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You’re starting to suspect you need a website hosting provider to help grow your business — likely because you’re starting an online venture or you’re trying to scale your business with a digital storefront.

Typically, research on web hosting solutions will lead you to Bluehost and DreamHost — but you’ll still need to determine which is ideal for your business.

In this guide, we’ll reveal what you should look out for in a web host, then compare the different features of Bluehost vs. DreamHost to highlight the best web hosting company for your business. Let’s get into it.

Overview: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

Bluehost and DreamHost are established web hosting companies, both with at least two decades of experience. They’re the only hosting companies the core WordPress developers recommend.

One important note is that over time, each web host has developed unique features to stay competitive and make their customers’ lives easier. Yet, regardless of the web hosts’ differences, you can accomplish the same general goals with either of them.

For instance, say you’re wondering about website management. While Bluehost integrated the widely trusted cPanel into its dashboard, DreamHost took the time to build a custom control panel for its clients.

Either way, both web hosts include an interface to help customers manage their webpages, databases, emails and billing. Your final choice will depend mainly on each provider’s nuances and niche perks relative to your business goals.

How to choose between web hosts

How to choose between web hosts.

To choose the best host, first define your business requirements. Ask yourself questions like:

  • Which stage of growth is my business in?
  • Do I have a team to handle varying ongoing responsibilities?
  • How much traffic do I expect on my website?
  • Do I need a business email? How many? How often will they be used?
  • What’s the geographical location of my primary audience?
  • Which security features do I need?
  • How often do I need my data backed up?

Once you’re satisfied outlining your ideal, we can dive into the comparison.

Plans comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

Both Bluehost and DreamHost offer typical web hosting plans, such as:

On the other hand, Bluehost has four different shared hosting plans, while DreamHost only has two shared hosting options. Shared hosting is a budget-friendly option, which means new small businesses can capitalize on Bluehost’s wider selection.

Shared hosting

This type of plan allows hosting providers to run multiple customers’ websites from a single server. Think of it like a landlord renting a three-bedroom house to three people; as one roommate, you’re paying a more affordable rent compared to having the whole house alone.

Shared hosting is ideal for less demanding websites like blogs and portfolios. If your website likely won’t get huge surges in traffic, use shared hosting to save money while using fewer resources.

Businesses with a high resource demand, like online stores, are often better off using dedicated servers — which is like being the landlord’s exclusive tenant.

BluehostDreamhost
Subdomains25 free subdomains on the base plan5 free subdomains on the base plan
Free domain name (first year)AvailableAvailable
Website builderAvailableAvailable
Email hostingFree trial availableStarts at $1.67 per user, monthly
SSD storageStarts at 10 GBStarts at 50 GB
Unlimited websites1 to 5 websites1 on the basic plan, unlimited on the Shared Unlimited plan
Automated daily backupsAvailable on the Choice Plus plan and higherAvailable
eCommerce planAvailableNone
Free domain privacyAvailable, except for the basic planAvailable

WooCommerce hosting

WooCommerce hosting simplifies the process of creating and launching a digital store. It’s based around the website builder WordPress, linked to the hugely popular eCommerce plugin WooCommerce.

Both Bluehost and DreamHost are dedicated to creating a conducive environment for online businesses to set up quickly and thrive.

BluehostDreamHost
Website analyticsAvailableAvailable
Storage40 to 100 GB30 to 120 GB
Free SSL certificateAvailableAvailable
Free domain name (first year)AvailableAvailable
Professional email accountsAvailableUnlimited email
Automated daily backupsAvailableAvailable
Automated WordPress updatesAvailableAvailable
Unmetered bandwidthAvailableAvailable

Pricing comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

With both hosting providers, you get the best value when you commit to the annual or three-year plan.

Both providers have an introductory fee — in most cases, it’s significantly lower than the recurring fee after your first pay period of at least 12 months. However, there are some exceptions.

With annual billing, DreamHost will charge you $2.95 monthly for the first year of shared hosting. But that price jumps to $12.99 in the following years, four times the original price.

Before you fork out a significant amount of money upfront, understand what you’ll get. Let’s look at a complete summary of the price ranges from each provider.



