In this GoDaddy vs DreamHost comparison, I’m going to analyze whether DreamHost or GoDaddy is the better hosting provider. We'll cover pricing, ease of use, performance, security, and customer support.
One of the most famous names in the web hosting industry is GoDaddy. Bad press aside, the performance and interface provided by this host are now known to be trusted and reliable.
Going up against that big of a name is DreamHost. DreamHost is one of the giants in the modern hosting providers market. Reviews are great and the services seem to perform well despite being an affordable option.
In this comparison, we’ll cover everything that matters the most – starting with the pricing, and finishing up with customer support. So let’s jump right into the quick overview of these 2 providers.
GoDaddy vs DreamHost: a quick comparison
|💲 Price from||From $2.59/month||From $1.99/month|
|🌐 Free domain||Yes||Yes|
|💳 Payment types||Credit/Debit Card, Electronic Check / ACH, PayPal, Check or Money Order||Credit/Debit Card, PayPal, GoDaddy in store credit, GoDaddy gift card, wire transfer|
|🏘 Hosting types||Shared, WordPress, VPS, cloud, dedicated||Shared, WordPress, Business, VPS, Dedicated|
|🕹 Control panel||Custom control panel||Modern native dashboard with the classic cPanel integration|
|🌎 Server locations||The US||The US, The Netherlands, Singapore|
|🛡️ Security||SSL certificates, Web Application Firewall, daily backups||24/7 network security, DDoS protection|
|👨💻 Support||Live chat (5:30 AM – 9:30 PM PT), paid phone support, 24/7 ticketing system, knowledge base||24/7 live chat and phone support, knowledge base|
|➡️ Website migration||Free website migration plugin, paid options for website migration||Around $99 for website migration|
|➕ Extras||Domain privacy||Office 365 email|
|💰 Money-back guarantee||97 days||30 days|
GoDaddy vs DreamHost: pricing comparison
GoDaddy is a slightly more expensive option, offering a starting price of $1.99/month. However, it has more affordable scalability options. DreamHost shared hosting is cheaper, with the entry plan costing $2.59/month.
Both services offer other hosting plans to give clients options for scalability:
|Visit GoDaddy||Visit DreamHost|
While there is a plan for everyone’s needs and budgets, the most popular option is shared hosting. Here’s what each provider has to offer with entry-level packages:
- GoDaddy Economy ($1.99/month) - 1 website with a free domain, 100GB SSD storage, and unmetered bandwidth. One free Microsoft 365 email account is also included for the first year.
- DreamHost Shared Starter ($2.59/month) - 1 website with one free domain name with privacy included. It also includes unlimited bandwidth, a free SSL certificate, daily backups, and 50GB of storage.
DreamHost is a bit more inclusive in its entry offers. But considering that each provider offers different plans for various needs, which one should you opt for?
GoDaddy has 3 shared hosting plans, ranging from $1.99/month to $12.99/month.
The Economy plan is perfect if you’re a blog owner or want to post your portfolio online. However, if you’re going to run a business website, an SSL certificate is a must-have, and that’s only included in the most expensive plan, Ultimate.
The cheapest prices with GoDaddy are with a yearly billing term. So pick Economy for just $35.88 in total for good quality budget website hosting and generous storage space.
Moving on, DreamHost has 2 plans available, with the cheapest going for $2.59/month, and the most expensive selling for $3.95/month.
The Shared Starter plan is best if you’re thinking about hosting a landing page-type website or a blog. While it only allows having one website with 50GB of SSD storage, it will be more than enough. However, for just a little over a dollar more than the Shared Starter plan, the Unlimited plan allows you to host unlimited websites and gives unlimited storage. So if you want something more advanced than the Shared Starter plan, the Unlimited plan is the best option.
DreamHost's cheapest price is available if you pay 3 years upfront. You would be spending $93.24 right away with the Shared Starter plan, but that would translate to nearly $84 worth of savings. That’s the best value option for a simple website hosting with great security features.
One more thing that GoDaddy and DreamHost seem to take different approaches is their money-back policies. While GoDaddy offers a standard 30-day money-back guarantee, DreamHost goes above and beyond that by providing a 97-day money-back guarantee.
In the pricing category, the winner is DreamHost. Not only is it cheaper, but also offers a few additional features that make it a more attractive option. Security features, such as daily backups and a free SSL certificate are a must-have, and GoDaddy fails to provide it in its most basic plan.
Hosting management: ease of use
As far as ease of use goes, GoDaddy and DreamHost opt for different experiences, but still, make them straightforward and easy. GoDaddy uses the industry-standard cPanel interface, while DreamHost comes with a control panel that’s completely custom-made by the provider.
To start off, GoDaddy helps you set up your website with the help of a native dashboard and cPanel.
In the cPanel with an icon layout, you can reach every function with a click. Including file manager, email, and domain management.
