Although DreamHost offers WordPress hosting, that’s not its specialty. DreamHost is a general web host commonly known for shared hosting and VPS on dedicated plans.
In addition to significantly fewer data centers, DreamHost lacks the innovative technologies and speed-optimized infrastructure that the Kinsta platform benefits from. Therefore, it makes sense that we often hear from unhappy customers looking for a better DreamHost alternative.
Many of those people are interested to know what makes Kinsta unique. We’re excited to answer that question here. We’ll explain what makes Kinsta so powerful, and discuss the biggest benefits we have to offer as your managed WordPress host!
How Kinsta Compares to DreamHost in a Nutshell
Before we go into detail about Kinsta vs DreamHost, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between the two hosting platforms.
To start with, Kinsta is the highest-rated managed WordPress host on G2, the world’s leading software review and comparison site:
#1 WordPress Hosting Provider by G2
Some other key differences between Kinsta and DreamHost include:
- Kinsta is not a general web host like DreamHost. We are specific to WordPress and our team is made up of experienced engineers.
- Kinsta has been the fastest WordPress host for 5 years in a row (independent benchmark).
- We have 24 data centers across the globe, while DreamHost only has 2, both of which are based in the U.S.
- Kinsta offers premium 24/7 support to all customers, regardless of your plan. DreamHost limits its live chat support to business hours.
- Unlike DreamHost, all of Kinsta’s plans include a free Content Delivery Network (CDN) and free premium DNS.
- All Kinsta plans come with Google Cloud Firewall.
- Kinsta works with Google Cloud’s premium global tier network.
- Kinsta includes free, human-performed site migrations on all of our plans. With DreamHost, you have to handle the migration yourself via a plugin or pay $99 for a migration service.
- All plans at Kinsta include uptime monitoring. DreamHost only offers uptime monitoring features via the Jetpack plugin.
- Kinsta provides a free security guarantee on all plans, whereas DreamHost charges $199 for its professional malware removal service.
- Kinsta performs weekly automatic MySQL database optimization on all sites to ensure better performance. Database optimization is only offered as a premium service for DreamHost plans.
- Kinsta provides five types of backups
- Unlike DreamHost, Kinsta offers tools to boost performance even further, including Redis and New Relic add-on integrations for all plans.
- Kinsta provides the feature to load your site over reverse proxy
- Kinsta allows multisite setups on the Pro plan and above. WordPress Multisite support is not provided by DreamHost.
- DreamHost’s shared plans don’t support HTTP/2 connections. All Kinsta plans come with HTTP/2 support.
- Kinsta provides six types of WordPress backups.
- We provide our custom-built, WordPress-specific MyKinsta dashboard.
- We support the latest, most secure and fastest PHP 7.4 on all plans. The latest version available at DreamHost is the outdated PHP 7.2.
- You’ll get a free staging environment and SSH access on all plans.
- Kinsta provides a site-healing feature, and we monitor every websites for uptime 720 times per day.
- DreamHost allows insecure FTP connections. We only support encrypted and secure SFTP and SSH connections.
- Kinsta has one of the most popular and appreciated affiliate programs on the market.
Kinsta is Built for Performance and Scalability
When you need a WordPress host that delivers unparalleled performance, Kinsta has you covered. Unlike DreamHost, Kinsta doesn’t fall into traditional hosting categories such as shared, VPS, and/or dedicated.
Kinsta’s unique, fully-managed platform takes an innovative approach to hosting that is unlike any other solution you’ll find. Our entire infrastructure is powered exclusively by the Google Cloud Platform and we only use the latest and greatest technologies to deliver unparalleled performance, speed, security, and scalability.
We use LXD-managed hosts and LXC software containers for each site hosted on our platform. This means every website has its own isolated container that includes all the resources it needs, such as MySQL, PHP, Linux, and Nginx. All of your resources are completely isolated, so unlike with shared hosting, privacy is never a concern.
In addition to keeping your sites safeguarded, Kinsta hosts your MySQL databases at localhost instead of an overloaded remote server. The result is quicker loading times and faster queries.
Unexpected peaks, sudden traffic surges — you name it — our servers can handle it. Kinsta’s auto-scaling infrastructure makes it easy to upgrade or downgrade whenever you need.
Kinsta also uses compute-optimized C2 machines, which enables our clients to see significant boosts in average response times. Depending on the type of site you have, Kinsta can help you see a speed improvement between 20 and 300%, just by moving to our platform!
