TL;DR: Contact their support staff via live chat and ask them to remove whichever plugin or theme is causing the issue. It only takes a few minutes. You can also take a look at a few better hosts while you’re at it1.
Your web hosting account has been deactivated. Reason: site causing performance problems
When I received this email, I was livid. Bluehost had taken down a full array of my websites down without so much as a warning. They claimed it was because I was in violation of the terms of service of our hosting agreement but didn’t give any specific details.
I logged into Bluehost’s dashboard and connected with a Terms of Service employee over live chat. He explained to me that the Wordfence security plugin on one of my websites was placing a considerable amount of stress on the server, so they disabled my account2. Not very nice, but I can see where they’re coming from.
The employee said that he could remove Wordfence and re-enable my account for me, so I gave him the go-ahead, and the issue was solved within minutes. It was a quick fix, and the employee was a pleasure to work with, but I’m not happy with the system Bluehost has in place for site deactivations:
- They should send a warning to customers who are approaching the stress limit of the server. Abrupt deactivation with no apparent reason could crush an online business.
- I had no idea why they had deactivated my account until I connected with an employee. They could fix this by adding a simple paragraph that read, “Our system detects that your plugin x is causing issues with our server, so we’ve had to temporarily deactivate your hosting account. Please click here to remove the plugin and resume your hosting, and contact our support staff for any questions.” could have made the process much smoother.
It’s no secret that Bluehost’s services are getting slower and other hosting companies have the upper hand (cough the wonderful people at Flywheel cough). If you want my recommendations, read the first footnote in this post.
- My favorite hosts I’ve ever done business with are Flywheel (referral link/non-referral) and Siteground (referral link/non-referral). I wrote a long post with my reasoning which you can find here if you’re interested. You have the option to choose both referral and non-referral links because I’d rather have a good discussion about hosting than try to make a small amount of money from referring people. I’ve used both of the companies I recommended in this post, and I love doing business with them. ↩
- If Wordfence was the reason for your account deactivation, you can take a look at Sucuri or VaultPress as alternative security solutions. ↩