DreamHost vs Hostgator: 2022 Review [Backed By Data]

Featured image Dreamhost vs hostgator

DreamHost and Hostgator are two of the most popular web hosting companies around. With similar product offerings, it can be difficult to know which of these web hosts performs best.

So, we put both of these popular web hosting providers through rigorous tests in our data-driven analysis. Then we declare our top choice in a Hostgator vs DreamHost head-to-head comparison.

Poor web hosting services could be costing you more than you realize.

Thanks to studies by Amazon, Deloitte, and Google, we already know that for every 500 ms of load time you can lose up to 20% traffic and 5% of revenue.

That’s why in our head-to-head analysis of DreamHost vs Hostgator, we’re putting each of these hosting companies under the microscope.

You’ll see exactly how Hostgator and DreamHost perform under rigorous tests for:

  • Speed
  • Uptime
  • Security
  • Server Performance
  • Customer Service
  • Plus more

With over 16 performance factors compared side by side, you won’t be left guessing whether DreamHost or Hostgator is the better option for you!

Let’s dive right in.

Introducing DreamHost

Founded over 25 years ago, DreamHost has developed a solid presence in today’s web hosting arena. They’ve also worked their way to the top and currently host over 1.5 million websites.

DreamHost Homepage

It’s no surprise why WordPress.org recommends DreamHost as one of the leading web hosting companies on today’s market.

DreamHost is also one of the last big, independently owned and operated web hosting companies around.

Add to this their dedication to delivering top-notch services and it’s looking like a recipe for success right there. A tough contender to beat, that’s for sure!

Introducing Hostgator

Now let’s welcome Hostgator to the stage, a close match for DreamHost.

HostGator Homepage

Founded in 2002, Hostgator is another web hosting company that’s made a decent dent in the market. With over 2.5 million websites hosted, the Hostgator team means serious business!

In 2012, they were acquired by EIG who also owns a solid portfolio of web hosting companies including Bluehost and iPage.

DreamHost vs Hostgator: Web Hosting Plans Compared

Let’s start our DreamHost vs Hostgator analysis by comparing the plans each company offers.

 DreamHostHostgator
Cheap Shared HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Managed WP HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Managed Woocommerce HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Cloud HostingChecked iconChecked icon
Reseller HostingChecked iconChecked icon
VPSChecked iconChecked icon
Dedicated Server HostingChecked iconChecked icon

Hostgator, on the other hand, lacks a couple of distinct options. Namely, managed Woocommerce hosting and cloud hosting. The biggest standout is that DreamHost offers a wide range of hosting solutions. No matter if you’re looking for managed hosting, cheap shared hosting, WordPress-specific, or cloud hosting, they do it.

DreamHost Woocommerce Hosting

If you run a small e-commerce store, you might find that Hostgator’s managed WordPress hosting is enough for your needs. However, a solution specifically designed for e-commerce, like the one offered by DreamHost, often means you don’t need to worry about:

  • Configuring Woocommerce
  • Getting targeted support when you need it
  • Accepting payments from the get-go
  • Restoring your sales data if anything goes wrong

Cloud hosting is another option that Hostgator is lacking in its product suite.

Moving websites to the cloud is a smart move by web hosts since it allows their customers to leverage server scalability at a fair price. We’ll touch on this more later.

Next up, let’s check out DreamHost’s and Hostgator’s web hosting services side by side.

Shared Hosting: Hostgator’s Pricing Works Out A Little Cheaper

When looking at DreamHost vs Hostgator pricing, first impressions can be deceiving. To secure the best pricing from either host, you need to sign up for a 36-month plan.

HostGator Pricing

Otherwise, Hostgator’s pricing works out to be slightly cheaper per month with a choice of three different pricing tiers.

Shared Hosting Promotional Pricing Compared

PlanDreamHost PlansHostgator Plans
Lowest Tier$2.59/month$2.75/month
Middle Tier$3.95/month$3.50/month
Highest TierN/A$5.25/month

Shared Hosting Renewal Pricing Compared

PlanDreamHost PlansHostgator Plans
Lowest Tier$7.99/month$6.95 - $10.95/month
Middle Tier$13.99/month$9.95 - $11.95/month
Highest TierN/A$14.95 - $16.95/month

Winner: If price is a concern for you, Hostgator comes in slightly cheaper. There’s also a third tier offered, which gives you a happy medium between features and price if you want the best of both worlds.

