BlueHost and DreamHost are two web hosting companies that have been around for years and are both well known and popular web hosts. While they have a lot in common in terms of price and features there are important differences between the pair. Differences that are good to know to help you make an informed decision. Find out what these differences are in our 2015 head-to-head comparison between Bluehost.com or DreamHost.com.
The first part of the comparison between Bluehost and DreamHost looks at what the main hosting features are, these features are often the deciding factors when it comes to choosing a web hosting company.
Bluehost offers flexible 12, 24 or every 36 month payment options, while DreamHost pricing is only either 12 or 24 months. Both companies offer money back guarantees if you aren't 100% satisified.
Bandwidth is another word for the amount of traffic that your site is allowed to handle. Both Bluehost and DreamHost offers unlimited bandwidth meaning there aren't any limits on the amount of traffic your site can handle.
Disk storage is the amount of physical disk space on the server for your web pages, files, images, videos and so on. Bluehost and DreamHost offer unlimited disk storage with the hosting plans.
Multiple websites or sometimes called add-on domains refer to the number of extra, or add-on, websites you are allowed to host on one account. Both DreamHost and Bluehost lets you host and manage as many sites and domains as you want on one account.
Both Bluehost and DreamHost gives you a free domain name for the first year when you signup with web hosting with them.
Backing up files and databases is very important, and having it done automatically ensures that backups are performed on a regular basis. Bluehost offers automated weekly backups in their plans at no extra cost. DreamHost does offer complete backups of your account but it is not done automatically. Manual backups can be done in the controlpanel of DreamHost and Bluehost.
Anyone who has managed a site knows that a hosting provider is only as good as the support they offer. At some point you will need to contact support, therefore it's important to factor in the quality of customer support a web hosting provider offers.
Both companies offer really good in-house support, you get to speak-chat-email with friendly, knowledgeable staff that can be accessed 24/7 all year round.
You want your account and hosting setup as quickly as possible. DreamHost and Bluehost account and hosting setup is speedy. Meaning you can start working on your site pretty much right away.
DreamHost and Bluehost customers have the option of live chat with customer support, live chat is accessible 24*7.
At some point you will need to reach out to support. 24x7 technical support is included with all Bluehost and DreamHost plans. Available via phone, email and live chat anytime and every day of the year.
Bluehost offers a 30-day money back full refund guarantee on all plans and a pro-rated refund after the first month. DreamHost goes beyond that and offers a 97 days money back guarantee.
The technical features are the nuts and bolts of web hosting.
Here in this part of the comparison we list some of the most important Bluehost vs DreamHost technical features and specifications. It is important to know what these, sometimes complicated and technical jargon rich, features are when you compare web hosts.
Bluehost offers cPanel which is the industry standard control panel that allows you to easily manage and transfer files, create databases, take backups, manage email and install programs. DreamHost has developed their control panel which is a DreamHost proprietary software which can take a bit of time to getting used to.
A database is the place where all of the data is stored. A minimum of one database per website is needed. MySQL is the most common type of database and both DreamHost and Bluehost offer unlimited MySQL databases.
FTP is an acronym for "file transfer protocol" and is a nifty way of uploading and downloading files between your desktop computer and your web host. FileZilla is a free software you can use to transfer files to and from your website and home computer.
WordPress is the number one choice website builder software. Both Bluehost and DreamHost offers 1-click WP installation capability that will automatically install WordPress on your hosting account for you, with a click of a button.
The .htaccess file is a web server configuration file that lets you control global configurations of specific files and directories. For example .htaccess can optimize page speed and can be used to improve search engine optimization.
Cron jobs is scheduling tool to perform repetitive tasks automatically at set time intervals. For example you can use Cron to automatically delete temporary files or run database backups.
The importance of email cannot be understated and this is one of the most important features of web hosting. At the very basic level you want to be able to send and receive emails using your website's domain name.
The web host you decide to sign up with should allow you to create email accounts, let you access webmail, create autoresponders and let you forward emails.
Both Bluehost and DreamHost offer unlimited email accounts. Meaning that you can create and manage as many email addresses as you would like with unlimited POP, IMAP and SMTP email accounts.
Webmail lets you use your web browser to check your email from any device and from any location. Both Bluehost and DreamHost offer webmail so that you can access, send and receive emails.
Email forwarding allows you to forward emails to a different email address. For example you might want to forward your emails to a Gmail address. Both providers offer unlimited email forwarding capabilites.
This might sound obvious but it is critical that your website loads quickly and that your site is up and running. Both search engines and visitors to your site expect your site to load fast and be accessible online 24x7.
A web host's page speed load time and uptime are obvious but critical factors to consider when choosing a web hosting company.
Page load time is the time it takes for the server load a webpage the first time it is accessed by a visitor (not yet in the browser's cache). Your site will reside on the web host's server and the faster the host's server loads the better, it's as simple as that. In our test (From: Los Angeles using Firefox, on cable internet connection) Bluehost loaded in 2.4 seconds, DreamHost in 4.7 seconds.
First byte is the time the server takes to render the first byte of information when rendering a web page. First byte is a good indicator of the overall speed of the web server. In our test (From: Los Angeles using Firefox, on cable internet connection) Bluehost loaded in 0.33 seconds and DreamHost in 0.34 seconds.
DreamHost guarantees 99.9% uptime of your site, while Bluehost makes no guarantees with regard to uptime.
Here we compare some of the more nice-to-have web hosting features.
For example software and application scripts (such as installation of WordPress) and free advertising credit on Google AdWords and Facebook to help you get your site found.
Both DreamHost and Bluehost offer a range of free applications and software you can install. With a click of a button you can install popular software such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Guestbooks, Polls and Surveys making it easy to build, enhance and manage your site.
DreamHost and Bluehost offer free $100 Google Adwords credit. This is a great offer to get you started advertising your new site on the world’s most popular search engine.
A side by side comparison between Bluehost and DreamHost, two of the most popular web hosting companies that manage thousands of happy customers websites, it is bound to be a close call. However there has to be a winner, and in this case there is a clear winner. According to our DreamHost vs Bluehost head to head comparison, Bluehost comes out as the winner.
Bluehost has 4 "wins", and DreamHost 2 "wins" and there are 18 "tie" scores.