If you’re building a website for your small business, you’re going to need hosting. DreamHost and Bluehost are both popular web hosting providers that offer good products at a good value. But which is right for you? We take a deeper look to help you determine whether Bluehost or DreamHost is better for your business.
Here’s a quick look at when to use DreamHost and when to use Bluehost:
- DreamHost: You’re new to WordPress and need a drag-and-drop editor
- Bluehost: You need more than a couple of email addresses for your business or team
DreamHost vs Bluehost at a Glance
4.9 out of 5
4.3 out of 5
Cost per Month*
From $2.95 (requires plugin)
BoldGrid drag-and-drop builder
Add-on or Unlimited (per plan)
24/7 ticket, chat, and phone support (callback)
24/7 ticket, chat, and phone support
*Billed annually; renews at higher rate
When to Use DreamHost
DreamHost’s Shared hosting plan is its introductory tier priced at $2.95 a month. It’s great for beginners to WordPress because it includes a drag-and-drop website builder that can speed site creation.
Here’s when you should use DreamHost:
- You’re new to WordPress: DreamHost packages BoldGrid, a drag-and-drop website editor, with every WordPress installation, eliminating at least part of the learning curve for getting a site up and running.
- Security and maintenance are a concern: WordPress is open source, which can mean frequent security updates. DreamHost’s WordPress hosting includes automatic updates for WordPress core and security, meaning your website is always up to date. Daily backups ensure your data remains secure.
- You’re a photographer or videographer: DreamHost includes 50GB of storage in its starter plan, which is ample for uploading and sharing tons of photos and even streaming video previews.
When to Use Bluehost
While Bluehost offers less in its introductory bundle, it does provide significant value in some of its higher plans. Here’s when you should consider using Bluehost:
- You need multiple email addresses: Bluehost Starter hosting includes up to five basic email addresses. If you need more, you can add email hosting for $14.99 a year to get 25 email addresses with 25GB shared storage.
- You’re building a web store: Bluehost offers an ecommerce package for $9.95 a month that includes WooCommerce pre-installed and configured. WooCommerce is the leading WordPress plugin for ecommerce, and installing it separately can set you back a significant amount of money.
- You’re an appointment-based business: Higher-tier Bluehost WordPress installations also include a pre-installed, preconfigured appointment booking plugin to make it easy for your customers to book appointments online. You can even take payments for appointments with the plugin.
DreamHost vs Bluehost Pricing
Starting cost per month: $2.95*
Renews at: $6.99/month*
BoldGrid WordPress website builder
Add email for as low as $1.67/month
Starting cost per month: $2.95
Renews at: $11.99/month
5 basic email addresses
Most small business owners will be looking at the base package when it comes to their web hosting needs. Both DreamHost and Bluehost pack a lot of features into their entry-level plans. Whether you choose DreamHost or Bluehost will depend a lot on what you’re looking for.
Both DreamHost and Bluehost are capable of hosting a WordPress website or a website built with another content management system (CMS) like Drupal or Joomla. Each includes a free domain for one year, a free SSL certificate, and unlimited bandwidth. However, that’s where the similarities end.
At 50GB, DreamHost includes more storage than Bluehost’s paltry 10GB. For sites that plan on having a lot of pages, offering numerous products, or hosting a blog, Bluehost simply doesn’t offer enough storage space. With DreamHost’s 50GB of storage, you should have ample space to operate your store or show off your successes on a blog.
Another consideration is how you will build your website. Both DreamHost and Bluehost support WordPress. With Bluehost, you’ll have a one-click installation and access to the thousands of WordPress themes and plugins available. But DreamHost offers both a pre-installed WordPress instance and BoldGrid, a drag-and-drop WordPress website builder. For many users, this will be a value too great to pass up.
The final consideration you’ll need to weigh is email. You’ll definitely want at least one business email box—and maybe several. Bluehost includes up to five basic email addresses with its base hosting plan. Email with DreamHost is an additional expense, starting at $1.67 per email address.
