BlueHost vs DreamHost & which one is best for you?
Welcome to my Bluehost vs DreamHost review.
Before I get into this review I just want to add that I signed up to both the Bluehost and DreamHost web hosting services and paid full price for them this Bluehost vs DreamHost review hasn’t been sponsored by either of these companies either.
I am hoping you are thinking what experience have you to be writing an article like this Kieran, because if you’re not then you should be.
It’s all too easy to write an article without even using the product or service these days in fact I was asked just this week to write a blog for a product I have never used by a leading website service provider. Apparently it doesn’t matter if you have never used the product as long as the review is very positive. Sickening isn’t it? It’s also all too common nowadays.
So to give you an idea of my website building background I have several websites and I have moved across several platforms over the years from Zenfolio, Squarespace, Pixpa, Wordpress etc… I also have the scars to prove it 🙂 All of these platforms were different and as we all know Wordpress is the best out of the lot if you are going to invest the time in it. If you just want an incredibly easy to use platform where you can setup a proper website in a couple hours then have a look at my Pixpa review here btw I can give you 50% off their service also but more about that in the link.
So what are the vital parts to know about web hosting for your website?
This goes for both new websites or if you are migrating from another hosting service also.
Website Uptime and SEO impact.
The first is clearly uptime which most companies quote as 99% or there abouts. If your website isn’t functioning then there is no point in it being there. Now 99% sounds near perfect doesn’t it? But do the maths and you will see there are 86,400 seconds in a day, so if your website is offline for only 1% of the time that means your website is down for 14 minutes and 40 seconds everyday. If the uptime is 98% or even worse 97% then you are looking at nearly an hour downtime every single day which is criminal. Suddenly I am guessing you are seeing how important those small details are and don’t forget that is the average you could do a lot better or worse than that also. I will get back to this again later on.
Website Speed and SEO impact.
The second is website speed. If you are on a slow server then your website even if it’s properly optimised and is using a theme like Themify Ultra (20% discount code here) it is going to be very slow. I have a full Themify review here if you want to know more about it :-).
The vast majority of people just won’t wait around for longer than 3 seconds anymore for a page to load, so by using a slow server or poorly configured theme people will just bounce and go somewhere else. For the sake of example if you click here it will take you to this websites homepage on anew tab and you can navigate around the pages for a few seconds to see how it performs and of course come back here then again and have a read of the rest of the post afterwards or just skip it if you don’t care.
So a slow website leads to a high bounce rate which google frowns upon and it will have an absolutely massive effect on your SEO (google rankings). Think about it for a second, everyone does a quickly google nowadays and hits the top result and checks it out, when you do this google monitors your dwell time on that page as a sign of how happy you are. So lets say you google Hotels in Paris.
The first result pops up and you click on it, the website takes forever so you go back and click on the second result… Google takes a note of that and then decides to promote the second placed result over the first one or move a few pages above it if enough people do it. So I am guessing it’s starting to hit now exactly how important site speed is now. If the user experience is good then you will get more SEO points… That’s a simplistic version of it.
Now as I mentioned above I use Themify Ultra and WP Rocket to optimize my site. I optimize my images with Shortpixel which is incredible at what it does giving you the option of lossy, Glossy or Lossless optimization. Sure it costs a bit more to have them but you have to spend money to make money is my motto.
Price is your next concern but it’s not as simple as how much the web hosting costs as often times there are tricky little points to the contracts you enter, so watch out for them. The length of the contract and the renewal price there after… they are the main ones to be concerned about there can be some nasty surprises waiting to bite you in a year or however long your contract is.
Again I have been there and it’s a really nasty one. So always and I mean always look at the renewal price. Some companies promote amazing prices on signup but have the renewal price well hidden while others are more honest about it and don’t reduce the first day signup cost so don’t be put off by that.
Buying cheap web hosting service is going to be one of the things you will regret going forward. Your website is the digital version of you, your work or products that you want future clients to see. If it’s slow lazy and just messy then it looks like you don’t care and they are your standards so put your best foot forward and make something to be proud of.
