DreamHost vs. GoDaddy – A Comprehensive Guide 2021
DreamHost vs. GoDaddy may not be the creme-de-la-creme in the hosting world, but they're certainly a part of that elite hosting sphere. Choosing the best hosting provider for your website might seem like a very daunting task if you don’t have any previous experience with these types of services. All the big providers are very good at advertising themselves and claim to offer excellent services at affordable prices, which is valid for the most part. However, some providers are better than others, and today we’re going to take a look at a couple of the biggest names on the market right now in the form of DreamHost and GoDaddy.
To decide whether GoDaddy or DreamHost offers a superior product, we’re going to take a look at a few of the most critical factors you need to consider when choosing a hosting provider. The price is naturally very important but so are the variety of available plans, the performance, and the customer service. Both DreamHost and it's competitor GoDaddy are reliable hosting providers, but they differ quite a bit when it comes to some of these critical factors. With that in mind, let’s first take a look at what each of these providers has to offer in terms of hosting plans.
DreamHost vs. GoDaddy: Hosting Plans and Pricing
DreamHost makes things simple in this department and only offers two shared hosting plans to choose from. Aside from a few key differences, the two plans are nearly identical and offer many of the same features. This isn’t exactly an ideal scenario if you’re the type of person who appreciates having as many options as possible. On the bright side, the shared hosting plans offer by DreamHost are quite comprehensive and include the right mix of must-have features.
- Shared Starter: DreamHost’s most affordable shared hosting plan will set you back $5.95 per month and can only support a single website. The plan comes with unlimited traffic, SSD storage, and the latest version of WordPress pre-installed. Other notable features include a free SSL certificate provided by Let’s Encrypt and the possibility to access domain-specific email addresses for an extra $1.67 per month.
- Shared Unlimited: The Unlimited shared hosting plan includes all the features and options found in the Starter version but supports an unlimited number of websites. Hence, the name. Besides, DreamHost is also throwing in unlimited domain-specific email addresses to sweeten the deal. At $10.95 per month, this plan is quite a bit more expensive but compares favorably to the premium tiers offered by some of the other major providers.
GoDaddy follows the more traditional formula of offering three tiers of shared hosting plans, each a bit better than the last. This system works best for those who are starting from scratch and need only basic functionality at first, with the option to gradually upgrade later on. GoDaddy requires you to pay three months in advance if you go for the cheapest tier, so you’ll still need to spend at least $23.97 right off the bat because of this system. The provider offers a free domain name with any of its three tiers but only if you choose to go with an annual hosting plan.
- Economy: The Economy plan costs $7.99 per month and includes support for a single website. You also get 100 GB worth of storage space, unmetered bandwidth, 50 FTP users, 10 MySQL databases, and 1 MSSQL database. Website backup and an SSL certificate are available for an additional monthly cost of $2.99 and $6.67, respectively. However, domain-specific email addresses are included for free.
- Deluxe: The Deluxe plan is an upgrade in almost every department over its cheaper sibling and will set you back $10.99 per month. This plan offers support for an unlimited number of websites along with unmetered storage space. You can also look forward to 25 MySQL databases and 2 MSSQL databases this time around. Aside from all of that, the Deluxe option is identical to the Economy tier.
- Ultimate: Last but not least, GoDaddy also offers an Ultimate tier for a whopping $16.99 per month. This option is quite a bit more expensive when compared to the previous tier but does provide some excellent features such as unlimited FTP users, MySQL databases, and MSSQL databases. Besides, this tier also includes premium DNS and an SSL certificate. Aside from all of that, the Ultimate option is identical to the Deluxe tier.
