DreamHost was founded in 1996 by a group of four friends studying together at Harvey Mudd College in California. However, it was not until 1997 that they registered their LLC Company by the name New Dream Network.
The web host was built on open-source technology with the founders seeking to help as many people as possible realize their dreams of starting online businesses. Today, this company hosts over 1.5 million websites, serving over 400,000 customers from all around the world.
DreamHost prides itself as one of the only four web hosts that WordPress recommends to its users. Besides, being a member of the OpenStack Foundation and showing a strong commitment to open source technology makes it more appealing to web owners and developers. It is a combination of these factors that have enabled DreamHost to be one of the most popular web hosts today.
For users who want to do more than blogging, DreamHost offers unique features that appeal to developers. For example, they support apps such as Redis, Ruby on Rails, and MongoDB; they can also launch cloud servers for under 30 seconds to ensure your business stays live and enjoys more security.
A standout feature of this company is its 100% uptime guarantee which is quite uncommon in this age. With a majority of web hosts struggling to meet their end of the bargains even with a standard 99.9% uptime guarantee, DreamHost offers you an extra day for every hour your website goes offline.
So, is DreamHost suitable for you and how does it compare with its competition in the market? Our indepth review explores this and more.
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Currency||Admin panel||OS||Websites||Scripting||Email-Transport||Database||SSH||Databackups||Free Domain||1-Click Installer||Websites Builder||Location||Price|
|Unlimited - Yearly||Unlimited||Unlimited||USD||Admin panel||Unlimited||Perl,Python,PHP||-||MySQL||$ 5.95|
|Starter - Yearly||Unlimited||Unlimited||USD||Admin panel||1||Perl,Python,PHP||-||MySQL||$ 2.59|
|Unlimited - Monthly||Unlimited||Unlimited||USD||Admin panel||Unlimited||Perl,Python,PHP||-||MySQL||$ 10.95|
|Starter - Monthtly||Unlimited||Unlimited||USD||Admin panel||1||Perl,Python,PHP||-||MySQL||$ 4.95|
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||Cores||RAM||Core Speed||CPU||OS||Backups||SSH||Managed||Location||Price|
|8GB RAM Server||80GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||4||8GB||-||4 vCPU||$ 48.00|
|2GB RAM Server||80GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||1||2GB||-||1 vCPU||$ 12.00|
|512MB RAM Server||80GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||1||0.5GB||-||1 vCPU||$ 4.50|
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||OS||Cores||RAM||Core Speed||CPU||Backups||Managed||Location||Price|
|Enterprise - Yearly||240GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||8GB||-||-||$ 110.00|
|Professional - Yearly||120GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||4GB||-||-||$ 55.00|
|Business - Yearly||60GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||2GB||-||-||$ 27.50|
|Basic - Yearly||30GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||1GB||-||-||$ 13.75|
|Enterprise - Monthly||240GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||8GB||-||-||$ 120.00|
|Professional - Monthly||120GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||4GB||-||-||$ 60.00|
|Business - Monthly||60GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||2GB||-||-||$ 30.00|
|Basic - Monthly||30GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||-||1GB||-||-||$ 15.00|
|Plan Name||Disk Space||Bandwidth||Admin panel||OS||Core||RAM||Core Speed||IPs||SSH||Backups||Managed||CPU||Guarantee||Location||Price|
|DreamHost||2000GB||Unlimited||Admin panel||12||64GB||-||Unlimited||-||$ 169.00|
A web host should provide not only excellent web performance but also reliable speeds. The latter refers to the host ping which details just how fast your site will load up whenever requests are made. DreamHost recognizes the fact that providing exceptional web hosting performance requires more than just having the server infrastructure: it also means investing in the perfect location. The company has data centers in Ashburn Virginia, Los Angeles California, Irvine, California and Portland, Oregon. This allows it to serve the majority of the USA from both the East Coast and the West Coast.
DreamHost has achieved what many hosting firms have failed time and again; to provide a 100% uptime guarantee and at economical prices. Here are some of the attributes that make it the go-to hosting company:
Solid State Drives (SSD) Storage
SSD storage has a significant advantage over regular hard disk drives (HDD) storage. This regards to both read/write speeds and durability. DreamHost uses SSD storage in their data centers. The result of this is that when visitors request for your website through browsers, the site will load up incredibly fast, thanks to the reduced ping count.
It’s also important to note that SSDs have a longer lifetime and reduced shock damage just in case they face some impact.
Unlimited MySQL Databases
Your site will require additional content on a regular basis to keep up with the competition. This is where MySQL comes in. Not only is it one of the most utilized database languages but it’s also highly customizable.
