Dreamhost vs Bluehost: Unmasking the Web Hosting Phenoms 2024

vs hosting

⏳ Do you want to skip the read and get right to my pick in this Dreamhost vs Bluehost comparison? The better web hosting provider for most people is Bluehost.


Introduction to my Dreamhost vs Bluehost Comparison Test:

We have mentioned time and again that the simplest way to get a website up and running is to build it with WordPress.

Fortunately, WordPress.org users are spoilt for choice when it comes to managed hosting services, as a number of providers offer stable and secure hosting plans to suit their needs. In this review, we will look at how Bluehost or Dreamhost stacks up against one another.

Our Dreamhost vs Bluehost review will consider how each platform performs in terms of usability, features and functionality, ecommerce capabilities, and pricing.


Quick Comparison Table of Dreamhost vs Bluehost

Criteria DreamHost 🥇 Bluehost (My Pick!)
Type of Hosting Shared, WordPress, VPS, Dedicated, Cloud Hosting Shared, WordPress, VPS, Dedicated Hosting
Features
  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unmetered
  • Number of Websites: Unlimited
  • Free Domain
  • Emails: Unlimited
  • Storage: 50GB to Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unmetered
  • Number of Websites: 1 to Unlimited
  • Free Domain
  • Emails: Microsoft 365
Performance Standard performance, CDN available Standard performance, CDN available
Security Features
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Automated daily backups
  • Real-time security scanning
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Automated daily backups
  • Domain Privacy Protection
Pricing and Plans Starts at $2.59/month

Check Pricing

Starts at $3.95/month

Check Pricing

Money-Back Guarantee 97-day money-back guarantee 30-day money-back guarantee
Customer Support 24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Email, Knowledgebase 24/7 Live Chat, Phone, Knowledgebase
Scalability Easy plan upgrades, Cloud Hosting options Easy plan upgrades, VPS and Dedicated options
User Reviews/Ratings Generally positive, praised for transparency and support Mixed to positive
Environment Friendliness Carbon neutral Efforts for reducing carbon footprint
My View Best for users who value transparency and a longer money-back guarantee. Best for users who need a variety of hosting options.
Official Website Visit DreamHost Visit Bluehost

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Overview:

Dreamhost:

DreamHost is a Los Angeles, California, USA-based web hosting provider that started as the brainchild of a group of friends Dallas Bethune, Michael Rodriguez, Josh Jones, and Sage Weil. Founded in 1996, it hosts around 1.5 million websites worldwide and is owned by New Dream Network, LLC.

bluehost vs dreamhost home
dreamhost-home

Bluehost:

Bluehost is considered one of the biggest and most-studied web hosting providers in the world. The service now hosts over  2 million domains around the world. Founded by Matt Heaton in 1996, it is now owned by the Endurance International Group. The Orem, Utah, USA-based provider offers a large menu of hosting solutions, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, WordPress hosting, WooCommerce hosting, and dedicated hosting.

dreamhost vs bluehost home-nov-20
bluehost-home

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Ease of Use:

So which is the easier platform to use – Bluehost or Dreamhost?

Dreamhost:

Between Bluehost or Dreamhost, Dreamhost is one of the easier hosting platforms to navigate in the sense that it is Spartan-simple with a fair learning curve. It is fairly easy to create an account – but we have to warn you that verifying your subscription can be a pain in the backside. It takes significantly longer than for other hosting services, and that can be a downer if you want to get your site up and running ASAP.

Bluehost:

As a hosting service, Bluehost is easy enough to set up. However, when you’re going into the backend of the platform, you may run into a number of challenges. Customised settings need to be done manually in this scenario, which means you ought to have at least some working knowledge of how to set up connections for FTP, DNS, and CMS.

Winner – Bluehost! In this Dreamhost vs Bluehost match, we're calling Ease of Use for Bluehost. Dreamhost is is better suited to seasoned developers while Bluehost is perfect even for beginners.

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Features:

Which platform between Bluehost or Dreamhost offers superior features?

