When you search the net for hosting recommendations, DreamHost, Bluehost and HostGator are among the most frequently mentioned hosting providers. This speaks volume to their popularity, but are they really good? Today, we’ll be taking a look at these three very popular hosting companies, and find out if they are up to the task of hosting your sites. To start, here’s a comparison chart of their shared hosting plans.
DreamHost vs Bluehost vs HostGator Comparison Chart
|Check Price at DreamHost.com
|Check Price at Bluehost.com
|Check Price at HostGator.com
|Starter: 1 site
|Basic: 1 site
Choice Plus: Unlimited
|Hatchling: 1 site
Choice Plus: Unlimited
|Free via plugin
|Starter: Available for purchase
Choice Plus: Unlimited
Paid phone callback
|24/7 chat and phone
|24/7 chat and phone
|Money Back Guarantee
HostGator is the most reliable, while DreamHost is the fastest.
Right off the bat, let’s see how these three hosting companies perform by looking at their reliability and speed. Reliability pertains to their uptime, while speed shows how fast they can load your websites. First up is DreamHost.
DreamHost has an uptime guarantee of 100%, which is the best that you can ask for. With this guarantee, you are entitled to a full day’s worth of hosting for each hour that they are down. When it comes to actual performance, they are able to maintain an average of 99.5% uptime and for load times, they average around 500-600ms. Both of these numbers are considered good, and they are in line with industry averages.
With Bluehost, you won’t get any kind of uptime guarantee, which is unfortunate. As for their performance, the average uptime that we got was the same with DreamHost—99.95%. Loading time was around 600-700ms, which is a little slower than DreamHost, but still good enough.
As for Hostgator, their uptime guarantee is 99.9%. HostGator’s TOS states that if the guarantee is not met, you may be able to receive a full month’s worth of hosting. When it came to actual performance, they were able to maintain an uptime average of 99.96%, and a loading time average of 650ms.
All three hosts were able to produce good performance scores, with DreamHost having the fastest load times, and HostGator having the best uptime.
With DreamHost, you get excellent customer support.
DreamHost made it simple for users by having only two shared plans—Starter and Unlimited. The Starter plan is best for beginners or users that do not need too much resources. The Unlimited plan, on the other hand, is best for people that need the extra resources. Both plans are affordable, with the Starter plan starting at $2.49/month and the Unlimited at $3.95/month.
With DreamHost shared hosting, you get some very useful features like free privacy protection, automated daily backups and their industry-leading 97-day money back guarantee. Automated daily backups are very helpful if ever you need to restore your site to a previous version. Free privacy protection allows you to mask your personal information, so that spammers are less likely to target you. Lastly, with a 97-day refund period, you can take your time in seeing if DreamHost is the right hosting provider for you.
DreamHost’s user dashboard is easy to use and it has a clean layout. You’ll be able to see all the information that you need regarding your account, such as billing info, emails, your sites and more. In addition, you can easily monitor your resource usage, purchase additional services and contact support. Overall, it is very user-friendly and it won’t take much time for you to get used to it.
When it comes to customer support, DreamHost offers 24/7 chat and a ticketing system, along with their knowledge base. Their phone support is an add-on that you need to pay extra for. The support staff is in-house and from our experience, they are fast and helpful.
Bluehost has a very user friendly control panel.
Bluehost has four shared plans available. These plans are the Basic, Plus, Choice Plus and Pro. The Basic plan starts at $3.95/month, Plus at $5.95/month, Choice plus at $6.95/month and Pro at $13.95/month. If you choose Bluehost as your hosting provider, the shared plan that offers the best value for the money is the Choice Plus.
With Bluehost, you get all the standard features such as a free domain for a year, a free SSL certificate, unlimited SSD (except for Basic plan), unmetered bandwidth and so on. In addition to these, you also get other useful bonuses such as Google Ads credits, free domain privacy and free CDN.
When it comes to user experience, Bluehost’s custom cPanel is very good. It has a sleek and modern layout that is clean and free from clutter, so navigating it is very easy. You’ll be able to see all the important information regarding your account, all your hosted sites and more. The sidebar gives you access to your billing info, purchase additional hosting and other services and more. Getting used to Bluehost’s control panel won’t take too much time.
Customer support for Bluehost is decent. The channels available for contacting support are via live chat and phone. They used to have a ticketing system but they’ve disabled that option. They also have a knowledge base for guides and simple tutorials.
HostGator’s shared hosting features are very useful for both experienced and newbie website owners.
HostGator’s shared hosting service consists of three plans—Hatchling, Baby and Business plans. The Hatchling plan is the cheapest, and it starts at $2.75/month. The Baby plan and the Business plan starts at $3.50/month and $5.25/month, respectively. If you want the best value, you should go with the Baby plan, and disregard the Hatchling plan entirely.
HostGator offers quite a few features that can be really helpful to beginners and experienced webmasters and site owners. Features like unlimited storage (even on the cheapest plan), 45 days money back, free site transfers and Google and Bing Ads credits are useful for both beginners and users with existing sites and/or experience with PPC marketing.
HostGator’s user dashboard, just like Bluehost’s and DreamHost’s, is easy to use. It has a modern and uncluttered layout, which makes it easy to navigate. You’ll be able to easily access important information about your account and the sites you are currently hosting.
When it comes to customer support, HostGator offers 24/7 chat and phone, along with a knowledge base and a blog filled with tutorials and guides.
HostGator offers the best value for the money.
After looking at these three hosting companies, we’ve concluded that HostGator offers the best value for the money. They offer the best set of features, along with very good uptime and speed. In addition, their shared hosting plans are also very affordable.
As for DreamHost and Bluehost, they are still good alternatives. With DreamHost, you get the best load times, as well as excellent customer support. Additionally, they are best for users with a strict budget, as they offer the cheapest shared plan. Bluehost is also a good host that caters to beginners. Their user dashboard is the most user-friendly, and when it comes to performance, they are on par with both HostGator and DreamHost.
Both hosts offer good performance. However, when it comes to features and customer support, DreamHost has the edge.
Yes, sites hosted with DreamHost have faster than average load times.
HostGator offers cheaper plans and better features. Performance-wise, they are also ahead of Bluehost.
Yes, HostGator’s uptime average are well over the industry average. They are reliable.