Luckily for you, DreamHost offers you unlimited MySQL databases with every new account. However, it’s important to mention that the company expects users to abide by its fair usage policy.
100% Uptime Guarantee
One of DreamHost’s most impressive feature is its 100% uptime guarantee. Of course, this might sound far-fetched considering the fact that no server can continuously operate forever. To maintain this level of promise and standard, the company utilizes its highly integrated content delivery networks (CDNs), to ensure that site hosted with them are cached on multiple servers and each bit of data is delivered where needed as fast as possible.
PHP 7.1 Support
The latest release of PHP supports more features and capabilities than ever before. You can take full advantage of this to add more functionality and introduce seamless web apps to increase interactions with your visitors.
DreamHost offers numerous security features to safeguard your website and its files. We take a look at some of them below:
First, DreamHost offers private domain registration which means your personal information is not tied to the domain. As such, if someone was to try accessing the registrant information on the domain, they’ll only receive DreamHost’s Proxy information in place of your own.
Along with every domain, you get a free SSL/TSL certificate. These certificates help to encrypt information from the user’s browser to your website. Most often, HTTPS Protocol works to protect the privacy of the visitor's confidential information.
For most hosts, you’ll be forced to pay for an SSL certificate by buying it either from your hosting provider or a third party. However, with DreamHost, you get it for free with it renewing after every 90 days.
DreamHost also offers domain update to include its malware tool which works like antivirus on your website. This small but highly useful tool performs regular scanning to remove any malicious software that could be hiding in your files and databases.
Another DreamHost security feature worth mentioning is its free Cloudflare integration. Cloudflare helps to clean traffic coming to your site. In other words, it protects your site from DDoS attacks and botnets. What’s more, it provides visitor data via analytics as well as added security with SSL and DDoS protection.
Cloudflare could benefit your site in many ways including increased traffic, reduction in server load, and boost your SEO.
DreamHost backup enables you to save your website copy and recover data whenever you need it. To back up your database, this company uses the dedicated MYSQL plugin which backs up dynamic site date. The plugin works well with remote databases and has a simple set up process with effective performance.
For cloud backup, DreamHost offers “S3 cloud” plugin which allows easy saving, restoration, and synchronization of data from the DreamHost Object Storage. The plugin, together with DreamHost MySQL backup for websites plugin, can help you restore a variety of static data.
One area that DreamHost shines is online customer support. This web host offers email and ticket-based support, but you can also contact them via live chat. Its ticketing system also works simply like you'd expect. You need to navigate to your DreamHost cPanel to submit a ticket. While there, choose your area of issue then send a message.
For quick fixes, consider utilizing their live chat which works equally fine. The functionality is also located in the same area as the ticketing system.
DreamHost also offers a call center where you can submit a paid callback request. With this option, you can pay for a single use or up to 3 calls depending on the plan you choose. For speedy assistance, it’s important that you specify a time frame when want to receive the call depending on the severity of your issue.
You can solve some of your issues without contacting DreamHost, thanks to their huge knowledgebase. This resource provides solutions to most problems that users face, from setting up their accounts to troubleshooting other common but major issues.
Each category contains over 20 easy-to-understand articles that include screenshots and even step-by-step instructions. You can try to seek help from the resourceful knowledgebase before contacting the support team who you can spare for rare problems.
If that’s not enough, DreamHost has Forums where you can get answers from other users. Through them, you’ll learn about general troubleshooting, web design and much more. The community is active with at least a new thread created every day with many views and responses.
Another notable highlight of DreamHost's support is the system status indicator which lets you know which services are operational and those unavailable. DreamHost updates this part in real time, letting you know when a service is under repair.
In a nutshell, the support offered by this web host is solid with helpful staff that are quick to deal with your issues.
Most hosting companies offer a control panel from a third party such as cPanel. While this option does have its advantages particularly in terms of community support and frequent updates, it often falls short when it comes to compatibility with other host. To avoid such conflicts, DreamHost has created its own web panel known as the DreamHost Control Panel.
With this custom control panel, you’ll enjoy the following features:
This tab allows you to change personal account details as well as update your billing info. You can also use the panel to make payments, look up your older invoices, and see your current balance. Of course, this is all possible thanks to the PayPal integration plug-in.
DreamHost control panel also allows you to install or uninstall applications and plug-ins through the application manager. As a result, you can keep your site updated with the latest features and remove redundant ones.
This option allows you to transfer files to and fro your host storage. You can, therefore, make local backups of your site seamlessly. The FTP protocol enables you to upload new content to your site.
Create email accounts and launch bulk replies as well as bulk editing. This feature also comes with numerous spam protection firewalls that can be programmed through the advanced panel.
This is a ticketing system that keeps track of support tickets enabling you to check ticket status and even open new ones.
