HostGator vs DreamHost

Is HostGator a good web host? Or is DreamHost better? You probably have heard them all by now. All the pros and cons about this hosting company and that hosting company. Do a quick Google search and you are bombarded with thousands of sites telling you which hosting provider is the best and which sucks big time. If you were like me a few years ago, then you would be feeling so confused with these reviews.

Well, this is partly the reason why I started this website. To share information and my experiences on various web hosting topics. For this article, I plan to do a review between 2 popular web hosting providers, ie HostGator vs DreamHost.

HostGator

HostGator web hosting

HostGator has been around since 2002 and is currently one of the world’s largest hosting providers with over 8,000,000 domains hosted with them. With 99.9% uptime and money back guarantees by the founder and current Chairman Brent Oxley himself, you know that you are taken seriously when you host your website with them.

For those seeking Windows hosting service (which unlike Linux hosting, is not commonly offered by hosting providers), HostGator is one of the few who also provides affordable Windows hosting.

DreamHost

DreamHost hosting

DreamHost was established since 1997 and has grown from strength to strength over the years. Now, they are a well-recognized global web hosting and cloud services company.

They have proven that customers are truly their priority and are not afraid to invest in technology when deemed appropriate. This can be seen in their 2010 migration exercise where all their customers’ accounts were moved to new quad core Xeons with 16GB or 32GB memory with an 8x raid10 SATA disk array servers.

HostGator Vs DreamHost

A quick glance and you will find that HostGator and DreamHost have many similar features and are offering more or less the same services. If you do a search on them, you will notice that they are some of the bigger players in the hosting industry and are very popular choices, with hundreds of thousands of websites being hosted with them.

That’s because both offers affordable hosting with reliable hosting services. And users of HostGator and DreamHost get unlimited disk space and unlimited bandwidth. But there are also some differences which we will discuss in the following:

  • Pricing

    HostGator is rather well-known for its inexpensive hosting packages. They even have 3 shared hosting packages ie Hatchling, Baby and Business, to choose from depending on your website requirements. If you need to host just one domain, then go for Hatchling plan and if you require Private SSL & IP address and don’t mind a free toll free number, then do consider the Business plan.

    Prices start from as low as $3.96 per month for the cheapest Hatchling plan to $10.36 per month for the Business plan. Do note, however, that these prices are yours if you sign up for a 3-year plan. They also have 2-year, 1-year, 6-month and monthly plans and the prices differ from each plan. For example, the Baby plan costs $7.96 per month if you chose the monthly plan.

    DreamHost offers just one shared hosting at $8.95 per month if you were to sign up with them for 2 years. 1-year plan is available at the cost of $9.95 per month. Do note that you would be required to prepay them eg to pay $214.80 for the 2-year plan.

    Conclusion:
    Both HostGator and DreamHost require a commitment period from the subscribers. DreamHost does offer free domain registration worth $9.95 per year for as long as your hosting is still active, which HostGator doesn’t. Even so, HostGator still gets slightly more points by having flexible plans which cost lesser. Comparative as follows:

    HostGator Baby plan:
    HostGator pricing

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    DreamHost plan:
    DreamHost pricing

    Below is a detailed pricing comparison between these two companies. Please note that for this comparison purposes, prices per month are subject to a commitment of either 3-year or 2-year plans.

    HostGator vs DreamHost

  • Free Trial And Money Back Guarantee

    HostGator do not provide any free trial but has a 45-day money back guarantee to all their new subscribers. So, this means that you can choose to cancel anytime within the first 45 days and you will get a full refund!

    Meanwhile, DreamHost offers a 2-week trial, totally free. You get to test their service without needing to pay for it for a whole fortnight. And on top of that, every account is guaranteed with a 97-day money back.

    Conclusion:
    Not only does DreamHost have free trial for new users to test their services, they also have a longer money back guarantee period, so I’ll give DreamHost more points here.

  • Services Provided

    HostGator provides many more services other than shared hosting. They have reseller hosting, VPS hosting and Dedicated Servers. What’s so good about signing up a hosting provider with multiple service plans is that you do not need to migrate your website to another hosting provider should your website grows beyond shared hosting. Just call them for an upgrade, and they will handle the rest for you!

    DreamHost too has quite a number of hosting types, from VPS, Dedicated Server and even Cloud hosting.

    Conclusion:
    Both HostGator and DreamHost has various hosting services that you can choose should you need to upgrade later. Guess it’s a tie here.

  • Support

    HostGator’s support is one of the better ones in the hosting industry. They have a full range of support services for all their customers. Support can be contacted through 24/7 online chats, emails and snail mail to phone calls (local, toll free and international numbers) or fax, and ticket system. They also provide comprehensive tutorials, how-to videos, and support forums.

    HostGator makes it easy for their customers to contact them with regards to anything from billing to technical issues and how-to queries!

    HostGator support

    DreamHost too, have various ways for their customers to contact them for support, from their online documentation DreamHost Wiki to discussion forums to DreamHost Status Blog to 24/7 email support. However, online chats are only available to VPS and Dedicated Server customers. For shared hosting customers, there’s an option to purchase 3 callbacks via phone and online chat for $9.95 per month.

    Conclusion:
    DreamHost’s support page states that “The absolute fastest way to get answers to most of your questions is to search through our extensive online documentation.” Though I admit that they have an extensive documentation of information here but personally, I do prefer to speak to someone online should I have problems or questions rather than searching through articles for the answers.

    Plus I would need to fork out $9.95 per month for a service that is provided free by HostGator. So HostGator wins this time!

Editor’s Notes

I find both HostGator and DreamHost are great hosting providers with very reliable uptime and professional support.

Which would I recommend? Well, it really depends on your requirements. Both have certain features that the other doesn’t have. For example, if you need to host on a Windows server, then you definitely have to choose HostGator.

For general users, these two web hosts are difficult to tell apart, as they are both good web hosting companies. But if you really want me to choose, then I would say I think HostGator provides a slightly better deal than DreamHost with lower prices, more support channels (for free), and the availability of a special 25% discount coupon code!

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