Namecheap vs DreamHost: the battle of price vs quality
In this comparison, I explore how Namecheap vs DreamHost fare against each other in terms of pricing, ease of use, performance, security, and customer support.
Namecheap and DreamHost used to offer complementary services – you buy domains from Namecheap and hosting services from DreamHost. Two different providers for 2 different services. It makes complete sense.
But that was before Namecheap ventured into hosting.
Now, they both offer beginner-friendly hosting at affordable prices. And their current dynamic? Well, it’s more competitive than complementary.
So, how does one measure up against the other in terms of hosting services? That’s what we’ll find out in this Namecheap vs DreamHost comparison. Let’s get to it.
Namecheap vs DreamHost: general info
Both Namecheap and DreamHost offer affordable and easily manageable shared hosting options. While Namecheap mainly focuses on offering some of the lowest prices on the market, DreamHost provides reliable, fast, and secure services even with its basic plan.
Here’s how they look side-by-side.
|Price from||From $2.59/mo||From $1.58/mo|
|Payment types||Credit/Debit card, electronic check/ACH, PayPal, check or money orders||Credit/Debit card, cryptocurrencies, and PayPal|
|Hosting types||Shared, WordPress, VPS, cloud, and dedicated||Shared, WordPress, VPS, reseller, and dedicated hosting|
|Control panel||Custom control panel||Native dashboard +standard cPanel integration|
|Server locations||The US||The US, the UK, and the EU (Amsterdam)|
|Security||SSL certificates, Web Application Firewall, daily backup, domain privacy protection||SSL certificates, DDoS protection, backups, and domain privacy protection|
|Support||Live chat (5:30 AM – 9:30 PM PT), paid phone support, 24/7 ticketing system||24/7 live chat and ticketing system|
|Website migration||Free website migration plugin, paid options for website migration||Free WordPress and cPanel migration|
|Extras||Domain privacy||Emails, domain privacy, and CDN (content delivery network)|
|Money-back guarantee||97 days||30 days|
Namecheap vs DreamHost: pricing comparison
When it comes to Namecheap vs DreamHost pricing comparison, Namecheap is the cheaper option, with shared hosting plans starting at $1.58/mo. At the same time, DreamHost’s packages start from $2.59/mo.
Here’s what both providers have to offer:
|Shared hosting||Yes, starts at $1.58/mo||Yes, starts at $2.59/month|
|WordPress hosting||Yes, starts at $2.07/mo||Yes, starts at $12.00/mo|
|Cloud hosting||No||Yes, starts at $4.50/mo|
|VPS hosting||Yes, starts at $9.88/mo||Yes, starts at $10.00/mo|
|Reseller hosting||Yes, starts at $17.88/mo||No|
|Dedicated hosting||Yes, starts at $89.98/mo||Yes, starts at $149.00/mo|
While there are many options, for most, shared hosting is the go-to solution. That’s why it is the main focus of this DreamHost vs Namecheap comparison.
To start, both providers’ cheapest plans include free attributes like a domain name, domain privacy protection, an SSL certificate, a website builder, and unmetered bandwidth.
But, there are also differences:
- Namecheap’s Stellar ($1.58/mo) can host 3 websites and includes 20GB SSD storage, twice-a-week backups, 30 email addresses, and Supersonic CDN.
- DreamHost’s Starter ($2.59/mo) can host 1 website and includes 50GB storage, plus automatic daily backups.
Just from the first look, Namecheap’s Stellar plan is clearly the cheaper option. As for the best value, it’s a close call, but Namecheap’s Stellar gains the lead due to it being cheaper and allowing to host 3 sites. However, DreamHost certainly isn’t far behind with bigger storage space and automatic daily backups.
So far, in this Namecheap hosting vs DreamHost comparison, I’ve only covered the cheapest shared hosting plans. However, both providers have more to offer. So let’s see which plan brings more value.
Namecheap has 3 shared hosting plans with prices ranging from $1.58/mo to $4.68/mo.
If you’re looking to run a single site or a few smaller blogs, the Stellar plan will be more than enough. However, if you wish to run a business site or a popular small-to-medium blog, the Stellar Plus plan is the best way to go. For about $1 more than Stellar, you get unlimited storage and emails, the ability to host unlimited websites, as well as automatic backups.
