Trying to choose between DreamHost vs Bluehost to host your website?
In this article, we pit these two hosts against each other and compare them based on their:
We look in-depth at what both hosts have to offer, as well as use real-life testing to give you insight into which host provides the fastest load times.
⚙️ Which company offers the best features?
Both DreamHost and Bluehost are great affordable hosting companies that provide an extensive range of tools, features, and services. Each offer similar types of plans, including shared and managed WordPress hosting, as well as VPS and dedicated hosting options.
In this article, we will focus on the shared hosting plans that these two hosts advertise.
DreamHost is a popular hosting provider, currently hosting over one and a half million websites, of which 750k+ are WordPress installations. Offering just two shared hosting plans, DreamHost shared hosting is a good option for blogs, designers, and small businesses.
Although features differ depending on the plan you choose, if you opt for either of the DreamHost shared hosting packages you’ll get the following features:
- Free domain name (for one year if you sign up for a 12 month plan)
- Unmetered bandwidth
- WordPress pre-installed
- Automatic WordPress updates
- WP website builder
- Free SSL certificate
- Automatic daily backups
- 100% uptime guarantee
- 24/7 Support
The more expensive Shared Unlimited plan also includes unlimited website storage, unlimited websites and domains, and unlimited email accounts @ your domain.
If DreamHost has caught your attention, it is also worth checking out their managed WordPress and WooCommerce hosting packages.
We’ve previously reviewed DreamHost’s managed WordPress offering (called DreamPress).
Bluehost is another feature-rich hosting company that powers over two million websites across the globe. Owned by the global corporation Endurance International Group (EIG), Bluehost has much to offer, including shared and managed WordPress hosting.
Customers can choose from one of four shared hosting plans, with all plans incorporating the following features…
- Free domain name (for the first year)
- Free SSL certificate
- Automatic WordPress updates
- One-click WordPress install
- Unmetered bandwidth
- Website staging environment
- cPanel access
- 24/7 support
Apart from the low-tier Basic plan, all Bluehost shared hosting packages allow users to host an unlimited number of websites, and provide unlimited SSD storage, as well as unmetered bandwidth.
🙋 Is DreamHost or Bluehost easier to use?
Choosing a host that offers a user-friendly experience is important. An easy-to-use hosting service will help to streamline your website set up process, enable you to easily access any tools and features that you may need, and support you in ensuring your website is functioning at its optimal capacity.
Luckily, DreamHost vs Bluehost have both spent time perfecting their hosting dashboards, control panels, and WordPress install processes to ensure that their services are user-friendly.
DreamHost user experience
DreamHost has a quick sign up process and once your account has been created you can log into your DreamHost control panel.
DreamHost built their own custom dashboard, rather than relying on cPanel like Bluehost.
It provides access to all your account, domain, and hosting information. You can also create new websites, configure website settings and features, access website databases and files, and much more.
DreamHost will install WordPress for you in just one click. However, in my experience, installation isn’t immediate, and you may have to wait up to 10 minutes for an email announcing that your new website is ready to go.
The DreamHost Start Up Wizard walks users through the website set up process. It will help you choose a theme, create pages, and enter essential information.
You can also just build your site from scratch using the regular WordPress dashboard.
Bluehost user experience
Bluehost offers a slightly more beginner-friendly user experience than DreamHost, with a cleaner interface that helps make navigating around the tools and services a quicker and easier process.
The Bluehost dashboard is easy on the eye, and its menu on the left-hand side of the screen enables you to immediately access any features or information that you might need.
Bluehost offers a one-click WordPress install, automatically installing and setting up WordPress for you once you have selected a domain.
Bluehost also uses cPanel, giving you extra control over your website’s files, databases, and other functionality.
When Bluehost installs WordPress, it also installs its own Bluehost menu. This is a great option for beginners who may find the WordPress set up confusing or intimidating.
Within the Bluehost menu, you can easily create pages and posts, manage menus, install themes and plugins, create a staging area, and much more.
Overall, Bluehost is a user-friendly hosting provider and, in my opinion, it definitely has the edge over the user experience offered by DreamHost.
🏎️ Which provider scores higher on performance tests?
