DreamHost vs. Bluehost (2017)

Ryan Frankel Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested Bluehost & DreamHost — The winner is Bluehost!”

Two titans of the WordPress hosting world, DreamHost and Bluehost are two of only three hosting providers recommended by the world-famous content management system. Bluehost is a slightly more beginner-friendly, full-service host, while DreamHost offers premium managed services with infrastructure powered by performant solid-state drives. The choice is difficult: go with the well-known industry leader or the powerful and experienced dark horse?

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Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Bluehost »
Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit DreamHost »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

Bluehost has long been a favorite of mine in the shared and WordPress hosting spaces. They adhere to modern standards for hardware, and their customer support is fantastic. For the vast majority of... read more +

Bluehost has long been a favorite of mine in the shared and WordPress hosting spaces. They adhere to modern standards for hardware, and their customer support is fantastic. For the vast majority of customers, Bluehost’s shared server options will accommodate their hosting needs for a web presence. Once you outgrow the traffic allowances of shared web hosting, however, Bluehost excels in the VPS and dedicated hosting niches, too.

What makes Bluehost packages most appealing is their reputation for affordability and usability. Web novices and veterans alike can appreciate that. Added incentives, such as free domains, marketing credits, and unlimited emails, make this provider a bang-for-the-buck favorite throughout the hosting community.

For those just getting started, perhaps on their first website, we’d like to point out that Bluehost has revamped their user experience — beefing up the user-friendliness factor significantly in recent years. Users will find the dashboard and overall customer experience to be welcoming — about as non-daunting for newcomers as web hosting gets. If you’re looking for WordPress hosting specifically, whether on a shared, cloud, or dedicated server, you’ve come to the right host. Bluehost is one of the few providers endorsed by the WordPress Core team. Install the popular blogging platform in a single click via the control panel, or have their managed services team take care of it for you.

As previously mentioned, Bluehost also tops the charts in server hosting — offering fantastic performance at competitive prices. With two to four cores and guaranteed resources, your virtual or dedicated server will be performant, powerful, and online virtually 24/7. The Bluehost team leverages industry-leading open-source technologies, such as KVM and OpenStack, to eke out as much performance as possible, leaving you with the utmost flexibility and reliability. Sold? VPS and dedicated plans include instant provisioning, because waiting for your server is so 2000s.

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  • FREE domain and site builder
  • 1-click WordPress installs
  • Unlimited site traffic and in-house support available 24/7
  • Usually $7.99/month, but our visitors pay $2.95/month!
  • Industry-leading hardware and uptime
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A top-notch host for those who know what they're looking for, DreamHost offers nuanced and performant hosting perfect for scaling websites and applications through the ranks of shared, VPS, cloud, and... read more +

A top-notch host for those who know what they're looking for, DreamHost offers nuanced and performant hosting perfect for scaling websites and applications through the ranks of shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting.

We love their features but realize that beginners or hobbyist developers might not want to fork over the extra cash to capitalize on the performance, optimization, and managed services that DreamHost offers.

If, however, your site is growing and gathering more and more traffic, few hosts will take care of you as well as DreamHost. Managed services include infrastructure management, automatic backups and updates, malware scans, and DDoS protection.

We appreciate how the independently owned company was built on a passion for open-source technologies. DreamHost developers routinely contribute code back to communities, such as WordPress and OpenStack, and the company has used their brainpower and experience to create the open-source storage system Ceph and OpenStack cloud network virtualization tool Akanda.

As such, DreamHost support agents know what they're talking about. Available all day, every day, the in-house support team provides help worthy of DreamHost's speedy SSD-based architecture, hand-crafted control panel, WordPress-tailored solutions, and reliable managed services.

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  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • In-house, 24/7 customer support
  • FREE SSL/TLS certificates
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Supercharged SSDs on all plans
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 5.0/5.0

#2 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

If you’re looking for an affordable host, Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice, but their low cost coupled with their supremacy in the shared hosting arena is what makes this provider such a value deal.... read more +

If you’re looking for an affordable host, Bluehost is a solid, reputable choice, but their low cost coupled with their supremacy in the shared hosting arena is what makes this provider such a value deal. The Bluehost name is listed toward the top of many of our reviews categories, and with good reason. They offer excellent hardware configurations, a generous list of extras, and fantastic support and reliability — all at a price point that’s, generally, lower than the competition.

The speed and performance result from very modern hardware and a global content delivery network. They also offer nearly unlimited everything, including storage, emails, and bandwidth, and many other perks. For example, they include a free domain and marketing credits to get your site off the ground — adding to their value.

