DreamHost is one of the oldest web hosting companies. Founded back in 1996, this veteran in the industry always ranks among the very best hosting providers. Dreamhost prides itself on being an award-winning WordPress host. DreamHost - Top Web Hosting Provider Considering that Dreamhost hosts over 1.5 million sites for 400,000+ members and they’re one of only four web hosts that WordPress itself endorses, they have good reason to be proud.

Their unique relationship with WordPress, thanks to over 750,000 one-click installations, should put Dreamhost on your hosting short list if you’re starting a small site. If you want to move beyond the blogging, Dreamhost has features that will appeal to developers. They can launch cloud servers in 30 seconds and they support apps like Ruby on Rails, MongoDB, and Redis.

Dreamhost is also an OpenStack Foundation Gold Member. Their commitment to Open Source comes in the form of financial backing, coding contributions, and community leadership.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses can’t afford to be offline for long so it’s worth highlighting Dreamhost’s unique 100% uptime guarantee. For every hour that your website is offline, they’ll credit you a day’s hosting service. Since Dreamhost is willing to spend its own money on downed sites, it’s a good bet that yours will stay online.

Performance – Speed & Uptime

DreamHost operates 4 US-based data centers: 2 in southern California, one in Oregon, and one in Virginia. Most web hosting companies offer a 99.9% network uptime guarantee. This means that the hosting service is up and operational 99.9% of the time in a monthly cycle. It translates to a maximum downtime of 43.8 minutes in a month, or 8.76 hours in a year. Note that scheduled maintenance and network outages due to customer error are not counted as downtime for this purpose. DreamHost is unique in that it guarantees 100% uptime for all its web hosting services.

To insiders, 100% uptime is an extremely ambitious and arguably unattainable goal. After all, there are many factors, some beyond the control of the web host, that can impact uptime. The 100% uptime guarantee is only meaningful to the extent that the company backs it up with customer compensation for downtime. According to the terms of service document, DreamHost will credit the customer the equivalent of one day’s hosting cost for every hour of interrupted service. Note that the assessment of downtime begins when the customer opens a support ticket to report the problem. In addition, the maximum credit given is 10% of the customer’s next pre-paid hosting renewal fee.

Online, it is the loading speed that makes the difference between the best and the rest. Slow sites, regardless of how informative, valuable and well-designed they might be, see great abandonment rates. There is no way around it; with the high-speed internet of today, users expect responsive pages that load seamlessly across all devices. If you decide to host your web page over at DrеаmHost, its speed will be guaranteed. Without any optimization.

Another, more thing of note: a page for checking DreamHost’s systems’ statuses. This is not super common, but hardly unheard of. The nice edge DreamHost’s status page has lists the status of a bunch of DreamHost products—their main website, their email and webmail, their different servers, and so on.

Security and Backup

Their commitment goes beyond the multitude of hosting options. They have an entire team dedicated to keeping customer data safe from intruders.

They meet industry-standard security infrastructure, they also offer a few tools customers can access—malware detection/removal, encryption certificates, and domain privacy. Malware detection and removal is paid, but the encryption and domain privacy tools are free by default—which is excellent.

Along with every domain is a free SSL/TLS certificate. These certificates encrypt information while it’s traveling from the user to the host. Broadly speaking, you would have to pay for an SSL certificate from either your web hosting provider or a third party. With DreamHost, it’s completely free, renewing automatically every 90 days.

Rounding out DreamHost’s security features is free Cloudflare integration. Cloudflare is a cloud mitigation provider that uses upstream filtering to “clean” traffic coming to your site. In short, it protects your site from DDoS attacks, intentional or not (read more on what DDoS attacks are and how to protect yourself).

Just recently, the U.S. Department of Justice received a warrant to investigate an anti-Trump website hosted on DreamHost servers. Instead of handing everything over, DreamHost showed up in court to fight against some of the requests made. While the warrant stands, some of the demands of records have been dialed back (read DreamHost’s full post here).

DreamHost could have easily laid down to the claims and let the U.S. DOJ take what they wanted. The fact that DreamHost stood up shows a commitment to privacy and is a huge plus

Digital data and backups must always go hand in hand. DreamHost creates courtesy backups that stretch two weeks back in time. Accessing them directly through the control panel is very easy, even though the options are somewhat limited, as you can get only the newest, mid-range and the oldest available backups. You cannot choose a specific restoration date. There is no restoration fee and the recovery process is very simple.

Control Panel

If you love cPanel and can’t go without it, unfortunately DreamHost is not for you.

DreamHost - Overview
  • Ease of use
    (4)
  • Features
    (5)
  • Speed
    (4.8)
  • Uptime
    (5)
  • Pricing
    (4.3)
  • Customer support
    (4.3)

Summary

A top-notch host for those who know what they’re looking for, DreamHost offers nuanced and performant hosting perfect for scaling websites and applications through the ranks of shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated hosting.

