Are you starting a blog? Or maybe you’re a small business owner? In that case, you’ll know that your web presence is super important. Back in the day, businesses used to have shiny shops. Now, things have shifted quite drastically. In today’s digital age, the main way you can find new customers and expand your reach is online. This is why you have to do your best to create an amazing site. Think of your site as your store. To begin, you need to consider your web hosting services options. Those are the foundations of your online site.
There are dozens of different web hosting companies, all offering slightly different options in terms of looking after your website. All the options out there make choosing a tough process. This is why we’ve done the research and are here to help guide you. In this review, we compare two popular options, Dreamhost vs Hostgator, in order to help you find the best option for you.
What Is Web Hosting?
In order to get your website on the internet, you need to have a website host. This hosting service stores all of your website information and keeps it online and available for customers – just as a physical store would. Essentially, your chosen web hosting company looks after your website for you. And with your website being such an integral part of your business’s success, it’s easy to see that you need to properly research different options before coming to a decision. Our Dreamhost vs Hostgator review is here to help you make that decision.
Web Hosting Features
Whatever your website may be, there is a hosting platform which will suit you just right. One of the most important initial things to consider when trying to choose a web hosting platform is the kind of website your business needs. For example, if you want to run an online shop within your site, you’ll want to find the web hosting platform which has the best features for e-commerce. Getting a great host and a theme that doesn’t support e-commerce would be a complete waste of time if you want to sell things online. Here we outline the main features to consider when choosing a web hosting provider, and, where possible, talk about whether Dreamhost or Hostgator has the upper hand in the category.
Uptime is the amount of guaranteed time your website will be available. Nowadays, the vast majority of hosting service providers guarantee close to 100% uptime – and both Dreamhost and Hostgator are no exception. What would happen if uptime was below optimal? Very simple – your site will be unavailable to your customers or readers, and you won’t make money. So uptime is very important.
You will also want to consider how quick your chosen web hosting provider is. If pages take forever to load, readers will get frustrated and leave your site. Both Dreamhost and Hostgator have good speed capacities, and neither stands out above the other.
Dreamhost was founded in 1996, whilst Hostgator was founded in 2002. While Dreamhost is technically the older of the two, both are well established and have been around for more than a decade, so we don’t think that should impact your decision too much either way.
You want your chosen web hosting platform to have a good response time. Both Dreamhost and Hostgator perform very well in response time tests.
Ease of Use
Many web hosting services use cPanel as their control panel. This shared cPanel helps to make the learning curve of a web hosting provider smoother. Sites which use cPanel are often thought of as more intuitive.
Hostgator does use cPanel, while Dreamhost does not. For first-time website owners, this may mean that Hostgator has the upper hand in terms of ease of use and time spent getting used to the platform. And for those who’ve used cPanel before, there’s no competition – Hostgator would be the clear choice for easy website building.
Customer support is an essential aspect to take into consideration when choosing a web hosting platform. You want to have the best possible options in place for moments when your website isn’t working properly, or you need a little extra help figuring something out. You want to be looking at the opening hours of the customer support of your chosen web hosting platforms, plus the different methods of contacting the company. Whether it’s live chat or a telephone call, you want to option to speak to a friendly and knowledgeable person.
Hostgator offers customer support options 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. It’s accessible via phone and live chat, plus there are tons of free tutorials and FAQ information to browse online.
Dreamhost offers 24-hour customer support, too, but their services are more limited than Hostgator. There is a live chat option for a small fee, but no contactable telephone customer support which could frustrate some users.
If you know that ease of access to customer service is important to you, we think Hostgator is the better option here.
Web Hosting Price
Cost is, of course, something you must take into consideration when building a website for your small business or blog. Be careful about wasting more money than you make through your site on hosting, extra tools, and support. Both Dreamhost and Hostgator offer a variety of different payment plans to suit the vast majority of budgets, which we’ll go into more detail with later.
However, overall, the cost of hosting is generally cheaper with Hostgator.
Before making any web hosting decision, it’s super important to read real customer reviews online. Sometimes you can find real customer reviews online through the hosting company site. In other cases, you have to do a little digging on the internet. Either way, finding out what real people are saying about their experience with a web provider will be one of the best ways to know whether or not a web hosting provider is right for you.
- Dreamhost offers unlimited bandwidth and unlimited data storage.
- You can host unlimited sites with Dreamhost.
- There’s a 97-day money back guarantee.
- Dreamhost guarantees 100% website uptime.
