What is DreamHost?
DreamHost is a Los Angeles-based web hosting provider and domain name registrar. It is owned by New Dream Network, LLC. It was founded in 1996. Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez, and Sage Weil, undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California founded it. Along with that, it got registered in 1997 by Michael Rodriguez.
DreamHost may not be as popular as GoDaddy and BlueHost among average internet users, but it is a remarkably well-known brand among developers, designers, and digital marketers. Since their foundation, they have grown to host over 1.5 million websites (750k+ are WordPress sites) and have over 400,000 customers.
DreamHost’s main shared hosting plan comes with popular apps like WordPress, website builder options including their own, and others like Wix or Weebly. These plans have unlimited bandwidth and disk space. And one gets a full 97-day money-back guarantee to test the service out. Their customer support is a bit limited, however.
Key features of DreamHost hosting
- Ease of Signup: Long and complicated sign-up process. Signup should be easier.
- Free domain: For the first year on all annual hosting plans.
- Money Back: 97-day money-back guarantee.
- Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal, Check, Money Order, Checking Account
- Hidden Fees and Clauses: No major ones. Site migration costs extra for CMS’ that are other than WordPress.
- Upsells: A few upsells.
- Account Activation: Account activation is quick unless you have payment issues.
- Control Panel and Dashboard: Custom DreamHost control panel.
- Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): One-click installer for WordPress and other apps/CMSs.
What products does DreamHost offer?
One can get domain names at DreamHost. DreamHost offers over 400 TLDs (like .com, .org, .net) or more exotic extensions (like .club or .guru). Country specific TLDs such as .es, .fr, .co.uk or .de are also available. A .com domain name is $15.99 at renewal.
DreamHost’s shared hosting will give one a lot for your money, they cost $6.99 a month for the 1-site plan or $12.99 for the Unlimited tier – straightforward pricing. This type of hosting is great to start. But if the project of one grows a lot (e.g. more than 50,000 visitors a month), one may need to upgrade.
Many can imagine a Virtual Private Server (VPS plans) as a shared hosting server that has been divided into smaller servers. This means that one can configure it to their needs. Therefore, their website will be hosted independently from other clients’ – the resources aren’t shared either. VPS hosting plans at DreamHost start at $13.75 a month and can go all the way up to $110 a month.
But, if one’s website gets so big that they need their own dedicated servers, that’s when they should consider getting a dedicated hosting account. One must beware because these are a bit more expensive. Dedicated hosting at DreamHost starts at $149 per month up to $279 monthly.
That’s not all, DreamHost also offers cloud hosting plans. Imagine this as a series of interconnected cloud servers that host one’s website. This solution is ideal for those expecting peaks of traffic as more resources (e.g. RAM and CPU) can be added as they need them. Figuring out how much one will pay is tricky as the price depends on the resources (e.g. RAM or storage) that one needs. DreamHost cloud server packages start at $4.50/mo.
On top of all that, DreamHost offers also offers managed WordPress hosting plans – they have special WordPress packages for their shared and VPS hosting. If one likes automatic updates, staging areas, and dedicated WordPress support, they can opt-in for a Managed WordPress hosting account. Shared WordPress hosting starts at $6.99 a month, VPS at $13.75, and Managed WordPress at $16.95 (for one site only).
DreamHost pricing and plans
Pros of DreamHost hosting
- Affordable: DreamHost is an affordable web hosting service, even the top shared hosting plan is cheaper than most alternatives.
- Performance: In our tests (uptime & speed), DreamHost performed well. It wasn’t the best provider but offered reliable results.
- Unlimited: All accounts come with truly unlimited bandwidth and generous storage. Unlike others, no inodes limitations.
- Modern-looking backend: Their backend looks very contemporary. It may take a bit of time to master for those used to cPanel dashboards.
- No upsells and upgrades: So many competitors push one into buying add-ons with aggressive pitches. DreamHost is a breath of fresh air.
- 97-day money-back guarantee: DreamHost offers a money-back guarantee if, after 97 days (yes 97) of using them, one is unhappy with their service.
Cons of DreamHost hosting
- Not many 1-click installs: They only have automated installations for a few CMSs (e.g. WordPress).
- Only US-location: They don’t have servers outside the US. These may not be ideal for users from other regions (e.g. Europe or Asia).
- No email account in the starter plan: Email accounts are paid separately for the Shared Starter plan, but they are fairly affordable too.
- Some advanced features missing: Some functions for larger projects seem to be missing. For instance, no staging, no built-in caching, or advanced backup solutions. One will need their superior DreamPress hosting for these.
- Support: It doesn’t offer live chat support 24 hours a day, only from 3:00 AM to 9:30 PM Pacific Time. Outside those hours one is left with ticket customer support, which is significantly slower.
DreamHost shared hosting details
When to use DreamHost hosting?
Well, a lot of site owners should think about using DreamHost, especially those looking for reliable, cheap web hosting. It combines both low prices and high quality, something that’s very difficult to find these days in the hosting world. I would say that small projects (e.g. a dentist’s site) looking for the best value for their money should consider DreamHost.
However, larger sites could find a good partner in DreamHost’s shared web hosting services too. It has enough speed, good customer service, and reliable uptime for avid bloggers and hardcore site developers. Even if it’s not PCI compliant out-of-the-box, DreamHost supports this technology – one could make it happen to geek around. This is obviously a massive pro for e-commerce projects.
Conclusion of DreamHost hosting
We recommend DreamHost. This web hosting provider can be a good option for many. Fair prices, solid support, and a very generous unlimited policy (for storage and bandwidth) will be remarkably appealing perks for many.
They are a particularly good option for WordPress users that are looking for good value for money, and in fact, we found them to be the best cheap WordPress hosting in our tests. Additionally, this web hosting service performance is one of the best people have tried. This means that the project (even big sites) will be safely hosted at DreamHost.
However one must be aware. If one is looking for professional features like staging areas, integrated caching and pre-installed Git repositories, DreamHost may fall short. Also, it’s not ideal if one’s traffic comes mainly from outside North America.