COMPARISON 18 minutes

HostGator vs. iPage – Deciding The Ultimate Hosting Provider

Last updated:
Author Jason Moth

With over 15 years in the hosting business, it’s safe to say that both HostGator and iPage have plenty of experience under their respective belts. To the eyes of a layman, it may seem like these two companies offer very similar services, which is indeed valid to a certain extent. However, there are also quite a few differences between them that might not be immediately obvious.

If you’re not sure what those differences are, don’t worry because we’re going to talk about them in great detail here today. The aim of this article is to provide a comprehensive comparison between HostGator and iPage, as well as their services. In addition to talking about the hosting plans themselves, we’re also going to discuss some other aspects that might be of interest to you. This includes things such as pricing, performance, customer support, notable features, and more.

Knowing all of these factors isn’t absolutely essential when trying to decide between the two providers, but it does help. Does HostGator offer a better bang for your buck? Does iPage have a more reliable customer support team? We’re going to find out all of that and much more as we take a look at how these two providers stack up against each other.

Hosting Plans and Prices

It’s usually pretty easy to compare the hosting plans of two providers. These types of companies tend to offer multiple packages that go up in price based on how much they offer. The more you are willing to pay, the more features you are going to get. This tiered system was designed to provide customers with choice, though sometimes the tiers are not sufficiently different from one another to actually justify having multiple packages. That’s why some companies decided to forgo the tiered plans and went with a different system instead.

Shared Hosting

iPage is one of the few providers that doesn’t offer multiple plans to choose from. At least not when it comes to shared web hosting. The company has a one-size-fits-all approach for shared hosting, though there are a few customisation options available for those who need them. HostGator, on the other hand, offers three different packages. Each package is a bit more expensive than the last but also includes a couple more features to sweeten the deal.

In the case of iPage, the initial cost starts at $1.99 per month while the renewal price starts at $7.99. The cost of the shared hosting plan will ultimately depend on how much you’re willing to invest beforehand. Recurring monthly payments are not an option here so you’ll need to subscribe to one of the annual plans.

You can benefit from the absolute lowest price of $1.99 per month only when you subscribe to a 3-year plan. You'll need to pay for three years in advance to take advantage of the offer, but you do get a nice discount in the process. Similarly, 1-year and 2-year plans are also available, both of which will save you some money long-term but you’ll need to pay the full subscription upfront.

HostGator has a more traditional approach to shared hosting when compared to iPage. The company offers three plans – Hatchling, Baby, and Business – which start off at $2.75 per month and will cost $6.95 to renew. Just like with iPage, the low introductory price is only available to those who subscribe to one of the annual plans. However, HostGator also offers the option to pay via recurring monthly payments starting at $10.95 per month.

Both HostGator and iPage offer unlimited databases, one-click installers, and a free SSL certificate with their shared hosting plans. A couple of other standard features include free email addresses and unlimited disk space.

iPage’s hosting plan can support an unlimited number of domains. In the case of HostGator, the Baby and Premium hosting plans both allow unlimited domains, with Hatchling being able to support only a single domain. As far as HostGator’s highest tier is concerned, it also comes with a dedicated IP, free SEO tools, and a free upgrade to Positive SSL.

HostGator offers unmetered bandwidth with all of its plans while iPage includes scalable bandwidth. iPage offers a free domain name for one year to anyone who signs up for a new plan. HostGator doesn’t give away free domains, but the company does free domain privacy with all of its hosting plans.

Despite only having a single hosting plan, iPage’s offering is reasonably priced and can be enhanced with a number of optional paid tools and features for more functionality. A few notable examples include website backups, a WordPress optimisation bundle, security suite, and more.

The three plans offered by HostGator are not bad considering the price but having some extras never hurts. Luckily, the company has its own share of optional services you can add to the plan for an additional fee. A few examples include site backups, @domain emails, and SiteLock monitoring. SEO tools are also available for the two plans that don’t already include them from the get-go.

WordPress Hosting

Like most hosting providers nowadays, HostGator and iPage both offer plans geared towards WordPress users. This time around, iPage has two separate packages to choose from – WP Starter and WP Essential. However, HostGator offers more choice in this department as well by offering three plans – Starter, Standard, and Business.

If you’re comfortable with a three-year commitment, HostGator’s WordPress plans start off at $5.95 per month and renew at $9.95. Otherwise, recurring prices fall between $14.95 and $27.95 per month. In addition to the three plans mentioned before, there are three other hidden packages customers can opt for. These aren’t showcased on the front page but can be selected during checkout. We’ll talk more about those in a minute.

iPage’s WordPress packages start off at $3.75 per month and renew for anywhere between $7.49 and $9.49 depending on the length of the plan. Interestingly enough, there are no discounts for subscribing to the annual plans for the first term. However, the renewal will cost less if you go with a long-term contract. Unlike the shared hosting plan, the WordPress package also gives you the option to pay via recurring monthly payments.

HostGator and iPage both include unmetered storage, unlimited @domain emails, and a free SSL certificate with their WordPress hosting plans. You can also expect cPanel and one-click installers.

HostGator offers support for a limited number of websites with any of its WordPress hosting plans. The Business plan, which is the most expensive one listed on the front page, can support up to three sites. That said, you can actually get support for up to 20 websites by choosing one of the hidden plans mentioned before. These do cost quite a bit more, though.

Both plans offered by iPage come with support for an unlimited number of websites. The company also offers a free domain registration for one year with any of its plans, which HostGator doesn’t.

As far as the differences between iPage’s Starter and Essential plans are concerned, there aren’t too many worth mentioning. The most expensive plan is just said to come with expert WordPress support, automatic malware removed, and SiteLock monitoring.

Meanwhile, there are some pretty significant differences between HostGator’s plans. In addition to supporting a certain number of websites, each plan has a recommended amount of visitors it can support per month. There’s also a cap on the automated daily backups you can expect, which ranges between 1 and 3 GB depending on the plan.

VPS Hosting

It’s a bit easier to do a direct HostGator vs iPage comparison in this department as both companies offer three tiers of VPS hosting. iPage’s naming scheme is pretty straightforward and goes a little something like this: Basic, Business, Optimum. Meanwhile, HostGator went with names that are indicative of the specs of its servers. Specifically, Snappy 2000, Snappy 4000, and Snappy 8000.

Pricing at HostGator starts off at $29.95 and renews at $89.95, but you can get a better deal by choosing not to include the cPanel in the package. In that case, the minimum price sits at just $19.95 and the renewal will cost $79.95. The cPanel is optional for all three plans and costs $10 per month regardless of package.

iPage’s VPS hosting plans start off at $16.99 per month and renew for $24.99 which is quite cheap when compared to either HostGator or BlueHost. cPanel is included with each of the three plans, so there’s no need to worry about paying extra for that feature here. Similar to its other types of hosting, iPage offers a free domain name that’s available for all new clients who subscribe to one of the VPS plans.

The VPS plans for both HostGator and iPage are relatively similar to the shared ones in terms of features. As such, you can expect things like unlimited databases and @domain emails to be included regardless of tier. Unlike the other types of hosting mentioned earlier, subscribing to a more expensive VPS plan will not grant you access to additional features. Instead, in this case, you get increasingly better specs for your private server the more you are willing to pay.

The minimum specs you can expect by subscribing to HostGator’s VPS plans include 2 GB of RAM, a dual-core CPU, 120 GB of storage, and 1.5 TB of bandwidth. These specs are better than what iPage offers with its Basic plan but aren’t quite enough to beat the second tier.

The minimum specs you can expect from iPage include 1 GB of RAM, a single-core CPU, 40 GB of storage, and 1 TB of bandwidth. iPage’s Basic plan is inferior in pretty much every way when compared to HostGator’s first tier. However, the renewal cost at iPage is significantly lower and not just for the Basic plan but for the other two as well.

HostGator has a desirable VPS offer for new customers, but you will need to pay an arm and a leg if you ever decide to renew once the first term expires. Meanwhile, iPage charges a fair price for renewals, but you’ll probably want to go with one of the highest tiers because the basic plan doesn’t have much to offer in terms of specs.

Dedicated Servers

Opting for a dedicated server is always the most reliable option for larger websites, but it’s also by far the most expensive one. HostGator offers three dedicated plans – Value, Power, and Enterprise – that will set you back anywhere between $118 and $148 per month at the bare minimum.

iPage also offers three packages – Startup, Professional, and Enterprise. The minimum cost for the first plan is $103.99 per month, so a bit cheaper than HostGator’s basic package. Meanwhile, the highest tier is a bit more expansive than HostGator’s equivalent and goes for a minimum of $167.99 per month.

In terms of common features, both HostGator and iPage include free dedicated IPs, unlimited databases, and @domain email addresses. HostGator includes unmetered bandwidth with all plans while iPage offers between 5 TB and 15 TB of bandwidth depending on tier. HostGator doesn’t add a free domain with its dedicated hosting plans while iPage does.

The minimum specs you can expect from HostGator include a quad-core CPU, 8 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of storage. Meanwhile, iPage’s cheapest dedicated server is about half as powerful and comes with a dual-core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, and 500 GB of storage.

The renewal situation is similar to what was discussed before, with HostGator offering an overall better value proposition for the first term but charging significantly more than iPage upon renewal. All of iPage’s dedicated servers are fully managed while HostGator gives customers the option of choosing between Semi-Managed and Managed servers. Choosing the Managed option costs an extra $10 per month regardless of plan.

Key Features

Key features are by no means universal as different people expect different things from their hosting provider. That said, there are a few things that most webmaster would like to see included with all of their hosting plans. In this section, we’re going to discuss some of the most common features people expect and see if HostGator and iPage can deliver them.

Domain Registration

Registering a domain with HostGator will set you back $12.95 per year, along with an additional $14.95 if you also want to add privacy protection on top. In some cases, though, the company offers privacy protection as a freebie with its hosting plans.

iPage provides a free 1-year domain registration with all its hosting plans but charges $9.99 for domain privacy. None of its plans includes free privacy protection, but the free 1-year domains can be seen as an advantage by many new customers.

Website Builder

Both iPage and HostGator’s website builder come with a drag-and-drop editor, website analytics, customizable templates, and a free SSL certificate. The companies also offer a free domain name regardless of which of the three available plans you choose.

Pricing for HostGator’s website builder starts off at $4.99 per month and can reach up to $12.49. The difference between the three available plans is fairly minimal, with the mid-tier including priority support while the highest tier comes with a few eCommerce tools.

iPage’s basic website builder is included for free with its hosting plans while the other two packages are priced at $6.99 and $15.99 per month, respectively. The mid-tier comes with a few extras that are not found in the basic package, including Google Analytics integration, HD video embedding, and revision history. Meanwhile, the highest tier includes everything found in the mid-tier, along with a few eCommerce tools.

Databases

Both HostGator and iPage offer an unlimited number of free MySQL databases with all of their shared, VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting plans.

Domain Emails

iPage includes free @domain emails with all of its hosting plans, as well as its website builder. HostGator also includes them with its website builder and almost all of its hosting plans. WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting customers can expect them to be included for free. HostGator shared hosting customers also have access to @domain emails, but they have to acquire them separately via an optional service that costs $5 per month.

Backups

HostGator provides free automatic backups for all WordPress and dedicated hosting plans. Backups are available for shared hosting customers as well. However, they are considered an optional service that costs $2 per month. Meanwhile, all VPS hosting plans come with weekly off-site backups for free.

iPage offers website backups as an optional service for all of its hosting plans. The service has two packages to choose from – Basic starting at $0.96 per month and Pro starting at $1.77 per month. The basic version can only support one website and one database, and can only be used once per day. Meanwhile, the Pro plan can support an unlimited number of websites and databases, can be used up to 5 days per day, and grants users access to on-demand backups.

eCommerce

If you’re looking for HostGator’s marketplace features, you’re going to find them as part of its website builder. More specifically, the third tier of the builder known as eCommerce. The platform doesn’t include many features, but you do get the basic stuff like shipping & tax calculator, coupon codes, and inventory management.

Just like HostGator, iPage offers eCommerce tools and features as part of its website builder, most of which are only available as part of the third tier. Some of the features you can expect here include eCommerce shopping cart, inventory management, coupon codes, and PayPal integration.

Performance and Reliability

It can often be tempting to sign up with an individual provider based solely on how good its hosting plans are. That’s not necessarily always the best idea, though. Before making your final decision, you should also take into consideration a few other factors like the performance of its servers and the reliability of its services. After all, a cheap hosting plan that offers a ton of useful features will ultimately not be of much use if your site is continuously running slow or suffering from downtime issues.

With that in mind, in this section of our HostGator vs iPage comparison, we’re going to take a look at what you can expect from these two companies in terms of performance. To help with that, we’re going to break things down into two main categories – page loading speed and server uptime. These factors can vary from quarter-to-quarter, but the stats below should still give you a pretty good idea of how HostGator and iPage stack up against each other in this department.

Speed

HostGator tends to be faster than iPage, though its competitor today is definitely not a slowpoke either. Some of the most recent Pingdom speed tests show that HostGator takes on average a little over one second to load while iPage takes about 1.44 seconds. The situation was a lot more even late last year when HostGator loaded in 1.34 seconds while iPage took 1.44 seconds.

As mentioned, page loading speed tends to fluctuate, and there are a number of different factors that could lead to either an increase or decrease in speed. It’s worth noting that the tests mentioned above were conducted on the home pages of both HostGator and iPage. Needless to say, both companies use the best services at their disposal to host their own websites.

Uptime

HostGator and iPage have both been doing fantastic this quarter in terms of uptime. Over the past three months, the two providers were able to maintain a very respectable uptime score of 99.98%. Despite both companies suffering a number of outages, clients only had to endure a couple of minutes of downtime during this period.

The good results we’ve seen this quarter are not unusual for these providers. Over the past 16 months, HostGator was able to maintain an identical uptime of 99.98% while iPage lagged just a bit behind with 99.97%. Taking into consideration the fact that most hosting providers promise an uptime of 99.99%, it’s safe to say that these companies came pretty close to the ideal goal.

Customer Support

The last section we want to touch upon in our HostGator vs iPage comparison is customer support. Here we’re going to discuss all the various channels you can use to contact their support teams. We’re also going to briefly mention the documentation you can expect to find should you wish to try fixing the problem yourself.

If you don’t have a whole lot of experience, it’s usually better to get in touch with support and let them help you out. But if you know what you’re doing, you can likely make good use of the provided documentation and take care of most issues yourself.

HostGator and iPage both offer several channels that you can use to contact them, including phone, live chat, and via their respective ticket systems. The two companies also have extensive knowledge bases, tutorials, and share screen tools. HostGator has a bit more to offer in this department, though, as the company provides a lot of video tutorials as well as helpful forums. HostGator also has a toll-free number that you can use, but only if you’re based in the US.

Although you can generally rely on both HostGator and iPage to provide quality customer support, some of their channels are better than others. HostGator is known for its excellent phone and live chat support, but the team in charge of the ticket system can be very slow at times. Meanwhile, iPage is reliable over the phone and does an excellent job at getting back to you pretty quick when you submit a ticket. However, its live chat agents seem to be less knowledgeable than most.

HostGator vs iPage – Our Pick

iPage can go neck-in-neck against HostGator and many other providers in terms of performance, customer support, and the overall quality of its services. Unfortunately, the company can’t hold a candle to many of its competitors in terms of variety.

This becomes painfully obvious when looking at iPage’s shared hosting offer. Despite being one of the most popular types of hosting out there, the company doesn’t offer multiple tiers to choose from. Admittedly, iPage’s shared hosting plan is not bad, and it’s one of the cheapest ones on the market, but having a couple more options would have helped.

HostGator has the standard three packages for most of its hosting plans, though some could argue that some of the packages are pretty redundant. The company tends to offer pretty good starting prices, but the costs get significantly higher once you renew, which isn’t the case with iPage. You do get what you pay for, though. Shared hosting aside, HostGator offers more powerful servers than iPage with its VPS and dedicated plans while including similar key features.

All in all, you really can’t go wrong with any of these two company, but we have to go with HostGator as the overall better hosting provider. iPage is a very solid choice thanks to its consistent prices and an identical suite of features across all its plans. Ultimately, though, if you’re looking for a company that offers excellent products aimed at specific types of customers, you’re probably better off signing up with HostGator.

COMPARISON 23 minutes

SiteGround vs. DreamHost

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

SiteGround vs. DreamHost? Choosing the right hosting provider can be unexpectedly difficult. That's why we are here to make your job easier by making these two Web hosts go head to head. All the information you need to make the right decision is outlined in this clear, concise and in-depth analysis of SiteGround and DreamHost. After the analysis of each feature, we'll declare a winner and after the end of our comparison, you'll have our verdict. And it will be backed up by raw data.

