Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: March 2020
Our DreamHost vs Bluehost Summary
When comparing DreamHost with Bluehost, we found DreamHost ($2.59 per month) has more affordable web hosting plans, but Bluehost ($3.95 per month) has better uptime.
That being said, we found the control panel that DreamHost has easier to use and the customer support is better. Ultimately, we think DreamHost is the better web hosting provider!
DreamHost’s origin story begins in the dorm of four undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College. A year after its founding, the company began hosting customer sites, and in the time that followed it spun-off companies, such as Inktank and Akanda.
Today, DreamHost services approximately 400,000 customers around the world and employees 200 people.Sign Up With DreamHost - $2.59/mo
Bluehost got its start in Utah, as the brainchild of its founder, Matt Heat. Less than a decade after opening its doors, Endurance International Group acquired Bluehost.
Currently, Bluehost serves two million domains and offers services such as WordPress hosting, shared hosting, VPS hosting, and domain services.Sign Up With BlueHost - $3.95/mo
The Comparison for 2020
DreamHost and Bluehost are two of the largest US based web hosting providers in the world. Not only that, but they are among the three companies that WordPress recommends for use with its content management system (CMS). Their user-friendly design and a wide selection of features, enables users to enjoy a reasonably powerful and intuitive website experience.
If you are trying to decide between these two companies when it comes to your web host, you’ve come to the right place. We have taken the time to compare and contrast the two so that you can determine which option is best for you. We compared DreamHost and Bluehost on the following four factors: pricing, support, performance/speed, and ease of use.
Pricing – DreamHost Wins
DreamHost’s plans come in three packages: Shared Starter, DreamPress (specialised WordPress hosting), and VPS Basic. The Shared Starter, which is the most straightforward plan, starts at $2.59 per month. Users get a single website along with a free domain name, unlimited traffic, unmetered bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate.
The DreamPress and VPS Basic expand on these offerings, and retail at $16.95 and $13.75 per month, respectively. The most notable upgrades are more SSD disk space, unlimited websites, and one-click staging. It is worth noting that the listed prices are for the annual plans—the monthly costs for Shared starter, DreamPress, and VPS Basic are $4.95, $19.95, and $15.00, respectively.
Similar to its competitor, Bluehost provides its customers with the four distinct plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro. The Basic Plan costs $3.95/mo comes with a single website, a free domain name, 50 gigabytes of disk space, unmetered bandwidth, and a free SSL certificate. Users also have the benefit of five email accounts and a free domain name.
Plus and Choice Plus each cost $5.45 per month. Both come with unlimited websites, unmetered web space, unlimited parked and sub-domains, and unlimited email accounts and storage. Choice Plus has a competitive edge as it provides additional features, such as domain privacy and CodeGuard Basic.
Support – DreamHost Wins
Typically, the world of web hosting is not the high-water mark when it comes to amazing customer service. DreamHost is above average though, with good customer service reviews. Users have the benefit of 24/7 in-house support through email or live chat.
The limits of the live chat support may diminish the luster, but customer reviews don’t seem to show it. It is worth noting that DreamHost does offer a sizeable money-back guarantee, which runs for an arbitrary 97 days. So you really have very little to lose by trying them out.
Bluehost, on the other hand, goes all out when it comes to 24/7 technical support. Users can get in touch with one of their experts via live chat, email ticket support, or by phone. Once you are connected, you can expect fast service, as well as a likely resolution to your problem or query.
Despite the full range of customer support features, Bluehost did not fare quite as well in its user reviews. They had generally mixed reviews about the quality of its technical support. So while Bluehost has more support options, DreamHost wins this one as their customer reviews are better compared to Bluehost.
Speed – Bluehost Wins
The performance and speed are two significant factors when it comes to the usability of a website for visitors. DreamHost provides a respectable 99.96% uptime, which equates to three and a half hours of downtime per year. They also have an uptime guarantee, which compensates users for any downtime experienced during the year.
DreamHost fared well in the speed category, too. Their average page load time was around 720ms, which they have maintained consistently over the past two years. They even had loading times in the upper 500ms range as of mid-2018, thanks to new data centers on both US coasts.
Spoiler alert—Bluehost elbows out DreamHost in both performance and speed. Their 99.99% uptime is one of the highest tested in the industry. In 2018, they posted nine flawless months of uptime to the satisfaction of Bluehost users across the world.
Bluehost currently has its primary and secondary data centers in Provo and Orem, UT. Furthermore, they sport one of the quickest page load times at 400ms. No matter the source you analyze for web hosting speeds, you can expect Bluehost to be comfortably in the top five in the industry.
While both work for US based websites, if you need web hosting services for Australia, or even the UK, you might want to look for alternatives like SiteGround or A2 Hosting, as they have data centers on different continents.
Ease of Use – It’s a Tie
One of the significant differences between DreamHost and Bluehost is their control panels. DreamHost does not offer cPanel, which has effectively become the industry standard. Instead, they offer users a customized control panel, which is fine for beginners but may frustrate webmasters and designers (we like it more… but understand it might not suit everyone).
As for custom site builders that aren’t your usual CMSs like WordPress or Joomla, DreamHost does offer Remixer, which provides professional-grade templates to novice users. The building interface is easy to understand as the themes are responsive and plug-ins are abundant. Advanced users can access the HTML code and use Markdown to add their personal touches.
Bluehost is also very easy to use and has a partially custom control panel, in combination with cPanel. They have a LOT of documentation and tutorials on how to build a website. From registering a domain name, to installing WordPress, and pushing the site live, it’s all there. Super handy.
Conclusion – DreamHost Wins
As we mentioned in our Bluehost vs DreamHost summary, when we consider all the factors and features, DreamHost comes out on top. The pricing is competitive, the value pretty amazing, and their customer support is better then Bluehost. DreamHost gets a big thumbs up from us!