SiteGround vs DreamHost 2021: Which web host is the best?
Wondering which web host will best fit your needs - SiteGround or DreamHost? This article will provide you with a detailed comparison of the various types of web hosting plans and features offered by the two popular companies so that you can pick the best host for your needs.
Suppose you are looking to launch a website for your business, regardless of its size and type. In that case, it's essential that your site is hosted on a reliable platform that makes it available and accessible to customers all the time.
While there are hundreds of web hosting service providers, the reason for comparing SiteGround and DreamHost here is their popularity, and that WordPress.org has recommended the duo.
While SiteGround is a Bulgarian company currently powering over 2 million domains, DreamHost is based in Los Angeles and now hosts over 1.5 million domains globally. Whether you are a newbie or a pro, the companies provide web hosting solutions for everyone doing or looking to do business on the web.
Table of Content
This comparison article will see how SiteGround and DreamHost stack up against each other in terms of hosting types, plans, features, and pricing. By the end of this post, you will be able to pick a web host/hosting plan of your choice- one that falls within your budget and meets all your needs.
SiteGround vs DreamHost: Which web host is best for you?
SiteGround and DreamHost provide different types of web hosting services and plans. These include:
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Unlike DreamHost, SiteGround does not provide VPS and dedicated server hosting, two of the most popular or commonly used web hosting types. On the other hand, DreamHost does not offer reseller web hosting.
Further, it is worth mentioning that DreamHost provides both monthly and annual web hosting plans as compared to SiteGround that offers only annual hosting plans.
SiteGround vs DreamHost: Features
Domain name registration
DreamHost offers one free domain name registration for the initial 12 months - only with its Shared and DreamPress managed WordPress hosting plans. The free domain name registration credit is available only with annual hosting plans - 1-year or 3-year - and it must be utilized within the first three months, else it won't be available for use.
At SiteGround, new customers do not get such credit with any of the web hosting plans. To register a new domain, you'll have to pay an extra USD15.95 - USD 17.95 per year with each of its web hosting plans.
SiteGround provides the famous, beginner-friendly drag-and-drop website builder 'Weebly' to quickly create a fully-functional website without any technical skills. The tool is included free with all its hosting plans.
For WordPress sites, DreamHost offers a free WP Website Builder that features a drag-and-drop editor, quick-start inspirations wizard, free professional templates, over 200 industry-specific starter sites, 100+ design blocks, and on-page SEO tips to help you create search-engine-optimized content.
Additionally, you can purchase DreamHost Remixer, a click-to-edit website builder, to quickly and easily build a professional-grade website in no time. To use Remixer, you can buy any of the two available plans - Remixer Standard or Remixer All Access - with each plan offering mobile-optimized themes and free one-year domain registration.
With its shared hosting plans, DreamHost offers the Remixer All-Access plan for free. However, if you have purchased VPS, DreamPress, or Dedicated plan, you will have to buy the plan separately. Notably, the website builder does not work with DreamHost's DreamPress managed WordPress hosting.
- SiteGround: Site Tools
For easy website management, SiteGround has developed Site Tools, a website-specific and mobile-friendly control panel where each of your sites has a separate set of site management tools that are grouped by themes. The tool allows SiteGround users to easily switch between sites via the drop-down menu. Site Tools' main menu is aligned on the left, and it contains all site navigation tools.
Image Credit: SiteGround
- DreamHost panel
The DreamHost control panel is a custom-built interface to manage websites. The panel doesn't consume any of your web server resources as it runs on separate servers.
DreamHost control panel main menu
The DreamHost control panel includes a central vertical menu (the image above shows the main menu) on the left, a search field box, a support menu, and an account information box.
For those looking to migrate their multiple WordPress sites, SiteGround provides a free WordPress Migrator plugin with each of its WordPress hosting plans. However, if your website is not hosted on WordPress, you will have to buy their professional site migration service, which costs USD30/site.
Similarly, you can transfer your WordPress sites from your old web host to any DreamHost account using the free automated migration plugin. The company also provides a paid migration service -USD99/site- if you wish to transfer your non-WordPress sites from another host to DreamHost or within DreamHost accounts.