SiteGround vs. DreamHost Overview

Most web hosts have one outstanding feature that, even before doing any in-depth research, is somehow implanted in your memory. Amazing customer support is that outstanding feature (more on this later) for SiteGround. With headquarters outside the capital of Bulgaria, six offices around the globe and data centers on three continents, SiteGround is a popular name in hosting.

And they have a right to be too, with over 1.5 million hosted domains over the span of fourteen years, SiteGround cuts the figure of a web host doing quite well for itself as we discussed in-depth in our Siteground review. To crown all these, SiteGround (second, perhaps, only to Bluehost and one or two others, we strongly encourage you to also check out our Bluehost vs. SiteGround comparison) has to be one of the best-rated hosting services on the internet. The world of the WWW is simply awash with satisfied customers. In a minute we'll find out if SiteGround is really worth the hype or if we are just looking at a case of much ado about nothing.

DreamHost is over 25 years old (We won't comment on the morality of pitting a 25-year-old against a 14-year-old). Known for its amazing 97-day money-back policy, the company was founded in 1996 by Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez, and Sage Weil. The web hosting giant is based in Los Angeles.

DreamHost hosts over 1.5 million websites so it is safe to say that they are pretty popular and one of the most worthy SiteGround alternatives. However, unlike SiteGround, despite decent performance stats, DreamHost's customer support infrastructure leaves a lot to be desired. Will that be enough for DreamHost to come second in our comparison? Let's find out.

SiteGroundDreamHost
Founded20041996
BBB RatingA+A+
Starting Price$3.95$2.59
Money Back30-days97-days

Popularity Comparison

We like getting the obvious and needless questions out of the way first. And the question of the most popular web host is one of such questions. Frankly speaking, both SiteGround and DreamHost are immensely popular with more than 1.5 million domains hosted each. So, to make a needless question even more unnecessarily complicated, we cannot say for sure the most popular web host between these two.

However, what we can say is that both are really, really popular. If that helps.

Performance Comparison

This should be one of the most important metrics to consider when choosing a web host. This is the core of any analysis and you should know just how much quality you're getting by choosing one Web host over the other.

SiteGround Speed vs. DreamHost Speed

There are some people who erroneously think that a few (or a moderate amount, at any rate) milliseconds of speed doesn't matter. But it does. A slow website is unlikely to retain visitors and around 79% of online shoppers say they'll stop shopping at a website if they have speed issues. So, if you want to make a living off your website, every single second matters.

There are a few things to note about SiteGround's infrastructure in relation to speed. This is because actual measurements can fluctuate, but the measures put in place by the web host to ensure optimum speed are better indicators of speed capacity. SiteGround makes use of SSD drives, which are faster and safer than traditional drives. In fact, they were one of the first web hosts to make the switch. They also make use of a special cache program that makes WordPress and other such sites run faster. If you purchase a shared hosting plan, server crowding can be a plague that you will be regularly affected by. SiteGround solves this problem by not providing “unlimited” bandwidth and space. This means that you have a specific amount of space that is dedicated to your website alone.

We tested SiteGround's speed through the normal means – setting up a dummy account, loading it up, and firing it up. SiteGround measured the average response time of 421mms (TTFB). According to the good fellows at Google, a web host should average about a 200mms response time. Off this data alone it is easy to write off SiteGround, but the truth is that Google's outlook is somewhat Utopian. The industry average is even far higher than SiteGround's average speed at around 800mms. And we don't think that there are up to 5 web hosts in the business who consistently measure lower or around 200mms. Given the reality of speed standards, SiteGround's speed isn't half bad. It isn't the best we've seen though, and it could be really better.

The limit for a full load is three seconds and SiteGround beats that comfortably too, with an average full load speed of 718mms. We wouldn't say that SiteGround is a speedster just yet, but they've not performed badly as regards to the speed at all. An above-average performance, to be fair.

DreamHost, like SiteGround, makes use of SSD servers. This means that we should expect decent speed from them.

Like we did with SiteGround, we set up a dummy account, loaded it with content, and measured the average speed of DreamHost. The average TTFB (Time To First Byte) was 461mms. Again, much lower than the optimum 200mms, but much higher than the industry average. We tested the average load speed and it appears that DreamHost takes about 728mms to load. Again, not award-winning speed, but considerably higher than the industry average.

UPTIME

What's the major job of a Web host? Keeping your website reachable, or “up” at all times, of course. Unfortunately, no Web host can accomplish that. But they can try to keep your website accessible 99.99% of the time, and a Web host that can consistently deliver on this is better than a Web host that cannot.

SiteGround has one of the best uptimes that we've measured. Over a three month period, we recorded a 99.99% uptime. This is literally the best uptime that can be recorded as no Web Host can promise a 100% uptime (actually, some can, but promising a thing is different from delivering on that promise). More importantly,  SiteGround user agreement guarantees “network uptime of 99.9% on an annual basis.” This means that users get some sort of compensation if SiteGround's uptime dips. This is perhaps the best uptime combination we've seen and it will be difficult for any other web host to best SiteGround based on these statistics.

DreamHost's uptime is slightly lower than that of SiteGround at 99.96% over a three month period. If that goes on for a year, it equates to 3 and a half hours of downtime. For an online business, 3 hours of lost business can mean a great loss of revenue. However, there are web hosts who post even worse uptime so unfortunately, DreamHost's uptime isn't even close to the worst we've seen. To their merit, they do provide an uptime guarantee. Most Web hosts that we've seen (SiteGround, for example, provides a 99.9% uptime guarantee), but DreamHost takes a new route here by offering a 100% uptime guarantee (scheduled maintenance and user errors aren't covered in this guarantee though). You get a free day worth of service for every hour that downtime is experienced. So DreamHost can boast of decent uptime and perhaps one of the best uptime guarantees that we've ever seen

VERDICT; SiteGround has better uptime than DreamHost, but DreamHost uptime guarantee is superior to SiteGround's. However, we would prefer not to have the possibility of having over three hours of downtime per year. SiteGround wins this one for us too.

EASE OF USE

No one wants to be faced with a difficult interface. Even advanced users, except on rare occasions, want a user interface that is easy to use. Unfortunately, not all web hosts deliver on this. Some Web hosts have interfaces and structures that make life easier for beginners and users generally than others. Obviously, a Web host that is easy to use is preferable to one where you have to go through years of trainning to master.

Ease of sign up process, whether or not cPanel is supported and the (un)availability of free site migrations are things that must be considered before declaring a web host easy to use.

SiteGround offers free site migration for one website with basic plans. There are many Web hosts that offer this but it ends up being a lot of trouble for the customer. SiteGround offers a free WordPress Migration Plugin that makes it very easy to migrate your site. It works when the user generates a token from their SiteGround hosting account and then the Plugin will do most of the heavy lifting. SiteGround also offers free SSL certificates from Let's Encrypt on each plan. This reduces the number of upsells that customers have to pay for.

SiteGround's infrastructure caters impressively for all kinds of users. So if you're a beginner, you won't find it difficult to build your website from scratch. SiteGround supports Weebly, a website builder that makes use of a simple drag and drop editor that allows you fully customize the look of your website without having to go through the technical aspect of writing code and all that. SiteGround also allows one-click installations of popular applications like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. SiteGround isn't just great for beginners, though. Advanced users will find Git, SSH, WP-CLI, SFTP, phpMyAdmin and multiple PHP versions pre-installed on higher-tier plans. If you're not sure of the effects of a particular action, SiteGround has you covered with a staging environment so that users can see the effects of their actions before ratifying them. This makes it less likely for users to make mistakes. SiteGround also has an extra layer of security provided by an AI-bot prevention tool that prevents new attacks before they hit.

In our opinion, SiteGround is quite easy to use. You're not left alone with the major headaches and with cPanel, you're certain to find maneuvering through their backend easy.

DreamHost doesn't support cPanel. They have their own proprietary interface that works quite as well and is easy to use. This, on its own, probably wouldn't bother amateur users a lot. However, advanced users might have a problem with this for other reasons. For example, there is no automated way to import .tar.gz files. This means that advanced users will have to manually migrate all their files through FTP and MySQL.

Some users might even find DreamHost's panel to be easier to use, but that doesn't negate the fact that they would have to become used to it since most users are already familiar with the cPanel interface. In a way, the lack of a cPanel has the effect of a double-edged sword. In fact, we find the theme of a double-edged sword almost everywhere when analyzing DreamHost's usability. Their structure is beginner-focused, and there are some who say that this makes it difficult to install and use e-commerce programs like Magneto and Pretashop which are apps that beginners aren't usually interested in. There are others who also complain that databases are quite difficult to use and access, which can prove to be a burden for some users. Additionally, unlike SiteGround, Dreamhost doesn't offer free site migrations. You have to pay a $99 one time fee to move each site that you want to be moved. There are also a few limitations on how paid site migrations work. For example, if you have a multisite WordPress site, it cannot be moved and transfers from WordPress.com will only take contents inside posts or pages. For the most part, you'll have to reinstall your themes and plugins and set them up again. It doesn't end there. If you have a website builder site like Weebly, Wix, or SquareSpace, they cannot be moved. DreamHost does offer some documentation to help you manually move your site, though. So it isn't all bad.

Basically, DreamHost focuses on beginners at the expense of advanced users, and we aren't sure that is a terribly good thing.

VERDICT; Beginners aren't the only web host users on the internet— although, DreamHost seems to think this is the case. SiteGround has a more balanced perspective, and they offer a better user experience than DreamHost.

MONEY BACK POLICY

Sometimes we make mistakes. It is possible that, after purchasing a plan from a Web host, you discover that you actually don't require that service. But at that point, you've already paid for a year or two in advance. The problem arises; can you get your money back? And if you can, how long do you have before you lose the right to request for a refund? And how much of the initial payment are you entitled to?

Most Web hosts have an official policy regarding situations like this. The industry standard is a thirty days Money-back policy. That is, you get thirty days to decide whether you're satisfied with the services on offer.

DreamHost smashes that standard, though, by offering three times and an extra week the industry average. A 97-day money-back policy is already incredible on its own but coupled with the fact that DreamHost doesn't have any ifs or buts in their user agreement, we were simply blown away. SiteGround, on the other hand, sticks to the industry line and offers the standard thirty days money-back guarantee. This is only available on their shared hosting plans, as their other plans like cloud, dedicated hosting, and VPS hosting come with a mere 15-day refund policy. In addition to this, refunds do not include domain name fees and any other free extras that might have been gotten with the plan. Renewal fees are also exempt from the refund policy.

VERDICT; There's no chance that an uncomplicated 97-day refund policy will lose to a 30-day refund policy. When it comes to this metric, DreamHost clearly takes the day. And not by a small margin either.

CUSTOMER SUPPORT AND RELIABILITY

SiteGround is known for its exemplary support. You don't have to take our word for it, you can check reviews all over the internet. At first, we thought this was some sort of advertising tactic, but we were wrong. Like other Web hosts, they offer phone, ticket channel and live chat channel. All their representatives, whether on the phone or through the live chat channel were incredibly friendly and helpful. Wait time was almost nonexistent, and there was a lot of human touch. For example, every representative that responds to you on their live chat channel has a bio page where you can see their pictures and basic information about them. Their ticket service is also lightning fast and problems are solved quickly too. No complaints there either. They also provide an up to date and very helpful knowledge base so that people do not have to contact customer support over easy problems that can be solved with no trouble. However, based on what we experienced, we do not think that people will want to solve their problems on their own. SiteGround's support is certainly quicker and more effective. A great experience all round.

Unlike SiteGround, DreamHost offers limited support channels. And when we say limited, we mean limited on all thinkable counts. For example, DreamHost says that they offer “24/7 in-house” and we discovered that this was as distant from the truth as possible. We tried to contact their support during a period that was presumably their “off” time and a DreamHost bot informed us that the “sales team is available on 5:30 AM – 9:30 PM Pacific Time, 7 days a week”.

Does that read like 24/7 support to you? It certainly doesn't to us. We honestly wish it ends there, but it doesn't. Not by a long shot. In addition to the lack of 24/7 support, DreamHost doesn't have a free phone in channel. That means if you require phone support you'll have to pay extra for it. To be fair, we didn't subscribe to that offer, and their paid phone support may actually be stellar. But the fact that SiteGround offers the same quality or even better phone support for free tells us a thing or two about the quality of DreamHost's customer support. Nevertheless, we tried to chat during their “on” time and we waited for a few minutes before we were connected to a live representative. She was knowledgeable and friendly enough, so we suppose that's a good thing. If you are willing to wait a few minutes and have the luck of needing a solution to your problem during DreamHost's support working hours, it's likely that you'd find their customer support structure decent. However, that is a little more than enough ifs and buts for us. A good experience to be sure, but really not worth the hassle.

VERDICT; SiteGround blew us away with the quality of their customer support. Apparently, they are that good and their reputation isn't merely the product of hype. We were impressed. Almost the opposite could be said for DreamHost, though. SiteGround has better customer support infrastructure for sure. It is hardly a contest.

SECURITY

There are a lot of things that could endanger the integrity of your website. On your own, there is little that can be done to safeguard your website. Most of the responsibilities lie with your Web host. A Web host that can guarantee a high level of security for your website is infinitely better than one that cannot guarantee it.

SiteGround, like many web hosts today, offers a free SSL certificate from Let's Encrypt with its basic plans. SSL certificates make connections secure and safe from hackers thereby protecting the personal information of visitors to your site. The fact that SiteGround throws in this certificate for free is certainly a plus. SiteGround partners with Sucuri.net in creating the SG site scanner, a defense system that end users can use for threat detection and in-depth analysis of defense and firewalls. SiteGround also boasts of an advanced account isolation system and a proactive tool that teams up with the Guardian by 1H to produce a spectacular multilayered defense system. The Guardian can detect and eliminate suspicious activity with a second (0.5 seconds, to be exact). SiteGround also offers sweeping Web Application Firewall (WAF), and since SiteGround makes use of the cPanel, it has the innate defense mechanisms that come with it like IP blacklisting, SpamAssassin, and a firewall. SiteGround doesn't leave users hanging when it comes to backups either. With free daily backups enabled on all plans, users can rest easy. However, we do advise that it is safer to have a separate backup of your files in case something unexpected happens. All in all, SiteGround appears to cover all the important bases of security.

Like SiteGround and most other Web hosts, DreamHost offers free SSL encryption on their plans. However, DreamHost doesn't offer backups and users must manually back up their files. DreamHost makes use of Cloudflare CDN (Content Delivery Network). Cloudflare additional security via enhanced security features like basic DDoS protection. We are not certain that this is especially effective at preventing DDoS attacks, though, because in 2017 users of DreamHost experienced hours of downtime because of a highly successful DDoS attack. Generally, there is very little to say about DreamHost's security.

VERDICT; SiteGround has one of the best security infrastructures that we've seen on any web host. On the other hand, we are not certain that DreamHost would make it into the top ten of the most secure Web hosts we've reviewed. Certainly, SiteGround has a better security infrastructure.

DreamHost vs. SiteGround Plans and Pricing

It is important to know how much value is offered by each hosting service and how much they charge for it. There is often the misconception that cheaper is always better, but that is quite far from the truth. The truth is that, rather than price, value is the most important factor in determining the better deal. We have no doubt that a Web host that offers more value per dollar is the better one.

SiteGround Plans

SiteGround has three tiers of shared hosting plans. They are the StartUp, GrowBig, and GoGeek plans. Like many web hosts, SiteGround runs a lower initial pricing scheme. The StartUp plan, for example, goes for a special price of $3.95 per month but renews at $11.95 per month. The plan hosts one website, comes with 10GB of space, unlimited bandwidth, free Cloudflare CDN, free SSL certificate, free daily backups, and unlimited emails.

The next plan, which is the Growbig plan, costs $5.95 per month (renewal costs $19.95). The plan comes with all the features of the StartUp plan plus free SSL wildcard for one year, 20GB space, all 3 levels of the supercacher, staging environments for WordPress and Joomla, and 30 backup copies and free restore.

The apex shared hosting plan is the GoGeek plan that costs $11.95 ($34.95 for renewal). It comes with the features of the GrowBig plan plus unlimited websites, 30GB space with a traffic capacity of 100,000 per month, priority support, one-click Git repo creation, and PCI compliance. All shared hosting plans offered by SiteGround come with a free email account,  free CDN and unlimited bandwidth.

Compared to a lot of web hosts, SiteGround's pricing is not exactly an example of competitive pricing. Sure, initial prices are low enough, but your pocket might feel light when it is time to pay for renewal. You end up paying at least three times the original price, and while most web hosts have pricing structures like this, it isn't something we are particularly pleased with. To qualify for this pricing structure, you will have to pay about three years in advance. You must pay a setup fee of $14.95 to get access to a monthly billing structure.

However, SiteGround plans pack some serious muscle and because of this, we don't have too much trouble with their pricing structure. In fact, we don't have problems with expensive plans as long as they are worth it, and SiteGround's services are definitely worth it.

