In a Nutshell
- Variety of different hosting options
- 24/7 support
- Offers both cloud and dedicated hosting
- Linux servers only
- Support by live chat / email only
- No migration support
Dreamhost at a Glance
Free marketing offer: No
Uptime: 100% uptime guarantee
Website builder: Yes. WordPress builder.
Money-back guarantee: 97-day money-back guarantee
Price per month: From $2.49 (shared) to $149/month (dedicated)
Dreamhost is a great choice for any website owner that needs a hosting provider that provides a broad variety of hosting types which can scale with the business. Dreamhost’s solutions are suitable for rookie website builders who need a builder type environment. And they scale to cloud hosting which can support large enterprise applications. Dreamhost is a versatile provider with very affordable shared hosting packages. Many customers can benefit from its hosting.
Dreamhost offers virtually the full array of hosting options available. These include:
- WordPress hosting. Dreamhost offers shared, VPS, and dedicated managed hosting plans that are optimized for the needs of WordPress webmasters. DreamPress is a more powerful WordPress hosting option that also supports staging environments, backups, and which includes caching features.
- Shared hosting: Regular shared hosting packages are not specifically optimized for WordPress sites but can also be used for them. Like WordPress hosting, these plans are managed. This means that users don’t need to worry about keeping the server secure and properly updated.
- VPS hosting. Virtual private server (VPS) hosting is a step up from shared hosting and gives customers access to virtualized chunks of hardware.
- Dedicated. Dreamhost supports dedicated (bare metal) hosting whereby users gain access to a physical machine.
- Cloud hosting: Cloud hosting makes it easy for users to scale resources as required. These fluid plans are provisioned on elastic infrastructure so it can scale up, or scale down, as customers’ needs change.
Uptime and Performance
Think that every hosting company offers the same 99.99% guarantee? So did we until we saw that Dreamhost actually offers a 100% uptime guarantee. This means exactly what it sounds like: customers will be compensated for any downtime whatsoever. The terms of service state that the guarantee doesn’t just include the web server: if FTP, SSH or webmail access is compromised then users are also entitled to payback. The exceptions are scheduled maintenance or downtime caused by customer error.
How do Dreamhost’s server speeds compare to the competition? Most of the infrastructure that powers Dreamhost’s hosting options is based in the US. Additionally, Dreamhost is a relative veteran of the hosting industry, having been in business since the mid 90s. All this translates to excellent speeds. When measured for initial response time, fully loaded time, and time under load, Dreamhost has consistently returned excellent benchmarks.
Website Builder Features
Dreamhost does offer a drag and drop builder product for WordPress that is designed to make deploying WordPress-based sites even easier. The company offers a series of WordPress and WordPress Builder plans that are designed for this purpose.Using WP Site Builder, users are able to avail of drag-and-drop plugins on top of WordPress that simplifies the process of achieving desirable visual layouts. There’s also a library of more than 200 industry specific themes to choose from to get the right look and feel. Finally, the Site Builder provides real time SEO recommendations to help users make the right edits to rank highly in search engines.
All Dreamhost hosting packages include the ability to leverage email servers in order to host emails. For shared and WordPress hosting plans, this feature can be accessed in the conventional way (via Dreamhost’s custom management panel).
For organizations that exchange a lot of email, and which want to take things further, Dreamhost also offers an email hosting add-on. This allows users to avail of a massive 25GB storage capacity per inbox. There’s also an ad-free webmail client, spam and phishing filters, and mobile and desktop sync. The early plan costs just $1.67 per mailbox per month
Instead of offering clients cPanel to manage their websites, Dreamhost has actually developed its own panel interface for managing sites. The panel can be accessed from an easy to remember login (panel.dreamhost.com). However, although Dreamhost has gone to lengths to make their panel more user friendly than cPanel, it does contain most of its features. The only negative is that, because it’s not true cPanel, users can’t restore cPanel backups from other hosting providers. Instead, in-migrations need to be undertaken manually using FTP and the built-in tools for importing databases. Dreamhost does not provide support with migrations. This custom panel is available for shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting customers.
Pricing and Packages
Dreamhost offers a variety of hosting packages at different price points. For instance, while basic shared hosting can be purchased for less than $3 per month, dedicated /bare metal hosting costs more than $100.
|Packages||Price||Sign up period|
|WordPress Start||$2.59/month||3 years|
|WordPress Unlimited||$4.95/month||3 years|
|Shared starter||$2.59/month||3 years|
Help and Support
Users that run into difficulty have a lot of support options to choose from. Firstly, using the live chat window, they can speak to a bot that can quickly pass on queries to a live human. We found this system to be quick and responsive. If that doesn’t work out, then human support is available 24/7. There’s also a knowledge base packed with how-tos and troubleshooting guides, a system status dashboard, and tech support by ticket.
Dreamhost offers a wide variety of hosting types from cloud hosting through to WordPress hosting. It has rolled out its own version of cPanel for ease of administration, although the company doesn’t help out with migrations. Speeds are good and prices are very competitive for users that sign up for 3 years periods.