DreamHost vs. GoDaddy (2017)

Laura Stamey Laura Stamey Hosting Expert
“We tested DreamHost & GoDaddy — The winner is DreamHost!”

Two wildly respected hosts in the market, DreamHost and GoDaddy are both industry veterans that have carved out signature services that are often considered second to none. GoDaddy is the world-reigning king of domain name registrations, boasting more than 71 million domains under management. The company has made major improvements in the last few years to make sure its hosting and support services stand up to the wildly successful domains side of the business, but DreamHost is nearly impossible to beat when it comes to premium managed WordPress hosting. As with so many of these host comparisons, your website requirements are really the determining factor for which of these two stellar providers shines.

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Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit DreamHost »
Overall Rating
4.7/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit GoDaddy »

Overall Hosting Comparison

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A top-notch host for those who know what they're looking for, DreamHost offers nuanced and performant hosting perfect for scaling websites and applications through the ranks of shared, VPS, cloud, and... read more +

A top-notch host for those who know what they're looking for, DreamHost offers nuanced and performant hosting perfect for scaling websites and applications through the ranks of shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting.

We love their features but realize that beginners or hobbyist developers might not want to fork over the extra cash to capitalize on the performance, optimization, and managed services that DreamHost offers.

If, however, your site is growing and gathering more and more traffic, few hosts will take care of you as well as DreamHost. Managed services include infrastructure management, automatic backups and updates, malware scans, and DDoS protection.

We appreciate how the independently owned company was built on a passion for open-source technologies. DreamHost developers routinely contribute code back to communities, such as WordPress and OpenStack, and the company has used their brainpower and experience to create the open-source storage system Ceph and OpenStack cloud network virtualization tool Akanda.

As such, DreamHost support agents know what they're talking about. Available all day, every day, the in-house support team provides help worthy of DreamHost's speedy SSD-based architecture, hand-crafted control panel, WordPress-tailored solutions, and reliable managed services.

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  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • In-house, 24/7 customer support
  • FREE SSL/TLS certificates
  • Unlimited storage and bandwidth
  • Supercharged SSDs on all plans
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

GoDaddy is exceptionally well-known in the hosting space — deemed the World's #1 Domain Name Registrar. They make it incredibly easy and affordable for folks to choose a domain name, sign up for hosting,... read more +

GoDaddy is exceptionally well-known in the hosting space — deemed the World's #1 Domain Name Registrar. They make it incredibly easy and affordable for folks to choose a domain name, sign up for hosting, and start building their online business or personal web property. While known for their domain, email, and shared hosting services, GoDaddy offers options for virtual and dedicated servers as well. They make the upgrade process as seamless as possible, so you shouldn't shy away from scaling your site as your business needs grow.

The user control options are pretty popular in the hosting space: your choice between the easy-to-use cPanel or Plesk control panels, plus Root (administrative) access for more tech-savvy customers. If you're particularly interested in webmail, GoDaddy offers their GoDaddy Workspace feature, an intuitive interface for keeping up with the unlimited email accounts you have available to you as a customer. All of this can be easily accessed and secured with your GoDaddy login info that you receive upon sign-up.

Customer support has been a focus of the GoDaddy team as they constantly work to improve. Today, they have an award-winning team of experts on staff, readily available to handle customer support tickets and emails 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While they're on hand to talk you through any issues, they're also keeping an eye on your server (as well as other clients sharing your server). Their security monitoring is round-the-clock and they guarantee uptime rates of 99.9% or better. This uptime rate is by no means outstanding in the industry, but for most end-users, it's all that's required. Their page load speeds (the time it takes for your webpages to load) are industry-leading, however.

The bottom line is this: GoDaddy is a go-to domain web host for millions of users world-wide for a reason. They maintain their ever-expanding network of users by offering blazing-fast load times, award-winning security and support, and a free domain name when you sign up for a year-long plan. It's a great hosting deal, particularly for first-timers and SMB owners, at a really great (low!) price point.