DreamHost Plans

DreamHost has only two shared hosting plans. We are worried that DreamHost doesn't provide enough scaling options with only two shared hosting plans, but let's look at the value that they provide, regardless. The first plan is the Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited.

The Shared Starter plan costs $2.59 per month (however this is if you pay 3 years in advance. Per month, the flat rate is $4.95). What we found interesting is that, unlike many Web hosts, DreamHost's prices don't jump after the initial subscription. So $2.59 is still $2.59 after three years.

The Shared Starter plans come with 1 website, free domains, unlimited traffic, Pre-installed WordPress, SSD storage, and a free SSL certificate. The Shared Unlimited plan costs $5.95 for three years and comes with a free domain name, unlimited traffic, free SSL certificate, and unlimited email addresses. Apart from these plans, DreamHost has three managed WordPress hosting plans.

SiteGround StartUpSiteGround GrowBigSiteGround GoGeekDreamHost StarterDreamHost Unlimited
Monthly Visitors10.000 Visitors25.000 Visitors100.000 VisitorsUnlimitedUnlimited
Web Space10GB SSD20GB SSD30GB SSD50GB SSDUnmetered
WebsitesOneUnlimitedUnlimitedOneUnlimited
Data TransferUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
EmailFreeFreeFree$1.67$1.67
HTTP/2YesYesYesNoNo
Free SSLYesYesYesYesYes
Free DomainNoNoNoYesYes
Price$3.95$5.95$11.95$2.59$3.59

DreamHost Dedicated WordPress Hosting

The DreamPress plan costs $16.95 per month and gets around a hundred thousand monthly visits. It comes with 30GB storage, unmetered bandwidth, an SSL certificate, and daily backups.

The DreamPress Plus plan costs $24.95 per month and comes with:

  • 300,000 monthly visitors
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • SSL certificate
  • Daily backup
  • and unlimited CDN

The DreamPress Pro plan costs $71.95 and comes with:

  • 120GB storage
  • A million monthly visits
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • SSL certificate
  • Daily backups
  • Unlimited CDN

DreamHost also, like SiteGround offers great value for money. We were especially impressed that DreamHost doesn't hike their price after the first payment. It shows that this kind of pricing structure isn't rocket science and renewal fees can be kept low.

Extra Features

SiteGround's Extras

  • SiteGround's 99.9% uptime guarantee compensates users with one free month of hosting if their annual uptime drops from 99.9%
  • Free Cloudflare CDN
  • A free WordPress Migration Plugin
  • SiteGround is optimized for WordPress and Joomla
  • SiteGround supports Weebly
  • SiteGround offers SSH access with all their plans
  • One-click staging servers
  • Unfortunately, SiteGround doesn't offer a free domain name

DreamHost's Extras

  • Dreamhost is a carbon-neutral company, so if you care about the environment, you should probably consider hosting your website with them;
  • DreamHost has several CMSs that you can install easily in just one or two clicks;
  • DreamHost doesn't make use of cPanel, which can be good news for raw users but bad news for people with some experience;
  • DreamHost offers a free domain with WHOIS privacy;
  • DreamHost offers its own website builder called the remixer website builder;
  • Unfortunately, DreamHost only offers paid migration services;

VERDICT; SiteGround certainly had the more impressive list of extras. They take this one for us.

DreamHost vs. SiteGround Major Differences

Just to recap, we will list the major differences between these two web hosts.

  • DreamHost has a 97-day money-back guarantee while SiteGround has a 30-day money-back guarantee;
  • SiteGround has a far superior customer support structure;
  • SiteGround offers free migrations, DreamHost doesn't;
  • SiteGround has higher renewal fees than DreamHost;
  • SiteGround has automatic backups, DreamHost doesn't;

SiteGround vs. DreamHost Winner

SiteGround is a better Web host than DreamHost and it shows in almost every department. Despite the fact that DreamHost has a better pricing structure and superior money-back policy, SiteGround takes the ground for us with better performance, superior customer support and better security.

COMPARISON 24 minutes

SiteGround vs. Flywheel

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

On our menu today, we have SiteGround vs. Flywheel. We'll be dissecting the two hosts to figure out exactly which one is better and offers the best value for you.

How will we be doing that? Easy. We bought hosting plans from both Flywheel and SiteGround, did tests on them, did a lot of research, and we'll be comparing both hosts on the basis of important things like customer support quality, pricing, security infrastructure, speed, and uptime.

At the end of our comparison, we'll give a final verdict on which host we think is the best based on our tests. While we recommend that you agree with us, you don't have to. You can come to your own conclusion with the information we've put together.

But first, an overview of both companies.

SiteGround vs. Flywheel Overview

SiteGround is a Bulgarian company and was founded in 2004 while Flywheel was founded in 2012.

Flywheel is part of a new generation of hosting companies that only offer managed WordPress hosting services. SiteGround is not one of such companies and on the other hand, offers Shared hosting, VPS hosting as well as managed WordPress hosting services.

Unlike many other hosts in the market, SiteGround and Flywheel do not take a lot of pains to make their services affordable for everyone. SiteGround's hosting plans (including the traditionally cheaper Shared Hosting plans) are markedly more expensive than those of their competitors. The same can be said of Flywheel.

However, both hosts back up their prices with amazing performance. That's one thing that we can tell you for free.

Popularity Comparison

Does it matter which host is the most popular? Apparently, to some, it does. Well, SiteGround is older than Flywheel by a few years and offers services to a broader range of customers so SiteGround is clearly the more popular host.

So how can we decide which host is better than the other? Well, our performance tests have a thing or two to tell us.

SiteGround vs. Flywheel: Performance

We'll be comparing the performance of both Flywheel and SiteGround with speed and uptime.

Uptime Comparison

To test uptime, we bought hosting plans from the two companies, set up our dummy accounts and started monitoring uptime over a period of four months. Here's what we found out.

MonthSiteGroundFlywheel
October.100%100%
November.100%.100%
December.100%.100%
January.100%.99.99%

From our results, you can see that both hosts clearly have amazing uptime. While SiteGround had a perfect score, Flywheel was also able to return an approximate uptime of 100%.

Uptime Guarantee

What if uptime suddenly stops being amazing? What happens to the customer then? Is there a guarantee of compensation if the quality of uptime goes down?

SiteGround has a 99.99% uptime guarantee in its service level agreement. This means that if uptime gets below 99.99% on an annual basis, customers are guaranteed a free month of hosting. Flywheel, on the other hand, offers a less impressive 99.9% uptime guarantee.

Neither uptime guarantees cover scheduled maintenance.

Speed Comparison

Before we look at our speed tests, we'll have to look at things that contribute to the speed of a hosting service like the spread of data centers and the availability of CDN.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content Delivery Networks cut the response time of hosts in half through the use of proxy servers that have cached versions of your site on them.

Flywheel offers CDN for free via a partnership with MaxCDN. This enables Flywheel to deliver amazing load and response time. SiteGround also has free CDN through Cloudflare. It doesn't need any configurations and it's available through one click on all SiteGround hosting plans.

Data Centers

The more widespread the data centers of a host, the easier it is for content to get to visitors. SiteGround has six data centers spread over three continents while Flywheel has five data centers in Europe, America, and Australia. Flywheel's globalization feature allows users to choose where they would like to host their site.

Speed Tests

To test the speed, we decided to check the Time to First Byte from different locations around the world. Here's a look at one of our results.

LocationSiteGroundFlywheel
New York.104ms.129ms
Ontario.121ms.118ms
Mumbai.289ms.191ms
Bangladesh.379ms.290ms
Amsterdam.119ms.342ms
Barcelona.161ms.171ms
SiteGround managed to record an amazing 288ms average response time. Flywheel also did great, giving us an average response time of 296ms.

Clearly, you won't have any problems with speed with either host.

That's not all we decided to test the validity of this speed results with Load Impact. We wanted to see if the speed we recorded could be maintained during high traffic.

Load Impact Test

We started by sending ten virtual users to our sites. The speed recorded didn't dip, and then we continued to send users till we reached 100 users. Response time and page load speed didn't suffer regardless.

Ease Of Use and Beginner Friendliness

The best hosts are easy to use and give no problems at all to customers. They also give a lot of freebies and generally make hosting a stress-free task. Let's see just how easy to use these hosts are.

Creating An Account

Selecting a plan, setting up an account and paying was quite easy with both hosts. We only had to click through 4-5 pages of forms to get to the checkout, and shortly after paying we were directed to our workstation. We had no complaints with neither SiteGround nor Flywheel.

User Interface

When it comes to user interfaces, we believe that you cannot go wrong with either cPanel or Plesk. While a few hosts have decided to create their own user interfaces, they rarely ever meet up to the standards set by cPanel. In many cases, this can prove to be really problematic. A good example of this is DreamHost's proprietary user interface. If you'd like to know how well SiteGround stacks up to DreamHost, we have an article on that too.

SiteGround makes use of cPanel, and while it isn't a version of cPanel that is as heavily customized Bluehost's, it is still pretty decent. Additionally, since it is cPanel, it makes it really easy for people who want to move over to SiteGround to easily migrate their websites.

Flywheel, on the other hand, doesn't offer access to cPanel. What they have in place is a proprietary interface that is, unlike many experiments we have seen with other hosts, actually easy to use and is very intuitive.

The interface from Flywheel was designed with the intent of limiting the barriers that stand between the end-user and WordPress, and it works perfectly. One great thing about the interface is that it makes it easy for you to backup your files. It has a tab for this purpose that lets you see all automatic backups.

Would we take Flywheel's user interface over SiteGround's? No, we wouldn't. However, we wouldn't be bothered too much if we had to use Flywheel's interface. It is really that good.

Free Site Migration

In our opinion, all hosting companies should provide at least a single site transfer with all plans.

SiteGround shares our opinion, but not all the way. SiteGround's middle tier and top tier plans come with at least a single site transfer while their cheapest plan doesn't come with one. If you purchase SiteGround's cheapest plan and would like to have a site transferred, you'll have to pay extra. All WordPress hosting plans come with a single site transfer. Additional transfers attract a fee.

Flywheel, on the other hand, offers free and unlimited site migrations. To migrate your site, you only need to fill a secure migration request form, and your site will be transferred in about 4 working days at most. However, if you want your site transferred quickly (that is, in less than four working days), you'll have to pay about $49.

It's clear that Flywheel offers the better deal here.

Website Builder

This section only applies to SiteGround shared hosting plans because Flywheel only hosts WordPress based sites and as such doesn't make use of site builders.

A free version of the Weebly website builder is available to all SiteGround's customers. The Weebly site builder is one of the best web builders on the internet as it makes it easy for users to quickly set up their sites. However, this free version can only create six pages, and if you'd like to create more you'll have to purchase the Weebly Pro version.

Apps Integration, one-click installation, and Marketplace

SiteGround's shared hosting plans come with one-click installation for WordPress and other popular content management systems like Joomla and Drupal. Users also have access to a marketplace where they can purchase professional services, plug-ins, templates, and themes.

Flywheel offers only WordPress hosting so WordPress is already pre-installed. The company doesn't offer any other hosting asides that, so if you plan on creating your own website or making use of Joomla, you should go with SiteGround.

Free Domain

Most hosting companies offer free domains with all hosting plans.

However, here is one place that SiteGround falls short. SiteGround does not offer free domains. However, you can purchase a domain at checkout seamlessly.

The same goes for Flywheel. However, you can also purchase a domain at checkout with Flywheel.

Staging Environments

For beginners, a staging environment may just be the best thing ever to happen to them. The same can also be said for web developers who work with clients and would like to streamline their work environment. Basically, a staging environment makes the job of a web developer way easier than it would have been.

One place Flywheel excels is in the development of WordPress Development Workflows. The host makes it easy for you to build and test WordPress sites, and one of the ways this done is by providing staging sites for free.

All of Flywheel's plans, except the appropriately named Starter plan (because it is the cheapest plan) come with free staging environments. Asides this, Flywheel has a great tool called Local which helps you host a WordPress site on your computer in an offline environment. This provides an offline version of your site that you can show to clients or check out your changes on.

Importantly, this tool is not only available to Flywheel customers. Even if you've never paid a dime to Flywheel, you can use this room to create a demo version of your WordPress site.

SiteGround also offers staging environments on all plans. However, these staging environments are only for WordPress and Joomla sites.

In a way, that is a lot more than Flywheel offers (since Flywheel only works for WordPress sites in any case), but it is still somewhat disappointing.

Money-back Guarantee

Hosting can be really tricky because of the business model that many hosting companies run. Most times, to get the best prices, users are often forced to pay three years in advance.

Now, what happens when one pays three years in advance but then decides to cancel their plan? Is there a money-back guarantee that protects the customer?

Unlike other hosts, Flywheel doesn't suck customers into long term contracts. Thus, you can pay your hosting bill monthly or pay a year in advance. If you pay monthly, you have a 72 hours window for cancelling your plan and getting a full refund, and if you pay annually, you have a thirty-day window.

SiteGround also has a thirty-day money-back guarantee for annual shared hosting/WordPress hosting plans and 15 days money-back guarantee for cloud hosting plans. Dedicated hosting service doesn't come with money-back guarantees. Reseller packages are only covered by the guarantee if the entire reseller package is cancelled, not just individual accounts within the package.

Additionally, SiteGround, unlike Flywheel, doesn't offer a full-fledged monthly plan. If you'd like to subscribe to the monthly plan, you'll have to pay an additional one-time fee depending on the plan you'd like to subscribe to.

Of course, the money-back guarantee is subject to some terms and conditions. For example, only hosting fees are refundable. Money paid for services and domains are non-refundable.

SiteGround vs. Flywheel for Customer Support Reliability

Hosting isn't the easiest task in the world, but it is easier if you are working with a company with stellar customer support.

To test customer support, we decided to talk to the live reps of SiteGround and Flywheel. Our aim was to measure wait time (the period we had to wait for before we connected to support staff) and the value of the support that we were given. Was support helpful or not? Did we have to resolve our problems ourselves?

Customer Support Channels

Flywheel and SiteGround have roughly the same customer support channels. The two hosts make use of live chat support, phone support, and ticketing support. These channels are open 24/7

The Starter plan and Freelancer plan of Flywheel doesn't come with phone support.

Customer Support Test

We've heard a lot of great things about SiteGround's customer support, so we were eager to check if these were just as a result of hype or if they were true. For the most part, the hype is real.

Wait time was remarkably short, and throughout our testing period, we only had to wait a minute before connecting to support staff twice. That is really remarkable when you consider that a lot of other hosts have a wait time that averages at least five minutes.

SiteGround's customer support has a unique human touch that we've rarely seen with other hosting companies. Once you connect with a live rep, you'll see a profile tab that has their picture, their rating and how many clients they've answered.

Importantly, it wasn't all mouth – the live reps were really knowledgeable and helped solve our problems quickly. Overall, it was a great experience.

With Flywheel, it was more of the same. Wait time rarely exceeded a minute or two, and while the customer support interface may not have the human touch of SiteGround, it proved to be just as effective. The live reps that we spoke to were cordial and answered our queries comprehensively.

When we fill a ticket, we generally wait for about 24 hours to get a response on the issue. But here is where Flywheel and SiteGround prove to be different. We got our tickets back within ten hours, and even when we asked for an issue to be resolved (we asked SiteGround for a site migration), the support team kept in touch with us and updated us on the progress of the project.

Knowledge Base

SiteGround and Flywheel have hundreds of articles that constitute an impressive Knowledgebase. While SiteGround's knowledge is the more expansive of the two, we have to say that Flywheel's knowledge base is the more sensibly arranged.

Each article in Flywheel's knowledge base is arranged by topics and usually make for a great read.

Security Comparison

Backups, site security, DDos protection and whether or not free SSLs are included with your plan are things you need to consider before purchasing a hosting package. We'll compare the positions of Flywheel and SiteGround on these issues to see which host has the best deal.

SSL certificate

Companies like Let's Encrypt have made it easy to purchase free SSL certificates. However, not all hosting companies offer free SSL certificates.

SiteGround offers free SSL certificates on all hosting plans. With a SiteGround plan, you can issue as many free Let's Encrypt SSL certificates as you want. There's a handy Let's Encrypt tool on your cPanel Dashboard that you can install them through.

Flywheel also comes with a free SSL certificate with any hosting plan that you're on.

Backup Policy

The internet is a scary place and security breaches are more common than you'd expect. There are a lot of malware and mischievous characters who are always on the lookout for holes in your security infrastructure. If your security were to be breached and your files get misplaced, you'd be thankful for backups.

Flywheel runs nightly free automatic backups on all their hosting plans. These backups can be downloaded. The backups made by Flywheel are deleted permanently after thirty days. If you'd like access to a copy of your backup for a longer period, you have the choice of downloading it.

SiteGround has automatic free backups on all hosting plans except the StartUp plan. The backups are kept for 30 days, and the backup tool on the cPanel allows you to restore your old versions of your site easily.

