DreamHost, as an experienced web hosting brand, was established in a college dorm room since 1997. During those years, it has not only expanded the company size but also broadened its hosting service including shared, WordPress, VPS hosting and dedicated servers. Now, it claims to have more than 1500 servers for 1 million domains worldwide.
In the following, we will give a comprehensive review of DreamHost service from the points of tech support, pricing policy, features, and performance, which is based on real customer reviews and our real hosting experience.
Before everything, what worth mentioning is that this DreamHost focuses on the companies’ shared hosting service only. If you are interested in its VPS solutions, you can refer to this in-depth DreamHost VPS review for more detailed information.
Pros of DreamHost Web Hosting
DreamHost has a long history and through all these years’ developing, it comes with some obvious advantages. In the following, we analyze the main parts carefully.
Long-term Money Back and Extras
In web hosting industry, the average full money back period is around 30 days. However, DreamHost does an excellent job in this regard because it offers 97-day money back guarantee. In this way, webmasters can have more time to test its web hosting service without any risk.
Aside from that, DreamHost users can get bountiful extras, such as:
- Free domain name registration for lifetime, and the allowed domain extensions include .com, .net, .info and .org.
- Free domain privacy service, also known as WHOIS protection, is now offered to protect domain related spam.
- Free setup service is now available for any purchasers signing for the web hosting plan.
Usability & Hosting Features
The control panel is an important component of shared hosting as that’s where webmasters modify databases, set up email address and manage website related files. The control panel of DreamHost is self-developed, and this web-based FTP client is great for those who cannot use an offline FTP program like FileZilla. With the inbuilt one-click install functionality, even absolute beginners can install and run many popular CMS solutions like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal within few clicks.
As for resource allocation, this shared plan allows for “Unlimited” things along with a number of advanced hosting features. For convenience’s sake, we’ve listed some of the important ones as below:
- Basic Features, unlimited disk storage, monthly data transfer, hosted domains, IMAP/POP/SMTP accounts and auto-responders.
- The latest versions of MySQL database and PHP, which play an important part for running these scripts smoothly.
- Multiple scripting languages that include Perl, Python, Full Unix Shell, full CGI access, Ruby On Rail, etc.
- Debian Linux, an advanced operating system that helps customers operate their websites effectively.
- New Solid State Drives, that contain no acutual disks but deliver faster caching and database queries.
- PHP memory limit set up to 128 MB to maintain a rich-content site.
Cons of DreamHost Web Hosting
As nothing is perfect in the world, DreamHost also has some undeniable drawbacks when considering its shared hosting service. Therefore, we objectively summarize its disadvantages one by one in below.
The company only offers an all-in-one shared hosting package that is pricing at $8.95/mo for two-year plan. As for the monthly plan, the price increases to $10.95/mo. To be frank, the expense for a shared plan is not affordable for most webmasters, especially when compare it with some cheap hosts.
After deciding to purchase a product, the next step is to pay for it. Unfortunately, the company refuses to accept payment from PayPal that is recognized as the most popular and secure payment channel ever.
For the hosting reliability, this company takes advantage of newest facilities in Ashburn, Virginia that is usually called as “Center Alley”. The included infrastructures include 2N+ 2 power redundancy, Dual water lines and 24×7 security and technical staffing.
With the help of these solid hosting infrastructures and advanced measures, DreamHost is able to gain a good performance in terms of hosting reliability. As the chart below presents, it has guaranteed an average of 99.92% uptime in the last thirty days.
To be frank, this level of reliability is not that good as compared with other top web hosts like BlueHost.
Page Loading Speed
Also, we have done a test on DreamHost server hosting speed to evaluate its hosting services more comprehensively. As the following chart shows, the company on average takes 500ms for responding to a server request. Frankly, their hosting speed is not fast.
DreamHost offers a 24/7 available technical support, with which customers can get help to solve their problems when they need. There are so many resolving approaches.
- Wiki: it is the absolute fastest way to get answers because there is an extensive online documentation. Wiki is maintained by both DreamHost technical staff and most knowledgeable customers.
- Discussion forum: even though it is not a professional place to seek help, customers should notice that if answers are not found in wiki, maybe they have been available in the forum.
- Status blog: this is where customers can find answers to downtime, hardware replacement and maintenance operations.
However, we need to mention that this hosting provider does not offer the live chat and the phone support, which is not convenient at all.
Is DreamHost a Good Choice for Hosting WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal?
Nowadays, CMSs are becoming more and more popular over the web, among which WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are the most typical ones. Due to the large user base of these hot applications, many web hosts available in this field have launched related hosting solutions, few of which, however, are quality in a real sense.
DreamHost, on the other hand, is exceptional. Based on the illustrations above, this company is definitely capable to provide users with a 100% WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal compatible hosing environment with the latest versions of PHP and MySQL.
Besides, it offers an easy-to-use control panel, 1-click installer, and much more to grant users with an optimal hosting experience. For convenience purpose, we have listed some significant ones as below.
- A well customized control panel for users to manage their multiple aspects of their websites in a time and energy saving manner.
- A 1-click installer to help users install the applications within few clicks.
- Sufficient domains, disk space, bandwidth, and other server resources for users to handle small, medium-sized, or even large websites smoothly.
- Solid state drives (SSDs) for excellent reliability and fast loading speed.
- Around-the-clock technical support delivered via multiple channels to help users address and solve any unexpected problems.
According to the aspects evaluated, we can easily get the conclusion that there are more demerits than merits in DreamHost shared hosting service, especially for it price, speed, and after-sale support. Therefore, we choose three worth-trying hosts in below for people who want to cost less money for quality service.