Bluehost vs DreamHost: Which Host Is Better And Why?


Fiona O’Connell


2020 January 20th

In the comparison of Bluehost vs DreamHost, both providers seem equal - both recommended by WordPress and promising fast loading times. The features don't seem too different from first glance too.

But when you have to choose, which is the better one?

Bluehost vs DreamHost

In this article, I compared the features, pricing, and performance of the 2 well-known providers.

Let's find out which is the better one - Bluehost or DreamHost.

Bluehost Overview

Bluehost is a hosting provider focusing on WordPress users but also capable of powering any type of software for any type of project. As it itself says, Bluehost's main goal is delivering great user experience with easy to use top-notch hosting.

Bluehost vs DreamHost-Bluehost homepage

The list of services includes affordable shared and WordPress hosting, VPS, and dedicated server packages.

DreamHost Overview

Just like Bluehost, DreamHost is a hosting provider offering a wide variety of hosting services with the main focus on WordPress users. And the endorsement by the platform itself might just prove how good DreamHost is at it.

The main goal of this provider is delivering stable performance and the highest level of availability - features that all business users need. Non-profits can also benefit from free hosting while affordable shared hosting packages are great for bloggers.

Bluehost vs DreamHost-DreamHost homepage

Services include shared, WordPress, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting packages, as well as domain name registration and its own website builder.

Bluehost vs DreamHost: Which Is Better For You?

Bluehost and DreamHost are both big and popular hosting companies. I've decided to check which one is actually better in providing shared hosting services and optimizations for WordPress.

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's 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 Pricing

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. 

Bluehost vs DreamHost - Bluehost-pricing
  • 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 Pricing

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.

bluehost vs dreamhost-dreamhostpricing
  • 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:

Bluehost DreamHost
Storage space 50GB - Unlimited 50GB - Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unlimited
SSL Included Included
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 as well. However, DreamHost wins in terms of pricing.

Bluehost vs DreamHost Ease-Of-Use: DreamHost Needs To Change That Panel

Bluehost comes with a streamlined user interface that includes both a custom set of options and the standard cPanel. This means that beginner users can stick to the guide-like interface for setting up WordPress, domain names, and emails.

Bluehost User Interface

At the same time, more advanced users will find all the customizations in cPanel. 

Bluehost cPanel

As you can see, everything looks clean and modern. Bluehost definitely streamlined its user interface to be intuitive and easy to use.

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 at some point.

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.  

Bluehost vs dreamhost: DreamHost control panel

Look at it! It's only text.

And while the functionality is not at all different, cPanel and the whole Bluehost interface is just much more easy to navigate. DreamHost attempts to do just a little bit too much and in turn, the client misses out. 

Bluehost uses modern user inteface and combines it with cPanel functionality 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.

Bluehost Performance

Bluehost shows great performance results averaging at 557ms response time. While the result itself is not very impressive, I saw the tendency of improving response times.

At first, Bluehost was not performing well at all, however, a couple of calls with the support, and the times improved a lot. 

Bluehost Performance Results

One drawback - Bluehost does not have an uptime guarantee and my website was out for 15 minutes for 3 months. It still managed to average at 99.99% uptime. So although there's no uptime guarantee, the results are much much better than many hosts can offer.

DreamHost Performance

DreamHost performed similarly to Bluehost and averaged at 572ms response time. However, I cannot praise it for improving response times. Throughout the whole period, they remained rather stable with some higher peaks.

DreamHost Performance Results

The uptime is another topic. DreamHost has a 100% uptime guarantee for all downtimes that are not scheduled. But the overall result did not impress me - the provider scored 99.93% with 11 outages resulting in 1 hour and 32 minutes of downtime in 3 months.

That's not a bad result but when promised 100% I would like to see it on the field as well.

All in all, the server response time is basically the same with both DreamHost and Bluehost. However, Bluehost is more stable in terms of uptime while DreamHost does not keep its 100% uptime promise.

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 5.30 AM to 9.30 PM 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.

Bluehost support

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 5.30 AM to 9.30 PM Pacific time.

DreamHost support

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, 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 better security features, while  Bluehost has way better customer support and impressive server reliability.

Both hosting providers are easy to use but Bluehost has designed a brilliant control panel with cPanel included. DreamHost, on the other hand, can take more time to get used to.

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!

Leave a Comment

* your email will not be displayed

User comments

Karelle picture

2020 July 13th

Re: support. I have clients at both Dreamhost and at Bluehost. Support at BH has been an utter disaster - takes up to an hour to speak to or chat... Read more

Re: support. I have clients at both Dreamhost and at Bluehost. Support at BH has been an utter disaster - takes up to an hour to speak to or chat with an agent and the last 2 times, I was booted off the call multiple times - 3 on one support issue and 5 on the other. In one support issue it took 3 different tries before they found the problem and actually fixed it. They wouldn't (or couldn't) tell me what was wrong and what they did to fix it, so that I'd know for next time. I have far more experience with Dreamhost and in the last 3 years I've NEVER had any of those kinds of problems. So frankly that BH responds more quickly is kind of beside the point because it takes multiple attempts to fix a problem.