In summary, Flywheel offers free automatic backups on all their hosting plans, while SiteGround offers it on all hosting plans except their cheapest plan – the StartUp plan.

Site Security

SiteGround is one of the most security-conscious hosts we've reviewed. First, all SiteGround's servers are set to use the latest PHP 7 version with the latest bug fixes. ModSecurity is also installed on shared servers as security rules are updated weekly. Additionally, all software that provides database services is kept up to date with the latest security patches.

The host also offers additional Bruteforce prevention system as they report that up to 2 million brute-force attempts are blocked on their servers every hour.

The SG Site Scanner is one of SiteGround's most important line of defence and it's a malware detection and early warning system that works almost like SiteLock. It is powered by Sucuri (one of the biggest internet security services) and scans all links accessible from the website homepage daily. That's not all. The Site Scanner also checks blacklists to see if your site has been blacklisted by any authoritative site.

All this makes SiteGround one of the most secure hosting providers that we've ever reviewed.

SiteGroundFlywheel
Free SSLYesYes
Domain privacy$12.00/yearNo
BackupDaily(Auto)Daily(Auto)
DDoS protectionYesYes
Anti-spam E-mailYesYes
Anti-malwareSG Site scannerYes
Vulnerabilities scannerSG Site scannerYes
SSH accesYesNo
Starting from$3.95$13.00

Flywheel starts security at the server level and claims that you do not even need additional security plug-ins because they bring performance issues of their own. If your site does get hacked, Flywheel will actually help you to clear out the virus at absolutely no extra charge.

Asides this, Flywheel also has 2-factor authentication system and their security infrastructure makes it very difficult for Bruteforce attempts to be successful. An intelligent IP blocking system blocks the IP of suspected Intruders across all sites on Flywheel in real-time. This means that potential threats are even eliminated before they get to you.

Updating the core of your WordPress site can be really stressful. But that's not the only disadvantage of not having up to date apps – they make it easier for your site to be hacked. However, Flywheel takes that responsibility off your hands by updating your WordPress software for you so you don't have to bother about it.

Admittedly, they only do that because they offer only managed WordPress hosting (SiteGround also does it on their managed WordPress plans), but it's a neat thing to do.

SiteGround vs. Flywheel: Plans and Pricing

Flywheel doesn't offer shared hosting. If that is the sort of plan you're looking for, the best plan for you would certainly be the SiteGround Starter plan.

However, the great thing about SiteGround is that their shared hosting and managed WordPress hosting plans are at the same price. The only difference is that the capacity of the plans on offer are a bit different.

SiteGround and Flywheel have three tiers of WordPress hosting plans, so they should be fairly easy to compare. Flywheel has the Freelance, Starter and Agency plans while SiteGround has GrowBig, GoGeek, and StartUp plans.

Basic Plan Comparison

Flywheel's Basic plan is the Tiny plan and it comes with one WordPress install, 5GB storage disk, 20 GB of bandwidth, and has capacity for 5,000 monthly visits. However, if you want an additional WordPress site to be added to your plan, you can pay a $20 one time fee. The plan is billed at $13 per month.

Is that a lot? Yes, but Flywheel is one of the easiest to use managed WordPress hosting platforms, so they may believe that this price is fair, and in some respects, they might be right. After all, Flywheel wasn't developed with the average blogger in mind, instead, it was created for web developers who have clients that they create sites for. The important question, though, is if SiteGround offers a better deal.

The StartUp plan by SiteGround comes with one website, 10GB of disk space, and has a capacity for 10,000 visits per month. The plan costs $3.45 per month and $11.45 per month on renewal.

SiteGround's plan, even when you consider the renewal fee, is quoted cheaper than Flywheel's plan. However, it is possible to think that Flywheel's plan still packs more value because of the handy option of adding more websites to your plan with only $20. That thinking may prove to be wrong because of the fact that the GrowBig plan, which is the next plan that SiteGround offers, comes with unlimited websites and costs just about 2$ more than the Starter plan. It appears that the Starter plan is the one with the better value for money here.

SiteGround StartUpFlywheel Tiny
Websites11
SSD Storage10GB5GB
Monthly Visitors10.0005.000
SSL CertificateYesYes
Domain includedNoNo
Anti SpamYesYes
Domain Privacy$12.00/yearNo
SitebackupDaily(Auto)Daily(Auto)
Dedicated IP4.5No
Starting from$3.95$13.00

Medium Tier Plan Comparison

SiteGround's medium-tier plan is the GrowBig plan and it comes with unlimited websites, 20GB of space, and a capacity of 25,000 monthly visitors. The plan costs $5.95 per month and costs $19.95 upon renewal. With unlimited websites, this plan packs a lot of punch, and at a discount of $5.95 over the first three years, this plan represents amazing value. Make no mistake, this is a great deal.

Flywheel's medium-tier plan is the Starter plan and it comes with a capacity for a 50.000 monthly visits, and a 10GB of space. The plan costs just about $25 and comes with 1 site.

SiteFround GrowBigFlywheel Starter
WebsitesUnlimited1
SSD Storage20GB10GB
Monthly Visitors25.00025.000
SSL CertificateYesYes
Domain includedNoNo
Anti SpamYesYes
Domain Privacy$12.00/yearNo
SitebackupDaily(Auto)Daily(Auto)
Dedicated IP4.5No
Starting from$5.95$25.00

Top Tier Plan Comparison

SiteGround's most expensive plan is the GoGeek plan and it comes with unlimited websites, 30GB of web space and a 100,000 monthly visits. The plan costs $11.95 per month and costs $34.95

With unlimited websites, this plan is worth what it costs. However, a maximum monthly visits count of 100,000 is disappointing. Additionally, with a renewal fee of $34.95 per month, this plan should be coming with more than 30GB of space.

The Freelancer plan is a plan designed for next-level business. It comes with up to 10 sites, a capacity for about 100.000 monthly visits and 20GB of space. The plan costs $96 per month. This is really expensive, and if your needs can be taken care of by the GoGeek plan, I would advise that you go for it.

Flywheel has a customised plan structure that comes with more than thirty WordPress sites. Customers can decide the monthly visits, storage, and custom bandwidth.

SiteGround GoGeekFlywheel Freelancer
WebsitesUnlimitedUp to 10
SSD Storage30GB20GB
Monthly Visitors100.000100.000
SSL CertificateYesYes
Domain includedNoNo
Anti SpamYesYes
Domain Privacy$12.00/yearNo
SitebackupDaily(Auto)Daily(Auto)
Dedicated IP4.5No
Starting from$11.95$96.00

SiteGround vs. Flywheel: Major Differences

The first difference between the two companies is that Flywheel offers in WordPress hosting while SiteGround offers a whole range of different hosting services.

  • Flywheel offers free nightly backups on all plans, SiteGround doesn't.
  • Flywheel has unlimited free site transfers while SiteGround offers only a single site transfer.
  • SiteGround makes use of cPanel while Flywheel makes use of a proprietary system.
  • Flywheel is much more expensive than SiteGround

COMPARISON 38 minutes

Bluehost vs. WordPress

Last updated:
Author Diana Melnic

Both Bluehost and WordPress.com focus on web hosting for WordPress – the world’s most popular CMS (content management system) – but the two providers are actually quite different. To make the right choice between them, you have to understand what each does best.

If this is your first time building a blog or a website, Bluehost vs WordPress.com is the right comparison for you. Both of these services are designed with ease of use in mind, which makes them perfect for newbies, small businesses, and freelancers. That said, WordPress.com is best suited for bloggers who want to get online quickly, while Bluehost is a far more versatile service.

To accurately compare Bluehost and WordPress.com, I’ve researched and tested both hosts extensively. I’ve covered aspects such as performance, pricing, ease of use, features, customer support, and security in order to give you a comprehensive view of the rivalry between the two providers.

Update September 2020: Before you buy the preferred hosting for your website, make sure to click here to see the latest promotional offers that they offer in June 2020 (after clicking, the latest promotional discount of 63% will be self-applied at check-out). We will update this article as soon as the promotional offer changes or if they get a better one, but as of right now this is the best deal you can find.

If you give me a bit of your time, I believe that by the end of this comparison, you’ll have a better idea about whether Bluehost or WordPress.com is the right host for you. You’ll also know which plan to choose for your needs and whether you need to buy any add-ons with it.

In a hurry? Feel free to jump straight to the winner section in the Contents table to the left, where you’ll also find a quick summary of my review. Otherwise, I’ve prepared an in-depth, head-to-head comparison below, so let’s get started.    

Performance

Website visitors care little about the web hosting plan that you choose, the features you get with it, or the way that you pay for it. Instead, visitors want two things: great content and fast loading speeds. Search engines are not all that different, either. If your website is well optimized and loads quickly, this can help you rank higher than your competition in SERPs (search engine results pages).

This is why it’s essential to choose a web host that can ensure top-notch performance for your website. Whether you want to create a personal blog, a business presentation site, or an online store, you need a hosting service that can deliver flawless uptime and speed, as well as keep up with a growing business.

To accurately compare Bluehost and WordPress in terms of performance, I’ve signed up with both services, created two identical websites, and used several tools like GTMetrix to test critical performance indicators. Let’s take a closer look at how they both did.  

Full Page Load Time

Of all performance indicators, full page load time is the most important to watch out for. In short, this test shows you how quickly your website will load with Bluehost vs how it will load with WordPress.com. Keep in mind that, prior to running this test, I’ve turned on all performance-enhancing plugins that were provided by each host. Just to keep things fair.

These were the results:

Bluehost and WordPress Full Page Load Times Compared in GTMetrix

What can we learn from this? Well, both hosts achieved a good score for overall performance, but if you take a closer look at the full page load time, you’ll notice that my website took just 1 second to load on Bluehost, and 2.5 seconds to load on WordPress.com. In other words, Bluehost was two and a half times faster, and that says something.

Even if the difference seems small, it’s actually very meaningful in terms of web hosting. For example, Google claims that a website that loads slower than 2 seconds is likely to start losing visitors. Bluehost passes Google’s benchmark with flying colors, while WordPress.com falls behind.

The website that I created for testing was actually pretty basic, so very little content was included. But the larger the website, the more time it takes to load, so you can imagine that the performance gap between Bluehost and WordPress.com is going to be even bigger with a fully-developed site.

Time to First Byte (TTFB)

TTFB is not as important a metric as full page load time, but it can be used to determine whether or not a server is performing optimally. It’s also important for SEO purposes because, as was shown by several third-parties, websites with lower TTFB consistently ranked higher in SERPs.

So how did our two hosts fare in this respect?

Bluehost achieved an excellent score of 99, which means that their server is well optimized and takes very little time to respond to a user’s HTTPS request.

Bluehost Google Speed Test July
Bluehost Basic Hosting Plan Tested in PageSpeed Insights

WordPress.com, on the other hand, got an average score of 77. In other words, their server took longer to respond, which is also part of the reason why my website loaded slower overall when hosted on their platform.

WordPress Google Speed Test July
Wor

What do I make of these numbers? On its own, TTFB is not the most relevant performance metric, but taken together with the full page load time results, it shows us that a website is far more likely to perform well on Bluehost than it is on WordPress.com.

Load Impact Test

The two previous tests show us how a website hosted on Bluehost vs one hosted on WordPress.com responds to a single user’s request. The thing is, once you publish your website, you can expect dozens or even hundreds of visitors at the same time, depending on how popular your content is. Especially if you expect your business to grow quickly, you need to know that your web host can handle traffic spikes well.

This is where the load impact test comes in. This metric shows us how well Bluehost and WordPress.com respond to periods of high traffic by testing my website’s loading speeds for hundreds of concomitant requests. So what do the results say?

Bluehost vs. WordPress Load Impact Test
Load Impact Test for Bluehost and WordPress

As you can see in the two graphs, Bluehost maintains a decent full page load time of 3.71 seconds even with 200 visitors at a time, while WordPress.com lags behind with 4.12 seconds. This only confirms what we already know by now. Bluehost can handle traffic better than WordPress.com thanks to its optimized hosting infrastructure and performance-enhancing features.

Now, you might think that I got these results with an expensive plan, but the truth is, I was on the Basic Bluehost package (costing just $2.95 with this offer) when I ran the tests. Even with the entry-level plan, Bluehost delivers as promised. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for WordPress.com.

Uptime

Both Bluehost and WordPress.com promise excellent uptime for your website, but in an industry where every single host makes the exact same claim, you’ll excuse me if I no longer take these guarantees at face value. Instead, I run my own tests just to make sure. Fortunately, in the case of Bluehost vs WordPress.com, the results were decent with both hosts.

PeriodBluehostWordPress
June99.99%99.82%
May99.98%99.95%
April100%99.92%
March99.96%99.95%
February100%99.80%
January100%99.96%
201999.98%99.88%

That said, you’ll notice that there are still some differences between the two hosts. Most noticeably, WordPress.com had a dip to 99.82% and 99.80% in February and June, respectively, whereas Bluehost maintained a stellar uptime of over 99.96% throughout the entire testing period.

Given that the industry average in terms of uptime is 99.9%, I’d say that you don’t have to worry about uptime with either of these two hosts. However, it is worth noting that while most providers offer compensation for downtime that exceeds 0.1% throughout the month, neither Bluehost nor WordPress.com do this. That’s a slight disadvantage for both in my book.

Bluehost vs. WordPress: Which Host Performs Better Overall?

Having tested both Bluehost and WordPress.com for several months, I have to hand the victory over to Bluehost in this category. Not only did my website load faster with Bluehost – even with dozens of user requests made at the same time – but I also recorded better uptime throughout the duration of testing.

Before we move on, there’s one more important detail I’d like to mention here. While Bluehost gave me complete freedom to customize my website, WordPress.com didn’t let me uninstall its preconfigured plugins or install any new ones. I’ll discuss this more in a moment, when we look at each of their plans, but the bottom line is that with WordPress.com, you’re stuck with a platform that you can’t change.

If WordPress.com uses useless plugins that slow down your website, there’s nothing you can do about it, unless you’re on one of their top-tier plans. With Bluehost, I could configure my WordPress installation to the dot, and I believe that this was reflected in the performance tests.

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Pricing and Value

When you compare two web hosts, pricing is an essential aspect, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. For example, one host might have cheaper plans, but these might include fewer features. If you choose the wrong plan, you can end up paying for security or performance add-ons that will then double or even triple your costs. Web hosts have a way of sneaking up on you with hidden fees.

Now, you can’t be expected to read through thick Terms and Agreements every time you compare two web hosting services like Bluehost and WordPress.com. After all, you have a blog, website, or business to run. Plus, as a beginner, you might not even know that you need a certain feature until after you’ve purchased a plan. Then, you’re forced to buy it as an add-on.

But rest assured: I’ve done all the research for you. Since I compare web hosting services for a living, I know a great deal when I see one. I also have a good idea about the features and tools that you’ll need to create a beautiful, functional website, and I’ve kept this in mind as I looked at what Bluehost and WordPress.com have to offer. Let’s take a closer look.

Free Hosting from WordPress.com

Unlike Bluehost, WordPress.com has a free plan that you can use to start a website with minimal costs. Before you get excited, though, you have to know that there are some major trade-offs.

The free plan from WordPress.com is very limited, and some of its restrictions make it unsuitable for hosting a professional website. For one, you can’t use your own, professional domain address. You’re stuck with a WordPress.com domain, and you can’t remove the ads that WordPress.com will put on your website. Nor do you have any control regarding the content of these ads.

In addition, you get only 3GB of storage space, which means that you won’t be able to upload a lot of media on your website. You have very little freedom to customize your website template and if something breaks, you’re mostly on your own. Customer support is only available through email for the free plan, and it’s not 24/7.

Don’t get me wrong: if you’re just starting a personal blog to test your writing skills and see if people are interested in what you have to say, the free plan from WordPress.com is enough to get you going. If, however, you’re serious about your blog, a paid plan with your own domain name is, by far, a better choice.

And if you want to create a proper website or online store, you might want to consider Bluehost instead. You’ll see why in a few moments.

Bluehost Basic vs. WordPress.com Personal

If you’re trying to keep costs low, your first option will be to compare the entry-level plans from Bluehost and WordPress.com. So let’s see what each of them has to offer.

With Bluehost Basic, you get one website, plus 50GB of storage space, 5 email addresses, and unmetered bandwidth. With the Personal plan from WordPress.com, you get one website and unmetered bandwidth, but only 6GB of storage space, and no email. Already, Bluehost’s cheapest package stands out as a much better offer.

Plus, there’s one other important thing to consider. As its name suggests, WordPress.com is a service entirely focused on WordPress, so you cannot install or use any other CMS. Nor can you install your own plugins, unless you upgrade to a top-tier plan. In other words, you can only use the configuration provided to you by WordPress.com.

