Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Our Quick Summary
SiteGround wins this comparison. It’s very hard to beat SiteGround these days, their speed and expert support is unparralleled, not to mention their custom caching plugin and in-house security measures to keep everyting running as smoothly as possible.
Keep reading to find out how both hosting companies rate on pricing, support, speed, and ease of use!
SiteGround and DreamHost are two of the few remaining independent hosting companies in the industry, we’ve featured them both on our USA web hosting reviews page. Each company provides users with reliable services and features that appeal to everyone—from first-time website creators to webmasters. If these were your only two options for web hosting, you would be in an excellent position.
SiteGround got its start fifteen years ago in Sofia, Bulgaria. The company has grown steadily, especially in the last two years, and currently offers shared hosting, cloud, and email hosting. With two million domains in their portfolio and data centers across several continents, SiteGround is a force to be reckoned with when considering web hosts.
Like SiteGround, DreamHost was the brainchild of several innovative college students. Founded 25 years ago at Harvey Mudd College, DreamHost has steadily expanded its offerings beyond web hosting to include domain name registration and cloud storage. Today, the company has headquarters in Los Angeles and serves over 1.5 million domains.
There is a plethora of potential choices, so choosing a web hosting provider can be a daunting decision. Fortunately, we are here to help. We have taken the time to research and evaluate SiteGround and DreamHost, so you can evaluate which is the better fit for your hosting needs.
The competitors are scored on their pricing, support, performance/speed, and ease of use below.
Pricing – It’s a Tie
SiteGround’s web hosting package is available in three tiers: StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek. Their basic plan, StartUp, starts at $3.95 per month, though it comes with a $14.95 setup fee. Users get a single website with 10 gigabytes of web space and the capacity for 10,000 monthly visits.
SiteGround offers a competitive package of features with each plan, too. StartUp comes with free SiteBuilder, SSL certificate, HTTPS, email accounts, daily backups, as well as unmetered traffic. GrowBig and GoGeek each include extra features in addition to unlimited websites and more dynamic performance overall.
DreamHost offers two plans that come with a 97-day money-back guarantee (how they picked exactly 97 days is a mystery). The introductory offer, Shared Starter, begins at $4.95 per month and is designed for entry-level users.
Shared Starters comes with a robust selection of features for the single website, including pre-installed WordPress, fast SSD storage, free SSL certificate, and the option to add email for $1.67 per month. Users of Shared Unlimited, which retails at $10.95 per month, get the benefit of unlimited websites, traffic, and an email address.
Support – SiteGround Wins
When it comes to customer support, SiteGround is truly a leader in the industry. Their 24/7 live chat leaders troubleshoot any problems or queries as quickly as possible. SiteGround also offers ticketing and a knowledge center among their additional resources.
Customer reviews strongly support the praise for SiteGround.
Where SiteGround offers phone, email, chat, and ticket-based support, DreamHost is more limited. Users submit a ticket and wait for a couple of minutes before getting assistance. Users are also limited to the use of chats and messaging. Reviewers note that the responses are generally quick, and even the most complex problems can typically be resolved in a day or two.
Speed – SiteGround Wins
Performance and speed. No matter how you slice it, these are two critical factors when it comes to producing a successful website.
For SiteGround, this is their home turf. They offer a quintessential uptime of 99.99%, so you can rest assured your site will be functional at all hours of the day or night. They also sport an above-average page loading time of around 700ms. This mark puts them roughly among the top 10 fastest web-hosting providers.
Some critics may balk at the risk of diminished performance when their site reaches the 10-gigabyte threshold, though, this problem is more of an exception than a rule. It also helps that they have servers on almost every continent, from the US, to London (great for UK web hosting), and Singapore.
DreamHost is comparable with SiteGround in both categories thanks to its impressive 99.96% uptime. As a point of reference, that equates to only three and a half hours of downtime for an entire year. If DreamHost does not follow through on this threshold, they will even grant users a credit for the lost service time.
Speed-wise, DreamHost is effectively in a dead heat with SiteGround. Recent measurements put their page load time at around 700ms. This average has been consistent over the past two years, thanks to data centers spread from Ashburn, VA to Hillsboro, OR.
Ease of Use – SiteGround Wins
While nearly every company we’ve reviewed offers cPanel, including SiteGround, DreamHost is one of the exceptions. They have created their own control panel, which is likely of no concern for introductory users. More experienced website creators might think otherwise, though.
DreamHost does a serviceable job of making the life of the consumer easy. Users can use website builders like Remixer, SquareSpace, Weebly, and Wix to customize the look and feel of their site. They have also done away with their manual verification process so you can get your website up and running sooner rather than later.
SiteGround provides an intuitive user experience as it offers cozy integrations with Drupal, Weebly, and WordPress. Advanced developers also have the benefit of multiple PHP versions and Git pre-installed on SiteGround’s more advanced plans. Plus, site migration is free, which is something that DreamHost cannot beat.
Conclusion – SiteGround Wins
SiteGround and DreamHost are two worthy competitors. When it comes to all-around performance, we must choose SiteGround as the winner. Their wealth of features and superior customer support offerings makes it the better option, and it is difficult to argue against its overall effectiveness and sound reputation.
SiteGround has consistently finished atop our ratings and is worth your time whether you are launching your first site or are a veteran blogger. DreamHost has distinct strengths, too, and is undoubtedly a safe choice as a web host. Their lack of cPanel, limited customer support, and migration fee, though, were among the aspects holding them back.