DreamHost was founded in 1996, in Los Angeles. It has since gone on to host over 1.5 million websites, blogs, and online stores over the last 25 years. It comes loaded with a stash of features, offering WordPress, shared hosting, VPS web hosting, cloud hosting, and dedicated web hosting.
An excellent choice for newbies, DreamHost is highly intuitive and has a gentle learning curve. Webmasters find that the tools available to them on this platform are easy to use and generally consider the price tags for their plans attractive.
Here’s our quick review of DreamHost
- Very good uptime and page speed
- 97-day money-back guarantee
- Affordable hosting plans
- Unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Green hosting
- 24/7 live chat support but no phone support
- Migration assistance can get expensive
- No cPanel
Shared Web Hosting
Shared hosting is a very popular option for those who have just started out building their first websites. It is great for webmasters on a tight budget. Basically, what it entails is several websites sharing a single server. Each website has limits on how much of the server’s resources they get to make use of. That, of course, depends on the package they choose to hop on.
Because websites must share resources, it is not a very powerful form of web hosting. On the flip side, it is much more economical than other options.
DreamHost offers two plans for shared hosting: Shared Starter and Shared Ultimate plans. The Shared Starter plan allows you to host a single website and starts from $2.49/mo. On the other hand, you can host any number of websites on the Shared Unlimited version. Price starts from $3.95/mo.
VPS Web Hosting
VPS or Virtual Private Hosting is relatively new but has grown to become quite popular. It is a tier above shared web hosting and provides more power and resources. Again, a single server is shared by other websites, but much fewer than with shared web hosting. Each website gets its own virtually-partitioned space, with dedicated resources. As a result, it is more expensive.
It should be noted that VPS hosts mostly offers servers that run Linux-based operating systems. DreamHost offers four plans which are Linux-based.
- Basic Plan starting at $13.75/mo
- Business Plan starting at $27.50/mo
- Professional Plan starting at $55/mo
- Enterprise Plan starting at $110.00/mo
Each of these plans allow you to host unlimited websites and offer unmetered bandwidth.
Dedicated Web Hosting
Dedicated hosting assigns a dedicated server and all the resources that come with it to a single website. It is excellent for websites with large numbers of visitors. Because all the resources that come with the server are only utilized by that website, it ensures high uptime rates, fast page loading, and great performance. The webmaster gets near-complete control of the server and can configure it to at will.
The pricing for dedicated hosting depends on the level of available resources such as RAM, storage, bandwidth, etc. DreamHost has two dedicated web hosting plans. The Standard plan starts at $149/mo while the Enhanced Plan is much costlier, starting at $279/mo. The Enhanced comes with additional memory and faster processing.
Dreamhost also offers WordPress hosting like several other web hosting providers. WordPress Hosting falls along free, shared, VPS, dedicated and managed hosting.
There are three plans on offer here:
- WordPress Basic starting at $2.49/mo
- DreamPress starting at $16.95/mo
- VPS WordPress starting at $27.50/mo
1. Great uptime
No website owner wants to experience the frustration of having their sites constantly experience downtimes. When those occur, it becomes more difficult to retain traffic for your website.
Over the last 12 months, DreamHost has managed to maintain an average uptime of close to 100%. This is pretty impressive. What’s even more impressive is that you are guaranteed 100% uptime.
DreamHost promises that a failure to maintain that threshold will result in compensation for their customers. Of course, downtimes as a result of user errors and servicing do not fall under the umbrella of this guarantee. If you experience any downtimes outside of this, you are guaranteed up to a free day per hour downtime experienced.
2. 97-Day refund policy
The industry standard for money-back policies is 30 days. Most web hosting providers offer this, while a few allow up to 50% extra – 45 days.
DreamHost offers more than double what even these providers do. You are allowed to try out their services completely risk-free for up to 97 days.
This guarantee applies to shared web hosting plans. If you are on a DreamPress, VPS, or Dedicated hosting plan, you are eligible for a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. Good average loading times
Slow loading times harm a website’s engagement metrics. Many users will never return to a website that takes forever to load.
Fortunately, DreamHost’s average hosting times are consistently decent. While they are not exactly lightning fast, they rank over most other web hosting providers for speed, falling around 5th when tested against 15 other providers. DreamHost comes with native OPcaching and gzip compression. Additionally, your site’s files are stored on SSD storage, which is considerably faster than HDD.
4. Unlimited storage and bandwidth
A cursory glance through DreamHost’s pricing page will show several ‘unlimited’ tags on their plans. Several of these plans come with no limit on the amount of storage and bandwidth users are allowed.
Of course there are terms and conditions attached. Generally, they are quite legit.
5. Green hosting
There are several factors that can cause web hosting to be detrimental to the environment. DreamHost pledges to be an environmentally conscious and friendly company. Over the last decade, they have taken several steps in this direction.
All of DreamHost offices and data centers make use of energy-efficient electrical appliances and cooling infrastructure. Water is recycled, their processors are power-efficient and they utilize power generated from solar systems, wind farms, hydroelectric plants, and other renewable sources.
1. No Telephone support
You can reach DreamHost’s customer support for inquiries and complaints via Live Chat and email. Unfortunately, it does not include an option for telephone support. Their customer support page does not come with a phone number that you can use to talk directly to a customer care representative.
There is an option to request a call back from a representative though. Bizarrely, this feature comes as an extra package of its own. For a fee, you can request a call back up to 3 times in a month. Alternatively, you can pay for a single call back.
Most other top web hosting platforms have a variety of customer support options, including email, live chat, and telephone support. To makes matters even worse, the live chat system is not available 24/7. If you live in other regions outside the US time zones, you may have to wait for hours to reach a rep via live chat. They are available from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm PST.
2. No cPanel
cPanel is a very popular web app that is used by many of the top web hosting providers to manage hosting. It also helps users with billing, FTP information, databases, and email accounts.
While DreamHost does not support cPanel, it does come with its own custom-built panel to help you manage your website. Unfortunately, it presents a problem to users who migrate from other web hosting platforms as they may find it difficult to use DreamHost’s rather limited control panel.
3. No windows hosting
DreamHost’s VPS web hosting is entirely Linux-based. It does not offer any support for Windows-based operating systems. So, no Windows ASP, .NET or FrontPage extensions.
4. Expensive migration assistance
Dreamhost offers a variety of website migration services. Unfortunately, it does not allow webmasters to migrate their websites for free, on any of the shared hosting plans. This can get quite frustrating, if you have decided to migrate multiple websites at the same time.
To migrate from another host, you will be required to cough up a $99 fee, per website to get some migration assistance. DreamPress website migrations do not fall under this and are free.
DreamHost is affordable and offers an array of powerful features. It can be considered good value for money, with lots of pros like unlimited bandwidth, a generous refund policy, and consistent performance.
On the flip-side, you’ll find that there are a few catches, like no support for Windows and limited customer care.