DreamHost Review: Is It The Host You’ve Been Dreaming About?

DreamHost is among some of the most popular hosting providers out there. It’s known for a lot of things including affordable rates and a large number of packages. We bought the service and created our website to check the features offered by the company. We studied everything from the cost to uptime and load time real data. But is it worth the hype? We’ll find out in this review.

OVERAL RATING                        4.2 / 5

Features                                                8 / 10

User Friendly                                       8 / 10

Pricing                                                   8 / 10
Support                                                 9 / 10
Reliability                                             9 / 10
DreamHost Discounts                 See Deals
Uptime                                               99.98%
Load Time                                          539 ms

DreamHost boasts of an impressive profile and about half a million active users hosting over 1.5 million websites. That’s a big number and it’s only growing by the day. It is not a new company. Founded in 1996, it has gone strength to strength and has even won PCMag’s ‘Best Web Hosting Service’ several times.

It was founded by a bunch of students at Harvey Mudd College in California, but today it has dozens of staff members working hard to ensure it meets the expectations of its millions of customers.

Key Features
  • Website Builder to make it easy to build your own sites
  • SSDs for faster performance
  • 1-click apps installer
  • Endorsed by WordPress
  • Award winning customer support available 24/7
  • Email Accounts with all shared hosting plans
Disk Space
Unlimited
Bandwidth
Unlimited
Money Back
97 days
Free Domain
No
Free SSL
Yes
Hosting Plans
www.dreamhost.com

Table of Contents

 

  1. DreamHost Review: Background Information
  2. Endorsed by WordPress
  3. Website Hosted Stats & TLDs
  4. Performance, Uptime & Load Time
  5. Hosting Plans and Features
  6. DreamHost Shared Plan in Detail
  7. Who is DreamHost Best For?
  8. Pros & Cons
  9. The Final Word

DreamHost Review: Background Information

DreamHost is an American company in the true sense of the word. The hosting service was founded in 1996 by a bunch of friends studying at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. These included Dallas Bethune, Michael Rodriguez, Josh Jones, and Sage Weil. The four friends worked hard to develop the idea and the company officially came into being in 1997.

It has multiple offices in the country and a global reach. Though not the oldest hosting providers out there, it is among the most well-known thanks to its generous policies and affordable rates.


Website Hosted Stats & TLDs

The company has about half a million active users hosting over 1 million websites. It offers a bunch of TLDs including .com, .net, etc. You will also find location-specific TLDs here such as .co.uk and co.us. Other than this, business-specific TLDs like .biz and .info are also available.

Performance, Uptime & Load Time

It’s not enough to have a web hosting, you must make sure it offers good performance. The best way to measure quality is to check available uptime and loud time. Let’s have a look.

Performance Test (Pingdom)

We ran the Pingdom test on the site to judge the speed and features offered by the company. We created a mock site with real content so that we could reach a real conclusion. The test results were quite good.

The page took less than one second to load, averaging 471 ms. This is better than a large number of providers out there and is a very important metric behind the success of a site. Since we didn’t use speed optimization or caching, it can be said that the results are reliable.

Server Uptime & Load Time (UptimeRobot)

The UptimeRobot test is a tried and tested method to judge how reliable a website is. We ran the test on the site and were once again the outcome was positive:

As you can see, the website has been up for 34 hours and hasn’t been down around 1 month. It offers an uptime rate of 99.99% in the last 30 days, which equals to about 0.072 hours in a month.

This is quite good as you know your website will be up most of the time. Similarly, the speed is excellent as well, averaging 199.78 ms.

Server Response Time (Bitcatcha)

Since websites are viewed globally, it is important to find a hosting provider who can ensure quick load times all around the world. We ran the Bitcatcha test to gauge this. Here’s the outcome.

As expected, the website loads the fastest in the US, followed by Australia. It’s the slowest in Sao Paulo and Japan, where it averages about 250 ms, which isn’t too bad especially when you compare it with other options. All in all, it doesn’t matter where your audience is, you can host your site on DreamHost without any problem.


Hosting Plans and Features

DreamHost offers a bunch of hosting plans. While they share some similar features, some may come with additional perks. The four most popular hosting plans offered by the company include.

TYPE OF HOSTING #1 PACKAGE #2 PACKAGE #3 PACKAGE #4 PACKAGE
Shared (Basic) $2.59 / mo $5.59 / mo
WordPress $2.59 / mo $5.59 / mo
VPS $10 / mo $20 / mo $40 / mo $80 / mo
Dedicated $149 / mo $279 / mo

Shared Hosting

The cheapest package comes for as low as $2.59/month. You can host only one site on it but you get a free domain with it in addition to unlimited traffic, free SSL, and free SSD storage.

The more expensive package comes for as low as $5.95/month. You can host unlimited sites on it and enjoy a free domain in addition to unlimited traffic, free SSL, and free SSD storage.