Bluehost BasicWordPress Personal
Sites Allowed1 Website1 Website
Free DomainYesYes
Free SSLYesYes
Storage Space50GB6 GB
Plugin InstallationYesNo
Upload ThemeYesNo
DataBase AccessYesNo
Allows Online StoreYesNo
Google Analytics IntegrationYesNo
CMS AllowedAlmost Any CMSOnly WordPress
24/7 SupportChat/Phone/E-mailNo
Extras$200 free Marketing CreditsNone
Money-Back Guarantee30-days30-days
Pricing2.954

Please note that the above prices are calculated with the on-going 65% discount from Bluehost; Once they'll put an end to the promo, future customers will get higher prices.

One advantage with WordPress.com is that it gives you Jetpack Essential Features on all plans (even the entry-level one). These include a few performance-enhancing and security tools, as well as website statistics with valuable information about your visitors.

The thing is that this particular Jetpack license is free to begin with, so you can just as easily use it with your Bluehost account. The only difference is that, with Bluehost, you have to install it yourself, whereas with WordPress.com, the plugin comes preinstalled.

As for pricing, Bluehost’s Basic plan is significantly cheaper than WordPress.com’s Personal, especially if you’re willing to subscribe for three years. In more great news, you can reduce the cost even further by using this special discount for Mamboserver readers.

Bluehost Plus vs. WordPress.com Premium

As we take a closer look at higher tier plans, the difference between Bluehost and WordPress.com becomes even more evident. With Bluehost Plus, you get unlimited websites, storage space, email, and bandwidth. In other words: a lot of additional value for a very small increase in price.

WordPress.com falls further behind. Even with its Premium plan, you’re still limited to a single website, and you only get 13GB of storage. WordPress.com doesn’t offer email hosting on any of its plans, so if you want a professional email, you’ll have to buy this service from another provider. This is not only inconvenient but also more expensive.

Bluehost PlusWordPress Premium
Sites AllowedUnlimited1 Website
Free DomainYesYes
Free SSLYesYes
Storage SpaceUnlimited13GB
Plugin Installation AllowedYesNo
Upload Theme AllowedYesNo
DataBase AccessYesNo
Allows Online StoreYesNo
Google Analytics IntegrationYesYes
CMS AllowedWordPress/Joomla/OthersOnly WordPress
24/7 SupportChat/Phone/E-mailNo
Extras$200 Free Marketing CreditsNone
Money-Back Guarantee30-days30-days
Pricing5.458

Another significant drawback with WordPress.com is that, even on the Premium plan, you only get email and basic live chat support. Unlike with Bluehost, customer support is only available 5 days a week, so if your website crashes during the weekend – when it’s most likely to get visitors – you have to fix it on your own.

If you go for Premium, WordPress.com gives you additional customization options for your chosen website template. Is this worth the extra cost, though? Not really, especially since you can fully customize your site with Bluehost on any of its plans.

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Bluehost Choice Plus vs. WordPress.com Business

If you can afford it, Bluehost’s Choice Plus is the best value plan on offer. You get the same unlimited resources that are included in the Plus plan, but these are accompanied by several outstanding, yet free add-ons. For example, CodeGuard Basic is included for no extra charge, which means that you no longer have to worry about manual website backups.

WordPress.com’s Business plan also has several valuable features, such as 24/7 priority live chat support, one-on-one screen share chats with WordPress experts, SEO tools, and automated daily backups. In addition, you get 200GB of storage space, which is considerably more than is included in the Premium plan. It’s still no match for Bluehost’s unlimited storage, but it’s a step forward in the right direction.

Bluehost Choice PlusWordPress Business
Sites AllowedUnlimited1 Website
Free DomainYesYes
Free SSLYesYes
Storage SpaceUnlimited200GB
Plugin Installation AllowedYesYes
Upload Theme AllowedYesYes
DataBase AccessYesYes
Allows Online StoreYesNo
Google Analytics IntegrationYesYes
CMS AllowedWordPress/Joomla/OthersOnly WordPress
24/7 SupportChat/Phone/E-mailChat/Phone/E-mail
Extras$200 Free Marketing CreditsNone
Money-Back Guarantee30-days30-days
Pricing5.4525

That said, WordPress.com’s Business plan is five times more expensive than Bluehost’s Choice Plus. Given that they have comparable features, there’s just no way to justify the extra cost, especially since you can only host one website per account with WordPress.com.  

Bluehost Pro vs. WordPress.com eCommerce

WordPress.com’s eCommerce plan has an impressive kit of features designed to boost the success of your online store. You get built-in payment processing so you don’t have to integrate PayPal, Stripe, or other popular payment methods yourself. You can also display an unlimited number of products, and easily calculate shipping rates for your customers.

The best part about it is that the entire platform is ready out-of-the-box. All you have to do is select your theme, customize your design, and add your products. WordPress.com takes care of almost everything else.

By comparison, Bluehost Pro has fewer eCommerce features that are as easy to use. You can still integrate payment and shipping options on your website, but you have to do it yourself. This is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it might be more difficult for newbies to get the online store off the ground. But on the other hand, you get more creative freedom for your website and you don’t have to deal with WordPress.com’s limitations.

Bluehost ProWordPress eCommerce
Sites AllowedUnlimited1 Website
Free DomainYesYes
Free SSLYesYes
Storage SpaceUnlimited200GB
Plugin Installation AllowedYesYes
Upload Theme AllowedYesYes
DataBase AccessYesYes
Allows Online StoreYesYes
Google Analytics IntegrationYesYes
CMS AllowedWordPress/Joomla/OthersOnly WordPress
24/7 SupportChat/Phone/E-mailChat/Phone/E-mail
Extras$200 Free Marketing CreditsNone
Money-Back Guarantee30-days30-days
Pricing13.9545

Plus, Bluehost’s Pro plan unlocks a whole new level of performance for your website. With Pro, your site is hosted on a server with fewer neighbors, so you can use more resources at a time. This, in turn, translates into superior loading speeds and stability.

For a small online store, you might be able to get away with the standard performance offered by WordPress.com. But If you’re going to start a successful ecommerce platform with thousands of monthly visitors, Bluehost is a more suitable option.

More importantly, Bluehost’s Pro plan is, once again, much cheaper than WordPress.com’s equivalent. You save money and you get more value from your web hosting.

Premium Managed WordPress Hosting from Bluehost

To keep things simple, I’ve compared Bluehost’s and WordPress.com’s shared hosting plans head-to-head. But unlike WordPress.com, Bluehost has several other options on offer. If WordPress is your CMS of choice, you’ll love Bluehost’s WP Pro plans.

For example, the mid-tier, WP Pro Grow plan costs roughly as much as WordPress.com’s Business plan. For the same price, you get a better (Premium) license for Jetpack, integrated SEO tools, automated daily backups, enhanced security, and access to Bluehost’s team of WordPress experts for support.

Storage space and bandwidth are unlimited, while email hosting is included in the plan for free. If you feel like hosting multiple websites, you can. And if you ever want to make changes to one of your sites, you can use Bluehost’s one-click staging environment to safely test the new features before they go live. This way, you’ll never accidentally break your website.

Bluehost’s WP Pro Scale plan is even better. Designed for eCommerce, the plan comes with easy PayPal integration, elastic search, Jetpack Pro, and unlimited website backups. WP Pro Scale costs about as much as WordPress.com’s eCommerce package, but as is the case with most of Bluehost’s offers, it packs far more value for your money.

With Bluehost, There’s More Room to Grow

As I mentioned earlier, WordPress.com is a decent, affordable solution for small websites or blogs, especially if you’re just starting out. Its Personal plan doesn’t have a lot of storage space or performance tools, but as a newbie, you won’t need a lot of tools to get started in the first place.

The trouble with a host like WordPress.com is that there isn’t much room to grow. The provider only offers shared hosting, which means that if you ever need a more powerful solution, you’re out of luck. I’ll cover this aspect more in-depth in Scalability, but the bottom line is that if your website grows, you’ll have to switch to a different host. Take it from someone who has tried dozens of hosting services: transfers take time and money. Sometimes, your website can even break in the process.

BluehostWordPress
Free DomainYesYes
Free SSL CertificateYesYes
Disk Space50GB6 GB
BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimited
Control PanelcPanelCustom
Money-Back Guarantee30 days30 days
Founded in19962005
BBB RatingA+D-
Pricing$2.95$4

With Bluehost, you don’t have to worry about having to transfer to a different provider. If your website outgrows the resource allocations of a WP Pro plan, you can always switch to a VPS solution. Bluehost’s VPS plans are competitively priced and they come with dedicated virtual resources that you don’t have to share with other users. In short, this means that you can expect better performance, enhanced security, and more stability for your websites.

And if you need even more power, you can upgrade to one of Bluehost’s dedicated servers. These are bare-metal, single-tenant machines that you can configure with a large number of CPU cores, as well as any amount of RAM and storage space. A dedicated server is quite expensive compared to other hosting solutions, but it’s good to know that you have this option in case you’ll ever need it.

Your website might be small to begin with, but as your blog or business grows, you’ll likely need more resources than shared hosting can offer. Bluehost has excellent potential for scalability, and some outstanding deals for long-term plans.

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Which Is Cheaper, Bluehost or WordPress?

Overall, Bluehost is considerably cheaper than WordPress.com, especially if you use this exclusive offer for Mamboserver readers. The difference in price is less noticeable with the entry-level plans, but if you’re considering a better package, WordPress.com can get up to five times more expensive than Bluehost.

What’s more, Bluehost gives you more bang for your buck. You get more storage space across all plans, you can host as many websites as you want, and you have email for free. None of this is true for WordPress.com.

That said, I do have two important observations regarding Bluehost. For one, its most attractive prices are only available for three-year plans, which means that you have to make a pretty big commitment to this provider in order to take advantage of its best offers. Fortunately, you have a 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you find that you don’t like the service, you can always cancel the contract during the first month.

Secondly, you have to keep an eye out for Bluehost’s renewal fees. Once your initial term is over, the cost of your plan can double, so keep that in mind as you make your decision. Don’t think that Bluehost is the only host that uses such sneaky tactics. In fact, this is a fairly standard practice in the web hosting industry. Nevertheless, it’s something you should know beforehand.

It’s also important to notice that, even following renewal, Bluehost still gives you more value compared to WordPress.com. Although slightly more expensive, Bluehost’s plans come with far more resources and features that are most definitely worth the extra cost.

Ease of Use

You don’t want to spend any more time than you have to in order to build your website and manage your web hosting account. A good host comes with a clean dashboard where all the essential options are immediately visible and easy to access. As for Bluehost vs WordPress.com, both providers try to offer a beginner-friendly interface, but one does it better than the other.

WordPress.com is preconfigured to work with WordPress. The CMS is automatically installed on your account, so you can simply log in and start building your website. This, however, is where you might encounter some issues. WordPress.com’s website builder essentially consists of the basic WordPress interface. You have very little drag-and-drop functionality, and most customization options (if they are available on your plan) are difficult to find.

WordPress Website Control Panel
WordPress User Interface

With a regular web host, this wouldn’t be that big of a problem. You could always download a free WordPress website builder like Elementor to easily and quickly design your site. But with WordPress.com, this isn’t an option unless you’re on the Business or eCommerce plan. Why? Because WordPress.com doesn’t let you install any plugins on lower-tier plans. Even if you don’t need a website builder, this could come back to haunt you as you realize that you can’t install or use your favorite plugins.

Bluehost doesn’t have any of these issues. Its dashboard is clean and neatly organized, and you get help building your website from the moment you log in to the moment you’re ready to publish. You don’t get a drag-and-drop website builder by default, but you can easily install one yourself.

Bluehost User Interface
Bluehost Website Control Panel

If you’re decided on working with WordPress, it only takes a couple of clicks to get it installed on your account once you log in. And if you want to install any other CMS, such as Joomla, Drupal, or Magento, Bluehost makes this possible.

Once everything is set up, Bluehost gives you a super useful checklist that you can follow to quickly build your website. From connecting a domain to choosing a theme, customizing your design, taking care of SEO, and more, Bluehost tells you what you should do next every step of the way. This might not be a big deal for you if you’re a seasoned webmaster, but as a newbie, you’ll love crossing things off the list as you get closer to publishing your website.

With Bluehost, you can. In fact, you have complete freedom over the plugins you install on your account.  

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Features

I’ve already mentioned some important features for both Bluehost and WordPress.com while comparing their shared hosting plans, but there are still a few essential details left to discuss. I’ve included the most noteworthy ones in the list below:

  • CloudFlare CDN. A CDN (or content delivery network) can significantly boost your website’s performance for visitors from around the world. When you use one, a cached version of your website is stored on dozens of servers strategically distributed across the globe. If a user clicks on your site, they are connected to the nearest server, rather than your main data center. With Bluehost, CloudFlare CDN is integrated straight into your dashboard, so that you can quickly turn it on when you set up your account. This is not the case with WordPress.com.
  • Manage multiple accounts from the same dashboard. If you have several high-traffic websites, you might need several accounts to support them. This is especially the case with WordPress.com, since the latter only lets you host one website per account. However, WordPress.com doesn’t give you the possibility to manage all of your accounts from the same dashboard. Instead, you have to log in separately into each account whenever you have to make changes. With Bluehost, you log into a master account to manage all of your hosting services in one place.
  • Experts can design your website for you. Bluehost gives you the option to hire an expert in order to get online quickly. This is a pretty expensive service, but if you want to make sure that your website is as functional as it can be, the additional cost makes sense.
  • Monetization tools. WordPress.com focuses on simplicity, and its integrated, out-of-the-box monetization tools reflect this philosophy. For example, all paid plans come with the possibility to easily create subscriber-only pages and accept payments from your readers. With Bluehost, you have to install several plugins to design a similar platform. It’s not impossible, but it does take longer, and you have to figure out all the technical details yourself.
  • Social media integrations. Another great thing about WordPress.com is that, when you build your website, you can add social media feeds with just a few simple steps. You don’t have to find, install, or configure the plugins yourself. Everything you need is already set up: you just have to link your accounts. Plus, with the Premium, Business, and eCommerce plans, you get additional tools that let you schedule social media updates in advance. If you own a blog, this makes it super easy to promote new posts.

With its out-of-the-box solutions and easy integrations, WordPress.com is certainly an attractive option for newbies looking to start their first blog. With Bluehost, you have to put in a bit of extra time to achieve a similar result. However, there is a trade-off.

While Bluehost gives you complete freedom in terms of the CMS you use, the way you customize your themes, and the plugins you install, this is not the case with WordPress.com. As your blog or website grows, you might find the latter to be fairly restrictive, especially if you want to add something to your design that isn’t already included in your selected theme.

Bluehost might take a little longer to get accustomed to, but it can keep up with you as your website becomes more popular. In addition, Bluehost has the hosting infrastructure and the performance features to keep your site running even during peak traffic.

Customer Support

Bluehost and WordPress.com are both geared towards beginners, so I had big expectations when I tested their customer support. After all, as a newbie building my first website, I might need to get in touch with support often, and I want to know that someone’s always there to help out.

Even as a pro webmaster, I might need assistance once in a while, especially since each hosting platform is different and it can take some time to get accustomed to a new service. So how did the two hosts do?

For starters, there’s a big difference in how customer support works with Bluehost and WordPress.com. With Bluehost, you get 24/7 support through live chat, phone, and tickets on all plans. Regardless of how much you spend on your hosting, an agent is always on standby to pick up any question you might have.

Bluehost Customer Support
Bluehost Customer Support Page

If you opt for a WP Pro plan, you also get access to Bluehost’s BlueSky support team, which offers specialized assistance with WordPress-related issues. Plugin and website troubleshooting are included here, which is a big plus compared to other hosts that refer to these services as being outside of their “scope”.

While setting up my website with Bluehost, I’ve actually tested all three channels of customer support extensively. As such, I can vouch for the fact that when Bluehost says 24/7, they mean it. Whenever I needed help, I was able to get in touch – either through live chat or phone – and I got all the information I needed. The support agent I talked to before settling on a plan even offered to set up WordPress with me. Bonus points for Bluehost.

I had an entirely different experience with WordPress.com, and it was mostly because this provider doesn’t offer the same level of support for all clients. If you’re on the free plan, for example, you don’t even have access to basic live chat and email support.

WordPress Customer Support
WordPress Customer Support Page

On the Personal and Premium plans, you get the option to contact an agent through live chat or email, but the support team is only available Monday through Friday. If something goes wrong during the weekends, you’re on your own. Plus, it was more difficult to get in touch with an agent even during the week, mostly because the wait times were longer than average.

To get proper 24/7/365 support, you have to buy either the Business or the eCommerce plan. This seems like a big drawback to me, since most people don’t want to buy such an expensive package for their basic hosting needs.

That said, both Bluehost and WordPress.com have extensive knowledge bases with tutorials and guides on all things hosting. If you’re more of a DIY type, you’ll be able to use these articles to solve most issues.

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Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the best way to drive organic traffic to your website and, as a result, increase your conversion rates without having to pay for PPC (pay-per-click advertisements). As search engines have evolved over the course of the years, SEO has become a vastly complex process with dozens of specialized techniques.

