DreamHost Full Review: Is It Your Dream Web Host?
DreamHost is an affordable, environmentally friendly, and secure hosting service. Their shared hosting plan with unlimited bandwidth and an SSL certificate. You’ll also get a free domain if you sign for their annual plan.
DreamHost provides an easy-to-use website builder for beginners and advanced users. And if you’re a non-profit organization, you’ll benefit from a discount!
You can do it your way, only better!
Since 1996, DreamHost has become a well-known web hosting service among developers, designers, and digital marketers. Today, DreamHost hosts over 1.5 million websites.
What differentiates it from other web hosts?
Let’s explore and find out everything you need to know about DreamHost.
Eco-Friendly Web Host
For all the environmentalists out there, DreamHost feels the obligation to save the environment. If you’re asking how? They’re doing their best to decrease the carbon footprint of their servers.
Whether in their offices or their data centers, DreamHost is trying to save mother nature. In fact, their data centers have “high-efficiency” cooling and processors.
They also partnered in a state-level “clean wind” program to control renewable resources. Their offices are also LEED and EnergyStar-certified, and everything is energy efficient, whether it's the lighting or their HVAC systems.
Other environmentally friendly web hosts include GreenGeeks and A2 Hosting.
We're going to focus on DreamHost's shared hosting plans, but first, let's take a look at everything else it has to offer:
- VPS Hosting: A middle ground between shared and dedicated hosting. Get your own server but share other resources starting from $10/month.
- Dedicated Hosting: Get your own dedicated server with DreamHost. Pick a plan that suits you either for $149/month or $279/month.
- Cloud Hosting: Host your plan on multiple servers with DreamHost's cloud hosting plans.
- WordPress Hosting: Host your WordPress website with DreamHost; plans start from $2.59/month.
However, we're here to focus on their shared hosting plans and everything that has to do with it. So keep reading to find out.
DreamHost’s Shared Hosting
If you’re looking to build a website with some traffic, you might want to consider purchasing a shared hosting plan. This way, you’ll share a server, but you’ll host your website for a lower price.
Let’s talk about why you should use DreamHost’s hosting services…
Although they only offer two shared hosting plans, their plans are full of features that will make you change your mind. Whether you choose the Shared Starter or Shared Unlimited plan, you’ll get unlimited bandwidth and an unlimited number of files you can upload.
If you sign up for their annual plan, you’ll get unlimited free domains with their Shared Unlimited plan and one free domain with five free subdomains for their Shared Starter plan.
The best part, you can choose from over 400 TLDs (.com, .org, .fr, or .club) no matter what you need; DreamHost has got you covered. The .com domain renewal is at $15.99.
If you don’t like it, there’s a generous 97-day money-back guarantee for you to decide. So, take your time!
Let’s look at DreamHost’s plans in detail:
|Shared Starter||Shared Unlimited|
|Number of Websites||1||Unlimited|
|E-mails||$1.67/month for 25GB||Available|
1 free domain with annual
plans & 5 free subdomains
Free domain with annual plan
|Max. files amount||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Backup||Automated daily backup||Automated daily backup|
With DreamHost, your money won’t go to waste; you’ll get many features like unlimited bandwidth, a free domain with their annual plan, and more. Not only are their prices affordable, but they won’t increase upon renewal unless you buy them at a discount.
However, like any other web hosting service, you’ll pay less if you’re registering for their yearly plans.
Still, their Shared Starter plan starts at $2.95/month, and the Shared Unlimited plan is also $2.95/month with a special 79% discount, which is still low-cost. All these benefits get better when you know there’s a 97-day money-back guarantee the only thing you might need to keep an eye on is their backups.
Moreover, DreamHost offers a free shared hosting plan for a non-profit organization registered in the United States, and you can benefit from a discount on their VPS plans.
If DreamHost is the web host of your choice, you have several options on how to pay for your plan. These include:
- Credit Card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, or Diners Club)
- Online Check
- Check/Money Order
Everything is simple from the very beginning. All you need to do is create an account, add some personal information and purchase the plan you choose.
The only downside is the verification process, but you can't complain; it's for safety.
If you’re looking for help, you can contact a customer support agent via live chat or e-mail and ticket-based support. If that wasn’t helpful, you could refer to their detailed knowledge base.
Unfortunately, live chat support is only available from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM PT, and there’s no direct phone support. However, you can request callback support depending on your plan. On the other hand, their ticket-based support is available 24/7 and provides accurate and reliable help.
