DreamHost is one of the most popular options for hosting websites, whether they’re WordPress, Joomla or another CMS. The hosting platform is nearly 25 years old, giving them a high degree of experience and time within the industry and their popularity is such that they host more than 1.5 million websites on their servers.
In addition, DreamHost has a range of services that allow you to host a website with the features and power you need for your website. But is DreamHost a good choice for you? Lets look at their offerings and test that.
DreamHost is based in Los Angeles and was established in 1996 by Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez and Sage Weil. They were undergraduates at Harvey Mudd College. By 1997 they started hosting websites and by 2016 they employed more than 200 people. They offer a range of services from shared hosting, VPS, WordPress hosting, dedicated servers and more.
In addition to hosting websites, you can also buy and manage your domain names from them, which can make the process of getting your website online easier.
Why Use DreamHost?
One of the main reasons why customers like to go to DreamHost is that there are a lot of features that they can take advantage of. Most of these are unlimited, for instance, you can have unlimited space within your email accounts, an unlimited number of emails, unlimited traffic and so forth. This can look rather attractive, especially if you want to grow your business big.
In addition, there are some services that allow you to have plans that you can cancel at any time. These month-by-month plans mean that you always know what the cost of the service is going to be for your business and when you use more resources in a month, you’re not going to experience a higher cost either.
And if you’re not happy with your website’s performance and want to change host? Not a problem with DreamHost, they offer a 97-day refund policy. This is the longest out of the major hosts.
Unlike with other hosts as well, DreamHost has a good basic set of features. Just the basic option gives you a free domain name and SSL certificate. And this can handle an unlimited amount of traffic and give you an unlimited amount of storage. There are few hosts that can offer that for just $2.59 per month. And when you want to renew your website after the first year or two, don’t worry, the costs will not go up as they would with other hosting platforms.
For building your website there are lots of options for you. There is the traditional Joomla, phpBB, Zen Cart, Drupal, WordPress and you can use their own website builder called Remixer. You can also pre-install WordPress with one-click. It comes with some really good features that allow you to build stunning websites within hours and not days or weeks.
And this is all really easy to use that even a beginner can get a handle on.
For those who are environmentally focussed, DreamHost is also a great option. They use high-efficiency cooling and processors within their data centres. They’re also involved in clean wind programs that use renewable power generation to power their sites. This offsets the carbon footprint that their servers have on the environment and make them a good choice if you want to advertise that with your branding.
It is important to note that DreamHost has an uptime of about 99.62% as well. This is above average for uptime across the most popular hosts. It does equate to about three hours of outages every year. And if your website is offline, then your emails will not be connected either. However, when there is an outage, you will find that DreamHost will already know about it and be fixing it.
What are the Negatives of Using DreamHost?
DreamHost offers a great service, but it doesn’t excel everywhere. There are a few places where you might find their service not as good as you would like. For one, their speed can sometimes be on the slower side. The average speed is about 1180ms. This is low compared to other hosts. It can be off-set by some technology like caching plugins and Content Delivery Networks.
You might also want to move away from Shared Servers with DreamHost. Although they’re the most affordable, they offer the lowest performance. A Virtual Private Server with DreamHost is a much better plan that can offer better speed. Or you can try their WordPress hosting system, however there are some constraints with their WordPress hosting, for one, it doesn’t host membership WordPress websites very well, but their VPS is much better.
Another problem with DreamHost is the support. It is rather limited to say the least. Their support system is challenging to get around in the first place, most of it is done via e-mail, which can be ironic if that is what the problem is. There are times when you can get hold of someone on chat, but the wait for technical support is time consuming and they’re not always as helpful as a beginner might want.
If you’re in the US, you’ve got a better chance of reaching someone within DreamHost. Outside of the zone, then you’re going to find it difficult.
And there are no free site migrations on their shared hosting plans. This can be annoying if you want to move to their servers because of a bad experience that is on your current host. The charge for the migration is about $99 as a one-time fee. And there are significant restrictions on what can and cannot be moved within the migration service. However, if you’ve got some technical experience, there are documents that can help you manually move your website with ease.
Final Word: Is DreamHost a Good Choice?
DreamHost is a good choice for some of those who are new to hosting a website. Their speed is a little worrying, but they offer the best value for money on the market with a guarantee that your website will be up 100% and no price hikes should you suddenly get popular. It is highly recommended that you avoid their shared plans and instead get hosted as a VPS or WordPress hosting.
DreamHost is also beginner friendly and worth the investment if you’re looking to get your first website project off the ground.