MAIN FEATURES SHARED STARTER SHARED UNLIMITED
Started Price $2.59/mo $5.95/mo
Renewal Price $2.59/mo $5.95/mo
Websites 1 Unlimited
SSD Disk Space 50GB Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered
Email Accounts Available for Purchase Included
Domain(s) Hosted Unlimited Unlimited
FREE Domains Included
FREE SSL Certificate Available Pre-installed

VPS Hosting

Basic: The cheapest package comes for as low as $10/month. You can host unlimited sites on it while enjoying unlimited emails as well. It offers free SSL certificates, 1GB of RAM and 30GB SSD storage, hence may not be suitable for heavy sites.

Business: Suitable for small businesses, this one costs $20/month. You can host unlimited sites on it while enjoying unlimited emails as well. It’s suitable for small sites, offers 2GB of RAM with 30GB SSD storage and unlimited traffic with free SSL certificates.

Professional: Available for as low as $40/month this one also comes with free SSL certificates. This one also lets you host unlimited sites with unlimited emails. It offers 4GB of RAM and 120GB SSD storage and is suitable for mid-sized businesses and professional sites.

Enterprise: The most expensive VPS hosting package costs $80/month and comes with free SSL certificates. You get to host unlimited sites with unlimited emails. It offers 8GB of RAM and 240GB SSD storage and is suitable for big sites.

Cloud Hosting

The company offers a bunch of cloud hosting options. These include:

512MB Ram Server: This 1 vCPU, unlimited bandwidth package costs only $4.50/month or $0.0075/hour. It is suitable for tinkering and offers 80 GB SSD disk.

2GM Ram Server: This 1 vCPU, unlimited bandwidth package costs only $12/month or $0.03/hour. It is suitable for websites and offers 80 GB SSD disk.

8GB Ram Server: This 4 vCPU, unlimited bandwidth package costs only $48/month or $0.08/hour. It is suitable for databases and offers 80 GB SSD disk.

Dedicated Hosting

The cheapest package comes for as low as $149/month. You don’t only enjoy a 100% uptime guarantee but also get access to 24/7 server monitoring with DDoS protection.

DreamHost Basic (Shared Plan) in Detail

The Shared Plan is the company’s most popular plan as it is made for all kinds of consumers. All the packages come with a free domain name for the first year and unlimited traffic.

Plans & Prices in Detail

Let’s have a look at the features that come with the basic plan. You get to choose from two options.

What’s included in Shared Packages?

Starter: This package is suitable if you’re just starting out or if you have a small business. You only get to host one site and get some basic features like WordPress and free domain with a free SSL certificate.

Unlimited: As the name suggests, this package offers you unlimited websites, traffic, and emails. You also get to enjoy the basic options that come with the starter package such as a free domain name, WordPress, and a free SSL certificate.

MAIN FEATURES STARTER UNLIMITED
Started Price $2.59/mo $5.95/mo
Renewal Price $2.59/mo $5.95/mo
Websites 1 Unlimited
SSD Disk Space 50GB Unlimited
Bandwidth Unmetered Unmetered
Email Accounts Available for Purchase Included
Domain(s) Hosted Unlimited Unlimited
FREE Domains Included
FREE SSL Certificate Available Pre-installed
Premium Wildcard SSL No Yes, with Addon
FREE Site Builder
FREE Website Transfer
cPanel & Softaculous
Nightly Backups
MySQL Databases Unlimited Unlimited
Cloudflare CDN
Money Back Guarantee 97-days 97-days

Starting Prices Table

The started package starts for as low as $2.59/month. You can opt to pay $7.95/month if you want the Unlimited package.

PAYMENT PERIOD / PLAN
(FOR NEW USERS ONLY)
SHARED STARTER SHARED UNLIMITED
1 month $4.95/mo $10.95/mo
12 month $3.95/mo $6.95/mo
36 month $2.59/mo $5.95/mo

Renewal Prices

Renewal policy is very simple. You will be charged the same amount as the original unless there’s a change in the pricing structure.


Main Features in Detail

Let’s have a look at some of the main features DreamHost has to offer. These will help you determine how good or bad this option is for you.

Domain Name & Email

Both the packages come with a free domain name for the first year. However, free emails are only available with the Unlimited package. You will have to upgrade if you need this feature.

Web Space & Bandwidth

Both the packages offer unlimited SSD storage and unlimited traffic. Some reports suggest that it may not be unlimited but we did not find any issue or restriction with web space or bandwidth.

WordPress One-Click Installation

Both the packages offer 1 click WP installation for free making it easy to get WordPress up and running on your site. You can choose WordPress installation and your site will be up in just a few seconds for you to design.

Migration Service

Dreamhost doesn’t let you import data from other control panels. You will have to do it manually, i.e: copy databases and files on your own. Plus, it is also not possible to import emails. This has to be done manually as well by using one of the many desktop applications.

For WordPress sites, you may either opt to migrate on your own or hire the company’s migration services for $99. The job takes 48 hours to finish.

Website Builder

The site builder is excellent and very easy to use. You can select a layout and get started right away. The service is available for free and comes with click-to-edit options that let you customize themes as needed. With this feature, you will have no difficulty in building your own site.