In terms of speed and performance, many clients discover that Kinsta outperforms all other web hosts:
We host 150+ sites with Kinsta. Previously, we’ve hosted with WP Engine, WebSynthesis (now gone), Dreamhost, Bluehost, etc. At the time, Dreamhost was faster than Bluehost. WebSynthesis was faster than Dreamhost. WP Engine was significantly faster than WebSynthesis. And Kinsta blew WP Engine out of the water. We speed tested every site before and after the WP Engine transfer. Out of 100+ sites (at the time), WP Engine won just one of them (and by less than 2 hundredths of a second). In some cases, Kinsta won by 6 seconds! It was mind-boggling.
Some people are drawn to DreamHost due to its discounted prices. However, while shared plans may be less expensive, they lack the features and tools for high-traffic websites. Even DreamHost’s managed hosting, referred to as DreamPress, is very limited in key areas such as CDN, backups, and support.
MyKinsta: A Dashboard That’s Better Than the Competition
At Kinsta, we want to do everything we can to make managing your site simple and straightforward. This is why we custom-built MyKinsta, our user portal specifically designed for WordPress site management:
Let’s take a look at some of the key features that make the MyKinsta dashboard so helpful:
- Premium Amazon Route 53 DNS included, so you can directly manage your DNS records in the dashboard.
- One-click CDN integration.
- Detailed insights and analytics, including bandwidth and visitor data, performance analysis data, CDN usage and insights, and cache HIT and MISS ratio.
- Search and replace tool for performing bulk updates.
- One-click feature for switching PHP versions directly from your dashboard, as well as the option to restart PHP when needed. DreamHost doesn’t let you switch PHP versions from the control panel.
- Website redirect management.
- Option to purge site cache within the dashboard.
- One-click staging site creation.
- Features to push staging sites live and restore backups to staging. With DreamHost, you can only restore backups to live sites.
- Ability to heighten login security by adding your SSH keys to the dashboard.
- IP Deny tool for easy IP address blocking.
- New Relic integration, which isn’t supported on DreamHost shared plans.
- WordPress debugging tool.
- One-click Let’s Encrypt feature for free SSL certificates, as well as the option to import your own.
- Multilingual dashboard that’s available in 10 languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French, Japanese, Swedish, German, Portuguese, Danish, and Dutch.
No need to take our word for it, though. We’re so proud of our dashboard that we urge you to try it for yourself. Simply create a free account, then check out the interface and robust selection of tools to see firsthand what makes the MyKinsta dashboard so unique!
Many of MyKinsta’s features resulted directly from our clients’ feedback. We are always listening to requests and incorporating feedback. If there’s a way to improve our dashboard and make everyone’s lives more productive, you can count on us pursuing it.
Optimized for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads
At Kinsta, we’re well-versed in the unique challenges that come with managing ecommerce sites. That’s why we optimized our platform so you never have to worry about the speed and performance of your WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads store.
We use a variety of methods to ensure lightning-fast performance for your online stores, including:
- Excluding pages that shouldn’t be cached by default, such as ‘my account’, checkout, and cart pages.
- Implementing server-level page caching with specific rules to allow EDD and WooCommerce functionality.
- Automatically bypassing the cache for users when “edit_items_in_cart” or “woocommerce_items_in_cart cookie” are detected, to deliver a quick, smooth, and seamless checkout.
With online storefronts, speed is a critical priority. When you use Kinsta as your managed WordPress host, this is never a concern because we run on the fastest network out there.
In fact, Review Signal releases an annual performance testing review on some of the most popular web hosts. For five consecutive years, Kinsta has achieved “top tier” performance!
In the most recent round of benchmark reviews, DreamHost’s DreamPress Pro plan ($80/month) was also tested. So we’ll be comparing that below with the Kinsta business plan ($60/month).
Web Performance Benchmarks (Pro Plans)
For the web performance benchmark tests, Review Signal created identical WordPress dummy websites with the same plugins installed (except for any tools needed for each provider’s specific caching mechanisms).
WebPageTest.org was used to measure in seconds the overall loading time in 11 different geographical locations. Let’s take a look at the results:
As you can see, Kinsta beat DreamHost in 7 out of the 11 tests.