Types of Hosting:

Bluehost

Shared Hosting:
  • Bluehost provides a variety of shared hosting plans that are suitable for small websites and blogs.
  • Features include a free domain for the first year, free SSL certificates, one-click WordPress installations, and 24/7 customer support.
VPS Hosting:
  • Bluehost offers VPS hosting with SSD storage for better performance and reliability.
  • It features increased control with full root access and dynamic resources that can be managed to suit your needs.
Dedicated Hosting:
  • Bluehost’s dedicated hosting solutions offer the ultimate in performance, security, and control.
  • Perfect for websites with high traffic, it comes with improved cPanel, full root access, and a dedicated support.
Specialized Hosting:
  • Bluehost specializes in WordPress hosting, providing features such as automatic WordPress installations and updates.
  • They also offer WooCommerce hosting, designed for online stores and e-commerce websites.

Dreamhost

Shared Hosting:
  • Dreamhost's shared hosting comes with a custom control panel, free SSL certificates, and WordPress pre-installed.
  • They offer a 100% uptime guarantee and 24/7 support.
VPS Hosting:
  • Dreamhost’s VPS hosting is fully managed, scalable and features SSDs for performance and reliability.
  • They also include unlimited email accounts and domains with their VPS plans.
Dedicated Hosting:
  • Dreamhost offers dedicated server hosting that includes DDoS protection, RAID storage, full root and shell access.
  • Suitable for high traffic sites, e-commerce, and reseller hosting.
Specialized Hosting:
  • Dreamhost offers managed WordPress hosting known as DreamPress, optimized for performance with server caching.
  • They also provide cloud hosting which can be used for app development and other purposes.

Domain Names:

Dreamhost:

This platform offers users an unlimited range of domains to use with their accounts; the same proviso goes for subdomains – you can have as many as you need. Domain privacy is also assured via a feature called WHOIS, and the platform has its own registry.

Bluehost:

Comparing Bluehost or Dreamhost, Dreamhost users are only entitled to a single domain with each hosting plan. Should they need more, they need to pay an additional fee.

Email Rating:

Dreamhost:

It would have to depend on what sort of service you’ve signed up for. On Dreamhost’s Shared Starter plan, you will have to shell out an additional $1.67 monthly for at least one email box under your domain. On the Shared Unlimited plan, however, you can create as many email inboxes as you need.

Bluehost:

At its most basic, Bluehost allows users to create just five mailboxes for their accounts. Those on mid-tier and premium plans, however, have the option to create as many inboxes as they deem necessary.

Databases:

Dreamhost:

Those on shared web hosting plans are allowed to create an unlimited number of MySQL databases for their websites.

Bluehost:

Like Dreamhost Bluehost also uses MySQL for database management, users will find themselves stifled because of the limits imposed. Depending on the hosting plan, users are only allowed between five and ten GB for their site databases.

Applications:

Which offers more apps integrations – Bluehost or Dreamhost?

Dreamhost:

Users can install and use the full range of plugins offered by the site-building platform, including the WooCommerce store-builder and the Jetpack migration tool.

Bluehost:

You can use all 60,000 apps and plugins offered for the builder. However, one particular caveat we need to stress at this point is that the bulk of these plugins are community-developed, so better be careful – or understanding – if these do not work as promoted.

WordPress:

Both Dreamhost Bluehost allow one-click installation of WordPress.org for users.

Site Staging:

Dreamhost:

Staging is only available for users with shared WordPress hosting plans. The staging feature included in the WordPress interface gives users and developers a sandbox in which they can test sites for functionality and browser appeal before going live.

Bluehost:

As Bluehost is primarily a managed WordPress hosting provider, the one-click staging feature is pre-included across all plans.

Website Builder:

Dreamhost:

Dreamhost offers a hybrid website builder: all the standard bells and whistles of WordPress CMS with a drag-and-drop interface that makes site creation so much easier.

The hosting service also offers over 200 templates for its builder, allowing users to choose one that will give their sites a look appropriate to their brand identity and the nature of their business.

Our only issue here, though, is that the block-driven design module can be cumbersome to work with after a while.

Bluehost:

Like Dreamhost Bluehost does have its own site-building platform, we can’t help but feel that it is a little too basic for creating more engaging websites for its users. Like WordPress, Bluehost’s website builder is also CMS-driven, so there’s little going for it in terms of flexibility and creativity.

eCommerce:

Dreamhost:

The thing about Dreamhost’s ecommerce plans is that they work with WordPress’ WooCommerce plugin to help users create the perfect online store. The hosting service gives users options that range from basic utilities to help them set up shop to the high-capacity site architecture for growing businesses.

In which case, all plans covered already have WooCommerce preinstalled, along with the proprietary Storefront design template.

