DreamHost Review: Host Features, Reviews, And Test Results

DreamHost has 1.5 million websites being hosted on its platform, and was founded over two decades ago back in 1997.

The main plan on its service includes the ability to host WordPress websites, as well as the option to build a website, or do it via something like Weebly or Wix.

DreamHost Review Host Features, Reviews, And Test Results

You also get an unlimited amount of disk space and bandwidth, as well as a 97 day money back guarantee that allows you to test it before you fully commit to the service. 

However, you may be worried to hear that their customer service is not the best, and is very limited. 

So, with all this in mind, let’s take a look at DreamHost and how the hosting service has performed within the last six months. 

General Overviewing And Information

  • Speed (as of mid-2022): 1730 ms
  • Uptime (as of mid-2022): 99.77 percent
  • Apps: Blogger, WordPress, Wix, Shopify, Drupal and plenty more
  • Support: Mail, live chat, forum, and knowledge base
  • Pricing: Pricing begins at $2.59 every month, then renews at $5.99 a month
  • Hosting Plans: WordPress, cloud, shared, dedicated servers, and VPS
  • Features: A free domain for a whole year, free SSL, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and backups that are automated
  • Website Transfers: Completely free for WordPress
  • Our overall verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

Pros: Using DreamHost To Host

There are many unlimited features when it comes to DreamHost, which is a benefit for people who are looking to host a website. 

They also have an extra generous 97 day money back guarantee in place, which is a great way to ensure that the service is the right one for you. 

So, let’s take a look at some of the pros when it comes to using DreamHost which we gathered from our recent testing. You will also find cons below. 

1. Cancel Anytime Month-to-Month Plan

It is not unusual for a web hosting company to offer a money back guarantee. In fact, it is commonplace to at least see a 30 day one. This gives you ample time to understand how the service works and whether it is right for you. 

We thought HostGater did a great job at giving its users 45 days to cancel and receive their money back, but this has been trumped by DreamHost. At 95 days, that gives you plenty of time to work out if the service is for you – and more.

The great thing about DreamHost is not only their long refund time, but also the fact it is super easy to get that money back. They have no long waiting times or loopholes in order to try and keep you using their hosting service.

However, even if you do decide to stick with DreamHost, you will be pleased to know that they offer a cancel anytime policy. There is an option to pay on a monthly basis.

So, if you are not happy with the service provided, or no longer need it, then you can cancel at any time. Also, keep in mind that paying monthly to a site hosting service is very, very rare. 

2. Ability To Migrate WordPress For Free

There was a point in time when DreamHost didn’t even offer to migrate sites for free. However, now you can migrate WordPress (and other shared hosting plans) for free.

In fact, you even get the promise for the migration to happen without any need for downtime. Now that’s impressive.

Hold on though, because there is a tiny bit of small print. It is only free for WordPress. If you have another website, then you will have to pay $99. Fortunately, it is a one-off, though a pricey one at that. 

3. A Green Company

In other words, they are carbon neutral. DreamHost has made it their mission to find ways to be better to the planet. 

Some of these ways include reducing their carbon footprint from their servers, partnering with ‘clean wind’ programs, using renewable electricity and so much more. 

They company has even made sure that their own offices have a green footprint by using EnergyStar certified lighting and HVAC systems, and so on. 

4. Unlimited NTL And Disk Space

DreamHost has a number of ‘unlimited’ features for users to take advantage of. A couple of these include having ‘unlimited’ network transfer limits and disk space – two very important factors.

This means that as you grow your website, you will not need to worry about running out of disk space for storage. However, just like with a lot of good things, there are a number of caveats to think about. 

Firstly, your website should be built correctly. This means not hogging other server resources.

If it is, it could cause a few issues with a number of different websites. When this is the case, you may be moved to a private server.

If you are using the VPS servers, email and DreamPress, then you will find that they are not included under the unlimited promise.

For example, you only get 2GB worth of email storage. The MySQL database is also only a few gigabytes too. 

If you are a small site on the shared server, you should be fine. However, larger websites may suffer. 

5. Great Basic Features

It is common to begin by using the basic plan. Unlike some services, the basic plan at DreamHost contains a lot of useful features – and at around $2.95 a month, it is worth a try.

At this point you will likely only have one site. Fortunately, the basic plan allows you to only host one site, plus you get a free domain name, as well as a much needed SSL certificate. 

The one site you can host will be able to handle high amounts of traffic (the bandwidth is unlimited) and unlimited storage space. 

While DreamHost does have its own website builder to use, they also offer complete access to the likes of Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify, Tumblr, Weebly, Drupal, and many more.

