Hosting Tutorial & Guide

DreamHost VS BlueHost - Which Is the Better Choice for Personal and Small Businesses

updated on Nov 29, 2016
DreamHost VS BlueHost - Which Is the Better Choice for Personal and Small Businesses While DreamHost and BlueHost both offer shared hosting service, there are many differences between their offerings, based on our in-depth review on the two web hosting companies. Founded in 1997, DreamHost has a longer history, while BlueHost has made more efforts in sponsoring the open source community.

We have analyzed the price, feature, performance and support in detail, and also refers to the conclusion of many other review sites, such as WhatsWP. According to the results, BlueHost is the better choice for hosting personal websites and small businesses.

Below are the details you may need for making a choice.

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DreamHost charges the shared hosting plan at a price of $8.95/mo regularly. The company is now releasing a special discount to lower the price of the plan to $5.95/mo. A free domain for life and $100 Google AdWords credits are included. Note that DreamHost does not supports PayPal.

BlueHost offers 3 plans with prices starting at $7.99/mo. Now it is carrying out a promotion for over 60% discounts, and the effective price start from $2.95/mo for all visitors going through the exclusive promotional link below. The extras include marketing credits and a free domain for the first year. BlueHost accepts payments from both credit cards and PayPal.

BlueHost Promotional Link Activation

Control Panel

The control panel included in the web hosting plans is the most significant difference between DreamHost and BlueHost. DreamHost uses a custom-built control panel which is designed by its own staff. This control panel comes with most of the features that can be access in the popular cPanel, for example, the file manager, email management features and billing info. However, there are several downsides existing with this custom control panel.
  • The control panel has one layout only. You cannot change the skin or theme.
  • The menus are not intuitive enough so that beginners will spend some time learning about the menu navigation.
  • The control panel includes a 1-click installer which supports a few dozens of scripts only. Popular installers like Softaculous come with 200 or more scripts.
  • There is no demo for trial.
BlueHost, on the other hand, utilizes cPanel which features an icon-based interface, themed layout and rich features. cPanel has enjoyed its popularity for a couple of years and now it is the most widely used control panel in the Linux hosting field. You can easily find a demo to try out the features.

Web Hosting Features

When it comes to features, the 2 companies share a lot in common, such as the multiple programming languages (PHP, Python, Perl & Ruby), MySQL, shared SSL, Cron Jobs, SSH, and unlimited data transfer.

However, there are some differences in the amount of disk space, the number of hosted websites, email accounts, etc. The all-in-one plan offered by DreamHost does not set limits on the basic resources, but those from BlueHost do due to the much cheaper rates.

Generally speaking, the web hosting services provided by both web hosts are rich-featured except that BlueHost offers some more features to meet diversified needs. More feature information is available in the table below.

PlanHappy HostingBasicPlus
Hosted Website(s)Unlimited1Unlimited
Disk SpaceUnlimited50 GBUnlimited
Control PanelCustom Control PanelcPanelcPanel
1-Click Installer
PostgreSQL Database
Custom PHP.ini
Money Back Guaratee97 DaysANYTIMEANYTIME
Effective Price$5.95/mo$2.95/mo$3.95/mo
ConclusionNot RecommendedRecommendedRecommended

Script Compatibility

Both of these two web hosts have done great for the aspect of script compatibility. After all, people now are willing to use the advanced scripts to set up the websites with any size and kind they want. For instance, most people choose to use WordPress to run the blog site, OsCommerce to run the online store, vBulletin to run the online board and many more.
In this case, they all ensure the 100% compatibility for these scripts with the new versions of PHP, MySQL and many more. Furthermore, the 1-click installer is offered for the easy installation of these tools.


DreamHost has made a 100% uptime guarantee for the public. We have monitored the company's uptime for several months, and we encountered 3 downtimes which lasted for more than 15 minutes. DreamHost hosting uptime in the past year averages 99.92% - quite good for shared hosting.

BlueHost has committed itself to providing the most reliable shared hosting service since 1996. That is why this company has invested over 20 million of USD in building 3 dedicated centers in which the 5000+ servers are 100% Dell branded. The real uptime in the last month was 99.99%, far better than its guarantee of 99.9% uptime, just as following.


As we monitored, the average response time of the websites hosted on DreamHost is much faster than most of the shared hosting providers we have reviewed. However, we can see from the chart below that the response time of BlueHost was less than 330ms, a little bit shorter than DreamHost.

The main cause of the excellence might be explained by the fact that BlueHost utilizes the best network and infrastructure including CDN and multiple 10 gigabit Ethernet connections. And a small dedicated team is monitoring the network 24x7 in case that any unexpected latency or downtime happens. On the other hand, DreamHost equips all of their shared servers with SSDs.

Technical Support

As for technical support, we have to say DreamHost lags behind a little. BlueHost provides 24x7 on site support through toll-free phone, email and live chat with holding time average less than 30 seconds, while DreamHost only offers email and live chat support for free.

Want a real DreamHost staff to call you? Yes, the company can get a professional staff ready for your request, but you need to purchase an additional plan called Premium Support. Only when you pay extra $14.95/mo, will you have access to 3 callbacks.

Which Is Better for Personal and Small Businesses?

In the case that you're looking for a budget-saving shared hosting plan from a reliable web host, we highly recommend you going with BlueHost because this provider offers cheaper while more quality plans for you to choose.