Also, regardless of whether these are for ecommerce or standard use, all hosting plans already have a free SSL certificate.

Bluehost:

Similar to Dreamhost Bluehost also supports websites using the WooCommerce plugin but does not offer hosting packages specific for ecommerce site creation and hosting.

As above, SSL certificates are already included when you sign up for a hosting plan.

Winner – Draw! In this Dreamhost vs Bluehost Features showdown, we're calling it a tie. Both Dreamhost Bluehost are level with each other in terms of features and scalability.

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Security:

What about protection from threats – who does it better, Bluehost or Dreamhost?

DreamHost

SSL:

  • DreamHost offers free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates on all its plans, which are essential for secure communication between the server and the users.

Backups:

  • DreamHost offers automated daily backups with one-click restore on its shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting plans.

Malware Protection:

  • DreamHost provides a malware removal tool called DreamShield, available as an add-on, which performs regular scans to detect and remove malware.

Additional Security Features:

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is supported, adding an extra layer of security during login.
  • SFTP (Secure FTP) and SSH (Secure Shell) access are available for secure file transfers and secure remote logins respectively.

Bluehost

SSL:

  • Like DreamHost, Bluehost also provides free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates on all its hosting plans.

Backups:

  • Bluehost offers daily, weekly, and monthly backups of your entire account. However, it's important to note that backups are not guaranteed and users are encouraged to perform their own regular backups.

Malware Protection:

  • Bluehost includes SiteLock, a website security tool available as an add-on, which scans for malware and vulnerabilities. SiteLock also offers a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to improve site performance.

Additional Security Features:

  • Two-factor authentication (2FA) is available for an extra layer of security during login.
  • Secure Shell (SSH) access is available for secure remote logins.
Winner – Draw! DreamHost and Bluehost both provide essential security features like free SSL certificates and secure access methods. DreamHost seems to have a more reliable backup system with one-click restores, while Bluehost's backup policy is less definitive. DreamHost offers DreamShield for malware scanning and removal, while Bluehost offers SiteLock, which also includes a CDN. Both providers offer additional authentication methods for account security. The choice between the two might be influenced by whether you prefer DreamHost's one-click restore feature or the added performance benefits of SiteLock's CDN with Bluehost.

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Performance:

Let's measure how Dreamhost vs Bluehost performance by looking at servers, speed, and uptime.

Performance Summary Table for Dreamhost vs Bluehost

Criteria DreamHost Bluehost
Server Locations Los Angeles, California, USA Provo, Utah, USA
Speed (Load Time) Approx. 650ms Approx. 600ms
Uptime 99.94% 99.98%
Server Response Time (US, East Coast) Approx. 75ms Approx. 75ms
Server Response Time (Europe, London) Approx. 140ms Approx. 120ms
Server Response Time (Asia, Singapore) Approx. 230ms Approx. 225ms
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered
Webspace Limits Starts from 50GB 50GB to Unlimited depending on the plan
Global CDN Yes Yes
Scalability Scalable with plan upgrades Scalable with plan upgrades

Server Locations:

Dreamhost:

While it can be accessed globally, Dreamhost only has two data centres, and both of them are in the United States. One is in Ashburn, Virginia, and the other is in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Bluehost:

Bluehost’s nerve center is located in Provo, Utah, with an auxiliary data centre in the neighboring town of Orem. Elsewhere, the hosting service has a presence in three countries:

  • United Kingdom (London)
  • India (Mumbai)
  • China (Hong Kong / Shanghai)

Speed Results:

Which has better speed – Bluehost or Dreamhost?

Dreamhost:

Unfortunately, loading speed is not one of Dreamhost’s stronger points. On average, it takes 2.27 seconds for a site hosted on the platform to load completely.

Bluehost:

Like Dreamhost Bluehost users have the same issue – and it does get slower. The average loading time for sites hosted through the service is currently at 3.22 seconds.

Average Uptime, Bandwidth, and Webspace limits/Storage:

Dreamhost:

What it lacks in speed, Dreamhost makes up for in terms of uptime. It isn’t playing around when it says its uptime guarantee is at 100%.

Bandwidth is unlimited, while storage can run between 30GB and 120GB, depending on your hosting plan.

Bluehost:

Unlimited is the keyword where Bluehost is concerned where bandwidth is concerned. Unlimited bandwidth is provided across all plans, but storage is another story. Those on the most basic plan only get 50GB; on other tiers, storage is unlimited.