Additionally, the first time you log into your account, GoDaddy will make sure that you install WordPress and have a working domain. After your WordPress is installed, you can select one of its premium templates from the GoDaddy Starter plugin and use a simple WordPress-based editor to customize it.
On the other hand, DreamHost’s control panel is completely custom.
Inside the dashboard, you’ll have your management tools for domains, WordPress, email, and FTP. Navigating DreamHost’s panel/dashboard is quite different than most of its competitors, but it is very easy to use once you’re accustomed to it.
In my opinion, the best feature that DreamHost offers is its one-click WordPress installation. While plenty of providers advertise one-click WordPress installs, DreamHost is truly the only provider that actually follows up its claims and does that.
Additionally, if you’re looking into hosting a WordPress website, you’ll be happy to know that both providers are on our list of best hosting for WordPress.
As far as ease of use, both providers do a good job of mixing form and function. Both panels look clean and organized with every needed feature just one click away. The one major difference between the 2 is the control panel. GoDaddy has the most basic function-oriented icon cPanel that you can find, while DreamHost opts for a different layout that is completely custom and might take a little time to get used to.
GoDaddy vs DreamHost: performance
In the performance category, both services did well on uptime, response time, and website speed, with only slight differences between the 2. GoDaddy delivered good results, but DreamHost took it a step further with its >99.99% uptime and great loading and response times.
Uptime and response time
As far as uptime monitoring goes, GoDaddy did a good job. Over the 2-month testing period, the total downtime amounted to 16 minutes in 3 outages. That translates to an uptime of 99.98%, which is way over the uptime guarantee of 99.9%.
The response time provided by GoDaddy was also great. The average response time was 341ms. The market average for shared hosting sits at 600ms, which makes GoDaddy a very suitable option in the performance department.
If the GoDaddy results were good, DreamHost knocked it out of the park in the same time frame.
Over the 2-month testing window, DreamHost was pretty much perfect when it comes to uptime. A single outage was registered, amounting to one minute of downtime, which puts the uptime rate at >99.99%.
The response time was terrific as well, with the average being a lightning-fast 231ms. Clearing the market average mark of 600ms with room to spare.
So briefly, DreamHost wins – the uptime rate combined with the average response time makes it the more reliable and speedy option between GoDaddy and DreamHost.
Website speed is one of the most important factors when choosing a hosting provider. The 2 main features you should consider when assessing website speed are:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – the time in which the biggest piece of content (image or text) is loaded. The norm set by Google states that anything below 2.5s is good.
- Fully Loaded Time – the time it takes for the site to fully load and be interactive. Should be under 3 seconds for the best user experience.
GoDaddy did a great job in both of these measurements. The LCP was a swift 1.5s, well below the 2.5s reference mark, which helps the website rank well in search engine results. And the fully loaded time was also 1.5s, being inside the 3-second recommended time frame.
Meanwhile, DreamHost put up similar results. The LCP was just below the mark set previously by GoDaddy, amounting to 1.4s, and the fully loaded time was just above, totaling 1.6s. Both values are well under the recommended results for LCP and fully loaded time.
When it comes to website speed, GoDaddy and DreamHost show similar results. No significant differences separate the two, resulting in a tie between the providers.
But always keep in mind that these results depend on your server and audience location. You should choose a server that’s closest to your audience for optimal performance. DreamHost only has servers in the US, so it’s not the best option for European or Asian markets. On the other hand, GoDaddy has servers in the US, The Netherlands (Europe), and Singapore (Asia) to pick from.
Performance-wise, GoDaddy vs DreamHost proved to deliver strong performance. But while GoDaddy showed both good reliability and speed, DreamHost takes the crown in the performance section considering better uptime and the response time.
GoDaddy vs DreamHost: website security
In the website security department, GoDaddy provides a few basic features and leaves out the most important ones. On the other hand, DreamHost is one of the best in the business with extensive security measures even in its cheapest plan.
GoDaddy is pretty notorious for upselling – this provider fails to offer free SSL certificates in its most basic plans. If you want that feature, you’ll need to pick either the Ultimate or Maximum plan. The only features GoDaddy offers for free and without an extra cost are network security and email privacy and encryption.
Every other feature is paid separately. Want SSL certificates? It will cost you $4.75/mo. That alone costs more than the hosting plan itself. Automated backups? That will be $2.99/mo.
On the other hand, DreamHost has free SSL certificates that are essential for a secure connection between browsers and servers. In addition to that, DreamHost provides firewalls, daily backups, and domain privacy protection for free.
DreamHost lacks just one feature which unfortunately is paid. For just $29.99/yr, the provider will include a malware protection tool in its offering. It comes down to another $3/mo, and while it’s a shame it’s a paid feature, having a malware protection tool can prove to be a game-changer – malware can steal your data or encrypt it so you can't access it.
