Bluehost vs DreamHost: Which Host Is Best For You & Your Site?

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I secretly test hosts every month for speed, reliability, and support. Here’s a comparison between Bluehost and DreamHost with real proof of their performance.

Bluehost Hosting Plan

Bluehost claims to have unbeatable technology, optimized hosting for wordpress, and genuine support. They have been around since 2003 and hosts over 2 million websites worldwide. Their data centers are located in Provo, Utah.

I have purchased a hosting plan on Bluehost and set up a typical web site. I use that example website to run these tests. Learn more about how I test.

Here is the plan information I chose:

Plan NameBasic Shared
Cost$9.99/month
Disk Space50 GB
BandwidthUnlimited
Uptime GuaranteeNone
Money Back Guarantee30 days
NotesSite was ready within minutes after I purchased. Although when I signed up I was under the impression it was a monthly plan, but it was billed annually (at $83.40). They have called and left me several messages to 'verify' my account, but when I call back I'm placed on hold (so I hang up). I'm assuming they're just trying to upsell me, or my account will forever be in 'unverified' status.

DreamHost Hosting Plan

Dreamhost is known for their unlimited resources at a great value. They have been around since 1998 and hosts over 10 million sites. Data centers are located in California and Virginia.

I have purchased a hosting plan on DreamHost and set up a typical web site. I use that example website to run these tests. Learn more about how I test.

Here is the plan information I chose:

Plan NameHappy Hosting
Cost$10.95/month
Disk SpaceUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimited
Uptime Guarantee100%
Money Back Guarantee45 days
NotesSite was ready within minutes after I purchased.

Page Speed Test Results

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better.  Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

HostAverageBestWorst
StableHost2.53 s0.00 s12.29 sTest Results
DreamHost2.65 s0.00 s21.25 sTest Results
HostGator2.70 s2.00 s15.02 sTest Results
GoDaddy2.80 s0.31 s37.97 sTest Results
Bluehost2.89 s0.00 s9.17 sTest Results
InMotion Hosting2.93 s0.00 s14.12 sTest Results
MDDHosting2.93 s2.00 s74.96 sTest Results
Namecheap3.04 s2.00 s72.71 sTest Results
Site53.05 s0.00 s46.29 sTest Results
Yahoo Small Business3.84 s2.00 s60.96 sTest Results

Bluehost performs above average in the Speed Test, with an average result of 2.89 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 9.17 s. Bluehost most recent result on Nov 14 was 2.00 s. Bluehost is usually pretty inconsistent with its page speeds - sometimes quicker than other hosts, sometimes slower. Its slowest times are usually when accessed from the east coast. While they do optimize connections and compress images, they fail to set caching properly for repeat views.

DreamHost performs impressively in the Speed Test, with an average result of 2.65 seconds. It's best result was 0.00 s but it has been as bad as 21.25 s. DreamHost most recent result on Nov 14 was 0.00 s. I expected Dreamhost to have poor performance, but they're not that bad. There are faster hosts out there, but you're not going to be disappointed with them.

Let’s see how Bluehost and DreamHost compare in detail for their page speed stats:

Uptime Test Results

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

HostAverageBestWorst
DreamHost70.930 %100.000 %0.000 %Test Results
Site588.810 %100.000 %0.000 %Test Results
InMotion Hosting98.860 %100.000 %0.000 %Test Results
Yahoo Small Business99.850 %100.000 %82.780 %Test Results
MDDHosting99.880 %100.000 %64.580 %Test Results
Namecheap99.930 %100.000 %92.000 %Test Results
StableHost99.930 %100.000 %73.000 %Test Results
Bluehost99.940 %100.000 %84.930 %Test Results
GoDaddy99.960 %100.000 %94.720 %Test Results
HostGator99.970 %100.000 %97.000 %Test Results

Bluehost performs alright in the Uptime Test, with an average result of 99.94 percent. It's best result was 100.000 % but it has been as bad as 84.931 %. Bluehost most recent result on Nov 13 was 100.000 %. Bluehost had a terrible day back in August that's bringing their average uptime way down. Other than that they're usually pretty reliable.

DreamHost performs under par in the Uptime Test, with an average result of 70.93 percent. It's best result was 100.000 % but it has been as bad as 0.000 %. DreamHost most recent result on Nov 13 was 0.000 %. Dreamhost has had a few significant outages, but I've seen worse. Their ping response time is pretty impressive, faster than most hosts, showing they have a decent network.

Let’s see how Bluehost and DreamHost compare in detail for their uptime stats:

Support Response Test Results

This test measures how quickly the host’s support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

HostAverageBestWorst
MDDHosting0.11 h0.10 h0.20 hTest Results
GoDaddy0.12 h0.10 h0.30 hTest Results
Site50.28 h0.10 h0.80 hTest Results
StableHost0.37 h0.10 h1.70 hTest Results
InMotion Hosting0.94 h0.20 h2.30 hTest Results
Namecheap2.20 h0.10 h6.00 hTest Results
DreamHost2.79 h0.20 h11.00 hTest Results
Bluehost34.67 h0.10 h168.00 hTest Results
Yahoo Small Business50.89 h16.00 h124.00 hTest Results
HostGator53.40 h0.30 h168.00 hTest Results

Bluehost performs under par in the Support Response Time Test, with an average result of 34.67 hours. It's best result was 0.10 h but it has been as bad as 168.00 h. Bluehost most recent result on Mar 22 was 168.00 h. Bluehost is pretty inconsistent in its response times. I've seen instances where they get back to you in minutes, and other times I've had to wait days.

DreamHost performs alright in the Support Response Time Test, with an average result of 2.79 hours. It's best result was 0.20 h but it has been as bad as 11.00 h. DreamHost most recent result on Mar 22 was 1.30 h. Dreamhost will usually get back to you within an hour, although that's not always the case. Regardless their support is average.

Let’s see how Bluehost and DreamHost compare in detail for their uptime stats: