Bluehost vs DreamHost: Which Host Is Better And Why?
2019 August 12th at 5:00
Bluehost and DreamHost - two companies promising the fastest load times, the best uptime, quality services, extra features, and 100% customer satisfaction.
Both hosts are endorsed by WordPress itself. And WordPress is a huge player in web development, so Bluehost and DreamHost must be doing something right.
But which is the better one?
Let's compare Bluehost vs DreamHost!
What is Bluehost?
Bluehost is a hosting provider, focused on delivering great user experience with easy to use top-notch hosting.
Providing its users with affordable shared, WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting packages, Bluehost aims to make hosting available to everyone.
What is DreamHost?
DreamHost is a hosting provider offering a wide variety of hosting services that include shared, WordPress, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting packages, as well as domain name registration and its own website builder.
The hosting provider aims at startups, nonprofits, and small businesses, providing them with good value and high-quality services.
Bluehost vs DreamHost: Which Is Better For You?
Bluehost and DreamHost are both big and popular hosting companies. We've decided to check which one is actually better in providing shared hosting services.
When selecting the best web host, it all comes down to features such as performance, uptime, customer support, and their value. Let’s take a look.
Bluehost vs DreamHost Pricing
Bluehost and DreamHost offer pretty similar pricing, although DreamHost is a bit cheaper. Bluehost has 4 plans starting at $2.95/mo, while DreamHost has 2 plans starting at $2.95/mo. The most expensive Bluehost plan costs $13.95/mo, while DreamHost most expensive plan is $5.95/mo.
So when comparing Bluehost vs DreamHost, the pricing battle is a close one.
Both of the hosts include free domain name registration for the first year, SSD storage, one-click installs, SSL certificates, and a website builder. But that's where the similarities end.
Bluehost has 4 shared hosting plans starting with $2.95/month that can be upgraded all the way up to the Pro plan costing $13.95/month.
- The Basic plan for $2.95/mo gets you 50GB storage space, 1 domain and 5 parked domains.
- The Plus plan for $5.45/mo will get you unlimited storage, websites, and anti-spam protection.
- The Choice Plus plan for $5.45/mo includes unlimited disk space, domain privacy, and daily backups.
- The Pro plan for $13.95/mo provides you with unlimited storage, high-performance server, daily backups, and domain privacy.
Mind that Bluehost does not have month-to-month plans and in order to get the advertised price you'll need to sign up for a 3-year contract. After renewal, pricing will go up as well - $2.95/month becomes $7.99/month, and $13.95/month becomes $23.99/month.
DreamHost is more transparent with its pricing and has only two plans.
Cheapest Starter plan costs $2.59/month and the Unlimited costs $5.95/month with the 3-year contract.
- The Shared Starter plan for $2.59/mo includes 50GB disk space and unlimited bandwidth for 1 website, daily backups and domain privacy.
- The Shared Unlimited for $5.95/mo gets you unlimited bandwidth and storage space for unlimited websites, daily backups, and domain privacy.
If you want month-to-month hosting with DreamHost, the price will go up. When compared to other hosts - it's not that bad. $2.59 goes up to $4.95 and $5.95 becomes $10.95. Still affordable.
If you still have questions - you can compare the Bluehost and DreamHost pricing in the table below:
|Storage space||50GB - Unlimited||50GB - Unlimited|
|Domains allowed||5 - Unlimited||1 - Unlimited|
|Website migration service||$149.99||Free for WordPress|
|Free automated backups||Included with the more expensive plans||Included|
|1-month pricing without discount||$7.99 - $23.99||$4.95 - $10.95|
Overall, DreamHost has a more flexible and transparent pricing, while Bluehost has some pretty good features and extremely aggressive pricing strategy.
Bluehost vs DreamHost Ease-Of-Use: DreamHost Needs To Change That Panel
Bluehost comes with the standard cPanel that’s way easier to use and very user-friendly. Not to mention the huge community with tutorials for each and every function the cPanel has. DreamHost uses a custom control panel that is less intuitive and more difficult to handle.
However, things might change soon. cPanel has increased pricing a lot and we may see more and more hosts using alternatives to cPanel. And while Bluehost is a big provider capable of affording cPanel, it may increase its pricing or switch to a custom control panel.
