There are plenty of hosting options out there, perhaps now more than ever. It can become quite confusing when deciding which one to go for. On one hand, there are plenty of newcomers to the competition offering services but can you really trust them if they do not have any reviews? This is where some of the older hosting providers come, those which have been around for a while and have crafted a very solid reputation for themselves. Some of these have been endorsed by WordPress themselves and DreamHost is one of them. So, what makes them special?
Well, for starters, DreamHost is a 25 year old company so they have definitely been around for a while. This means that they are pretty good at what they do because during this time, they have been able to amass a customer base of more than 400k customers and currently host around 1.5 million different websites. That is very impressive. Not only this, they have also been able to maintain consistent performance throughout which makes them very reliable. They offer shared hosting plans, managed WordPress plans along with VPS and Dedicated hosting services.
So, now that you know a little bit about DreamHost, let’s look into the different services offered by them and the pros and cons that you can expect if you decide to opt for them.
We looked up the trend graph for the term “DreamHost” to get an idea how much it had grown in popularity over the years. Here are the results,
Expert DreamHost Review
As we have mentioned earlier, the biggest endorsement going for DreamHost is the fact that WordPress.org officially recommends it among two other hosting providers. Still, to see why this was the case, we had to gather accurate metrics and data.
Using those, we were able to write this detailed review and present you with the pros and cons of using DreamHost.
*insert table with metrics*
DreamHost Shared Plans
DreamHost offers two different shared hosting plans, with a starter and an unlimited plan. The starter plan is offered at a starting price of $3.95/mo and offers a decent amount of resources. The unlimited plan has a price of $4.95/mo if you wish to pay yearly. This is perfect for those who have a small website and do not wish to pay too much for hosting.
DreamHost DreamPress Plans
The DreamPress plans offered by DreamHost arre managed WordPress hosting plans which are perfect for those who wish to spend more time looking after their brand rather than managing a website. There are three plans, the regular one, a plus plan and the pro plan under the DreamPress banner.
DreamHost VPS Plans
Dreamhost also offers VPS hosting for those who need extra resources and think that shared or managed WordPress hosting is not for them. There are four different plans under the VPS banner, with different amounts of resources that you have access too.
DreamHost Dedicated Plan
If you feel like even VPS is not enough for you then DreamHost has a selection of dedicated hosting plans. Unlike VPS, you get access to a dedicated server which means that every single resource on it is dedicated to your website needs.
DreamHost Cloud Hosting
Finally, DreamHost also has cloud hosting plans and they are priced according to your needs. With cloud hosting, there is no compromise on speed and it ends up being faster than traditional hosting.
Here we want to clarify that at Host Review, we have a strict policy of providing only the most accurate and authentic metrics to our readers. Our reviews are unbiased, providing both pros and cons of each hosting provider so that you can make a decision with everything in mind.
In this DreamHost review, we will be talking in detail about the pros and cons of the hosting provider and what our experience was. For this review, we opted for the basic shared starter plan and installed WordPress alongwith the default theme.
DreamHost Enterprise Endorsements
*Insert DreamHost endorsement media*
DreamHost is one of the three hosting providers officially recommended by WordPress.org themselves. That is a very big endorsement in itself. DreamHost has plenty of offerings for every user and caters to different needs. There are shared plans for those that do not need much resources and are not willing to spend a lot and dedicated hosting plans that are not willing to compromise at all on speed and performance. Here we will list some of the core features of each plan and the resources you can expect to get with them.
$3.95/mo when paid yearly
$4.95/mo when paid yearly
$16.95/mo when paid yearly
1 WordPress Website ONLY
100K Monthly Visits
30 GB SSD Storage
$24.95/mo when paid yearly
1 WordPress Website ONLY
300K Monthly Visits
60 GB SSD Storage
$71.95/mo when paid yearly
1 WordPress Website + Staging Website
1M+ Monthly Visits
120 GB SSD Storage
$13.75/mo when paid yearly
30 GB SSD Storage
VPS 2 GB Business
$27.50/mo when paid yearly
60 GB SSD Storage
VPS 4GB Professional
$55.00/mo when paid yearly
120GB SSD Storage
VPS 8GB Enterprise
$110.00/mo when paid yearly
240GB SSD Storage
DreamHost Dedicated Hosting
$149.00/mo when paid yearly
Intel Xeon 4-Core 8-Thread
4 GB RAM
1 TB HDD
$279.00/mo when paid yearly
Intel Xeon 12-Core 24-Thread
16 GB RAM
2 TB HDD
Both the standard and enhanced plans in the dedicated offerings have multiple plans based on resources, all of which we will be covering under our detailed review of DreamHost dedicated hosting.
As we have mentioned earlier, DreamHost has a variety of features and an above average speed. They allow customers a longer refund policy than most other hosts in the market so that people can be content with the service they buy. Additionally, auto-renewals do not cost 2-3x of the original price like other host services. Let’s take a detailed look into some of these pros and see what benefits DreamHost offers.
Offers Decent Speed
Speed is a very important factor with any hosting provider. For DreamHost, we looked at the speed data over the time period of two years and found it to be pretty decent though not mind blowing in any way. In fact, it ranked lower than the top five fastest hosting providers, the slowest of which comes in at 405 ms.
The average speed for DreamHost came out to be around 640 ms which is not bad but not too great either. It definitely will nott result in a negative experience for your visitors. There was a dip in the speed back in September 2017, however, that has not happened again and things have been running very smoothly.
