Shared Host Smackdown: GoDaddy vs. Dreamhost

As I mentioned earlier, I have moved my site hosting from GoDaddy to Dreamhost. My reason were:

  1. I had experienced multiple security incidents, one requiring me to completely rebuild my site, the other half of my .htaccess file just, disappered…
  2. My site had slowly slowed to the slowest of slow snail paces (some times taking 7-9 seconds to load!)
  3. My requests to GoDaddy Support for help with these issues always met, politely, with a “Sorry, we can’t help with that.”

Now, as a shared host, I don’t expect a lot more from Dreamhost in the way of assistance (but I’m willing to be impressed), and I am sure every server is vulnerable to hackers, but one thing I can already atest to is the speed difference…

Average Load Speed: GoDaddy vs. Dreamhost
  Load Time First Byte Start Render
Average of 5 page loads per server via WebPagetest
  Dulles, VA – IE 9 – Cable
GoDaddy 11.0874 9.4748 10.3644
Dreamhost 2.6814 2.0994 2.2924
  São Paulo, Brasil – IE 9 – Cable
GoDaddy 6.8262 3.1372 5.1146
Dreamhost 6.6546 4.9756 5.3212
  Amsterdam, NL – IE9 – Cable
GoDaddy 5.9858 2.8924 4.4212
Dreamhost 5.234 3.8176 4.2928
  Singapore – IE8 – Cable
GoDaddy 8.3322 4.1848 6.4718
Dreamhost 7.218 4.5562 5.6662

While the differences in Asia, Europe and South America may not be that great, the numbers in North America are huge! And what I find most curious is that, outside of North America, GoDaddy actually beats Dreamhost in the First Byte, but then just dies for like 1.5 to 2 seconds until Start Render… Do you think they ever look at their server logs? Based on the way my questions about load speeds were dealt with, I’m going to go with “probably not” on this one…

Well, safe to say, I’m more than pleased that I made this switch, here’s to continuing to make the web a faster place!

Happy surfing,

3 Responses to Shared Host Smackdown: GoDaddy vs. Dreamhost

  1. Stephen B says:

    Since it has been a little time since this post, is Dreamhost working out better than Godaddy? I am certainly tired of the snail speeds, has been slowing me down and been wanting to make a switch.

    I however do have 28 sites (plus more on the way) on shared hosting, all utilizing databases, so not expecting performance from say a dedicated server either. Thinking of ways to separate the “high” traffic sites (up to 1k unique) from the low traffic sites (under 100 a day) I operate also.

    Thanks in advance if you have any further good things to say about Dreamhost. – Stephen

    • aarontgrogg says:


      Well, the speeds are definitely better, but I’ve also had problems with down-time… 3 outages in less than 12 days… I was going to change again, but decided to give it another shot.

      Tough call with that many sites, I’d be hesitant too… I assume you’ve tried reaching out to GoDaddy’s sales team? For me, one little site, they had no interest. For the volume you’re talking, they might be more responsive…

      Good luck, and if you end up moving somewhere else, would love to hear about that experience…


      • Stephen B says:

        Within the last 2 weeks, Godaddy was attacked by a botnet again, so it may of had to do with that. Made my sites run extremely slow. So I installed “Botnet Attack Blocker” which sets a limit on how many failed attempts anyone tries logging in to brute force passwords. I also have Wordfence installed, which basically scans files and also lets you view live traffic on your site (which has helped spot people trying to hack some of my sites).

        I think the only real solution is for me to get a dedicated server for my major sites, either with a company or someone local at this point (in the Nashville TN area). But I will report back when I figure out a solution.

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