Surely, I'm not the only one who wishes hosting a website was as easy as creating a social media account. Unfortunately, it's not, and you'll have to part with hundreds of dollars to create a new website. With web hosting, you can't afford to make mistakes. So, if you're struggling to decide which of the Hostinger and DreamHost web hosting services is right for you, I'm about to make your life a lot easier.
Some weeks ago, I purchased premium packages from both providers and created this review, which pits Hostinger vs DreamHost for the claim of the best web hosting provider for you. In this post, I'll analyze their:
- Main features
- Privacy and security
- Customer support
- Extra features
Don't have time to read every detail? Here's a quick summary to help you choose right away:
The main difference between Hosting and DreamHost is that Hostinger offers better performance in terms of speed and uptime and is great if you want a website with high user engagement such as blogs or art sites. DreamHost offers better back-end functionality, making it ideal for building websites for medium to large businesses.
Hostinger vs DreamHost: Main Features
|Hosting Types||● Shared hosting|
● WordPress hosting
● Cloud hosting
● VPS hosting
● cPanel hosting
● CyberPanel hosting
● Minecraft hosting
|● Shared hosting|
● WordPress hosting
● VPS hosting
● Dedicated hosting
● Cloud hosting
|Websites||1 to 300||1 to Unlimited|
|Storage Space||20GB to 300GB SSD||30GB to Unlimited SSD and up to 2TB HDD|
|Bandwidth||100GB to Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Databases||2 to Unlimited||6 to Unlimited|
|Speed||Test site load time: 0.8s to 1sResponse time: 109ms to 250ms||Test site load time: 1.8s to 2.2sResponse time: 1,413ms to 1,870ms|
|Uptime||100% in last month||99.6% in last month|
|Server Locations||7 countries||1 country|
|User Interface||Easy to use||Easy to use|
|Default Control Panel||hPanel||DreamHost Panel|
|Dedicated Server RAM||1GB to 16GB||1GB to 64GB|
There are certain core aspects that make or break a hosting service. Web experts categorize them into the following:
- Web hosting key features
I'll explain the importance of each aspect before letting you know how both hosting services performed.
Web Hosting Key Features
These are perhaps the most important values of a hosting platform, hence they are at the forefront of their service offerings. These features include:
- the types of hosting available
- number of websites allowed for a specific plan
- Bandwidth restrictions
- RAM size for dedicated virtual servers
Hostinger offers access to more hosting types than most web hosting services I've come across. They have up to seven hosting types: shared, Wordpress, cloud, VPS, and more.
If you're looking for basic web hosting for a simple website (blog, portfolio, landing page), you may choose Wordpress or shared hosting. However, for a business website with more advanced features that require large resources, try the other web host types. If possible, go for a dedicated server.
Hostinger offers dedicated hosting in the form of cloud and VPS. The VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting is different from cloud hosting because it offers you root access to your dedicated server. This difference gives you complete control over your server's infrastructure.
I don't recommend you use VPS if you don't have a tech team to manage it. A dedicated hosting cloud server is a lot simpler to manage.
The dedicated servers on Hostinger offer varying RAM resources: 1GB – 16GB for VPS hosting and 3GB – 12GB for cloud hosting. For a small online store, 2GB is the recommended RAM size. Hence, you're covered for a more advanced business website but may have to purchase a non-basic VPS plan.
Hostinger also offers between 100GB to unlimited bandwidth. Since the bandwidth restrictions decrease with an increase in server resources, this is a fair setup.
The web hosting provider allows 1 to 300 websites depending on your hosting type and plan. Not many people would own more than 300 websites, but I think big-time webmasters wouldn't be happy with this restriction.
Servers are basically high-end computers, hence they have limitations on the amount of data they can store. You'll need disk storage (SSD or HDD) to keep all the files, images, and documents related to your websites.
Hostinger's plans provide SSD storage that ranges from 20GB to 300GB. SSD have higher speeds than HDD, so they're ideal for web hosting. Also, the simplest of websites don't need more than 700MB to 800MB. That means 20GB is more than enough to host several high-end sites.
Also, you may want to create databases on the backend of your websites to store info such as inventory list, web polls, customer feedback, etc.
I was disappointed to find that Hostinger's back-end allowance starts at just two databases, which is too small. You'll have to pay extra money to get more.
No one likes a slow site. Neither do search engines like Google and Bing. If your web pages load too slowly, you'll drive visitors away and your search rankings will suffer.
Also, server's have been known to occasionally crash. During this period, no one can access your site – not even leads or customers. Even the best hosting providers can experience downtimes, but the rarer they occur, the better.
They might offer an uptime guarantee, which allows you to earn compensation if your uptime doesn't meet their promised percentage (typically 99.8% to 100%).