Just like speed, uptime is yet another metric which is very important for the performance of a website. It essentially represents the time for which your website is available to visitors. Unnecessary and unannounced downtimes can result in a very negative user experience and make you miss out on potential clients and leads.
In the case of DreamHost, they have stuck to an average of 99.94% uptime over the time period of two years. What is really amazing, however, is that DreamHost offers an insane 100% uptime guarantee in their TOS. If your uptime is affected for any reason other than scheduled maintenance or user error, then you will get credited in your account which is quite amazing in our opinion. No other host offers a 100% uptime guarantee even on the most basic plans.
A 97 Day Refund Guarantee
You have definitely seen 30 day money back guarantees but have probably never seen a 97 day money back guarantee. That is more than three months which is plenty of time to try out and test each and every single aspect of the hosting provider.
The best part about all of this is that there are no hidden conditions from DreamHost that you need to fulfil before trying to get a refund. Probably the biggest condition they have is that only credit card payments will be refunded and not cheques or money orders. Any services purchased through separate parties like Google AdWords etc. will als not be refunded. Despite all of this, we still think that this is a pretty solid refund policy and have rarely seen other hosting providers offer such a thing.
Basic Plan Offers A Lot
With most hosting providers, the basic and starter plans, while cheap, do not offer much resources. This can result in sluggish performance and experience. DreamHost likes to stand out by offering a ton of features even in the basic starter plan. The best part about it is that the basic plan starts at only $2.95/mo if you plan to pay yearly.
That is a very nominal cost for which you essentially get a free domain name and an SSL certificate which is a must at this point. They have a website builder as well and offer access to SquareSpace and Wix among other website builders. CMS platforms are also included so you can build your website on WordPress, Joomla or Magento etc. It only takes a few minutes to get things up and running so it should be very easy for novice users.
Unlimited Disk Space and Bandwidth
DreamHost offers plenty of unlimited options on all of theri plans including bandwidth and disk space. This is really unique especially when you have a basic plan and we can’t really think of any other hosting provider that is willing to offer unlimited disk space at the basic level. There are some caveats and fair usage policy requirements to this but it does translate to unlimited for both.
Your website should be built properly and it should not affect the performance of other websites on the same server. DreamPress, VPS and dedicated servers do not include the unlimited offerings and it is only offered on the shared plans. For email, you will be limited to 2 GB and there is a limit on MySQL as well, meaning the databases should stay under few GB.
They Care About The Environment
DreamHost is one of the few hosting providers that are actively trying to reduce the carbon footprint of the technologies they use and offer. They have implemented everything to make sure that their servers are as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.
The cooling systems working at their data centers are highly efficient and because of this their processors are able to deliver optimal performance. DreamHost is also working with the state-level clean wind program to make use of renewable energy sources to meet their power requirements. By using their services, you will have the peace of mind that you are contributing to the well-being of the environment.
Same Renewal Prices
This is something that we always put into cons for many hosting providers and just wish would not exist. You go to a hosting provider, see a really good discount and get the plan. What you don’t see in your excitement is the fine print which states that you will be paying considerably more upon renewal.
This is a big problem with many novice users as well. DreamHost does not increase the price of their plan upon renewal and their discounts depend entirely upon the number of years you opt for. Other than that, you will pay exactly the same amount on renewal as you did when getting the plan.
We have talked about the many pros of DreamHost here but what about the cons? Well, there are a few of those as well and as you know, nothing is ever perfect. So, here we will be discussing some of the cons that you can expect with DreamHost’s services.
Limited Support on Chat
Live chat is one of the easier ways of getting in touch with the support of a hosting provider, especially if you are someone living in another country where international calls might be expensive. In the case of DreamHost, despite the claim of 24/7 in house support, we found out that it is in fact, not available all the time.
Once you start the chat process, there are a few automated responses you can pick, eventually leading to a sales or support rep. However, the sales rep wasn’t available when we tried getting in touch and they can only be talked to during normal U.S business hours. The support is excellent at solving issues but the fact that there is a delay is a con in our opinion.
No Traditional cPanel
Those who are used to the good old cPanel might find it odd that DreamHost does not have a cPanel. Instead, they have their own custom panel which you will need to spend some time getting used to in order to access all the features.
This might not be an issue for many newcomers but some of the advanced users will definitely consider this a con. And since there is no cPanel, you cannot migrate a site with the usual ..tar or .gz file formats. You will have to do everything via FTP.
No Free Migrations
With DreamHost offering so many other great features for free, this one came as a surprise. Usually hosting providers are willing to offer free migrations in order to build a solid relationship with their new customers.
DreamHostt charges a $99 one time fee for migrating one website. This is quite a lot and it can really add up if you have multiple websites for yourself or a client. Even then, there are quite a few limitations to what you can or cannot move with their paid service. For e.g, a multisite WordPress setup cannot be migrated and if you have a WordPress.com website then only the posts and pages will be moved over, everything else you will need to set up again.
So, what is our conclusion then? Well, DreamHost is an excellent hosting provider, taking care of everything that you will need to make sure that your website is running as smoothly as possible. This is why they are one of the three recommended hosts from WordPress themselves. Despite the few cons such as no free migrations and limited liver chat support, we still believe that going with DreamHost as your hosting provider is worth it.