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DreamHost vs AWS (2021): Comparing Hosting Solutions

DreamHost is a web hosting service provider with WordPress-specific hosting options, as well as shared, VPS, cloud hosting and more. Amazon Web Services or AWS is a cloud computing platform that offers a wide variety of products to cater to just about any kind of situation. 

They aren’t usually compared to each other because they are geared toward different users. DreamHost is for personal websites or small businesses, while AWS is targeted at developers and big businesses. However, for those who have boiled down their choices to these two, we put them head-to-head on a couple of general but key fronts: performance, features, support and pricing.

DreamHost vs AWS Comparison Chart

NameDreamHostAmazon Web Services (AWS)
 DreamHost vs AWSDreamHost vs AWS
PriceCheck Price at DreamHost.comCheck Price at Amazon.com
Featured ServicesWordPress Basic, DreamPress, WooCommerce, Shared, VPS, Dedicated Server, CloudAmazon EC2, S3, Aurora, DynamoDB, RDS, Lambda, VPC, Lightsail, SageMaker
InfrastructureUS servers77 Availability Zones in 24 AWS Regions
24/7 Customer Support24/7 DreamHost Help Bot and ticketing system, live chat (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT), phone (paid)24/7 phone, email and live chat on Business and Enterprise
Free Versionn/aYes, for certain products
Free Trialn/aYes, for certain products
Money-Back Guarantee97 daysn/a

Performance

DreamHost provides consistent speed and uptime, but it only has servers in the United States.

DreamHost vs AWS Performance
AWS boasts 77 Availability Zones in 24 AWS Regions.

Fast speeds and reliable uptime are important for any website. Those lacking in any one of these two risk having visitors click away and, by the same token, lose business—that is, depending on what sort of website they are.

DreamHost does a bang-up job in both delivering consistent speed and minimizing downtime. That’s thanks to its SSD storage and other features such as resource protection that keeps your website’s performance from being affected by others on a shared server. In addition, it has a steady uptime above 99 percent and a 100 percent uptime guarantee, meaning you’ll be compensated if you experience any downtime.

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On the other hand, AWS sometimes falls short in terms of speed. Put differently, it’s fast, but not all the time. It does have burstable performance instances to increase CPU usage when needed, but it makes for a spotty experience. When it comes to uptime, it’s excellent, staying north of 99 percent most of the time.

One thing worth noting is DreamHost only has servers in the United States, so if your target audience is outside North America, then speed might become an issue. It’s nothing that third-party CDNs can’t fix, though. AWS has 77 Availability Zones in 24 AWS Regions where clusters of its data centers are located. It’s spread across countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, and because of that, it has a wider coverage.

Features

AWS is packed with more features than DreamHost.

DreamHost vs AWS Features
DreamHost has the tools and features required to set up a website.

DreamHost has a wide selection of hosting services, including WordPress Basic, DreamPress (i.e., managed WordPress), WooCommerce, shared, VPS, dedicated server and cloud hosting. All of them come with the required essentials to launch your website, each one having specific features tailored to your needs. For instance, its most basic shared hosting plan has a free domain for one year, a free SSL certificate, 50 GB of SSD storage and things like that.

Meanwhile, AWS has a huge selection of services. In fact, it’s so extensive that DreamHost’s offerings pale in comparison, and it’s just way too many to list. Two of its most popular options are Amazon EC2 virtual servers for enterprise and Amazon S3 scalable cloud storage for simple static websites, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are also services for blockchain, Internet of Things, machine learning and many more.

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Support

It’s hard to complain about the quality of customer support of both DreamHost and AWS.

DreamHost vs AWS Support
Here’s a look at the AWS knowledge center.

Relatively, DreamHost is easier to use than AWS, but regardless of that, excellent support is a must-have for any web hosting provider worth its salt. That said, it offers 24/7 assistance via a ticketing system and DreamHost Help Bot. However, live chat isn’t available around the clock. It’s only there between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. PT. On top of that, phone support is a paid service. If nothing else, you can always rely on its knowledge base and user forums if you can’t get in touch with a customer agent.

AWS isn’t exactly for those who aren’t well acquainted with tech. That makes top-notch assistance all the more important. Amazon divides its support service in three tiers: Developer, Business and Enterprise. Every AWS subscriber has access to the basics, such as support forums and documentation. However, 24/7 phone, email and live chat are reserved only for Business and Enterprise.

As for the quality of their customer service, both are outstanding for the most part. Particularly, DreamHost customer representatives make a real effort to resolve your issue, and the wait times aren’t that long either.

Pricing

Knowing what your needs exactly are can save you a lot of cash.

DreamHost vs AWS Pricing
DreamHost is one of the most affordable web hosting providers around.

DreamHost’s most affordable plan starts at $2.59 a month. While it’s limited to one website and 50 GB storage only, it still provides a lot of value for your money. That’s because it also comes with a free SSL certificate and a domain for one year, which was mentioned earlier, as well as automated backups, free domain privacy and one-click installers.

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AWS uses a different approach. It has a pay-as-you-go scheme where you’ll only have to pay for the resources you use. There’s no need for long-term commitments or something along those lines either. The advantage here is you can easily increase your consumption whenever you need to as your workload goes up.

Now DreamHost has a 97-day money-back guarantee, which is hard to beat. However, only AWS has free versions and free trials for its services. Amazon EC2 and S3 have 12-month free trials, for the record. The former offers 750 hours per month and the latter comes with 5 GB of storage.

All in all, DreamHost will still come out as the more affordable option for small and medium websites or for beginners who are just starting to get the hang of things.

Verdict

Different strokes for different folks.

DreamHost

For small and medium websites

DreamHost vs AWS

AWS

For big-scale websites

DreamHost vs AWS

Neither one exactly wins here, and choosing between the two is really a matter of what your needs are. At the risk of oversimplifying things, DreamHost is for small and medium websites, perfect for personal pages, small businesses or marketers. AWS is more for developers who need a wide breadth of tools or businesses that require scalability and the coverage to reach a huge audience.

FAQs

📌 Who is DreamHost for?

Small business owners, marketers or those who simply want a personal website can get a lot out of DreamHost’s hosting options.

📌 Who is AWS for?

Big businesses that need scalability and the resources to cater to a wide audience will find that AWS can deliver where it counts. Developers can also take advantage of the wide variety of services and features of the company.

📌 Is DreamHost good for beginners?

Yes, DreamHost is excellent for those who are just starting out. For example, its shared web hosting plans are affordable and come with just about anything a beginner needs, such as a free SSL certificate and domain for one year.

📌 Does DreamHost compensate users for downtime?

Yes, DreamHost has a 100 percent uptime guarantee, and it’ll compensate its users who might experience downtimes.

Vincent Lanaria