For the uptime monitoring testing, two services were used: UptimeRobot and StatusCake. On both, Kinsta had a perfect uptime, while DreamHost’s fell below 100%:
Now for the Load Impact test, which was used to determine whether each site was caching from the front page and assess the caching system’s performance:
|Data Transferred (GB)||33.49||31.35|
|Peak Average Load Time (seconds)||608||1,110|
|Peak Average Bandwidth (Mbps)||571||486|
|Peak Average Requests/Sec||1,220||1,040|
Even with more requests and data transferred, Kinsta still outperformed DreamHost when it came to the average load time.
The Load Storm tests were used to simulate real users visiting the site:
|Peak Response Time (ms)||2,372||15,180|
|Average Response Time (ms)||440||689|
Not only did Kinsta have significantly fewer errors than DreamHost, but we also had a faster response time. As the test scaled up, DreamHost showed increased response times and error rates.
Kinsta is Developer-Friendly
At Kinsta, many of our team members are developers. Therefore everything we create, from our custom dashboard to our products and tools, is built with developers in mind.
We provide features and accessibility that help improve your workflow efficiency. With Kinsta as your managed WordPress host, you’ll have access to a variety of features and tools that you wouldn’t necessarily get with DreamHost, including:
- Unrestricted access to your site’s critical files.
- Git, WP-CLI, and SSH access included, regardless of your plan. SSH access is only available on DreamHost dedicated plans.
- A one-click staging environment on all plans. We also enable you to turn on caching for your staging environment. DreamHost staging environments are available, but they require manual setup and don’t copy the uploads folder.
- Six types of backups: free automatic/daily, optional hourly, manual, system generated, and downloadable.DreamHost offers daily backups or the option for you to manually create a backup once per day. Also, DreamHost states that while it automatically backs up web server data and MySQL databases, “this is not guaranteed”.
- All plans at Kinsta can take advantage of faster search with the Elasticsearch add-on, as well as quicker database performance through the Redis add-on. DreamHost, on the other hand, limits these options to the higher spectrum of plans.
- The ability to load your site over reverse proxy. DreamHost doesn’t support this setup.
- Kinsta lets you run a different version of PHP for every live and staging site, as well as switching your PHP version with a single click from your dashboard. While DreamHost lets you switch your PHP version, there’s no option for you to do it from your control panel. Instead, you need to contact its customer support team.
- At Kinsta, post and page revisions are enabled by default.
All plans at Kinsta include uptime monitoring. DreamHost, on the other hand, only offers uptime monitoring features via the Jetpack plugin.
Feature Comparison Overview
At this point, let’s take a moment to review some of the key differences between Kinsta and DreamHost:
|Pricing||Plans start at $30/month||Plans start at $19.95/month|
|Money-Back Guarantee||30 days on all plans||97 days on Shared plans, 30 days for DreamPress plans|
|Plan Tiers||10 (not including custom)||13|
|Premium 24×7 Support||All plans||Live chat only during business hours|
|Core Infrastructure (GCP)||Same across all plans||Varies by plan|
|SSH Access||All plans||Varies by plan|
|Global Data Centers||24 locations||2 locations|
|Different location for each of your sites||✓||X|
|Network||Low-latency and redundant premium Google Platform network on all plans||Limited carriers|
|Bandwidth Limits||No limits (within AUP)||Unmetered (within AUP)|
|Container Technology||100% resource isolation on all plans||Not specified|
|Free Migrations||All plans||$149.99 for up to 5 websites|
|WooCommerce optimized infrastructure||✓||X|
|Weekly automatic MySQL database optimization||✓||$19.99|
|Staging Environment||All plans||Varies by plan|
|PHP Versions||PHP 7.3, 7.4, 8.0||PHP 5.4-5.6, 7, 7.1, 7.2|
|Switch PHP Engine||One-click change in dashboard||Not available in control panel|
|Free CDN||34 (All regions)||Plus and Pro plans|
|Free Premium DNS||Amazon R53||X|
|Free SSL Certificates||All plans||All plans|
|Free Hack Fixes||All plans||X|
|Free APM Tool||Kinsta APM||Not specified|
|Uptime Monitoring||All plans||ManageWP premium add-on, free for Pro plans (not worldwide)|
|Resources Limits||Only limited by PHP workers||Varies by plan|
|Multisite Support||Pro plans and higher||X|
|Additional Backups + Frequency Add-on||✓||X|
|Detailed Performance Analytics||✓||X|
|Reverse Proxy Support||✓||Varies by plan|
|Redis Add-on||✓||Dedicated only|
|Elasticsearch Add-on||✓||Plus and Pro plans|
|New Relic APM Support||✓||X|
|Multilingual Dashboard||English, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, French, Swedish, Danish, Japan||X|
At Kinsta, we only permit direct WordPress access from encrypted Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) and SSH connections. While DreamHost offers these options, it also allows unsecured FTP connections.
