DreamHost vs GoDaddy: Do They Both Suck Now and Is There a Better Alternative?

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Everyone and their mother is promoting something in today’s world, and it’s harder than ever to truly know which is better out of Dreamhost Vs Godaddy. If you’re talking about domain name only, GoDaddy used to be my favorite registrar until they started raising prices on renewals, making the control panel harder to use to trick you into buying upsells you don’t need, and just overall becoming more sleazy. But most of you are here for the web hosting side, and lot of you are likely looking for a good blog host, or at least a shared hosting account that is fast enough to run WordPress without the damn dashboard slowing to a crawl two months after you signup. I can help you with that, as I’ve been in that situation many many times, and have used over 32 web hosting companies over the last 8 years, and know which one’s are going to be reliable for any budget at this point.


Should I Choose GoDaddy Or Dreamhost? Is There A Better Alternative?

My top choices for friends and family right now are as follows:

  • Siteground – the fastest affordable host for blogs, business sites, etc… for the money
  • Lightning Base – what I’m currently using for this blog, but it’s the $50/mo plan (note – no phone support for newbs)
  • Bluehost – they get a lot of hate, and they do get slow, but if it’s your first website or blog, their phone support is top notch despite what I think about their hardware allocations

If I had to pick one host where it’s cheap to start out, and you can grow into a higher traffic plan without having to switch hosts, it would be this one. I also still think Dreamhost is a good hosting company, and is very similar to Siteground, but I wouldn’t touch Godaddy with a ten foot pole for web hosting. (no. effing. way. man.)


DreamHost and GoDaddy: An Introduction

As far as web hosting is concerned, DreamHost and GoDaddy are two of the biggest players in the field.

Founded in 1997, California-based DreamHost boasts of an impressive customer base of over 400,000 customers and a hosting of more than 1.5 million websites, blogs and applications around the world. The company offers web hosting, WordPress hosting, domain registration and cloud-based computing solutions.

Baltimore-based GoDaddy is one of the few companies that can give DreamHost serious competition when it comes to experience. Also founded in 1997, GoDaddy is one of the world’s largest web hosting services by market share, with over 17 million customers worldwide! With its excellent advertising strategies, GoDaddy is a stiff contender among web hosts, and offers web hosting services, domain registrations and SSL certificates. Currently, GoDaddy holds the record for the being the largest ICANN-accredited registrar in the world, with an impressive estimated tally of 59 billion domain names managed by it!

However, despite these companies being big, well-established, and reputed players in the web hosting world, they do have their fair share of controversy and criticism.

Web hosting companies have become all the rage, and how! It all started off with the migration of businesses to the virtual world, placing importance on online marketing. Given the fact that the world is only getting smaller with the increasing advent of globalization, businesses aim to reach a global audience and have a customer base that is spread across the world. It’s how success is measured! And in order to be able to achieve this kind of success, your company’s website or blog is of utmost importance.

Think about it! Potential customers form their first impressions from your website. It’s the only way they can gain knowledge on your company/business, your products and services and your reputation without actually visiting your store, talking to you in person, or having any kind of tangible contact with your business or brand. Web hosts play a huge role by facilitating the publication of your website online by providing the required technology and services such as maintenance of your site, daily backups, and storage of your site’s data on their servers.

However, one of the hardest parts, though, is choosing the right web host. Though every web host claims to provide great speed, uptime and overall performance, few are genuinely as good as they claim to be! We discuss two such big players in the world of web hosting: DreamHost and GoDaddy. Do both these web hosting service providers still have what it takes to keep their spots as industry leaders, or are there newer and better alternatives for your website needs?