Other Features

Other than this, DreamHost is one of the few sites to offer free SSL certificates that will cost you $10 or more on other platforms. Moreover, you get to enjoy 24/7 customer support and a 97-day money-back guarantee, which is among the lowest in the business.

Reliability (Security Options)

Security is a huge concern when it comes to websites. You want to be able to keep your data safe so that your site stays up and running and there are no attacks. DreamHost provides a bunch of security features, hence there’s no need to worry about losing your site or the data hosted on it.

Domain Privacy Protection

Like many other services, the company offers domain privacy for free as well. You can use this extra layer of protection to keep your information safe and out of the public domain.

SSL Certificate

Both the shared hosting packages come with free SSL certificates. This is important to ensure your site ranks well on search engines and opens on all platforms.

DreamShield Security

This paid feature ($3/month), earlier known as Malware Remover Service, can be activated from the panel. It kills malicious codes and keeps your site protected. It scans the site every week and sends email in case of an issue.

Dedicated IP

The company does not offer static IPs but you can add a Unique IP under the Manage Domains section. However, the IP may change if required and the company offers no guarantees regarding it. Unique IPs will cost you $59.95 per year.

Backups

While the company does not presently offer automatic backups, it lets you create manual backups that you can use to restore your site in case things go wrong.

Other Security Features

The company offers free domain privacy, free and open SSL/TLS certificates, firewall, http/2 support, and a malware remover to keep your site protected.

Server Location

Its servers are located only in the US (Ashburn Virginia and Hillsboro Oregon), but that should not be a problem for foreign clients as the servers are accessible from around the world and offer good speed and security.


Ease-of-Use

This is of huge importance especially if you’re new to the business. DreamHost is generally easy to use. Let’s have a look.

Ease of Sign-Up

You only need to choose a hosting plan and provide details such as your email and password to sign up. You may choose a domain or use your existing domain and place order. In some cases, the company may, later on, ask you to submit some relevant documents, especially if you have chosen a unique TLD.

Payment Methods

DreamHost accepts a bunch of payment methods including PayPal, credit cards, debit cards, electronic check, gift certificate, and even money orders. It does not, however, accept cryptocurrencies. Plus, in some cases, international cards may also get declined. You can get in touch with the company if this occurs.

Account Activation

The company verifies sign up details before an account is activated. Your account will appear pending until the information has been verified. The process may take about 48 hours and more if there are issues with your account, in which case you may be asked to verify documents, especially the payment method you have used.

Control Panel and Dashboard Experience

DreamHost scores a sixer when it comes to control panels. It does not offer typical control panels but has created its own design that appears to have been inspired by cPanel. You get to enjoy one-click installations with other features that traditional control panels come with.

Overall, using the control panel is a piece of cake. However, users who have been using Plesk or cPanel for too long may require some time to get used to it.


Customer Service (Support)

DreamHost understands the importance of customer service and hence offers help 24/7 via different tools. The in-house customer support is very well trained and available for potential users as well.

Live Chat

This is the preferred method for most people. The representatives are very friendly with a good amount of knowledge. It takes only a few minutes to reach an agent who will verify your details before handling the case.

Tickets

You will have to count on tickets if it is a major issue. We received a response within 24 hours but the team only appears to be active between 5 AM to 10 PM. The replies were concise but professional.

Phone

The company does not presently offer phone support. You can, however, get in touch with the hosting provider’s Twitter handle to leave your concerns. Nonetheless, you can request a call back for $9,95. It also offers a monthly package for $14.95 with three calls.


Education Resources (Knowledge Base)

You can make use of the Community Center or go through dozens of articles written to answer your questions. They’re very detailed with illustrations to help you solve your issues on your own.

Money Back Guarantee (Refund Policy)

DreamHost offers a unique 97-day money back guarantee on all shared hosting packages. The guarantee does not cover other plans. Your amount will be sent back to the original payment source but there may be a slight deduction in the name of fee (3%).


Who is DreamHost Best For?

Whether you have a small site or a big site, whether you want to start your own online store or a company blog, DreamHost can be the right option for you. It is not only affordable but also offers a bunch of features. The site builder, for example, makes it suitable for newbies as the tool make it a breeze to build your own site. Similarly, businesses and big site owners can also use it as it offers great security and some cool features.


PROS
CONS
  • You get to enjoy one day of free service for every hour of downtime as the company offers 100% uptime.
  • 24/7 customer support is great.
  • You get to enjoy extended guarantee to keep you safe and secure.
  • The servers are among the fastest in the business, hence it’s suitable for all kinds of clients.
  • It’s a green company (carbon neutral) and works on neutralizing greenhouse gases.

Do We Recommend DreamHost?

Yes, we do, without a doubt. DreamHost is among the best in the business today. It brings credibility to your site as you don’t have to worry about pages loading slow, charges going up, or your site going down.

We hope this detailed review helps you come to an informed decision. What do you think about it? Do you have any experience with DreamHost? Let us know!

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