For many businesses, email addresses are going to be a major sticking point with either provider’s entry-level plan. However, for the same starting cost ($2.95 per month the first year), you can get Unlimited plans from DreamHost with unlimited websites, storage, and email. But keep in mind that it renews at a higher cost after the first year ($12.99 per month).
Most Affordable: DreamHost
DreamHost wins the race for most affordable entry-level plan. While it is priced the same as Bluehost, it packs in tons more features like BoldGrid, more than five times the storage, and a renewal rate that’s far less than Bluehost’s. Overall, DreamHost is the more affordable option.
Bluehost vs DreamHost Products & Services
Shared web or WordPress hosting from $2.95/month
Shared web or WordPress hosting from $2.95/month
WooCommerce hosting from $16.99/month
WordPress ecommerce hosting from $9.95/month
Managed WordPress hosting from $16.95/month
Managed WordPress hosting from $13.95/month*
Virtual private server (VPS) starting at $10/month*
Virtual private server starting at $29.99/month*
Dedicated servers from $249/month
Dedicated servers from $89.98/month*
Domain registration ($8.99-19.99/year for .com)
Domain registration ($12.99/year for .com)
Standalone email hosting from $1.67/month* per address
(New) professional email hosting from $14.99/year
Custom website design from $1,499
SEO, social media marketing, and more from $399/month
Custom website design, SEO, social media marketing, and more with price based on custom proposals for each service
*Billed annually; may renew at a higher rate
DreamHost and Bluehost offer a comparable list of products and services. These include basics like web hosting, managed WordPress, and virtual private servers (VPS). Additionally, both companies provide custom web design, SEO services, social media marketing, and more.
While both offer comparable services, DreamHost publishes the starting prices for professional services like web development and social media marketing. Website design starts at $1,499 while other services like social media marketing begin at $399 a month. You can get the same services from Bluehost, but you won’t know where those prices will start until you’ve had a consultation and given the provider time to build you a custom quote.
Best Web Hosting: DreamHost
Free Domain & SSL
Add-on (Starter plan) or included (Shared Unlimited)
Content Delivery Network (CND)
Add-on, 12 cents per GB
Higher tiers only
DreamHost and Bluehost stack up relatively evenly when it comes to features and options included in their base hosting packages. Both services provide a free domain and SSL certificate for the first year, and both include unlimited bandwidth. However, DreamHost edges Bluehost in two key features.
With its entry tier, Bluehost offers only 10GB of storage—a very low amount when compared to other hosting providers. On the other hand, DreamHost leads most providers with 50GB of storage on its $2.95 plan, which is ample for most small businesses, including online stores with lots of products.
Additionally, DreamHost offers a CDN as an add-on to its base plan. A CDN caches copies of your website on servers around the world, which speeds delivery and can have a big impact on user experience (UX). Bluehost offers a CDN—but it’s locked behind higher tiers of service. If you’re building a global website, DreamHost is your best bet.
Best WordPress Hosting: DreamHost
WordPress Page Builder
Automated WordPress Migration
Automatic WordPress Updates
From $9.99/month the first year, renews at $26.99/month
If you’re considering DreamHost and Bluehost, chances are you’re building a WordPress website. Both providers are on our list of the best cheap WordPress hosting providers for small businesses.
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) on the planet, but it’s not the easiest to use. DreamHost includes a host of features to make your WordPress experience a little easier. Those features begin with a pre-installed WordPress instance with every hosting package. This saves you the trouble of going through a sometimes complex installation process.
Other features include BoldGrid drag-and-drop website editor to help you customize your website without having to search for exactly the right theme, and automated daily backups keep your data secure. DreamHost even has a WordPress migration tool if you’re moving your website from another hosting provider.
When it comes to hosting a WordPress website, DreamHost’s included tools and features provide users with a significant head start. WooCommerce-ready plans (WooCommerce is a free plugin you can use to enable ecommerce on WordPress) also cost far less after the first year. As such, DreamHost wins WordPress hosting, hands down.
