Hosting Tutorial & Guide

Site5 VS DreamHost – Which Is the Better Shared Web Host

updated on Nov 16, 2017
Site5 VS DreamHost – Which Is the Better Shared Web Host Both of Site5 and DreamHost have been offering shared hosting for more than 15 years. With a fast-growing number of clients, they have received a reputation and many awards. Though being the same reliable and secure, the two web hosts indeed have their own highlights and limitations which differ them apart. The Site5 vs DreamHost comparison is available for you to have a comprehensive understanding of the two web hosts.

Since shared hosting has the largest user base, we focus on the common points and different points between their shared hosting. This comparison is made between Site5 hostPro plan and DreamHost shared hosting plan, presenting as many details as you want for making a choice.

First of all, read the following ratings which are made based on our analyses and customers' reviews. It is a piece of bad news that both web hosts do not have a good reputation among our editors and the users. Thus we are afraid to say that neither of them is a good option for shared hosting. The detailed reasons come after the rating table.

Plan in ComparisonhostProHappy Hosting
Read MoreSite5 ReviewDreamHost Review

What Are the Same Between the Two Web Hosts

Both as experienced shared hosting providers, Site5 and DreamHost know what users really need, so they have many similarities in the shared hosting offerings. No matter which plan you choose – hostPro or Happy Hosting – you can enjoy the following advantages.

1-click script installs

Building a blog, forum or online store with popular scripts is quite easy with either web host because Site5 and DreamHost offer 1-click installers to automate the process. Site5 utilizes a third-party installer named Softaculous, while DreamHost has developed their own. Both tools are easy-to-use.

All features needed to create and develop a website

Both plans include sufficient resources and enough tools for you to host several websites. You can manage as many domains as you want with a single account, and create unlimited sub-domains. Below are more details.
  • Resources: Unlimited disk space, bandwidth, MySQL databases & FTP accounts.
  • Email features: Unlimited email accounts, POP/IMAP/SMTP support & auto-responders.
  • Security: Shared SSL, automated backups & SSH.
  • Programming: PHP, Ruby on Rails, Perl, Python & SSI.

Great uptime

Both web hosts offer an uptime guarantee for shared hosting: 99.9% for Site5 while 100% for DreamHost. Besides, they promise a compensation of hosting fee in the case of the failure of the guarantee. Note that the downtime caused by scheduled maintenance, third-party software and custom coding is not calculated into the guarantee.

According to our tests and monitoring, Site5 and DreamHost can deliver over 99.9% uptime in most times, which is excellent for shared hosting. DreamHost achieved an average of 99.92% uptime in the past year.

Green web hosting

Site5 and DreamHost are among the leading web hosts trying hard to neutralize the carbon emissions. The former company reduces emissions mainly by planting trees and keeping remote workforce. DreamHost adopts more methods, including:
  • Purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Credits).
  • Investing in Emission Reduction Credits.
  • Joining in the US Green Chamber and participating in their programs.

DreamHost Edges over Site5

DreamHost is larger than Site5 in the customer base. Currently, the company is managing over 1.5 million domains for clients. It has the following advantages when compared with Site5.

Cheaper price

hostPro and Happy Hosting have almost same regular price and billing cycles. They are priced at $12.95/mo, $11.95/mo and $10.95/mo respectively for 1/12/24-month terms. Site5 does not offer a discount for the hostPro plan.

DreamHost is now promoting its plan with a discount with which the effective price is reduced from $10.95/mo to $7.95/mo. The prices cover the following extras for free which are not available for Site5 customers.
  • $100 Google AdWords credits.
  • 1 free domain for life, along with free domain privacy.

97-day full refund

To eliminate new customers' worries and to show its confidence in the service quality, DreamHost promises to refund your money if you terminate your account within the first 97 days – long enough for testing the quality of a package. Site5 also offers full refund, within 45 days.

There is one thing that you should pay attention. The DreamHost 97-day money-back guarantee does not apply to any other payment forms except credit card. In other words, you'd better send the payment to DreamHost through credit card for the sake of your money security.

IPv6 support

DreamHost shared hosting platform gives full support to IPv6, the latest IP version which comes with larger address space, better security and better mobility than IPv4, as well as more features including multicasting.

SSDs & faster speed

DreamHost is one of the few web hosts which adopt SSDs to speed up shared servers. SSDs are expensive, while their benefits are also obvious. Compared with the traditional mechanical hard drives, you can experience up to 3x faster caching, database queries and PHP transactions. Besides SSDs, CDN is also utilized for much faster loading speed of static content.

According to our monitoring, DreamHost is 20% faster than Site5 in the average server response speed of the past year. However, you should note that this speed is not excellent even for shared hosting. To gain a better understanding, you can read the following comparison of DreamHost and InMotion, a web host known for fast speed.

Better ticket support

For some complicated website or hosting issues, it is recommended to ask for support by submitting a ticket so that the technicians have enough time to look into the problem and offer accurate solutions. Site5 and DreamHost both offer 24x7 ticket support, and can provide professional answers.

The difference is that DreamHost replies to customers' requests much faster. In most cases, you can receive a reply within 1 hour, and a solution within 6 hours. With Site5, the waiting time doubles.

For urgent issues or simple questions, you can also contact the support team of both web hosts by starting a live chat. Besides, the following resources are available for support.
  • Wiki/knowledgebase with written tutorials covering a wide range of topics including account setup, website backup, speed optimization and advanced configuration tips.
  • Discussion forums where you can seek solutions for your questions.
  • Server/system status page where you can get notified of the system or server issues.

Site5 Edges over DreamHost

Site5 has been in the industry for 16 years. During the long time, the company has built up its reputation by constantly optimizing the user experience. At present, it has the following advantages compared to DreamHost.


Site5 offers cPanel for all shared hosting users, while DreamHost has developed their own web-based control panel. This is a slight edge for Site5 because cPanel is the most popular Linux web hosting control panel that is familiar to millions of webmasters. But honestly, DreamHost control panel does not lag behind much in the usability, design and features. A few minutes are enough for getting started with it.

Free phone support

All Site5 customers can enjoy the convenience of phone support when getting into trouble. No extra fee is charged. But you must remember that the phone support is not available 24x7. Instead, you can only use it in working hours: 10 AM to 6 PM CST from Monday to Friday.

DreamHost also offers support through phone. But they only provide callback services within the Premium Support package which charges additional $14.95/mo. So we'd suggest you to prevent using the service unless you need advanced support in very urgent circumstances.

More server locations

Site5 offers more than 20 server locations among which you can choose the one closest to your visitors to gain better performance. Most of the locations are inside the US, but there are also some options in South America, Asia and Europe. The point you need to note is that except for Dallas, the default server location, you have to pay $1/mo – $5/mo additional hosting fee if you choose other locations.

Site5 or DreamHost – Which to Choose?

The two web hosts have several advantages as well as disadvantages when compared with each other. Due to the shortage in speed and support, neither of them is considered as a top choice for shared hosting users.

If you want better options with great performance, affordable price and responsive support, look at the offerings of the web hosts listed below. With the goal to give you some ideas on where to start, all the following web hosts are selected according to our reviewing experience.