As you may have noticed, there are simply tons of web hosting providers on the market, all touting the fastest load times, best uptime, top-notch services and features, and 100% customer satisfaction.
In this article, we’ll be looking at Bluehost vs DreamHost—two popular web hosting companies that have been around for years and how they compare so you can make the most informed decision.
Before diving into in-depth comparisons between these two web hosting giants, it’s important to first establish your specific needs and requirements for a web host before conducting a search for the best one. What makes a web host the best for one person might be completely different for another.
Do you have prior experience in hosting websites, or is this your first rodeo, what is the nature and purpose of your site’s usage:
Begin thinking about these kinds of questions as well as what your budget is and traffic requirements.
For example, a large eCommerce business probably wants a host with plenty of eCommerce capabilities along with the very best uptime. A website being down can mean a loss of revenue, so this is a biggie.
If, on the other hand, you want to host a simple blog or shop with a few products, it’s not really necessary to pay top dollar for the best uptime and top features.
Hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll be able to consider the advantages of choosing one web host over the other based on your current needs.
Comparison of Features
When selecting the best web host, it all comes down to features such as performance, uptime, and customer support. Let’s take a look.
Speed and Uptime
Just to be clear, uptime refers to the amount of time a server stays up and running. This is basically the time that your website is functioning as it should. The best web hosts often claim a 99.9% uptime.
While Bluehost does not guarantee a specific uptime, they are actually known to be approximately 99.9%. DreamHost claims to offer a 100% uptime guarantee but has been shown to deliver a very comparable uptime to Bluehost. You can see how the two compare in the past seven days here.
In regards to page load speeds, both Bluehost and DreamHost are quite fast and customers report satisfaction with overall server response speed.
DreamHost also makes use of SSDs that help improve their website page speeds. However, the response times are a slightly different story. Using the constant data we have picked from the first quarter of 2018, this is what we found out about the hosts' live performance:
As you can see, DreamHost slightly wins on uptime but it relatively less stable when it comes to response times. All is up to your preference!
Bluehost wins with its 24/7 support
When searching for a web host, you always want to make sure they have quality customer service for those moments when things are not going right with your website or if you’re having technical issues. These moments are inevitable, so having multiple channels of communication with a knowledgeable support team can make all the difference.
Bluehost offers true 24/7 support - while DreamHost doesn't, and takes a few hours every day to rest up a little bit. Both companies also have online forums where customers can discuss various topics such as issues, hosting plans, etc.
Bluehost also has a ticketing system as a way to get in touch with their support team, however for quick response, it’s always fastest to opt for live chat or telephone.
DreamHost offers access to their web hosting manual that’s chock full of troubleshooting guides, tips, and how-to-articles, which can be very helpful.
In general, Bluehost s available more often, while DreamHost generally feels a little bit more helpful. During our hosting reviews, we test plenty of providers and their support.
Dreamhost is great - if it was around the clock and included full phone service, it would probably we one of my favorites. It doesn't - therefore, it isn't. What a shame, what a waste.
DreamHost really needs to change that panel!
Bluehost comes with your standard cPanel that’s easy to use and very user-friendly. If you’ve hosted a website before, you’ll have no trouble at all using their cPanel. It’s flexible and allows for easy file management, backups, installations, databases and more.
DreamHost has their own proprietary panel which takes a bit more time to get used to and easily navigate. However, both company’s cPanels offer fairly straightforward FTP access for file transfer, unlimited MySQL databases for websites, one-click WordPress installs, and more. And still - what's the point of having a more complex user panel?
Look at it! It's only text.
Surely, if it's not any more powerful, then it should be simple to use? DreamHost attempts to do just a little bit too much and in turn, the client misses out.
Money Back Guarantee
Having a money back guarantee policy is always a nice thing to offer customers. This allows them to try a plan and explore its available features instead of committing to a full year of paid service. It also shows their confidence is customer satisfaction.
Bluehost offers a 30 day money back guarantee from when you first purchase a hosting plan. DreamHost’s policy offers a longer money back period of 97 days. This is a pretty solid offer and gives you 97 days to test drive your hosting plan, which is definitely an adequate period of time to truly make a decision and feel comfortable with a plan.
Hosting Plan Features
Here is a quick glance at some of the overall features each company boasts:
- Free domain name (1 year)
- Site builder
- 30-day money back guarantee
- One-click WordPress install
- 24/7 customer support
- Unlimited site traffic
- Unlimited disk space
- Free automatic weekly backup services
- Migration services available (extra cost)
- Free domain name (1 year)
- 97 day money back guarantee
- Unlimited disk space
- Free automatic weekly backup services (WordPress hosting plan only)
- Free SSL/TLS certificates
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Supercharged SSDs
Bluehost offers a bit more variety on the hosting plans available. They currently offer three hosting plans whereas DreamHost only has one shared hosting option.
Bluehost Pricing Plans
- Shared starts at $2.95 per month
*Some highlights: One website, 50GB space, unmetered bandwidth, one domain, 25 subdomains
- Virtual Private Server starts at $19.99 per month
*Some highlights: 2 cores, 30GB SSD, 2GB RAM, Unlimited bandwidth, one domain
- Dedicated starts at $79.99 per month
*Some highlights: 4 cores, 8 threads, 500GB speed, 4GB RAM available, 5TB bandwidth, one domain
- WordPress Hosting starts at $19.99 per month
*Some highlights: 100 visits/month, 30GB storage, 2GB RAM, one domain, Free SSL
Dreamhost Pricing Plans
- Shared starts at $10.95 per month
*Some highlights: Unlimited websites, WordPress pre-installed, free Let’s Encrypt SSL
- Virtual Private Server starts at $15 per month
*Some highlights: 1GB SSD storage, 1GB RAM, one dedicated IP address, managed VPS
- Dedicated Servers start at $169 per month
*Some highlights: RAID 1 Storage, Unlimited bandwidth, unlimited MySQL databases, DDoS protection
Bluehost vs DreamHost: Who’s the Winner
As you can probably gauge from this article, these two web hosting giants are fairly comparable, but Bluehost does have a slight advantage. Bluehost is a great option with an easy-to-use cPanel, scalable shared hosting plans, automatic backups and even migration services.
DreamHost is also a good option for flexibility when it comes to a dedicated server configuration (hence the hefty price tag), domain name privacy protection, and a better money back policy.
As already stated, there is no perfect host nor a one-fit solution for all your hosting needs. However, hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what these two companies offer and what can fit your needs best.