DreamHost Review – Worth the Premium Price Tag?

DreamHost is one of the oldest and largest hosting companies in the industry, providing customers with great quality support, an outstanding array of services, and exceptional customer support.

But at a premium price, is hosting with DreamHost really worth it?

Yes! Let me tell you why!

To find out the answer, I bought a shared hosting package with them. I setup a basic WordPress site to track the uptime, and have had chitchat with the support team to see if they are really helpful.

As part of my niche site building service, I also have some clients using DreamHost, I had to work on the hosting, and I took support feedback from my clients before writing this in-depth DreamHost review.

Brief History of the company

In a dorm room at Harvey Mudd College in 1996, four friends took their knowledge of and interest in open-source software, technology, and the Internet to begin DreamHost. In 1997, they registered as a company, and began hosting customers’ sites.

The company has grown since then, hosting more than 1.5 million sites, applications, and blogs, and provides support to more than 400,000 businesses and individuals who are creating content and publishing online.

They continue to focus on their open-source background, spinning off both Inktank for the open-source Ceph file system and Akanda, an open-source network virtualization solution.

The one thing I love much about DreamHost is:

The company is highly involved in OpenStack, an open-source community developing technology for public and private clouds. DreamHost is a leader, and has been named an OpenStack Foundation Gold Member for their participation and expertise in supporting the project.

They are headquartered in Los Angeles, also the location of one of their data centers; the others are in Irvine, California, and Ashburn, Virginia.

DreamHost Hosting Plan Overview

DreamHost offers a variety of different hosting plans, giving users creative packages to manage their sites. Each plan uses solid state drives (SSDs), which provides faster speeds for your site and gives your users and visitors the best experience possible.

They integrate with CloudFlare to cache content and filter harmful and malicious traffic, stopping it before it can stop your server.

The most impressive point, though, is that they offer a 100 percent uptime guarantee on all of their plans. This is the best uptime guarantee any company is providing in the web hosting industry right now.

Shared Hosting

Unlike major web hosting companies, DreamHost only have 1 shared hosting plan.Pricing for DreamHost’s unlimited shared hosting plans aren’t differentiated by what is available in each plan, only by the length of the contract.

For a three-year plan, you’ll pay $7.95 a month, the lowest possible price. A one-year contract runs $9.95 a month, and if you want to pay month-to-month, you’ll be paying $10.95.

​All shared plans include free SSL/TLS certificate through Let’s Encrypt, free set-up, a free domain name for the first year, and domain privacy protection. More importantly, though, is the unlimited everything possibilities.

Customers have unlimited storage and bandwidth, unlimited domain hosting, and unlimited POP/IMAP/SMTP e-mail accounts. There are some exceptions, of course, but as long as you aren’t causing problems for others on the servers or doing anything that violates their terms of service, you should be ok.

VPS Hosting

VPS at DreamHost is one of the lucrative VPS options in the hosting industry. Each VPS plan includes one dedicated IP address and 100 percent network uptime – an unheard of standard in the industry!

​They offer unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains, and 24/7 support.

​They also include Ubuntu 12.04 long-term support, which provides five years of security updates. This is great news for DreamHost’s VPS customers who will see less downtime on their sites.

​Plans start at 1GB of RAM for $15 each month, and grow up to 8GB of RAM, at a cost of $120 per month.

Dedicated Websites

Dedicated hosting plans include 2N+2 power redundancy, high levels of security and back-up, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited MySQL databases, and Ubuntu Linux.

RAID1 Storage means that if one hard drive fails, another one takes over, keeping your data safe. Servers are available with hard disk drives or solid state drives, with the hard drives offer one or two terrabytes of storage, 4 or 12 cores and RAM from 4 to 64GB.

Twelve-core solid state drives start at 16GB and go up to 64GB of RAM, offering up 240GB on the SSD.

​Plans start at $169 a month, or $149 a month with an annual plan, and go to $399 a month, or $379 a month with the annual plan.

​WordPress Hosting

Not only the specialized companies like WPEngine, or FlyWheelprovide WordPress specialized hosting these days, most of the of companies including DreamHost is also offering WordPress specialized web hosting for clients.

​At DreamHost, WordPress hosting starts at $7.95 per month on their shared hosting, and includes one-click WordPress install for multiple sites and domains, and is ideal for low-traffic, small, or new sites. You can install any theme or plug-in that you want to customize your site.

​Fully managed WordPress hosting starts at $16.95 each month, and they show that their program, DreamPress, is five times faster than shared hosting. It’s a bit expensive, but it’s worth the price.

It’s ready out-of-the box, scalable to handle increases in traffic, and has no bandwidth caps. You work on developing quality content and promote the site, and they’ll maintain the rest of your site. DreamPress is pre-installed and pre-configured, designed with several layers of caching and isolated server resources.

Phenomenal Uptime of 99.98% – Best Uptime Guaranteed

DreamHost guarantees a 100 percent uptime, which, as I mentioned before, is rare for hosting, because there are bound to be brief moments when a site goes down.

​I’d setup my site with Pingdom to check the site uptime myself.

Here is what I found, DreamHost ensured 100% uptime in most months, and an exception in last month, got 99.98% uptime (and got bonus credit for the downtime).