- SiteGround security
To protect your website from online threats, SiteGround provides a free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate with all hosting plans. Besides, advanced custom security solutions have been put in place to tackle online security threats. These include:
- real-time server health checks
- smart web application firewall WAF to protect your sites from hacking and breaches
- smart artificial intelligence system to stop malicious traffic
- 24/7 system administration team to monitor security and downtime issue
- DreamHost security
DreamHost also provides a free SSL certificate and allows you to use Multifactor Authentication (MFA) as an additional security layer to protect your hosting account. Additionally, depending on the hosting account/plan, you get advanced security features including:
- Shared - free privacy protection, daily automatic backups of WP sites
- VPS - Secure Shell (SSH) Access, Password Protection (.htaccess), automatic software updates
- Dedicated - 24x7 DDoS protection, Full Root & Shell Access (SSH)
- WordPress - auto WordPress updates, free privacy protection, automatic backups
If you aren't satisfied with SiteGround's services, the company lets you terminate your account at any time and offers you a money-back guarantee with eligible hosting plans. These include:
- Shared hosting: 30-days
- Cloud: 14-days
If you are using SiteGround's Reseller hosting, the company will offer a refund only if you cancel/terminate the entire package and not individual accounts within 30 days after account activation.
You get a 97-day money-back guarantee only with the shared hosting plans purchased via credit or debit card at DreamHost. With VPS and DreamPress managed WordPress hosting plans, the company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
SiteGround has deployed a smart AI chatbot and maintains a knowledge base featuring helpful articles to solve all your hosting-related issues. You can also contact SiteGround's support via the following channels:
- Live chat
- Phone support
- Helpdesk tickets
For issues that are outside the scope of free technical support, SiteGround provides a paid support service.
DreamHost provides customer support via:
- live chat
- knowledge base
- support forums
Unfortunately, there is no phone support at DreamHost, but it does provide an option to request a callback. While few DreamHost's superior hosting plans offer the callback feature for free, you need to pay extra money if the feature is not included with your hosting plan. This feature will cost you:
- USD9.95 - one-time callback
- USD14.95/month - three callbacks / month
SiteGround vs DreamHost: Uptime
SiteGround operates on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and guarantees annual network uptime of 99.9% on its Service Level Agreement (SLA). If the uptime falls below the guarantee, the company will compensate you by providing:
- 1-month free hosting for 99.9% - 99.00% uptime
- an additional month of free hosting for every 1% of uptime lost below 99.00%
On the other hand, DreamHost's hosting services are backed by a 100% uptime guarantee. As mentioned in the DreamHost's terms of service (ToS),
- "Customer is entitled to compensation if Customer's web site, databases, email, FTP, SSH or webmail become unusable as a result of failure(s) in DreamHost systems for reasons other than previously announced scheduled maintenance, coding or configuration errors on the part of the Customer."
- "Customer will receive DreamHost credit equal to the Customer's current hosting cost for 1 (one) day of service for each 1 (one) hour (or fraction thereof) of service interruption, up to a maximum of 10% of the Customer's next pre-paid hosting renewal fee."
We have also reviewed the average uptime offered by a test site hosted on SiteGround and DreamHost (via) to check which host is more reliable. The data below shows the uptime offered by both the companies over a period of six months - September 2020-February 2021:
With an average uptime of 99.98% over a period of six months, SiteGround has an edge over DreamHost that provided an average uptime of 99.95% during the same period.
SiteGround vs DreamHost: Site speed/response time
Apart from uptime, site load time and response time are other primary website performance metrics one should consider before signing up with a web host.
- SiteGround speed boosters
As mentioned above, SiteGround utilizes GCP and SSD persistent storage to make your sites blazing fast. The company has also deployed the latest speed technologies, including the newest PHP versions, ultrafast PHP, QUIC protocol, and a custom PHP handling setup to increase site loading speed.
Additionally, SiteGround provides speed boosting solutions, including:
- SuperCacher, NGINX-based powerful in-house caching solution
- Free Cloudflare CDN
- SG Optimizer plugin for WordPress sites
To boost your website's responsiveness, DreamHost provides fast SSD storage - claimed to be 200 percent faster than traditional HDDs - and free Cloudflare CDN with each of its hosting plans.
