WEBHOSTINGPAD VS. DREAMHOST
Review of Features
Below you will find a detailed feature-by-feature comparison of my reviews for both of these companies. Based on my experience, I strongly recommend WebHostingPad over Dreamhost, but please take a look for yourself:
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|PRICE||Yes, I’ve been going on about price in this review already, but it is a point of emphasis here. In my experience working with several other hosting companies, I have learned a lot about how hosts can afford to offer such cheap hosting and still offer a good (or even great) service. WebHostingPad does this in two main ways. The first is that they don’t offer outrageous commissions to affiliates who promote their products. I won’t go into too much depth about this here, but if you’re interested in how that works you can read my article on How Affiliate Programs Work.
The second way WebHostingPad saves money for their customers is by offering their basic shared hosting plan as an a la carte type option. Many other hosting companies will offer a bunch of additional features and market them as great tools, thus justifying the higher price. The fact is that most of these additional features won’t be used by 80% of the customers. They are useless to the majority of people who own small personal websites. Instead of adding these on and increasing prices, they offer them as additional features that each customer can pay for individually should they decide that they need the service. In my opinion, this is a much more efficient and cost effective offer.
|Dreamhost is definitely one of the pricier web hosts out there. Their lowest starting rate is a hefty $7.95/month, billed triennially, and it only goes up from there. They offer a free domain for the first year, as is standard, but unfortunately their TLDs are limited to a select few.
One redeeming feature about their pricing is that they don't fall into the "rising renewal rates" gimmick, with their rates staying the same depending on which billing cycle you choose. They also offer a 97-Day Money-Back Guarantee, although it only applies to card payments for shared hosting. Everything else is non-refundable.
|FEATURES||As explained above, you aren’t going to get all of the additional features you may get from other hosts, but this won’t take away from your ability to run your website. WebHostingPad offers the same features as most every other shared web host including unlimited disk space and bandwidth, a free domain name, 30 day money back guarantee, free website builder, and so on.
WebHostingPad also provides additional features at a cost like SSL certificates, SSH access, an advanced security scan, and more, but these are more suited for advanced web developers and business website owners. These tools are not going to be used by the vast majority of beginner and novice website owners, so why pay for them? They are an optional extra if you decide you need them at a later date, but this is how they save their customers from high prices.
|One of Dreamhost's best features is probably also their worst. They have their own "homegrown" control panel, and while it's neater and highly integrated, it makes it extremely difficult to transfer your website to and from any other host. cPanel is the industry standard, used by nearly all major web hosts, and makes cPanel to cPanel transfers significantly easier. Dreamhost's control panel is entirely different, and some cPanel hosts won't even accept transfers from hosts with alternative control panels. This is good for locking in Dreamhost customers to their hosting service, but has no major benefit for you unless you're certain you'll remain with Dreamhost forever.|
Nearly all their other features are "unlimited", which you should always be wary of. At least they're upfront about it in their unlimited policy, which in my opinion, is closer to truly "unlimited" than 95% of EIG hosts with similar promises.
|RELIABILITY||You might expect your performance to be lacking because of how inexpensive WebHostingPad is, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. WebHostingPad’s servers are stable and reliable. After a 7 month test my website had a total up time of 99.942%, which is above their 99.9% guarantee. Server response time is fast and my websites loaded quicker than on competitors servers.
This is just a guess, but my assumption as to why the server speed was quicker than other hosting companies is due to the lack of the additional features on every account. Having these features running in the background on every account on a server causes more resources to be used on the back end, which in turn leaves less of those resources to be used on website functionality. Again, just a guess, but it makes sense to me.
|Dreamhost boasts 100% uptime, which simply isn't possible. Servers go down sometimes. Even private servers. It happens, and for Dreamhost to claim that it doesn't happen to their servers makes me wonder how truthful their "rock-solid uptime guarantee" is.|
Still, a combination of my own tests and others' tests have proven they still have a higher-than-average uptime, with their lowest reported sitting at 94.9%. Definitely not a rock-solid 100% but what you should expect from a host charging as much as they do.
Dreamhost also doesn't have an automated backup/restore system. While making your own manual backups is good practice, a lot of users who contract developers don't have that option readily available, and Dreamhost's lack of backup security makes it problematic for the average user.
|TECH SUPPORT||WebHostingPad’s support team is generally knowledgeable and able to help quickly with easier questions that most beginners would face when starting a new account. The one gripe I have (which is the case with most hosting companies, not just WebHostingPad) is that only level 1 support is available over the phone or through live chat. If you have an issue that needs to be escalated to a higher department then you must submit a ticket. I will say that the response times of the tickets was quick, usually within 1 hour. In any case, the WebHostingPad support staff was able to resolve issues promptly and efficiently.||Dreamhost's support is good, but slow and small. They hired a smaller support staff, supposedly to make sure each customer receives "personal attention" which, while helpful sometimes, falls short if you need something resolved as quickly as possible.|
They're also extremely email-focused. Their live chat is relatively new, and often handled much the same way as their email support is. Their phone support is "secondary" so if you prefer speaking to a real person in real time, you want to find another host. When I called their support number with an issue on my test account, I was told to send an email. For high-maintainence sites and users, having a multitude of support options is a requirement where Dreamhost falls short.
|CONCLUSION||WebHostingPad is a great choice for beginners. It is cheap, easy to use, and reliable. You won’t get some of the features that other hosts include, but these features are not useful for customers who are new to web hosting. It is a great starting point for a new customer and it will get you familiar with how to run a website without being too overbearing.||Dreamhost is a decent choice for a host, if you're willing to pay and play by their rules. They do have the benefit of not being associated with EIG, but I'm not sure you should pay them just because they're not owned by EIG. While their features and uptime are good, they're not entirely worth the pricetag. But their lackluster support, alternate control panel, and expectations of self-suffieciency, Dreamhost is better for more experienced website owners who are willing to pay to get what they want.|
These are some choice differences between these two hosts. Note that this is not a complete list of features offered by both companies, but rather the most useful and popular features requested by clients for their websites.
|Introductory Price||$.199 / mo||$7.95 / mo|
|Renewal Price||$3.49 / mo||$7.95 / mo|
|Free Domain||yes||select domains only|