I'm not one to take enterprise companies by their words, so, I tested Hostinger shared hosting plan for its speed and uptime using a test site. Here's what I uncovered:
- Test site load time: 0.8s to 1s
- Response time: 109ms to 250ms
- Uptime in the last month: 100%
The above performance stats are well above the average among web hosting service providers.
Server location plays a role in some of these results. You'll want to pick a server that is closest to your target audience for an optimized performance. Hostinger's servers provide several options as they're are located in 7 countries:
- the US
- the UK
- the Netherlands
If you don't have any tech experience or you just want to manage your hosting servers as easily as possible, you'll need a control panel.
Most hosting service providers use cPanel, but Hostinger has its own control panel called hPanel. I must say, it has a user-friendly interface and is just as easy to use as cPanel, if not more.
Web Hosting Key Features
DreamHost offers five types of hosting: shared, Wordpress, cloud, VPS, and more. Unlike Hostinger, it has dedicated hosting as a stand-alone package, which gives you access to your own server.
DreamHost's VPS hosting does not provide a dedicated server with root access. On the other hand, their dedicated hosting and cloud hosting (called DreamCompute) offers root access.
The dedicated server packages (with and without root access) offer RAMs that range from 1GB to a massive 64GB!
While trying to pick a plan, I was delighted to find two perks:
- The hosting provider offers unlimited bandwidth on all plans. That means my site traffic can grow quickly and without limitations.
- They also offer plans that allow for 1 to unlimited websites. People who build hundreds of sites annually for a living will love the infinite ceiling DreamHost offers.
The DreamHost service also uses SSD storage for most of its plans (except dedicated). You can enjoy 30GB to unlimited storage space depending on the plan you choose. The VPS and WordPress storage cap at 240GB for some reason.
Also, DreamHost's allowable databases start at 6, which is way better than what Hostinger offers. At higher packages, you'll get unlimited databases.
With the same testing procedures, I got the following performance results:
- Test site load time: 1.8s to 2.2s
- Response time: 1,413ms to 1,870ms
- Uptime in the last month: 99.6%
These results are poor compared to Hostinger's. It gets even worse because they only have one data center or server location: the US.
DreamHost has its own control panel, called DreamHost Panel. I tried it for a few weeks and decided it's just as easy to use as hPanel.
Winner is: Hostinger
Hostinger wins this round solely based on its top-tier performance and abundant hosting options.
Hostinger vs DreamHost: Security & Privacy
|Server Security||● mod_security|
● PHP protection
● HTTP/2 support
● malware remover
|Backups||Weekly to Daily||Daily|
|Domain Privacy||Yes ($5 per year)||Yes (free)|
How safe is your site and its sensitive data if you use Hostinger and DreamHost? Let's find out.
It's common practice for web hosting providers to include a free SSL certificate when you purchase one of their packages. An SSL certificate protects your site data from unauthorized third-parties by encrypting it.
These certificates also establish trust between you and site visitors, while helping you rank higher on search engines.
The developers at hosting companies take certain measures to protect their customers' servers from data breaches and malware.
Hostinger uses mod_security and PHP protection (Suhosin and hardening) modules to safeguard websites.
When managing a website, a lot could go wrong in an instant. Accidental deletion of key site elements and malicious hacks are common problems. I once downloaded a plugin that messed up all my web pages.
Thankfully, I was able to restore my site back to how it was before the problem started. This was only possible because my web host offered regular automatic backups.
With Hostinger, you will also get auto backups, however not every plan will entitle you to this perk daily. They support weekly backups for lower-tier plans and daily backups for higher packages.
Although, I recommend you provide accurate personal information when creating a new domain, your honesty comes with a small issue. All new domain registrants will have their info published on the WHOIS directory, a public database that houses details about every domain owner such as names, addresses, and phone numbers. This leaves you open to spam and unwanted attention.
A reliable web hosting service will give you a paid or free option to opt in for domain privacy, which keeps your info private, even on WHOIS.
Hostinger gives you the option to get domain privacy for an additional fee of $5 per year.
DreamHost also offers free SSL certificates for each plan. I got the Let's Encrypt SSL certificate when I subscribed.
To safeguard its users, DreamHost uses mod_security, HTTP/2 support (encrypted by default), and a malware remover tool.
All DreamHost hosting plans come with daily backups (both automatic and manual).
DreamHost offers free domain privacy for both new and transferred domains.
Winner is: DreamHost
With better security features, daily backups, and free domain privacy, Dreamhost deserves the win here.