We rank Bluehost at or near the top for their WordPress, VPS, and dedicated options and if those fit your needs, please check them out. You’ll be happy to note their incredibly competitive pricing across the board.

We are convinced Bluehost has the goods to meet your hosting needs today and in the future, but more importantly, they are too. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee should you become dissatisfied with any of their plans for any reason; however, we’re willing to bet you won’t be.

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  • Known for performance at a low price
  • Endorsed by WordPress.org team
  • FREE Weebly site builder and templates
  • FREE Cloudflare CDN
  • Get 63% off today (was $7.99/month)
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#9 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

While their price might be a little steep compared to other high-value hosting providers, DreamHost gives customers ample time and reasons to get hooked and stick around. The company, which started in the... read more +

While their price might be a little steep compared to other high-value hosting providers, DreamHost gives customers ample time and reasons to get hooked and stick around. The company, which started in the founders' dorm room in 1997, offers an industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime and will reimburse customers the cost of a whole day of hosting for each hour of downtime outside of scheduled maintenance.

We love that DreamHost seems to be genuinely built with their customers' experience and success in mind. Beyond unlimited storage and bandwidth, their luxurious shared hosting package boasts high-performance SSDs that make your websites perform at least 20 times faster. Customers can also enjoy unlimited domain hosting, free domain privacy on sites registered through DreamHost, and unlimited email accounts.

We found that DreamHost's hand-crafted control panel gives easy access to all the tools beginners need to start and grow their sites: 1-click installers of top content management systems and eCommerce tools, SSL/TLS certificates from Let's Encrypt, and automated malware scans.

Their award-winning support and service teams are staffed by self-described tech veterans, geeks, and nerds who are trained to Tier II to provide the most knowledgeable and experienced assistance. If the extensive knowledgebase and user forums don't solve your problems, you can reach the in-house support team around the clock through phone callbacks, email tickets, Twitter, and live chat.

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  • Automated malware scans
  • Unlimited domain hosting
  • Unlimited email accounts with POP/IMAP/SMTP
  • FREE eCommerce store tools and PCI compliance
  • Streamlined proprietary control panel
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#3 out of 7 in Dedicated Hosting reviews

Built on OpenStack technology, with a minimum of four cores per server, Bluehost offers reliable and flexible dedicated hosting options at an extremely reasonable price. We continually praise their shared... read more +

Built on OpenStack technology, with a minimum of four cores per server, Bluehost offers reliable and flexible dedicated hosting options at an extremely reasonable price. We continually praise their shared hosting options for having fantastic hardware and a great management console, and their dedicated offerings are no different.

Designed and maintained in house, Bluehost uses only the latest technologies on their dedicated servers. Their most recent upgrade moved all CPUs to four cores, 1TB of RAID storage, and between four and 16 gigs of available RAM. Each server is provisioned instantly and can be upgraded at any time with essentially just a few mouse clicks.

One reason we’ll always consider Bluehost for our hosting needs is their fantastic 24/7 support team. They do have a premium team of engineers for their dedicated servers. The expert technicians are incredibly helpful and available at a moment’s notice.
Already one of our favorite hosting companies, when you combine their fanatical support and the value offered in their dedicated hosting plans, Bluehost is hard to pass up.

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  • RAID 1 mirrored storage
  • Minimum 3 IP addresses per plan
  • Modern hardware, spec'd and maintained in house
  • 24/7 expedited support from the dedicated team
  • Sign up today for 50% off first month
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
1 TB
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times... read more +

When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times more RAM compared to well-known competitors. What's more, DreamHost includes up to 2TB of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a 100% uptime guarantee.

All dedicated servers come with full root and shell access, along with DDoS protection, RAID 1 storage, and unlimited MySQL databases. With DreamHost's custom control panel, customers can quickly add, remove, or reboot servers with just a few clicks.

We appreciate that DreamHost prides themselves on providing open-source solutions, contributing to and supporting developer communities, and maintaining expert-level support teams. In addition to running Ubuntu Long Term support, DreamHost supports PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby.

DreamHost has datacenters on both coasts and offers integration with the Cloudflare content delivery network, making sure your content loads quickly, no matter where your traffic comes from.

DreamHost's newest facility, dubbed "Data Center Alley," includes 2N+2 power redundancy and dual water lines for redundant cooling. Around-the-clock staffing, a 1GBps internet connection, and emergency generators can give dedicated hosting customers peace of mind that their sites will stay online for the long haul.

