30-Second Review

9

Value Ranking
(#4 OUT OF 17)

9.5

Quality Ranking
(#2 OUT OF 17)

9.3

Overall Score
(EXCELLENT)


Emoji-Smiley-106

Small budget host that's highly rated with great support


Emoji-Smiley-107

Higher-priced budget host and kinda confusing for beginners

Details

DreamHost has the look and feel of a premium hosting company. 

 

To back up that feeling, they deliver some real quality and is often considered more advanced than just about any other budget host. 

 

Anyone with no real experience with web hosting may be intimidated by their lack of “beginner-friendly” features. If you go to sites like Bluehost and SiteGround, inexperienced users are their bread and butter.

 

Here, not so much.

 

If you can get past that hurdle, more experienced hosts will find DreamHost appealing. The power, resources and versatile capabilities all for what is one of the best prices (for what you get) in the industry make it worth a look.

Features

There aren’t a lot of unique features or bells and whistles with DreamHost. 

 

The difference here is that they execute on the stuff that really matters without needing to incorporate flashy gizmos or gimmicks. 

 

For starters, the hosting plans are what you’d expect. Shared, VPS, Dedicated, WordPress, and Cloud are all available. The Virtual Private Server (VPS) plans are possibly the best value of all hosting providers. A great option for blogs and business sites that constantly have a lot of traffic.

 

DreamHost provides excellent cloud options for developers on a budget. If you’re ready to move to a virtual environment, you can set it up in less than a minute here. 

 

The cloud plans are called “DreamCompute”. The environments are fully scalable so you’ll have the resources you need and can run on just about any operation system you’d like. 

 

Again, this is a budget option. You won’t find some of the features that you would with other developer-friendly hosts, like Digital Ocean. The environments are fully scalable so you’ll have the resource you need 

 

DreamHost is very good at handling the WordPress content management system (CMS) with their “DreamPress” hosting plans. Using this plan, the host promises to make your site five times faster than a typical shared plan (no small feat).

 

Essentially, it’s just pre-configured hosting that helps WP work smoothly. 

 

One difference between this plan and others you’ll see is the flexible bandwidth with no caps. This feature will give you the ability to handle any amount of traffic that comes your way.

 

Special WordPress specific support is also available. You’ll talk with actual WP experts that are available day or night (24/7). Updates are automatic and it comes with an SSL certificate just in case you were selling anything on your site.

 

There are hosts that charge way more and only cater to WordPress, but command a premium price tag. While the WP plans are a bit more than shared hosting, they are a good value.

 

Security against malware is really good due to a proprietary software that actively seeks out anything that could be going wrong on the servers. There is also a firewall and other options that are free to most users to help give you a bit more peace of mind. 

Support

DreamHost drops the ball a little in the support category by not offering phone support.

 

The reps are in-house and available through chat, email, and a ticket-based system. This scenario isn’t ideal for those looking to talk with a person and may hinder users from getting problems handled quickly (unless you use the chat option). 

 

The chat support is great. The responsiveness is impressive and the staff is knowledgeable. 

 

Open honesty and transparency is a huge part of their support process. Every outage, issue, and scheduled maintenance are listed in DreamHost’s “Status Blog”. You can find information about the problems and when the issues is resolved, the posts are marked to say so. 

 

No secrets. That’s refreshing.

Speed

The speed of your site can vary quite a bit on DreamHost. The base level of speed is good with solid-state drive (SSD) servers for every user. There are a few hosts that don’t offer SSD’s for shared plans, but it is becoming industry standard.

 

There is a content delivery network (CDN) available which really helps to boost speed, but it’s pay-to-play. The cost is relatively inexpensive, but there are hosts that offer it standard with some plans.

 

The CDN allows your site to be spread across the world to different servers so when a user accesses files, they come from the closest location increasing speed.

 

WordPress users that have the “DreamPress” plan are given preferential speed boosts that are reportedly five times faster than their shared plans.

Uptime

DreamHost’s uptime record is stellar and transparent. A 100% Uptime Guarantee should make you feel pretty good about their commitment. 

 

The policy for reimbursement is also clearly laid out on their site (not as common as you'd think).

 

If, for a reason that’s DreamHost’s fault, your site is down; you’ll be credited one free day of hosting for every hour of downtime. Trust me, many other hosts “guarantee” uptime but most don’t define what they’ll do for you.