DreamHost offers four VPS hosting plans, all of which have a few important features in common. Namely, each of the plans includes unmetered bandwidth and can be used on an unlimited numbered of websites. Also, you can also look forward to a free SSL certificate and unlimited domain-specific email addresses. DreamHost’s four VPS hosting plans are priced as follows:
- $13.75 Basic: 1 GB RAM + 30 GB SSD Storage
- $27.50 Business: 2 GB RAM + 60 GB SSD Storage
- $55.00 Professional: 4 GB RAM + 120 SSD Storage
- $110.00 Enterprise: 8 GB RAM + 240 GB Storage
GoDaddy also offers four VPS hosting plans that include similar specs. All the plans come with one dedicated IP, unmetered bandwidth, unlimited domain-specific email address, and a free 1-year SSL certificate. As covered in our GoDaddy review, it offers two management levels for each plan. Customers who choose to Self-Manage their own servers can get a better deal on their hosting plan of choice. However, they will have fewer tools to work with. Those who pick the Managed option can look forward to extra features like uptime monitoring, 1-click installers, automatic software updates, backups, and cPanel access, but all of these come at a significant price hike. GoDaddy’s four VPS hosting plans are priced as follows:
- $14.99 ($29.99 Managed) Launch: 1 CPU Core + 2 GB RAM + 40 GB SSD Storage
- $29.99 ($44.99 Managed) Enhance: 2 CPU Cores + 4 GB RAM + 60 GB SSD Storage
- $44.99 ($59.99 Managed) Grow: 3 CPU Cores + 6 GB RAM + 150 GB SSD Storage
- $59.99 ($74.99 Managed) Expand: 4 CPU Cores + 8 GB RAM + 200 GB Storage
DreamHost offers three hosting plans designed specifically for WordPress websites. All plans include a pre-installed Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate, unmetered bandwidth, daily automatic backups, and even a free domain for those who opt for one of the annual plans. The cheapest plan comes with the free version of JetPack pre-installed while the higher tiers get JetPack Professional. Meanwhile, the most expensive plan also benefits from special technical support from DreamHost’s team of WordPress experts. Regardless of which tier you choose, be aware that DreamHost’s WordPress plans only come with support for a single website. The three plans as covered in our in-depth DreamHost review, priced as follows:
- $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
GoDaddy offers four hosting plans designed specifically for WordPress websites. All plans benefit from free daily backups, malware scan and prevention, built-in signup forms, and a free domain for those who opt for one of the annual plans. Higher tiers also benefit from additional tools such as a built-in SEO wizard, one-click staging sites, and a free SSL certificate for one year. Similar to 1&1 hosting feature, GoDaddy's most expensive tier gets a few extra features like free site-maintenance tools, real-time performance and uptime monitoring, and automated client reports. GoDaddy’s WordPress hosting plans are priced as follows:
- $12.99 Basic: 10 GB SSD storage + support for up to 25K monthly visitors and one website
- $16.99 Deluxe: 15 GB SSD storage + support for up to 100K monthly visitors and one website
- $24.99 Ultimate: 30 GB storage + support for up to 400K monthly visitors and 1-2 websites
- $39.99 Pro 5: 50 GB storage + support for up to 800K monthly visitors and five websites
Note: The Pro plan has multiple tiers that offer gradually increasing amounts of SSD storage and support for more websites at an extra monthly cost. The three remaining tiers include Pro 10 (80 GB storage + 10 websites) for $69.99, Pro 25 (100 GB storage + 25 websites) for $124.99, and Pro 50 (200 GB storage + 50 websites) for $229.99.
DreamHost only offers one dedicated hosting plan that can be freely customized with varying amounts of HDD or SSD storage, RAM, and CPU cores. The absolute cheapest option costs $169 per month and comes with 4 CPU cores, 1 TB of HDD storage, and 4 GB of RAM. Meanwhile, the most expensive option will set you back $399 per month but includes 12 CPU cores, 2 TB of HDD storage or 240 GB of SSD storage, and 64 GB of RAM. Regardless of specs, DreamHost’s dedicated plan comes with unlimited bandwidth and monthly traffic, dedicated IPv4 and IPv6, and a free SSL certificate that will last for an undetermined amount of time.
