dreamhost

DreamHost Review

The DreamHost is an independent web hosting company and it was founded in 1997 with its offices in Los Angeles and Brea in California, Portland, and Oregon.

Over the years, DreamHost has become famous for the generous 97-day money-back guarantee. It has also introduced the cloud hosting and computing services so as to broaden the company’s portfolio, and to improve the reliability.

Most of the packages of DreamHost’s are marketed to individual businesses and startups. The company provides room to grow, with its dedicated servers and VPS hosting, it also supports the reselling and e-commerce.

Dreamhost takes pride in itself on being the award-winning WordPress host. It can be considered that the Dreamhost hosts over 1.5 million sites for around 400,000+ customers and they are one of the only four web hosts which the WordPress will endorse for itself which is a good reason to be proud.

The DreamHost has a unique relationship with WordPress, and thanks to the 750,000 one-click installations where the customers need to put Dreamhost on the hosting shortlist if they are starting a small site.

If users are looking forward to moving beyond the blogging, then Dreamhost has features that will appeal to the developers where they can launch the cloud servers in just 30 seconds and they can support the apps like Ruby on Rails, MongoDB, and Redis.

The Dreamhost is also a member of OpenStack Foundation Gold. Its commitment to the Open Source comes in the form of financial backing, coding contributions, and community leadership.

The entrepreneurs and the small businesses cannot afford to be offline for a long time, therefore, it is worth highlighting the Dreamhost’s unique 100% uptime guarantee.

For each and every hour when the user’s website is offline, the company credits them with a day’s hosting service. As the Dreamhost is willing to spend its own money on the downed sites, it acts as a good bet so that the users will stay online.

It was founded in 1997 by Sage Weil, Michael Rodriguez, Josh Jones, and Dallas Bethune, who are four friends and undergraduates from the Harvey Mudd College in California.

The company name was officially registered in 1997 as New Dream Network, LLC, and that is when they began hosting websites.

These four friends had love towards open-source software, technology and had a powerful desire to help the online people band together. They built the Dreamhost on open-source technology and have made a strong commitment to helping the customers.

At present, the CEO of Dreamhost is Simon Anderson, who hosts over 1.5 million websites and has more than 400,000 members across 100+ countries around the world. This company is voted as one of the best hosting provider for a continuous second year in a row by the PC Magazine.

Features of DreamHost:

  • It provides a 100% uptime guarantee for all its plans.
  • The SSDs which means Solid State Drives on provided in the shared and the VPS plans increases the speed and reliability.
  • The customers can choose the unlimited domain names from over 275 extensions.
  • It provides users with 24/7/365 customer support.
  • It offers unlimited bandwidth.
  • The users are provided with unlimited storage of data.
  • An unlimited number of email addresses are given to customers.
  • Cloud storage is provided for easier access and also security.
  • A 1-click install is provided for popular web apps like WordPress, Joomla, and a few others.
  • Around 750,000 customers have WordPress installations.
  • An Easy to use proprietary control panel is made available.

DreamHost Hosting Plans:

The DreamHost offers a wide range of hosting solutions that are tailored for e-commerce, WordPress, and a few other small businesses.

Shared Hosting Plan:

The Shared Hosting plan is the most affordable hosting option for most of the small businesses which do not receive the high levels of traffic. Shared hosting means the user’s website is stored on a server along with a few other websites.

The strength of DreamHost has always been in the shared hosting market, and it continues to offer shared hosting even today.

This shared hosting plan is suitable for blogs, database-driven sites, and few personal and business sites, also a few portfolios.

The 100% uptime guarantee of shared hosting will be attractive for small businesses, and it is a one-click package for WordPress which includes automatic updates. The resources provided are unlimited such as the storage, bandwidth, email accounts, and the domains have no cap.

The users can get one free domain name and they can host unlimited domain names.

They are provided with unlimited bandwidth and storage.

VPs Hosting Plan:

If the users have a larger business and use e-commerce, or they are designer or developer, then VPS is the ideal one for their needs. Virtual Private Servers provide the advantages of the dedicated server without a higher price tag.

The VPS hosting and dedicated hosting plans offer the SSD hosting and few scalable resources.