In website security, the only serious option is DreamHost. GoDaddy seems to entirely forgo most security features in its entry plan. The idea of paying more for security than for the Economy plan altogether doesn’t seem reasonable. DreamHost, on the contrary, is one of the best in hosting business for security, offering many of the features some other providers charge for, for free.
GoDaddy vs DreamHost: customer support
The customer support provided by GoDaddy works 24/7 via live chat and phone. DreamHost has 3 active channels to choose from. A live chat working between 5:30 AM - 9:30 PM PT, paid phone support, and 24/7 ticketing.
The best word to describe the customer service provided by GoDaddy is: fair. You can always reach the agents, though some wait times can be anticipated. However, some agents are not entirely fluent in English which can cause some miscommunications at times. At the same time, there is a huge knowledge base available so you can check it out if chatting with a person is not your favorite way of getting help.
DreamHost does not offer 24/7 live chat, and while that may seem disappointing, the ticketing system works perfectly. Issues submitted via the ticketing system were taken care of in 1 hour or less. You can always check out the website’s available tutorials which could be a great help for minor issues.
Our overall experience with customer support was satisfactory in both cases. While not perfect, GoDaddy and DreamHost have their own unique methods of providing help.
GoDaddy vs DreamHost: final recommendations
GoDaddy’s main strong suit was the performance it offered and the ease of use of the service. The downfall was the website security it lacks. DreamHost shined in pricing, performance, and security. Its main weakness is that the cPanel it offers may take some time to get used to, but you’ll find it functions perfectly after a few uses.
|Price||In this category, the better option is DreamHost. Not only is it cheaper, but it offers more features than GoDaddy.|
|Ease of use||For ease of use, GoDaddy and DreamHost opt for different styles of control panels (cPanel vs custom control panel), but both are simple and intuitive.|
|Performance||DreamHost edges out GoDaddy. The uptime was off the charts, response time was super quick, and website speed was well faster than recommended.|
|Security||DreamHost gives a masterclass in security. It offers free features that you will find other providers charging for, while GoDaddy fails to provide even the most basic ones for free on its most basic plans.|
|Customer support||GoDaddy offers 24/7 live chat while DreamHost fails to do so. Some of GoDaddy’s agents aren’t fluent in English which can cause some miscommunications.|
When you take everything into account, the clear winner is DreamHost. It offers significantly more affordable shared hosting plans with strong security features. That, alongside a user-friendly control panel, makes it a good option both for personal blogs and small business websites.
Alternatives to GoDaddy and DreamHost
After reading this entire article, you might think – nope, these are not for me. So if both GoDaddy or DreamHost fail to offer what you really need, you can look into alternatives. You can either take a look at our best web hosting providers list or read about the 2 alternatives that I think compare with these providers the most.
SiteGround is one of the most popular services on the market, and for a good reason. With an entry point price of $2.99/month, it is more expensive than DreamHost and GoDaddy. But with this web hosting service you can count on extremely fast page loading times, and a few incredible features to boost speed and the overall experience of the user. It's focused entirely on WordPress, so you'll get a staging environment, strong security, and pro-level customer support.
Hostinger remains a fair competitor in the hosting services market because of its price. It is the lowest you’ll find anywhere, starting at $2.59/month. At the same time, Hostinger proves to be a very reliable and speedy host. Its entire infrastructure, equipped with modern tech, is focused on speed. This includes fast LiteSpeed webserver tech, integrated caching, and the possibility to choose among 7 different server locations worldwide.
Other GoDaddy comparisons for you to check out
More DreamHost comparisons for you to read
GoDaddy vs DreamHost FAQs
Which provider is better - GoDaddy or DreamHost?
DreamHost is the better provider. It offers better value and a lot more security features for no additional costs.
How can I move my website from GoDaddy to DreamHost?
To move your website from GoDaddy to DreamHost, you must create a DreamHost account first. Then you must backup your website files and transfer them to DreamHost. Check if your website is running smoothly before updating DNS. Finally, you just need to point your DNS to DreamHost.
Can I transfer a domain from DreamHost to GoDaddy?
To transfer a domain from DreamHost to GoDaddy, you’ll first have to unlock your domain by accessing it on GoDaddy. Then, you must get your authorization code, which will allow you to transfer the domain away from DreamHost. After that, you should be able to set your domain privacy settings and complete the purchase.
Is GoDaddy or DreamHost better for beginners?
DreamHost is the better option for beginners. It’s easy to use, provides great performance, has great security features, nice customer support, and finally, an affordable price to tie it all up.
How can I get a free domain from GoDaddy or DreamHost?
To get a free domain name, you’ll only need to purchase either of the shared hosting plans that these providers offer.
Is DreamHost part of GoDaddy?
DreamHost is not part of GoDaddy, however, both service providers usually compete for similar customers when it comes to web hosting.