If you need to register new domains or transfer to a different registrar then this is the tool to use. It also manages your site’s DNS entries.
DreamHost offers a unique money back guarantee policy on the terms of service. The company states that you can cancel your shared web hosting service within 97 days from the initial signup date. Considering that most hosting providers offer 30 days, this is an impressive offer by DreamHost.
Note that while hosting is fully guaranteed, DreamHost does not offer a refund for domain registration. Additionally, any additions such as bandwidth overage, add-ons, etc. do not fall under guarantee. The refund is possible in credit card payments. You can cancel your plan any time you wish within 97 days and get a full refund of your money.
DreamHost offers a free online shop and cart called ZenCart which is accessible from the one-click install menu. This cart software displays the products available for sale and supports Woo Commerce. Installing the WooCommerce plugin will enhance your website's e-commerce functionality by enabling product pages, checkout option, and a payment system.
With this shop, you can choose the types of payment options that your customers can use. By default, you get a combination of PayPal, Stripe and other offline payment options. Note that you can always add more through 3rd party extensions.
Subversion Repository (SVN)
Apache Subversion (SVN) is a software that maintains current and historical copies of files and code used in your website. As a result, you can easily keep track of all changes and revert when necessary.
Server-side includes (SSI)
SSI is a server-side script language that’s mostly used for the web. SSI comes in handy when adding the contents of one file into a website page. This process runs on the web server with users only needing to learn a few lines of code to use it.
Full Unix Shell
Having a full Linux shell adds more controls for some advanced features that are typically not accessible. You can use it to do a complete backup of the entire site. The shell can also run scripts and install third-party add-ons.
IPv6 is the latest version of Internet Protocol (IP) which provides identification and location systems for computers on the internet. DreamHost accounts come with IPv6 support which ensures more efficient routing as well as efficient packet processing. As a result, your visitors get to access your site within the shortest loading time and without any errors.
Rails, Python, and Perl Support
DreamHost servers support Rails, Python and Perl programming languages. You can, therefore, take full advantage of these languages to add custom features to your website to keep it on edge.
Access to Raw Log Files
Access to raw domain log files allows you to utilize debugging tools to trace buggy codes and assist in fixing them. A debugged site is less prone to attacks and also runs more flawlessly.
Maintaining your website on a daily basis can get hectic. Luckily DreamHost provides Crontab access which specifies individual shell commands that will run periodically in an entirely automated process.
Common Gateway Interface (CGI) access
CGI protocols are used to run forums and interactive website scripts. cPanel provides access to CGI making your site more useful and dynamic.
DreamHost is quite serious when it comes to security; in fact, the company has dedicated a team that deals solely on safeguarding users data. In addition, they employ effective security techniques such as firewalls, malware removal, and encryption using SSLs.
DreamHost has invested heavily in putting up reliable servers and this has played a key part in enabling the company to record some of the highest uptimes in the web host market. What’s more, it offers a bold 100% uptime guarantee and keeps its word for it.
Solid customer support
When dealing with a technical issue on your site, you want to be sure that experts are within reach to help you solve it. Luckily, DreamHost boasts a highly responsive and knowledgeable team to answer to your queries in the shortest possible time.
Besides, the web host maintain a blog where users can find solutions to most of their issues. There’s also a valuable Knowledge Base that serves as a database of general topics of what the customer support team has dealt with before.
Recommended by WordPress
On top of being an award-winning web host, DreamHost is also among the selected few that WordPress openly recommends to users, and for a good reason. A combination of factors such as reliability, affordability, and a wide variety of services and features makes it an easy pick for users looking to set up their online businesses.
Generous money back guarantee
With most web hosting providers giving 30-day money back guarantees, DreamHost does the extraordinary to give their users a 97-day guarantee. Essentially, you can try their services for free for over three months to see if they’re right for you or not.
Might be too advanced to new users
DreamHost is generally an advanced service whose target market is likely the more experienced web owners. For one, it doesn’t offer a site builder like most other providers do and do not also hand-hold its customers. A fair share of its operations are also best done manually and this might seem intimidating foe new users.
Comes with a custom control panel
In addition to its interface being unintuitive and challenging to navigate, it can prove difficult transferring data to other web hosts that use the traditional cPanel.
DreamHost doesn’t offer the most competitive prices for its plans. Indeed, it has some of the most expensive plans and rarely runs promotional offers. However, the comparatively better services and long money back guarantee period help justify the extra cost.
Where is DreamHost located?
DreamHost headquarters are situated in Los Angeles, CA. However, the company has multiple server locations globally. In the United States DreamHost have data centers in Portland Oregon, Los Angeles, California, and Ashburn, Virginia.
Who owns DreamHost?