 

Bluehost

DreamHost

 

Monthly starting price (range) 

Monthly renewal price (range)

Monthly starting price (range)

Monthly renewal price (range)

Shared hosting (12-month plan)

$2.65 to $9.95

$11.99 to $28.99

$2.95

$6.99 to $12.99

Dedicated hosting 

$89.98 to $139.99 (36-month plan)

$179.99 to $259.99 (36-month plan)

$149 to $379.99  (12-month plan)

$149 to $379.99  (12-month plan)

VPS hosting (36-month plan)

$29.99 to $69.99

$79.99 to $142.99

$10 to $80

$12.99 to $92.99

WordPress hosting (12-month plan)

$2.65 to $9.95

$11.99 to $28.99

$2.95

$6.99 to $12.99

WooCommerce hosting (12-month plan)

$6.75 to $9.95

$26.99 to $39.95

$16.95 to $71.95

$19.99 to $74.99

Each company believes in its services so much that they offer money-back guarantees. Bluehost has a 30-day money-back guarantee, while DreamHost has a 97-day money-back guarantee.

Feature comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

Both providers have a similar roster of great features. Pay attention to the possible use cases and subtle pricing differences below.

Website builder

If you’re looking to create a beautiful website from scratch quickly, a website builder can walk you through the steps in minutes.

Both hosting providers offer free website builders with their WordPress plans, which makes it a tough decision between Bluehost vs. DreamHost for WordPress lovers.

DreamHost’s drag-and-drop website builder includes over 200 templates to work with. Plus, it makes real-time SEO recommendations as you build your website.

Bluehost’s website builder, WonderSuite, is included in all hosting plans, not just WordPress-centric ones.

WonderSuite’s collection of tools centers around swiftly setting up a complete website. You’ll answer a few simple questions and select some colors, fonts and layouts. Then, you’ll see a full preview of your website. Even for a beginner, it couldn’t be more intuitive.

After the quick setup, you can customize details as overarching as your theme or as specific as the shopping cart settings.

Notably, WonderSuite integrates well with the native WordPress editor, meaning you can switch back and forth comfortably.

eCommerce and marketing

Launch your eCommerce business with Bluehost's WooCommerce hosting.
Screenshot

Both companies heavily invest in supporting eCommerce businesses, which accounts for the competitive WooCommerce hosting packages. With WooCommerce, you can start an eCommerce website within a few hours.

Additionally, both providers go the extra mile by offering website design and marketing services. With those tasks handled, you can focus on the production and customer service side of your online store.

Digital marketing services from Bluehost include search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to grow your organic traffic and your paid traffic, respectively.

Content delivery networks (CDNs)

A CDN decreases a website’s load time by hosting its files on multiple servers throughout the country, continent or even the world.

It’s faster since whenever someone accesses the website, its data is sent from the closest server to them. Businesses with international customers will get the most use out of CDNs.

Bluehost includes the Cloudflare CDN integration in every hosting plan it offers, while DreamHost doesn’t have an equivalent.

Although DreamHost users can manually add a CDN, it’s a hassle compared to having it pre-installed.

Website migration

Migrating an existing website can be tricky because significantly altering its structure, design or host provider can affect your ranking on Google and other search engines. No one wants to lose potential customers due to switching web hosts.

To ensure your website migration process is successful, Bluehost and DreamHost each offer a free one-click migration plugin and a customer support team ready 24/7.

As a result, your website will remain functional, aesthetic and Google-optimized after switching providers.

Free and professional email accounts

Bluehost integrates with Google Workspace to bring your professional emails to life.
Screenshot

Email is an essential tool for running your business. You’ll need it most for customer support and internal communication.

Bluehost understands this and offers you up to five free accounts on the base plan. Unfortunately, you don’t get this with DreamHost. You must pay a monthly recurring fee of $1.67 for each account you create.

Both companies let you manage your professional email accounts with Google Workspace. The difference is that Bluehost’s Google Workspace emails have a starter plan that costs just $3 monthly, while DreamHost’s base email plan costs $7.20 monthly.

Performance comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

Bluehost and DreamHost offer exceptional performance value for your money; they both offer the latest hosting hardware and software. To quantify their performances, let’s look at uptime and load speed.

Both companies offer a 99.9% high-speed uptime guarantee. Do they live up to their promises? Consider the following.

Uptime

Uptime is one of the most crucial factors when choosing a hosting provider. When you run an eCommerce business, even a 10-minute downtime can cost you significantly, depending on your typical traffic and average order value.

A CodeinWP uptime spot check showed that during four months of late 2023, Bluehost had 100% uptime while DreamHost had 94.43% uptime.