Hostgator vs DreamHost: Managed WordPress Hosting Comparison

Both Hostgator and DreamHost offer hosting plans for WordPress. However, when you dig a little deeper, it becomes evident that DreamHost offers a wider selection of options.

Instead of just offering one option for managed WordPress hosting, as most hosting companies typically do, DreamHost gives us a solid range to choose from.

DreamHost WordPress Feature

Sure you get an option for managed WP hosting. But, DreamHost also offers a cheaper option in shared WP hosting and a more flexible option with their WordPress VPS hosting.

No matter what scale of resources you need, DreamHost is sure to deliver!

We also love that DreamHost includes the following as part of their WP hosting plans:

  • WordPress optimized servers
  • Pre-installed WP
  • 1-click staging and installations
  • Free migrations for WordPress sites
  • WP page builder
  • Plus more!

While Hostgator does offer some decent features, too, they’re just not at the same level as DreamHost’s. Besides, DreamHost offers free migrations and a 97-day money-back guarantee.

HostGator WordPress Feature

All in all, once you get past the initial WordPress installation, Hostgator’s service doesn’t have as many WordPress-specific features to offer.

If it’s down to a price-based decision for you, let’s see how they compare.

Promotional Pricing Compared

PlanDreamHost WordPress HostingHostgator WordPress Hosting
Shared Hosting for WPFrom $2.59/monthFrom $2.75/month
Managed Hosting for WPFrom $12/monthFrom $5.95/month
Managed WoocommerceFrom $12/monthN/A
WordPress VPSFrom $10/monthN/A

Renewal Pricing Compared

PlanDreamHost WordPress HostingHostgator WordPress Hosting
Shared WPFrom $5.99 - $7.99/monthFrom $6.95/month
Managed WPFrom $19.95/monthFrom $14.95/month
Managed WoocommerceFrom $19.95/monthN/A
WordPress VPSFrom $15/monthN/A

Winner: As far as price goes, Hostgator scrapes by in the lead again. However, we’re handing this round to DreamHost due to the number of features, the variety of plans DreamHost has, and the dedicated support for WordPress clients.

Hostgator vs DreamHost: VPS & Dedicated Hosting Plans

When comparing dedicated hosting, VPS hosting, and cloud hosting, there are some key things to note.

  • VPS hosting creates a virtual environment on a shared server imitating a dedicated server. You’ll get a virtual partitioned space with all its resources to yourself.
  • Dedicated hosting allows you to work from your own server that no one else can access. It’s recommended for sites with loads of traffic coming to them every month.
  • Cloud hosting operates across multiple servers in different locations. It helps minimize the risk of your website going down with a server if there’s ever a problem.

It always helps to read the fine print to know the server configuration before you buy a hosting package. Understanding how you can access resources with each of these setups is also really important.

VPS & Dedicated Hosting Plans

Since Hostgator doesn’t offer cloud hosting, and it’s such a different solution to VPS and dedicated hosting, we can’t compare these side by side.

However, we have compared DreamHost, and Hostgator’s VPS and dedicated hosting below.

VPS Hosting

 Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
PlanDreamHostHostgatorDreamHostHostgator
Lowest Tier (1GB Ram)$10/month-$15/month-
Middle Tier
(2GB Ram)
$20/month$19.95/month$30/month$79.95/month
Highest tier
(4GB Ram)
$40/month$29.95/month$60/month$119.95/month
Enterprise
(8GB Ram)
$80/month$39.95/month$120/month$149.95/month

Winner: As far as price goes, DreamHost is a clear winner for VPS hosting once you consider renewal costs.

The features between DreamHost and Hostgator are also reasonably comparable. In other words, they offer fairly similar features and perks. Both Hostgator and DreamHost offer a tonne of info on their technical specs so you can choose the best option for your needs.

Check out DreamHost’s VPS details, and Hostgator’s VPS details side by side if you’re looking for specific features.

Dedicated Hosting

 Promotional PricingRenewal Pricing
PlanDreamHostHostgatorDreamHostHostgator
Lowest Tier$149/month$89.98/month$169/month$189/month
Middle Tier$279/month$119.98/month$299/month$249/month
Highest tier$379/month$139.99/month$399/month$289/month

Winner: We’re handing it to DreamHost due to the broader range of prices and features. We also like that DreamHost offers a fully managed service. At first glance, it appears as though Hostgator may be cheaper for dedicated hosting in the long run. However, DreamHost has 9 pricing tiers in total, which depend on the specific features and resources you’re after.

