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DreamHost Review: Are They Any Good?
Finding the right hosting site is vital to the success of your online business or profession. With many companies to choose from, DreamHost has managed to make a name for itself in the hosting industry. In this DreamHost review, you will learn about what the company is, the plans they offer, the WordPress shared hosting, website builder, customer service, money back guarantee, and if they are the right host for your needs.
What is DreamHost?
For nearly a quarter-century, DreamHost has been helping individuals, online businesses, and organizations host their websites. Today, over 1.5 million sites are hosted by DreamHost and the number keeps growing. The reputation of the company has been built on the services they provide.
DreamHost offers a series of plans for your needs. They provide several different packages to help the different types of end users.
For those who are starting out, their shared hosting sites offer a considerable number of features for a low monthly fee.
This is the entry-level hosting package provided by DreamHost. It is suitable for those who want a personal, professional, or even a small business site depending on your needs. There are two packages under shared hosting, the starter and unlimited. Both packages include the following;
- Free Domain
- Unlimited Traffic
- Pre-Installed WordPress
- Fast SSD Storage
- Free SSL Certificate
- 3-Year, Single Year, & Monthly Plans
The Starter package is only $2.59 per month and includes a single website with email as an optional feature at an additional $1.67 per month.
The Unlimited package is more expensive at $5.95 per month but comes with an unlimited number of websites and email which is addressed to your domain.
For those who want more features and security there are Virtual Private Servers. VPS offer small businesses and professionals a lot more power. The VPS is based in the US and there are four different packages to choose from. All VPS packages share the following features;
- Intuitive Custom Control Panel
- Unlimited Traffic & Bandwidth
- Expandable RAM and Storage
- Email, SSD, SSL, and Unlimited Domains
- Free SSL Certificates
The Basic package is built for personal, professional, and small businesses which are just starting out. At $10 per month, you get the following;
1GB Ram & 30GB SSD Storage
The Business package is for small businesses either just starting out or having narrow field of customers. At $20 per month, you get the following;
2GB Ram & 60GB SSD Storage
The Professional package is designed for sites that are resource intensive, such as larger businesses and professions. At $40 per month, you receive the following;
4GB Ram & 120GB SSD Storage
The Enterprise package is the most expensive at $80 per month and is also designed for resource intensive sites. You get the following;
8GB Ram & 240GB Storage
This means that you get a server dedicated to your efforts. The advantages are greater security, storage space, and flexibility. Package prices start at $169 per month and they include the following;
- 100% Uptime Guarantee
- Full Root and Shell Access (SSH)
- RAID 1 Storage
- DDoS Protection
- 24/7 Server Monitoring & Support
Dedicated hosting is for those who have specific needs that other forms of hosting cannot adequately address. The capabilities of the dedicated server can be expanded to suit your specific needs.
- 12 Cores
- 64GB RAM
- 2TB Storage
- SSD Storage
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- Free SSL Certificate
Are you wondering if this is a good fit for your site? Perfect candidates for dedicated hosting include large eCommerce and high traffic sites. If this is you a dedicated plan could be for you.
This server program as demonstrated in this DreamHost review is simple, fast, and flexible for all types of sites. You can run any application as it is designed around Ceph and OpenStack for convenience. For a low price, you can grow your business as large as you want. You can choose from three types of servers all of which offer the following services;
- 80GB SSD Disk
- Free Bandwidth
- 100GB Block Storage
The 512MB RAM server is $4.50 per month maximum with 1 vCPU and perfect for those who are just starting out. The 2GB RAM server is $12 per month maximum also with 1 vCPU and designed for those who are building up their small business website. The 8GB RAM server offers 4 vCPU for a maximum of $48 per month and is perfect for databases.
DreamHost WordPress Plans
You will find three separate WordPress plans on the DreamHost site. I know that I’m biased towards WordPress. But, these plans offer the ability to create a website, grow your business, and meet specific needs. Each of these plans comes with the following features:
- Unmetered Bandwidth
- SSL Certificate Pre-Installed
- 1-Click Restore
- Daily Backups
- 24/7 WordPress Support
You can start with the basic plan at $16.95 per month. It comes with the ability to serve 100k visitors each month, 30GB SSD storage and the Jetpack Free program pre-installed. The Plus version starts at $24.95 and provides for 300k visitors each month, 60GB SSD storage, and Jetpack Professional installed.