The VPS plan includes a free trial version of the MySQL VPS as an add-on. This service places the users MySQL databases on its own server for the improved load times. If the user wants to keep up the service, he will need to pay.

  • The fully managed dedicated server plan is priced at $169.00 per month.
  • It provides a 100% uptime guarantee to the users.
  • The DDoS protection
  • A root access
  • The RAID 1 storage
  • It provides up to 8 GB RAM.
  • Unlimited bandwidth is made available to users.
  • A customized control panel for ease of use is provided.
  • A 30GB to 240GB SSD storage is given.

Dedicated Server Plan:

The customers who have a large business, or who needs tons of traffic then he may need a dedicated server.

This plan can be fully managed for the customer and is the ideal one for the apps and sites with a lot of traffic as well as the resellers and the agencies. This is the most expensive type of hosting amongst all.

The Dedicated plans provide;

  • An unlimited bandwidth
  • A 4GB to 64GB RAM
  • Up to 2TB storage
  • A full shell and root access
  • The new SSDs called solid-state drives.
  • A control panel that is web-based.

WordPress Hosting:

The customers only run WordPress, the DreamHost will offer them either a shared or a fully managed WordPress hosting service along with a few other conventional web hosting solutions.

The DreamHost also says that it is a lot faster than the regular shared hosting, and it also scales to cope up with the spikes in traffic. The unmanaged and the cheapest value plan start at a very reasonable price per month and it comes with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, and a free domain name.

For the performance plans, the customers can expect WordPress as specialized support staff to be at the user’s disposal. SSL certificates also come free with all WordPress hosting plans.

Managed WordPress Hosting:

WordPress is one of the most popular website builders available on the web. If the customer is having a small business and is using WordPress, then the DreamHost provides a specific plan which is just for you. They can have their site fully optimized for WordPress and blogs.

The WordPress specific plan features include:

  • A VPS hosted
  • A 30GB SSD storage
  • The automatic installation of WordPress and the updates to the core are provided.
  • The customers can use any of the WordPress plugin or the theme.
  • The plan has a PHP of 5.5 with the OPcache & the Optional HHVM.

Cloud Hosting:

The Dreamhost’s Cloud hosting is called as the DreamCloud.

The DreamCloud is comprised of the Dream Compute which is a public cloud computing service and the Dream Objects which is a scalable storage solution.

The Dream Compute is much better than the VPS because the customers can deploy and they can customize the user’s own cloud servers. With the Dream Objects, they will have a completely scalable storage service for all the users’ data and they can access it at any point in time.

Reseller Hosting:

If the user is looking out to get into the web hosting business, but he does not want to deal with the infrastructure matters, then the reseller hosting is the way to go. Unfortunately, the DreamHost does not offer standalone reseller plans; the users can resell their own server space, but only if they add other domains to their own.

The DreamHost now offers a Remixer website builder, which allows them to start building their site right away. They no longer have to endure on the long wait time as the user’s Dreamhost account gets approved, in a short time.

The Remixers comes with dozens of themes by which the users can alter, by simply using the drag-and-drop functionality. The users can find it refreshingly simple to add the photos, text, and also the video. They also have the option of installing a third-party application to their account, such as the concrete5, Joomla, MediaWiki, Piwigo, and, of course, WordPress.

Additional Services and Features:

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

The Remixer website builder plans are designed for those customers who are looking to get their websites up and run smoothly with little to no coding and also immediately. They are the reasonably priced ones and the plans include:

  • The unlimited websites and pages
  • A fully responsive design
  • A free domain name
  • A 24/7 support system
  • An email account for premium users only
  • A Remixed website builder
  • A domain Registrar and Email Hosting

Other services include:

A domain registrar that has over 400 top-level-domains is made available. The DreamHost throws in the domain management service and free private domain registration with the bundle. Few name reservations are also made available.

The email hosting plans can be purchased at a very low price per month and it includes a 25GB mailbox, the IMAP support and the advanced security features like the spam, the virus, and the phishing protection.

The WooCommerce hosting is another option that is available under the DreamHost’s WordPress hosting with a free migration service, the SSL certificates, and the 1-click restore backup is also included.

