|Plan in review||Shared Unlimited||Baby Cloud|
|Price before discount||$||$|
|Price (12-mo)||$10.95 / month||$13.95 / month|
|Price (24-mo)||$8.95 / month||$8.95 / month|
|Special Discount||$25 discount on first bill||Save up to 55% for Gator site builder|
Solid server performance - Hosting uptime > 99.99%
Fast server - TTFB below 50ms for United States users
Special discount – 45% cheaper for first time users
Free site migration for new users
Comprehensive support documentation
Most popular bloggers' hosting choice based on our 2014 and 2016 survey
Expensive renewal fees - Price jump 40% after first term
Unlimited hosting service limited by various server usage constraints
Occasionally long wait time for live chat support
Server location in United States only
|Extra Domain Reg.||$9.95 for first year .com domain, renew at regular price; prices vary for different TLDs.||$12.95/yr for .com domain|
|Private Domain Reg.||Free||$14.95|
|Auto Script Installer||Custom 1-Click Installer||Mojo Marketplace|
|Custom Cron Jobs||Yes||Yes|
|Site Backups||Yes||CodeGuard - $2/mo|
|Free SSL||Let's Encrypt||Yes|
|Built-in Site Builder||Remixer||Yes|
Dreamhost has been running for a lot longer than HostGator which emerged in 2002. It also holds the distinct honour of being one of only three web hosting service providers that is officially recommended by WordPress.com. Since then however, HostGator has been taken over by Endurance International Group (EIG) and both have grown to become some of the most prominent names in the business today.
Looking at both hosts, the first thing you will notice is that Dreamhost has two things that make it really stand out. The first is a 100% uptime guarantee – which as far as I know is pretty much as rare as a Dodo bird in the web hosting business. The second it that it is confident in that guarantee, so much that it offers users a whopping 97-day full refund trial period to back out with.
I have seen Dreamhost customers who are extremely happy with their hosting form the company – not just with the packages and performance but also for the fact that Dreamhost has pretty good customer service.
Their shared hosting plans start at $7.87 per month (with a special discount from WHSR) and bring users the advantage of solid-state drive hosting and includes a free domain name along with unlimited storage and bandwidth. That is a great start for any website hosting with them and will be especially good for simple sites without tons of traffic.
HostGator once offered excellent performance, but following their takeover by EIG in 2012, they suffered from two major service outages in 2013 and 2014. What is interesting about these incidents is that it doesn’t seem to have affected their customer base as much as expected.
Surveys WHSR carried out have continues to show HostGator as one of the top hosts that customers are happy with. It is likely that their regular service uptime overcame those outage incidents and that site performance is generally good.
WHSR tests on HostGator servers showed excellent results from their U.S. based servers, which were able to clock in at sub-50ms response rates. This is excellent and honestly, hard to beat in this very competitive environment.
Despite their performance advantages, not everything is smelling like roses with these two hosts though. HostGator, for example, comes with some pretty serious caveats in the ‘unlimited’ hosting plans. If I wasn’t so used to these kinds of claims from web hosts, I would be tempted to go so far as to claim false advertising.
The reality is that spelt out in their Acceptable Use Policy, even unlimited plans from HostGator come with many usage limitations. For example, accounts that use 25% or more of system resources for 90 seconds at a time will be considered in violation of their usage policy – and may get their accounts suspended!
Dreamhost on the other hand tries no such thing but it does suffer some a slightly more confusing dashboard. Users are more likely to be confused by excessive changes to standard working environments and their layout is stranger than most.
Between the two, there are both advantages and drawback that aren’t so easily ignorable. Yet even though it may suffer slightly in reputation from service outages and being owned by EIG, HostGator still retains the lead in many areas.
Their longstanding rep for reliability combined with plans that feature reasonable prices with he features to go along with them, and their fantastic performance benchmarks make this the better of two evils.
This isn’t to say that Dreamhost is a bad choice, but can potentially benefit another group of customers – those who are looking for a host that offers better customer service, for example.
Not sure where to start? Here are three "must-see" suggestions:
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Disclosure: WHSR receives referral fees from hosting companies listed on this website. Our opinions are based on real experience and actual hosting service data. Please read our review policy to understand how we rate a web host.