Still, live chat and e-mail are great options, and they’ll answer you within a few minutes when they’re available. Plus, you can refer to their knowledge base if their support isn’t available.
It’s essential to look at security features when hosting your website, especially if you’re selling products online. I mean, there must be a secure way for your customer to pay.
Lucky for you DreamHost has a free SSL certificate included in their plan. This is essential for e-commerce websites to encrypt the data; this includes credit cards and other sensitive information.
Password Protected Directories
To make sure your data is safe, you can secure your website with passwords. You can contact customer support or refer to the DreamHost knowledge base for a detailed step-by-step guide if you want to do so.
Spam Assassin Protection
All DreamHost emails come with filter spam enabled, so you don't have to worry about receiving spam emails.
Web Application Firewall
The web application firewall and a built-in malware scanner are both used to protect your website from any attack.
Both DreamHost plans come with automated backup daily. So there's no need to worry if you lose something; you can always restore it.
Other Security Features
Other security features include SSH and SFTP access to make sure it’s safe. Furtherly their offers include http/2 support, the new versions of PHP 7. There’s more, including multi-factor authentication to protect your account from hackers and website hijackers.
All the right options in one place!
Load Times, Reliability, and Features
Uptime & Speed
Uptime is an essential element to consider when creating a website; you’ll lose customers if your site goes down. It’s no secret that DreamHost has 99.9% uptime, making it an excellent and reliable service.
DreamHost offers financial compensation if they don’t deliver their 100% uptime guarantee. That’s not all. You’ll be impressed by their fast load times, which is essential to winning customers; no one wants to shop on a slow website.
Page load time directly affects the bounce rate on a website with the gold standard set at below 2 seconds according to Google's studies on page load speed and rebound rate.
Moreover, DreamHost has a user-friendly interface, which is vital for beginners to create their website easily and have it up and running in no time. Finally, there’s the WordPress website builder included with hundreds of templates to choose from.
DreamHost also has a menu on the left side of the screen full of options and details to help you manage everything you need from security to billing information and even installing third-party applications.
Users can benefit from unlimited disk space and bandwidth—no need to panic about disk storage. However, if you’re hogging server resources and affecting other sites, they’ll ask you to change your plan, as well as the e-mail available with the Shared Unlimited plan.
For Advanced Users
Advanced users can choose from different PHP versions and coding languages based on what suits them. Whether it's Python or Perl, DreamHost has your back.
Custom Error Page
The error page is the page that shows when an error occurs. Customizing the error page helps make your website look more professional by making it personal and unique.
Unlike other web hosts, DreamHost's servers are found only in the United States. But they're accessible for anyone anywhere.
You won’t only be hosting your website using DreamHost; you’ll also benefit from their website builder. Yes, that’s right, you can start as soon as you register. There are options for you to build a website, either using the content management system (CMS), which doesn’t require you to code or customize your website.
Using CMS, you’ll install pre-built software onto your site, which creates a website that you can customize. There are plenty of templates to choose from, and it includes the simple drag-and-drop function, so you don’t have to be a techie to build your website.
You can easily add anything you need, from text to photos and even videos. CMS options include WordPress, which is easy and straightforward. If you need anything extra, you can install third-party apps available such as Joomla, MediaWiki, and many more.
The second option can be building your website on your computer and uploading the files on your DreamHost server. This is for advanced users who know programming languages.
You can also use DreamHost's Remixer, their own website builder that you can purchase as an add-on. However, it lacks layout flexibility and advanced features, including e-commerce and blogging tools.
If you’re looking to create an e-commerce website, DreamHost provides a free ZenCart; you can access it from the "One-Click Installs" menu.
ZenCart provides an online store management system; it’s an online shopping cart that helps users checkout with any product you are selling. Moreover, DreamHost supports WooCommerce, another open-source e-commerce cart.
Other features you can benefit from for an e-commerce website include a $100 Google AdWords credit. As well as Chartbeat to analyze how much traffic you get on your site.
Overall, DreamHost is a great web host service provider. You’ll be getting the value of the money you pay with each plan. Not every web host offers an unlimited number of files you can upload and unlimited bandwidth.
You’ll also get a free domain for the first year if you sign up for their annual plan. Whether you’re a developer or a beginner, it’s easy to use and includes its own website builder. Isn’t that great?
What do you have to lose?
There’s a 97-day money-back guarantee.