As I mentioned earlier I use the Themify Ultra theme on this website and it’s so fast and very flexible.
Customer support is very important with a website as when it’s down your business is also so a good solid customer support is incredibly vital with 24hr/7day/365 support availability being essential now.
Now whenever I am looking for a new hosting platform these are the main things I look at if only I did that a few years ago it would have saved me a lot of time and hardship.
Bluehost vs Dreamhost review
Bluehost vs Dreamhost uptime.
On paper there is very little difference between Bluehost vs DreamHost with both claiming to hit 99% uptime on average. As I mentioned above 99% is great and well done to both providers for those average stats.
DreamHost are at 99.99% so that’s a win for DreamHost on Uptime with BlueHost at 99.9%. I am going to get back to this again later in with my own personal experiences also which might help provide more insight on real world results.
Winner of BlueHost vs Dreamhost Uptime = DreamHost
BlueHost vs Dreamhost Site Speed.
On paper the results are good for both of these providers with BlueHost coming in at just over 3 seconds for the average load time. The scary part here is nearly half your users will bounce at the 3 second mark so in this day and age it’s a bit too slow for mobile use.
Again on paper DreamHost has an average load time which varies a slight bit but it sits at just slightly over two seconds which is only a slight improvement but it could maximise your traffic and generate more sales and leads. On tests it hits as low as 1 second for me regularly which is exceptional.
Winner BlueHost vs Dreamhost Site Speed = DreamHost
BlueHost vs Dreamhost Price.
When it comes to price BlueHost has some amazing offers for new users to their platform but you have to sign up for 3 years to get the best price.
DreamHost have a more open pricing policy when it comes to renewal pricing and they also have pay monthly plans for pop up websites.
BlueHost definitely wins on Pricing over DreamHost with a cheaper first day sign up cost.
Winner of BlueHost vs Dreamhost Price = BlueHost.
BlueHost vs DreamHost Customer service.
I have had occasion to use both of these companies customer service which I will get into below but again on paper there is very little difference between the two with both providing day and night all year round support which as I mentioned above is vital.
I have to say this is a funny one for me as I found BlueHost customer Service to be faster and there was less wait time to get through to them.
On the other hand I genuinely felt as though I was talking to a person that want to solve my problem with DreamHost.
On paper I would say BlueHost were faster and when you were talking to them the response time was faster also. DreamHost seemed to be dealing with more people at a time than Blue Host.
Winner BlueHost vs Dreamhost Customer Service = BlueHost (have a read of my conclusion below for more info on customer service).
BlueHost vs DreamHost backend speed.
Now this is a funny one and it’s something I never came across on my research at the time is how fast it is to work on your website, as in how long it takes to save documents and update pages or go from the front end to the backend and this for me is the clincher as someone who spends a lot of time working on websites this is vital and yes they are only maybe seconds but they all really add up over the course of a week.
So if you plan to work on your website or websites then DreamHost is definitely the one for you here again as they are in my experience a lot faster to save changes load pages and just general interaction is a good bit faster. I would willingly pay twice the price for that feature alone as time is money.
Winner of BlueHost vs Dreamhost Price = DreamHost.
As you can see above DreamHost is the overall winner but at the expense of being slightly more expensive than BlueHost at the time of writing this it was €1.- per month more so over a 3 year period it would cost you €36.- more than BlueHost so as always you really do get what you pay for. Read on for my own experiences with them.
BlueHost vs DreamHost conclusion and my own experiences with both of them.
As nearly anyone that has started out looking at web hosting the first company I came across was Bluehost, it was everywhere and the prices are great the specs are great and it all seemed to be really good. Heck even the online reviews everywhere were good (I am going to get back to that later on).
So after using Bluehost for several months as my hosting platform I noticed a good few issues as did my clients, my website was going down quite a bit. Upon contacting Bluehost customer service I was told “the server your website is on would appear to have been overloaded”. It was overloaded by Bluehost and it just couldn’t cope with the traffic, Ok accidents happen and life goes on I said to myself it’s just a blip.
