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.
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 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.
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!)
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(Remember, use the coupon SAVES50 to get the maximum price savings or click here to see more coupon and promotional codes)