DreamHost Review

Our Verdict: Most Generous Money-Back Guarantee

Dreamhost is known for its 97-day money-back guarantee. They also offer a variety of plans, ranging from shared and WordPress hosting, right up to dedicated servers for high-traffic sites.

Click any of the links in this review to get a special discount on any Dreamhost plan.

Pros:

  • Customer support is available 24/7
  • User-friendly custom control panel
  • Fast site speeds with SSD servers

Cons:

  • Site migration from a cPanel host could be tricky
  • No reseller plans

 

Over 250 customers rate Dreamhost 4.0 out of 5 stars, praising its excellent customer support, ease of use and solid uptime.

Is Dreamhost Right for Your Website?

Looking for something specific? Jump to our most popular sections:

  • Expert review – our in-depth analysis by hosting specialist, Claire Broadley
  • Customer reviews – see what real Dreamhost customers have to say
  • Hosting plans – compare plans and pricing
  • FAQs – answers to the most common questions about Dreamhost

DreamHost Introduction

DreamHost has been an independent web hosting company since it was founded in 1997 with offices in Los Angeles and Brea in California, and Portland, Oregon.

Over the years, DreamHost has become famous for its generous 97-day money-back guarantee for Shared hosting plans. It has introduced cloud hosting and computing services to broaden its portfolio, and improve reliability.

Most of DreamHost’s packages are marketed to individuals and startups.

It provides room to grow, with dedicated servers and VPS hosting, and it also supports e-commerce.

Hosting Services And Plans

Let’s run through the hosting plans offered by DreamHost, with quick mentions of performance, features, and resource allocations.

Shared Hosting

DreamHost’s strength has always been in the shared hosting market, and it continues to offer shared hosting today.

The 100% uptime guarantee will be attractive for small businesses. Resources are also unlimited/unmetered on all but the cheapest plan: storage, bandwidth, email accounts, and domains have no cap.

For WordPress users, DreamHost offers both pre-installed and manual one-click installs. Also, you can choose automatic updates.

WordPress Hosting

Speaking of WordPress, if you only run it, DreamHost offers either shared or fully managed WordPress hosting services alongside its conventional web hosting plans.

SSL certificates are pre-installed with hosting plans.

DreamHost says that it’s a lot faster than regular shared hosting, and it scales to cope with spikes in traffic. The cheapest and unmanaged “Starter” plan costs as little as $2.59 per month and comes with unmetered bandwidth, 50 GB storage, and a free domain name.

For “Unlimited” plans, customers get unmetered storage and unlimited storage, email, and websites.

WordPress Hosting Plans

DreamHost proves to be a worthy contender as a WordPress hosting provider with a total of five different plans to choose from:

VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers, and Reseller Plans

DreamHost’s managed VPS plans start at $10 per month for 1 GB of memory and 30 GB storage. Their top plans are $80 per month for 8 GB of memory and 240 GB storage.

These plans include a free trial of DreamHost’s MySQL VPS add-on. This service places your MySQL databases on their own server for improved load times. If you want to keep the service, you’ll need to pay $15 per month after the trial.

DreamHost also offers unmanaged Cloud VPS plans starting at $4.50 per month.

The fully-managed dedicated server plan priced at $149.00 per month includes:

  • 4-Core Intel Xeon CPU
  • 4 GB memory
  • 1 TB HDD RAID 1 storage
  • Local MySQL Database Server
  • Ubuntu

DreamHost doesn’t sell a reseller package, but you can allocate certain chunks of your account to other users. This model may not suit you if you plan to run a full reseller hosting business.

Additional Services And Features

DreamHost squeezes in a handful of useful features alongside its hosting plans.