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  • Industry-leading load times
  • Award-winning support and security
  • World's #1 Domain Name Registrar
  • Choice of cPanel or Plesk included
  • 99.9% uptime guaranteed
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

Cheap Hosting Comparison

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

#8 out of 10 in Cheap Hosting reviews

While their price might be a little steep compared to other high-value hosting providers, DreamHost gives customers ample time and reasons to get hooked and stick around. The company, which started in the... read more +

While their price might be a little steep compared to other high-value hosting providers, DreamHost gives customers ample time and reasons to get hooked and stick around. The company, which started in the founders' dorm room in 1997, offers an industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee. Additionally, DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime and will reimburse customers the cost of a whole day of hosting for each hour of downtime outside of scheduled maintenance.

We love that DreamHost seems to be genuinely built with their customers' experience and success in mind. Beyond unlimited storage and bandwidth, their luxurious shared hosting package boasts high-performance SSDs that make your websites perform at least 20 times faster. Customers can also enjoy unlimited domain hosting, free domain privacy on sites registered through DreamHost, and unlimited email accounts.

We found that DreamHost's hand-crafted control panel gives easy access to all the tools beginners need to start and grow their sites: 1-click installers of top content management systems and eCommerce tools, SSL/TLS certificates from Let's Encrypt, and automated malware scans.

Their award-winning support and service teams are staffed by self-described tech veterans, geeks, and nerds who are trained to Tier II to provide the most knowledgeable and experienced assistance. If the extensive knowledgebase and user forums don't solve your problems, you can reach the in-house support team around the clock through phone callbacks, email tickets, Twitter, and live chat.

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  • Automated malware scans
  • Unlimited domain hosting
  • Unlimited email accounts with POP/IMAP/SMTP
  • FREE eCommerce store tools and PCI compliance
  • Streamlined proprietary control panel
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Cheap Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

A main pull factor for GoDaddy's hosting services is certainly the cost. It's hard to beat web hosting for a dollar per month, especially when they include a free domain name (with annual plan sign-up),... read more +

A main pull factor for GoDaddy's hosting services is certainly the cost. It's hard to beat web hosting for a dollar per month, especially when they include a free domain name (with annual plan sign-up), cPanel control panel, and some of the industry's fastest webpage load times. They make it not only affordable but super easy to get started — for first-timers, bloggers, business owners, and others.

You can choose a GoDaddy hosting plan based on your needs, with a range of options for storage, email, processing power, et cetera. If your site grows to need scalable and/or dedicated resources, their team makes that transition easy as well. VPSs and dedicated servers can be provisioned in minutes, with Root and cPanel access, and no re-provisioning is required for upgrades. All GoDaddy plans are equipped with the user control of cPanel (or Plesk, if you prefer). From cPanel, you can easily install and set up popular web applications for blogging and/or eCommerce (e.g., WordPress, Drupal, or Magento).

A big name in the budget web hosting space, GoDaddy is consistently improving the performance of their servers, their site, and their services in order to offer a great customer experience. With cPanel control and 1-click installations for standard web apps, you can get your website up and running quickly. Their 24/7 security monitoring and DDoS protection allow you the comfort in knowing that the professionals are making sure your site is online, loading quickly, and hacker-free. That power and peace of mind — at such a low price point — is quite a value deal.

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  • World's #1 Domain Name Registrar offers a FREE domain with hosting
  • Industry-leading page load times for your site's webpages
  • Unlimited bandwidth with up to unlimited storage space
  • Choose from two popular control panels: cPanel or Plesk
  • Award-winning support on-hand 24/7
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
100 GB - Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

Dedicated Hosting Comparison

Dedicated Rating

★★★★★ 4.8/5.0

When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times... read more +

When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times more RAM compared to well-known competitors. What's more, DreamHost includes up to 2TB of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a 100% uptime guarantee.

All dedicated servers come with full root and shell access, along with DDoS protection, RAID 1 storage, and unlimited MySQL databases. With DreamHost's custom control panel, customers can quickly add, remove, or reboot servers with just a few clicks.

We appreciate that DreamHost prides themselves on providing open-source solutions, contributing to and supporting developer communities, and maintaining expert-level support teams. In addition to running Ubuntu Long Term support, DreamHost supports PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby.