As it stands now, if you’ve hosted a website before, you’ll have no trouble at all using Bluehost cPanel.
On the other hand, DreamHost has its own control panel which takes a bit more time to get used to. And it's not at all visual when compared to cPanel.
Look at it! It's only text.
And while the functionality is not at all different, cPanel is just more easy to navigate. DreamHost attempts to do just a little bit too much and in turn, the client misses out.
Bluehost uses traditional cPanel which is more intuitive and user-friendly than the custom panel used by DreamHost. And while functionality is the same, using Bluehost is easier.
DreamHost vs Bluehost Performance
In regards to page load speeds, both Bluehost and DreamHost are very similar and customers report satisfaction with overall server response speed. However, Bluehost is a little faster, but DreamHost is better at keeping its servers up and running.
DreamHost claims to offer 100% uptime and fast servers at all times. During our testing, DreamHost averaged around 99.98% uptime, not keeping its promise just by a fraction. The response time averaged at 925ms which is lower than the industry average of around 650ms.
Going back to uptime, we've not seen any of the concerning micro-downtimes that would indicate overcrowded or outdated servers.
Bluehost does not offer uptime guarantee and averages at around 99.89%. However, its response time of 914ms is slightly better than the Bluehost yet the difference is not really tangible.
When we looked at the uptime stats, we saw a concerning picture. Bluehost recently had many micro downtimes that went for days.
This result shows poor server health and such downtimes can cause you some trouble trying to rank high on Google.
All in all, the server response time is basically the same with both DreamHost and Bluehost. However, DreamHost is more stable in terms of uptime while Bluehost shows concerning results.
Bluehost vs DreamHost Security Features
DreamHost has stronger security features built-in and available to all users. That includes daily backups and malware protection. Bluehost takes care only of the basics and includes more security features only with the more expensive plans. Other things - you'll have to take care of yourself.
Bluehost security features
Bluehost performs system backups at its own discretion and stores them 30 days. Also, if the backup fails or is lost, it does not take responsibility.
If you choose the Choice Plus or Pro plans, you also get Site Backup - CodeGuard Basic for more security. SiteLock Security can also be purchased separately for $1.99/mo.
DreamHost security features
DreamHost takes care of the security seriously and includes free daily backups in all of its plans. WordPress Core & Security updates are also taken care of by the team of experts.
Additionally, DreamHost monitors all of its hosted websites for malware and virus. You can also purchase DreamShield for $3/mo that can audit your site for malicious code, outdated software, errors, etc.
DreamHost is better at security and includes the essentials and premium features with all of its plans. Bluehost, unfortunately, does just the bare minimum in terms of security.
Bluehost vs DreamHost Support: Bluehost Is Better
Bluehost has more support options available, including 24/7 phone, live chat, and ticket support. DreamHost email support is also available 24/7 though you will only reach tech support via live chat from 5.30AM to 9.30PM Pacific time each day.
Both of the hosts also have extensive knowledgebases if you're not up for a chat with an agent.
But as we saw from our Bluehost review, its support is a little bit better. Bluehost live chat agents reply instantly while you can expect your ticket to be solved in around an hour.
DreamHost support is slower. In our DreamHost review, we found out that it responds to tickets in around 10 to 20 hours. Live chat support agents are way faster but it's only available 5.30AM to 9.30PM Pacific time.
Fortunately, DreamHost knowledge base is full of tutorials and discussion forums are active. Even while you are waiting for your support ticket to be solved, you can take action yourself.
In general, Bluehost is available more often, while DreamHost has excellent support that's, unfortunately, is not very speedy.
Bluehost vs DreamHost - the Verdict
In the Bluehost vs DreamHost comparison, both hosts have their strengths. DreamHost is more affordable and offers more stable uptime, while Bluehost has way better customer support. Also, DreamHost has way stronger security features built-in though you'll find Bluehost easier to use.
So all in all, when choosing one of these hosts - decide what you need. With Bluehost, you'll get an excellent experience in terms of ease-of-use, while DreamHost is more secure and cheaper.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below!