To properly optimize your site, you now need the help of an expert, but if you want to keep costs low, there are a few tools that can help you get the job done to a decent standard. One such free tool is Yoast, a WordPress plugin that rates your website for SEO and makes pertinent suggestions for improvement.

With Bluehost, it’s easy to install Yoast after your account is set up and you start working on a WordPress website. Bluehost also has its own, integrated SEO tools, but these are only included with the WP Pro Grow and Scale plans.

With WordPress.com, the process should be just as simple, but unfortunately, it isn’t. As I’ve mentioned several times before, WordPress.com doesn’t let you install your own plugins on any of its entry-level plans. You do get an “SEO Essentials” plugin installed by default, but this doesn’t have nearly as many options as Yoast.

Instead, Yoast is locked behind WordPress.com’s two most expensive plans, the Business and eCommerce. Unfortunately, this means that you’re basically stuck with WordPress’ built-in features for optimization, unless you’re willing to pay three or four times more for your hosting. And who is?

Overall, even though both hosts rely primarily on the WordPress CMS for SEO, I have to give this round to Bluehost. With Bluehost, at least, I get to install my favorite plugins regardless of the plan I choose.

Security

Security is one category where WordPress.com is actually more advantageous than Bluehost. With WordPress.com, the provider essentially takes care of all security issues for you. Its security tech team oversees firewall protection for all servers, and all accounts are regularly tested for malicious activity. You also have several plugins preinstalled on your account, including Akismet for anti-spam security, and a malware scanner.

In addition, WordPress.com creates backups for all accounts on a regular basis. If something should happen to your data or if your account is compromised, you can get in touch with support to restore a previous, functional version of your website in a matter of minutes. In short, there’s little to worry about in terms of security when you’re hosting your website with WordPress.com.

This is not necessarily the case with Bluehost, which includes minimal protection on entry-level plans. You do get Akismet by default, and Bluehost does have its own sever-wide firewalls, but unless you pay extra for the SiteLock security add-on, you don’t get much else.

Backups are also a bit of a thorny issue, because while Bluehost does create backups for all websites, these are presented as a “courtesy”, rather than a guarantee. In its Terms and Agreements, Bluehost states that the company is in no way responsible for any data you might lose. As such, you’re better off creating your own backups, especially since this is fairly easy to do from Bluehost’s dashboard.

If you’d rather have the peace of mind of automated backups, you have to go for the Choice Plus or Pro shared hosting plans. Alternatively, you can buy CodeGuard Basic as an add-on, but this could increase the overall cost of your plan by quite a bit.

The good news is that, whether you go with WordPress.com or Bluehost, an SSL certificate will be installed on your website from the get-go. This means that all the information passing through your site will be encrypted and kept safe from hackers. SSL certificates are especially important if you handle sensitive user information, but even regular websites need them in order to rank better in search engines.

Scalability

WordPress.com might have security in the bag, but when it comes to scalability, it’s Bluehost that truly shines. There are several reasons why, but by far the most important of them is that Bluehost is a complete and versatile web hosting provider with dozens of services under its belt. You can start with a cheap shared hosting plan, then move on to WP Pro for enhanced performance, and even get a VPS later down the line when your website really lifts off.

If you’re looking for an enterprise-grade solution, Bluehost has you covered. Its three, dedicated server configurations pack enough resources to suit any type of website or database, so you know that you won’t have to switch to a different provider in the future.

The situation is quite different with WordPress.com because the company only offers shared hosting solutions. If your website ever outgrows the limitations of the eCommerce plan, you basically have to migrate everything to another, more suitable service, which can cost time and money.

Plan ahead with scalability in mind

If you plan on building a long-term business then you really need to take into consideration the scaling capability that Bluehost offers. And, at the same time, take advantage of the huge discounts available for all of their yearly hosting plans.

Get 63% Off Bluehost

And while almost all Bluehost plans let you host as many websites as you want on a single account, this is not the case with WordPress.com, which only allows one site. You can create multiple accounts to host several websites, but this can get inconvenient very quickly. Instead, WordPress.com recommends that you switch to Pressable, a more versatile provider that is owned by Automattic, WordPress’ parent company. But even if you go for this option, you still have to migrate your website(s), which can be a pain if not done properly.

If you’re starting a small blog or personal website, WordPress.com is fairly suitable for the task, especially if you don’t mind the plugin restrictions and the limited customization options. However, if you expect your website to grow quickly, it just makes more sense to go with Bluehost because you know that this provider can keep up with you.

Key Differences

Now that we’ve taken an in-depth look at Bluehost vs WordPress, I’d like to emphasize a few key differences between them before making a final recommendation. Keep in mind that both Bluehost and WordPress.com offer a decent service, so choosing one or the other is a matter of finding the host that best suits your specific needs:

  • Simplicity vs Versatility. WordPress.com is, in some ways, easier to use than Bluehost. Especially on the entry-level plans, you have few customization options and all the plugins you can use are already installed. As soon as you log in, you’re ready to start building your website. That said, if you’re looking to create more than a personal blog, you’ll appreciate the freedom that you get with Bluehost. Unlike WordPress.com, Bluehost lets you configure your account, website, and themes at your discretion.
  • Performance to Match a Growing Business. I discovered during my performance tests that while Bluehost can deliver excellent loading speeds for most websites, this is not the case with WordPress.com. If you don’t expect a lot of visitors, you’ll likely get decent performance with WordPress.com, but once your website becomes more popular, you’ll want Bluehost’s optimized infrastructure behind it.
  • Working Exclusively with WordPress. Bluehost is best optimized to support WordPress websites, but if you want to use other CMS like Joomla or Drupal, you can. With WordPress.com, you’re limited to just one CMS, which can become a problem if, for instance, you want to start a large eCommerce business.

Major Differences

Bluehost is a reputable stand-alone host, while WordPress is well known for it's CMS. WordPress, on the other hand, makes you pay extra if you want your own domain. Bluehost also offers a free domain so we can only recommend WordPress.org as CMS and not hosting.

At the end of the day, you can always switch between hosts if the service you choose doesn’t meet your needs, especially since both Bluehost and WordPress.com offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on most products. However, migrating an existing website can sometimes be just as troublesome as building one from scratch, so it’s a good idea to consider your choice carefully from the get-go.

Bluehost vs. WordPress: Our Pick

Who do I recommend? That depends. For newbie bloggers who simply want to get their ideas online quickly, WordPress.com might be a good starting point. However, Bluehost has a clear advantage in almost every category, which makes it the obvious winner of this Bluehost vs WordPress comparison. If you’re serious about your website, my honest advice is go with Bluehost:

  • Performance: Bluehost demonstrated faster loading speeds across the board compared to WordPress.com. The provider also had better uptime throughout the duration of testing.
  • Pricing and Value: Bluehost is significantly cheaper than WordPress.com, and you can get even better deals if you sign up for a three-year plan using this discounted offer.
  • Ease of Use: WordPress.com has several preinstalled plugins ready to go, but because it doesn’t let you set up your own account, you can’t use drag-and-drop website builders like Elementor. This isn’t a problem with Bluehost.
  • Features: Bluehost focuses on versatility and performance optimizations, while WordPress.com saves its best features for its most expensive plans.
  • Customer Support: Bluehost has 24/7 customer support for all clients, whereas WordPress.com only offers this service on its Business and eCommerce plans. In addition, you can expect quicker response times with Bluehost.
  • Search Engine Optimization: Bluehost lets you install useful SEO plugins like Yoast, while WordPress.com doesn’t. To get proper SEO tools, you have to pay for a more expensive plan.
  • Security: Both hosts have decent security tools and free SSL certificates, but WordPress.com takes the lead in this category. To get proper security with Bluehost, you have to pay extra for the SiteLock and CodeGuard add-ons.
  • Scalability: WordPress.com offers only shared hosting solutions, whereas Bluehost has a full range of hosting services, including VPS and dedicated servers. If you expect your website to grow quickly, Bluehost will save you time and money that you would otherwise spend migrating your account to a different host.

Although WordPress.com does have a few use cases of its own, Bluehost is a more versatile web host and the best option in most scenarios. Aside from its flexibility, Bluehost is also more likely to deliver outstanding performance, and thanks to its wide range of web hosting services, you’ll probably never need to switch to a different provider.

Overall Winner Bluehost

Built with ease-of-use in mind, Bluehost is one of the best web hosting services for WordPress. It has the hosting infrastructure to support a growing business, and it gives you the freedom to customize every aspect of your website. With its 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans, you can try out Bluehost risk-free.

Visit Bluehost Get 65% Off Bluehost

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between WordPress and Bluehost?

As you can imagine, there are quite a few differences between the two platforms. But probably the most important difference you should keep in mind is that Bluehost is a web hosting provider while WordPress is a content management system. While there is a WordPress hosting service as well, it’s not nearly as flexible as Bluehost and the site builder that comes with it is a more restrictive version of the regular CMS.

Is WordPress Free with Bluehost?

If we’re talking about the WordPress content management system (CMS), then yes, the platform is always available for free. The WordPress CMS can be paired with any hosting service, including, of course, Bluehost. Aside from JetPack Pro, the company doesn’t include any premium WordPress themes or plugins with any of its hosting plans, so you will need to purchase those separately if you want them. If you don’t, there’s no need to worry about any sort of additional costs.

How to Use WordPress with Bluehost?

If you decide to sign up for one of Bluehost’s specialized WordPress plans, the CMS will be automatically installed on your website. Otherwise, you’ll need to set it up yourself but doing so is very easy because Bluehost offers a 1-click installer for WordPress. Once WordPress has been installed on your website, it works like any other CMS or site builder. However, it is a bit more complex than similar platforms so make sure to familiarize yourself with it before you start publishing content.

Is Bluehost the Same as WordPress?

No, the two are completely different platforms. Although they complement each other very well, they can just as easily be used separately. For instance, you can host a website at Bluehost that was built using Weebly, Drupal, or Joomla. Similarly, you can create a WordPress-based website and host it at a different provider like SiteGround, DreamHost, or GoDaddy.

Do You Have to Pay for WordPress and Bluehost?

When it comes to WordPress, the answer is yes and no. The WordPress CMS can be downloaded for free, however, you won’t be able to use it by itself because it needs to be paired with a hosting service, which does cost money. Naturally, WordPress’s own hosting service also costs money unless you pick the free plan, which comes with a long list of drawbacks. Bluehost is a premium hosting service so there’s no free plan here and no free trial either.

Do I Need Bluehost if I Have WordPress?

If you sign up for WordPress’s own hosting service, then you don’t need Bluehost. In fact, you won’t be able to host your website using any other provider. If you want to build a website using the WordPress CMS, on the other hand, you do need a web hosting provider. It doesn’t necessarily have to be Bluehost, but the two work great together so there are many advantages to hosting your WordPress site at Bluehost.

COMPARISON 25 minutes

SiteGround vs. FastComet

Last updated:
Author Scott Whatley

SiteGround versus FastComet, what do they have to offer? Which is the better web host? Let's find out.

Signing up with a suitable web host is like finding the land for your farm. What is the point if everything gets washed away by a flood? The most beautiful and responsive websites would be useless if it's hosted by a slow or insecure web host.

SiteGround is often regarded as the champion of web hosts. It has superb performance, and it's certified by WordPress itself.

FastComet, on the other hand, is a relatively new web host. It is not big and this makes it uniquely suited for individualism in customer service.

Before you set up shop with SiteGround or hitch a hosting ride with FastComet, let's analyze their strengths, defense, and differences. Then find out which will suit your needs better, but most importantly, which is the better web host. Pro tip: it's the one that's polysyllabic.

SiteGround vs. FastComet Overview

Founded in 2004, SiteGround has its head office in Sofia, Bulgaria. Fastcomet, on the other hand, busted into the hosting industry 6 years later in 2010 Fastcomet's head office is in San Francisco.

As reputations go, SiteGround is known worldwide for five major things: Pocket-friendly prices, the best customer support money can buy, being multipurpose in the services they offer, arguably the best uptime and lightning-fast page load (if you are interested in more details about SiteGround in general, feel free to check our SiteGround Review, we'll not go in-depth with the overview in this comparison articles as it should not influence your decision).

Fastcomet competes with them in many of these categories and is even better in some: Fastcomet surprisingly has even cheaper proving and absolutely no renewal upsell. They have the most comprehensive knowledgebase made simple with infographics. They also have great uptime and a record 10 datacenters than spans the whole world!

After seeing what both web hosts bring to the table, we decided that only meticulous comparison would do them justice. So we placed both web hosts under the lens to find out where they soar and where they fail. Make no mistake, we have a clear winner. But you have to stick around to find out.

Our clear and short examination will certainly help you select the one that suits your needs, and evidently, you'll go agree with our verdict, as it's backed up by data.

Performance Comparison

Customer support, extra features, and pricing don't mean much if the web host drops the ball in speed and uptime. That is why we took the speed and response time test as seriously as we took Uptime. You don't want your site to take forever to load, half of your customers will close the page. You also don't want downtime at all, neither do we. So let's get down to it.

Speed or “How fast does the entire website load?”

SiteGround or Fastcomet? We set up to find out by setting up speed and response time tests with dummy websites. Our speed test is a test of three parts. Speed and response time test by Pingdom, Bitcacha test and Load Impact test, here are the results.

SiteGround and FastComet tested with Pingdom

For the Pingdom test, we used real websites hosted by both web hosts with a page size of 1MB.

SiteGround Speed Test Result

The site hosting on SiteGround boasted a speed of less than 2 seconds in New York, London, and New Delhi. This is faster than most of any SiteGround Alternative and it's a result we got Without any additional speed plugin, this is very good for a web host. Faster than 95% of websites hosted by other providers for a website with load (not dummy website).

Fastcomet Speed Test Result

Next, we checked for how Fastcomet USA servers respond with the same website after we migrated. Testing from the same locations, New York, London, and New Delhi, our site hosted on Fastcomet posted speed results of 2.9, 3.2 and 3.5 respectively. This is very slow compared to SiteGround but it isn't at all close to the lowest we have seen.

Bitcacha Response Time Test

This is the most precise way to calculate the exact difference in the speed of both web hosts. Two web hosts, same website, same geographical area as hosting companies servers.

Which hosting is faster around the world? We made them go head to head in this table.

LocationSiteGround Load TimeFastComet Load Time
New York1.7s2.9s
Sydney2.2s3.2s
Los Angeles2.2s3.5s
London1.7s3.2s
Singapore6.5s6.2s
Amsterdam3.1s2.9s
Vancouver2.4s2.6s
New Delhi1.9s3.5s
Dallas2.5s1.1s
Berlin3.5s1.5s

When the test results came in, we were shocked.

SiteGround outperformed FastComet in all the locations where they both have servers except in Singapore. SiteGround's speed doubles that of Fastcomet in these places that we wondered if FastComet servers are of lesser build (they are, and we will get to that later). So we ran more tests and the results were the same. Of course, SiteGround lags behind in Dallas and Germany, two places where Fastcomet has servers but SiteGround does not.

According to Google’s latest research, 53% of people will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Out of 10 locations, the website we hosted on SiteGround responded in less than 3 seconds for 7 servers. Based on these figures, it’s clear that SiteGround is the winner in terms of speed. Fastcomet may have more servers but it seems in this case, number does not equal power.

Bitcacha rates SiteGround C+ and Fastcomet D.

Load Impact With High Traffic Test

It is good to know the pure speed of your web host as well as speed from various servers across the world. But what happens when there is peak traffic? This is why the Load Impact test is important. We tested the site with 100 different visitors at a time to see how they would hold under heavy traffic and now we know.

[Here insert a chart showing SiteGround spiked a bit but remained mostly consistent with 100 users, but Fastcomet's speed plummeted a number of times]

The green line represents page load time and the blue line represents the number of users on the site. As you can see, the SiteGround test site performed really well up to 100 users, it spiked a bit, but we are OK with that. FastComet's speed plummeted a number of times at 50, 80 and 100. This shows that if you plan to do black Friday sales where people would rush to buy your products, it would be safer to host your site on SiteGround.

FastComet vs. Siteground for Datacenters and Server Locations

Both SiteGround and FastComet have several datacenters location to get your site closer to your primary site clients. I guess it's good then, that both web hosts allow you to select where you want your server to be when signing up with them. And if you do not yet know, you can still change your server location later after sign up.

SiteGround’s servers are located in Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Milan, and Singapore. Fastcomet is on another class of its own when it comes to datacenter locations. They have strategically placed servers all over the world in North America, Europe, and Asia. The specific locations are:

  • Chicago – The United States (USA)
  • Dallas – The United States (USA)
  • Newark – The United States (USA)
  • Toronto – Canada (CA)
  • London – England (UK)
  • Amsterdam – Netherlands (NL)
  • And 4 more… (Click here to find the closest location for your audience)

They have 10 datacenters giving them an incredible web-like reach across the world and to your site users. Forget one ring to rule them all, 10 datacenters to rule them all.

CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Although it is good to have servers all over the world, it is even better if your web host grants CDN access. Both SiteGround and FastComet come with CDN. As a speed redundancy project, it helps to reach site owners' clients in places with no datacenter like Africa.

Speed Optimization Accessories

Both web hosts provide SSDs across the board. FastComet has optimized servers and added speed optimizations like Aggressive GZIP compression, browser-optimized content, loss-less data compression, asynchronous resource loading, and Keep-Alive is active for all shares accounts.

Uptime

Looking for a web host? Uptime should be the first thing on your mind. It's the number 1 factor of why people change their hosting providers. Like we always do, we signed up and created SiteGround and FastComet test sites and let us tell you something, they are both good. But, of course, one is better.

We monitored the sites on both web hosts for 12 months across 2 years. Just in case they decided to be good today and bad tomorrow and as we expected, they both had pretty good uptime. Fastcomet promises 99.9% uptime and they kept to it. SiteGround also performed exceedingly well and they are one of the best we have seen.

Average Uptime 2019

MonthSiteGround UptimeFastComet Uptime
August100%100%
September100%100%
October100%100%
November99.98%99.99%
December100%99.99%

Average Uptime 2020

MonthSiteGround UptimeFastComet Uptime
January99.98%99.98%
February100%100%
March99.99%99.99%
April100%99.99%
May99.99%99.96%
June100%99.96%
July100%99.99%

SiteGround has Superb uptime. For the few months, both web hosts maintained the maximum Uptime of 100 for 24/7/30 and we were thrilled. But as you can see above, both web hosts have months when their Uptime was less than 100% but still well above their promised 99%.

After taking the average Uptime, FastComet ended up having an average of 99.987%. This is good, but SiteGround's 99.995% average is even better.

They are both in the 90th percentile in Uptime performance, but if you want to get nitpicky about it (which you have a right to, it's your money after all), then SiteGround is way better than FastComet when it comes to Uptime and there are many reasons that may be responsible for this.

Datacenters Redundancy

In a bid to be transparent with the information they make available to their customers, SiteGround released a lot of their specifications. Some of these specifications include what their servers are made of and how they painstakingly built the best servers to cater to their community of users.

Their data center servers were built by skilled and professional developers. They make use of customized Linux containers that prevent overheating and arrest any problem before it occurs. They also have an in-house technology that monitors the performance of the servers and alerts them to any potential problem.

Unfortunately, we do not have any knowledge of how FastComet servers are built or by who. It is probably a topical server with good security, but not as much proactive monitoring like that of SiteGround. All we know is, they need to do better. Both companies do offer a refund if you ever notice your website hosting Uptime drop below 99%.

Website Security

You may have the best website in the world that brings in thousands of dollars every day. But on the day you get hacked or attacked by malware, just like a snap of a finger, everything disappears and you are left to start again. That's how important Security is, and more often than not, the security part of the comparison weighted quite a bit in our final decision, as it happened in our SiteGround vs. InMotion Hosting Comparison for example.

To prevent this from happening you need a web host that takes security seriously. Both SiteGround and FastComet try to ensure that you have secure hosting experience, and they do not lag behind in the acquisition of the latest security technology.

They adopt account isolation through CageFS and Cloud Linux which makes sure that even if somehow a website on the same server as yours were to be infected, it would be isolated and the malware will not affect your website. SiteGround also isolates corrupted websites completely, keeping you safe.

Both web hosts have optimized WAF (Web Application Firewall) for all your CMSs like Magento, WordPress, and Joomla. WAF protects your website from 99% of all unauthorized login attempts. Since both web hosts also use cPanel, they benefit from the login security features provided by the industry-standard control panel which include IP blacklisting, SpamAssassin, firewall and more.

Extra Security Features

Both web hosts give Let's Encrypt SSL certificates and they boast of live 24/7 monitoring and security team. They can contain hacks in minutes, scan, and clean the affected user account.

Fastcomet has its own security partnership in the form of BitNinja which stops script injections, DDoS, and XSS attacks. SiteGround also partnered with Sucuri.net to create SG Site Scanner. SG Site Scanner, through in-depth analysis and threat detection, scans the publicly available link of your website and tries to mark malicious activities, and this is just the tip of the SiteGround security iceberg.

SiteGround's own advanced account isolation and the proactive monitoring tool is in collaboration with Guardian by 1H. This provides a fortress-level defense system that very few web hosts can boast of, in 2020. When the Guardian discovers any malicious attempt or activity, it contains it in 500 milliseconds and inhibits its progress. This is done in half a second! Considerably faster than even the cPanel defense system.

SiteGround also recently launched Bot Protection for WordPress which detects and suppresses any malicious login attempt as well as brute force attacks on your website through captcha challenge.

Backups and Restores

Both web hosts provide 30 days backup and anytime free restore. If you, however, want to do something a bit risky and will require an on-demand back up, they've got that covered too. Let me make this clear now, if Backup and restore was a single category on its own, Fastcomet would win flawlessly. They offer a free daily, weekly and monthly backup. If you also want an older version of your website, you can request this with just a few clicks.

They store these backups off-site and will restore for you anytime you request and they do this for all of their plans. Having a limited customer base definitely has its perks. This is even inconceivable for other web hosts. With SiteGround though,  you have to pay $29.95 for on-demand backup if you are on their StartUp plan. Their higher plans offer a free on-demand backup each.

FastComet vs. SiteGround for Ease of Use and Beginner Friendliness

Is it easy to set up an account and get started? For both SiteGround and FastComet, as easy as a hot knife cutting through butter. Fast and simple account setup. They allow credit and debit payment options.

Now to hosting. Let's see which web host makes life easy for you.

Both web hosts make use of the familiar cPanel, although SiteGround's cPanel has been modified to be more beginner-friendly. Fastcomet offers free site transfer but so do 99% of well known hosting companies, such as SiteGround or HostGator.

We have seen complaints that SiteGround's site transfer is buggy and you can not do it yourself. Complaints have also been directed at Fastcomet's site transfer for taking too long. Some large sites may take more than 30 hours.

Domain Registration

SiteGround does not offer free domain, you have to register for a domain and subsequently pay for it every year. Fastcomet, on the other (higher) hand, offers a free domain for life!  Who does not want a free domain for life?

1-Click Installs and SiteBuilders

Fastcomet has drag and drop and one-click publishers. Various beginner-friendly tech as well as 40+ widgets (for texting, audio, and video) and literally hundreds of page and site-building templates optimized for any device. Both have the Softaculous one-click installer that comes with cPanel but SiteGround comes with built-in Weebly site builder.

cPanel

Both web hosts utilize the fast and responsive panel with varying levels of sophistication and lucidity.

Website Migration

Both web hosts have website migration option but Fastcomet provides free migration for every shared hosting plan and three for the higher plans while SiteGround only has free migration for the higher plans. Fastcomet also offers domain migration in addition to site migration.

Website Staging Environment

Both websites have a convenient staging area that allows for previous during the live push production.

FastComet vs. SiteGround for Customer Support and Reliability

You would think Fastcomet's relatively small number of customers would allow it to serve them better and you would be right. Every customer gets special attention and they get it quickly. SiteGround has one of the best customer support in the business and their growing number does not prevent it from serving them better.

Everyone is migrating to SiteGround every day and no one has complained that their customer service dropped in efficiency, speed or effectiveness. SiteGround is definitely doing something right. But we are here to decide which is better.

Knowledgebase

Both have expansive and accessible tutorials and knowledgebase on their websites and database. But, this is the first we have seen where a web host has a more detailed and easy to understand knowledgebase than SiteGround. Do you want to be convinced?  Open Fastcomet website,  just don't believe anything they say about their speed. Lies,  all of it.

Plans and Pricing Comparison

Shared  Cheap Plan

SiteGround StartUp: $3.95 per month, can host one website. It can handle up to 10,000 unique visits per month, and it comes with Essential database and Email offers.

Fastcomet's equivalent is the StartSmart at $3.95 a month which gives you one site on 15GB of storage space, 2GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores. It also comes with a single free migration. It allows a maximum of 25,000 visitors per month.

SiteGround StartUpFastComet StartSmart
Websites Allowed11
Storage10GB SSD15GB SSD
Customer SupportExcellentGreat
CDNFreeFree
Daily BackupsPaidFree
Unmetered TrafficYesYes
Money-Back Guarantee30-days45-days
Pricing$3.95 with discount$2.95 with discount

Shared Medium Plan

SiteGround GrowBig: $5.95 per month and can host multiple websites. It also comes with a free SSL Wildcard for 1 year, all 3-levels of the SuperCacher, and staging environments for both WordPress and Joomla (As you can see in our SiteGround vs WP Engine Comparison, other hosts offering these features charge quite a bit, but not SiteGround). It comes with a premium database and Email offers.

For this medium level,  Fastcomet has ScaleRight; ScaleRight goes for $5.95 per month you can host as many sites as you wish on 25GB of space. 4 CPU cores and 3GB of memory. It comes with three free migrations. It allows a maximum of 50,000 visitors per month.

SiteGround GrowBigFastComet FastCloud
Websites AllowedUnlimitedUnlimited
Storage20GB SSD25GB SSD
Customer SupportExcellentGreat
CDNFreeFree
Daily BackupsFreeFree
Unmetered TrafficYesYes
Money-Back Guarantee30-days45-days
Pricing$5.95 with discount$4.45 with discount

Shared High-End Plan

SiteGround's highest plan is the GoGeek plan: $11.95 per month and can host unlimited websites. It has 30GB of space for up to 100,000 visits per month. Enjoy priority support, PCI compliance, and one-click Git repo creation. It comes with a geeky database and Email offers.

Fastcomet's answer to GoGeek is SpeedUp; SpeedUp at $9.95/mo and get yourself a real beast. Other than the 35GB cap on storage and three free migrations, you get 6 CPU cores and 6GB of RAM. It also comes with Varnish, LiteSpeed LSAPI, APC, OPcache, and Memcached care. It allows a maximum of 100,000 visitors per month.

It's is worth noting that all Fastcomet plans come with unlimited email and unmetered bandwidth.

SiteGround GoGeekFastComet Extra
Websites AllowedUnlimitedUnlimited
Storage30GB SSD35GB SSD
Customer SupportExcellentGreat
CDNFreeFree
Daily BackupsFreeFree
Unmetered TrafficYesYes
Money-Back Guarantee30-days45-days
Pricing$11.95 with disocunt$5.95 with discount

Cloud and VPS Hosting

SiteGround Managed Cloud Plans and Pricing

SiteGround has four cloud hosting plans with increasing price and sophistication: Entry, Business, Business Plus, and Superpower. All of them provide 5 TB of monthly data transfer, and even the basic Entry plan is very powerful, as seen below:

  • The Entry plan comes with 24GB CPU Cores, 40GB RAM at $80.00 disk price.
  • The business plan comes with 36GB CPU Cores, 60GB RAM at $120.00 disk price.
  • The Business Plus plan comes with 48GB CPU Cores, 80GB RAM at $1600.00 disk price.
  • The Super Power plan comes with 810GB CPU Cores, 120GB RAM at $240.00 disk price.

FastComet Unmanaged Cloud Plans and Pricing

  • FastCloud at $2.95/month: It contains a website starter kit: Single Website, cPanel & Softaculous, and 15GB SSD Space. No free private DNS, no free GlobalSign Private SSL, and no Addon domain or KeepAlive. It also has no Free Dynamic SSL seal. Has 7 daily backups.
  • FastCloud Plus at $4.45/month: Website Starter Kit, Advanced Features, Multiple Websites, cPanel & Softaculous, and 25GB SSD Space. With free private DNS, free Dynamic SSL seal and unlimited Addon domains. It comes with speed optimizations like Cloudflare CDN Caching, Mod_Expires, JavaScript bundling, Browser optimization, Cache header optimization, Aggressive GZIP, Lossless data compression, Asynchronous resource loading, and AutoMinify. Has 7 daily backups and multiple PHP versions 7.3, 7.2, 7.1, 7.0, 5.6. GlobalSign Private SSL is free for 1 year.
  • FastCloud Extra at $5.95/month: Offers Website Starter Kit, Advanced Features, RocketBooster, Multiple Websites, cPanel & Softaculous, and 35GB SSD Space. With free private DNS, free Dynamic SSL seal and unlimited Addon domains. Has 30 daily backups and multiple PHP versions 7.3, 7.2, 7.1, 7.0, 5.6. GlobalSign Private SSL is free for life.

Also comes with all of the essential features as well as complete five layers of caching & speed optimizations: Varnish, Apache Mod_Lsapi, Memcached, APC, OPcache, Cloudflare CDN Caching, Mod_Expires, JavaScript bundling, Browser optimization, Cache header optimization, Aggressive GZIP, Lossless data compression, Asynchronous resource loading, AutoMinify, KeepAlive.

All cloud plans come with free SSH access, free domain transfer, website transfer, and site Setup, speed and performance, guaranteed resources, SSD file storage, MySQL on SSD, optimized server setup, free CloudFlare CDN, network firewall, web application firewall, Brute-force protection, exploits, and malware Protect, free daily and weekly backup and restore, power/network/hardware redundancy, OpenSource Application Support, E-Commerce optimized, Apache 2.2/2.4 web server, Nginx support, custom php.ini support, Bash/Perl/Python support, MySQL 5.1/5.6, Free FFMPEG support, Free SSH Access, 24/7/365 server monitoring, technical support and system administration support as well as fast response.

FastComet Managed Cloud Plans and Pricing

  • Cloud 1 at $50.95/month: Offers Single 2.50GHz Core, 2 GB ECC RAM, 50 GB SSD Space, 2 TB Bandwidth, and 2000 Mbps Network Out.
  • Cloud 2 at $59.45/month: Offers 2 x 2.50GHz Cores, 4 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD Space, 4 TB Bandwidth, and 4000 Mbit Network Out.
  • Cloud 3 at $76.45/month: Offers 4 x 2.50GHz Cores, 8 GB RAM, 160 GB SSD Space, 5 TB Bandwidth,  and 5000 Mbit Network Out.
  • Cloud 4 at $118.95/month: Offers 6 x 2.50GHz Cores, 16 GB RAM, 320 GB SSD Space, 8 TB Bandwidth and 6000 Mbit Network Out.

Reseller Hosting

SiteGround has two different kinds of reseller options. The traditional reseller and the credit system reseller. Fastcomet does not seem to have any reseller hosting option.

Dedicated Servers

SiteGround can accommodate two types of website owners that demand high-end hosting: dedicated and custom-built server users. They have three plans for them: Entry, Power, Super Power and enterprise hosting (where you basically contact them and tell them all that you need). Entry, Power and Super Power all have 10TB of bandwidth per month and run on Xeon processors.

Fastcomet does not play with its dedicated hosting users. They pay king-sized and they get king-sized features and attention:

  • DS 1 at $118.15/month comes with 2x AMD EPYC 7501 Cores, 4 GB RAM, 80 GB SSD Space, 4 TB Bandwidth, cPanel/WHM/Softaculous, and 4000 Mbit Network Out.
  • DS 2 at $143.65/month comes with 4x AMD EPYC 7501 Cores, 8 GB RAM, 160 GB SSD Space, 5 TB Bandwidth, cPanel/WHM/Softaculous and 5000 Mbit Network Out.
  • DS 3 at $194.65/month comes with 8x AMD EPYC 7501 Cores, 16 GB RAM, 320 GB SSD Space, 6 TB Bandwidth, cPanel/WHM/Softaculous, and 6000 Mbit Network Out
  • DS 4 at $269.65/month comes with 16x AMD EPYC 7501 Cores, 32 GB RAM, 640 GB SSD Space, 7 TB Bandwidth, cPanel/WHM/Softaculous, and 7000 Mbit Network Out.

Hidden Fees and Upsells

SiteGround's Domain prices start from $15.95 but you can try their shared hosting plan for just a month unlike in Fastcomet where you can not sign up for less than a year. When you choose to sign up for a month, SiteGround will require you to pay a setup fee of $14.95.

Although unlike SiteGround, Fastcomet offers the same renewal fees as sign up fees, that is only for their shared hosting plan. For both dedicated and VPS hosting, they also make use of the strawman technique to draw you in with low priced only to hike the price on renewal. Fastcomet,  you were supposed to be different, not join them.

SiteGround vs FastComet for Extras

SiteGround has the following exclusive extra features:

  • SiteGround supports Mod_perl, Plexum, HTMLDoc, PDFLib, MS SQL or ColdFusion.
  • SiteGround has the Weebly Site builder.
  • They offer free and easy installation of a shopping cart of your choice, such as Magento, osCommerce, PrestaShop and more.
  • White-Label hosting and client management.
  • Easy collaboration.
  • Transfer of site to other SiteGround clients.
  • Free SSH, FTP, and SFTP.
  • Many more technologies supported
  • On your account, you can also use multiple gallery and PHP libraries, PHP encoders and other technologies like GD library, ImageMagick, CURL, Zlib, Zend Optimizer, ionCube, SourceGuardian, Mod_rewrite, .htaccess, Smarty Templates, php.ini
  • Unlimited sub and parked domains.
  • They sponsor and send employees to hosting events like Word Camp.

