features included in your plan), shared hosting has a list of disadvantages like overcrowded servers, strict CPU limits, and limited resources for server, email, and storage.
3. “Unlimited” Is Not Unlimited
Newfold Digital brands like to use the word “unlimited.”
But if you go through their hosting agreements/policies, it’s not as unlimited as you think. In fact, it can be very limited.
For example, HostGator only includes 100,000 – 200,000 inodes (files) per cPanel on shared hosting plans which is low compared to other similar hosts. This can specifically be a problem if you planned on using their hosting for email as well, since the email files take up lots of inodes.
Even though they advertise unlimited websites on some plans, have clear limits and use CPU throttling if your account goes over them. How can Bluehost advertise unlimited storage with a max database size of 10GB? Just like most things that are too good to be true, so is “unlimited.”
4. Missing Network Status Pages
Bluehost, HostGator, and other NewFold Digital brands don’t have a network status page showing scheduled maintenance or downtime incidents.
This makes it near impossible to track uptimes especially since most “uptimes tests” mean nothing because they’re usually only testing 1 server/node. Thankfully, third-party sites like Downdetector have a profile for Bluehost and HostGator. Keep in mind they’re only based on user reports, which means there’s really no true way of knowing your uptimes on these hosts.
5. Low TrustPilot Ratings
TrustPilot is a decent place to get “less” biased reviews with the exception of companies like Hostinger who admitted to writing fake reviews.
Bluehost used to have a 1.5/5 star TrustPilot rating but it looks like Newfold Digital is taking their reviews more seriously. Many of these reviews are solicited by their company’s support team, but asking for reviews is common practice. I still wouldn’t call TrustPilot truly unbiased.
Here are a few hosting brands owned by Newfold Digital:
6. 3-Year Price Traps + High Renewals
Pricing structures are similar across these hosting companies.
You typically get 1-3 years of a cheaper intro price, then it renews at a higher price. While this is standard with most shared hosting, some Bluehost plans can renew at 338% higher than their intro price. Their regular monthly pricing is written in small text and tucked away in a help page.
Don’t fall into this trap,
I can’t tell you how many people sign up for 3 years then are unhappy with the service or outgrow their plan because they’re getting CPU issues. You’re stuck in a long contract for a hosting plan that’s barely usable. This is how Newfold Digital (and most shared hosts) get you.
|12 Month Term||9.99/mo||13.99/mo||18.99/mo||28.99/mo|
|24 Month Term||9.49/mo||12.99/mo||17.99/mo||27.99/mo|
|36 Month Term||9.99/mo||13.99/mo||18.99/mo||26.99/mo|
Join Facebook Groups To Get Real People’s Opinions
You have to be careful here too.
Many groups are controlled by affiliates, brand ambassadors, and hosting companies. Some companies even remove negative posts or ban people who speak negatively about their brand.
The group I recommend is: WP Speed Matters
It’s run by Gijo Varghese. He develops plugins but doesn’t censor posts or promote certain companies like other groups. It’s one of the more genuinely helpful groups (kind of like Gijo).
Many people start with these hosts because they don’t know any better. Now that you’ve read this, you can skip them and get a better host elsewhere. I have reviews on quite a few of them.