GoDaddy offers four dedicated hosting plans with no customization options. All plans include unlimited bandwidth and monthly traffic, dedicated IPs, and a free 1-year SSL certificate. Similar to its VPS hosting system, GoDaddy includes different management levels for its dedicated hosting plans. This time around, there are three levels: Self-managed, Managed, and Fully Managed. Just like before, the Self-managed option costs less but misses out on some additional tools and features. For example, the Managed and Fully Managed options include extras like cPanel access, automatic app installs and updates, on-demand backups and recovery, website and database migrations, priority tech support, and additional dedicated IPs. GoDaddy’s dedicated hosting plans are priced as follows:
$159.99 ($169.99 Managed/$289.99 Fully Managed) Economy: 4 CPU cores + 4 GB RAM + 1 TB HDD
$189.99 ($199.99 Managed/$319.99 Fully Managed) Value: 4 CPU cores + 8 GB RAM + 1.5 TB HDD
$239.99 ($249.99 Managed/$369.99 Fully Managed) Deluxe: 4 CPU cores + 16 GB RAM + 2 TB HDD
$339.99 ($349.99 Managed/$469.99 Fully Managed) Ultimate: 4 CPU cores + 32 GB RAM + 2 TB HDD
In addition to offering hosting services, both DreamHost and GoDaddy will also allow you to register domains at a fairly reasonable price, the same thing we noticed when we compared GoDaddy to Google Domains, the domain pricing offers are quite good for all these hosts mentioned above.
Despite being the world’s largest registrar, GoDaddy usually charges a bit more per year for .com domains when compared to DreamHost; $18.17 vs. $11.99. It's a crucial factor which convinces most of the users to choose DreamHost or other GoDaddy alternatives. Nonetheless, the company does offer several plans that will allow you only to pay $0.99 per year provided you pay for multiple years in advance. Meanwhile, both companies offer free domain names as part of individual hosting plans.
DreamHost offers a fairly basic website builder that can nevertheless come in handy when you’re trying to create your first site and don’t know where to start. Known as Remixer, the website builder includes customizable themes and allows users to export their sites to WordPress afterward if they choose. Remixer is available for $4.95 per month or $7.95 per month for the All Access version. Aside from the fact that All Access offers email accounts and mail forwarding, the two plans are pretty much identical.
GoDaddy’s website builder is a bit more expensive, but you do get what you pay for. The company offers four different monthly plans, each tailored for a specific type of website. For example, the $5.99 plan is best suited for blogs, while the $9.99 and $14.99 are better for small and medium businesses. Meanwhile, the more expensive $29.99 plan was explicitly designed with eCommerce websites in mind. Nonetheless, GoDaddy is nowhere near Shopify with regards to user-friendliness. To sweeten the deal, GoDaddy offers a 1-month free trial with any of its plans while DreamHost offers a free domain name.
DreamHost is pretty generous when it comes to MySQL databases and offers an unlimited number of them regardless of which hosting plan you choose. GoDaddy is a bit more versatile in this regard and can deliver anywhere between 10 to an unlimited number of MySQL databases, as well as MSSQL databases depending on your specific needs.
Both DreamHost and GoDaddy offer unlimited @ domain email addresses and email forward but only with some of their hosting plans. Domain-specific emails are usually included in all types of hosting plans save for a few exceptions. For example, DreamHost doesn’t offer them right off the bat with its cheapest shared hosting plan, but customers can still access them by paying a small extra fee each month.
DreamHost offers shared hosting customers the option of requesting on-demand backups of their websites. However, the resulting backups must be manually downloaded afterward to ensure permanent access because the company removes backups from its servers after a certain period. In addition to on-demand backups, DreamHost also includes daily automatic backups with its WordPress, VPS, and dedicated hosting plans.
GoDaddy does things a bit differently and offers shared hosting customers the option of adding an automatic backup service to their plans for an extra month free. Meanwhile, all WordPress, VPN, and dedicated hosting plans include automated daily backups by default.
DreamHost and GoDaddy both offer excellent solutions for customers who are interested in running a website focused on eCommerce. However, there are way too many GoDaddy alternatives when it comes to eCommerce. Also, all of DreamHost’s WordPress hosting plans are optimized for WooCommerce and include support for third-party eCommerce website builders like Café Commerce. Meanwhile, GoDaddy offers a specialized plan for its website builder that offers various tools tailored for eCommerce, such as fast checkout, PayPal integration, the ability to manage orders and configure tax rates, product reviews, social referrals, and more.
GoDaddy vs. DreamHost: Performance and Reliability
Uptime and loading speed are two of the most important factors to consider for any website owner. This is especially true with shared hosting plans where, just as their name suggests, server resources are shared among multiple websites. Depending on who else you’re sharing servers with, your overall performance might end being better or worse than the figures shown below. However, the following stats should give you a good indication of what to expect from DreamHost and GoDaddy in terms of average speed and uptime for their respective shared hosting plans.
