SiteGround vs DreamHost: which WordPress provider is better?
In this article, I will do an in-depth analysis of SiteGround vs DreamHost to help you choose the best hosting service for your website. I will assess how they fare in terms of cost, usability, reliability, speed, security, and customer support.
Check any article listing the best hosting solutions, and you’ll often find SiteGround and DreamHost mentioned in the same breath. After all, both are widely recognized for their bang-for-the-buck shared hosting plans with a strong focus on WordPress.
At the same time, SiteGround looks like an ideal business website hosting option with many helpful tools and features as well as powerful performance. Meanwhile, DreamHost is an all-in-one affordable and very beginner-friendly option.
But reputation alone rarely paints the whole picture, so I tested and compared SiteGround and DreamHost myself to find out what kind of services each of them truly offers.
SiteGround vs DreamHost: general info
While both are recommended by WordPress itself, SiteGround vs DreamHost are not that similar. SiteGround is a premium option for business with a bunch of functionalities and speed-boosting tech, while DreamHost focuses on ease of use and budget-friendly deals. Here's how they look side-by-side:
|Price from||From $3.99/month||From $2.59/month|
|Payment types||Credit card||Credit/Debit Card, Electronic Check / ACH, PayPal, Check or Money Order|
|Hosting types||Shared WordPress/WooCommerce and cloud hosting||Shared, WordPress, VPS, Cloud Dedicated|
|Control panel||Custom control panel Site Tools||Custom control panel|
|Server locations||The US, UK, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, and Singapore||The US|
|Security||Free SSL certificates, weekly/daily backup, DDoS protection, 2-factor-authentication, AI anti-bot protection, and a Security plugin||SSL certificates, Web Application Firewall, daily backup, domain privacy protection|
|Support||24/7 live chat, email, and phone||Live chat (5:30 AM – 9:30 PM PT), paid phone support, 24/7 ticketing system, knowledge base|
|Website migration||Free automated WordPress migration or paid professional site transfer||Free website migration plugin, paid options for website migration|
|Extras||Staging, caching, emails, white-label, collaboration tools, and CDN||Domain privacy|
|Money-back guarantee||30 days||97 days|
SiteGround vs DreamHost: pricing comparison
At a glance, it’s clear that DreamHost is the more budget-friendly option. Its shared hosting plans start at just $2.59/month, compared to SiteGround’s $3.99/month entry-level offering. Plus, DreamHost has more scalability options.
|Shared||Yes, starts at $3.99/month||Yes, starts at $2.59/month|
|WordPress||Yes, starts at $3.99/month||Yes, starts at $12/mo|
|Cloud||Yes, starts at $100/mo||Yes, starts at $4.50/mo|
|VPS||No||Yes, starts at $10/mo|
|Dedicated||No||Yes, starts at $149/mo|
From the first glance, DreamHost covers more needs. At the same time, SiteGround's shared and WordPress plans are meant to satisfy both small and larger business sites. Then, Cloud hosting of SiteGround vs DreamHost VPS and even dedicated plans go hand-in-hand, so scalability options are there with both providers.
But most people are interested in these providers for their shared hosting plans, that’s what we’re going to focus on.
Let’s start with the essentials: You’ll get a free SSL certificate no matter which provider you choose. However, it’s worth noting that DreamHost will give you one domain for free with all plans, but Siteground won’t. You should expect to shell out an additional $10-$20 per year for a domain if you choose to go with the latter.
Regardless, here’s how the 2 entry plans compare:
- SiteGround (StartUp - $3.99/month) comes with 1 website limit, 10GB SSD storage, unlimited email accounts, automated daily backups, and unlimited bandwidth.
- DreamHost (Starter - $2.59/month) comes with 1 website limit, 50GB SSD storage, daily backups, and unlimited bandwidth. Email costs $1.67 per mailbox.
Based on these stats alone, DreamHost’s entry plan looks mighty attractive with both a domain, more storage, and backups included; that is unless email accounts are essential to you. At the same time, SiteGround already includes emails but misses out on a domain.
Look beyond the cheapest options, however, and the comparison becomes a lot more nuanced. So, if spending the least amount of money isn’t your sole objective, which provider will give you the best value?
SiteGround has 3 shared hosting plans that range from 3.99 to $10.69 per month.
GrowBig offers the best value. And seeing how it’s their bestselling plan, it’s safe to say that most people agree. With GrowBig, you get to connect an unlimited number of websites and enjoy additional features like on-demand backup copies, 30% faster PHP, and website staging. At the same time, GoGeek adds much more resources for growing businesses among priority support, Git, and white-label control panel for clients.
Getting any plan for a year will give you the biggest savings in the short term. However, whatever you save with this annual plan could be quickly offset by its relatively high renewal pricing.
