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Review factorWinner
Plans and pricingHostGator (5.0)
FeaturesDreamHost (5.0)
Performance and uptimeHostGator (5.0)
SecurityDreamHost (5.0)
SupportHostGator (4.5)
ImprovementsDreamHost (5.0)
Best overallHostGator (4.7)
Password managerDetailsBasic plan features

Overall rating:

Read our full HostGator review.

Starting price: $2.75 per month

Hosting packages: Shared, WordPress, VPS, Dedicated, Reseller

  • 1 website
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free domain

Overall rating:

Read our full DreamHost review.

Starting price: $2.95

Hosting packages: Shared, WordPress, WooCommerce, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated

  • 1 website
  • SSD storage
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Free domain for 1 year
  • Free SSL certificate

Plans and Pricing

Plans and pricing winner: HostGator

HostGator (5.0)Starts at $2.75 per month
DreamHost (4.5)Starts at $2.95 per month

HostGator and DreamHost are pretty similar in terms of pricing structure. DreamHost offers discounts for longer-term contracts and often runs special promotions. Similarly, HostGator also offers lower rates if you pay upfront for multiple years of service.

With that in mind, HostGator ends up being the least expensive option over the long term — though not by much. If saving money is your only metric, HostGator is the host to choose.

Winner: Despite a similar pricing structure, HostGator is cheaper overall and wins the category.



Features winner: DreamHost

HostGator (4.5)
  • Cloudflare CDN integration
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unmetered disk space and bandwidth
DreamHost (5.0)
  • Award-winning support
  • Custom control panel
  • Free SSL certificate and domain

When it comes to features, both HostGator and DreamHost offer a wide range of options, including shared hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated server hosting, and more. However, HostGator includes more features in its basic plans, while DreamHost offers more advanced features in its higher-tier plans. This makes assigning a winner in this case difficult and really more a matter of preference.

DreamHost Control Panel

In the end, it was DreamHost’s control panel that won the day for me, personally. I found it easy to use, with layouts and options in the cPanel, which made getting admin access and making small tweaks to my website as effortless as possible. A free domain was just icing on top of an already appealing cake.

Winner: DreamHost wins thanks to a great cPanel implementation and a free domain for your first year.

Performance and Uptime

Performance and uptime winner: HostGator

HostGator (5.0)99.9% uptime guarantee
DreamHost (4.5)100% uptime guarantee

Strictly in terms of guarantee, DreamHost’s is better by a small margin of .1%. However, our testing found that DreamHost couldn’t meet that target. According to my results, DreamHost servers had an average uptime of 99.8% over the past year. DreamHost’s all-time uptime is 99.76%, less than its competitors.

HostGator uptime results

Meanwhile, HostGator exceeds its guarantee, with its long-term uptime being over 99.99%, which is exceptional for any hosting service. Response times are also solid, pushing into another win for performance.

Winner: HostGator wins thanks to its stellar uptime and snappy response times.


Security winner: DreamHost

HostGator (4.5)
DreamHost (5.0)
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Malware remover
  • Free domain privacy
  • Firewall

While DreamHost and HostGator have solid track records for security, they both go about securing your website a little differently. HostGator’s main security measures are giving users a free SSL certificate as well as upkeep a server-level firewall. Which is great, if not particularly exciting.

DreamHost goes the extra mile by utilizing SSL certificates in conjunction with a web application firewall, daily backups, and domain privacy protection offered by default. It’s the daily backups that really push DreamHost over the edge here — this is a pretty common add-on service which is being made available to all customers at no additional cost.

Winner: DreamHost goes the extra mile to make sure that your website is safe from online attacks.


Support winner: HostGator

HostGator (4.5)
  • 24/7 live chat support
  • 24/7 phone support
  • 24/7 email support
  • Social media support
  • Customer Knowledgebase
DreamHost (4.0)
  • 24/7 chat support
  • 24/7 email support
  • Phone support by fee
  • FAQ and Community Forum

Both hosting providers have a good reputation for customer support. HostGator provides 24/7 support via phone, live chat, and email. They also have a large knowledge base and a community forum where you can find answers to common questions.

Meanwhile, DreamHost offers limited live support hours and does not have a phone number listed on its site. What they do have is the ability to request a support call – for a price. However, they do have an extensive knowledge base with step-by-step tutorials which are pretty handy to have.

In the end, HostGator definitely has the better customer support experience, with actual 24/7 support when you need it.

Winner: HostGator win thanks to its excellent, around the clock support through a wide number of channels.

HostGator support banner

Recent Improvements

Improvements winner: DreamHost

Hostgator (4.5)
  • Gator website builder
  • Redesigned customer portal
  • Cloudflare CDN integration
DreamHost (5.0)
  • Spanish language support
  • Website management improvements
  • Access to Pro services, as needed

Should You Get HostGagtor or DreamHost?

Bottom line winner: HostGator

HostGator (4.7)
  • Free site transfers
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Flexible billing

Best for: Great for anyone, ranging from beginners to large businesses

DreamHost (4.6)
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Excellent privacy

Best for: Small businesses to large e-commerce websites

Final Thoughts

Truly this was a battle for the ages. Neither HostGator or DreamHost is a bad option and I truly think that you’d get your money’s worth out of either service. Choosing which service to go with is going to be a matter of preference and what things are more important to you as a customer.

HostGator is the better option if you’re looking for a web hosting provider with great performance, pricing, and customer support. However, DreamHost is a good choice if you want more security, features, and control over your website.

One of the main differences between the two companies is pricing. DreamHost is generally more expensive than HostGator. However, it does offer discounts for longer-term contracts and often runs special promotions. On the other hand, HostGator has a unique pricing model that allows you to save money by paying upfront for multiple years of service.

When all is said and done, I prefer HostGator. But really, you can’t go wrong with either of them.

How We Evaluated HostGator vs. Dreamhost

I test web hosts based on the following factors:

  • Plan value: What plans are available, and do they offer a good value?
  • Ease of use: Is the dashboard easy to navigate?
  • Support: How fast can you get help when needed, and is support genuinely helpful?
  • Features: What features does the host offer, and how do they compare to similar competitors?
  • Security: Does the host offer SSL certificates, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack protection, backup services, and scans for viruses and malware?
  • Speed and uptime: Does the provider offer a fast, stable environment for your website? How does it perform in tests, and what kind of servers does the hosting company use?
  • Recent improvements: What has the host done lately to update its technology and services?

Learn more about our review methodology.