The rapid growth of the internet and the mobile phone industry has developed the desire, and even the need, for many people to have an online presence.
Whether you are a professional or a freelancer or have a small, medium or large business, it’s essential for you to be visible online.
And it’s just not enough to throw up a website. To remain visible, and competitive if you’re in business, you still have to put in a lot of effort once your site is up and running.
A large part of this is handling the site hosting and maintenance. This is where webmasters often run into difficulties, as they already have a lot of things on their plate.
An experienced, reliable and high-performing web hosting service is exactly what’s required here.
You shouldn’t take a chance when it comes to choosing your site’s hosting provider. Ideally, you want a brand name that has been in the hosting industry for quite a while; a company that is highly popular and one that you can easily trust.
Both have been offering web hosting services for more than 18 years. DreamHost was founded in 1997, while iPage was started a year later in 1998.
To take the guesswork out of choosing between them, we’ve conducted an in-depth review and comparison of the various hosting features offered by iPage and DreamHost.
iPage focuses mainly on website hosting, emails, and online security, while DreamHost offers several additional functionalities related to cloud computing, cloud storage, and more.
Furthermore, iPage is better known for its shared hosting plans and its ease of use, even for nontechnical people.
Having served more than 1 million sites, iPage has won several awards, including Best Value Host and Best Budget Host.
Meanwhile, DreamHost also has good shared hosting plans but is better known for its ability to handle large traffic websites with its VPS and dedicated hosting plans.
DreamHost has hosted more than 1.5 million websites and is an award-winning service that has gathered some credible awards, such as PC Mag’s Best Web Hosting Service.
Uptime and Reliability
Uptime. Once your website is up and running, you need it to be available around the clock.
However, that doesn’t always happen, as downtimes occur with any web host
But, your web host should be able to bring your website back online extremely quickly. DreamHost claims to give a 100% uptime guarantee, but it is important to note that it calculates this uptime by excluding the downtime caused by scheduled maintenance.
In reality, iPage and DreamHost both offer excellent uptime percentages that are in the range of 99.99%.
Reliability. iPage has two US-based data centers that are powered by 100% wind energy, along with a diesel backup generator, uninterrupted power supply, and more.
iPage also uses a pooled server environment, where no pool is contained within one rack only. So, even if there is a power failure on any particular rack, your website will still be running without any downtime.
DreamHost’s data centers are monitored round the clock, along with support for uninterrupted power supply (3 megawatts). These are so robust they can handle earthquakes as well as fire.
iPage’s servers run on Intel Xeon Quad Core Processors, while DreamHost’s servers run on AMD processors.
DreamHost also uses SSDs (instead of SATA hard disk drives) and CDN (Content Delivery Network). This leads to super-fast server response speed which helps to give a significant boost to your web pages’ speed.
While iPage manages a good server response time of around 550ms, DreamHost’s server response time is slightly better at around 500ms.
Opinion on DreamHost and iPage Performance
Both iPage and DreamHost offer excellent uptime and reliability. However, DreamHost gets our nod for its slightly better server response time and web page load speeds.
Compare Key Features
Website Builder. You can use Weebly Basic for free from the iPage control panel to build a website, using the simple drag-and-drop interface.
However, to access advanced site building features with iPage, you must purchase plans to use the Weebly premium site builder or the goMobi site builder.
Dreamhost doesn’t provide any website builder tools. You first need to create your website elsewhere and then upload it to the DreamHost server through FTP.
Having done this, you can easily create a mobile-optimized website by using the menu options on your DreamHost account.
Security. With iPage, you get shared SSL for free with the shared hosting plans, but the private SSL is an additional cost.
For malware protection and removal, iPage provides free basic SiteLock services. However, if you require premium security, you will need to pay a fixed fee each month.
DreamHost enables anti-spam protection for your email accounts by using email blacklists provided by Spamhaus (a spam fighting agency).
DreamHost also allows you better control over your website’s access if you like to experiment a bit with the technical stuff. You can also set up your own SSL certificates.
It’s relatively easy to edit the .htaccess file and control access to your website or to set up a password for it. You can monitor the processes on your site by creating automated batch jobs for task scheduling.
WordPress Hosting. There’s a managed WordPress hosting option with DreamHost under the DreamPress 2 plan.