Hostgator vs DreamHost: Hosting Features Compared

Now, let’s go beyond price and look at the hosting features offered by each company.

Where possible, we share the data from tests we’ve run to quantitatively prove which is the better option between DreamHost and Hostgator.

Ease of Use: Both Hosting Companies Are Easy And Intuitive

Hostgator’s dashboard connects to a classic cPanel area where you can manage your hosting. For people just starting building websites, it can seem a little daunting to navigate a cPanel dashboard.

HostGator Dashboard

However, there are heaps of features and actions you can perform in this space once you get the hang of it.

DreamHost offers a custom dashboard with a range of intuitive 1-click features. We find the custom dashboard has less of a learning curve when compared to cPanel for many beginners.

DreamHost Dashboard

All in all, both options are reasonably intuitive and easy to use.

Winner: Both are fairly intuitive. If forced to pick a winner, we’re leaning toward DreamHost based on the range of 1-click install options they have.

Speed: DreamHost Has Faster Loading Times

Website speed is hands down one of the most important factors for user experience, and it’s also an SEO ranking factor.

DreamHost Speed

So we put DreamHost and Hostgator to the test to see who puts their money where their mouth is.

Not gonna lie; the results were less than optimal for both companies. Here’s what our testing uncovered.

GT Metrix

 

DreamHost

Hostgator

Performance ScoreTTFBFully Loaded TimePerformance ScoreTTFBFully Loaded Time
Vancouver96%66ms7.2s27%1.6s12.7s
London87%61ms7.5s24%1.7s7.1s
Sydney82%27ms8.2s27%1.3s9.5s

Pingdom

 

DreamHost

Hostgator

Pingdom PerformancePingdom Load TimePingdom PerformancePingdom Load Time
San Francisco661.48s703.24s
Frankfurt661.63s712.84s
Tokyo661.94s703.09s
London665.28s715.70s
Washington DC661.45s703.65s
Sydney661.93s703.41s

Winner: To be honest, these results are a bit of a mixed bag. We’re going to hand it to DreamHost as their loading time is consistently better than Hostgator’s.

Sure, their performance needs improvement, but for anyone using DreamHost, that’s well within your realm to improve upon and can easily be controlled by you. Whereas loading time gets impacted by your hosting servers, and Hostgator just isn’t up to scratch on that side of things.

If you’re interested to see how DreamHost and Hostgator compare to other hosts, check out our post on the fastest web host.

Uptime: Hostgator Has Seen Big Uptime Improvements In 2021

Uptime is a close second to speed as far as important performance factors go.

Any hosting service worth its salt should pay attention to server health and ensure high uptime levels. In saying that, DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime while Hostgator guarantees 99.99%.

HostGator DreamHost Uptime

Let’s put them under the microscope and check out their actual performance.

We’ve gathered real uptime data from multiple third-party, unbiased sources. Let’s find out if each hosting company lives up to its guarantees.

DreamHost Uptime

Since February 2020, DreamHost has experienced a total of 14 downtime events. These resulted in 238 minutes of total downtime. The top reasons for the downtime events were:

  • Connection timeout
  • Internal server errors

We also discovered that so far in 2021, there have been 108 minutes of total downtime – averaging 99.97% uptime.

DreamHost Uptime

In 2020, we worked it out to be 99.98%. Given DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime, this level of downtime events is concerning.

The other concerning thing is that downtime events occur for longer than 3 minutes more often than not.

Also, considering that historically, DreamHost was fulfilling its 100% uptime guarantee, we consider the current state of performance a decline in quality.

Hostgator Uptime

Unlike DreamHost, Hostgator had fewer outages overall, with a total of four downtime events since January 2019 recorded on a test site. This amounts to a total of 17 minutes of downtime.

HostGator Uptime

Also, when looking at the historical data, there’s a significant improvement in 2021 compared to previous years.

Before 2021, Hostgator had a difficult time maintaining 99.99% uptime as per its guarantee. However, it’s on track in 2021.

 2019 Uptime2020 Uptime2021 Uptime
DreamHost100%99.98%99.97%
Hostgator99.94%99.91%99.99%

Winner: Hostgator. Despite the historical trends being against Hostgator, we can’t deny the results. Compared to DreamHost, Hostgator’s uptime performance has only improved, whereas DreamHost has seen a decline.

