SiteGround vs. DreamHost: I Dreamed One Of These Was Better

DreamHost isn’t a bad host really, but in the SiteGround vs DreamHost battle it loses badly. SiteGround is a premium host that gives you lots of scripts, services, and fantastic support while DreamHost does it’s best to keep up. In the past, one of the advantages that SiteGround had was its standard cPanel, but they have since made their own custom control panel, so we’ll have to compare those to see which is best.

Overall, most will find that SiteGround works better for them, but there will be a few out there who like what DreamHost offers. Be sure to read on and see how they compare to see which one is right for you.


If you are completely new and want the lowest price, then DreamHost might be better for you. You can choose between either monthly or yearly plans, and as expected, the yearly plans save you a fair amount of money. DreamHost’s layout is a little confusing when looking through the plans. Be sure to click the drop-down next to the plan you want, such as Starter, to see the various packages.

That being said, DreamHost’s initial plan starts at $3.95 per month if you choose the annual plan. While the resources aren’t great (be sure to check the next section for that), the price is admittedly quite good. You might prefer this if you are just starting out and your website is completely new.

SiteGround uses the more traditional trial-period discount where you save money on your initial purchase (usually up to 3 years of hosting) before going up to the “regular” price. Their StartUp plan is made for newcomers and is priced at $6.99 per month with the trial period and then $14.99 after that.

As we hinted at before, please check the resources section to see what you get for this price.

That being said, if you are only looking at the numbers, then DreamHost might be better for budget-conscious buyers who aren’t making money with their website yet.

Price winner: DreamHost

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You should always check to see what you’re getting with the hosting package. You’ll want to look at bandwidth, disk space, and number of domains. While the wording might make it seem like DreamHost is better (doesn’t “unlimited” bandwidth sound great?), the truth is that you’re getting much more with SiteGround.

DreamHost’s smallest plan gives you unlimited bandwidth and unmetered disk space. The only thing that’s limited is the domain. The smallest plan gives you one while the next one up gives you unlimited.

Now, before we go on, we need you to understand what unlimited really means. It doesn’t mean that you get terabyte after terabyte of bandwidth. It just means that the host doesn’t meter you or charge you for overages. However, your real bandwidth depends on what everyone else on the server is doing. If you use too many resources, then your website will slow down and the host might demand that you upgrade for more resources. You’ll never know how much traffic you can really accommodate until it’s too late and your website is moving at a snail’s pace.

While SiteGround’s resources don’t sound as great as “unlimited,” they really are better. You get the same one domain for the initial plan (the next plan up allows for unlimited domains and more resources), but you get 10GB of disk space and enough bandwidth for 10,000 visitors per month. That’s actually quite good for the price. Plus, it ensures that you know how many people you can accommodate before you need to upgrade.

Not only that, but SiteGround tends to be better with their upgrades. DreamHost lets you go from “unlimited” to “more unlimited” with each upgraded plan. The plans cost more, but you don’t know if you’re really getting more. SiteGround tells you exactly how much you’re getting so you know what to expect.

DreamHost might cost less, but you’re getting your money’s worth with SiteGround.

Resources winner: SiteGround

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Control Panel

In the past when we compared SiteGround vs DreamHost, one major difference was that DreamHost had a custom control panel while SiteGround used the standard cPanel. Many people love cPanel, but now SiteGround has done away with it and made their own control panel. While some might like DreamHost’s control panel, we think that SiteGround is better.

DreamHost’s control panel is made for beginners who haven’t owned a website before. It’s very easy to use, yes, but it’s also stripped down and much less robust than cPanel or SiteGround’s Site Tools.

You’ll get tools for managing your website, using One Click Installs to install scripts, and so on. Those who are used to cPanel will find it a little confusing because everything is in a different order, but it’s easy enough to learn. If you don’t need anything too advanced, then this should be fine.

SiteGround’s Site Tools simplified the cPanel experience, but it didn’t remove features. This control panel will take some time to learn, but both experienced cPanel users and newcomers should both like it. You get all the same features and many are easier to access.

The only thing that I don’t like is that you’ll need separate FTP login credentials for each domain. While this is safer (only one domain will be compromised if a hacker gets the login credentials), it’s also annoying.

While neither have cPanel anymore, I like SiteGround’s tool much better. Both are made for newcomers, but SiteGround only simplified the experience while DreamHost makes it nearly impossible to do more advanced website management.

Control panel winner: SiteGround

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When you get a website, it starts off as a static HTML property. Nearly every website owner uses a script, usually a CMS like WordPress, to make their website useful and easy to build. You’ll want a host that gives you an easy script installer and preferably with many useful scripts. This ensures that you can build the website of your dreams with as little effort as possible.

Both SiteGround and DreamHost have script installers and they are both easy. However, SiteGround wins because they have significantly more scripts.