Kinsta’s team of skilled experts handles the entire migration process for you, so you won’t have to worry about figuring out complex technology or risk losing critical data.
Kinsta offers unlimited free migrations from DreamHost! To get started, the only thing you need is to complete our site migration request form. From there, we’ll be in touch right away to schedule a migration time based on minimizing downtime and disruptions. You can easily track the migration status via your MyKinsta dashboard.
Migration of the site over to these guys is a complete simple breeze, they do it all once you send them the site details, although if you are not sure they are on hand to assist you anyway via the online message box in the admin area of your dashboard. All in all really happy I transferred over to them for my managed WordPress hosting.
Technically, migrations are also a free feature available for DreamHost users. However, the feature has some caveats. For example, it only applies if you’re moving to a new DreamPress plan, and you have to manage the migration yourself using a custom migration plugin. If you are moving from a different web host or want the DreamHost team to conduct the migration, it costs $99.
In other words, Kinsta saves you both time and money. We don’t expect you to deal with ineffective migration plugins. Instead, our WordPress experts will migrate your site(s) for you free of charge.
At Kinsta, our customers always come first. Our team of engineers and WordPress experts are available 24/7, regardless of your plan. Whether you’re a small blog or a Fortune 500 company, our support team treats you as a top priority.
With Kinsta, not only do you get knowledgeable support, but you get it quickly too.
Our average initial ticket response time is under two minutes!
Our customer support ratings can back us up on this. In the past two years, more than 97% of our customers left a chat support session happy or satisfied:
Kinsta also offers multilingual support, including a knowledge base with resources available in 10 languages.
While we chose Kinsta to offer our clients optimal speed and performance, the one-click staging is probably our developers’ favourite feature. And the support is incredible: the SEO specialist recently ran into a technical problem and Kinsta’s support staff fixed it quickly, going above and beyond what we were expecting. Kinsta support is that extra team member who’s there when you most need him.
To make customer support as quick and convenient as possible, we use the Intercom customer messaging platform. All communications are logged, so you won’t ever have to repeat yourself between support agents.
DreamHost has ticket and email support for all plans. While it does offer live chat support, that’s only available during business hours (Pacific Time), and only in English and Spanish.
Safe and Secure
Kinsta offers state-of-the-art security, so you never have to worry about privacy or protection. Our infrastructure uses the Google Cloud Platform, which allows our users to reap the benefits of a robust security model that safeguards the likes of Gmail and Google Search.
We take both active and passive measures to protect your sites and stop malicious intent. In addition to putting software-based restrictions in place, our secure platform monitors your site every two minutes for uptime.
Kinsta can detect DDoS attacks as they happen, and prevent malicious code from infiltrating our network. Our security features include:
- Google Cloud Platform firewall
- Two-Factor Authentication support
- Isolated LXC containers
- GeoIP blocking
- Automated backups with all plans
- Self-healing PHP
- Free security guarantee
- Only support for encrypted SFTP and SSH connections (no FTP)
If we’re alerted of a vulnerability on your site, Kinsta will notify you immediately and keep you updated about the next steps. We act quickly and efficiently, making sure you’re informed throughout the process.
We also include a security guarantee on all of our plans. DreamHost offers only a paid solution malware removal service for $199.
Kinsta Has a Global Presence
Kinsta has 24 data centers (and counting) across the globe, with a presence on five continents. Regardless of your plan, we give you the option to choose a different data center for each of your sites, with no extra fees.
Our massive global footprint makes it easy to select a data center that will provide your site with the best performance possible. Kinsta locations include:
- Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
- London, UK
- Sydney, Australia
- St. Ghislain, Belgium
- Changhua County, Taiwan
- Mumbai, India
- The Dalles, Oregon, USA
- Ashburn, Virginia, USA
- Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
- São Paulo, Brazil
- Seoul, South Korea.
- Salt Lake City, USA.