Pro tip: While WordPress is technically a free, open source software, that doesn’t mean it’s without cost. Many of the features and much of the functionality your website needs will require the purchase of premium plugins, which can drive up costs. Find out about the hidden cost of WordPress before you get started.
Best Place to Buy Domains: DreamHost
.com Introductory Price
There are many reasons a small business may want to buy a domain name without building a website. Perhaps they’re planning a future expansion or they just want to protect their brand by purchasing adjacent domain names. Both Bluehost and DreamHost offer domain-only purchases, but there are significant differences in each provider’s products.
Bluehost charges $12.99 for the first year for a .com domain, which renews annually at $17.99. A similar purchase from DreamHost starts at just $8.99, but it renews at a higher rate—$19.99. That being said, DreamHost domains include free domain privacy, an important security feature, while Bluehost charges $11.88 a year for the same feature. This makes DreamHost a much better value, and DreamHost tops Bluehost when it comes to domain purchases.
Best Business Email Provider: Bluehost
Standalone Email Hosting
$1.67/month per address
Productivity Suite (Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations)
Shared Calendars, Contacts & Tasks
Anti-phishing & Virus Protection
Mobile & Desktop Apps
Add to Email Clients
Google Workspace Add-on
Bluehost and DreamHost offer standalone email hosting on a per-user basis, as well as hosting plans that bundle domain, SSL, websites, and email hosting. Both offer bundled plans from $2.95 a month for the first year. DreamHost’s Unlimited plans include unlimited email addresses, aliases, and 25GB of storage per user. Bluehost web plans include from five to unlimited email accounts with allocatable storage based on the limits of your plan.
Both providers offer free webmail apps with desktop and mobile options for Android and iOS. You can also easily add your DreamHost or Bluehost email account to your favorite business email app (e.g., Google Workspace, Outlook, Apple Mail, and so on).
Both providers offer the option to pair your email service to Google Workspace. As part of this plan, you’ll get a Google Drive with 30GB of storage per user and Google’s productivity suite, including Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. With DreamHost, Google Workspace will set you back $7.20 a month. Bluehost runs just $3 a month for the first year, and then renews at the regular cost for Workspace ($6 per user, per month).
Where Bluehost trumps DreamHost for business email hosting, however, is in its new standalone email plans. For $14.99 per user, per year, you’ll get 25GB of storage, up to 25 alias emails, a productivity suite, and team collaboration tools with shared calendars, tasks, and contacts.
Best Professional Services: DreamHost
Social Media Marketing
Custom Web Development
DreamHost and Bluehost offer a series of professional services to help small businesses get their websites off the ground and improve their brand presence online with social media marketing. Both providers sell website design, social media marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) services. But DreamHost offers some additional services that set it apart.
In particular, DreamHost offers website management to keep your website up to date and running in top form and custom website development to incorporate features into your website that may require advanced coding. DreamHost also edges Bluehost because the former publishes the entry-level pricing for all of these services, while the latter requires you to get a custom quote for services.
Best Customer Support: It’s a Tie
Customer support is an important resource when you run into trouble with your website or email. Being able to reach help when you need it is critical. At the same time, support can help you learn how to achieve your website goals or manage your online presence more effectively.
When it comes to support, DreamHost and Bluehost stack up relatively equally. Both offer 24/7 support via chat, email, and phone. Also, both providers have an extensive knowledge base to give you a self-service option to find answers to the most common questions.
Bluehost beats DreamHost on phone support because you can call the Bluehost line directly. With DreamHost, you request a callback and a representative reaches out to you later. That being said, DreamHost has created the DreamHost academy, video tutorials that can guide you through creating the perfect website, managing email, best practices in website management, and more.
Customer Reviews of Bluehost vs DreamHost
DreamHost users generally speak highly of the hosting provider, giving it a 3.7 out of 5 stars on G2. Customers single out DreamHost’s customer support, which delivers prompt and effective solutions when problems arise. Many also speak highly of the professional services the provider offers. Not all reviewers had smooth sailing, though. Some report difficult onboarding and migration, while others note hidden fees when leaving the company for another provider.