DreamHost has datacenters on both coasts and offers integration with the Cloudflare content delivery network, making sure your content loads quickly, no matter where your traffic comes from.

DreamHost's newest facility, dubbed "Data Center Alley," includes 2N+2 power redundancy and dual water lines for redundant cooling. Around-the-clock staffing, a 1GBps internet connection, and emergency generators can give dedicated hosting customers peace of mind that their sites will stay online for the long haul.

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  • Up to 12 cores available
  • Full root and shell access
  • DDoS protection and 24/7 server monitoring
  • Fully managed and customizable hardware options
  • RAID 1 HDD or SSD storage
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
240 GB SSD - 2 TB HDD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Dedicated Rating

★★★★ 4.1/5.0

GoDaddy dedicated server hosting plans feature managed support options, on-demand resources that are all yours, and the intuitive user control of cPanel. They offer plans for Linux and Windows users, with... read more +

GoDaddy dedicated server hosting plans feature managed support options, on-demand resources that are all yours, and the intuitive user control of cPanel. They offer plans for Linux and Windows users, with a variety of options for operating systems, RAM, processing power, disk space, and hardware choices.

With award-winning security monitoring, GoDaddy support is not only available around the clock to help you troubleshoot issues with your server but they're keeping an eye on your server status. They offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee, which isn't significant in the hosting industry, but their team is committed to keeping your site online and running speedily. They offer premier DDoS protection, anti-hacking services, and other SiteLock security add-ons. GoDaddy managed hosting customers benefit from the assurance that the experts will facilitate security patches, bug fixes, and site backups. In general, customer support is an element of the hosting experience that GoDaddy is consistently striving to improve in their offerings.

With resource configurations customized to meet your needs, GoDaddy offers dedicated server hosting that you can grow your business with — starting with a free domain name if you start with a 12-month plan. The GoDaddy tech support team is available 24/7, guarding your site against malware, hackers, unexpected downtime, and DDoS threats; meanwhile, their support agents are handling any support ticket requests that come through their chat portal or email system. With on-demand resources and industry-leading page load speeds, GoDaddy is a dedicated host that's worthy of your consideration.

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  • "Ready NOW" dedicated resources
  • Self-, semi-, and fully-managed plans
  • Maximum performance and data protection with RAID 1 disk mirroring
  • Total administrative control with Root access, plus cPanel control panel
  • Disaster recovery included
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
512 GB - 2 TB
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

VPS Hosting Comparison

VPS Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB. ... read more +

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB.

While DreamHost's VPS storage space and RAM options are in line with the industry average, DreamHost layers on a bevy of additional perks that turns their already competitive prices into big bargains.

Starting with all-SSD infrastructure, which boosts your website or application's speed by 20 times compared to standard SATA disk drives, DreamHost also includes a dedicated IP address and free SSL/TLS certificates, as well as unlimited bandwidth, domain hosting, and email accounts.

You can manage your virtual servers through DreamHost's custom control panel, which has been developed for more than 15 years. Although we originally missed the familiarity of cPanel or Plesk, we quickly adapted to DreamHost's sleek, modern panel. Easily scale your virtual servers up or down based on your expected needs.

For an added performance boost, DreamHost offers an add-on MySQL VPS service that puts your website's database on its own isolated server. Linux-VServers dedicate an initial 2300MB of RAM to your site, giving customers a sneak peek at what DreamHost's dedicated hosting looks like.

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  • Custom web-based control panel
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Easily scalable RAM
  • High-performance SSD drives
  • 5 years of security updates with Ubuntu Long Term Support
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

VPS Rating

★★★★ 3.8/5.0

If you're looking to grow and scale your website — you currently need, expect to need, or want the option to require scalable resources on-demand, GoDaddy has you covered. They have options for... read more +

If you're looking to grow and scale your website — you currently need, expect to need, or want the option to require scalable resources on-demand, GoDaddy has you covered. They have options for cloud-based, virtual, and dedicated servers along side their shared server offerings. Upgrading to any of these options is a relatively-seamless process. For example, after provisioning your server (in mere minutes) before initial deployment, you won't have to re-provision should you choose to upgrade later.

