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DreamHost Expert Review
Founded in 1996, DreamHost is one of the industry’s oldest and most trusted web hosting providers, with approximately 1.5 million websites currently hosted by the company. Offering an extensive selection of low-cost and midrange hosting plans, DreamHost’s major selling point is quality hosting amenities complemented with a generous array of features and tools.
We tested DreamHost to find out whether the services they offer are as intuitive and plentiful as they claim. Overall, DreamHost delivered on a lot of our key metrics: reliable uptimes, fast load times, easy-to-use basic and advanced features, and unstinting server-side settings make DreamHost’s name apt. Still, the service has some growing to do in terms of diversifying customer support channels.
Pros and Cons
- Take DreamHost for a spin with monthly plans that let you cancel whenever, without any penalties.
- Dreamhost’s 97-day money back guarantee enables you to get a real feel for the product before committing.
- Unlimited bandwidth and disk space empower you to design extraordinary websites.
- Achieve high levels of customization thanks to DreamHost’s suite of diverse developer tools.
- Troubleshoot with DreamHost’s expert customer support team via ticketing, 24/7/365.
- SSD storage contributes to the fast load times you need to boost SEO rankings and customer engagement.
- Scale your website easily in just a few clicks.
- Tout your website’s steadfast reliability with features including near-perfect uptimes and free SSL certificates with every plan.
- The company’s customer support only offers two communication channels: ticketing, with callbacks limited for more basic plans, and limited chat times.
- You have to pay extra for DreamHost’s website builder, Remixer.
- Unlike some of its competitors, DreamHost doesn’t offer free migration services, though customer support is available to guide you through the process.
Pricing and Payment Methods
DreamHost’s pricing is affordable to midrange, with basic plans on par with some of the most low-cost plans available while more advanced plans tend toward the midrange. Shared hosting plans start at $2.59 monthly and includes 1 website and a free SSL certificate. WordPress Hosting comes with an assortment of hosting goodies.
Also starting at $2.59 a month, the shared starter WordPress plan comes with automatic daily backups and updates. For heavier WordPress users, DreamPress Pro starts at $71.95 a month and provides priority support, on-demand backups and free Jetpack professional.
The company’s VPS hosting similarly offers good value for money. The VPS Basic plan starts at $13.75 a month and gives you 1GB Ram and 30 GB SSD storage. Dedicated hosting with DreamHost is at the more expensive end of the affordable spectrum, though it still gives you value. Starting at $169 monthly, the plan offers root and shell access as well as DDoS protection. Many plans support reselling, though there is not one plan devoted to it.
All in all, DreamHost plans are affordable, if not the cheapest plans on the market. It is possible to lower your overall costs by signing up for tri-yearly contracts, though that is a long time to commit to any one provider.
Ease of Use
We found DreamHost very easy to work with. Advanced users like us have access to a large amount of coding languages and support tools, making it fairly simple to customize the backend the way you like it. The intuitive custom cPanel let us make changes quickly and easily, and we were able to utilize the company’s knowledge base to resolve problems on-the-go.
We also tested out features that are typically geared toward beginners. The website builder is very user-friendly and offers a lot of design variety, while the automatic WordPress updates and daily backups included in all WordPress plans let novice users focus on their website’s content instead of its upkeep. Free SSL certificates are very easy to install, as well. Overall, DreamHost engineers have done a lot of the heavy lifting themselves, making interactions with the platform straightforward and for the most part seamless.
Load Times and Reliability
These days, most leading web hosts promise upwards of %99.9 uptime, though from our experience many fall short of that guarantee. We tested DreamHost over a period of several months to see how much downtime we were up against and where the company stood in terms of their 100% uptime guarantee. On average, DreamHost’s uptimes were extremely reliable, with readings consistently over 99.9%.
In addition to its steadfast reliability, DreamHost also impressed when it came to one of our top priorities: load times. Over the months we tested the platform, DreamHost’s load times on average were 1.3s. While this might not make them the speediest of all services, the company’s load speeds are on par with other leading providers and quick enough to keep customers browsing.
One aspect we enjoyed about DreamHost is how featureful it is. Beginners can use pre-installed WordPress and a one-click installer to easily add tools to their website. In addition, the amount of developer tools that come with each plan is truly extraordinary. Webmasters can choose between different versions of PHP, access coding languages like Perl and Python, or easily schedule promotions with crontabs.
Whether you’re a new or experienced user, DreamHost’s attention to detail is clearly felt in their security standards. Free SSL certificates with each account, a web application firewall and a custom-built malware remover are just a few ways DreamHost puts your site security first. The one downside as far as features go is that their website builder, Remixer, is a monthly-paid add-on. Overall, however, you can take full advantage of the company’s tools whether you’re starting out or on your hundredth website.
If there’s one thing that we would change about DreamHost, it’s their customer support experience. Although all of the “tech veterans, geeks, and nerds” we spoke to were very helpful and knowledgeable, getting in touch with them took longer than average. The only ways for existing customers to contact support is through the cPanel ticketing system, or through their limited live chat option.
Even so, Dreamhost’s extensive knowledge base can help beginners and more advanced users tackle a wide range of issues. The company’s frequently updated blog also turned out to be a useful tool. While it is much more laid back than the technical guidelines offered in the knowledge base, the blog does actually offer helpful tips for optimizing your website.
We use a number of methods and a lengthy testing period to conduct our expert reviews of web hosting services. For a complete assessment of DreamHost, head over to our user reviews and see what regular users are saying about the company.
DreamHost combines affordable prices with a huge assortment of features and tools to present well-rounded basic and advanced plans. We saw that beginners could advance quickly through the system with the help of instinctive tools like the 1-click installer and DreamHost’s custom cPanel. Although it can take time to contact customer support representatives, once you’re in touch with them they are able to quickly troubleshoot and resolve problems.
We found that DreamHost really shines when it comes to providing a nurturing software environment. As a company that was born out of an opensource project and continues to contribute to opensource initiatives, DreamHost seems to want to provide developers with the best of the best. Advanced functionalities like multiple coding language and support for those language, unlimited MySQL databases and unlimited SFTP users let us collaboratively build a unique backend for our test site.
DreamHost Prices, Plans & Features - 2020
Shared Hosting Plans
VPS Hosting Plans
Dedicated Server Plans
Cloud Hosting Plans
Server LocationsLos Angeles
DreamHost Refund & Cancellation Policy
- 97-day money back guarantee on Shared hosting plans only, that have been paid with Credit Card or Google Checkout
- Refund does not apply for dedicated server or VPS hosting charges
- Refunds to not apply for the following payment methods: PayPal, Checks, Money Orders, Cashiers Check