DreamHost and GoDaddy: two uber-popular hosts with millions of customers. DreamHost has very loyal customers and offers great value for a fair price. GoDaddy has 24/7 phone support and a $1/month hosting promo that's tough to beat. Which should you go with?
DreamHost is another one of those large, cheap shared hosting companies that's just been around forever. Founded in 1996, they have some satisfied customers going 20+ years strong. If you're looking for cheap mass-market hosting, DreamHost is one of the best.
GoDaddy needs no introduction – it's probably the most-recognized host and domain name provider in the world. That being said, it's kind of like the McDonald's of hosting – cheap, mass-market, but not exceptionally good. Compared to any other host, the other host usually wins. That being said, if you are a loyal GoDaddy domainer, it can be worth sticking with them for small projects and outstanding phone support.
DreamHost used to be more expensive than other shared hosts, but now they're right up there with the cheapest. With a yearly shared hosting plan you can get in the door at just $2.59 a month. If you don't want the commitment you can go monthly at just $4.95/mo. The best part? DreamHost doesn't jack up the price on you after the initial period – they're cheap and fair all around.
|Best For||Beginners||Intermediate WordPress Sites||Growing Small Businesses|
GoDaddy's pricing is very low and great for beginners. With promos offering economy hosting at just $1/mo, the hosting is practically free. One thing to watch out for, however, is renewal rates. After your first period is up, economy hosting jumps up to $8.99 a month, so beware fo the lock-in.
|Best For||Beginners||Small Business||High-Traffic Sites|
When it comes to value, DreamHost is one of the best. Low pricing combined with helpful features and a super-generous 97-day money-back guarantee is a win for small businesses.
Plus, they offer unlimited bandwidth, free domain names, free SSL certificates, and compensate you for dips in uptime. They truly provide one of the greatest service level agreements available.
GoDaddy's value is pretty good for what you get. You're paying discounted pricing for a mass-market host. For example, what you get with the Economy plan (on sale now for $1/mo) is 1 website, unmetered bandwidth, and 100 GB of storage, and a free domain. Even when the price jumps up to a full price of $8.99/mo, it's still a decent value. That being said we'd recommend going Deluxe since you get unlimited websites and storage (within reason).
All plans include 24/7 support, which is a must, as well as security monitoring and DDoS protection.
Two big problems with these GoDaddy shared hosting plans: no free SSL certificate, which is becoming the industry standard, as well as a 1 GB limit on databases. If you are running WordPress and have some high quality photos, you can quickly exceed this database limit. For these two reasons, we're docking GoDaddy a full point.
One area DreamHost just isn't perfect in is customer support. Support is provided via email and live chat, or you can request a callback. Hmm, kind of a head-scratcher. They don't have the 24/7/365 support that most hosting companies have.
In addition, even while on the site as a prospective customer you're told to come back during business hours. The reality is that hosting support is a 24/7 job – and DreamHost isn't up to snuff.
GoDaddy prides itself on its 24/7 phone support, which totally makes sense for their mass-market customer base. One of the weak spots was the fact that phone was the only way to get ahold of them. They've since changed that and now offer chat support, which many internet nerds prefer.
Phone support is usually higher quality as they cut to the chase and can answer your questions faster. I've found chat support connects quickly, but you have to jump through some hoops including entering your pin number and waiting for their response. The quality of support is usually quick responses, unlike SiteGround, where they provide full solutions. Overall, good support, but not perfect.
Reports across the web show DreamHost uptime fairly strong at 99.99% to 100%.
The best part? Their 100% uptime guarantee. If for any reason your website is down, they will credit your account with one day of free hosting for every hour that it’s down.
The good thing is that their uptime in the past year has been about 99.98% on average – so don't expect a need to cash in that credit.
GoDaddy's uptime is reasonably good, often at 99.95% or better. Reviews from users across the web are mixed, but usually uptime/downtime is not brought up as a major issue.
GoDaddy does have a server uptime guarantee (warning – legal jargon!) – but it only covers 99.90% (missing a .09 there) – which means your hosting can be down for 43 minutes a month, and they consider that normal. Imagine your website down during a crucial shopping period for almost an hour! Furthermore, GoDaddy only gives you 5% credit back – which may be just pennies. We think they should have higher standards and credit a full month.
DreamHost has great reports on speed and is solidly in the top 25% of hosts as far as load time. They don't focus on it as a main feature, but you're not seeing many complaints from customers.
On their DreamPress plan they've optimized their databases just for WordPress, as well as implemented Memcache. So they have speed in mind for sure. Be sure to chat with their support if it's a huge concern for you.
GoDaddy falls middle of the pack as far as speed testing goes. They try to upsell you to their Ultimate plan to get more processing power and speed, which rubs me the wrong way. Economy plans need speed too!
On Twitter GoDaddy does get a decend amount of complaints, but honestly was expecting more for a host this popular.
GoDaddy did not make the list of our fastest web hosting. Check that post if you want to go with a winner.
Pound-for-pound, DreamHost offers some the of best features of any cheap hosting company. Their cheapest shared plan includes a free domain, unlimited bandwidth, WordPress pre-installed, and a free SSL certificate. Their DreamPress WordPress hosting is a strong value-proposition for fully-featured WordPress hosting that can compete on some level with WP Engine and Kinsta.
You don't get free migrations, and you're missing out on 24/7 phone support that other hosts offer, so we have to dock them a point. Overall – great host, great features.
Not a huge fan of GoDaddy's features on basic plans. Most people are starting their sites on WordPress these days, and whil GoDaddy does have WordPress hosting, again you have to upgrade to get WordPress staging for example. On GoDaddy's economy hosting plans, you don't get a free SSL, you don't get backups, and they don't do migrations.
While GoDaddy does have some custom tools they've built, for a company this large I'd expect them to offer more features than a smaller, scrappier host like SiteGround – but they've gotta make their profits. Overall, features are ok, not great.
Final Decision: DreamHost vs GoDaddy
It's a tough call – two cheap hosts with tons of fans. We're gonna make the call though.
If we have to make the decision for you, go with DreamHost. They tend to have more fair pricing for the long-term, less customer complaints, and they independently are innovating and releasing new technologies to make their customers' lives easier. It's one of those things where since they specialize in hosting, they're just going to put more love into it.
Looking at DreamHost plans, we can see they start the pricing very low, at just $2.59 if you sign up for the year. They also run the gamut in quality and allow you to scale up to VPS hosting.
But we have to say, similar to our Bluehost vs Dreamhost, our DreamHost vs HostGator and our Bluehost vs HostGator comparison, when comparing mass-market budget hosts vs a great-value specialty host like SiteGround, go with SiteGround. You get better value and better customer support, rather than dealing with yet another corporation selling to the masses. We're not cynical, we're smart 😉
Last Updated on September 28, 2020 by Joe