DreamHost VS BlueHost – Joomla Hosting Comparison

DreamHost and BlueHost are among the world’s largest web hosting providers. They both build their servers based on open source technologies so as to offer optimized and flexible services for all users. Now they are hosting thousands of Joomla sites and gaining a good reputation for reliability.

If you have heard about the two web hosts and need more details to make a choice between them for hosting Joomla, this comparison is right for you. It clears up the similarities and differences, and offers useful suggestions as well.

First of all, please read the ratings below which are made based on our more than 2 years’ hosting experience with both providers.

Rating DreamHost BlueHost
Plan Happy Hosting Plus
Reputation 3 of 5 Star 5 of 5 Star
Price 3 of 5 Star 4.5 of 5 Star
Feature 3 of 5 Star 5 of 5 Star
Performance 2.5 of 5 Star 5 of 5 Star
Support 2.5 of 5 Star 4.5 of 5 Star
Read More DreamHost Review BlueHost Review

What They Both Do Well

DreamHost and BlueHost offer a wide range of hosting products including shared hosting, VPS, dedicated server and cloud to satisfy the demands of different Joomla users. In terms of shared hosting, the product we will focus on in this comparison, both companies have the following advantages.

Easy Joomla installation and management

You don’t need to worry about the two companies’ hosting services’ compatibility with Joomla because they offer multiple versions of PHP (5.3/5.4/5.5), MySQL and PostgreSQL to ensure that the major Joomla versions can run without problem.

Besides, they both provide a self-developed 1-click installer with which you are able to install the latest stable version of Joomla by clicking on several buttons only.

Great uptime

DreamHost and BlueHost use multiple US based facilities to support users. The former partners with Alchemy Communications for data center services, while the latter builds, owns and operates their own data centers.

Despite the difference, all the data centers the two companies rely on feature:

  • Redundant power supply with a UPS system and backup power/generators.
  • A complete air-conditioning, fire suppression and physical security system.
  • Redundant Internet connections to multiple Tier 1 bandwidth providers.
  • 24×7 data center monitoring handled by on-site engineers.

DreamHost provides a 100% uptime guarantee. A failure in any month will lead to a compensation of hosting fee. There has been no big downtime reported for this company in the past 2 years. And according to our monitoring, DreamHost can achieve 99.9% uptime in most times when the downtimes caused by scheduled maintenance are not calculated. Below is the uptime in the past 30 days.

BlueHost guarantees 99.9% uptime for all shared hosting users, and the real records we have got in the last 2 years have proved the company’s success. The average uptime is more than 99.95%. Below are the recent monitoring results.

What Are BlueHost Edges?

Scalable shared hosting plans

Unlike DreamHost which offers a single unlimited plan for shared hosting users, BlueHost ensures flexibility by releasing 3 upgradable plans. Besides Plus, there is still a plan designed for beginners, and another one for businesses. Here are some details.

  • Basic: 1 website, 100 GB disk space, unlimited bandwidth, 100 email accounts and 25 sub-domains. Price starts at $2.95/mo.
  • Prime: Unlimited resources, 1 dedicated IP, 1 private SSL certificate, SiteBackup Pro and 2 SpamExperts, Price starts at $13.95/mo.

Cheaper price while richer features

DreamHost prices the Happy Hosting plan at $10.95/mo, $9.95/mo and $8.95/mo for 1/12/24-month terms. These prices are somewhat expensive for beginners. Fortunately, now you can gain a 34% discount for $5.95/mo.

BlueHost is also promoting the Plus plan. Clicking through the following promotional link, you are able to enjoy a 50%, 55% and 60% discount respectively for 12/24/36-month terms, with which the effective prices are $5.95/mo, $4.95/mo and $3.95/mo.

BlueHost Promotional Link Activation

In addition to the generous discount for the hosting fee, the two web hosts also provide a number of freebies for you to save money and get started easily.

  • DreamHost: $100 Google AdWords credits, 1 lifetime free domain name, and free domain privacy.
  • BlueHost: $200 marketing credits for Google and Bing, as well as 1 free domain for the first year.

Regarding the hosting features, Happy Hosting and Plus are feature rich, coming with ample resources like unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a number of security features including suPHP and shared SSL, as well as many advanced features such as log file access and .htaccess. However, Plus includes some more features. For the detailed information, read the table below.

Feature DreamHost BlueHost
Plan Happy Hosting Plus
Hosted Domains Unlimited Unlimited
Disk Space, Bandwidth Unlimited Unlimited
Databases Unlimited Unlimited
Email Accounts Unlimited Unlimited
PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby Yes Yes
MySQL, PostgreSQL Yes Yes
SSH Yes Yes
Site Builder No Yes
Daily Backups No Yes
Effective Price $5.95/mo $3.95/mo
Conclusion Not Recommended Recommended


BlueHost adopts cPanel in each shared hosting plan to make sure that users can gain a simplified hosting experience. cPanel is the most popular Linux hosting control panel.

DreamHost provides a custom control panel which is designed specially for its users. This control panel is easy-to-use, too, but it is not good for future website transfer.

Faster speed

Besides uptime, the excellent hosting speed is also a highlight of BlueHost. Server response time is usually within 400ms, and the page loads take no more than 2 seconds. The main reasons for the outstanding results should be:

  • All of their data centers are well-connected.
  • The servers are configured and optimized for fast speed.
  • CDN is utilized to further accelerate the delivery of static content.
  • The company adopts a resource protection technology to prevent websites from being slowed down by the excessive resource usage of other sites.

Read the chart below for the comparison of the two web hosts’ server response speed.

Specific Joomla support

Both web hosts offer 24×7 professional technical support. Their support representatives are knowledgeable and well trained with a good manner.

They can match each other in the quality of solutions and the professionalism of ticket support. But BlueHost still wins a little due to:

  • Free phone support.
  • 30-second average waiting time for live chat and phone.
  • 15-minute average waiting time for tickets.
  • Patient support for Joomla specific issues, such as Joomla admin password resetting.

What Are DreamHost Edges?


DreamHost is one of the first providers that use SSDs on shared servers. SSDs are much more expensive than HDDs, but they are more secure against shock and effective in speeding up files and databases.

Being green

DreamHost has been contributing to environment protection by keeping their services carbon neutral. To offset the emissions, the company keeps:

  • Purchasing RECs to invest in renewable energy.
  • Purchasing energy-efficient servers and adopting the latest server technologies to reduce the resource usage.

Longer time for full refund

DreamHost can provide a full refund of your hosting fee within 97 days of account activation. This guarantee applies to any account cancellation (excluding the termination caused by the violation of TOS) occurring on shared servers during that time.

BlueHost offers full refund for the accounts cancelled within the first 30 days, which is much shorter. But the good news is that you can always receive a pro-rated refund whenever you terminate the service. DreamHost does not have this policy.

Which Is the Better Choice for Hosting Joomla?

BlueHost is the better choice because its packages are more affordable, reliable and faster. Moreover, if you are used to cPanel or phone support, simply make a purchase from BlueHost through this exclusive promotional link.