Hosting Tutorial & Guide

HostGator VS DreamHost - Which is Better for Small Business

updated on Nov 30, 2017
HostGator VS DreamHost - Which is Better for Small Business As some readers wonder which one between HostGator and DreamHost provides better web hosting service for small businesses, we have made a detailed comparison between them based on the 2 companies' real customer reviews and our careful analysis on their reputation, web hosting price, features, reliability, performance, technology, ease of use and technical support.

Both of the 2 companies have a long history and a rock-solid customer base in the web hosting industry. Before comparing them, let's take a deep look at their overview as well as the advantages and drawbacks in regards to small business hosting service.

Customer Reviews34561
Customer Rating
Editorial Rating
Discounted Price$3.82/mo$5.95/mo
Discount Now45%N/A
Claim DiscountLink ActivationN/A
ConclusionGoing with HostGatorNot Recommended

HostGator Pros & Cons

HostGator Founded in 2002, HostGator has been one of the fastest growing web hosting providers which is now hosting over 9 million domains with 12,000 servers and 850 experts. The company has a series of products designed for all kinds of customers, including shared web hosting, VPS hosting, reseller hosting and dedicated hosting.

Recognized as a leader in the area, HostGator has also been devoted to environment protection by investing in Wind Energy and purchasing certificated Renewable Energy Credits. Your websites are guaranteed to be eco-friendly.


  • High reputation in providing high quality web hosting.
  • cPanel is adopted to simplify the management of website statistics, files, databases, emails and domains.
  • Free 24x7 responsive technical support is accessible via toll-free telephone, live chat and email.
  • Upgradable options meet the growing demands as small business websites expand.
  • The web hosting service is as low as $3.82/mo when using HostGator unique coupon code HG45PERCENT, coming with a free shared SSL certificate.


  • The Hatchling plan allows hosting a single domain name on 1 account.
  • All the 3 web hosting plans doesn't include a free domain name. HostGator charges $12.95/year for the new domain registration.

DreamHost Pros & Cons

DreamHost DreamHost also offers various services including shared web hosting, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting. Since its establishment in 1997, the company has made some achievements. However, its shortcomings in price and support have stoped many webmasters from choosing it for hosting small sites.


  • Provides shared web hosting customers with a free domain and free domain WHOIS privacy.
  • The shared web hosting plan comes with nearly all the standard features needed by a small business website.
  • DreamHost guarantees 97 days money back and 100% uptime.
  • SSDs are available, which is important for guaranteeing good speed.


  • Offers a single shared hosting plan, which is not flexible enough.
  • Utilizes a custom built control panel which comes with less usability than cPanel.
  • Provides free support via email and live chat only, and charges $14.95/mo for support via telephone.

Price Comparison

Though both being reliable, HostGator and DreamHost are different in offering shared hosting plans. The former has been providing 3 plans to ensure the ability to scale, while the latter has been supplying only one plan to meet all the needs of personal users and small businesses.

The entry-level Hatchling plan from HostGator is designed for beginners who want a simple and affordable web hosting package to get started. It supports one domain only. The Baby plan, allowing unlimited domains, is a good choice for most startups, developers and designer. And the Business plan is suitable for anyone desiring enhanced security with dedicated IP and private SSL certificate.

HostGator is now providing 45% discounts for all of its plans, with which the price for Hatchling decreases to $3.82/mo and that for Baby is $5.47/mo. The coupon code that activates the discounts is HG45PERCENT.

HostGator Promotional Link Activation

The all-in-one plan of DreamHost is priced from $7.95/mo. There is no discount available at most times, but sometimes you may get a 25% discount for $5.95/mo if you are lucky enough to take part in an occasional promotion.

In terms of the refund policy, HostGator allows 45-day refunds, and DreamHost allows 97 days, so both companies are worry-free in this aspect. Besides, there is no complaint found for their refund guarantees.

Feature Comparison

All the shared hosting plans offered by HostGator and DreamHost come with unlimited disk space, bandwidth, email accounts, and support programming languages and technologies like PHP5, MySQL 5, Perl, and Python.