Also, the service falls behind slightly in terms of uptime: Bluehost’s uptime is currently pegged at 99.98%.

Winner – Draw! In this Dreamhost vs Bluehost competition, they are evenly matched in performance. Dreamhost fares better with uptime, but Bluehost makes up for it in bandwidth.

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Support and Resources:

Dreamhost:

While Dreamhost is said to have been awarded for the excellence of its customer service, we beg to differ. The platform offers a 24/7 multi-channel service, but we were stumped when we tried to use the live chat widget on their site. The bot-driven service is frustrating, to say the least, and it can take a while before service options load. Also, it’s only available between 8am and 4pm PST from Monday to Friday.

Bluehost:

Bluehost offers 24/7 customer and technical service via email, LiveChat, and phone. Its knowledge base is also well-maintained.

Winner – Bluehost! In this Dreamhost vs Bluehost toss-up, Bluehost has an edge over its competitor.

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Pricing :

Quick Comparison Table for Dreamhost vs Bluehost Pricing Plans and Transparency:

Criteria DreamHost Bluehost
Shared Starter Shared Unlimited DreamPress Basic Plus Choice Plus
Initial Price Starts from $2.59/month Starts from $4.95/month Starts from $16.95/month Starts from $2.95/month Starts from $5.45/month Starts from $5.45/month
Renewal Price $5.99/month $10.99/month $16.95/month $8.99/month $11.99/month $16.99/month
Free Domain Yes (1 year) Yes (1 year) No Yes (1 year) Yes (1 year) Yes (1 year)
Free Trial No No No No No No
Refund Policy 97 days 97 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
Money-Back Guarantee 97 days 97 days 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
Check Pricing Check DreamHost Pricing Check Bluehost Pricing

Plans

Let's do a a more detailed rundown of Dreamhost vs Bluehost plans.

Dreamhost:

Under shared web hosting, users can choose between two plans: Shared Starter at $2.59 monthly and Shared Unlimited at $3.95 a month. While the packages share the bulk of the features, the former doesn’t have free email.

dreamhost-shared-plans
dreamhost-shared-plans

Managed WordPress hosting under the DreamPress umbrella will set users back by a reasonable $16.95 to a staggering $71.95 monthly.

dreamhost-wordpress-hosting-pricing
dreamhost-wordpress-hosting-pricing

For those who want a more secure option, the VPS WordPress hosting plans are reasonably priced. The range runs between $10.00 to $80.00.

dreamhost-vps-pricing-plans
dreamhost-vps-pricing-plans

>> Check for our latest Dreamhost discount code pricing plans <<

Bluehost:

This hosting service’s shared subscription plans will set users back between $2.75 and $13.95 every month. Take note, however, that key security features are only offered for all plans except for Basic Hosting.

bluehost-shared-hosting-plans
bluehost-shared-hosting-plans

WordPress hosting will set users back by a reasonable $3.95 for shared plans up to a reasonable $49.95 monthly.

bluehost-shared-wordpress-hosting
bluehost-shared-wordpress-hosting
bluehost-wordpress-pro-review-plans
bluehost-wordpress-pro-review-plans

Scalable corporate or enterprise plans can cost up to $119.99 per month.

bluehost-vps-hosting-plans
bluehost-vps-hosting-plans
bluehost-dedicated-hositng-plans
bluehost-dedicated-hositng-plans

>> Check for our latest Bluehost discount code pricing plans <<

Dreamhost vs Bluehost Free trial, refund policy, and money-back guarantee:

Please also check the legal page for DreamHost, and legal page for Bluehost for detailed information on Free trial, refund policy, and money-back guarantee.

Both Dreamhost Bluehost comes with a money-back guarantee, but only Bluehost has a free trial option.

Dreamhost:

Unfortunately, Dreamhost doesn't offer free trials.

On the bright side, Dreamhost has one of the longest money-back guarantees in the industry: you can ask for a refund within 97 days of signing up.

Bluehost:

Unlike Dreamhost Bluehost offers a thirty-day free trial, after which users must commit to a paid subscription plan. If you aren’t satisfied with the service, you may cancel your paid subscription within the first thirty days for a refund.

Winner – Bluehost! In this Dreamhost vs Bluehost match, we're calling the Pricing round for Bluehost.