If you are a WordPress user, then you will notice it is a pre-installed service. This makes it great for those who are new to hosting a site, as WordPress is already there and waiting for you to use.

You can also get using the service right away. Initially they needed to verify every user which would take a number of hours.

Fortunately, that has all been changed. Now you can sign up to DreamHost and begin building your website right away. 

6. Control Panel Is Custom Made

You may notice that instead of using the cPanel, which is considered to be the industry standard, DreamHost uses their own custom made control panel. While those who like to use cPanel might see this as a con, there is an upside to it.

If you are a newbie, you will find this custom made control panel much more friendlier to use. It is also easier to use as a whole, so will not take you long to remove your ingrained cPanel ways. 

On the control panel you will be able to manage the full database, as well as billing, websites, and your email. You will also find the WordPress editor quickly with just one click. 

DreamHost review

Cons: Using DreamHost To Host

While DreamHost has plenty to offer its users, from unlimited bandwidth to WordPress being already installed, there are a few things that are considered to be cons.

Here are a few things we came across while testing DreamHost. 

1. Average Uptime Is Poor At 99.77 percent

While DreamHost do guarantee that the uptime will be 100 percent in their Terms of Service, during testing they fell short of the mark at 99.77 percent. 

While not a huge difference, this lost time can cause your site to lack traffic, as well as overall profit. This is something that no website owner will want!

However, while this might be a downer, DreamHost does offer a guarantee for users who have an uptime average below 100 percent. You will receive credit that is similar to the cost of using the service.

However, do take note that what is not included in the guarantee is maintenance which has been scheduled by DreamHost, and errors.

Even so, if there is another issue by DreamHost that causes an interruption to your website, or the email and database, you will get a whole day’s worth of free service for every hour of the issue.

2. Live Chat Support Is Very Limited

Overall, DreamHost’s support is good, however you will find that their live chat is quite limited. While they do say they offer 24/7 support, it was not the case when we tried to speak with them on their live chat. They were set to ‘away’.

In the first place you are asked a few preset questions. Once you try to get around that and speak to a real person, it is often met with silence. 

However, once you do talk to a real person, you will find that they are very knowledgeable and can help with the problem. Oh, and this 24/7 chat is actually only open for 6 and a half hours a day.

If you are struggling to get a response, you may need to turn to the company’s forum. This can help you deal with problems, as there are other users there who can help, and vice versa. 

3. Average Speed Is Slow At 1730 ms

Have you ever clicked on a site and it has taken a while to load? Do you usually wait until it has finally loaded in, or do you become impatient and click the site off?

If it is the latter, then you are most certainly not alone. The loading time of a site is a big factor as to whether a viewer sees the page or not. This means that when you are looking for a site host, you will want a company that offers quicker speeds.

A slow speed can affect your overall rank on Google, as well as the SEO that you have worked so hard to master. This can cause you some financial loss, especially if you rely on your site for advert funding.

While DreamHost has so much to offer, they lack in the speed department. With an average speed of only 1730 ms, they are at the lower end of the tested hosts. 

DreamHost Plans And Pricing

Here is a really small overview of the shared hosting plans at DreamHost.

Shared Host Starter Plan

Price: $2.59 a month (costs $5.99 a month at renewal)
Websites: 1
Storage: Unmetered
Bandwidth: Unmetered
Email Account: Costs $1.67 a month
Features: N/A

Shared Host Unlimited Plan

Price: $3.95 a month (costs $10.99 a month at renewal)
Websites: unlimited
Storage: Unmetered
Bandwidth: Unmetered
Email Account: Unlimited
Features: Unlimited MySQL and subdomains, shell users, FTP and SFTP

DreamPress Plan

Price: $16.95 a month
Websites: 1
Storage: 30 GB
Bandwidth: Unmetered
Email Account: Unlimited
Features: N/A

DreamPress Plus Plan

Price: $24.95 a month
Websites: 1
Storage: 60 GB
Bandwidth: Unmetered
Email Account: Unlimited
Features: CDN unlimited

There is also the DreamPress Pro Plan at $71.95 a month, as well as dedicated servers and VPS. 

Is DreamHost Something That We Would Recommend?

Yes, DreamHost is certainly a service we recommend. 

While DreamHost may not have the best speed and uptime, which has become a little worse over time, the 97 day money back guarantee will mean that you can make sure for yourself whether the hosting platform is right for you.

There is also a 100 percent uptime guarantee that you can benefit from, even if your site is not reaching the average uptime. 

There are so many positives to using DreamHost, from their ‘unlimited’ basic plans to paying a little extra to work with WordPress directly from the service. You will also find that you can migrate your WordPress site for free.

So, it is worth trying for 97 days at the very least!

Matthew Jacobs

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