DreamHost Control Panel:

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

This kind of consistency means that many of the users have grown to love the custom panel a lot.

However, there is one primary thing to be remembered. The DreamHost does not have a way to import the data from the other panels. If they need to transfer from the cPanel host, for example, they will need to manually move the user’s files and the databases.

In addition, the users cannot import the email from the cPanel backup file. They will need to recreate each of the email address, download the mail from the user’s old host through IMAP, and manually drag it into the user’s DreamHost mailbox using the desktop mail application.

The same thing applies to transfer to any host that is not the DreamHost. It has got to be the manual process, and it might also involve some work at the command line.

DreamHost Datacenter:

The DreamHost uses the datacenters on the east and west coasts of the US. The customers cannot choose which of the datacenter are their files stored at, and also they cannot select their preferred location at the checkout.

If they want to change the center, then they will need to raise a support ticket.

One advantage that the DreamHost does have is that it has a staff that is physically close to some of the machines at all times. So that the center can get the crucial hands, where on access is sometimes needed, without the actual need to rely on the third-party remote hands.

Marketing and E-Commerce:

The DreamHost offers a free ZenCart, which the users can access from its One-Click Install menu. This open-source online shopping cart is software which lets the users to quickly check out the products that they have for the sale. It also supports the Woo Commerce.

Along with a $100 Google AdWords credit, the DreamHost lets the users to track site traffic and the analytics through Chartbeat. This is different from most of the other services, which is tending to focus only on Google Analytics.

Security and Other Features:

The DreamHost offers anti-spam on the email it provides but has no antimalware services. The control panel has a link which is easy-to-find and for editing. This file is used to control access to the site or to set up the password.

For parts of the site which should not get indexed by the search engines, the users can block the spiders. They can set up the crown jobs which are the automated batch jobs so as to schedule the tasks and to monitor the processes on the site.

The DreamHost also offers free secure socket layer (SSL) certificates, which is a must to have in addition for the people who actually sell the products online.

If the user is a developer or a manager of the software development team, then he will like the fact that the DreamHost comes with a Subversion, which can help him to manage their source code files.

Most of the web hosting providers restrict the users to whatever applications are listed on the software marketplace. The Version control tools such as the Subversion can rarely make it onto the marketplaces, so it is nice to have an option to set up their own repository

What if the users do not really want the website or a blog, but just wants a place to store his files? Then DreamHost also offers a Dream Objects cloud storage plan, which starts at a very low price per month for 40GB and going up to around 20TB for $300 per month.

Excellent Uptime:

Website uptime is an important element of the web hosting experience. If the user’s site goes down, then the clients or the customers will be unable to find them or access their products or the services.

For this, our team has tested, by monitoring a website tool to track the site’s uptime for over a 14-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings the website and sends an email if it is unable to contact the site for even at least a minute.

The data has revealed that the DreamHost is incredibly stable. In fact, amongst all the web hosting services that we have reviewed, it is only one of the handfuls that went down with zero times. The customers can count on the DreamHost to be a rock-solid foundation for their website.

Customer Support:

Although the customer support is made available 24/7/365, the users can’t actually ring the DreamHost support team.

The customer support services are:

Live chat is mainly available for the customers when there are not many to support the staff who handle the tickets. Chat may be the permanent option for the customers who pay the monthly call back fee.

  • An active forum is provided.
  • Support through Twitter is made available.
  • Most of the team are WordPress experts especially for the customers who are in need of that specific knowledge.

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

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

The users cannot contact the DreamHost support by phone unless it offers a callback to assist them. It also does have a large knowledge base and a huge customer support forum which stretches g back to many years.

Uptime and Service Guarantees:

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

But, this is capped at a maximum of 10% of the user’s hosting fee. The Downtime officially begins when the users open a support ticket, so if the users suspect the network problems, it is a good idea to act quickly.

Money-Back Guarantee:

This guarantee applies only to the account that is paid for using the credit card. The DreamHost’s 97-day money-back guarantee is a key selling point for the service.

It is one of the longest guarantee periods that the user will find at any of the hosting company, and it gives them the time to try out the control panel without any kind of commitment.

