Dreamhost Review: Is Dreamhost Worth It In 2022?

Dreamhost Review

DreamHost offers one of the most popular web hosting services around.

With over 1.5 million websites hosted and some of the most affordable prices available, you might be wondering if DreamHost is a worthwhile web hosting provider in 2022.

In this data-backed DreamHost review, you’ll get all the details on every aspect of its services.

You’ll learn about the good, the bad and the sneakily hidden fineprint to bring you the most up to date DreamHost review.

Not to mention the rigorous tests we ran to provide you with unbiased data to help make your decision on whether DreamHost is the right choice for you.

So let’s get started!

Introducing DreamHost

Founded over 25 years ago, DreamHost has developed a solid presence in today’s web hosting arena. It’s also worked its way to the top and currently hosts over 1.5 million websites.

DreamHost Homepage

It’s no surprise why WordPress.org recommends DreamHost as one of the leading web hosting companies on today’s market.

DreamHost is also one of the last big, independently owned and operated web hosting companies around.

Add to this its dedication to delivering top-notch services and it’s looking like a recipe for success right there!

DreamHost Web Hosting Review

Reseller Hosting

Copmared with other affordable web hosting providers, Dreamhost has a wide range of web hosting services available including:

  • Cheap shared hosting
  • Managed WordPress hosting
  • eCommerce hosting
  • Cloud hosting
  • Reseller hosting
  • VPS hosting
  • Dedicated server hosting

Let’s take a look at each of these services and unpack their features and benefits. And most of all, let’s help you decide if DreamHost is worth it for your business.

DreamHost Shared Hosting Review

When looking at DreamHost’s shared hosting plans, it’s important to note that first looks can be deceiving. To secure the best pricing, you need to pay for either one or three years in advance.

DreamHost Pricing: Shared Hosting Starter Plan Shared Unlimited
Monthly Pricing $4.95/mo $8.95/mo
Yearly Pricing $2.95/mo $2.95/mo
3-Year Pricing $2.59/mo $3.95/mo
Renewal Pricing $5.99/mo $10.99/mo

If you’re after the best value for money shared web hosting service from DreamHost, we would recommend checking out the Shared Unlimited plan and sign up for three years.

Dreamhost Shared Hosting

As the name suggest, you get unlimited everything:

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unmetered traffic & visits
  • Unmetered (unlimited) bandwidth
  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited subdomains
  • Unlimited FTP, SFTP & Shell users
  • Unlimited MySQL databases

The reason we suggest the 3 year plan is that, in the long run it works out cheaper than if you signed up for the 1-year plan and then paid the increased renewal fee for the next two years.

Dreamhost 3 Year Plan

It’s a difference of paying $142.20 if you pay three years upfront compared to $299.16 if you paid one year upfront and the renewal costs for the remaining two years.

It’s also better value for money when compared with the Starter package as it has no limits on resources.

All other features are the same between the two packages.

In our book, that’s worth it for an extra $1.36 per month ($48.96 extra in total for three years).

DreamHost WordPress Hosting Review

DreamHost is one of the official top three web hosting recommendations for WordPress sites.

Managed WordPress Hosting

It offers a fairly wide selection of WordPress web hosting options compared with other cheap shared web hosting providers. For instance, when you compare DreamHost and Hostgator, DreamHost has so many more options for WordPress sites.

WordPress Web Hosting Monthly Pricing Yearly Pricing 3-Year Pricing Renewal Pricing
Basic: WP Starter $4.95/mo $2.95/mo $2.59/mo $7.99/mo
Basic: WP Unlimited $8.95/mo $2.95/mo $3.95/mo $13.99/mo
Managed WordPress: DreamPress $12/mo for 3 months then $19.95/mo $16.95/mo N/A $19.95/mo
Managed WordPress: DreamPress Plus $24/mo for 3 months then $29.95/mo $24.95/mo N/A $29.95/mo
Managed WordPress: DreamPress Pro $79.95/mo $71.95/mo N/A $79.95/mo
Managed WooCommerce From $12/mo for 3 months then $19.95/mo From $16.95/mo N/A From $19.95/mo

All of DreamHost’s plans for WordPress users include:

  • Instant WordPress setup
  • Auto WordPress updates
  • Automated daily backups
  • Free domain name
  • Free domain privacy protection
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free email hosting

However, you can also enjoy additional hands-off benefits with the managed WordPress hosting plans.

DreamHost will migrate your WordPress site for free.

Dreamhost Free Automated WordPress Migrations

You’ll also get 1-click staging, on-demand backups and built-in caching for better performance.

Not to mention the tw higher tiers also include Jetpack for free.

Jetpack is a plugin that helps with security, performance and tools to help grow your WordPress website.

Jetpack Homepage

It’s made by WP experts and is valued at over $299/year if paid for separately.

That’s seriously great value if you get your hands on that for free with DreamHost!

DreamHost Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting Review

VPS hosting stands for “virtual private server hosting”.

What Is A VPS?

