DreamHost Review

Company: DreamHost

Background: New Dream Network LLC owns the DreamHost web hosting brand. College undergraduate friends Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez, and Sage Weil founded the company. By 1997 DreamHost was hosting its first customer websites. DreamHost has grown since then, today hosting over 400,000 customers across 100 countries. The quartet of founders still runs the company, basing the business out of Brea, California. The company is passionate about Cloud resources, open-source software, customer service, and agile, reliable solutions. Services: Shared Hosting, VPS, Cloud Hosting, Managed WordPress Hosting, Dedicated Servers, Reseller Hosting, Email Hosting, Google Workspace, Design & Marketing, Website Management, Custom Web Development

Starting Price: $2.59/mo

Currency: USD

Visit Online: https://www.dreamhost.com

Review Summary & Ratings

4

DreamHost is a pretty good option regardless of the type of hosting you need. On a scale of 1 – 5, I’d give these guys a 4. They’re not the perfect hosting service, but I’ve yet to find any other that’s worthy of a stellar review. I especially highly recommend DreamHost for new WordPress website users.

Pros: What I Like About DreamHost

There is a lot to love about DreamHost and its products. It offers generous resource allocation, excellent reliability standards, a long list of available services, and much more.

1. DreamHost Shared Hosting Guarantees Reliability

In its Terms of Service (TOS) document, DreamHost offers Shared Hosting users a 100% uptime guarantee. That means it will compensate users for any outages in service as detailed in the terms and conditions. 

While several web hosting companies are willing to offer a specific uptime guarantee, not many set it as high as 100%. A more typical figure would be 99.9%. The reality is that 100% is nearly impossible, but DreamHost is willing to make up for the difference to offer users greater peace of mind.

Guaranteed Uptime

1. DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime. A failure to provide 100% uptime will result in customer compensation pursuant to guidelines established herein.

2. Customer is entitled to compensation if Customer's web site, databases, email, FTP, SSH or webmail become unusable as a result of failure(s) in DreamHost systems for reasons other than previously announced scheduled maintenance, coding or configuration errors on the part of the Customer.

3. Customer will receive DreamHost credit equal to the Customer's current hosting cost for 1 (one) day of service for each 1 (one) hour (or fraction thereof) of service interruption, up to a maximum of 10% of customer's next pre-paid hosting renewal fee.

4. …

2. 97-day Full Refund for DreamHost Shared Hosting

DreamHost offer new customers 97-day full refund on shared hosting plans.
DreamHost shared hosting customers can enjoy 97-day money-back guarantee if they are not happy with the product.

DreamHost offers new customers a 97-day full refund on Shared Hosting Plans. You can cancel your plan and get your money back within this period. The only downside is the dedication of domain name fees, but that’s entirely reasonable since you get to keep the domain name.

Again, DreamHost goes above and beyond here. As a comparison, the typical money-back guarantee for most web hosts is 30 days. 

3. SSD Drives on Most Hosting Plans Improve Performance

DreamHost equips almost all its servers with Solid State Drives (SSDs). This type of drive offers much better performance than traditional mechanical storage drives. The increased speed means your website will perform better on DreamHost servers in many ways.

Regular static websites will benefit from improved speeds in file reads. However, application-based websites like WordPress will see even more advantages. Faster speeds are essential for storage-heavy activities like database queries – something that WordPress does a lot.

4. DreamHost Academy Provides Comprehensive Advice

DreamHost Academy provides comprehensive guide
DreamHost offers a comprehensive guide to launch and grow a website. You can also join their private Facebook group for discussions.

Although DreamHost Academy offers content that helps website owners, don’t mistake it for a standard support channel. Rather than trying to be an A-Z dictionary, the content gears toward three main focus areas all website owners should learn; To build, promote, and grow their websites.

Technical support is via two other channels; a generic knowledge base for self-help or direct contact with their support team. Incidentally, the knowledge base is comprehensive and offers suitable topics for beginners and the advanced.

5. Many Freebies at DreamHost

Despite web hosting plans starting at low prices, DreamHost is quite generous with freebies. While things like free SSL are supported, they help out in several other notable ways. For instance, you get generous resource allocation, automated WordPress migration, and access to a WordPress website builder.

One thing that stands out is that all Shared Hosting plans get a free domain name that includes domain name privacy. I’ve always hated having to pay extra for that whenever I register a domain name, so it’s a thoughtful and money-saving gesture from DreamHost.

6. WordPress is King at DreamHost

DreamHost WordPress migration
DreamHost offers an automated WordPress migration tool.

One of the best things about DreamHost is their “default” position on WordPress. It comes as a standard pre-install on their shared hosting packages and is part of their software installation deployer tool.

In addition, you’ll also find many Wordpress-centric features on the various hosting plans. Some examples of this include the automated WordPress site migration tool, WP website builder, and many user guides on the topic.

7. DreamHost Offers Many Useful Services

DreamHost offers a wide range of services.
Besides conventional hosting products, DreamHost offers a broad range of services from website design to social media marketing.

One of the best features of DreamHost is that it provides such a broad range of services. Aside from their core web hosting products, they offer everything else in between. From helping you build a custom website to SEO enhancements and marketing, you’ll find it all available here.

The wide range of products and services means you can stick with them over the entire life cycle of your website or business. That stability means you can spend the time focusing on growing the website instead of worrying about having to migrate as your needs expand.

Cons: DreamHost Drawbacks and Disadvantages

Like everything else in life, DreamHost isn’t perfect. Yet while some of its imperfections are annoying, I haven’t found anything that prevents me from recommending this host. Here are some things I’m less pleased about;

1. DreamHost Sometimes Doesn’t Include Email Services

Given how email is generally integrated into web hosting control panels, it boggles the mind that DreamHost occasionally makes it an optional extra. One example of this is their Shared Started plan, which has an introductory price of only $2.59 – but custom email costs an extra $1.67/mo.

