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DreamHost vs DigitalOcean (2021): Which Hosting Provider Should You Choose?

If you are currently searching for a web hosting provider, chances are, you’ve heard of DigitalOcean and DreamHost. This is no surprise as these two are very popular hosts. DreamHost is your traditional hosting provider that offers several hosting options, while DigitalOcean is strictly a cloud hosting company. At their core, they offer different services, but at the end of the day, they both provide you the same thing, which is hosting. So which one should you pick? To help you with that, here is a comparison of the two.

DreamHost vs DigitalOcean Comparison Chart

DreamHostDigitalOcean
 
PriceCheck Price at DreamHost.comCheck Price at DigitalOcean.com
Web Hosting OptionsShared
Managed WordPress
Managed VPS
Managed Dedicated Servers
Cloud Hosting
Cloud Hosting
Payment OptionsMonthly, yearly or every 3 yearsMonthly or hourly
StorageSSD and HDDSSD
Free Site MigrationYesNo
Data CentersUS onlySeveral around the world
1-Click App InstallationYesYes
Free TrialNone60 days
Customer Support24/7 chat
Tickets
Phone callback (paid)
Knowledge base
Tickets
Knowledge base
Money Back Guarantee97 days (shared)
30 days (other hosting options)
None

Hosting Options and Pricing

DigitalOcean offers cloud hosting only, while DreamHost gives you several hosting options.

DreamHost’s VPS hosting plans.

DreamHost is a traditional hosting company that offers a wide range of hosting options for different types of users. They are known mostly for their affordable shared hosting packages, but they also offer other types, including shared and managed WordPress, managed VPS, managed dedicated server hosting and unmanaged cloud hosting.

Unlike DreamHost, DigitalOcean is strictly a cloud hosting provider for your apps and/or websites. Instead of offering standard hosting packages, they offer virtual machines called “Droplets.” These droplets can be customized to match your hosting requirements.

When it comes to pricing, both DreamHost and DigitalOcean offer hosting plans and droplets for people with different budgets. The cheapest DreamHost plan—Shared Starter—starts at $2.59/month, while their most expensive dedicated server plan costs $379.00/month. With DigitalOcean, the cheapest basic droplet starts at $5.00/month or $0.007/hour, and the most expensive storage-optimized droplet is priced at $2480.00/month or $3.6904/hour.

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DreamHost offers a 97-day money back guarantee for their shared hosting plans and 30 days for everything else. DigitalOcean, in contrast, does not offer any kind of money back guarantee. However, they offer a 60-day free trial, so you can try them before deciding if you want to stay with them. You only need a valid credit card to do so.

Features and Support

DreamHost has more support channels than DigitalOcean.

Both hosting providers offer 1-click app installers for their users.

With DreamHost, you can expect all the standard features that are usually offered by traditional hosting providers, such as free emails @yourdomain, a free domain, free SSL certificates and more. In addition, they also offer a free website builder, automated daily backups and free site migrations on most of their plans.

With DigitalOcean, you won’t be getting these standard features for free on any of their droplets. DigitalOcean only provides you the virtual machines, it’s up to you to set up your server, install software and configure everything. If you know a little bit about coding and you have the skills to manage a server, you can fully customize and optimize your server, as well as add all the features that you need.

If you are the type of user that constantly needs assistance, you’ll like DreamHost better than DigitalOcean. DreamHost offers 24/7 chat support, a ticketing system and they also offer phone callbacks, but you’ll have to pay extra. They also have a support forum and a knowledge base.

Meanwhile, DigitalOcean only offers a ticketing system and response time is not the best. Also, the level of support you’ll get depends on how much you are spending with them. That said, their knowledge base is great though. It is full of well-written guides that even beginners will fully understand.

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Ease of Use

DreamHost is more user-friendly than DigitalOcean.

Buidling websites with DreamHost’s drag and drop site builder is an easy process.

Since DigitalOcean is a hosting service that caters mostly to developers, they won’t get high marks when it comes to user friendliness. DigitalOcean prioritizes functionality over ease of use, so beginner website owners may find them hard to use. That said, they do offer 1-click installs for various apps such as WordPress, LAMP, LEMP and more. Also, you can install and use cPanel with DigitalOcean if that’s your preferred control panel. However, you’ll need to purchase a valid license through cPanel in order to use it.

DreamHost, on the other hand, is more user friendly, especially to beginners. Their proprietary control panel is very easy to use and navigate. Although it lacks some advanced settings, all the basic settings that regular users will need are easily accessible.

When it comes to server management, DigitalOcean leaves you to your own devices. You will have full control over your server so that you can configure it to your liking. With this set up though, you are also responsible for all the tedious stuff, such as monitoring, updating, etc. Some will find this set up to be too time consuming and not worth it, but some will enjoy the freedom and level of control that they will have.

As for DreamHost, most of their premium hosting services are managed, which means that DreamHost takes care of server maintenance and configuration for you. The only unmanaged hosting service that DreamHost offers is their cloud hosting.

Performance

DigitalOcean edges DreamHost when it comes to reliability and speed.

DigitalOcean is a hosting service by developers for fellow developers.

Even though DigitalOcean caters mainly to web developers and the technically inclined, regular users still want to host sites with them because they offer excellent performance. They are one of the best cloud hosting companies in the industry right now.

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One of the contributing factors to their excellent performance is the fact that they have several data centers around the world. You can choose a server location for your site so that your targeted visitors will have fast loading times. Additionally, they also use SSDs for storage, so that also helps when it comes to speed. Constant downtime is also not a concern with DigitalOcean because their cloud infrastracture is well maintained. If your server goes down, another server is ready to take its place.

DreamHost offers very good speed and uptime as well. Their shared hosting service is good, but their premium hosting packages are even better. With their VPS and dedicated server plans, you’ll get fast load times and minimal downtime.

Verdict

DreamHost is better for beginners and busy site owners, while DigitalOcean caters more to developers or website owners with server management skills and/or experience.

DreamHost

Best for beginners and users without any server management experience

DigitalOcean

Best for developers or users that want control over their servers

DreamHost and DigitalOcean are both very good hosting providers. With that said, choosing between the two will come down to whether you have the time, skills and experience in managing your server. If you want to focus solely on growing and managing your sites, go with DreamHost. With them, you’ll be able to spend more time working on your websites and not worry about managing and configuring your servers, since DreamHost will do those for you.

If you want total control over your hosting environment, DigitalOcean is the better choice. Since they offer unmanaged hosting, you’re free to do whatever you want with your droplets. You’ll be able to fully customize and optimize your servers to your requirements. Needless to say, you’ll need technical knowledge and experience to get the best out of your DigitalOcean subscription.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ Is DigitalOcean good for website hosting?

Yes, DigitalOcean is one of the best cloud hosting providers in the industry. They offer excellent performance and they have virtual machines or droplets for all types of users with different budgets.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does DreamHost use cPanel?

No, they have their own proprietary control panel.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is DigitalOcean free?

No, but they offer a 60-day free trial for anyone that wants to try their hosting services.

๐Ÿ“Œ Is DreamHost fast?

Yes, DreamHost has fast servers. However, they only have data centers in the United States, so if you are targeting visitors outside the US, loading times will vary.

Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.