FastComet, on the other hand, comes with:

  • Unlimited Email.
  • MySQL Database.
  • A free domain transfer.
  • FastComet cPanel, fast and responsive.
  • Many applications are available.
  • A single free migration with StartSmart and three for ScaleRight and SpeedUp.
  • Advanced users can use a wide array of developer tools like WP-CLI, bash, Drush, Laravel, Genesis, and Symphony which are available across all shared plans.
  • GIT comes pre-installed.
  • And they have a free domain for life!
  • For shared hosting plans, Fastcomet has the sane renewal fees as sign up fees.  Finally,  one website that isn't greedy!

Similar Extras for both FastComet and SiteGround

  • Both support easy, one-page sign-up process and credit card payment method (there are other options available through chat).
  • Both web hosts provide quick account activation.
  • Both allow you to choose your server location on sign up.
  • Both possess the industry-standard cPanel dashboard.
  • Both allow the installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) using Softaculous.

SiteGround vs. FastComet: Our Pick

SiteGround owns customer service, security, speed, and uptime. It doesn't matter what other things Fastcomet has, it has failed to deliver in the most meet the most important metrics. SiteGround officially puts Fastcomet in the hosting dirt.  We hope this puts an end to the SiteGround versus Fastcomet argument for good.

COMPARISON 16 minutes

HostGator vs. DreamHost – In-depth Comparison of Two Veteran Hosts

Last updated:
Author Jason Moth

Choosing between HostGator or Dreamhost is not an easy feat. Nonetheless, picking the right hosting provider is essential regardless of whether you’re thinking about launching your very first blog or are already laying down the foundation of a significant business venture. A good hosting provider can ensure that your website runs smoothly at all times and can sometimes even offer useful tools and features that will make your life easier. But how do you choose the best provider given the sheer number of exceptional options available nowadays? Well, a good idea is to start by looking into some of the most well-known and popular hosting providers around such as HostGator and DreamHost.

Dreamhost and Hostgator have been around for a very long time and are both known to offer excellent services. As with most things, however, one of these providers is better than the other in certain areas, and today we’re going to try to find out which one is the overall best. In an attempt to make a clear distinction between the two, we’re going to take an in-depth look at what HostGator and DreamHost have to offer in terms of hosting plans and key features as well as how their performance and customer support stack up against each other. With that out of the way, let’s start by looking at the hosting plans offered by these two providers, as this is one of the first aspects you’ll need to take into consideration.

Hosting Plans and Pricing

Like most hosting providers out there, HostGator and DreamHost claim to offer absurdly low prices for their shared hosting services, which will only set you back $2-3 per month at the cheapest tier. However, it’s worth noting that these types of deals are only available to those who pay for several months or even years in advance. In the case of HostGator, for example, you’d need to pay three years in advance to benefit from the 60% discount on any of its shared hosting plans. To get a better idea about the real potential costs, we’re only going to talk about the monthly base prices in this article.

Shared Hosting

HostGator offers three shared plans as covered in our comprehensive HostGator review. Each just a little bit better than the previous tier. All plans include one-click installs, unmetered bandwidth and storage, free email addresses, and a free SSL certificate. For a little bit extra per month or year (depending on the service), customers can also add optional additional services like @domain email addresses, SiteLock monitoring, site backups, and SEO tools.

  • Hatchling: The Hatchling plan comes with a base cost of $10.95 per month and includes support for a single domain.
  • Baby: The Baby plan is just a bit more expensive at $11.95 per month but offers support for an unlimited number of domains in return. Aside from that, the first two plans are identical.
  • Business: The Business plan is the most expensive option and will set you back $16.95 per month. Noteworthy features here include a dedicated IP address, free SEO tools, and a free upgrade to Positive SSL, which is a slightly more reliable certificate that also provides a TrustLogo site seal which can be displayed on your website.

DreamHost only offers two shared hosting plans, both of which are primarily aimed at beginner and intermediate websites as there is no business plan here. The lack of premium plans instantly makes it and other hosting services ineffective HostGator alternatives in the eyes of experienced website developers who are getting massive traction. Both plans come with WordPress pre-installed, unlimited traffic, SSD storage, and a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. The company also offers a free domain name but only to those who subscribe to one of the annual hosting plans.

  • Shared Starter: DreamHost’s basic plan comes with a base cost of $4.95 per month and includes support for a single domain. For an additional $1.67 per month, customers can add @domain email addresses to this plan.
  • Shared Unlimited: The most advanced plan will set you back $10.95 per month and comes with support for an unlimited number of websites. This plan also includes @domain email addresses for free but is otherwise identical to the Starter option.

VPS Hosting

HostGator offers three VPS hosting plans, all of which are fairly expensive compared to other providers. However, when you pit HostGator against Inmotion's plans, you’ll still find them much cheaper. The company also used to offer two affordable options, but they were removed not too long ago. All three plans include two dedicated IP addresses, unlimited emails, optional cPanel, and weekly off-site backups. HostGator’s three VPS hosting plans are priced as follows:

  • $89.05 Snappy 2000: 2 GB RAM + 2 CPU cores + 120 GB disk space + 1.5 TB bandwidth
  • $129.95 Snappy 4000: 4 GB RAM + 2 CPU cores + 165 GB disk space + 2 TB bandwidth
  • $159.95 Snappy 8000: 8 GB RAM + 4 CPU cores + 240 GB disk space + 3 TB bandwidth

DreamHost offers four VPS hosting plans ranging in price from affordable to fairly expensive. All plans come with a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited @domain email addresses and can support any number of websites. DreamHost’s four VPS hosting plans are priced as follows:

  • $15 Basic: 1 GB RAM + 30 GB SSD Storage
  • $30 Business: 2 GB RAM + 60 GB SSD Storage
  • $60 Professional: 4 GB RAM + 120 SSD Storage
  • $120.00 Enterprise: 8 GB RAM + 240 GB Storage

WordPress Hosting

HostGator offers three hosting plans designed specifically for WordPress websites. All plans include a free SSL certificate, unlimited @domain email addresses, unmetered storage, daily automatic backups, and SiteLock monitoring. The company says it can support between 1 and 3 websites on its WordPress hosting main page; however, customers can choose additional options during checkout that can grant them support for up to 20 sites for an extra fee. The three main WordPress hosting plans are priced as follows:

  • $14.95 Starter: 1 website + 1GB backups + support for up to 100K monthly visitors
  • $20.95 Standard: 2 websites + 2GB backups + support for up to 200K monthly visitors
  • $27.95 Business: 3 websites + 3GB backups + support for up to 500K monthly visitors

DreamHost offers three hosting plans designed specifically for WordPress websites. All plans include a free SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, daily automatic backups, and a free domain name for those who subscribe to one of the annual plans. DreamHost’s WordPress hosting plans can only support a single website and don’t offer unlimited storage space; however, the company uses SSD drives to store your data. The cheapest plan available includes the free version of JetPack while the other two come with JetPack Professional pre-installed. The most expensive plan also includes something called DreamCare, which is essentially advanced technical support for priority customers.

  • $19.95 DreamPress: 30 GB SSD Storage + support for up to 100K monthly visitors
  • $29.95 DreamPress Plus: 60 GB SSD Storage + support for up to 300X monthly visitors
  • $79.95 DreamPress Pro: 120 GB SSD Storage + support for up to 1 million monthly visitors

Dedicated Servers

HostGator offers three fixed dedicated hosting plans with a bit of wiggle room when it comes to customization. Namely, you can choose whether you want your server to be semi-managed or fully managed by HostGator, the second option adding an extra $10 to your monthly bill. Customers can choose which operating system they want their server to run on, and if you opt for the mid-tier plan, you can also pick between HDD and SSD storage. All plans include unmetered bandwidth, three dedicated IPs, and unlimited databases. HostGator’s three dedicated hosting plans are priced as follows:

  • $179 ($189 Managed) Value: 4 core/ 8 thread + 8 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD
  • $239 ($249 Managed) Power: 8 core/ 16 thread + 16 GB RAM + 2 TB HDD or 512 GB SSD
  • $279 ($289 Managed) Enterprise: 8 core/ 16 thread + 30 GB RAM + 1 TB SSD

DreamHost offers a single dedicated hosting plan but the company allows you to create a custom configuration for your server. This includes choosing between HDD and SSD storage, adding anywhere between 4 and 64 GB of RAM, and between 4 and 12 CPU cores. Prices start at $169 per month and can reach as much as $399 for the most powerful machines. This system gives customers a lot of flexibility, however, it also relies on them knowing what kind of server would be ideal for their websites, which may or may not be a good thing depending on how tech-savvy you are. All dedicated hosting plans include unlimited bandwidth and monthly traffic, dedicated IPs, and a free SSL certificate.

Key Features

Domain Registration

HostGator offers customers the option of registering a new .com domain name for $12.95 or $27.90 if customers also want privacy protection for their domain. DreamHost offers an objectively better deal here as registering a domain with them only costs $11.99 and the company includes WHOIS privacy protection for free. DreamHost offers free domains with some of its annual hosting plans while HostGator doesn’t seem to have a similar deal with any of its plans.

Website Builder

HostGator has a drag-and-drop website builder with customizable templates and website analytics included. The website builder has three tiers, all of which include the aforementioned features along with a free SSL certificate, a free domain name, and even free hosting. What's fascinating is that HostGator and iPage offer similar propositions, however, the latter offers it at an expensive price.

As for HostGator, the prices are quite reasonable too, with the Starter plan going for $4.99 per month while the Premium and eCommerce options will set you back $6.49 and $12.49 per month, respectively. The Premium plan is identical to the Starter one with the exception of the included priority support while the eCommerce plan includes a few extra features designed specifically for online marketplaces.

DreamHost on the other hand, also offers a website builder with customizable themes and easily editable pages. DreamHost’s website builder is geared more towards the WordPress crowd and allows users to export websites directly to the platform without any hassles. There are two plans to choose from – Remixer for $4.95 per month and Remixer All Access for $ 7.95 per month. Both plans include a free domain name, free hosting, and can be used on an unlimited number of websites. Remixer All Access includes email accounts and mail forward but is otherwise identical to Remixer Standard. DreamHost allows you to test its website builder for free even without an account, however, you will need to log in if you want to check out all the features.

Databases

Some hosting providers are more generous than others when it comes to the number of databases they offer. Luckily, HostGator and DreamHost are on par in this regard as both hosting providers offer an unlimited number of MySQL databases even with their basic plans.

Domain Emails

Domain emails are included with most hosting plans offered by these two providers; however, there are a couple of exceptions, particularly when it comes to shared hosting. One of the drawbacks, as covered in our DreamHost Review, was that it only includes domain emails with its Shared Unlimited plan but does offer Shared Starter users the option of acquiring them for an extra fee. Meanwhile, domain emails are not included with any of HostGator’s shared hosting plans. However, they are available as an additional service that can be added to any plan for an extra fee. Both providers offer domain emails by default with their VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting plans.

Backups

Similar to domain emails, site backups are considered an additional service that HostGator customers can acquire for an extra fee. Again, though, this only applies to the company’s shared hosting plans. Weekly off-site backups are included with all VPS hosting plans while WordPress and dedicated hosting customers can expect to be able to benefit from daily automatic backups.

Just like HostGator, DreamHost offers daily automatic backups with all its VPS, WordPress, and dedicated hosting plans. Shared hosting customers can also benefit from site backups, but again, there’s a bit of a catch. Users won’t have to pay an extra fee here. However, they only gain access to on-demand backups that must be downloaded manually as DreamHost will eventually delete them from its servers after a while.

eCommerce

HostGator offers eCommerce tools that work hand in hand with the highest tier of its website builder. The company doesn’t offer anything to write home about when it comes to eCommerce, but you do get the essentials in the form of inventory management, coupons, and a shipping & tax calculator. That naturally gives HostGator an edge over DigitalOcean, and it's alternatives. On the contrary, DreamHost includes less support for online storefronts with its website builder. However, it did optimize all of its WordPress hosting plans for the popular WooCommerce plugin.

Performance and Reliability

In this section, we’re going to focus on two critical factors related to performance – speed and uptime. These factors can often vary from year to year or even month to month in some cases. While we are going to mention past performances, we are mainly interested in how HostGator and DreamHost’s services are performing at the time of this writing. Keep in mind that website speed and uptime can also vary depending on what type of hosting plan you have, with dedicated plans usually performing better than shared ones, for example.

Speed

HostGator and DreamHost are evenly matched at the moment when it comes to page loading speed. According to Down.com’s speed tests, HostGator has a very respectable page load speed of 2.73 seconds while DreamHost is just a little bit slower at 2.75 seconds. WPDingo’s data indicates that DreamHost used to be a lot slower between 2016 and 2018, with an overall page load speed of 3.64 seconds while HostGator was a bit faster at 2.17 seconds.

It’s also worth pointing out that HostGator’s speeds tend to be overall pretty consistent while DreamHost can have excellent results during one month but inferior ones during another.

It’s also worth pointing out that HostGator’s speeds tend to be overall pretty consistent while DreamHost can have excellent results during one month but inferior ones during another. Still, in our comparison guide between HostGator and GoDaddy, we saw how big of a difference speed makes when it comes to the overall output.

Uptime

While the two providers are fairly even nowadays when it comes to page loading speed, the same cannot be said about the uptime. HostGator performed remarkably well in this department and managed to maintain an average uptime of 99.97% in 2019 so far. Meanwhile, some outages earlier this year have caused DreamHost’s average uptime to plummet to just 76.82%. The situation was a bit different between 2016 and 2018 but still heavily favored HostGator as the company was able to maintain an overall uptime score of 89.2% during those years while DreamHost only managed a score of 73.1%.

Customer Support

Any company worth its salt knows the value of reliable and efficient customer support. That goes double for tech companies where customers tend to need assistance more often than in other industries. Whether you’re a veteran webmaster or you’re just now creating your first blog, customer support is one of those things that’s always worth taking into consideration because you never know when you may need professional help with your website.

HostGator Customer Support

HostGator offers plenty of options for customers who require technical assistance, including live chat, phone, and a ticket system. The company provides a toll-free number as well as an international number for customers outside the US. HostGator is as good as its sibling – Bluehost and simplifies customer support. In addition to all of that, HostGator also offers a vast database of tutorials and articles along with a number of forums. Overall, HostGator’s customer support very versatile, and there are plenty of options to choose from 24/7.

Having said all that, some of the options are better than others. While its live support team is known to be pretty reliable most of the time, the same cannot be said about the company’s ticket system. According to Down.com, HostGator’s ticket support team had an average response time of 53.4 hours a couple of years back, which is incredibly slow. Most people would agree that the situation has improved since then, but you’re still probably better off trying to reach them via live chat or phone.

DreamHost Customer Support

DreamHost is notorious for offering a few customer support options, which only include live chat and a ticket system. If you were to compare it to HostGator and SiteGround, they would rank 4-5 on the scale of 10. Furthermore, the live chat is only available between 8 AM and 4 PM during weekdays, so don’t expect to be able to count on it if you run into a problem during the weekend. These options can be found on the front page, but they have been placed towards the bottom, and they might not be immediately noticeable to some people. There’s no phone number you can reach them at, but you can request a callback if you’re an existing customer and are willing to pay a fee. A knowledgebase and various forums are also available but aren’t quite as extensive as those offered by HostGator.

Despite its lack of options, DreamHost is known for having a capable support team that usually responds to tickets within a couple of hours. The company likely doesn’t have enough staff available to be able to offer additional channels, which is why it set up an automated troubleshooting system with the goal of helping customers figure out for themselves how to fix their problems. Although commendable, that’s not exactly ideal as there will always be users who need to rely heavily on live support.

HostGator vs. DreamHost – Our Pick

It can be a bit hard to choose between these two hosting providers because they both have distinct strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, HostGator offers impressive performance and plenty of reliable customer support options, but some of its hosting plans are overpriced (especially the VPS plans) and don’t offer as many features as they should for the cost. On the other hand, DreamHost provides an excellent bang for your buck but doesn’t have as many support channels, and the performance can be pretty bad at times.

Ultimately, in this HostGator vs. Dreamhost battle, we’ll have to give it up to HostGator in spite of its unimpressive hosting plans. While you will usually need to pay more than you would with DreamHost, you can rest assured knowing that your website will stay up pretty much 24/7/365 and that you have a lot of options at your disposal whenever you need assistance. If, however, you’re an experienced webmaster who can solve most problems without required live support and you don’t mind the occasional outage, DreamHost is, for the most part, a better option as its hosting plans are quite good and reasonably priced.