In this regard, Bluehost lives up to its promise, while DreamHost falls a little short.

Load speed

Page load time is how long it takes for your audience’s browsers to load visible content completely. When it’s too long, most internet users quickly browse elsewhere.

Google staff recommends keeping your page load time below three seconds for the best results, including higher ranking on search engine results pages.

It’s clear that a low page load time is ideal for your website’s traffic. To get there, choose a web host with a great server response time.

A November 2023 spot check on Bluehost revealed that the servers respond in 2 milliseconds. Meanwhile, the DreamHost servers’ response time was 61ms in the U.S.

A November 2023 spot check on Bluehost revealed that the servers respond in 2 milliseconds. Meanwhile, the DreamHost servers’ response time was 61ms in the U.S.

Ease of use comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

Great software is intuitive. All the major and most used tools should be easy to spot and use. DreamHost and Bluehost have impressive user interfaces on dashboards and control panels. Is there one that comes out on top?

For starters, Bluehost offers the original cPanel, thoroughly tested by time. Even better, Bluehost beautifully integrates it with the Maestro dashboard.

You’ll carry out most common tasks in the Maestro dashboard, like managing WordPress installations and subdomains. Meanwhile, more complicated tasks get resolved in cPanel’s Advanced tab.

On the other hand, DreamHost has its custom control panel solution, built from the ground up. It’s well organized but takes some getting used to. You’ll find all the useful features needed to manage your database, users, emails and domains.

Customer support comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

A typical exchange with Bluehost’s customer support chat.
Screenshot

Prompt and reliable customer support is a non-negotiable ask for most hosting clients. Imagine experiencing an issue that takes your website down. When faced with issues, you need customer support that’s accessible, competent and swift at problem-solving.

Both DreamHost and Bluehost offer round-the-clock live chat support and phone support with all web hosting plans. Additionally, they have extensive knowledge bases for customers to find and resolve common issues independently.

Security comparison: Bluehost vs. DreamHost

Important security features to look for in a hosting company.

Hosting companies take security seriously. Bluehost, for instance, has an in-house team to help you configure SiteLock. This add-on enables firewalls, vulnerability patching and more features that bolster your website security.

Free and premium Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates

SSL is a security protocol that encrypts connections between web servers and browsers. With this encryption, personal information, eCommerce transactions and other activities on your website are secured from intruders.

Both Bluehost and DreamHost give you a free SSL encryption certificate (from Let’s Encrypt) on all plans.

Automated malware scan and removal

Malware can manipulate your website in unexpected ways. For example, some cases involve a victim’s website having all outbound links redirected to boost traffic to the hacker’s website — at the cost of the victim’s own SEO.

Bluehost and DreamHost automatically scan and remove any malware from your website.

Regular backups and updates

DreamHost and Bluehost both provide automatic WordPress core updates whenever a new, more secure version is released.

Even when you employ strong security and bleeding-edge hardware, unforeseen circumstances do happen. In those times, you’ll treasure having a copy of your data stashed somewhere safe. This is why both companies offer daily automated backups.

Final thoughts: Who’s the ultimate web host?

One thing’s for sure in the DreamHost vs. Bluehost debate: They’re close competitors that offer top-notch web hosting services and great customer experience.

However, with shared hosting plans, Bluehost takes the lead with a more comprehensive set of beginner-friendly options.

You can expect the pinnacle of reliable uptime from Bluehost. Plus, take advantage of the more experienced dashboard and control panel.

Both DreamHost and Bluehost offer plans for WordPress websites and WooCommerce stores. However, small businesses will find Bluehost more accommodating because the plans come stocked with a broader array of essential tools, like free emails, to support new digital storefronts.

To side with Bluehost, start by settling on which type of web hosting you need.

Bluehost vs. DreamHost: FAQs

Does Bluehost come with WordPress?

Yes. Provided you have an active hosting plan, installing and activating a WordPress site only takes a few minutes. It is even easier if you’re on the managed WordPress hosting plan; the in-house team will do everything for you.

Does Bluehost come with email?

Yes. With Bluehost’s shared hosting plans, you can get up to five free professional emails with your domain name.

Does DreamHost have cPanel?

No. But it has a custom-developed control panel that helps you manage your website in a comparable fashion to cPanel. If you’re particularly fond of the authentic cPanel experience, side with Bluehost instead.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    Education
    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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