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DreamHost vs Bluehost (2021): Choosing the Right Web Hosting Provider

DreamHost and Bluehost are two web hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress.org, so you know you’ll be in good hands either way. However, each one offers a different experience, and choosing one is a make-or-break moment for your website.

Right off the bat, DreamHost is our recommendation. It has a rich set of features and the performance to match, and its plans are available for the right price. Bluehost is also a decent pick, and it has a slight advantage when it comes to ease of use. At the end of the day, it’s a close second to DreamHost, and in some cases, it might even cater to your needs better.

DreamHost vs Bluehost Comparison Chart

NameDreamHostBluehost
 DreamHost vs BluehostDreamHost vs Bluehost
PriceCheck Price at DreamHost.comCheck Price at Bluehost.com
Free Domain for 1 YearYes, available on 1- and 3-year termsYes
Number of WebsitesUnlimited, except Shared Starter (1)Unlimited, except Basic (1)
Storage SpaceUnlimited SSD, except Shared Starter (50 GB)Unlimited SSD, except Basic (50 GB)
Free SSL CertificateYesYes
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
Uptime GuaranteeYesNo
Control PanelCustom dashboardcPanel
24/7 Support24/7 DreamHost Help Bot, live chat (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT), ticketing system, phone (paid)Yes, live chat and phone
Money-Back Guarantee97 days30 days

Features

Unlike Bluehost, DreamHost has automated daily backups, even on its cheapest shared hosting plan.

DreamHost vs Bluehost Features
DreamHost keeps things simple with only two shared web hosting subscriptions.

To start things off, both are full-blown web hosting providers. They have managed and shared WordPress hosting and WooCommerce hosting, as well as standard shared, VPS and dedicated hosting. DreamHost even has a cloud hosting option, making it more flexible in a sense. For this comparison, we’re taking a look at their plain shared web hosting plans, which are typically the most affordable way to get a website off the ground. 

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DreamHost has two options: Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited. With both, you’ll get a free domain for one year, unlimited traffic, free SSL certificate and automatic daily backups, including WordPress preinstalled, automatic WordPress updates, free WordPress migration and WordPress site builder. Starter only comes with one website and 50 GB of SSD storage, and email is a paid add-on for this plan. Unlimited provides unlimited websites, SSD storage and email domains.

On the other hand, Bluehost has four plans: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. All include a free domain for one year, free SSL certificate, free CDN and unmetered bandwidth. Basic is limited to one website and 50 GB of SSD, and upgrading to any of the higher plans gives you unlimited websites and storage. Choice Plus provides free domain privacy and a year of automated backup, while Pro also has free domain privacy, automated backup for the entire term and dedicated IP. There’s the shared WordPress hosting option for automatic WordPress installs and updates, staging and free WordPress migration (if your website meets the criteria, that is).

Considering their prices, DreamHost’s plans give you a lot of value for money (more on that in a few). Speaking of, DreamHost offers automated daily backups, something that’s available starting only on Bluehost’s Choice Plus or as a paid add-on.

Performance

Expect faster loading times on DreamHost.

DreamHost vs Bluehost Performance
Only DreamHost has a 100 percent uptime guarantee.

It’s no secret that fast loading times are a key to success. After all, visitors won’t think twice in leaving your website if your pages load at a snail’s pace.

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According to various tests, DreamHost generally offers faster speeds across the board, be it from the United States, Japan, Singapore, Canada, Australia or Germany. What’s more, it’s the only one of the two that has a 100 percent uptime guarantee, meaning you’ll be compensated for any downtime. Bluehost doesn’t have anything similar, but on average, it has an uptime north of 99 percent. In other words, it’s reliable.

Ease of Use

Bluehost is easier to use, thanks to its simple control panel.

DreamHost vs Bluehost Ease of Use
Like most web hosting companies, Bluehost uses cPanel.

DreamHost doesn’t use cPanel, which is the most common control panel that most web hosting providers use. Instead, it uses a custom-built panel. It’s fairly easy to use, providing a simple enough user interface that lays out commands and tasks you can do on it. There’s also a WordPress installer that sets everything up at a tap of a button.

Meanwhile, Bluehost uses cPanel, and its dashboard is arguably more straightforward. In a word, it’s clean and organized. It has a one-click WordPress installer as well, and when it sets up WordPress, it installs its own menu to boot. That’s a huge plus for beginners who might find tinkering with WordPress a bit difficult.

Support

You can get in touch with customer representatives from Bluehost 24/7.

DreamHost vs Bluehost Support
According to user reviews, DreamHost has better customer support.

Bluehost has 24/7 live chat and phone support and a sizable knowledge base full of useful articles and other instructions to resolve any issue their users may run into. DreamHost has a 24/7 DreamHost Help Bot and ticketing system, and its live chat is available from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT, seven days a week. Its phone support is also a paid service. However, only DreamHost has discussion forums, which comes in real handy when you need the opinion of others or just want to ask a question.

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As for the quality of their customer support, it’s hard to tell since users get wildly different experiences in dealing with their representatives. For the most part, they both do a bang-up job, leaving users satisfied with how they handled their requests. But the consensus is DreamHost’s level of assistance is a notch above Bluehost’s.

Price

You’ll pay less for DreamHost’s services.

DreamHost vs Bluehost Price
DreamHost (top) plans are cheaper than Bluehost (bottom) subscriptions.

The two companies’ web hosting plans are easy on the budget, but DreamHost’s are more affordable. For example, the Shared Starter subscription begins at $2.59 a month, while Bluehost’s Basic is at $2.95 a month, which is a promo price that lasts only during the initial term and reverts to its regular price of $7.99 a month after renewal.

Both also have money-back guarantees, but DreamHost’s offer lasts for 97 days, blowing Bluehost’s 30 days.

Verdict

If you can live with its control panel, DreamHost’s offerings go a long way.

DreamHost

Affordable and fast web hosting

DreamHost vs Bluehost

Bluehost

Decent web hosting alternative

DreamHost vs Bluehost

DreamHost wins across the board, from performance and features to price and support quality. It delivers faster speeds and offers subscriptions with better price points, and it has a 100 percent uptime guarantee. The exception is ease of use, as Bluehost’s cPanel is arguably simpler.

Again, DreamHost is our pick hands down, but Bluehost is still a viable option if you want something simpler and more “standard” in the sense that cPanel is used by the majority of web hosting providers.

FAQs

📌 Does DreamHost compensate users for downtime?

Yes, DreamHost has a 100 percent uptime guarantee, and it’ll compensate users for any downtime they might experience.

📌 Is DreamHost a good website host?

Yes, DreamHost’s plans are affordable and packed with features to get a website up and running. It also has excellent 24/7 support and performance.

📌 Is WordPress free with DreamHost?

Yes, DreamHost’s shared web hosting plans come with WordPress preinstalled.

📌 Who does WordPress recommend for hosting?

WordPress.org officially recommends three web hosting providers: DreamHost, Bluehost and SiteGround.

Vincent Lanaria