Overall
4.6

Pros

  • Excellent uptime (100%)
  • Great speed, quick response times
  • Free backups
  • Reasonable eCommerce solutions
  • Superb knowledge base
  • WordPress optimized
  • Environment friendly
  • 97-day money back guarantee
  • Transparent billing

Cons

  • Control panel could be better
  • No free migration service
  • Very few 1-click installs
  • No phone support

DreamHost has developed it’s very own control panel from where you can perform all actions related to your hosting account in a relatively simple and intuitive manner. It has been around for 22 years so you can be assured that it’s a very robust system. It has a very minimalist design that gives you complete control over your websites and domains.

Installing WordPress, or a different CMS such as Joomla, is as easy as it gets. The DreamHost Control Panel offers One-Click Installs, so all you need to do is press a button to get DreamHost to install WordPress (plus database) for you.

DreamHost Control Panel - Detailed Review of DreamHost as a Best Web Hosting ProviderThis quick and easy to navigate all-in-one solution has its merits but it also lacks certain functionality. Over at DreamHost, the only way to access your files directly is through FTP. Not that this is a bad thing, as FTP clients tend to be faster and more secure than web browsers, but I find the lack of direct access rather odd.

Another thing missing is a WordPress login button. Many control panels either log you straight into the WordPress admin area with the click of a button or, at the very least, send you to the admin login page. Nothing of the sort is available at DreamHost.

Note that these are not real limitations. Technically savvy users will have no problem setting up the apps they need, and file access through FTP client is much more secure than through a browser. Still, these are features that practically all of the best website hosting providers have by default, and the absence is worth mentionable.

In addition, the DreamHost Knowledge Base explains everything about the control panel in great detail. The knowledge base is also directly available from within the control panel.

DreamHost is green

DreamHost has made it part of their company mission to minimize their impact on the environment as much as possible. They do so by investing in optimized facilities and committing to policies that put respect for natural resources at the core of what they do.

Just to name a few things that set DreamHost apart from the rest:

  • LEED Platinum and EnergyStar-certified facilities.
  • Data centers powered by grids that obtain electricity from renewable sources.
  • Advanced lighting control systems with occupancy sensors.
  • LED and low-mercury, high-efficiency CFL lighting.
  • Generous work-from-home policies.
  • Ceramic cups, plates and real silverware in every single office and strictly no disposables.
  • Financial incentives for employees to use public transportation.
  • Recycling bins everywhere in every single DreamHost office.

Isn’t that awesome? If every company would do that, the world would be a better place!

97-day Money Back Guarantee – The Longest Available

Compared to the industry standard of 30 days, the DreamHost money back guarantee is extremely generous.

30 days simply aren’t enough to gauge properly how good a web host is. Especially if you are a new, inexperienced webmaster, the better part of the first month will go for setup tasks and barely any promotion. Even with a clear-cut strategy, proper SEO, and solid outreach you are unlikely to see much traffic in the first month. As more users pile on, as new subscribers are added to the database, as more sessions are handled in real time you can truly see the mettle of a web host.

97 days. No joke.

DreamHost provides the longest money back guarantee in the hosting world. That’s why the extra time to play with things and to test them properly is such an advantage.

Optimized for WordPress

WordPress is the most popular website building platform. Nothing comes even close to its market penetration.

DreamHost is one of the official WordPress hosts. The company has a very powerful managed WordPress hosting (DreamPress), but it also sports WordPress-optimized shared plans. Among other things, every fresh WordPress installation comes with caching plugins configured for maximum performance.

Support and knowledge base

DreamHost support is one of the fastest and most knowledgeable technical teams could be seen. They are courteous and fast and extremely well-versed in all the intricacies of web hosting. DreamHost support agents are polite, calm and attentive. DreamHost isn’t shy about the praise they’ve received. They won a “Best Customer Service” award in 2016, as well as a Top 25 Scale-Up award.

They maintain a Status Blog that details the current functionality of their systems. They continuously monitor this feature, making sure to update the statuses rapidly.

You won’t need to contact DreamHost for every issue. Thankfully, there is a huge knowledge base for sorting out most problems. The DreamHost Knowledge Base is an absolute delight. It’s a huge wiki-style collection of help articles that answers all the questions you may ever have. Literally every single action you can do in your DreamHost dashboard is clearly documented in their Knowledge Base. The same applies to every single issue you may encounter with your blog or hosting account. Registering domains, upgrading to VPS, installing SSL certificates, optimizing databases, moving domains to or away from DreamHost, paying bills, back-ups… Anything that you can think of and you will find it in their knowledge base. It’s awesome.

In addition to the knowledge base, DreamHost has forums for asking questions. There are forums for general troubleshooting, web design and more. The community is alive and well too. At least one new thread is created every day in each of the forums, with some getting as many as 18,000 views.

One of the most helpful parts of DreamHost’s support is the system status indicator. You can login and see what services are operational and what services, if any, are down. DreamHost updates this page in real-time as a service is being repaired.

When all else fails, you can reach out to their 24/7 support team. As mentioned, DreamHost’s response time is good. You can get a definite answer to your question and get your site back up and running quickly. There are restrictions around phone support. It’s only available as a callback option during business hours and it’s not free. This is not so much of a drawback but some may find this a deal breaker.