DreamHost uses their proprietary One-Click Installer. This allows you to install a script very quickly and many of the most popular ones are available, such as WordPress, Joomla, and WooCommerce. That being said, those that are less popular (but still have strong followings) aren’t found here, such as Drupal and Magento.

SiteGround uses Softaculous Remote through the App Manager tool on their new control panel. This also installs scripts easily and includes over 300 scripts to choose from, so you’re getting much more than with DreamHost.

While both hosts make it easy to install scripts, SiteGround wins by offering more variety. While you could say it’s a tie if you’re going to install something popular like WordPress, it’s always good to have variety if you want to try something new.

Scripts winner: SiteGround

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DreamHost is faster than some other beginner hosts and they offer some similar benefits that you’ll see with SiteGround, but SiteGround is a premium host and it really shows here. Let’s start with their similarities before getting into the differences.

First of all, both hosts use SSD (solid-state drive) servers. This is the fastest technology currently available and it really shows. This ensures that your websites load quickly and efficiently.

They also both have good uptime guarantees. SiteGround promises 99.9% uptime, but it’s usually closer to 99.99%. However, DreamHost does the unthinkable and promises 100% uptime. While your website won’t truly be up all the time (mistakes happen), they will give you a free day of hosting for every hour your website is down, which is nice. Most hosts just apologize for the downtime and that’s it, but DreamHost penalizes themselves and it’s a benefit to you.

However, outside of that advantage, SiteGround is the clear winner with speed. They offer more servers around the world, which makes it easy to find a location that’s close to you and ensures the highest speed for your audience. They also tend to adopt new technology very quickly.

On the other end, DreamHost tends to be a slow adopter. They will take their time before finally updating their system. If DreamHost is updating, then it’s a safe bet than nearly every other host has already taken on that upgrade.

They are both pretty fast, but SiteGround is definitely the winner here.

Speed winner: SiteGround

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DreamHost’s support is pretty good, but it doesn’t compare to SiteGround. Honestly, very few hosts compare to SiteGround in this arena. They are the best when it comes to availability and knowledgeable staff.

Both of them offer 24/7 support, but the type of support offered differs. DreamHost offers this for emails, live chats, and social media. That’s right, no phone support. The response is usually quick, but expect to wait a few minutes until someone answers your question.

The support team is pretty good. If you have a basic question, then they should be able to answer it pretty quickly. However, if you have an advanced question, then you might have to go through several escalations before the issue is resolved. Overall, we would say the support is good, but not quite the best.

SiteGround on the other hand has 24/7 support for email, live chat, and phone. Plus, there should be no hold time for phone or live chat. You should get a knowledgeable staff member immediately. Plus, they have a picture so that you know who you’re talking to. While emails take a little longer, you should only have to wait 10 minutes at most until you get a reply.

While both have 24/7 support, SiteGround offers more support options, the support is more personalized, and you don’t have to wait until you get an answer. Plus, SiteGround tends to answer your questions quicker as well with fewer escalations. DreamHost is pretty good, but SiteGround is the best.

Support winner: SiteGround

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Every host has its disadvantages. Even though we’ve largely said how great SiteGround is throughout this review, even they have problems that you should be aware of. We included this section to give you a more comprehensive look at what you can expect with whichever host you choose.

Starting with DreamHost, their control panel can be annoying and far too simple for anyone who wants advanced website management. In fact, DreamHost is entirely swayed towards beginners. If you’re new, then the handholding is nice, but experienced users will quickly get annoyed at being treated like a child.

Also, the shared hosting “upgrade” is a joke. Going from unlimited to more unlimited makes no sense. There’s no way to know if you’re actually getting more bandwidth. We also said how their smallest plan has the best price, but DreamHost quickly becomes expensive as you start upgrading. They also tend to have more upsells for basic services.

Lastly, they are slow adopters for new technology. They justify this by saying that they want to ensure that the new software or hardware is worth the upgrade, but it often means that they are the last to take on new features.

SiteGround’s biggest disadvantage is their price. Yes, they give you lots of resources for it, but they also cost more than most other hosts. If you’re just starting out, then it might be hard to justify the cost because you don’t know if your website will make money or not.

Some people might also see their new control panel as a disadvantage, especially if you are familiar with and love cPanel. While you get all the main features, many people dislike custom control panels because they are different. It’s easy to use, but keep this in mind.

Final Thoughts

DreamHost does have some advantages over SiteGround. Their initial shared hosting plans are more affordable, and they have a 100% uptime guarantee. But, SiteGround is the real winner here. You get more resources, you know exactly what resources you’re getting, their control panel is better, they offer the best support of any host, and their only real disadvantage is a higher price.

If you are completely new and just want an affordable host, then DreamHost might be better. For any other user, we highly suggest SiteGround because you’re getting a much better value for your investment.