The performance of your hosting provider is paramount, as poor performance directly impacts your visitors’ experience. Poor loading times can cause visitors to leave your website and not return, ultimately preventing your site from achieving its goals and costing you in leads and revenue.
For this article, we created two test websites with brand new WordPress installations – one hosted with Bluehost and the other with DreamHost. We then put them through vigorous speed tests using Pingdom to compare DreamHost vs Bluehost performance:
- USA (Seattle) – 0.73 s 🏆
- Canada – 0.99 s 🏆
- Germany – 2.06 s 🏆
- Australia – 1.80 s 🏆
- USA (Seattle) – 1.66 s
- Canada – 1.79 s
- Germany -2.13 s
- Australia – 2.25 s
From these test results, DreamHost shows itself to be the much faster of the two hosts. Although Bluehost provides pretty average loading times, the times reported for the DreamHost hosted website are impressive.
📞 Does DreamHost vs Bluehost offer better customer support?
Both DreamHost and Bluehost provide impressive levels of support. Each run well organized knowledge bases, packed with getting started information, how-to guides and step-by-step tutorials, webinars, forums and more.
If you need to contact a member of the support team, DreamHost and Bluehost also both provide live chat and telephone support.
To gauge the quality of each host’s support staff, we turned to our survey of over 830 WordPress hosting users. We asked respondents to rank a host’s:
- Overall support quality
- WordPress-specific support quality
Here’s how DreamHost and Bluehost fared (both scores are out of 5):
- Overall support – 4.0 🏆
- WordPress support – 3.9 🏆
- Overall support – 3.2
- WordPress support – 3.4
According to the users in our survey, DreamHost offers better quality support in both areas.
💰 Which provider will be more affordable?
Both DreamHost and Bluehost are budget hosts and their shared hosting prices reflect this. However, prices do vary depending on the plans and term length. So to benefit from the cheapest prices you will need to sign up for a three year contract.
The low-tier Shared Starter plan is Dreamshost’s cheapest deal, starting at just $2.59 a month. However, the Shared Unlimited package offers the best value for your money, making it the plan that we would recommend if you decide DreamHost is the right host for you.
Shared Unlimited offers all of the DreamHost shared hosting features previously mentioned, as well as unlimited resources (e.g. – websites, bandwidth, and storage). However, as with all DreamHost pricing, the cost of this plan very much depends on how long you sign up for. Here is a breakdown of the prices…
- 3 Years – $3.95 a month / $142.2 total
- 12 Months – $2.95 a month / $35.40 total
- Monthly – $8.95 a month (no free domain name)
If you purchase a 12 or 36 month plan, then the total amount is payable upfront. Once the initial term has expired your plan’s payments will recur at $7.95 a month.
The Basic plan is the cheapest deal from Bluehost starting from just $2.95 a month. However, like DreamHost, Bluehost’s recommended Choice Plus plan offers better value for money, even though it is slightly more expensive.
The Choice Plus plan offers similar features to the DreamHost Shared Unlimited plan, with unlimited resources and websites, automatic site backup, domain protection, and access to all the Bluehost shared hosting features that we previously discussed:
- 36 Months – $5.45 a month / $196.20 total
- 24 Months – $6.95 a month / $166.80 total
- 12 Months – $7.45 a month / $89.40 total
Again, like DreamHost, Bluehost makes you pay the full amount upfront. Once your initial term length has expired, the plan renews at $14.99 a month.
Bluehost and DreamHost are evenly matched when it comes to promotional prices and their terms and conditions. However, it is long term, once your initial contract has expired, where DreamHost shines as its renewal prices are much lower.
Final thoughts on DreamHost vs Bluehost
So, now you’ve read this comparison of DreamHost and Bluehost I’m sure you’ve more or less decided which host is the best one for your website.
However, if you need a final summary, here it is…
- DreamHost – If you are looking for a low-cost budget host, that provides fast website loading times as well as an impressive range of features, then DreamHost is the hosting company for you.
- Bluehost – If you are looking for a user-friendly host that is ideal for beginners, or that offers access to cPanel, and at budget prices, then Bluehost might be the better option.
If you’re still not sure and want to discover other similar hosting providers, you can check out our collections of:
Still struggling to choose between DreamHost vs Bluehost? Ask us your questions in the comments section.
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