I strongly suggest that you sign up for a 36-month subscription of GrowBig. You’ll have to pay $629.64 upfront, but you won’t have to deal with a hefty renewal price in return.
Now, DreamHost’s 2-tier pricing structure is more straightforward, ranging from 2.59 to $3.95 per month. Bear in mind that these prices apply for 3-year contracts:
While Starter features all the essentials and good server resources, I recommend getting the Shared Unlimited plan. For an extra $1.36/mo, you get unlimited websites and unlimited email. The 1-year Unlimited plan is tempting because it brings the monthly rate down to $2.95/mo, but it’s not the best value in the long run because of higher renewal prices.
In fact, DreamHost Unlimited plan is among the best unlimited web hosting plans you can get on the hosting market right now.
Stick to the 3-year Unlimited plan to get the most out of DreamHost. In the long run, it features the cheapest monthly price, and the total is just $142.20.
Overall, DreamHost is the cheaper option when it comes to SiteGround vs DreamHost pricing comparison. The features and server resources are great as well. At the same time, SiteGround is a more premium managed WordPress hosting option with an additional focus on security and speed, making the higher price worth it.
Hosting management: ease of use
Both SiteGround and DreamHost use custom control panels. SiteGround’s panel is as beginner-friendly as it gets. Meanwhile, DreamHost’s panel features all the needed functionalities but requires some getting-used-to.
SiteGround’s in-house custom control panel is called Site Tools. I like that it’s clearly designed with efficiency in mind. You can pin the most used tools to your main screen for better workflow. The control panel also gives you easy access to the main tools like SSL management, emails, and domains.
Additional features like website staging and adding collaborators are also here. If you subscribe to the GoGeek plan, you can even create a white-label control panel and add clients to your account. Overall, working on this dashboard should be fuss-free.
DreamHost’s control panel, on the other hand, can look a bit more intimidating to new users. While SiteGround still follows some of the best industry practices dictated by cPanel, DreamHost goes for a completely modern approach.
At the same time, all the functionalities are here on the left side menu: you can manage domains and WordPress sites as well as reach email accounts easily.
What’s nice is that when you first log in to DreamHost, you’ll immediately receive a prompt to install WordPress. And it takes just a single click to do that. No form filling or anything.
So while a tiny bit unconventional, DreamHost is as functional and easy to use as the rest.
All in all, both control panels provide a seamless user experience, with the most important tools just a few clicks away. That said, I’m going to give this round to SiteGround because it offers better features like staging, adding collaborators, and a white-label panel.
SiteGround vs DreamHost performance
The performance department is where SiteGround starts to truly differentiate itself. It has better response times, quicker loading speed, and more server locations than DreamHost.
Uptime and response time
SiteGround offers a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Based on my experience, actual uptime stats tend to be closer to 100% than 99.9%. The website only had 7 minutes of downtime over the 2-month testing period.
The average response time is also at an equally impressive 217ms. This beats the market average of 600ms by a good margin.
DreamHost is where things get a bit trickier. I only experienced 1 outage over 2 months, which is equivalent to a >99.99% uptime. It failed to deliver on its 100% uptime guarantee, but this performance is undoubtedly still good.
Also, while DreamHost’s average response time is slightly slower than SiteGround, 231ms is still an excellent result. No complaints here!
All things considered, both hosting providers offer reliable and robust performance. SiteGround has a better response time while DreamHost has better uptime.
Website speed significantly impacts the success of your website. You want your site to load as quickly as possible to minimize bounce rate and rank higher on SERPs.
In this comparison, let’s focus on 2 critical pieces of information:
- Largest Contentful Paint or LCP - measures how quickly the largest piece of content on the page is loaded. Google recommends an LCP of 2.5s or less.
- Fully Loaded Time - measures the time it takes for the website to load fully. For best results, it should be faster than 3s
Based on testing results, SiteGround’s LCP is just 872ms, which is an outstanding result. The corresponding fully loaded time is just as impressive at 1.1s.
By the way, with SiteGround, you get to choose a server location between the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia locations. Getting closer to your target audience is crucial for minimizing load times.
Now, DreamHost’s LCP is 1.4s. Although it’s still considered good by Google’s standards, it lags behind SiteGround’s performance a little bit. We can say the same thing about its 1.6s Fully Loaded Time.
Keep in mind that DreamHost has servers only in the US. This means that the best website performance will be for North America-based audiences.
Overall, SiteGround has a faster response time and better loading times. At the same time, DreamHost results are good as well. Just take server location into consideration when choosing the best provider for yourself.