Everything Wrong with DreamHost

Despite its long history and experience, DreamHost does have its disadvantages, such as:

  • DreamHost is one of the most expensive web hosting companies out there, with plans starting at $7.95 or $9.95 on a monthly basis. Given the cutthroat competition and the number of web hosting companies in the field, this can be a huge disadvantage to the company, while the price is a huge disadvantage for the customer!
  • Though DreamHost is pretty good for bloggers, many users who are experts in the subject matter have complained about the web host’s incompatibility with several essential software, such as FTP and “PrestaShop”. Using the command line instead of the software is both time and effort-consuming.
  • DreamHost has limited plans and options, especially when compared to other competitors such as BlueHost.
  • DreamHost requires prior knowledge to use and operate, making it less-than-ideal for beginners and first-time users of web hosting.
  • DreamHost utilizes its own cPanel instead of an industry standard, leading to confusion among customers.
  • DreamHost’s technical support team is only available through email tickets. Contacting the team through phone or online chat costs you an additional $14.95 per month.
  • The company’s money-back-guarantee only works if you’ve paid with a credit card.

Everything Wrong with GoDaddy

GoDaddy, despite its firm presence in the web hosting world, has its own share of disadvantages, such as:

  • Based on overall customer satisfaction, GoDaddy only has an average rating of 1.1 on “Consumer Affairs” (a major complaint and reviews website).
  • An increasingly slow server downtime that is only decreasing with time.
  • A poor server-to-site ratio, with many sites being loaded into one single server.
  • Though initially cheap, renewing your membership with the site can be anywhere between 200-400% more expensive than the initial costs of signing up for the service.
  • Unsatisfactory customer care and support.
  • Highly controversial reputation, such as GoDaddy’s stance on the “Stop Online Piracy Act”.

Alternatives to DreamHost and GoDaddy

As you can see, nothing’s perfect, except maybe when Ed Sheeran sings about it. Both DreamHost and GoDaddy may be great but they present their share of problems to customers and users, which is why we suggest the following alternatives:

SiteGround

SiteGround has been around since 2004, hosting over 450,000 domains ever since. A leading web hosting provider, SiteGround offers some of the best prices for both new users and renewals when it comes to web hosting services and are renowned for their outstanding customer support. In fact, the web host is so good that WordPress themselves recommends SiteGround for its managed WordPress hosting. When compared to both DreamHost and GoDaddy, SiteGround offers much better performance, faster uptime, and speed.

Pros

  • Extremely reasonably priced (plans start at $3.95 per month)
  • cPanel interface that is user-friendly and allows SSH access
  • Customers are given a free domain name on purchasing web hosting services
  • Automatic daily backup and storage of data
  • One-click installation of WordPress
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Hosting not available on Windows
  • Site traffic restrictions are placed (on a monthly basis) in all plans

SiteGround is a much cheaper option than both DreamHost and GoDaddy and doesn’t compromise on its performance and quality despite the low price. It’s great for beginners as well as experts, powering brands such as WP Beginner and Matt Cromwell.

InMotion

Like SiteGround, InMotion is also a highly popular web host, known for its great performance, highly simple onboarding process, reasonable pricing, and excellent customer service. InMotion’s efficiency has gained it a perfect hosting rating from CNET, one of the biggest tech news and product review sites.

Pros

  • Users get a whole package inclusive of a basic website builder, drag-and-drop editor and website templates on their hosting purchases.
  • Integrates well with external applications (such as Magento and WordPress).
  • Free domain name on purchase of hosting services.
  • $250 advertising credit for Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yellow Pages to users.
  • Users have the option of choosing the location of the data center (East or West coast).
  • Reasonably priced with plans starting at $5.99.
  • 90-day money-back guarantee.

Cons

  • Lengthy manual verification process (over the phone) prior to the activation of the user’s hosting account.
  • Certain plans are not suited to e-commerce sites and businesses.

WP Engine

If you’re looking for some of the best-managed WordPress hosting out there, WP Engine is the perfect fit! WP Engine offers some of the fastest servers with built-in caching technology and a highly protected hosting platform. The web host’s WordPress support and highly scalable hosting service for WordPress sites probably explain its quickly growing customer base. However, the plans that WP Engine offers are quite pricey, starting at $29 a month but we think the price is totally worth the excellent performance and features that come with it!