Dev folks will be pleased to hear that GoDaddy offers Root access, so you can install PHP, modules, and proxy servers via the command line with ease. Plans also include cPanel, so you can easily manage your hosting service. Meanwhile, the GoDaddy team will monitor your server 24/7, including handling patches and backups should you select one of their managed plan options.

The GoDaddy name may not immediately bring VPS hosting to mind. Nonetheless, GoDaddy's cloud server offerings include the security, support, and value deal that together embody the GoDaddy reputation in the hosting space. They give you everything you need to scale your web presence in the Cloud.

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  • Designed to handle traffic with Linux or Windows operating systems
  • Provision your server in minutes, with Root access and cPanel included
  • Provision-free upgrades, with tons of SiteLock security add-ons
  • Unlimited bandwidth and tons of processing power available
  • Managed services come standard
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
40 GB - 240 GB
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

WordPress Hosting Comparison

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.9/5.0

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the... read more +

One of only four hosting providers recommended by the WordPress Core team, DreamHost has actively contributed to the WordPress community for more than a decade. Their platform is optimized for the incredibly popular content management system, and plans include easy setup, automated updates and backups, unlimited bandwidth, and 24/7 specialized support.

DreamHost does an admirable job tailoring their shared hosting service around WordPress, but we're most impressed with their fully managed WordPress solution, DreamPress. Launched in 2013, DreamPress offers enhanced speed, scaling, and security by configuring various settings and plugins that streamline WordPress installation, databases, and server operations.

DreamPress adds multiple caching layers and isolates server resources to perform more than five times faster than shared hosting. We love that DreamHost allocates two VPS servers for each DreamPress customer: one optimized for the frontend and the other for MySQL. You'll get the same SSD storage found elsewhere in DreamHost plans, but DreamPress dynamically auto-scales memory to grow with your traffic.

Support and security are further tailored to WordPress with automatic updates and a firewall that blocks known WordPress vulnerabilities and offers protection from brute-force attacks. DreamPress uses NGINX, HTTP2, and Let's Encrypt SSL/TLS certificates to balance performance and privacy.

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  • Preconfigured and fully managed option available with DreamPress
  • Multiple caching layers with Varnish, Memcached, and OPcache
  • 1-click install and automatic updates
  • WP-specific firewall for security
  • Pre-installed SSL/TLS certificate
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

WordPress Rating

★★★★★ 4.7/5.0

Upon first getting started with GoDaddy, customers who sign up for an annual plan receive a free domain name and the power to control their hosting via cPanel or Plesk control panels. From either of these... read more +

Upon first getting started with GoDaddy, customers who sign up for an annual plan receive a free domain name and the power to control their hosting via cPanel or Plesk control panels. From either of these interfaces, you can quickly install and set up the WordPress environment at no additional cost. Even if you don't sign up for a 12-month GoDaddy plan, they're still known as the World's #1 Domain Name Registrar, so they're a reputable choice for hosting your domain.

GoDaddy WordPress plans feature managed services, which means you don't have to worry about tedious details of maintaining the server on which your site is hosted (e.g., security patches and bug fixes). While you're busy adding content, photos, or products to your WordPress site, GoDaddy ensures that your web pages are loading quickly and hackers are staying away. GoDaddy offers award-winning security practices, including DDoS protection, 24/7 server monitoring, and the peace of mind in knowing that experts are not only watching your server but they're keeping an eye on the activity of other users sharing your server.

Folks seeking a WordPress website are in need of the WordPress install itself, the domain at which to host the site, and as many easy-to-use features for managing the WordPress site as possible. GoDaddy offers all of the above: the 1-click install, domain, email, security monitoring, and hosting management power via cPanel. Especially for the low, low cost, they're a fine choice for WordPress hosting.