The SiteGround vs DreamHost security debate is a joy to watch because both providers take web security seriously. You get the following from both hosting solutions, free-of-charge:
- Free SSL certificates
- Web application firewall
- Daily automatic backups
They do have some notable differences, though. Here are the extra features offered by SiteGround for free, which are either non-existent or paid options in DreamHost’s platform:
- A real-time server monitoring system
- An AI anti-bot system
- A security plugin that wards off the brute force and common malware attacks
Additionally, SiteGround backups are stored on multiple servers across different data centers for increased redundancy, putting it among the most secure web hosting providers.
Meanwhile, DreamHost has a malware removal tool, but you’ll have to shell out $29.99/year for it. On the flip side, it offers free domain privacy protection, which costs $12-$24/yr with SiteGround.
In the DreamHost vs SiteGround security debate, the latter came out stronger. It would have been better if domain privacy came included in SiteGround’s shared plans but the most critical security features are all there. And while DreamHost’s lineup isn’t as strong, it’s still an attractive toolset compared to many other hosting providers.
SiteGround’s customer support options include 24/7 live chat, phone support, and helpdesk tickets. DreamHost also has a 24/7 ticketing system, but its phone support isn’t free and live chat is only available from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM PT. Additionally, both providers include up-to-date knowledge bases.
I decided to try both customer support systems to see which hosting solution is better in this regard. Here’s my experience.
SiteGround’s customer support structure has a predictable progression: Use the help widget > Check the Help Center > Fill out a questionnaire > Get assigned to live chat or the ticketing system.
As you can see, the conversation start is not immediate – SiteGround makes sure that you get to the right person from the start. That being said, the help widget is very helpful, and all the agents that I reached were helpful and professional.
Let’s move on to DreamHost. Because my schedule is at odds with its live chat window, I kept getting redirected to DreamHost ticket support. It was frustrating at first, but the resolution ended up better than I expected.
DreamHost addressed most of my concerns within an hour via email. I particularly like that their agents were able to solve my problems with minimal input from my end.
The bottom line? SiteGround’s and DreamHost’s customer support might not be perfect, but they both work excellently. However, SiteGround edges out DreamHost since all its support channels are free and available 24/7.
SiteGround vs DreamHost: final recommendations
SiteGround’s speed, security, extra features, and customer support are among the best we’ve seen across all web hosting services. Meanwhile, DreamHost’s affordability and reliability are hard to beat. That being said, the true winner of this SiteGround vs DreamHost WordPress comparison will likely depend on your needs.
To quickly summarize our findings:
|Price||SiteGround’s entry plan starts at $3.99/month, while DreamHost starts at $2.59/month. When it comes to bare-bones shared hosting, DreamHost is cheaper across the board.|
|Ease of use||Both providers are incredibly user-friendly. However, SiteGround comes with more useful features such as staging and adding collaborators.|
|Performance||SiteGround is faster, but DreamHost has a slightly better uptime. SiteGround has multiple server locations worldwide, while DreamHost’s servers are all in the USA.|
|Security||Both providers have robust security features. However, SiteGround has a free security plugin, 24/7 monitoring, and anti-bot tools to enhance the protection.|
|Customer support||SiteGround is better overall with various round-the-clock support channels.|
Taking everything into consideration, I think SiteGround offers more bang for your buck. Pricing is the only aspect in this comparison where it lags behind DreamHost – but its performance, features, security, and customer support easily make up for the price difference.
For that reason, SiteGround is a better fit for the majority of websites—but most especially for businesses and medium-to-large organizations.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking for an affordable WordPress option, DreamHost certainly has a lot to offer. Especially for personal use.
Alternatives to SiteGround and DreamHost
SiteGround and DreamHost offer a variety of pricing plans for different use cases. Though I highly recommend both providers, I can’t deny that there are many other competitive options out there. So, if you’re still unsure and looking for other possible choices, check out these great web hosting alternatives:
DreamHost shines with its affordable prices, but if you’re looking for the absolute cheapest plans, Hostinger might be your best bet. Its basic plan starts at just $1.39/month. It’s one of the best options for people building their first websites, and they also have higher-tier options for small businesses.
Bluehost is another hosting service that’s extremely WordPress-friendly. It offers a bunch of business-focused tools, website staging, reliable servers, and a user-friendly interface. Starting at 2.95, it’s a good option if you plan to set up a business or run a personal blog.
Other SiteGround comparisons for you to check out
- SiteGround vs HostGator
- Cloudways vs SiteGround
- SiteGround vs Bluehost
- Flywheel vs SiteGround
- SiteGround vs WP Engine
- A2 Hosting vs SiteGround
- SiteGround vs InMotion Hosting
- SiteGround vs GoDaddy
Other DreamHost comparisons for you to check out
SiteGround vs DreamHost FAQs