HostGator vs DreamHost – Which One Should You Choose?
Confused between HostGator and DreamHost?
Choosing a web hosting company is a preliminary step in making an online business website or blog. Seems easy!
But it can be a pretty nerve-wracking job. Why?
You have to be quite picky about choosing one from hundreds when all offer same services and claims to be the best.
It takes hours of time to research and finds out best service which can be tiresome. That's why I am here reviewing top-notch companies, HostGator vs Dreamhost comparison with comprehensive details.
Most likely, we all want affordable, fast and reliable hosting service and all companies claim to offer that. An honest review of that company's customers can help in deciding.
I have used both HostGator and DreamHost for quite a while, and in today's review, I am going to share my personal experience.
Without further ado, let's have a comparison between HostGator vs DreamHost.
HostGator and DreamHost Comparison: Find the Right One
In this article, I am going to compare the prices, features and server performance of these two hosting companies. But before that let's take a look at their History.
HostGator was founded by a University student Brent Oxley in 2002. In the past 14 years, the company has raised to the top and have become one of the 10 World's Largest Web Hosting Company. In 2013, they announced that they are hosting over 9 million domains. Currently, they are using two data centers but for CloudFlare service they use 24 additional servers which are located all over the world for fast and reliable service.
DreamHost was founded by College students Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez and Sage Weil in 1996. The company is now based in Los Angeles. They are also hosting more than one million websites, and the number of their customers is also frequently increasing. They are an example of best reliable and fast web hosting service provider. They have two data centers located in Los Angeles, CA and Ashburn, VA.
It is important to have a user-friendly control panel, especially for those users who are new to hosting thing and don't know much about web tools and scripts.
According to me, a control panel must have domain manager, 1-Click CMS script installer, website usage monitoring tool, FTP(File Transfer Protocol), web email manager, billing and support feature as well. Hosting provider who offers control panel that doesn't have these features is not worth choosing.
Well, HostGator uses a very user-friendly control panel called cPanel. It is a standard control panel, and most of other hosting providers are using it. With the first look at it, you will see that it is simple and very easy to use. You do not need to be a tech geek to manage your website through cPanel.
Shortcuts to account, billing info, FTP, email manager and other shortcuts are featured on Dashboard. You can also make shortcuts if you want. It also provides 1-Click script installation feature and security tools. There are many other features that I can't explain so why don't you take a look at HostGator Control Panel.
On the other hand, DreamHost uses their own custom designed control panel. Their control panel is flexible and a bit complicated to understand. Their control panel has almost same features like HostGator's cPanel. However, their panel has additional features that are not available in cPanel.
They provide a Flash Media tool to convert video to Flash-compatible format using FFmpeg, and a Jabber IM tool to create own Jabber chat server on your domain. Billing and customer support feature is also available on their control panel. However, other tools are same as of HostGator's panel.
If you are already familiar with cPanel and don't want to take time in learning DreamHost's control panel, then I will suggest you to choose HostGator. Otherwise, DreamHost panel is also fast and flexible.
Why? Their control panel is very simple, user-friendly, flexible and most of the hosting companies are using it.
Server Uptime Guarantee
Uptime is the most vital aspect of web hosting. It is very critical when it comes to business or eCommerce website. A website is only useful if it is up all the time. Downtime of 1 minute can cause a loss of hundreds or even more sells. That's why I always check uptime guarantees before buying web hosting.
HostGator guaranteed to provide 99.9% server uptime while DreamHost committed to providing 100% uptime. Yes, it's true that no hosting company can provide 100% uptime. So why they claim that?
The thing is they do not count downtime that occurs due to pre-planned maintenance. But if an unplanned downtime occurs then DreamHost will give you 1 day of hosting for each interrupted hour. On the other hand, HostGator claims to provide 1 month of free hosting if they do not succeed to provide 99.9% uptime.
Both of them claims that uptime is their first priority and guaranteed to provide 99.9% to 100% server uptime, but let's see if they really do.
I monitored two websites hosted on HostGator and DreamHost with UptimeRobot. You can see the result in the below screenshots. Both of them are awesome and providing 100% uptime.
Why? HostGator and DreamHost both are providing awesome server uptime.
When choosing a web hosting, another factor that is considered important is page loading speed. It impact user experience and some say that it is an SEO factor.
I have tested both companies pages on Pingdom (Online Web Speed Testing Tool), and the results are displayed in screenshots.
HostGator's page load in 1.79 sec and its performance grade is 70. The page size is 1.1MB and they are faster than 75% of tested website on Pingdom.
DreamHost's page load a bit slower 2.01 sec, but its performance grade is 84. Page size is 1MB and is faster than 71% of tested websites.
The speed tests show that HostGator is faster than DreamHost.
Why? HostGator's page load in 1.79 sec while DreamHost's page load in 2.01 seconds.
Money Back Guarantee
Money back guarantee is another thing that I consider important. It is a time duration in which you can dispute and can get money back. If you are not satisfied with hosting service, then you can refund within a certain period. So, you can start a website without any risk of losing money.
When we compare the HostGator vs DreamHost refund time, HG offers 45 days money back guarantee. You can get a full refund within this duration. Unfortunately, dedicated hosting and fees of extra ad-on, setup and custom software are nonrefundable.