Honestly, this is an annoyance more than a solid obstacle, and there’s no viable reason to cripple the cheapest shared plan in this manner.

2. Potentially Confusing Hosting Dashboard

One area of contention for DreamHost is its custom hosting dashboard. Hosts that offer cPanel and Plesk are the norm. For some reason, DreamHost decided otherwise, which results in occasional frustration for some users.

Again, this should not be a deal-breaker, but it does mean you run the risk of unfamiliarity with the layout of their custom dashboard.

DreamHost Plans and Pricing

DreamHost showcases one of the broadest range of hosting plans I’ve seen. I’ll cover the more commonly used types in this review, but you’ll find more on their website.

DreamHost Shared Hosting

Shared Hosting at DreamHost is kept simple. There are only two plans available for a broad market. Shared Starter is pretty limited and suitable for hosting single small websites. You can move to Shared Unlimited for more flexibility if you outgrow that.

PlansStarterUnlimited
Websites1Unlimited
Storage50 GBUnlimited
Databases6Unlimited
Free WP MigrationYesYes
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
Daily BackupsAutomatedAutomated
EmailsOptionalYes
Free SSLYesYes
SSLLet's Encrypt SSLStandard SSL
Price$2.59/mo$3.95/mo
OrderStarterUnlimited

DreamHost VPS Hosting

DreamHost VPS plans are pretty standard and in line with industry norms. The one exceptional area is bandwidth. Most hosting companies will limit your bandwidth on VPS plans. DreamHost offers unlimited bandwidth – within their usage policies.

PlansBasicBusinessProfessionalEnterprise
WebsitesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
RAM1 GB2 GB4 GB8 GB
Storage (SSD)30 GB60 GB120 GB240 GB
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Free SSLYesYesYesYes
EmailsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
App InstallerYesYesYesYes
Price$10/mo$20/mo$40/mo$80/mo

DreamHost Dedicated Hosting

Interestingly, DreamHost sports many Dedicated hosting plans. While there’s nothing remarkable about prices here, the choice is unusual for a hosting segment that’s pretty niche. Variation among plans is mostly in resource allocation and storage types (HDD or SSD).

PlansStandard 4Standard 8Standard 16Enhanced 16
CPU Core/Thread4/84/84/812/24
RAM4 GB8 GB16 GB16 GB
Storage1 TB HDD1 TB HDD1 TB HDD2 TB HDD
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Root AccessYesYesYesYes
OPcacheYesYesYesYes
Price$149/mo$189/mo$229/mo$279/mo

* Note: DreamHost offers nine pre-set Dedicated hosting plans – please check out plans #5 – #9 at their official website. The three highest dedicated plans come with SSD storage.

Alternatives to DreamHost

Compare DreamHost vs Bluehost

Like DreamHost, Bluehost is an industry stalwart that’s been around for ages. It also offers a solid WordPress-specific range of plants that rivals DreamHost. If you’re on the fence about these two hosting brands, here’s a quick comparison;

PlansDreamHostBlueHost
Plan in ReviewShared StarterBasic
Websites11
Storage50 GB SSD50 GB SSD
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
Free DomainYesYes
EmailNoYes
Automated BackupsYesNo
Website BuilderYesYes
Price$2.59/mo$2.95/mo
OrderVisitVisit

I feel that there’s little to compare in the sense of which host offers more. However, some differences make DreamHost and Bluehost suit their own audience. Overall, both provide good value for money and are reputable brands.

Compare DreamHost vs HostGator

HostGator is known to offer some excellent entry-level hosting plans. This pricing makes it a good initial comparison with DreamHost. However, it has a love-hate relationship with many customers, and the gator isn’t for everyone.

FeaturesHostGatorDreamHost
Plan in ReviewHatchlingShared Starter
Websites11
StorageUnmetered50 GB SSD
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
Free DomainYesYes
EmailYesNo
Automated BackupsNoYes
Website BuilderYesYes
Signup Price$2.75/mo$2.59/mo
Order / Learn MoreVisitVisit

HostGator offers lots more in the freebies department compared to DreamHost. Yet, DreamHost still excels in one vital web hosting area – reliability. Their 97-day money-back guarantee and 100% uptime assurance are good indicators of that.

Frequently Asked Questions on DreamHost

Is DreamHost good hosting?

Yes, DreamHost is an excellent hosting brand. It hasn’t changed ownership since its founding. That is an excellent indicator of the quality and acceptance of the products and services this brand offers the public.

Is DreamHost good for beginners?

Yes, DreamHost is highly suitable for beginners. It has a range of entry-level plans for new, small websites. In addition, DreamHost provides lots of resources that can help new users build and grow their websites.

Can I use Weebly with DreamHost?

Yes, you can use Weebly with DreamHost. If you’ve bought your domain name at DreamHost, simply point it towards your Weebly account. You do this by setting your DNS records and creating custom “A” records.

How reliable is DreamHost?

DreamHost is an extremely reliable hosting service. Aside from a 97-day money-back guarantee, the company also spells out a 100% uptime guarantee in their TOS. If the service goes down, they’ll pay you for every hour of outage.

Is DreamHost VPS good?

DreamHost VPS is flexible and reliable. There are four plans to choose from, each with varying amounts of allocated dedicated resources. If you need more options, the company also offers Cloud hosting as a viable alternative.

Final Thoughts For My DreamHost Review

DreamHost is a pretty good option regardless of the type of hosting you need. On a scale of 1 – 5, I’d give these guys a 4. They’re not the perfect hosting service, but I’ve yet to find any other that’s worthy of a stellar review. I especially highly recommend DreamHost for new WordPress website users.

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Article by Timothy Shim