Customer Support: Customers Rave About DreamHost Support

Learning to build a website can be hard stuff. Technology is bound to fail you at some stage, and when it does, that’s when you need to have stellar support by your side.

Customer Support

It makes a difference knowing you have experts in your corner who can help you navigate any sticky situation. That’s why we consider poor customer support offered by hosting companies as a deal-breaking factor.

Customer service is what makes a good web host reach excellence.

To compare the level of customer support between these two hosting providers, we turned to Trustpilot. You can access Hostgator’s page here, and DreamHost’s one here.

Hostgator Customer Support

Hostgator Rating

Hostgator’s rating on Trustpilot

DreamHost Customer Support

Dreamhost Rating

DreamHost’s rating on Trustpilot

Winner: DreamHost. Their support is leagues beyond HostGator’s.

Even though both advertise 24/7 support, the votes are in. It’s clear that customers love DreamHost customer service, and they feel Hostgator’s leaves more to be desired.

Servers & Locations: Both Hostgator & DreamHost Servers Are In The US

For anyone targeting audiences in a specific location, it’s worth looking at where your website’s servers are located.

Both Hostgator and DreamHost use US-based data centers. That’s not a problem if the bulk of your audience is in the US. But if it’s not, then perhaps you might be better off choosing a hosting company with more options.

Dreamhost And Hostgator Server Locations

In any case, DreamHost’s servers are located in Ashburn (Virginia), Hillsboro (Oregon), and Irvine (California). Hostgator’s are in Provo (Utah) and Houston (Texas).

If you’d like to choose your data center location, you can do this with DreamHost by reaching out to their support. Hostgator, however, does not allow you to choose which data center houses your servers. Their data centers are also not available for customer access.

Winner: It’s a tough call. We’re calling it a tie since there isn’t too significant a difference to name a winner.

Storage: DreamHost Offers A Wide Range Of Storage Options

Sites with lots of media files or high resolution images require more storage space.

When comparing Hostgator and DreamHost, once again, their features are neck to neck.

Dreamhost Storage

Both offer options with unmetered bandwidth. Unmetered bandwidth simply means that your usage isn’t tracked, and you’re billed a flat rate each month instead of being billed based on how much you use.

For the dedicated and VPS options, both DreamHost and Hostgator offer lower-cost HDD and higher-cost SSD storage options. DreamHost offers a broader range of options and gives you more control over the technical setup of your servers.

Winner: DreamHost purely because of the range of options offered at reasonable prices.

Security: DreamHost’s Dedication To Security Comes Out On Top

When shopping for a hosting service, it can be very difficult to go beyond the sales pitch on each web host’s website.

Hosting Security

They all usually have some version of “we provide the best security features” on there. The question comes down to who’s just talking and who follows through.

DreamHost has an internal team of dedicated security engineers. Internally, this team is known as Nightmare Labs.

So we dug deep in our research on this topic, and here’s what we found:

 BluehostHostgator
Free SSL CertificateYes (Let’s Encrypt)Yes (Let’s Encrypt)
Free Domain PrivacyOnly on Expensive TiersPaid Option
Hotlink ProtectionYesYes
Spam ProtectionYes (Akismet)Paid Option - Spam Assassin
Free Automatic BackupsOnly on Expensive TiersYes (Weekly)
Web Application FirewallYesYes
DDoS ProtectionYesYes
Brute Force ProtectionYesYes
Bot BlockingYesYes - Manual
Malware ProtectionYes (Daily Automated)Paid Option
24/7 Server MonitoringNoYes
WP Security PluginNoNo

Winner: It’s a tough call since many features sound the same on the surface. Both offer a free SSL certificate, firewall protection, and more. But, we’re handing it to DreamHost, this time.

Not only do they take security very seriously, but they also offer a bunch of free inclusions out of the box.

With Hostgator, you could reach the same level of protection as DreamHost, but you need to pay your way to get there by using a bunch of different upsell services.

Backups: DreamHost Offers Free Daily Backups

Worried about what would happen if something ever goes wrong on your website? You’re not alone. This thought is enough to keep many internet entrepreneurs up at night!

Obviously, you’d want to be sure that your hosting company has your back in such times, right?