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  • 1-click WordPress installs via cPanel or Plesk control panels
  • World's #1 Domain Name Registrar offers a FREE domain
  • Experience 24/7 expert support
  • Award-winning security monitoring
  • Screaming-fast page load speeds
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
10 GB SSD - 50 GB SSD
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

Site Builder Hosting Comparison

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.6/5.0

For a while, the only knock on DreamHost was the lack of a website builder for beginner customers unfamiliar with web design. With the recent beta debut of Remixer, however, DreamHost has come up with yet... read more +

For a while, the only knock on DreamHost was the lack of a website builder for beginner customers unfamiliar with web design. With the recent beta debut of Remixer, however, DreamHost has come up with yet another way to appeal to site owners.

Hosting providers creating their own site builders can be a risky venture — why devote resources to trying something new when there's a tried-and-true outside option such as Weebly? DreamHost, however, seems to have hit a home run with Remixer. We love how the clean and modern interface directs users straight to whatever tools they need.

Remixer offers only about a dozen templates so far, but we know it's too early to fault them on that. The themes currently available, however, appeal to a surprisingly wide range of uses: small businesses, professionals, travelers, creatives, music, events, and even documentation. Remixer lets you preview each theme in desktop, tablet, and mobile (portrait AND landscape) views before getting to work.

The builder interface itself is equally impressive, giving users the options to customize, move, and add content based on row-based layouts. More experienced site owners will appreciate access to HTML code and the ability to use Markdown to format text.

Remixer is only available to current customers during the beta test and hasn't been released publicly. If you're looking for a sleek, refreshing site builder, sign up for a shared hosting plan with DreamHost to access Remixer.

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  • Beta of Remixer site builder available to current customers
  • Preview themes for desktop, tablet, and mobile (portrait and landscape)
  • Responsive, professional themes
  • Royalty-free images from Pixabay
  • HTML access for fine-grained control
  • Get started on DreamHost now.
Money Back Guarantee
97 days
Disk Space
Unlimited
Domain Name
FREE (1 year)

Website Builder Rating

★★★★★ 4.5/5.0

GoDaddy uses a version of the InstantPage website builder to offer a user-friendly site-building solution to their customers. Most of GoDaddy's hosting plans include this website builder as an option at no... read more +

GoDaddy uses a version of the InstantPage website builder to offer a user-friendly site-building solution to their customers. Most of GoDaddy's hosting plans include this website builder as an option at no additional cost. Plus, if you sign up for an annual hosting plan, this world-leading domain name registrar will include your website's new domain for free.

The InstantPage site builder interface is incredibly easy to use and includes a lot of options for customization. While you worry about making your website beautiful and professional-looking, the GoDaddy team is working around the clock to ensure that your site will remain online and performing speedily. Their award-winning security team monitors the server that's supporting your website — keeping an eye out for downtime, hackers, and other security threats. They also keep an eye on the usage of other customers sharing your server. The end result is their uptime guarantee of 99.9%, which isn't much in the hosting world, but it does the job for most users.

The bottom line is that for a mere dollar per month you can get started with GoDaddy's website builder plan and choose from hundreds of theme options to start designing the site of your dreams. See it as a free website builder with hosting that costs a dollar per month, or a dollar per month spent on a site builder with the hosting included for free — either way it's a pretty sweet deal.

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  • FREE InstantPage website builder included with most hosting plans
  • Easy-to-use interface with tons of customization options available
  • 24/7 expert support via phone, email, and ticketing system
  • 99.9% uptime with an award-winning team monitoring your site and server
  • Step-by-step walkthroughs
  • Get started on GoDaddy now.
Money Back Guarantee
30 days
Disk Space
1 GB - 50 GB
Domain Name
FREE (w/ annual plans)

DreamHost vs. GoDaddy - Our Conclusion

Laura Stamey Laura Stamey Hosting Expert
“We tested DreamHost & GoDaddy — The winner is DreamHost!”

As a sucker for all things WordPress, I naturally gravitate toward the platform-specific expertise of DreamHost. However, those site owners who are operating on a stricter budget and looser performance or content management system requirements will be extremely well served by GoDaddy’s full range of hosting options. GoDaddy is the ultimate launching pad for first-time hosting customers, while DreamHost is best for more established customers looking to take their existing websites and applications into the stratosphere.

Overall Rating
4.8/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit DreamHost »
Overall Rating
4.7/5.0 ★★★★★
Visit GoDaddy »