The table below shows the average response time of a test site (via) hosted on SiteGround and DreamHost (September 2020 - February 2021):
|September 2020||845 ms||1,217 ms|
|October 2020||880 ms||1,179 ms|
|November 2020||968 ms||1,308 ms|
|December 2020||1,101 ms||1,391 ms|
|January 2021||788 ms||1,382 ms|
|February 2021||539 ms||1,345 ms|
|Average response time||853 ms||1,304 ms|
SiteGround vs DreamHost: WordPress hosting
SiteGround and DreamHost are two of the only three hosts recommended by WordPress.org for WordPress hosting. Let's dive deeper into their WP hosting offerings:
SiteGround WordPress Hosting
SiteGround's Managed WordPress Hosting plans are offered in three levels:
- StartUp - It allows for hosting only one website, and the plan includes 10GB of web space, unmetered traffic
- GrowBig - This mid-tier plan includes hosting for unlimited websites, 20GB of web space, on-demand backup copies, speed-boosting caching, staging, and collaboration tools
- GoGeek - All benefits of StartUp and GrowBig plan along with 40GB of web space, white-label clients, Ultrafast PHP to load pages faster, and Priority Support
Further, each of SiteGround's managed WP hosting plans include:
- Unmetered traffic
- Unlimited databases
- Free WP Installation
- Free WP Migrator
- WordPress Auto-updates
- Free SSL
- Free CDN
- Free email
- WP-CLI and SSH
- Daily backup
DreamHost WordPress Hosting
At DreamHost, you get WordPress hosting in three different forms :
- an affordable 'Basic' hosting for beginners
- a managed hosting called 'DreamPress.'
- a VPS WordPress hosting for those wanting more control over their resources
The DreamPress Managed WordPress Hosting plans include advanced features such as built-in caching, site staging tool, automated daily backups, and on-demand backups. DreamPress is offered in three different packages
- DreamPress - ideal for ~100k monthly visitors
- DreamPress Pro - ideal for ~300k monthly visitors
- DreamPress Plus - ideal for ~1 million monthly visitors
SiteGround WP hosting vs DreamPress hosting plan: Comparison
The table below compares the WordPress hosting plans - basic and top-tier - offered by SiteGround and DreamHost:
|No. of websites||One - Unlimited||One|
|Visits/month||~ 10k - 100k||~ 100k - 1M|
|Storage||10GB - 40GB SSD||30GB - 120GB SSD|
|One-click WordPress Staging||Not available with the basic plan||Available with the basic plan|
|CDN||Available with all plans||Unlimited - Only with Plus and Pro plans|
|Automated WordPress Migrations||Free||Free|
|WP-CLI & SSH||Available||Available|
|On-demand backups||Not available with the basic plan||Available with all plans|
|Whitelabel Reselling||Available (with GoGeek)||-|
|Priority Support||Available with top plan||Available with top plan|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||30 days|
Winner: It's a tie
SiteGround vs DreamHost: Hosting Prices
Here are the introductory prices (discounted prices for the initial term)
- Shared: USD6.99/mo-USD14.99/mo
- Cloud: USD110.00/mo-USD410.00/mo
- Managed WordPress: USD6.99/mo-USD14.99/mo
- Reseller: USD9.99/mo-USD110.00/mo
- Shared: USD2.59 - USD3.95/mo
- Cloud: USD4.50/mo - USD48/mo
- DreamPress Managed WordPress: USD16.95 - USD71.95/mo
- VPS: USD10 - USD80/mo
- Dedicated: USD149 - USD279/mo
In terms of pricing, DreamHost is cheaper than SiteGround. DreamHost also offers monthly plans as compared to SiteGround that provides only annual plans.
The detailed comparison of website performance metrics - uptime and response time- suggests that SiteGround is the clear winner. But this doesn't mean that DreamHost is any less than SiteGround. DreamHost offers a 100% percent uptime guarantee and a 97-day money-back guarantee - rarely seen in the web hosting industry.
A downside of SiteGround worth mentioning is that the company does not provide VPS and dedicated server web hosting. On the other hand, DreamHost lacks reseller hosting and technical support via phone.
To sum up, each one has its advantages and disadvantages. You have to weigh each web host's pros and cons and choose the one that best suits your business/site needs and budget.
Why choose SiteGround?
- Google Cloud Platform (GCP)
- Better performance
- Multiple data center locations
- Phone support
- Affordable managed WordPress hosting
- Unlimited site hosting on WordPress
- Weebly site builder
Why Choose DreamHost?
- Monthly plans
- Multiple forms of hosting (VPS and Dedicated)
- Cheaper shared/cloud hosting plans
- Fee privacy protection
- On-demand backup with all WP plans
- Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for additional security
- 100% Uptime Guarantee
- 97-day money-back guarantee