Pros

  • Like InMotion, WP Engine also offers users the option of choosing from one of the company’s data centers so as to maximize site performance.
  • High security; the company has a tie-up with a third-party security firm for continuous monitoring of the hosting servers.
  • Easy-to-use features.
  • No necessity to install external caching or plugins.
  • A staging area to test plugins and site changes before site publication.
  • Free site migration.

Cons

  • WP Engine is a managed WordPress hosting service, which means that customers will not be able to use it for any other external applications.
  • Extra fees charged if the monthly visitors’ quota is exceeded.
  • The use of certain plugins are prohibited by WP Engine.

Flywheel

Also recommended by WordPress, like SiteGround, Flywheel is one of the fastest growing managed hosting services in the world. The web host offers everything you could possibly need to get your WordPress site up and running, with sites that load under a second and maximize your SEO optimization. Reasonably priced with plans starting at $15, Flywheel is well-worth the switch from both GoDaddy and DreamHost!

Pros

  • Efficient management of all your sites from a single dashboard.
  • Site cloning where you can clone your existing site and recreate it to be a completely new site.
  • Automatic backup of all the site data in the most secure manner possible.
  • Dedicated IP addresses for each site.
  • The option of choosing the location of the data center.
  • User-friendly staging area for site testing.
  • The freedom to use and install any plugins required by the user.

Cons

  • Specifically designed for WordPress sites and thus, doesn’t work with any external applications.
  • Extra charges for exceeding the monthly quota for site traffic.

Hostinger

Founded in 2004, Hostinger has slowly but steadily been making its presence felt in the web hosting world, even going on to achieve an ICANN accreditation and reaching users in over 39 countries. Today, with plans starting at a great price of $2.15, Hostinger hosts the sites of more than 29 million customers with an average user sign-up of 20,000 new members each day!

Pros

  • Round-the-clock customer support through live chat
  • 99.9% uptime guarantee
  • Excellent shared hosting that is optimized for WordPress-based sites
  • Drag-and-drop website builder
  • Daily backups
  • Free domain name on the purchase of an annual plan
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Cons

  • Some customers have complained of preferential customer support given to non-premium users, as well as a higher occurrence of internal server errors.
  • Those who use the site’s free services complain of a long site load time.

In Conclusion

Though we’ve talked a lot about DreamHost and GoDaddy and why you should be switching to alternatives, we have to be fair in the end! Both these web hosts are popular and still widely used for a variety of reasons. DreamHost, though less-than-perfect, is a wholesome tool that gives you all the features that you need for your web hosting. It also lets you install and upgrade options with a simple one-click process, provides a free domain name with the purchase of a plan and offers 97 days of money back guarantee.

GoDaddy also has its advantages, hosting over 11 million domains online. It provides multiple web hosting solutions, such as shared, VPS, dedicated and managed hosting, an uptime of 99.9%, up to $250 worth of advertisement credits and expert customer service.

Having said that, both web hosts come with their own set of flaws that could seriously hamper your website’s progress. Additionally, GoDaddy’s reputation took a beating when the company decided to back “SOPA” or the “Stop Online Piracy Act”, leading to many websites quitting the web host’s services as a sign of protest. Many new and upcoming web hosts such as SiteGround, Flywheel, Hostinger, InMotion and WP Engine are all options that you could explore as a user, instead of sticking with DreamHost or GoDaddy. SiteGround and InMotion Hosting are great options if you’re looking for reliable web hosts who provide shared hosting at great prices but if you’re looking for something of a more advanced nature, WP Engine and Flywheel are great for managed WordPress hosting.

Well, there you have it. There’s never a dearth of choices; however, it is highly important to make the right choice!

While GoDaddy and DreamHost may initially seem like the right choices, they may not be the best choice in the long run for reasons that we’ve already mentioned. The smaller players may seem very unassuming and simple at first, but they’re guaranteed to give you great prices without a compromise on performance and quality, satisfying most (if not all) of your hosting needs. So give the underdogs a chance and they’re sure to impress you!

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