New Dream Network, Limited Liability Company, owns DreamHost. The Company was founded in 1996 by Josh Jones, Dallas Bethune and two other friends. The company owns and operates all of the server locations for hosting services.
Does DreamHost offer the uptime guarantee?
Yes, DreamHost offers a 100 percent uptime guarantee. If a customer experiences interruptions, they can file for compensation whereby, for every 1hr hour of disruption they will receive free services for one day.
What are DreamHost nameservers?
DreamHost nameservers control where DNS records used by the domain are directed. DreamHost uses the following nameservers and their IP addresses:
Which payment methods does DreamHost support?
DreamHost supports the following payment options:
Does DreamHost provide its users with a cPanel?
No, DreamHost has its own custom-built control panel with vertical menus for easy navigation and an advanced panel for all those additional features that your site might need.
Does DreamHost offer unlimited resource usage?
DreamHost does offer unlimited storage on some of its plans. However, if an account utilizing such a plan exceeds fair usage rates, the company will encourage the owner to sign up for DreamHost Private Server plan whereby, an entire server belongs to just one owner, and its resources are not shared.
Does DreamHost offer Cloud services?
Yes, DreamHost offers a pair of Cloud products. The first is DreamObjects which is a cloud storage option. The second plan is the DreamCompute Cloud solution which is a computing option.
Does DreamHost provide CDN services?
No, but the company has an ongoing partnership with Cloudflare which enables their content delivery network resources in the DreamHost panel.
How do I create databases?
DreamHost supports database creation through the DreamHost panel. While this method may be more secure, it does take away the ability to create databases through SSH and phpMyAdmin. However, there’s no limit as to how many databases you can create as long as you keep them well optimized to avoid hogging resources.
Can I view MySQL logs?
No, DreamHost does not support shared MySQL logs. However, the logs can be retrieved if you upgrade to the MySQL VPS package.
Does DreamHost provide long-term site backups?
DreamHost only provides database backups for up to 5 days. You are therefore encouraged to manually perform site backups considering the fact that even the five days’ worth of backups is not guaranteed.
Can I signup without a credit card?
Unfortunately no, DreamHost requires you to enter credit card details while signing up for a hosting account. You can, however, use a different payment method such as PayPal and electronic checks.
What email address is recommended for signing up?
DreamHost recommends that you use of a third party email and not one of the emails on your domains while signing up. This is so as to avoid being locked out in case your domain registration expires you can no longer access important emails.
Does DreamHost offer a site builder?
DreamHost offers Remixer Builder which is a drag and drop website builder. The host has also included various website themes to choose from thereby making it easy to design a site even without prior coding knowledge.
How many domains can I host?
DreamHost’s shared, VPS, and Dedicated plans offer unlimited domain hosting. However, the DreamPress option is restricted to only one domain as it’s a dedicated service for a single WordPress website.
Which is the cheapest plan on offer from DreamHost?
The shared starter plan is the cheapest option on offer. The plan will come in handy if you’re looking to operate a WordPress site thanks to the optimization plus unlimited traffic.
How good is the 97-Day money back guarantee?
DreamHost promises to offer a 97 days money back guarantee. While this might seem somewhat exaggerated, the company is known to make good on its promise to refund you if you don’t find their services convincing.
Does DreamHost provide SSL certificates?
Sure. The web host includes a free SSL Security Certificate on all domains to ensure that all data passing through your site is encrypted safely to avoid data theft.
Can I automatically migrate my site?
DreamHost offers DreamObjects migration tool which has been improved over the years to allow seamless transfer of data. However, currently, this tool does not support bucket-specific CORS policies transfers.
Is there a discount for non-profit sites?
DreamHost offers a free Non-profit plan for qualifying parties as long as they are charitable organizations and have been registered in the United States.
Which is the best plan for WordPress?
DreamHost offers DreamPress which is a managed WordPress hosting plan. The plan is a scalable solution for managing WordPress sites with incredible pricing. Some of its additional benefits include caching optimization, intelligent memory allotment, and server robustness.
Are there any hidden fees with DreamHost?
No, DreamHost believes in providing quality services at a reasonable and open pricing scheme. The domain registration and renewal fees, as well as other hosting costs, can be found on the homepage.
What are the best DreamHost alternatives?
DreamHost is without a doubt one of the best hosting companies out there. Unfortunately, their pricing is on the higher side. If you are stretched financially, then you might want to consider other companies that offer similar services albeit at lower prices.
GoDaddy offers commendable WordPress shared-hosting plans despite using HDD storage instead of the faster SSD drives. On the other hand, iPage has the cheapest packages out there but their customer support has an unpleasant reputation of long waiting times and unsolved support tickets.