When it comes to speed, the stats are a bit all over the place. According to Down.com, DreamHost’s current average speed stands at 2.77 s while GoDaddy lags a bit behind with 2.83 s. Though it does top GoDaddy, in our comparison between DreamHost and Hostgator, we learned that the latter provides a high competition. Nonetheless, it's not all gloom and doom for GoDaddy as WPDingo’s speed tests tell a different story altogether. Analyses conducted between 2016 and 2018 show that DreamHost wasn’t doing too well in previous years with a pretty unimpressive overall average speed of 3.64 s. Meanwhile, GoDaddy appeared to be doing much better with a very respectable speed of 1.98 s.
Like most hosting providers, GoDaddy offers an uptime guarantee of 99%. DreamHost, on the other hand, boldly claims a 100% uptime guarantee. Stats show that one provider is better at fulfilling that guarantee than the other. Down.com’s data reveals that GoDaddy’s current average sits at a remarkable 99.970% while DreamHost offers subpar uptime of just 77.48%. WPDingo’s stats between 2016 and 2018 are in-line with this data and show that GoDaddy had an average uptime of 97.5% over that period while DreamHost’s uptime sat at just 73.1%. When we compared DreamHost with Squarespace even that turned out to be better in uptime stats.
Inadequate customer support can often be a deal-breaker, but fortunately, both DreamHost and GoDaddy are doing pretty well in this department. The two providers do things a little bit differently, but their respective support teams tend to be knowledgeable and timely with their responses. You can usually rely on both DreamHost and GoDaddy to offer robust customer support, so it ultimately boils down to which method of contact you prefer because each provider specializes in a particular area.
DreamHost Customer Support
DreamHost’s customer support team is focused on the tried-and-true ticket-based system. While you can chat with a live agent for immediate assistance, the queues tend to be relatively long, and there’s no toll-free phone number you can reach them at. This is less than ideal in this day and age, as some of DreamHost's competitors such as SiteGround offer several reliable methods of contact. On the bright side, DreamHost’s ticket system does work very well most of the time, and you’re likely to get a response fairly quickly.
Having said all that, Down.com’s data shows the inherent flaws of this system. While DreamHost’s support team can sometimes get back to you in as little as 10 minutes after submitting a ticket, you will sometimes have to wait as much as 11 hours. The overall average response time for DreamHost’s support team clocks in at 2.79 h. That’s not terrible considering there’s only one reliable channel you can reach them at, but there’s room for improvement.
GoDaddy Customer Support
In stark contrast to DreamHost, GoDaddy doesn’t offer any e-mail support and relies primarily on phone assistance. That’s great news if you’re a native English speaker as chatting with support over the phone is likely to yield much faster results than waiting for a ticket reply. If you struggle with English or don’t speak it at all, that might be a problem in some instances, though luckily GoDaddy does offer customer support in several other languages as well. As far as other channels are concerned, the provider does have a live chat system, but it is not very reliable and tends to become unavailable at random times.
Though GoDaddy is far behind when compared to Siteground, a quick look at Down.com’s data shows that GoDaddy’s customer support team is consistent across the board. Support response times range from 0.10 h to 0.30, with an overall average of just 0.12 h. That’s impressive average response time and one of the best on the market right now. It’s not the absolute fastest, but it’s up there in the top 3.
DreamHost vs. GoDaddy – Our Pick
It’s a bit difficult to pick a winner between these two providers, but ultimately we have to go with DreamHost, as surprising as that may seem. DreamHost’s performance isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, and the customer support can be a bit hit-or-miss. However, there’s no denying that this hosting provider offers an excellent bang for your buck. The provider’s business model is honest, straightforward, and includes some nice premium features at no extra cost.
On the other hand, GoDaddy’s customer support is top-notch if you don’t mind chatting over the phone and the overall performance is clearly up there with the best of them, though it has been slowly decreasing in recent times. Their hosting plans, however, leave a lot to be desired. And that perhaps is the most defining aspect in this DreamHost vs. GoDaddy battle. Honestly, the provider is not very upfront about its offerings and tries its best to convince you that you’re getting a great bargain by going for one of its hosting plans. That’s not the case. Besides, you need to keep a close eye on your cart before checking out because GoDaddy has a bad habit of adding a bunch of extra options by default, which can set you back a lot more than you originally intended to pay.