BlueHost & HostMonster User Alert: CPU Throttling

Note: This post is published in 2009. Since then there were lots of changes with BlueHost, HostMonster, as well as other Endurance’s hosting brands. As I no longer update this post anymore, I suggest you to check out my latest findings and reviews on BlueHost

Are you a HostMonster or BlueHost customer? Are you experience slow site loading time recently? Well if your answer is yes, there’s a big chance that your site is being affected by HostMonster’s latest server feature – CPU throttling!

What is CPU Throttling?

Depends on what kind of CPU you are talking about – the term “CPU throttling” is used to describe the process of reducing CPU usage to avoid the computer processor getting overheated and damaged. Such technique is also used by Intel chips to optimize energy consumption.

CPU throttling in hosting

However the term has a different meaning when it comes to web hosting. When your website on a shared server is pulling “too much” CPU resources at one time, the CPU will freeze (or slash down) your account CPU usage. At this particular time, your website will respond extremely slow and your jailed website will only be released when the staffs think it is okay. Such hosting feature was not seen before until Matt Heaton spent thousands of hours (according to himself) developing the system and introduced this so called Hosting Nirvana (One might argue DreamHost has been doing this for some time – but technically, it’s not the same at all).

Who is implementing CPU throttling now?

So far from what I know, BlueHost and HostMonster (they are under same management).

Is CPU throttling a good thing?

Well, apparently the web host will tell you that this feature is “for the good of all shared hosting users”.

But don’t you think this is such a convenient excuse for the web hosts to push away their responsibility; and blame their users for not using the server “properly”? Would the president of BlueHost (with over 1.5 million websites hosted on it!) spent thousands of hours developing this new system just because he wants to “change the hosting world for good”?

(Sorry to be such a cynic but things just look too fishy and I can’t help but keep doubting their real intention of doing so.)

WebHostingSecretRevealed.com is affected! Website loading extremely slow occasionally.

At this time of writing, this little blog is throttled about 30 minutes daily. According to reader Troy of alterego-of-pwi.info, my blog took up to 45 seconds to load (it normally takes less than 3 seconds in normal time)!

CPU throttling at Hostmonster

What has been done so far to handle this problem

FYI, I am now in the mid of discussion with the HostMonster supports to solve the issue. They’ve been very friendly and helpful so far but they just can’t explain some of my questions. For example they told me that the throttle could be caused by buggy scripts or heavy MySQL errors – but from my observation, my site still get throttled on the day where no error was logged! Is the site throttled because HostMonster couldn’t handle the amount of traffics I’m getting? Why are my other sites (with bigger databases and a lot more web applications) are working perfectly with Hostgator and iPage but things look so screwed up with HostMonster?

Sorry for the slow load time!

Apologizes if you experienced slow load time with my blog recently. Please bear with me for this – I’m trying as fast as I can to investigate the matter and come out with the right solution. I’ll keep things posted here.

Big thanks to Troy T. Hall

To Troy who wrote me long emails explaining the situation – million thanks! And, I wish things are working smoothly with your site right now.

How to check if your hosting account is throttled or not?

Login to your BlueHost or HostMonster cPanel account, scroll down to the ‘Log’ session and click the ‘CPU throttling’ icon (see figure).

CPU throttling at Hostmonster

Click in and you can check your site status from the popped up page.

Alternatives to BlueHost and HostMonster

If you were considering BlueHost or HostMonster before this, WebHostingHub and iPage are the two best alternatives. These two offer more or less the same features like BlueHost and HostMonster; and their prices are cheaper with our special discount codes.

A2 Hosting and GreenGeeks are slightly pricier but recommended if you don’t mind paying a little more for faster or eco-friendly (300% green) hosting.

Details for your reference are as below.

Cheap Web HostFeaturesPrice/moDetails
Budget Hosting at WebHostingHubBandwidth: UnlimitedDisk Space: Unlimited

Addon Domain: Unlimited

$1.99*  WebHostingHub Review  Visit WHH Online

Note: Special discount available, read review for more.

Budget Hosting at iPageBandwidth: UnlimitedDisk Space: Unlimited

Addon Domain: Unlimited

$1.89  iPage Review  Visit iPage Online
Budget Hosting at A2 HostingBandwidth: UnlimitedDisk Space: Unlimited

Addon Domain: Unlimited

$4.97  A2 Hosting Review  Visit A2Hosting Online

Note: Special discount available, read review for more.

Budget Hosting at Greengeeks HostingBandwidth: UnlimitedDisk Space: Unlimited

Addon Domain: Unlimited

$4.95  GreenGeeks Review  Visit GreenGeeks Online

Note: Special discount available, read review for more.

Check them out and do let me know at comment box below if you need help.