Ok... I am pretty frustrated here, and from a search on the forums, I can see that many people are having the same problem. I'm trying to wrap my head around this problem... and any way I look at it, this makes absolutely no sense to me.
1) Bluehost's servers are overloaded, thus requiring the admins to take drastic steps cutting down people's CPU time almost to the point where static HTML pages will cause a person's account to be suspended. But then that leads me back to the Bluehost home page which advertises all these cool features and bandwidth and fantastico scripts and all this cool stuff I can do with my website (and have been doing for several years now).
2) Bluehost has spent a lot of money upgrading their systems and offering more services for the same prices for the last couple of years that they have had to completely remove upgrades from their budget. Ok, this makes sense, somewhat. Pack more people onto the same hardware and increase revenues, at the expense of crappy service for everyone. Eventually, those who do not convert to pre-1990's technology by using only static HTML pages will be forced to find another host. Eventually, we will bleed off enough of these pesky customers that we will have plenty of CPU power available. Nevermind that no one will be around to use it.
I see too many posts where people are claiming to have 1 or 2 visitors on their website and they are receiving CPU errors. I then see replies by other users, using the same scripts, stating "Odd, I have a heavily used website and I never have a problem". Ok... so maybe some servers are loaded more than others? Maybe the CPU throttling programs are more generous from one server to the next? What is this, guys?? Why can't we find a solution that allows people to run even modest scripts without closing their account?
A few thoughts:
1) Instead of throttling by time, throttle the CPU usage. E.g, 100 people on a server, each person can use a maximum of 1% CPU at any given time. The scripts will run slower, but at least they will run!
2) Upgrade the CPUs in the servers so they can handle a higher load
3) Add more servers
I realize that I have been using pretty much the same scripts for the past several years and have never had a problem until recently. I also recall that within the last year, what appears to me to be a major upgrade of the software (at least an upgrade of cPanel and related), that maybe the hardware upgrades at bluehost have not kept pace with the software upgrades. Or, maybe the growth in bluehost's customer base has not been matched with comparable hardware upgrades to handle the new load. So, like any big company that forgets how it became the big company (ie customer service and support), someone decided it would be a good idea to generate crazy revenue in a short amount of time by taking on new customers while downgrading the performance of all users. Sure, a few customers will be inconvenienced by this and leave... but by then, the people in charge who made this decision will move on to manage bigger and better things, add a bullet on their resume about how their leadership earned the company crazy amounts of money, and slowly the company will lose it's reputation that it spent YEARS to cultivate among it's customer base.