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  • Up to 12 cores available
  • Full root and shell access
  • DDoS protection and 24/7 server monitoring
  • Fully managed and customizable hardware options
  • RAID 1 HDD or SSD storage
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
240 GB SSD - 2 TB HDD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#3 out of 7 in VPS Hosting reviews

When comparing the performance versus price of VPS plans, Bluehost brings supreme value to the table. In addition to competitive pricing, they offer premium support and excellent uptime compared to other... read more +

When comparing the performance versus price of VPS plans, Bluehost brings supreme value to the table. In addition to competitive pricing, they offer premium support and excellent uptime compared to other VPS options in the industry. If you’ve outgrown shared hosting, or need the flexibility and security of a VPS, Bluehost is a great choice for you.

Bluehost’s virtual servers boast several benefits compared to standard shared hosting and other VPS offerings. The first is speed; Bluehost offers your choice of two or four cores and 4GB to 16GB of RAM with guaranteed resources, so you have the power you need when you need it. The second perk is security; Bluehost offers redundant storage and optional SiteLock protection to secure your data.

For those new to VPS hosting who may not know exactly what is needed, Bluehost makes it incredibly easy and seamless to switch between their plans to find the perfect package for you. If you have questions or need some advice, their wonderful support staff is standing by to assist 24/7.

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long since been a hosting innovator and leader. Today, the company powers more than two million websites and carries the official seal of approval given by the WordPress.org team for their managed WordPress services hosted on their VPS platform. With years of experience, competitive pricing, and excellent support, Bluehost is a pick you can take to the bank in the VPS hosting space.

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  • 2-4 cores and 4-16GB of RAM
  • Endorsed by the WordPress team
  • Redundant storage and optional SiteLock security
  • Seamless migration from Bluehost shared plans
  • Get 50% off your first month (was $29.99, now $14.99)
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB. ... read more +

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB.

While DreamHost's VPS storage space and RAM options are in line with the industry average, DreamHost layers on a bevy of additional perks that turns their already competitive prices into big bargains.

Starting with all-SSD infrastructure, which boosts your website or application's speed by 20 times compared to standard SATA disk drives, DreamHost also includes a dedicated IP address and free SSL/TLS certificates, as well as unlimited bandwidth, domain hosting, and email accounts.

You can manage your virtual servers through DreamHost's custom control panel, which has been developed for more than 15 years. Although we originally missed the familiarity of cPanel or Plesk, we quickly adapted to DreamHost's sleek, modern panel. Easily scale your virtual servers up or down based on your expected needs.

For an added performance boost, DreamHost offers an add-on MySQL VPS service that puts your website's database on its own isolated server. Linux-VServers dedicate an initial 2300MB of RAM to your site, giving customers a sneak peek at what DreamHost's dedicated hosting looks like.

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  • Custom web-based control panel
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Easily scalable RAM
  • High-performance SSD drives
  • 5 years of security updates with Ubuntu Long Term Support
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

#2 out of 10 in WordPress Hosting reviews

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard... read more +

Aimed at personal bloggers and first-time users, Bluehost’s WordPress hosting packages are a great alternative to simple shared hosting. These service come at a premium, compared to Bluehost’s standard shared plans, but the WordPress optimization and platform-specific resources are arguably worth the cost.

Built on top of their VPS platform, Bluehost's WordPress managed hosting, though not as customizable as others, focuses on simplicity and speed. Their interface is easy to navigate and the instant provisioning allows for speedy setup. Integrated features, such as the MOJO Marketplace and ManageWP, are nice touches as well.

Though simple by design, Bluehost isn’t shorting you on some of the more important technical features. Integrated W3 caching, SiteLock security, and a CDN are standard across all WordPress packages. It’s also important to note that data backups are automated and resources are guaranteed.

Formed in 2003, Bluehost has long been one of the foremost shared hosts on the planet, and they now power more than two million websites. What’s more, Bluehost is on a short list of providers with the official WordPress seal of approval, doled out by the WordPress Core team. With an experienced team, competitive pricing, and always-there support, Bluehost is King when it comes to WordPress hosting services.

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  • Formally endorsed by WordPress
  • VPS technology and included CDN
  • ManageWP pre-installed
  • Automated data backups
  • 63% discount exclusively for HostingAdvice shoppers
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the... read more +

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the incredibly popular content management system, and plans include easy setup, automated updates and backups, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 specialized support.

DreamHost does an admirable job tailoring their shared hosting service around WordPress, but we're most impressed with their fully managed WordPress solution, DreamPress. Launched in 2013, DreamPress offers enhanced speed, scaling, and security by configuring various settings and plugins that streamline WordPress installation, databases, and server operations.