The DreamHost offers one of the longest money-back guarantees in the hosting industry, which is the 97 days policy and is very generous too. If the users cancel within the 97 days of joining, they can get a refund.

But, yes this comes with a couple of conditions; it only applies to the shared hosting and the users must have bought their hosting with the credit card or might have used the Google Checkout.

The month to month billing option:

Starting with a very low price for every month the users can choose the monthly billing option with the DreamHost. This allows them to cancel it any time point of time with no additional fees and provides the same great feature as that of the annual plans.

If the user is not able to make the large payment for the annual plans or if he is not sure on how long he will need the site, this can be a great option where not all the web hosts will offer.

E-Commerce Hosting Features for small businesses:

If the users are looking to run the e-commerce store on DreamHost, then he will be delighted to know about the number of useful features that are aimed to keeping their store fast and also secure.

  • It provides easy installation of applications such as the Magento.
  • The affordable SSL certificate options are given.
  • WooCommerce integration, especially for the users of WordPress, is done.
  • WordPress users can get pre-installed storefront.
  • A Server-level caching for the speed
  • A built-in WAF is applied to prevent malware attacks.
  • The automatic updates for security.
  • 24/7 customer support and technical support is made available.
  • A Dedicated hosting option with the root access is provided.
  • A Remixer is an easy-to-use website building tool where no knowledge of code is required.

Bonuses or Extras:

As DreamHost has won one of the best hosting sites twice in a row, the company is offering a 30% discount on a few of its plans. A 97-day money-back guarantee is worth for the users. A $100 worth of credits for the Google Adwords is provided to the customers.

DreamHost Pros and Cons:

Our team has covered a few of the strengths and weaknesses of the DreamHost.

Pros:

  • It provides free domains and SSL certificates
  • A generous 97-day money-back guarantee
  • A large selection of the premium services
  • A reasonably priced web hosting services
  • The customer support is made available 24/7
  • All the plans come with a user-friendly custom control panel
  • It enables the fast site speeds with the SSD server
  • A 100% uptime guarantee
  • An unlimited data storage and bandwidth
  • An unlimited site that which can be hosted on the same account
  • An unlimited MySQL database
  • A Free Domain with enough privacy.
  • An unlimited sub-domain
  • One-click installation of the software
  • A Remixer website builder is included for free with the shared hosting plans which actually needs to be added as the separate service on any of the other hosting plan
  • The outstanding customer support
  • It supports most of the scripts including the CGI, Perl, PHP5, and Python

Cons:

  • The extended money-back guarantee is limited only to the shared hosting plans
  • The custom control panel is made available instead of the cPanel or Plesk
  • No domain transfers are made available through manual migration only.
  • It has no reseller plans
  • The data migration from the cPanel host could be the tricky one
  • Few of the hosting features within the dashboard can cost extra
  • It has no website builder include.
  • Although it is free on the shared plans, the “Remixer” website builder needs to be added as a separate service on any of the other hosting plans
  • The call-backs from the support staff can cost extra
  • The costs are not as low as many of the other competitors
  • The control panel can be hard to navigate as it has too many options
  • The Dreamhost’s site doesn’t have all the answers which are freely available on the websites of the other hosting providers

Conclusion:

The DreamHost offers an innovative approach towards the hosting, and its move to the cloud has made it to branch out. In spite of the advance of the other control panels, it has stuck to its own approach of using the own custom panel for everything which is needed.

Depending on the user’s situation, the control panel could be a blessing or can be a curse, and the lack of the reseller option could be limiting in a few cases.

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

The Dreamhost is known for its 97-day money-back guarantee. This web hosting company also offers a large variety of plans, ranging from the shared and the WordPress hosting, to right up to the dedicated servers for the high-traffic sites.

Overall, our team likes the DreamHost’s user interface as it is simple and well laid out, and it made to get started on the test site very easily. Rather than going with the HostGator or the iPage route with the cute and screen-cluttering icons.

The DreamHost offers a tree of menu options on its left side of the screen. It is very easy to find the billing information, to manage the domains, and to view the settings for the VPS and the dedicated servers. We had no trouble finding the security options.

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