Website Builder

The Remixer website builder plans are designed for those looking to get their websites up and running with little to no coding and immediately. They are reasonably priced, starting at $4.95 per month and include:

  • Unlimited websites and pages
  • Mobile-friendly pages
  • Free domain name
  • 24/7 support
  • Email accounts (premium only)

Domain Registrar and Email Hosting

Other services include:

  • A domain registrar with over 400 top-level-domains available. DreamHost throws in a domain management service and free private domain registrations with this bundle.
  • Email hosting plans can be purchased at $1.67 per month and include a 25 GB mailbox, IMAP support, and advanced security features like spam, virus, and phishing protection.
  • WooCommerce hosting is another available option under DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting with free migration services, SSL certificates, and 1-click restore backups included.

A domain registrar with over 400 top-level-domains available. DreamHost throws in a domain management service and free private domain registrations with this bundle.
Email hosting plans can be purchased at $1.67 per month and include a 25 GB mailbox, IMAP support, and advanced security features like spam, virus, and phishing protection.
WooCommerce hosting is another available option under DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting with free migration services, SSL certificates, and 1-click restore backups included.

DreamHost Control Panel

DreamHost has always rejected third-party control panels like cPanel and Plesk. Instead, it has its own proprietary panel. This panel allows you to control most of the same technical aspects of a hosting account, and it’s provided free with every hosting package.

This consistency means that many users have grown to love the custom panel.

How Can I Import Data From Other Control Panels?

There is one important thing to remember. DreamHost does not have a way to import data from other panels. If you need to transfer from a cPanel host, for example, you will need to manually migrate your files and databases.

Additionally, you can’t import your email from a cPanel backup file. You will need to recreate each email address, download the mail from your old host via IMAP, and manually drag it into your DreamHost mailbox using a desktop mail application.

DreamHost will transfer your data for you, however. This some plans, this is included. Otherwise, it costs $99 per website.

This isn’t a reason to reject DreamHost. But be aware of its unusual approach before committing to a contract.

DreamHost Datacenters

DreamHost uses datacenters on the east and west coasts of the US. Customers can’t choose their datacenter at checkout. However, they can have it changed via support.

One advantage that DreamHost has is that its staff are physically close to some of its machines at all times. So it can get that crucial hands-on access that’s sometimes needed, without the need to rely on third-party remote hands.

Technical Support

DreamHost operates its own in-house customer support team, with support staff available 24/7 to assist customers.

Customers can open a ticket through the DreamHost control panel, and there’s also a form on the website. The account area also has a live chat facility which is not available to non-customers.

There are a variety of self-help categories available in the Dreamhost knowledgebase and forums.
You can’t contact DreamHost support by phone unless it offers a callback to assist. It does have a large knowledgebase, and a huge customer support forum stretching back for many years.

Uptime and Service Guarantees

DreamHost offers an excellent 100% uptime guarantee across all hosting packages. Credit is provided for downtime, using a simple calculation: 1 day of credit for 1 hour of downtime.

However, this is capped at a maximum of 10% of your hosting fee. Downtime only officially begins when you open a support ticket, so if you suspect network problems, it’s a good idea to act quickly.

Money-Back Guarantee For Shared Hosting Accounts

The guarantee only applies to accounts paid for using a credit card.

One of DreamHost’s key selling points is its 97-day money-back guarantee.

It’s one of the longest guarantee periods you’ll find at any hosting company, and it gives you time to try out its control panel without commitment.

DreamHost Pros and Cons

Let’s cover the strengths and weaknesses of DreamHost as a hosting provider before we proceed into the depths of the review.

Pros

  • Free domains and SSL certificates
  • Generous money-back guarantee
  • Large selection of premium servicesReasonably priced web hosting.

Cons

  • Extended money-back guarantee limited to shared hosting plans only
  • Custom control panel instead of cPanel or Plesk.

Summary

DreamHost offers an innovative approach to hosting, and its move to the cloud has allowed it to branch out. Despite the advance of other control panels, it has stuck to its approach of using its own custom panel for everything.

Depending on your situation, the control panel could be a blessing or a curse, and the lack of a reseller option could be limiting in some cases.

But the long money-back period with shared hosting plans means you have a chance to try DreamHost’s unique service for 97 days without risk.

Sound good? Visit DreamHost now.

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