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September 19, 2013

12

Bluehost vs Dreamhost

A few years back, I added a Dreamhost hosting account to shore up my server space and spread out my domains. I wanted to try something new, see if the grass was any greener on the other side of the fence, and secure some more space and bandwidth for future domain names to increased overall traffic for my collection of websites.

My first web host was Bluehost. I researched it for weeks, compared prices, compared features, compared policies and yes, user & customer reviews. I have always been happy with Bluehost so the fact that I signed up for a Dreamhost account isn’t any sort of rejection of my other hosting company.

In addition to hosting websites on both Bluehost and Dreamhost, I’m also a member of each company’s affiliate program. I like to promote all of the hosts I use and appreciate, and this more than offsets the up front costs of hosting. Regardless of which one you pick today, be sure to look in to how you can earn money back by promoting their services and sharing your own experiences online.

Hosting Similarities:

Both sites offer unlimited domains on a single account, automatic script and software installation, and a free domain name with registration. They also have privacy options for registered domains, which can be a useful way to avoid spam or scams directed at webmasters. One difference with Bluehost is that you’ll have to pay a little bit extra each year to use the domain privacy plan. PHP and MySQL are both up to date, and I haven’t seen any software or database incompatibility issues on either site.

BlueHost Advantages:

BlueHost offers more server storage space and bandwidth right now, at a ratio of 3:1. Of course, if you’re using up 5 or 15 terabytes of bandwidth in a month, I hope you’re also making enough from your website to afford a dedicated host! Some people have criticized their earlier promises of “unlimited storage” and “unlimited” bandwidth, but functionally it is unlimited for the purposes of most smaller web publishers.

I had no problems with the “Digg Effect” and 17,000 unique visitors in a one-day period. The Bluehost servers just kept serving data as long as users were asking for it.

I have also found that the CPanel in Bluehost (the place where you manage your domains and sites) is a lot more intuitive and generally easier to use. The options and controls on both hosts are essentially the same, but Bluehost seems to organize these choices in a better way with more graphical icons. Bluehost wins again when it comes to installing software. There are a ton of options to auto-install up-to-date CMS software, and its instant as opposed to DreamHost’s “we’ll email you when its done” approach.

Click here to learn more about BlueHost or read the full Bluehost review

DreamHost Advantages:

If you use a coupon like Saves50 then DreamHost is cheaper than BlueHost. The current maximum discount for a DreamHost coupon is $50, so this brings the cost of one year of hosting down to about $70. Bluehost only costs about $85 for a year (prices before tax) so its honestly not even that much savings.

Another advantage to DreamHost – definitely the big one – is that you can re-sell server space. You can set up websites for your customers and charge them for the hosting that you purchase from Dreamhost. As soon as you have an account, you are free to charge anyone whatever you want to share some space on that account. Also, not only do they allow beta versions of software packages, some are even included with their auto-installers. Keep this in mind if you are considering a Pligg run website (they can be tough to install manually, but Dreamhost makes it easy!)

Click here to sign up or learn more about DreamHost or read our full Dreamhost Review
(Remember, use the coupon SAVES50 to get the maximum price savings or click here to see more coupon and promotional codes)



12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chris
    Apr 2 2008

    I was a DreamHost member from December 2007 to March 20th, 2008, and started using BlueHost since then. Here’s my experiences with DH, in point form:

    - Mediocre up-time (compared to BlueHost so far — I was on the “Blingy” server with DH, and it was constantly down — e-mail was unreliable.)

    - SQL databases are on a DIFFERENT server than the actual website, and thus have slower loading times for sites that need access to SQL.

    - Load times for regular content (html, pics, etc) were fine.

    - Good CP

    Since I’ve switched to BlueHost, I miss some of the features DreamHost has (catch-all e-mail, for one), but reliability and speed are a must for me.

    Reply
  2. Max Elliot
    Jan 15 2009

    I’ve been hosting with Bluehost for some time now and I have to agree: their reliability and speed are fantastic, but I’d like to add that their technical support and customer service are some of the best there is.

    Reply
  3. Nov 8 2009

    One disadvantage of dreamhost which I think should be pointed out; If you have over 5k unique visitors daily. they suspend your account and force you to buy VPS.

    But bluehost won’t do this.

    Reply
  4. Carl
    May 13 2010

    Bluehost is down right now. It has been down for most of the hour. It impacts all of our e-mail accounts (about 300) and all of our websites (over a dozen). They installed something on the production server and discovered a conflict. They then installed a patch and it is still down. Not very professional for a service supposing to serve the business community.

    Reply
  5. Jun 28 2010

    Here’s a good comparison. I have a site on Dreamhost shared that’s having server overload problems. They tell me that I need to upgrade to VPS, yet I only get 15k-30k page views/month.

    My friend has the exact same wordpress theme/setup and gets 100k page views or more per month on bluehost. Unlike me, he doesn’t have any server overload problems. His site is about 3 sections faster than mine by pingdom too.

    Reply
  6. Jan 23 2011

    Was a customer with Dreamhost since 2004. Was happy with my Dreamhost experience up until about a year ago when things started to roll downhill. Eventually it got to the point where I was constantly being told that either my scripts were being killed, memory was being overused, that it was faulty equipment, and so-on and so-forth.

    After checking out some other hosting companies, reading up on some reviews, and checking prices, I settled on Bluehost (yesterday, in fact). From what I can tell, I made the right choice.

    I’d probably recommend Dreamhost to people who want to host a website that they don’t really care if it’s not up when they need it to be.

    Reply
  7. Laarni
    Sep 21 2011

    I have been delaying my decision on which web hosting service to use because I wanted to know which one suits my needs better. After reading this article and the comments from other readers, I am definitely signing up with BlueHost. Thanks, guys!

    Reply
  8. Jan 30 2012

    My site at hosted on bluehost often gives error establishing database connection…I am fed up with it,…

    Reply
  9. lesli
    Mar 22 2013

    I am confused. How can an article that was written in November of 2012 have comments that date back to 2007? So, I am adding a comment to determine what date stamp my post gets :)

    Reply
  10. Mar 29 2013

    Ah, sorry. The post was originally written in 2007, but it was last updated in Nov. 2012. The topic is pretty old, as are some comments, but the info in the post is not outdated! ;)

    Reply
  11. May 2 2013

    I switched from 000WebHost to BlueHost. 000WebHost being a free host had been giving me downtimes of as much as 15 hours a day! BlueHost has been much better, though the do not live up to their 99.9% uptime; I had 52 downtimes of a total of 3 hrs and 13 min in the last 30 days, my simple WordPress gets about 30 -60 page views a day, yet they are throttling the CPU for my site, the customer service said that its a bug they are working on to fix.
    One major difference that I request the author to add:
    DreamHost offers IPv6 addresses to customers whereas BlueHost does not!

    Reply

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