What more can you ask for?

They are incredibly stable, and put their money where their mouth is. Every hour of interrupted service gets you a credit for one day’s service.

​SSD Hosting in All Plans

Solid state drives are some of the most stable around. They are typically 200 percent faster than a hard drive, with fewer problems and a larger appeal for their benefits.

​They also substantially increase the cost of most hosting plans. DreamHost, though, includes this cost in their plans, which means you’ll get this advanced technology without any extra charges each month.

Page Loading Time – Faster Than Any Competitor

How important is page loading time?

Let me give you some stats:

  • A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
  • 73% of mobile internet users say that they’ve encountered a website that was too slow to load.

Got some reasons why you should get a webhosting that makes sure the website loads lot faster?

Anyway, no worries if you are with DreamHost.

DreamHost, by far, is one of the fastest of all the hosts I’ve ever seen. Pages on sites hosted by DreamHost load almost instantly — which is good news for your site.

Customers usually only wait a few seconds for a page to load, and if it doesn’t finish, they usually move on to the next site. With DreamHost, you can be sure that your customers or visitors are going to stay on your site.

Friendly Support

While many hosting companies offer great support, DreamHost stands out. Their knowledgeable, experienced staff members are also extremely friendly.

You have Twitter, chat and e-mail options when you need to reach an in-house technical support team member, and they are easy to talk to and extremely prompt in their responses.

DreamHost also has a few other ways to keep customers informed:

  • DreamHost Status is a blog that talks new technology and developments. Whenever they get common reports, like slow or intermittent mail connectivity, or schedule maintenance, they post on the blog, regularly updating posts to keep customers informed.
  • The DreamHost Knowledge Base has how-tos,troubleshooting tips, and tutorials for a wide variety of topics.
  • DreamHost’s forum allows customers to check out previous threads and posts that are posted by customers, and the responses from both DreamHost and other users.

Long money back guarantee period, free for downtime

As long as you are not violating DreamHost’s term of service or spam policy, you are eligible for a 97-day money-back guarantee on credit card payments made to pay for shared Web hosting.

​This is the longest refund period covered by a hosting company, most of the peers offer 30 days or 60 days’money back guarantee.

Like most of the hosting companies, they don’t refund money paid to third-party hosts, so the payments for domain registrations and SSL certificates aren’t refundable.

​Unlimited Bandwidth

DreamHost tells customers they pledge to keep your site up no matter how much traffic your site gets.

​They encourage keeping your site optimized and playing nice on the shared servers, but wants customers and their site visitors to have a good experience.

​If you have a site with high traffic, or planning to build a site that will possibly have a lot of traffic, DreamHost won’t let you down.

​A lot of freebies

Who doesn’t love to get freebies?

I know you are one of them (I’m too!)

DreamHost knows it very well, and they have a lot of freebies when a new customer signs up.

​A free domain name and registration, free privacy protection for the domain name, free SSL/TLS certificates, free setup, AdWords credit, unlimited MySQL databases — the list goes on and on.

Comparing to big competitors, DreamHost really takes care of their customers and gives them the best options available.

​Security and Other Features

DreamHost partnered with CloudFlare, which not only enhances your site’s performance, but ups its security, as well, as it caches content and malicious traffic before reaching the server.

They also offer anti spam for email. It includes Subversion for the source code files, and you also get a free SSL certificate.

The Control Panel –And a Downside

DreamHost is proud of their own control panel, which has great functionality, but I wouldn’t say that’s a big selling point.

​They used their own control panel (not cPanel), that’s a downside.

​cPanel has become the industry standard, and if you’re switching hosts from a cPanel based control interface, you’ll need to learn your way around their panel.

One Click Software Installation

DreamHost makes set-up a breeze, with a one-click installation tool that comes pre-downloaded with the plan.

​Whether you want WordPress, Joomla, or other apps or content management software, you can quickly set the system up.

Final Verdict

Do I Recommend? Yes I do!

While DreamHost costs slightly more than other hosts, the price is completely justified. They are fast — very fast — and stand behind their promised speeds and uptimes.

​They have outstanding customer support, they don’t have and hidden fees or fine print, and they offer a great value with truly unlimited plans, tons of freebies, and a solid product.

Since we are speaking about shared hosting services, Dreamhost fits the bill perfectly with its low-cost nature. It is one of the oldest companies around operating since 1996. The speed of Dreamhost is a major plus since it is a “Low Hanging Hosting Service” which everyone can opt for.

Customer Support is top notch, but responses are a bit slow compared to others. Other than that, Dreamhost has its own “One Click System” designed for WordPress installs. You can enjoy free website migrations as well. Even the whole control panel is “In-house Developed” to ensure users find it easy to cycle through all the perks.

Dreamhost Review

Dreampress is the dedicated system that is designed especially for WordPress hosting. Now that package comes with free accounts on JetPack, Akismet and WP Supercache that is handy, to say the least.

Users are also satisfied despite somewhat of a “Downtime Issue” in the past. Dreamhost does well to keep the use of passwords to a minimum. So, you don’t run into complications too often. You often get what you pay for but in the case of Dreamhost, they try to overlap the price when they are giving.

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