On the other hand, DreamHost offers an extended money back duration of 97 days; 3 whole month is not small. Is it awesome?
Don't become happy! Let me tell you the bad news.
"97 Days Money Back Guarantee" is only applicable to shared hosting plan. Customers who bought hosting with a credit card can only refund; it's mean if you use PayPal as payment option then you can't refund.
It is a big disappointment from DreamHost who call itself 'Award-Winning Web Hosting Company".
Why? Unlike DreamHost, they do not have any payment option condition.
24/7 Technical support is a must have option in the company when choosing a web hosting. Whenever you face any issue with hosting or downtime, there must be a support team to help you to prevent it. Believe me; it feels like hell when your website goes down, and support team is not available to help you.
HostGator claims 24/7/365 technical support via live chat, email, and phone call. Their customer support is always user-friendly and helpful. The support staff is knowledgeable and reply with proper manners. Unfortunately, the technical support needs to improve in terms of time, they respond to email after 1 hour to 2 hours and to live chat they take almost 15-20min. But they always solve the issue after getting in contact with customer.
Whereas, DreamHost also claims to provide 24/7 in-house team members support via live chat and ticketing system. Sadly, live chat is only available for paid customers; it means that you have to purchase support. Yes, it is true that they provide a very fast and responsible live chat support, replies in almost 5-10 mint. DreamHost even doesn't provide free support through a phone call.
Why? They are offering free technical support via live chat, phone call and ticketing system.
Hosting Plans & Prices
Both companies provide shared, VPS, dedicated, cloud-based and WordPress optimized hosting packages. However, HostGator also offers reseller hosting.
I am going to compare their shared web hosting plans.
Free Spam Expert
Free SSL Certificate
Free Domain Privacy
1 Year Price
3 Year Price
You can see in the comparison box that both of the companies (HostGator VS DreamHost) are offering a lot of features and freebies.
HostGator offers three plans in shared hosting, but I have compared two here. Their plans are very cheap and affordable, and features are also useful. They provide all necessary resources and tools required to start a website in basic plan.
If you have a large website with a lot of traffic, then these plans can fill your needs.
- Dedicated Hosting Plan - $79/mo
- VPS Hosting Plan - $19.95/mo
- Reseller Hosting Plan - $19.95/mo
- Cloud-based Hosting - $4.95/mo
On the other hand, DreamHost offers only one shared hosting plan. The plan includes unlimited resources and free features such as SSL, Domain, Privacy protection, etc. The hosting plan is a bit expensive, but if we compare free features and resources, then the price will seem right.
Their other hosting packages and monthly prices are:
- VPS Hosting - $15/mo
- Dedicated Hosting Plan - $149/mo
- Cloud-based Hosting - $4.50/mo
Why? HostGator is offering the same feature as DreamHost but at a lot more low prices.
Both of the companies HostGator and DreamHost offer domain registration. Their main focus is on hosting, but they are pretty good domain providing company.
HostGator charges $12.99/yr for domain registration of .com, and for .net, .org, .info, .co and .tech domains they charge $12.95/yr. They provide free domain locker with each domain registration.
DreamHost, on the other hand charge $13.95/yr for registration of .com, .net, .org and .info domain names. Sadly, they are also expensive in term of domain registration. But do not forget that they provide free WHOIS privacy protection which cost almost $5-10/year.
So, I think DreamHost doesn't seem expensive if we count free WHOIS privacy. They are the best choice if you want WHOIS privacy so you can get rid of paying extra $5-10/yr for privacy.
Why? They charge one Dollar more than HostGator but provide $10 WHOIS privacy totally free.
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Which one I Recommend between HostGator and DreamHost?
By comparing every possible factor and conducted tests on each service, it has been cleared that HostGator is the winner of this comparison with DreamHost.
DreamHost probably provides fast speed, reliability, and their support is premium. But these are not the only facts to determine the best hosting company. Their prices are very high compared to HostGator with almost same features and control panel is complicated.
HostGator is cheap, affordable and offering the same features as DreamHost do, but at low cost. Their server uptime and page loading speed are admirable. Unlike DreamHost, they provide free customer support via live chat and telephone call.
HostGator vs. DreamHost - Conclusion
The primary purpose of this HostGator or DreamHost Review is to provide you sufficient information to help you select best web hosting and domain providing company that meets your requirement.
Being true, I am not talking favor of any hosting company reviewed here. My goal is to share my experience and to prevent you not to choose a wrong hosting company for your business website or personal blog.
HostGator as well as DreamHost both are best web hosting companies in their own right and different point of view.
DreamHost offers exclusive custom panel, premium technical support and incredible freebies such as SSL certificate and WHOIS privacy. But in term of simplicity, free customer support and low price, HostGator is best. And most of the users choose simple, straightforward and cheap hosting company.
Now it's your choice whether you choose HostGator or DreamHost or none of them. I suggest picking the company which can fill your needs and is affordable according to your budget.
I do hope that my review might help you in taking the first step to your online business website or blog.
I will love to know your experience with HostGator vs DreamHost. Which is your chosen one, comment below and help me to improve this article by sharing your thoughts.