The Pro version at $71.95 per month offers enough room for 1 million visitors each month. If you have that many visitors coming to your site each month you can certainly afford this plan. It also includes 120GB SSD storage, and the Jetpack Professional. Both the Plus and Pro versions come with unlimited CDN. Also, you can choose from one of the following WordPress versions that are available at DreamHost.
WordPress Shared Hosting:
This is the least expensive way to get the basics for WordPress websites starting at $2.59 per month. It is perfect for those who are new to WordPress and want to test the waters first before taking the full plunge.
This is optimized hosting for WordPress. We have an article about managed WordPress hosting if you want to learn more about it. It offers exceptional cloud performance, solid security, and an intuitive program that is simple to use for $16.95 per month. It’s designed for small to medium-size businesses with a wide variety of products or services.
VPS for WordPress:
VPS for WordPress supports up to five WordPress websites. This is for high-performance. It uses isolated resources for additional security and better backend control features. Starting at $27.50 per month, this is for those who run separate sites for their businesses and professions.
The most attractive feature of the website builder is that you can start building your site for free. You do not need to know code, so anyone can start building the type of website they want quickly and easily. Granted, I still recommend WordPress over this.
Select a layout and use the Remixer to create what you need in just a few minutes. The click-to-edit builder lets you customize each page with no coding. Plus, you can add dedicated pages for contact forms, location maps, menus, and so much more.
With a wide range of customizable fonts, colors, and filters, you can edit images quickly as well. Plus, you can export it all to WordPress to take advantage of more features. There are a large number of websites, free stock photos, and a free media library included. You can incorporate SEO to have customers find you as well. This is something that many Hosting website builders don’t cover.
Customer support is a crucial function of any hosting site.
DreamHost provides live chat support which is available from 8am to 4pm PT running Monday through Friday. They now have a limited chat bot covering their non-business hours. This is honestly a big negative when comparing it to other hosts.
Also, they offer email support as well in case you have questions that need more of an explanation than live chat.
Additionally, DreamHost offers a pretty solid Knowledge base that can be worth checking out.
Unfortunately, DreamHost does not have phone support which is another significant negative. These two support restrictions alone make me not recommend them to others.
Image your site going down on Friday night and not being able to call or live chat with someone. I had this happen recently and was able to resolve the issue with my host in a matter of minutes.
The inability to speak to a person is quite limiting as both live chat and email are text-based which can leave room for misunderstandings.
It cannot be stressed enough that the lack of phone support for their customer service is a big negative. It needs to be considered if you are searching for hosting sites such as DreamHost. I believe that SiteGround has the best support of any host I’ve used.
DreamHost Uptime and Speed
During both of these tests DreamHost fell into the average range when it came to uptime. There uptime is completely acceptable within the industry. We did not view any major downtime for long periods of time which is a big plus.
But, they were slightly below average in terms of website speed. Website speed is more important than ever before for SEO. Without great speeds your site might not be ranking as high as it could be. If you’re interested in seeing who performed well in our tests check out our complete WordPress hosting comparison.
DreamHost Money Back Guarantee
DreamHost does offer a 97-day money back guarantee for their services. However, domain registration fees are non-refundable. This long of a guarantee period is unheard of in the industry.
Most hosting sites offer a 30-day or in rarer cases a 60-day money back guarantee. But 97 days means you can go for more than three months in using their services and then get your money back with no conditions. During the 97 days you should evaluate the company and see if the support mentioned above is an issue for you.
Directly from their site*
The length of time given for the money back guarantee provides you with the ability to check out all their services. They offer this because they want you to be happy with their services. It allows you to use them long enough to see if DreamHost will really work for you.
The confidence that DreamHost has in knowing you will be happy with their services should be seen as a big plus. In terms of the DreamHost review, this is arguably one of the best reasons why to purchase their services.
DreamHost Review: Final Thoughts
We’ve covered a lot within this DreamHost review. If you didn’t just skim to the end here you know that I’m not thrilled about the support options. Having no phone support and only weekly live chat support simply doesn’t cut it.
The uptime and site speeds were only average at best during our tests. This means that they’d need to improve these to make for the lack of support.
Frankly, there are just better hosts out there that will give you more for your money. While the money back guarantee is good, it isn’t enough to make up for the other areas. Therefore, I can’t recommend this host.
My final rating for DreamHost is a 7.5 out of 10.
Do you agree with my DreamHost review? Feel free to leave your own mini DreamHost review in the comments below!