Reviewed By: Anuradha Chawla
Award-winning Dreamhost is an established web host that provides a full suite of hosting solutions including shared hosting(great for personal sites), managed WordPress hosting (for WordPress website or blog), dedicated hosting(for high traffic websites), VPS hosting(for businesses and e-commerce), and domain management to over 1.5 million websites, blogs, and applications.
They are well-known for having decent hosting speeds & performance. Unfortunately, DreamHost is unnecessarily difficult to use and challenging to figure out, which is why it’s not recommended for small business owners or non-tech savvy folks looking to host their own website.
DreamHost is a Los Angeles-based web hosting company founded in 1997 by 4 undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College. The company was built with a love of technology, open-source software, and a strong desire to help people get online.
Today, DreamHost has grown from a small college dorm startup with 4 students to a large company with over 100 employees and 400,000 customers. It has been named by PC Mag as the Best Web Hosting Service for two years in a row.
DreamHost Hosting Plans and Pricing
DreamHost keeps their web hosting plans simple with only one shared hosting plan and a few other plans for higher end users. Here’s a quick overview of all their web hosting plans:
||This hosting plan suits great for blogs & small personal/business sites.
||A faster, more reliable hosting plan geared specifically for WordPress users
|VPS Plan 1
||Entry-level VPS plan for users who need basic VPS hosting
| VPS Plan 2
||A higher tier plan for enhanced performance
| VPS Plan 3
||Even better performance for customers with a resource intensive website
| VPS Plan 4
||Maximum performance VPS for users who need serious VPS hosting power
| Dedicated Hosting
||Configurable dedicated hosting plans suitable for very large websites & businesses
DreamHost offers a single shared hosting plan which should fit any customer that needs a Linux shared hosting plan. It’s got good performance and can handle decent amounts of traffic.
It allows unlimited bandwidth, disk space, and domains so you can host as many websites as you’d like on one account. If your planning on hosting a small site (or numerous small sites) with DreamHost, this plan is your best bet.
Furthermore, a nice bonus that they offer is a free domain name for life. Although this means you can’t quit your hosting account. DreamHost will give you a free domain name as long as you keep your hosting account with them.
Their VPS & Dedicated hosting plans are great for customers with larger, more resource intensive websites. Their entry-level VPS plan is quite reasonably priced, but the others ones get a bit pricey. Click here to know more about their pricing structure.
Managing your account with DreamHost is unique. It’s one of those things you’ll either love or hate. When you purchase a DreamHost account, you’ll first login to the DreamHost dashboard, which is where you can start managing your account.
I feel the dashboard has a somewhat confusing layout and is not very comfortable, nor intuitive to navigate. It looks and feels completely different and is challenging to figure out if you’re used to using other web hosts.
It’s hard to explain, but its almost like the feeling a Windows user gets when trying to use a Mac for the first time.
DreamHost Control Panel
DreamHost uses a custom built control panel which seems unnecessarily difficult and confusing to navigate. Instead of using cPanel, or even vDeck, DreamHost has built their own custom control panel.
The control panel just does not seem very intuitive or user-friendly for me. Again, it could just be one of those either love it or hate it kind of things, and this is something that I don’t love!
Who would have thought MySQL databases would be categorized under “Goodies” and not under something like “Database Mangement”? Every task from within the control panel seems challenging and backwards if you’re used to cPanel.
Servers Uptime & Performance
DreamHost offers solid performance with a unique 100% uptime guarantee. They currently have 2 data centers with 1 located in Los Angeles and the other in Ashburn, VA.
In the last couple of years, DreamHost has significantly upgraded its network infrastructure to improve performance and stability and to mitigate abusive activity. Their data centers now house over 1,500 servers.
In terms of actual performance, DreamHost usually does pretty good. The uptime score is usually above average and the page load speeds are decent, but not super fast either. All in all, their web hosting is fairly fast and reliable.
Third Party Applications Compatability
DreamHost allows association with third party applications for building websites. Applications and platforms such as GertSimple, Pligg, concrete5, MediaWiki, Joomla, and WordPress are easily available to kick-start your website.
DreamHost Customer Support
The company’s in-house support team is around to help out 24/7/365. They provide round the clock customer support through email, online chat, and ticket based support. Their customer support representatives provide appropriate information and address all queries promptly.
The website has a knowledge base of help files with detailed instructions to troubleshoot almost any problem you might run into. The website has a list of frequently asked questions as well, which is very helpful. You can raise a support ticket on the website that will be answered within 24-48 hours.
Money Back Guarantee Policy
A money back guarantee is a great way to win over customers. It shows how confident the service provider is in their service and how committed they are to ensuring customer satisfaction.
DreamHost has a flexible, money back guarantee that lets users cancel their subscription within 97 days with a full refund.
Things I Like in DreamHost
- Good performance with little downtime
- SSDs now included with shared & VPS hosting
- DreamPress 2, a managed web hosting plan specifically for WordPress
- 97-day money back guarantee which is amazing
- Allows hosting unlimited domains
- Recommended for tech-savvy users
- Affordable, entry-level VPS hosting plan
- Free domain name for life
Things I Dislike in DreamHost
- In general, most plans are priced fairly high
- No customer support via phone
- Difficult to use, with a confusing custom built control panel
- DreamHost is not BBB(Better Business Bureau) accredited
- Can get better hosting for a better price elsewhere
- Lacks Windows Support
- Glitch in Security
- Lack of customer support
As we reach the conclusion of our DreamHost review, we sincerely hope that it helped you decide whether or not you should host your site with them. DreamHost has built a well-deserved reputation as a solid host with reliable servers and personalized service.
Their shared web hosting plan lacks phone support (unless you pay extra) and uses a custom built control panel which can be very challenging to navigate and use.
On top of that, 97 days money back guarantee is a sign of confidence and the 100% uptime guarantee ensures that your sites will be up and running around the clock. Although it is not our favorite choice, DreamHost does have a fan base with many loyal customers.
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