The largest difference you must pay attention, however, is the control panel included in the two companies' feature lists.
  • HostGator offers cPanel for all shared hosting users. For those who are not very experienced in server management and website creation, cPanel is always the best choice.
  • DreamHost uses a self-developed control panel which is designed with dozens of server and account management features, but according to users, the control panel is not as user-friendly and easy-to-navigate as cPanel.
Considering that the choice of control panel is crucial for the hosting experience, we'd suggest cPanel more than DreamHost custom control panel.

Except for control panel, HostGator and DreamHost are nearly the same powerful in meeting other hosting needs. You can see what they offer and what are absent in the table below.

Plan in ComparisonHatchlingHappy Hosting
Control PanelcPanelCustom
1-Click Installer
Shell Access
Shared SSL
Instant Backups
Regular Price$6.95/mo$7.95/mo
Discount45% Off25% Off
Promotional Price$3.82/mo$5.95/mo
How to ClaimLink Activation-

Performance Comparison

Both of HostGator and DreamHost house servers in multiple data centers of collocation providers. Fortunately, all the providers are reliable companies with data centers equipped with the some of the best networks, state-of-the-art security system, redundant power, HVAC and fire detection/suppression systems. The websites hosted with HostGator are accessible via the networks of Cisco, AT&T, Time Warner, Global Crossing and 6 other backbone and fiber providers.

DreamHost has been partnered with Alchemy Communications, a Los Angeles-based dedicated server and collocation provider, for basic data center and network service. The data centers have dozens of gigabits of network capacity, a UPS power backup generator and redundant fire suppression and cooling systems.

As we monitored in the past 6 months, the servers of the 2 companies are quite fast, but HostGator has won the competition due to approximately 50% quicker server responses. Read the following chart for the statistics of the past 30 days.

Room to Grow

If you have run your website for a long time, your initial hosting package might be less powerful with the growth of your web content and improvement of online traffic. In this case, you need to upgrade your hosting plan for more disk storage, RAM, monthly bandwidth and many more. In this case, both HostGator and DreamHost give you enough room to grow by offering not only the shared hosting, but also the VPS and dedicated solutions.

However, the difference is that HostGator allows multiple packages for the shared hosting, so you can make a wise decision of which plan suits your needs and budgets perfectly. DreamHost, however, only has a single plan.

Technical Support

Technical support is one of the most important thing of a web hosting provider, especially for customers who have little technical knowledge or skills. Due to this, DreamHost provides 24×7 Los Angeles-based Email support. If customers want to have more support, they can find useful information in the Wiki, Discussion Forum, and Status Blog.

On the contrary, HostGator provides rich support ways including live chat, email and phone. All supports are valid for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, and customers are able to get immediate assistances at any time and via any way. Besides, there is also an online Support Portal that customers can create a support ticket, discuss in forums, watch video tutorials and so on.

With HostGator professional and friendly support representatives, customers can always get effective helps. As we received 134 HostGator reviews, nearly 97.7% of the customers are satisfied with the technical support. Read about the below chart for more information.

HostGator vs DreamHost - Compare Some Minor Aspects

  • Money back guarantee - HostGator allows the 45-day money back while DreamHost allows the 97-day refund.
  • Website building - As compared with DreamHost, HostGator makes the creation of your website easily by offering the site builder, drag-and-drop editor, script installer, image library and plenty of mobile friendly themes.
  • Hosting freedom - Both of them provide the shared, VPS hosting and dedicated hosting for you to choose. However, the hosting of DreamHost is Linux based only, while HostGator allows both the Linux and Windows hosting.
  • Control panel - HostGator provides the user-friendly cPanel control panel while DreamHost offers their custom one.

HostGator VS DreamHost > Conclusion

The web hosting services from both HostGator and DreamHost are reliable enough for small business websites. However, when taking the speed, control panel and pricing into consideration, we'd recommend HostGator more.

In fact, besides ours, there are also many comparisons at other sites about these 2 companies, such as WhatsWP, HowsHosting, etc. You can read more if you are still hesitating.