To grab the best deal, sign up for Stellar Plus for 2 years. You’ll pay $63.88 upfront and the plan will renew at $136.88 for the next 2 years.
Meanwhile, DreamHost has 2 shared plans: Starter ($2.59/mo) and Unlimited ($3.95/mo).
While the Starter plan comes with all the essential features and good server resources, I suggest you get the Unlimited plan. For an extra $1.36/mo, you get unlimited email accounts, websites, and bandwidth. If you’re looking for a short-term solution, you might find the 1-year billing cycle tempting, as it brings the Unlimited plan’s monthly rate to $2.95.
Just note that DreamHost Unlimited plan is among the best unlimited web hosting providers out there.
To get the long-term deal, pick the Unlimited plan with a 3-year billing cycle. It’ll cost $142.20 upfront and will renew at $395.64 for the next 3 years.
It’s also worth noting that DreamHost has a 97-day money-back guarantee for shared hosting. In comparison, Namecheap only has the standard 30-day guarantee.
In terms of price, Namecheap is overall cheaper than DreamHost. However, both hosts are affordable and generous with resources.
Hosting management: ease of use
Both Namecheap and DreamHost have taken different approaches to management yet are equally easy to use. Namecheap provides a simple interface for billings and houses all site management tools in the cPanel. Meanwhile, DreamHost uses a simplistic custom control panel for all hosting service and website management tasks.
To start, Namecheap has a simple user interface. It’s neat but a little bare, since the interface is mainly used only for billing and reaching the cPanel.
Speaking of cPanel, Namecheap offers the standard version. There are no customizations, colorful skins, or anything like that. But, you’ll still get the panel’s full-blown functionality, which is saying something.
This is where you can perform all website management-related tasks. You’ll be using it for things like domain and SSL activation, setting configuration, email creation/management, as well as WordPress installation via the Softaculous one-click app installer.
Overall, all the features and tools are strategically organized. Everything is within reach, and the arrangement is intuitive. You’ll find all the tools clearly labeled and organized under a broader category. There’s also a handy search bar to help you find tools quicker.
On contrary, DreamHost utilizes its own custom hosting control panel. It’s an all-in-one panel – meaning everything from billing to daily site management tasks takes place there. This is a point in favor of accessibility since everything is just a click away.
All the main functionalities are hiding in the menu on the left. So, that’s where you’ll find the tools and features used to perform tasks, like adding additional domains, installing new WordPress (or any other content management system) sites, accessing your webmail, managing your billing information, and contacting the support team.
However, this does mean that the panel appears quite full-looking at first glance. But trust me, it’s actually pretty simplistic and well-organized – certainly easy enough for a complete rookie to navigate.
Overall, despite the different approaches, both Namecheap and DreamHost delivered great ease of use. Namecheap emphasizes the division of tasks with 2 separate interfaces, while DreamHost offers the convenience of having everything in the same place. At the same time, DreamHost's modern dashboard is easier to navigate.
Namecheap vs DreamHost performance
When it comes to performance, there’s a clear winner in the DreamHost vs Namecheap hosting battle. DreamHost shined in every regard with its near-flawless >99.99% uptime, fast response time, and speedy loading time. Namecheap, in contrast, has decent page load time but struggles to keep up in terms of reliability.
Uptime and response time
The two providers were monitored for different periods of time. Namecheap was monitored for around 2 weeks, while DreamHost – for over 2 months.
In the 2 weeks' time, Namecheap had 16 outages, which have led to 31 minutes of downtime. This has resulted in a slightly disappointing uptime of 99.82%.
This becomes even more saddening, knowing that Namecheap gives a 100% uptime guarantee. Yet, it’s nowhere to be seen.
Its response time wasn’t that much better either – averaging at a slow 1.05s, which is almost twice the market’s average of 600ms.
In contrast, DreamHost performed much better. In around 2 months' time, the host only had 1 outage of 1 minute. That lead to a near-perfect <99.99% uptime.