But this continued to happen and when the site was up it would be perfect sometimes and really slow other times in speed tests it was taking over 14 seconds to load a page. I actually had clients ringing me to say they couldn’t view my website and they tried several times… It was starting to get serious now and it was starting to cost me money by effecting workshop sales and client bookings.
After another chat with Bluehost customer service (another hour of my life gone) it was on the way to being fixed again. It worked fine for 2 or 3 days but about a week later it went down again with the same issues. This went on for several more days and after contacting technical support I was told it would be sorted out soon and they had now logged “there was an issue with the server and it was overloaded!!!”. I have to say now after weeks of this it was a bit ridiculous that it was only being logged now.
So I got off the chat and went looking at web hosting providers because I can’t run a business that way and it was just embarrassing, now this is a good time to mention I signed up for the 3 year deal and paid upfront for it as you have to, so any change would mean I would be paying again for hosting.
After reading a few reviews I again came across Bluehost frequently coming out well so I thought hey I am just unlucky and that must be it. So I struggled on for a bit more and still no joy with site speed. The server response time was regularly over 4 & 5 seconds!!! That was only the server response time, the page load time was regularly over 9 seconds. So I went looking again and I read the comments on a few of these reviews and sure enough there were several people with similar problems to me and one person linked to a group chat on Facbeook where people talk openly about their experiences and I was certainly not alone with my problems on Bluehost with several people saying they are known to pack their servers and it slows down your site load speed!!!! So that would explain the average page load time being over 3 seconds. It suddenly all made sense for me.
Incidentally if you want to check the site loading time of this page to give you an idea of how fast it is then please do I use GTmetrix to do quick site speed tests (link will open in a new tab) and copy this pages Url. The results should be fast enough and stay fast at all times.
An even better solution for checking site speed is the fantastic experte page speed site (link will open in a new tab) and it will crawl not just that single page but all the pages on the website and give you results that are identical to google pagespeed insights and you can (when it’s finished) instantly see slow pages or problem areas in your website. The best part is you can also download the data in a CSV file and examine it at a later date again if you want.
The final part I will say is I genuinely felt like a number at Bluehost where the people I was talking to at DreamHost were all more interested in helping me and solving my problem, Sully was the guy I was talking to twice on DreamHost and while he was all work and getting stuff done he also seemed to more concerned about my website and how to help me.
Yes, he was taking longer to reply as he was helping others but I would prefer to wait 2 mins longer and get a result than fast service that can’t help. With my own cutomers I feel investing time with them is always worth it and yes maybe I am odd that way but so far I am really happy with DreamHost and it’s the best move I have made in a long time.
With the Themify Ultra theme my site speed is great and there is a nice clean look also with loads of functionality as well, as I mentioned above I have a 20% off discount code for Themify themes if you are interested then just click here to grab a bargain.
I am not writing this to demonize Bluehost when it worked it was great and I was happy with it, now there is a slightly bad taste in my mouth that I paid for a service for a 36 month period and it didn’t work.
I am just stating my experience with Bluehost and how they just never fixed the issues for me, which in my mind is a serious issue with any company. Their business model seems to be a bit too lean and as a result maybe they just have to pack a few more sites on a server then companies like DreamHost which is what creates these problems then.
I hope this has helped you come to a conclusion about the two of these companies and yes I just could have been incredibly unlucky with all the issues I had but I am still happy I changed as the other benefits outweigh the cost I incurred. There are a lot of other companies out there also providing hosting but I haven’t gotten around to properly playing with them yet. Hopefully one day I will get a chance to do that.
On a final note you may have noticed I don’t have any advertising on my website like google Adsense and I also don’t sell on cookies to third party companies to make some money instead I have affiliate links to the products I use myself and only the products I would happily buy myself.
Thanks for reading this and if you have any questions do please feel free to reach out to me I am only too happy to help.
See you out there,