It creates a virtual environment on a shared server that you get all to yourself.

You’ll get a virtual partitioned space with all its resources dedicated to your projects instead of sharing all the resources with everyone else who is using the server.

This is why virtual private servers can be more pricey than using a shared hosting server but is often well worth the extra cost.

DreamHost offers four managed VPS plans.

DreamHost Pricing: VPS Plans Monthly Pricing Yearly Pricing 3-Year Pricing
VPS Basic From $15/mo From $13.75/mo From $10/mo
VPS Business From $30/mo From $27.50/mo From $20/mo
VPS Professional From $60/mo From $55/mo From $40/mo
VPS Enterprise From $120/mo From $110/mo From $80/mo

All of DreamHost’s VPS plans include:

  • Unlimited websites
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free SSL certificates
  • Unlimited email addresses

There are no hidden overage fees when it comes to traffic bandwidth as DreamHost doesn’t track your bandwidth or traffic usage.

Increased Bandwidth

Where each of these web hosting plans varies is in how much RAM and storage you can access as you can see below.

DreamHost Dedicated Hosting Review

If you want to go one level beyond VPS and have an entire server to yourself, DreamHost’s dedicated server hosting is right up your alley.

What Does Dedicated Server Mean?

However, as you won’t be sharing the server, the costs are significantly higher.

Dedicated servers are ideal for people you manage a large portfolio of websites or have a high volume of traffic and require the best performance and extra resources to ensure minimal downtime.

DreamHost Dedicated Servers RAM & Storage Monthly Pricing Yearly Pricing
Standard 4GB RAM
1TB HDD
$169/mo $149/mo
Standard 8GB RAM
1TB HDD
$209/mo $189/mo
Standard 16GB RAM
1TB HDD
$249/mo $229/mo
Enhanced 16GB RAM
2TB HDD
$299/mo $279/mo
Enhanced 32GB RAM
2TB HDD
$349/mo $329/mo
Enhanced 64GB RAM
2TB HDD
$399/mo $379/mo
Enhanced 16GB RAM
240GB SSD
$299/mo $279/mo
Enhanced 32GB RAM
240GB SSD
$349/mo $329/mo
Enhanced 64GB RAM
240GB SSD
$399/mo $379/mo

As far as dedicated hosting goes, DreamHost’s plans are fairly pricey for the amount of resources delivered.

Especially considering most of the plans are still running on HDD storage which is slower and less secure than SSD.

But even if you upgrade to the SSD plans, you’re limited to only 240GB of storage space.

Compared with a company like Hostwinds (which allows you to fully customize your dedicated servers for fairly similar prices) we believe there are better dedicated hosting deals on the market than what DreamHost has to offer.

Check out our Hostwinds review for more details on dedicated hosting that’s worthwhile in 2022.

DreamHost Cloud Hosting Review

DreamHost also offers cloud hosting which spreads your resources over multiple servers instead of using a single server.

Dreamhost Cloud Hosting

Cloud hosting allows website owners to reduce the risk of downtime in the event something ever happens to the physical server your files are stored in.

Cloud hosting can also help you reach global audiences with fast loading times in more regions around the world.

DreamHost offers two different types of cloud hosting plans: DreamCompute and DreamObjects.

DreamCompute offers cloud servers that go live in 30 seconds or less.

Dreamhost Cloud Compute

They are ideal for hosting websites and web-based applications on a budget.

However, unlike shared hosting, DreamHost’s cloud servers require a bit of technical know-how to setup correctly.

DreamObject requires even more technical known-how as this type of hosting is very different to traditional server-based hosting plans.

Rather, DreamObject offers what’s known as “object storage” for hosting files, storage backups and web app databases.

It’s ideal for businesses with developers as this type of hosting is akin to AWS and Microsoft Azure.

Both cloud hosting options that DreamHost offers have scalable pricing starting at $4.50 per month.

DreamHost Features Review

Now, let’s go beyond price and look at the hosting features DreamHost has to offer.

Dreamhost Features

Where possible, we share the data from tests we’ve run to quantitatively prove whether DreamHost has what it takes to be a worthwhile hosting option in today’s market.

Ease Of Use

DreamHost offers a custom dashboard with a range of intuitive 1-click features.

We find the custom dashboard has less of a learning curve (when compared to traditional cPanel dashboards) for many beginners.

We also found that most of the web hosting services DreamHost offers are quite beginner friendly when it comes to performing essential actions like setting up a new website, accessing your files or setting up branded emails.

Dreamhost Easy To Use

Since DreamHost also focuses on managed web hosting solutions, if you’re a beginner, you won’t have to worry about server maintenance, backups or updates.

However, if you choose to use DreamHost’s dedicated or cloud hosting, it is likely you’ll need some developer assistance as these types of web hosting plans are designed to offer better performance and require proper setting up to do so.

Since most beginners don’t tend to use these types of web hosting plans, we’re quite confident in DreamHost’s ability to offer you an intuitive, beginner-friendly dashboard to navigate.