Sure, just like Namecheap, DreamHost also failed to live up to its 100% uptime guarantee. However, 1 minute of downtime in 2 months won’t cause you any issues and is very much forgivable if you ask me.
Now talking about DreamHost’s server response time, it was just as impressive, averaging 231ms. That’s not even half of the industry’s average.
Overall, DreamHost is definitely the winner of the Namecheap vs DreamHost performance battle. It’s infinitely more reliable and comes with a better response time.
The second test is meant to examine both providers’ website loading speeds. While Namecheap showed decent results, it was no match for a very speedy DreamHost.
To better understand the results, here are the 2 main measures I took into consideration:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – this showcases the time it took for the largest element on the site to get fully loaded. Since LCP is also one of the many measures Google considers when making its search result page, aim for a time that’s under 2.5s.
- Fully loaded time – as the name suggests, this measure shows the time in which the site got fully loaded. As the site's load speed has a direct correlation with user experience, for best results, keep this time under 3s.
To keep things fair, for this Namecheap vs DreamHost comparison, both providers are hosted in and tested from the US.
Now starting with LCP, Namecheap stands at 2.3 seconds. While this complies with the suggested maximum of 2.5 seconds, it is a pretty close call.
The same goes for Fully Loaded Time, that sands at 2.7 seconds. Just like with LCP, the provider manages to slip under the 3 seconds timestamp, but it’s a tight squeeze.
However, one good thing about Namecheap is that it does has 3 data center locations. You can opt for either the US, the UK, or the Netherlands, and it is heavily suggested to choose the server that is the closest to your target audience. However, keep in mind that both the UK and the Netherlands cost an extra $1/mo.
As for DreamHost, it sailed through the test with ease. Its LCP took only 1.4s, which is much faster than the maximum timestamp of 2.5 seconds.
As for the Fully Loaded time, it came up to only 1.6s. Barely half of the suggested maximum of 3 seconds. Very good results indeed.
However, I must note that DreamHost’s data centers are located in the US alone. This suggests that the provider will be best suited for the US-located target audiences.
In sum, when it comes to website loading times, DreamHost is twice as fast as Namecheap. However, Namecheap offers numerous data center locations, while DreamHost only has one.
All things considered, DreamHost wins this Namecheap vs DreamHost performance battle, as it proves to be the more reliable and overall faster provider.
In terms of security, both providers appear to take it very seriously and include basic features like an SSL, as well as advanced ones like domain privacy.
Both providers offer free:
- SSL certificates – Namecheap’s plans include a free PositiveSSL for a year, while DreamHost’s plans offer Let’s Encrypt SSL.
- Domain privacy protection – this helps to shield your personal information from the publicly accessible WHOIS database.
Beyond that, Namecheap offers:
- DDoS protection via its Supersonic CDN.
- Firewall via ModSecurity. Web Application Firewall is also available if you upgrade to a paid Supersonic CDN plan. Prices start from $8.88/mo.
- Automatic backup – the Stellar plan offers, yet does not guarantee, automatic backups twice a week. Meanwhile, Stellar Plus and Stellar Business include an Autobackup tool, that can perform daily, weekly, or monthly backups.
Meanwhile, DreamHost includes:
- Web Application Firewall (WAF) to filter out malicious traffic.
- Automatic daily backups to prevent major loss of data.
- DreamShield Malware Remover is available for an extra $3 per month.
All things considered, it’s almost too close to call for this round of Namecheap vs DreamHost. However, DreamHost is among some of the most secure hosting providers, so it’s no wonder the host has gained a slight edge with its daily automated backups and WAF.
The 2 providers offer several support channels, like live chat and a ticketing system. Additionally, DreamHost also provides support via phone, however, that costs extra. On top of that, the duo also has extensive knowledge bases.
Namecheap’s main support channel is live chat, which I tested multiple times. Generally speaking, the wait time is short and the agents are quick to help.
Additionally, Namecheap also has a pretty huge knowledge base. If you need help with things like SSL certificates or just comparing Namecheap vs DreamHost domains, its articles can be incredibly helpful.
As for DreamHost, live chat is only available between 5.30 a.m. and 9.30 p.m. PT, which is a bit of a bummer. However, from my experience, the agents are quick to join the chat during these hours and are very helpful.