The best way to check if your web host can support you if something goes wrong is to check out their backup policy. Backups are like your insurance.

Both Hostgator and DreamHost mention free backups on their website, so let’s look into the details.

Hostgator’s Backup Policy

Hostgator makes it very clear that they take no responsibility for failed backups. They do offer free backups for customers, but they’re not guaranteed in any way.

Besides, they only take backups once a week on a random day. This can make it hard to plan big updates to your site without manually backing up your site every time.

And according to their site “HostGator backups are provided as a courtesy and are not guaranteed. Customers are responsible for their own backups and web content and should make their own backups for extra protection.”

Hostgator Automatic Backups

Also, Hostgator doesn’t offer redundant or mirrored backups.

  • Redundant data storage provides a real-time fail-safe against hard drive failure.
  • Mirrored backups are exact copies of your data. Another failsafe in case something goes wrong.

By neglecting to offer these types of backups, and since Hostgator will claim no responsibility if something does go wrong, it’s a major red flag in our book.

No hosting service should leave their customers in the lurch during their greatest time of need. And yet, Hostgator’s policy does exactly that.

DreamHost’s Backup Policy

Unlike Hostgator, DreamHost’s approach is more proactive. DreamHost offers free automatic daily backups. It also allows users to manually backup their site once a day for extra protection.

Dreamhost Backup Policy

However, DreamHost also does not offer any further data protection. Your website files are only stored on one server, and if it goes down, you risk your website going down with it.

Winner: DreamHost due to backing up website files daily as opposed to weekly.

It’s worth noting that if security and backup management are important features for you, there are better hosting companies worth looking into, such as WPX and SiteGround.

Domains: Both DreamHost And Hostgator Offer A Free Domain

A nice perk offered by hosting companies is a free domain name bundled into a hosting service.

Both Hostgator and DreamHost include a free domain on many of their plans, including their lowest cost shared hosting plans.

Hostgator And Dreamhost Free Domain

DreamHost also offers free domain privacy on some plans too which Hostgator does not.

Winner: It’s a close call. We like the bonus of free domain name privacy, so we’re handing it to DreamHost. Other than this benefit, all else is fairly equal between the two.

Migrations: Hostgator Offers Free Migrations From Other Web Hosts

If you have an existing website or more, and you’re considering switching to a new hosting provider, listen up. Website migrations will be part of your immediate future, and they can be difficult to handle!

DreamHost has a free migration plugin that can work well on many sites. But if something goes wrong, or if you have a more complicated setup, you’ll likely have to pay for their migration service.

On the other hand, HostGator offers a certain number of free migrations depending on what plan you’re on with them.

Dreamhost vs Hostgator Migrations

 BluehostHostgator
Price$149.99Free
Number of SitesUp to 5 sitesDepends on your plan
EmailsUp to 20 EmailsManual
Downtime?No downtime, guaranteedNot Mentioned
AvailabilityNot available on Reseller, VPS, or Dedicated AccountsAvailable on all accounts with restrictions

Winner: Hostgator because they offer free website migrations.

DreamHost vs Hostgator Comparison: Pros & Cons

 

Dreamhost logo

DreamHost Pros
  • Greater flexibility
  • More options for hosting packages
  • Better speed performance
  • Better security measures
  • Daily backups
  • Cloud hosting offered
  • 97-Day money-back guarantee
  • Excellent support
  • Recommended WP hosting provider
DreamHost Cons
  • Uptime could be improved
  • Free migrations are only offered as a DIY option

 

Hostgator logo

HostGator Pros
  • Slightly cheaper than DreamHost
  • Free domain with most plans
  • Better uptime records over the last year
  • Based on cPanel
  • Free website migrations
  • Hostgator’s money back guarantee is 45 days
HostGator Cons
  • Poor speed performance
  • Backups policy doesn’t serve customers as well as DreamHost’s does
  • Customer support could use improvement

Hostgator vs DreamHost: The Ultimate Winner

If you have a WordPress site and are choosing between these two popular hosting providers, our top pick is DreamHost.

Based on the data shared in our DreamHost vs Hostgator review, DreamHost comes out on top for many essential categories such as speed performance, customer support, and security.

If you’d like to get up to 60% off your DreamHost subscription, use this link to DreamHost’s website!

Decided Hostgator is the better option for you?

No worries! Click this link to Hostgator’s website to secure up to 60% off your initial purchase with Hostgator.

 

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