DreamPress adds multiple caching layers and isolates server resources to perform more than five times faster than shared hosting. We love that DreamHost allocates two VPS servers for each DreamPress customer: one optimized for the frontend and the other for MySQL. You'll get the same SSD storage found elsewhere in DreamHost plans, but DreamPress dynamically auto-scales memory to grow with your traffic.

Support and security are further tailored to WordPress with automatic updates and a firewall that blocks known WordPress vulnerabilities and offers protection from brute-force attacks. DreamPress uses NGINX, HTTP2, and Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS certificates to balance performance and privacy.

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  • Preconfigured and fully managed option available with DreamPress
  • Multiple caching layers with Varnish, Memcached, and OPcache
  • 1-click install and automatic updates
  • WP-specific firewall for security
  • Pre-installed SSL/TLS certificate
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

#4 out of 9 in Website Builder Hosting reviews

With Bluehost, new site owners have the drag-and-drop simplicity of Weebly (website builder) and goMobi (mobile site builder) at their fingertips. This makes launching a new online brand, store, or... read more +

With Bluehost, new site owners have the drag-and-drop simplicity of Weebly (website builder) and goMobi (mobile site builder) at their fingertips. This makes launching a new online brand, store, or personal site from scratch relatively painless. Sure, site building has its headaches for newbies, but the Bluehost team is ready and willing to assist you every step of the way.

To help prime your site launch for success, Bluehost offers a plethora of unlimited freebies, including a free domain, unlimited domain hosting, unlimited email hosting, and unlimited storage, bandwidth, and databases. This, coupled with their several options for site building services, is everything a new website owner needs to get started — and the cost is hard to beat.

If WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) isn’t for you, perhaps a CMS option sounds appealing. Choose from the most popular content management and blogging software, including Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, and download and install with a single click. Some Bluehost plans have even been customized to cater to WordPress — and their WordPress services have been endorsed by the WordPress team.

For quick, cheap, and easy site building — backed by one of the web’s most reliable web hosts — you can’t go wrong in choosing Bluehost.

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  • Weebly or goMobi site builder
  • FREE domain name
  • Integrated CloudFlare CDN standard across all plans
  • Gain exposure with $200 in FREE advertising credits
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Get started on Bluehost now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

For a while, the only knock on DreamHost was the lack of a website builder for beginner customers unfamiliar with web design. With the recent beta debut of Remixer, however, DreamHost has come up with yet... read more +

For a while, the only knock on DreamHost was the lack of a website builder for beginner customers unfamiliar with web design. With the recent beta debut of Remixer, however, DreamHost has come up with yet another way to appeal to site owners.

Hosting providers creating their own site builders can be a risky venture — why devote resources to trying something new when there's a tried-and-true outside option such as Weebly? DreamHost, however, seems to have hit a home run with Remixer. We love how the clean and modern interface directs users straight to whatever tools they need.

Remixer offers only about a dozen templates so far, but we know it's too early to fault them on that. The themes currently available, however, appeal to a surprisingly wide range of uses: small businesses, professionals, travelers, creatives, music, events, and even documentation. Remixer lets you preview each theme in desktop, tablet, and mobile (portrait AND landscape) views before getting to work.

The builder interface itself is equally impressive, giving users the options to customize, move, and add content based on row-based layouts. More experienced site owners will appreciate access to HTML code and the ability to use Markdown to format text.

Remixer is only available to current customers during the beta test and hasn't been released publicly. If you're looking for a sleek, refreshing site builder, sign up for a shared hosting plan with DreamHost to access Remixer.

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  • Beta of Remixer site builder available to current customers
  • Preview themes for desktop, tablet, and mobile (portrait and landscape)
  • Responsive, professional themes
  • Royalty-free images from Pixabay
  • HTML access for fine-grained control
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Bluehost vs. DreamHost - Our Conclusion

Ryan Frankel Ryan Frankel Hosting Expert
“We tested Bluehost & DreamHost — The winner is Bluehost!”

There you have it — Bluehost is our winner for most customers, but the race was extraordinarily tight. DreamHost provides a refreshing alternative to the mass-marketed WordPress hosting options by carefully crafting a platform based on speed, security, and scalability. Price, however, can be a major factor in hosting decisions; although Bluehost infrastructure and support have slipped slightly of late, the company has undeniable staying power in a congested market behind open-source flexibility and affordability.

Overall Rating
4.9/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit Bluehost »
Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit DreamHost »