- There are optimized WordPress options available.
- Dreamhost load times are very speedy.
- Lack of cPanel can mean user experience is less intuitive.
- Dreamhost doesn’t offer telephone support for free.
- Generally speaking, the customer support options offered by Dreamhost are not as good as other hosting providers.
- Dreamhost is also on the more expensive end of web hosting services.
Dreamhost offers a variety of different hosting plans at different prices. Their shared hosting and WordPress hosting plans start at just $2.59 per month. VPS hosting starts at $13.75 per month. Their website builder starts at $4.95 per month. Their dedicated hosting plans start at $149 per month. Find out more about different Dreamhost hosting plans and prices on their website.
On independent review site g2crowd, Dreamhost currently has a 3.9 out of 5-star rating based on over 50 customer reviews. Here is what some people are saying.
“What I like the most about being a Dreamhost client is that they update really often. So privacy or encryptions are always up to date. With other hosting sites they are sometimes behind on new implementation. Their prices for new customers are really good, and I definitely have my clients taking advantage of that. Along with the good pricing for new customers that I like they always add on things for free, while other hosting companies will charge you extras.”
“Dreamhost was easy to get up and running, and provides great value for VPS hosting. When comparing storage, processors, RAM and features, Dreamhost stood out among the competition. Free SSL certificate and competitive domain registration prices are also a plus.”
“Dreamhost is an excellent place to start out in terms of hosting when you’re pretty new to it. Their customer support in general (as well as response time) has gotten much better – I remember it severely lacking years ago.
If you’re an average Joe looking for a quick one-click install with nothing too fancy, Dreamhost is an excellent option for you. It’s also simple enough to figure out if you don’t have that much experience with hosting. Their customer service has stepped up their game as well should you need the help.”
- Hostgator offers over 99.99% uptime, which is excellent.
- The customer support offered by Hostgator is among the best.
- Hostgator offers unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and databases.
- Hostgator offers a 45-day money back guarantee.
- The cPanel control panel is easy to use, and skills can be transferred from one provider to another.
- Hostgator has limited extra features.
- Domain name prices bought through Hostgator can be a little high.
- Customer support has been spotty in the past, although is considered very good nowadays.
Hostgator also offer a variety of different hosting plans at different prices. Their cloud hosting plans start at $3.13 per month. Their WordPress hosting plans start at $3.48 per month. Their VPS hosting plans start at $29.95 per month. Their dedicated hosting plans start at $119 per month. Find out more about different Dreamhost hosting plans and prices through their website.
At the time of writing, Hostgator has a 3.4 out of 5-star rating, based on over 70 customer reviews, through independent review site g2crowd. Here are some things customers are saying.
“Hostgator provides different plans for domain and shared web hosting which is quite good as you can pick based on your need. we are using their “Business” plan as it provides us unlimited website and unlimited space to serve our large number of clients. They too have domain service which is good but i fell costly. Their email service and SMTP servers are good to work on.”
“We have several of our websites hosted with HostGator and have had very few problems. We have only had issues once or twice over the past several years were able to resolve them quickly and painlessly. The program is very user-friendly, especially for someone who does not need to access it very often.”
“I love that I can host ALL my websites in one place without paying an arm and a leg. They have many affordable tiers, with options to pay yearly or monthly. We use the shared hosting which allows us to have unlimited domains (many other companies limit you to just a couple) and so we can host all our websites under one account. We switched to them from Lunarpages years ago partially because of their excellent customer service and partially because of their security features (one of our websites was hacked and they were able to clean it up for us without charging an extra fee, which Lunarpages wouldn’t do).”
Conclusion: Dreamhost Vs Hostgator
Both Dreamhost and Hostgator offer a variety of excellent options for those wishing to host a website for their small business or blog. While we don’t necessarily think one is superior to the other, we do think each is better suited to different needs.
For those just starting out, we think Hostgator is the better option. It has a less steep learning curve, has more affordable options, and offers excellent customer support for a moment of need. As we mentioned above, customer support is an essential resource to those just starting out, so take that into serious consideration.
If you’re more well-versed in web hosting, however, we think Dreamhost may be the better option for you. Although it can be difficult to get the hang of at first, and the customer service options are not as accessible as we’d like, the platform itself is very reliable, quick and with a good variety of options. If you already have some experience, you should be all right.
What do you think of Dreamhost and Hostgator? Have you used one or the other in the past? Which hosting account do you think is the best option? Let us know in the comments below.