- Frankfurt, Germany
- Jurong West, Singapore
- Tokyo, Japan
- Montréal, Canada
- Eemshaven, Netherlands
- Hamina, Finland
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Hong Kong
- Zürich, Switzerland
- Osaka, Japan
- Las Vegas, USA
- Jakarta, Indonesia
DreamHost data centers are limited to the U.S. In fact, there are only two data center locations, one in Virginia, and one in Oregon.
Free Performance Monitoring Tool
WordPress is a dynamic CMS, which means it’s constantly executing PHP code in the background. Depending on your theme and plugin configuration, it’s possible for your site to get bogged down with bloated and inefficient code.
That’s where APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tools can help. An APM monitors requests to your site, and tracks various metrics like external API requests, database queries, PHP execution time, and more. This information allows you to quickly debug and troubleshoot performance bottlenecks.
All Kinsta plans come with a free custom-built APM tool that can be easily accessed right in the MyKinsta dashboard. Kinsta APM provides you with key WordPress performance insights without the need for expensive third-party subscriptions to New Relic and other APM services.
With Kinsta APM, you can debug the following and more:
- Slow WordPress plugins and themes.
- Long calls to external APIs and domains.
- Unoptimized MySQL database queries.
DreamHost’s hosting plans do not come with a free APM tool, which makes it very difficult to quickly troubleshoot performance issues on your WordPress site.
Develop Locally with DevKinsta
For developers and agencies, Kinsta offers a simple to use (but powerful) local development tool called DevKinsta. With DevKinsta, you can launch WordPress sites with a full hosting stack and SSL support on your local computer with just a few clicks.
DevKinsta is fully integrated with MyKinsta and Kinsta’s hosting platform, which means you can develop locally and push updates directly to a staging environment on Kinsta! DreamHost doesn’t have an integration with a local WordPress development tool, which means there is no way to clone and push WordPress sites for DreamHost customers. If you’re a busy freelance or agency developer, DevKinsta’s advanced features and MyKinsta integration can be a huge time saver.
Turbocharging Your Content Delivery with Kinsta CDN
Here at Kinsta, we truly care about the performance of your website. That is why, in addition to the free bandwidth we include with all of our plans, we’ve partnered with KeyCDN, a premium HTTP/2 and IPv6-enabled Content Delivery Network (CDN).
Your content will be delivered and cached from our CDN’s 34 POPs around the world, and leverage a content delivery architecture that was built for low latency and high throughput. Our locations span all major regions, including America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa!
DreamHost includes the free, basic Cloudflare plan, which you can enable from the control panel. However, to use the advanced features, you’ll need to purchase a Cloudflare Plus or Pro plan. Also, DreamHost’s shared plans don’t support HTTP/2 connections.
Best Affiliate Program in the Industry
Kinsta’s constant drive to evolve and improve has helped us become one of the fastest-growing managed WordPress hosts. Our happy clients help to spread the word about our products and services, which is why we’re proud to offer true profit sharing through our affiliate program.
Among the highest-paying affiliate programs in the hosting industry, the Kinsta affiliate program allows us to partner with our customers so you can share in our earnings. Whether you’re a blogger or an agency, this is a great rewarding opportunity.
For every signup you refer to Kinsta, you can earn between $50 and $500 (depending on the plan). In addition, you receive a 10% monthly recurring commission for the lifetime of the referred customers. Kinsta customers have an impressively low 4% churn rate, so suffice it to say that our affiliate program is an effective way to earn a passive income.
Additionally, we want to prevent you from having to deal with complicated third-party platforms. This is why we created our own unique WordPress hosting affiliate dashboard.
DreamHost offers an affiliate program. However, the earning potential is not at the same level. Depending on the plan, users can earn anywhere between $15 and $200 per referral (which is less than a half of what we offer).
Join Others Making the Switch to Kinsta
At Kinsta, we’re passionate about providing our clients with access to the fastest, latest technology. We’re constantly evolving and innovating to exceed our customers’ expectations.
For proof, simply check out our many feature updates! We release new features, integrations, and tools with frequency and speed unmatched by anyone else in the hosting industry.
We are proud of our platform, and confident you will be too. Therefore, we always offer a 30-day money-back guarantee and no long-term contracts.
If you’re ready to make the move away from DreamHost and switch to a new hosting provider, try out Kinsta risk-free for 30 days!