Various Plans and Pricing

DreamHost offers a range of hosting plans to serve everything from individual blogs to complex, high-traffic corporate websites.

All hosting plans come with a custom auto-installer, automated malware monitoring and remediation tools, CloudFlare integration, and a 100% uptime guarantee.

Shared StarterShared Unlimited
Price$2.59/mo (Yearly Plan)$7.95/mo (Yearly Plan)
Websites1Unlimited
Free Domain
Fast SSD Storage
StorageUnlimitedUnlimited
TrafficUnlimitedUnlimited
Free SSL
Email Addresses$1.67/moUnlimited
DatabsesUnlimitedUnlimited
SVN, SSI, PHP 7.1, Rails, Python, Perl, Full CGI, SSH
100% Uptime Guarantee
97 Day Money Back Guarantee
VPS BasicVPS BusinessVPS ProfessionalVPS Enterprise
PriceStarting at $13.75/mo (Yearly Plan)Starting at $27.50/mo (Yearly Plan)Starting at $55.00/mo (Yearly Plan)Starting at $110.00/mo (Yearly Plan)
WebsitesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
TrafficUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SSD Storage30 GB60 GB120 GB240 GB
RAM1 GB2 GB4 GB8 GB
Free SSL
Email AddressesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
DatabsesUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
SVN, SSI, PHP 7.1, Rails, Python, Perl, Full CGI, SSH, Node.js, Apache or Ngnix
Reseller and Sub Account Feature
100% Uptime Guarantee
512MB RAM Server2GB RAM Server8GB RAM Server
PriceMax $4.50/month ($0.0075/hour)Max $12/month ($0.02/hour)Max $48/month ($0.08/hour)
vCPU114
Free Bandwidth
SSD Storage80 GB80 GB80 GB
100 GB Block Storage included
Full Root and Full Control
DreamObject Cloud Hosting
Price2.5¢/GB of storage per month
5¢/GB of downloads per month
Powered by Open Source
Fully Scalable Storage
Free Uploads & API Requests
Free Trial30-days
S3 + Swift Compatible
Blue MoonSummer MoonSummer Moon SSD
PriceWith 4 GB RAM $169/mo ($149/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 8 GB RAM $209/mo ($189/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 16 GB RAM $249/mo ($229/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 16 GB RAM $299/mo ($279/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 32 GB RAM $349/mo ($329/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 64 GB RAM $399/mo ($379/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 16 GB RAM $299/mo ($279/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 32 GB RAM $349/mo ($329/mo for Yearly Plan)
With 64 GB RAM $399/mo ($379/mo for Yearly Plan)
Cores41212
HDD Available1 TB2 TB
SSD Availabe240 GB
Max BandwidthUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
RAID 1 Storage
Full Root and Shell Access
100% Uptime Guarantee

Plans Summary

Shared hosting

  • Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited plans available
  • Unlimited: Storage, Databases, Bandwidth
  • Free Domain, SSL, SSD
  • 1 – Unlimited Websites

  • SVN, SSI, PHP 7.1, Rails, Python, Perl, Full CGI, SSH
  • Turbo (Up To 20X Faster) for Turbo plan
  • 100% Uptime Guarantee
  • 97 Day Money Back Guarantee

VPS hosting

  • VPS Basic, VPS Business, VPS Professional and VPS Enterprise plans available
  • Unlimited: Websites, Email Accounts
  • Unlimited: Traffic, Databases
  • 30 GB – 240 GB SSD Storage, 1 GB – 8 GB RAM
  • Free SSL, 100% Uptime Guarantee

Cloud hosting

  • DreamCompute and DreamObjects plans available
  • 80 GB SSD Storage or pay per GB of Storage
  • Unlimited or pay per GB of downloads

Dedicated hosting

  • Blue Moon, Summer Moon and Summer Moon SSD plans available
  • 1 TB – 2 TB HDD, 240 GB SSD Storage
  • 4 GB – 64 GB RAM, Unlimited Transfer
  • 4 – 12 Cores
  • Full Root and Shell Access

WordPress hosting

  • Value and Performance plans available
  • Server Environment: Standard Shared to High-performance Cloud
  • SSD Storage, Automated Daily Backups
  • Unlimited Transfer
  • Free Domain, Free SSl
  • FREE Jetpack Professional and Built-in Caching for Performance Plan
  • Money-Back Guarantee

Conclusion

DreamHost has been around for ages, and they’re still going strong. With an emphasis on taking care of their customers with fast support, and running even faster servers, they make a strong choice for anyone who doesn’t want to drop a ton of cash but still wants solid, reliable, and fast webhosting for their blogs, businesses, shops, and more. If you are looking for a quick and robust hosting solution that can accommodate the growing needs of any website, and WordPress in particular, look no further than DreamHost. It is a very solid choice. If you’re looking for a quick and easy web hosting fix, they may not be your first option. If you’re looking for high-powered hosting for advanced web admins, though, few will come as highly recommended as DreamHost.