Bluehost draws a slightly lower 3.6 out of 5 stars, with users liking the customer support they receive. Customers also commented on Bluehost’s reliability. However, many users complained about higher-than-expected pricing, particularly when it comes time to renew after the introductory year. Some users also complained of ill-informed support staff, particularly on chat.
Overall, both providers enjoy generally favorable reviews. That being said, more recent Bluehost reviews are trending toward the negative, which may signal an ongoing shift in the value, quality of service, and support Bluehost is providing.
Expert Opinion & Scoring
Not all web hosting providers are created equally. The needs of each small business will vary when it comes to cost, features, and support. We relied on decades of website development experience and an in-depth look at each hosting provider’s core and niche features. Here’s how we assessed DreamHost and Bluehost:
20% of Overall Score
For most small businesses, the key differentiating factor is price. We gave a higher score to the provider that will save you more money in the long run.
30% of Overall Score
Overall, hosting providers deliver a core set of features centered around storing and serving your website. These features include free domains and SSL certificates, storage space, bandwidth, email, and more. We weighed the quality and robustness of these general features to arrive at our best-of determinations.
15% of Overall Score
Both providers offer niche features that make them stand out from the competition. These features include WordPress-specific items like pre-installation, automatic updates, and backups. We weighed the pros and cons of each niche feature to assess how well users will be served by the providers.
10% of Overall Score
Most small business owners lack the technical and practical skills necessary to build and manage a website, much less troubleshoot one when they run into difficulties or a crashed website. We examined the support options each provider offers, including the quality of their knowledge bases, the kinds of support each offers, and the training and guidance available to users.
25% of Overall Score
Nothing beats hands-on experience when it comes to assessing a provider. Our expert score is based on firsthand experience with both providers, as well as more than 20 years of website development experience. We didn’t just rely on our own opinions, though. We also carefully considered what other users say in online reviews.
Best Alternatives to Bluehost or DreamHost
DreamHost and Bluehost provide robust website hosting services with plenty of features to support your small business website. While both providers are great for a WordPress website, WordPress might not be the best choice for you.
Here are the best alternatives to DreamHost and Bluehost:
Ecommerce Plans Monthly*
Up to 100 with Hostinger Site Builder or WordPress
2GB plus page-count limits
100GB with unlimited page counts
Unlimited, but page-count limits apply
AI builder or template-based, plus drag-and-drop editing
AI-driven with section-based editing
Block-based templates with drag-and-drop editing
*With annual billing; Hostinger renews at a higher rate ($8.99)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
While DreamHost’s and Bluehost’s product offerings are quite similar, the services and features each provides differ greatly. With more than 50GB of storage space, DreamHost delivers five times the storage space of Bluehost. But Bluehost provides up to five email addresses with its entry-level hosting plan, while DreamHost charges $1.67 a month for each address. The features you need will ultimately determine which host you choose.
DreamHost is a great website hosting provider, especially if you’re planning on building a WordPress website. There are some significant drawbacks, though. In particular, if your small business requires a significant number of email addresses, it can get very expensive very quickly. Also, it doesn’t have a non-WordPress website builder. So if you don’t want to use WordPress or need a lot of email addresses, DreamHost may not be for you.
The biggest disadvantage of using Bluehost is the rather restrictive storage limits. Its Starter tier is priced at $2.99 a month, but it includes only 10GB of storage. That’s a pretty limited amount of storage space, especially if you’re building a website with a lot of images, streaming audio or video, or an online store. In addition, Bluehost does not include daily backups on its entry tier, and this means you’re on your own for regular backups of your website.
While DreamHost and Bluehost provide some similar features, when stacked up side-by-side, DreamHost is the clear winner. DreamHost includes more storage space, more robust WordPress features, and the best value for your money. Find out more about DreamHost in our DreamHost review, or visit the website to get started.