This enables you to host your WordPress site or blog on Virtual Private Servers. At $19.95 per month, you have access to the following features:
- Automatic WordPress Installation
- 30GB SSD storage
- Compatible with all WordPress themes and plugins
- PHP 5.6 with OPcache and optional HHVM
There is no managed WordPress hosting with iPage. Instead, it has two WordPress hosting plans – the Starter plan (starting at $3.75 per month) and the Essential plan (starting at $6.95 per month) – for sites that are installed with WordPress.
There is not a lot of differences between iPage’s Starter plan and its regular hosting plan. The Essential plan is based on SSDs, has the WordPerfect expert support and offers one free domain. All plans provide unlimited bandwidth and storage space.
Clearly, iPage’s WordPress hosting plans are cheaper than those of DreamHost. One reason for this is that they do not offer managed WordPress hosting.
eCommerce Solution. With DreamHost, you build your online store using CafeCommerce. You can use the premium plan with an annual shared hosting package to create an unlimited number of products, use professional templates, manage orders and inventory, and so on.
If you want something for free, try the one-click installer to get started with ZenCart for your online store.
Similarly, with iPage, use the free online shopping carts, such as ZenCart, CubeCart, and osCommerce, using the SimpleScripts installer.
For premium eCommerce features with iPage, use ShopSite which has a free version that is limited to a five-page site. However, a store created using ShopSite cannot be easily transferred.
Opinion on DreamHost and iPage Key Features
DreamHost doesn’t offer a website builder and iPage doesn’t have managed WordPress hosting. And in terms of security, both are pretty solid. There is no clear winner here.
Hosting Plans & Pricing
Note: Price alone isn’t the bottom line – it’s also what features come with each plan that help in the decision making.
The cheapest iPage hosting plan (Essential shared plan) is available at around $3.25 per month (only for the first term), while the cheapest Dreamhost hosting plan is available from around $7.95 per month.
Both these plans offer a comprehensive range of features that should be enough for starting your first website.
Types of Hosting Plans
Shared Hosting Plans. Quite straightforwardly, both iPage and DreamHost each offer only one shared hosting plan that covers a good range of hosting features.
Both services offer a standard set of features, including unlimited disk space, bandwidth, monthly data transfer, MySQL 5 databases and email accounts.
Both companies allow for hosting unlimited domains on a single account and support one free domain name registration for a year. However, iPage’s shared hosting plan is much cheaper than the one offered by DreamHost.
VPS Hosting Plans. DreamHost provides four different VPS hosting plans. The lowest one starts at $15 per month, and the highest one comes in at $120 per month.
These plans are of interest when you are dealing with high traffic volumes.
- Some of the basic VPS hosting features offered are:
- Scalable up to 8GB of RAM
- SSD storage (from 30GB to 240GB)
- Unlimited bandwidth, emails and storage
- Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
In contrast, iPage only offers three VPS hosting plans. The lowest plan starts at around $19.99 per month (or $24.99 per month without discount), which is similar in pricing to the lowest DreamHost VPS plan.
However, the highest plan is available at around $99.99 per month (without discount), which is cheaper than DreamHost’s most top VPS plan.
Unlike DreamHost’s unlimited bandwidth, iPage only offers 4TB bandwidth as the maximum. For both web hosts, the maximum possible RAM is 8GB.
The maximum SSD storage possible with iPage is 120GB, while it is 240GB with DreamHost.
Dedicated Hosting Plans The fully managed dedicated hosting plans start at around $149 per month for DreamHost, while they start at around $119.99 per month with discount or $149.99 per month without discount for iPage.
DreamHost offers possibilities of much higher configurations, such as 12 cores and 64GB RAM, in comparison to iPage’s dedicated hosting plans, with a maximum of four cores and 16GB RAM.
DreamHost is our preferred web host in terms of its dedicated server hosting for big business and huge volumes of traffic.
Money Back Guarantee. Both web hosts provide a money back guarantee. iPage offers a 30-day money back guarantee period, while DreamHost offers an impressive 97-day money back guarantee period.
Opinion on Hosting Plans Pricing
Our choice of web hosting service for their pricing and hosting features depends on the website traffic.
Regarding their shared hosting plans, iPage emerges as the winner due to the discounts on the pricing, as both web hosts’ features are almost the same.