During offline hours, 24/7 ticket support is your best bet. I tried it a few times and almost always had everything resolved within an hour or so. You can also contact DreamHost’s support via phone, but that costs $9.95 for a single call back.
Now if you prefer to do everything yourself, DreamHost has a massive knowledge base with masses of detailed articles on numerous topics.
Overall, DreamHost comes out slightly ahead. It has more support channels and although it lacks a 24/7 chat option, it's very efficient 24/7 ticketing system makes up for it.
Namecheap vs DreamHost: final recommendations
If ever there’s a tight race, Namecheap vs DreamHost is it. Namecheap is extremely cheap and easy to use but drops the ball when it comes to performance. Meanwhile, DreamHost is slightly more expensive but nailed ease of use and performance.
|Price||Namecheap is the cheaper option with its shared hosting plans starting from just $1.58/mo. Whereas, DreamHost’s cheapest shared hosting plan is priced at $2.59/mo.|
|Ease of use||Both hosting providers are very easy to use but take different approaches. Namecheap pairs its custom interface with cPanel while DreamHost has an all-in-one custom panel.|
|Performance||DreamHost demonstrated better performance than Namecheap. The former’s uptime and response time was >99.99% and 231ms, compared to Namecheap’s 99.82% and 1.05s.|
|Security||The pair comes with a pretty extensive set of security tools. Both include an SSL and domain privacy protection. At the same time, Namecheap lacks automatic daily updates, while DreamHost daily backups and WAF.|
|Customer support||Both providers have solid customer support with fast responses. The two hosts’ knowledge bases are also extensive and filled with well-written articles.|
As a whole, DreamHost comes out on top in this Namecheap vs DreamHost battle. Its prices are slightly higher than Namecheap’s but still very affordable. Beyond that, it’s also beginner-friendly, incredibly reliable, remarkably fast, and secure. While it could be improved with a 24/7 chat option, this isn’t a deal-breaker as its excellent ticketing system deftly steps in.
At the same time, Namecheap is a worthy contender if you’re looking for a simplistic budget-friendly provider for your personal projects.
Alternatives to Namecheap and DreamHost
If neither Namecheap nor DreamHost is right for you, there are other good hosting providers to consider. Two great alternatives are Hostinger and Bluehost.
Hostinger is yet another highly affordable hosting provider, with prices starting at $2.59/mo. Despite its low price, you can expect resource-rich plans and exceptional speed.
Beyond that, Hostinger also has the ease of use front covered with its intuitive custom hPanel and very helpful 24/7 support team.
Bluehost is a major player in the industry and a great alternative, with its affordable plans that start from just $2.95/mo.
The provider is WordPress-centric, just like DreamHost, and also caters to newbies with an easy setup process and a beginner-friendly dashboard. Plus, Bluehost’s performance is a solid A+ as well.
Namecheap vs DreamHost FAQs
Is DreamHost better than Namecheap?
Yes, DreamHost is better than Namecheap. It has significantly better performance and more robust security measures.
Which one is cheaper: DreamHost or Namecheap?
Namecheap is cheaper than DreamHost, with shared hosting prices starting at $1.58/mo. Meanwhile, DreamHost’s cheapest shared hosting plan costs $2.59/mo.
What is DreamHost best for?
DreamHost is best for beginners and small business owners looking for an affordable and secure WordPress-centered provider.
What is Namecheap best for?
Namecheap is best for budget-conscious users looking for an easy hosting solution that comes with generous resources.
Can I use Namecheap with a site builder other than WordPress?
Yes, you can use Namecheap with a site builder other than WordPress. You’ll find over 200 content management systems (CMS) and apps in the Softaculous app installer.
Does Namecheap offer cloud server storage?
Yes, Namecheap offers cloud server storage. If you wish to incorporate it with shared hosting, it’s available with the Stellar Business or an EU data center.
What are the advantages of purchasing my domain registration at DreamHost?
It’s cheaper if you purchase your domain registration at DreamHost when comparing Namecheap vs DreamHost for domains. Namecheap .com domain names start from $8.98/yr, while DreamHost prices start from $7.99/yr.