Hostinger vs DreamHost: Web Hosting Pricing Plans
|Subscription Durations||One Month, One Year, Two Years, Four Years||One Month, One Year, Three Years|
|Most Expensive Shared Hosting Plan||$16.99/month||$13.99/month|
|Best Deal||$95.52 for four years (save 80%)||$142.20 for three years (save 72%)|
|Best Discounts||● 10% student discount|
● 1%-off coupons
|Cheapest Domain Price||$0.99/year||$0.99/year|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days||30 to 97 days|
Both web hosts have dozens of unique hosting plans. I found some affordable plans for you.
Below are the cheapest annual plans for each hosting type from Hostinger:
● Shared: $3.49/month
● Cloud: $14.99/month
● WordPress: $4.99/month
● cPanel: $4.49/month
● VPS: $3.99/month
● Minecraft Server: $7.95/month
● CyberPanel: $4.95/month
All pricing plans come with a money-back guarantee. I found a 15% student-only discount on the site. You can also save an additional 1% by checking out the Hostinger coupon page.
Let's check out DreamHost pricing. Below are the cheapest annual plans for each hosting type:
- Shared: $2.95/month
- Cloud: $4.5/month
- WordPress: $2.95/month
- VPS: $13.75/month
- Dedicated: $149/month
DreamHost plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee except its WordPress hosting which has 97 days. There are no ongoing discounts.
Winner is: Hostinger
The service has more duration options, deals, and discounts.
Hostinger vs DreamHost: Customer Support
|Support Team Quality||Good||Excellent|
With anything tech-related, you can expect to find issues that need troubleshooting. That's where the customer support team comes in.
After testing their support options I found that Hostinger offers a working 24/7 live chat and email support. There is no phone support though.
On the site, I found several helpful FAQs and tutorials on basically every web hosting subject I could think of.
To verify their support quality, I dug up 20 of their latest customer support reviews on Trustpilot. I found 14 excellent and 6 bad reviews. I would say Hostinger's support team quality is good, albeit inconsistent.
DreamHost also has live chat support, and it works nearly 19 hours in a day. They also offer email and phone support. I was able to request a callback, but had to pay $9.95 (the alternative was $14.95/month for 3 callbacks).
On the site, I found excellent FAQ and tutorial sections. DreamHost's Trustpilot customer support reviews were near perfection. All 20 were excellent.
Winner is: DreamHost
Having a superior customer support team gives DreamHost the edge in this round.
Hostinger vs DreamHost: Extras
|Free Website Builder||None||Available|
|Free Domain||8/35 packages||5/21 packages|
|WordPress||One-click install||Pre-installed and one-click install|
From hosting web design services to email hosting, you'll need all the extra perks you can get. Here's what these companies have to offer you.
Having a dedicated IP address is a lot better than having a shared IP for the following reasons:
- Better email reputation and deliverability
- Improved SEO
- More server control
- Improved site speed
All VPS hosting plans on Hostinger offer free dedicated IP.
Besides free SSL certificate, email is another added service that most hosting platforms love to offer at no extra cost. Hostinger provides free email accounts with each plan.
You can set up SEO Toolkit PRO from your hPanel.
Free Website Builder
After creating and hosting your website, you'll need a website builder with simple drag & drop features to design it to your taste.
Hostinger doesn't offer a free website builder, but you can get its premium web designer, called Zyro, for at least $2.90/month.
8 out of all 35 Hostinger packages come with a free domain. You'll need to buy or transfer domains if you need more.
The service offers a one-click WordPress install option.
All dedicated server hosting comes with a dedicated or unique IP address.
Some hosting plans like cloud don't provide free email accounts. The majority of them do, however.
There's also a DreamHost SEO Toolkit that provides insights and tips to help you rank your pages higher.
Free Website Builder
DreamHost plans come with a free WP website builder.
5 out of all 21 hosting packages offer free domains.
If you choose the DreamPress package, you'll get a pre-installed WordPress CMS. If not, you can get instant WordPress with the one-click install option.
Winner is: DreamHost
The DreamHost service narrowly wins this round by providing a free website builder.
Which web hosting provider is better for WordPress between DreamHost vs Hostinger?
DreamHost's DreamPress is a more specialized hosting plan for WordPress users. Hostinger is also good for WordPress but falls short of DreamHost in this aspect.
Which is faster?
Hostinger has faster speeds, less response time, and better uptimes than DreamHost.
Is Hostinger an Indian web hosting provider?
Although Hostinger has servers in India, it is a Lithuania based company. It has its headquarters in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Does Hostinger provide cPanel?
Although Hostinger mostly uses its in-house control panel (hPanel), you can buy a separate cPanel hosting plan.
Summary: Hostinger vs Dreamhost
If I'm to pick a winner in the Hostinger vs DreamHost battle, I'll go with DreamHost. They offer a better all-round experience that caters to business-minded people, like myself. If you need a website for your medium to large business, you should try DreamHost.
However, if what you need is a simple website for entertainment or small business transactions, I strongly recommend Hostinger. You should try it.