DreamHost vs Bluehost User Reviews

DreamHost

DreamHost is well-regarded for its wide array of features and strong commitment to user privacy.

Trustpilot

  • DreamHost holds a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot.
  • Users often commend DreamHost for its reliable hosting services and transparent pricing.
  • Customer support is appreciated for being helpful, though some users have mentioned it can sometimes be slow.
  • The company's commitment to user privacy is also highlighted positively by many users.

Reddit

  • On Reddit, DreamHost is generally viewed favorably for its feature-rich plans and commitment to privacy.
  • Some users have mentioned appreciating the absence of aggressive upsells compared to other hosting providers.

Bluehost

Bluehost is popular among beginners for its user-friendly interface and variety of hosting options.

Trustpilot

  • Bluehost has a lower rating on Trustpilot, holding 2.5 out of 5 stars.
  • Some users have raised concerns regarding customer service and unexpected billing.
  • On the positive side, users appreciate the ease of use and the wide array of features available.

Reddit

  • On Reddit, Bluehost receives mixed reviews. Some users commend it for being beginner-friendly and offering a range of features.
  • However, others have raised concerns about customer service and upsells during the signup process.

Comparison Winner: Bluehost or Dreamhost?

In this Dreamhost vs Bluehost comparison, while both platforms have level features and performance, we have to declare Bluehost as Comparison Winner.


Personal Experience with DreamHost and Bluehost

Signing Up

DreamHost

DreamHost has a simple and clean sign-up process. You can easily choose a plan, register a domain, and complete the purchase without encountering too many upsells. The transparency in pricing is also appreciable.

Bluehost

Bluehost's sign-up process is relatively straightforward. However, you might encounter several upsells along the way. The website is user-friendly and it’s easy to find the right plan for your needs.

Setting Up a Website

DreamHost

DreamHost's custom control panel is quite intuitive and setting up a website is straightforward. They offer a one-click installer for popular applications like WordPress, making it easy for beginners.

Bluehost

Bluehost uses cPanel, which is widely used and familiar to many. They also have a one-click installer for applications like WordPress. The integration with WordPress is particularly strong, with useful features for setting up and managing your site.

Performance

DreamHost

DreamHost offers solid performance, with features like SSD storage, and a free CDN. The loading speeds are decent, and the uptime is reliable, making it a good option for small to medium-sized websites.

Bluehost

Bluehost provides good performance, especially for WordPress sites. With SSD storage, free CDN, and optimized servers for WordPress, it ensures fast loading times and good uptime.

Customer Support

DreamHost

DreamHost’s customer support is available through live chat and tickets. The support staff is knowledgeable but sometimes the response times can be long.

Bluehost

Bluehost offers 24/7 customer support via phone, live chat, and tickets. They have a large knowledge base as well. The support staff is generally helpful, but there might be variations in the quality of support you receive.


Conclusion and Recommendations To My Dreamhost vs Bluehost Comparison Test:

Wrapping up this Bluehost or Dreamhost comparison;

What is Dreamhost best for?

DreamHost is a great choice for those who prefer a simple, transparent hosting experience with good performance and don’t need extensive customer support. Its commitment to privacy and a 97-day money-back guarantee are major pluses.

I also think Dreamhost is a great choice if you’re already scaling up your site to meet the demands of a growing business.

What is Bluehost best for?

Bluehost excels in providing a feature-rich hosting environment, especially for WordPress users. Its performance is reliable, and it offers a plethora of tools for both beginners and experienced users. Bluehost is best suited for those who want an easy-to-manage hosting platform with strong WordPress integration.

Dreamhost and Bluehost Alternatives:

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Dreamhost vs Bluehost Final word:

We may have called our Dreamhost vs Bluehost comparison for Bluehost, but we recommend that you shop around online for a hosting service that suits your particular requirements.

Click for the best Bluehost pricing


FAQs:

Do either of these hosting services offer virtual private servers?

Yes, Dreamhost has several VPS hosting plans with numerous features that users can consider for their sites.

Does either Dreamhost Bluehost have cloud hosting options?

Unfortunately, no; neither of them have options for cloud hosting.


That’s all for now:

If you've read our Dreamhost vs Bluehost comparison review up to here, we are grateful. Remember always to keep abreast of the latest developments on website builders, eCommerce, and other articles, such as the ones below;

Please share any comments below!

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