Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Our Quick Summary
HostGator wins this comparison, but just barely. Their pricing is better for beginners and we like having cPanel to work with rather than a custom built control panel. But DreamHosts’ general hosting quality in terms of speed and uptime is definitely better.
Keep reading to find out how both hosting companies rate on pricing, support, speed, and ease of use!
DreamHost and HostGator are two of the largest web hosting providers in the world. Both have developed reputations for exceptional services, with DreamHost providing high-level WordPress expertise, and HostGator a superb company to help develop your brand. Of course, the difficult part is choosing which of the two will host your next website. Aside from this article, we’ve also featured them both in our USA web hosting comparison.
DreamHost got its start in the Inland Empire in 1996. The invention of four undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College, the company has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Today, DreamHost services more than 400,000 domains and has 200 employees.
HostGator also started inside a college dorm room, though this one belonged to Florida University student Brent Oxley. A few years after its founding, HostGator became one of the fastest-growing web service providers in the world. In 2012, Endurance International Group purchased HostGator, which hosts over eight million domains.
When it comes to deciding between DreamHost and HostGator, it is essential to select the company that best fits your needs. That’s why we have taken the time to review and rank each company in four different areas: pricing, support, performance/speed, and ease of use. Our goal is to provide you will all the information and insight you need to make your final selection with confidence.
Pricing – HostGator Wins
HostGator offers three different hosting plans, Hatchling, Baby, and Business. Each comes with free site migration and unmetered bandwidth, as well as unlimited FTP users and MySQL databases. Users also get the benefit from around the clock customer support and server monitoring.
The Hatchling Plan, which is their introductory offer, starts at $2.75 per month. The plan includes a single website, one-click installs, and unlimited email. The other two models are a little more expensive at $4.95 and $5.95 per month respectively but offer faster resource speed and better uptime.
DreamHost offers three plans, Shared Starter, DreamPress, and VPS. The Shared Starter goes for $2.59 per month if you purchase an annual plan and the monthly version for $4.95 per month. It is worth mentioning that this tactic is common among web host providers.
The Shared Starter comes with a single website, a free domain, unlimited traffic, free SSL certificate, and unmetered bandwidth. Users can also add email at $1.67 per month if they want. The higher tiers offer additional features as well as more storage space and higher monthly viewing capacity.
Support – DreamHost Wins
If you have an issue with your website, you want the assurance that your web hosting services can help you fix it quickly. DreamHost offers passable customer support and claims to have 24/7 assistance via live chat, Twitter, and email. While you will not be able to get on the phone with one of their experts, DreamHost does have Wiki manuals to troubleshoot problems.
DreamHost has earned reliable customer reviews backing up their services in all major categories.
HostGator goes all out when it comes to providing a comprehensive customer support base. Users can get in touch with them via phone calls, live chats, email at any time of the day, and any day of the year. HostGator also has more than 500 tutorials on their website and 700+ articles to assist in nipping problems in the bud.
Despite the more in-depth offerings, one of the typical notes in customer reviews was slightly longer wait times when it came to solving problems.
Speed – DreamHost Wins
The performance and speed of a website can make or break a business. That’s why it is vital to have a web hosting provider who is strong in both categories. DreamHost delivers fast load times at around 700ms.
Their uptime is reliable, too, with an average uptime of 99.96%. This mark equates to approximately three and a half hours of downtime per year. DreamHost does offer 100% uptime in their Terms of Service and compensates any hosting interruptions with a free day of service per hour lost on the renewed plan.
HostGator lags in speed as their average webpage loads at around 1000ms. The rate is one of the slower ones we have measured and includes even simple loading pages. While the loading speed is not necessarily a deal-breaker, it is a factor you should take into any final considerations.
HostGator, however, offers near-perfect uptime with rates that float between 99.98% and 100%. The strength means website visitors are almost guaranteed to find your site in working order whenever they visit. This uptime is attributable to data centers from Provo, UT to Houston, as well as a Cloudflare Content Distribution Network that reaches from North America to the UK, Asia, and Australia.
Ease of Use – HostGator Wins
One of the significant differences between DreamHost and HostGator is their control panels. While HostGator offers the industry-standard cPanel, DreamHost developed a custom panel to house all their plan features. While this discrepancy is not a big deal for inexperienced users, tech-savvy designers find the lack of automated imports and manual migrations frustrating.
DreamHost offers competitive features, even for their introductory plans. Users will find Joomla, Drupal, and Tumblr options, as well as a host of website builders like WordPress, Weebly, and Wix. They have also done away with the manual verification system, which streamlines usability.
HostGator markets itself as a tool for beginners and experts alike. Not only will you find customizable templates to pick and choose from, but also you can get access to a wealth of plug-ins and more advanced features. HostGator even has quick links, forums, tutorials, and walkthroughs on their website to help users navigate the process of website creation.
Conclusion – HostGator Wins
DreamHost and HostGator are two evenly matched competitors. Each offers reliable services and products that have put them at the top of their class. When it comes to declaring which one is better, though, we have to go with HostGator.
Despite its pedestrian load times, HostGator does a remarkable job of providing an intuitive, stable, and supportive environment in which to build to a website. They are continually rated as one of our best web-hosting providers. DreamHost offers robust all-around features but falls behind when it comes to technical support and lacks a cPanel.