DreamHost Review (2017) – Pros & Cons of DreamHost.com

dreamhost reviews

DreamHost is among the industry elite web hosting companies thanks to the long list of features, fast page load and uptime guarantees they have been offering throughout the years. DreamHost’s hosting plans may seem intimidating for newbies, and rightfully so, since they are marketed mainly for experienced users. Managed WordPress hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated servers and shared hosting plans are all part of DreamHost’s hosting portfolio.

DreamHost Company Overview

DreamHost is a U.S. based hosting provider that was founded in 1997 by a few college students. Today, DreamHost is a successful hosting company that provides its services to a customer base of over 400,000 users and 1.5 million sites, applications and blogs. Two years in a row, DreamHost was PC Magazine Editors’ Choice hosting service.

DreamHost Plans & Pricing

Starting at $7.95 per month (based on a 3-year commitment period), DreamHost’s hosting packages come with a 97-day money-back guarantee and 100% uptime guarantee. DreamHost allows you to pay as you go (month-to-month billing), commit for a year or commit for 3 years, providing discounts depending on the selected period.

Shared hosting packages

At DreamHost, shared hosting comes with plenty of capabilities – you can run a WordPress site, a design portfolio site, a blog, or even a small eCommerce site since their servers are PCI compliant and offer all the tools necessary to run an online store.

Shared hosting plans start at $7.95 per month if you sign up for a 3-year period, $9.95/month if you sign up for a year, or $10.95 if you decide on a month-to-month payment. Shared hosting comes with unlimited everything (storage, bandwidth, unlimited domain hosting and unlimited email accounts) and a free domain for the first year with annual hosting plans.

VPS hosting packages

Fully managed SSD VPS servers start at $15/mo with 1 GB RAM, 30 GB SSD storage, and include Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, on the fly resource scaling, unlimited bandwidth and unlimited hosted domains. You can add additional RAM up to 8 GB and additional storage up to 240 GB, which would result in DreamHost’s highest tier VPS hosting plan costing $120/month.

You can enhance the performance of any VPS plan by enabling the optional MySQL VPS service, which grants your website’s database its own isolated server.

Dedicated hosting packages

Once shared hosting and VPS hosting are no longer enough for your large ecommerce website or high traffic website, DreamHost’s fully managed dedicated servers can handle the hosting of your busy website guaranteeing virtually no downtimes, increased security and full control.

Starter dedicated hosting packages are available from $149/month and include 4 cores CPU, 1 TB HDD storage, 4 GB RAM. Those who are looking for the best dedicated server configuration that DreamHost can offer, will find that the highest tier plan includes 12 cores CPU, 240GB SSD storage, 64 GB RAM for $379/mo.

WordPress hosting packages

Apart from the shared hosting configuration that features one-click WordPress installs, multiple WordPress site support and 97-day money-back guarantee and starts at $7.95/month, DreamHost also has a DreamPress plan tuned for performance costing $16.95/mo.

DreamPress is 5 times faster than shared hosting plans, comes preconfigured for WordPress, fully managed with 24/7 expert WordPress support, features no bandwidth caps, and scales to handle traffic spikes.

Cloud Servers

DreamHost Cloud servers deliver the power and flexibility of cloud computing. Each plan features free bandwidth and 100 GB block storage. The cloud architecture is based on SSD disks, fast next-gen processors, and accelerated networks. Whether you want a server based on Linux, MS Windows or BSD, DreamHost delivers. Major Linux distributions are already pre-loaded, or install the distribution you want since full access allows you to use the OS or software version you want.

DreamHost only charges you up to 600 hours in a given month for running a DreamHost cloud sever, which is equivalent to 25 days. Depending on the chosen server config, you can expect to pay from $4.50/month up to $48/month.

DreamHost Features & Value

You may have noticed that DreamHost’s hosting plans are more expensive than those offered by the competition. This is due to how plans are configured and the amazing features sported by each plan, including:

  • All-SSD hosting: all hosting plans at DreamHost feature SSD drives in order to improve website page load times, caching and speed of database queries;
  • 1-click installer for WordPress, Joomla and other web apps;
  • Unlimited everything shared hosting and unlimited bandwidth with all plans;
  • Longest money-back guarantee period in the industry – 97-day;
  • Support for Rails, PHP5, Perl, Python;
  • Rock-solid security: DDoS protection, WordPress-specific firewall;
  • eCommerce-ready plans: preinstalled Let’s Encrypt TLS/SSL certificates;
  • Advanced features that come standard with some plans (e.g. multiple caching tools, CloudFlare integration, etc.);
  • Web-based control panel: DreamHost provides its own custom-made control panel.

DreamHost Customer Support

DreamHost has a no-outsourcing policy, offering in-house customer support only. Their support channels include email based support and chat support. Phone support is not available, however, a discussions forum and a DreamHost Wiki knowledgebase is available providing support on general issues and DreamHost products.

Their customer support is rated as highly responsive, being available to process requests 24/7.

DreamHost Pros & Cons

To get an even better gist of DreamHost’s hosting services, here is the upside and downside of signing up with them:

Pros of DreamHost

  • Most generous money-back guarantee in the business: The company provides an impressive 97-day money-back guarantee;
  • Cloud server plans with full root access and virtually no limits on the OS;
  • Unlimited monthly data transfer with all plans;
  • Free days for downtimes: for every hour of downtime you experience you will be granted a day’s worth of service;
  • Lots of security features: WordPress security tools, DDoS protection, Free SSL/TLS certificates with Let’s Encrypt, free domain privacy protection, Password Protection (.htaccess), etc.;
  • 100% uptime guarantee – not many hosting providers make this claim, however, DreamHost’s web hosting packages do offer a near 100% uptime.

Cons of DreamHost

  • No site builder tool included – although DreamHost does offer a site builder tool on their website, the Remixer site builder tool, this is not included with any of their plans;
  • No hand-holding – uninitiated users will be intimidated by DreamHost’s hosting packages, therefore, DreamHost may not be a suitable option for beginners;
  • On the pricier side, however, the extensive list of features makes up for it;
  • No cPanel: This may be a con or not, depending on your preferences. DreamHost has put in a lot of work to create a useful control panel that streamlines hosting related tasks, but those accustomed to cPanel may not be easy to convince;
  • No ASAP provisioning: accounts need to be verified before activation, making instant provisioning impossible.

Conclusion

DreamHost has a well-defined target customer – one that is more tech savvy than not and can make use of the advanced features that come with its plans. That being said, DreamHost offers hosting plans for any type of website – small or big, busy or not. They are also recognized for their reliable services and second-to-none customer support.

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