Here we go!
Readers have been asking for a head-to-head comparison between these two web host titans for quite some time. Here we will compare GoDaddy and Dreamhost in four major areas: Ease-of-Use, Eco-Friendliness, Customer Service and Value.
This was the closest comparison, but mainly because both have a bit of a learning curve when you first sign up. Whereas most hosts enable you to use the user-friendly cPanel, both GoDaddy and Dreamhost have customized back-ends that take some getting used to.
But both dashboards, once you learn the ropes, are actually very effective at helping you get things done.
Dreamhost is the winner in that being able to access phpmyadmin involves less steps, and Dreamhost lets you set up a username and password to access it instead of randomly assigning one.
So what do you get when you set up a hosting plan with these hosts? The differences in the first year are minute: both cost about the same (granted you use promo codes), you a free domain name, $100 in Google advertising credits, free setup, activation, etc.
The major difference is in the subsequent years. GoDaddy offers renewal promo codes for both domain and hosting (use this site for fresh ones). If you plan on being in business for more than a year, a little long term thinking will save you hundreds of dollars on a simple shared hosting plan.
This one isn’t even a competition. Dreamhost is considered a “green web host”, using alternative energy sources to power their data centers, and purchasing carbon-offset credits. You won’t find any mention of green-friendly initiatives with GoDaddy on their website, and when contacted will not give you any straight answers. Short answer: GoDaddy’s priorities aren’t focused on green energy right now.
One feature I really enjoy about Dreamhost is the real time customer support, where you can connect with someone right away and type out a question. The wait time when I tested out this feature was about 30 seconds tops (it was a Thursday evening, 8pm PDT). I asked a question about why my website wasn’t working, and I got a quick reply that cleared up any ambiguity about what I was trying to do on the website.
If there’s an issue with GoDaddy, you have to submit a support ticket and wait…which can take up to 12 hours (it took longer in a couple instances with me). If you don’t ask the question in exactly the right way, then the customer support rep will give you a copy and pasted stock reply that won’t help you at all. And asking a follow up question? Forget it! You have to submit another ticket, which will go to someone else after that….okay, I’m ranting again. Dreamhost wins.