Want to know the difference between WP Engine and DreamHost? You probably already know that WP Engine and DreamHost are 2 of the most popular web hosting providers out there. But which one is better?
In our UNBIASED comparison of DreamHost vs. WP Engine, we’ll help you figure out which is best choice for your budget and needs.
WP Engine vs. DreamHost – Overview
Aside from WordPress hosting, you’ll also get premium access to 35+ StudioPress themes for free. They also equip you with a suite of performance and integration solutions to build and grow your business.
DreamHost, on the other hand, is a veteran in the cheap hosting vertical. It was founded back in 1996, even before the advent of Google. They now serve over 1.5 million websites, blogs, and applications with over 400k happy customers.
They offer a wide variety of hosting options, including shared, WordPress, managed WordPress, WooCommerce hosting, etc. Best of all, they provide an industry-leading 97-day money back guarantee.
WP Engine vs. DreamHost – Page Speed and Uptime
To test whether these hosting providers live up to their promises, we decided to conduct a few different page speed and uptime tests on WP Engine and DreamHost.
Below are the speed testing tools we used:
- Load Impact
According to our Pingdom speed test, our WP Engine test site only took 582ms to load, which is faster than 96% of all tested sites.
Our DreamHost test site loaded in 445 ms. which is faster than 97% of all tested sites.
After the Pingdom test, we analyzed whether the hosting servers could survive a traffic surge with a tool called Load Impact. We sent some virtual users to our sites and gradually built up to 100 visitors at a time to see how the servers would perform.
From our test, you can see that the number of live visitors didn’t have any negative impact on our WP Engine site.
Similarly, our DreamHost site remained stable during the traffic surge test. The number of live visitors didn’t have any impact on their response time.
Then, we conducted a test with Bitcatcha to record how our hosting servers responded from 8 different geographical locations around the world.
According to our Bitcatcha test, our WP Engine site was graded A, whereas our DreamHost site was graded A+.
WP Engine vs. DreamHost – Ease of Use
DreamHost comes with a web-based control panel, which was developed in-house. They don’t offer cPanel for managing their hosting accounts, which is surprising as it’s the most popular control panel on the market.
While DreamHost’s control panel is intuitive, there’s a bit of learning curve to tackle if you’re already accustomed to using cPanel.
WP Engine handles all the technicalities of optimizing your server for improved performance. You get a fine-tuned hosting setup that’s built specifically to operate WordPress sites. Most importantly, they don’t allow you to install any performance plugins, like caching plugins and security plugins because they can conflict with their in-built features.
Winner: WP Engine
WP Engine vs. DreamHost – Features
WP Engine is an enterprise-level hosting platform that makes publishing with WordPress super easy. They offer multiple features that help streamline code deployment and site migration. They’ve also partnered with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform to deliver blazing fast load times.
Let’s take a look at a few unique features of WP Engine’s managed WordPress hosting platform:
- Access to 35+ premium StudioPress themes without extra cost.
- 1-click tool to simplify staging, testing, and deployment.
- Seamless integration with your favorite online apps.
- Get actionable insights, powered by Google Analytics, right within your WordPress admin about WordPress performance, content, and applications.
Compared to WP Engine, DreamHost is very much an entry-level hosting provider for a broader customer base. Their hosting features are appealing to their wide user base, and include unlimited bandwidth, a free domain name, website builders, 1-click WordPress installer, etc.
Winner: WP Engine
WP Engine vs. DreamHost – Support and Documentation
With all hosting plans, WP Engine provides 24/7 support via live chat. With higher level plans, you can avail phone support and, with the Custom plan, you’ll get 24/7 ticket support.
Their robust knowledge base explains every aspect of building a site with WP Engine.
Even though DreamHost often advertises 24/7 support, the reality is that they only offer 24/7 support via email tickets. However, it takes almost a day to get your support request resolved via email, which makes their advertising claims iffy at best. Live chat support is available only during 5am – 10pm PST, 7 days a week. Although call back requests are available, you’re required to make a one-time payment per call or subscribe to a monthly plan.
Winner: WP Engine
WP Engine vs. DreamHost – Pricing
WP Engine is primarily geared towards specific user segments, such as developers, marketers, SMBs, agencies, and enterprises. They offer competitive pricing when compared to other popular managed WordPress hosting providers, like Pagely.
Since DreamHost is targeted at entry-level users, they wanted to keep the pricing affordable for them.
The introductory price for DreamHost shared WordPress hosting starts at as low as $2.59 per month. Their managed WordPress hosting price starts at $16.95 per month.
On the other hand, WP Engine’s pricing starts at $28. That’s 20% off the regular price for IsItWP readers.
Recap – WP Engine vs. DreamHost
While DreamHost also offers a managed WordPress hosting service, they’re geared specifically towards beginner-level users. If you’re serious about your online business and don’t mind spending a few more bucks on getting a superior hosting platform, then WP Engine is your best bet.
Best of all, WP Engine comes with suites of performance and intelligence tools that help you quickly deploy changes on your live site and streamline your website growth.
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