However, with the dedicated hosting, DreamHost is a preferred choice.
Ease of Use
Note. iPage uses vDeck as its control panel, which is quite comprehensive. A unique feature of this control panel is its “support integration” that gives you the ability to create support tickets and follow up from within the control panel.
DreamHost has a custom control panel, which has all the features that you would expect a well- designed control panel to give you.
The only drawback to this is that the DreamHost control panel does not score highly in terms of ease of use and it takes some time to get the hang of.
Opinion on Ease of Use
Even though both iPage and DreamHost do not use the standard cPanel control panel, the control panel of iPage is much easier to use for first timers compared to that of DreamHost.
Technical and Customer Support
Both hosting service providers provide solid customer support to their customers for a smooth hosting experience.
With iPage, you have the ability to contact their 24×7 support team via telephone, email, a ticket system and live chat.
In addition, the iPage help center contains many articles that help you understand hosting from the perspective of a webmaster.
You also have access to a user guide to help you out with the configuration of emails, the management of domain names, website design and much more.
In contrast, DreamHost does not offer phone support. But you can contact their in-house support team via their ticketing system, email or online chat.
However, the wait time is slightly longer for DreamHost’s support. You can refer to the articles on the DreamHost Wiki page when you are dealing with an urgent issue or be waiting for help.
You can also stay active in the discussions on the DreamHost forum.
Opinion on User Support
Our vote goes to iPage because it offers telephone support, which DreamHost does not, but we have also experienced much quicker feedback and responses from the iPage support team, even via emails and online chat.
Note: It helps to be aware of the various reviews posted by real customers of the web hosts on various online sites.
In this way, you learn what the common issues are that many users face with a particular web host. And, of course, you also come to know the definite positives of the web hosts, as experienced by their customers.
Negative Reviews for DreamHost and iPage
For DreamHost, most of the negative reviews speak about the delays experienced in getting a response from their customer support team during the first contact.
Also, the lack of a telephone support service is often raised in various forums about DreamHost. Many first-time, non-technical webmasters have often raised their concerns about the lack of ease-of- use of its control panel and even the add-on features, such as SSL certificates.
For iPage, many of their existing customers have complained about the lack of DDoS protection on their servers.
Some have also raised their concerns about the time taken by the support team to respond to certain queries. However, we have found iPage’s support to be quicker than that of DreamHost’s customer support team.
Positive Reviews for DreamHost and iPage
There are a lot of positive reviews by experienced and tech-savvy webmasters who have found DreamHost’s control panel to be highly effective with all its comprehensive features.
Also, there’s praise for the reliability and performance of their VPS and dedicated hosting plans. There are also customers who loved DreamHost due to the fact that they offer such a long money-back guarantee period to try out their hosting plans.
For iPage, the positive comments are mostly related to how easy the users find it to set up a website and get it hosted, using any of their plans.
Also, iPage’s cheap pricing is specially mentioned on many hosting review forums and sites.
Which hosting is best for you?
Reasons to choose iPage over DreamHost
- Availability of website builders
- The option to contact their customer support team via telephone
- Longer money-back guarantee period
- The cheaper shared hosting plan
- The easy-to- use control panel
Reasons to choose DreamHost over iPage
- Better web page load speeds
- Managed WordPress hosting
- Higher configurations with their VPS hosting and dedicated server hosting plans
- Longer money-back guarantee period
Clearly, the easy-to- use iPage web host is the one to go for, if you are a first-time webmaster and are just starting with a simple website.
You will also save a lot of money with their shared hosting plan. However, if your site is experiencing a large volume of traffic, then DreamHost is the one to choose.
It provides reliable and fast-performing servers which are suitable for medium- to large-sized enterprises. You also have a long time to test all their features because of their 97-day money back guarantee period.
As an alternative to iPage, consider the InMotion Hosting service. It offers managed WordPress hosting; a 90-day money back guarantees period and more.
HostGator can be used as an alternative web hosting service to DreamHost if you require good dedicated hosting.
On the other hand, if you need highly reliable and fast dedicated or VPS servers, then Bluehost could also fulfill your requirements.
If you have used DreamHost or iPage as your hosting provider, please share your experiences below. Or, if you are still confused about which one to choose and have any relevant queries, share them in the comments section below.