There’s also an in-depth knowledge base you can lean on in moments you get stuck.

Website Migrations

If you have an existing website or more, and you’re considering switching to a new hosting provider, you’ll likely find yourself needing a website migration service.

Data Transfer Illustration

Website migrations can be difficult to handle and you risk losing your website’s performance if they go wrong.

Luckily DreamHost has a free migration plugin that can work well on many sites.

But if something goes wrong, or if you have a more complicated setup, you’ll likely have to pay for their migration service.

DreamHost
Price $99 – $199
Number of Sites Per site
Emails Manual
Availability All accounts

It’s often worth paying experts to ensure that there are no hiccups after the migration.

But in saying that, we can’t ignore the fact that many other hosting companies include free migration services for new clients.

Disk Space

What impressed us the most with DreamHost’s web hosting plans is how most offer unmetered or unlimited storage and bandwidth.

Unlike other hosting companies that claim to offer unmetered resources, DreamHost goes one step further and doesn’t lock you in with “fair use” limitations hidden in fineprint.

In fact, DreamHost doesn’t even track the bandwidth and traffic you use, therefore, it cannot limit your usage or charge you hidden overage fees.

Dreamhost Unlimited Bandwidth

However, when it comes to DreamHosts dedicated servers, we would have liked to see more RAM and disk space offered for the priced being charged.

There a re a number of better solutions of the market which offer more resources for comparable prices to DeramHost’s.

Backups

Worried about what would happen if something ever goes wrong on your website? You’re not alone.

This thought is enough to keep many internet entrepreneurs up at night!

Backups

Obviously, you’d want to be sure that your hosting company has your back in such times, right?

The best way to check if your web host can support you if something goes wrong is to check out their backup policy. Backups are like your insurance.

DreamHost offers free automatic daily backups which is more than many other cheap web hosts include in their low-cost plans.

DeramHost also allows users to manually backup their site once a day for extra protection.

However, it does not offer any further data protection unless you’re using cloud hosting.

Your website files are only stored on one server, and if it goes down, you risk your website going down with it.

Security

When shopping for a hosting service, it can be very difficult to go beyond the sales pitch on each web host’s website.

E-commerce Security

They all usually have some version of “we provide the best security features” on there. The question comes down to who’s just talking and who follows through.

DreamHost has an internal team of dedicated security engineers. Internally, this team is known as Nightmare Labs.

So we dug deep in our research on this topic, and here’s what’s included in all of DreamHost’s web hosting services:

DreamHost
Free SSL Certificate Yes (Let’s Encrypt)
Free Domain Privacy Yes
Hotlink Protection Yes – Manual Set Up Needed
Spam Protection Yes – Configuration of Settings Needed
Free Automatic Backups Yes (Daily)
Web Application Firewall Yes
DDoS Protection Yes
Brute Force Protection Yes
Bot Blocking Yes
Malware Protection Yes (+Malware Removal Tool)
24/7 Server Monitoring Yes
WP Security Plugin No

It’s quite rare for a cheap web hosting service to include so many out-of-the-box security features in all plans.

Many of DreamHost’s competitors charge extra fees fro multiple upsell services in order for users to secure their websites to the same level.

Servers

For anyone targeting audiences in a specific location, it’s worth looking at where your website’s servers are located.

DreamHost uses US-based data centers. That’s not a problem if the bulk of your audience is in the US. But if it’s not, then perhaps you might be better off choosing a hosting company with more server locations.

Dreamhost Server Location

In any case, DreamHost’s servers are located in Ashburn (Virginia), Hillsboro (Oregon), and Irvine (California).

If you’d like to choose your data center location, you can reach out to their support and request your preferred server location.

DreamHost Hosting Performance Review

Website speed is hands down one of the most important factors for user experience, and it’s also an SEO ranking factor.

So we put DreamHost to the test to see if they put their money where their mouth is.

Performance

Not gonna lie; the results were less than optimal. Here’s what our testing uncovered.

DreamHost Hosting Speed

GT Metrix

DreamHost
Performance
Score
TTFB Fully Loaded Time
Vancouver 96% 66ms 7.2s
London 87% 61ms 7.5s
Sydney 82% 27ms 8.2s

Pingdom

DreamHost
Pingdom Performance Pingdom Load Time
San Francisco 66 1.48s
Frankfurt 66 1.63s
Tokyo 66 1.94s
London 66 5.28s
Washington DC 66 1.45s
Sydney 66 1.93s

To be honest, these results are a bit of a mixed bag.

The GT Metrix data indicates decent time to first byte (TTFB) however the fully loaded time was over double the best practice recommendation of 3 seconds.

Dreamhost GTmetrix

Pingdom’s data, on the other hand indicates better load time, but compared to other hosting companies we’ve tested out, it’s still on the high side.

If you’re interested to see how DreamHost compares to other hosts, check out our post on the fastest web host.

DreamHost Hosting Uptime

Uptime is a close second to speed as far as important performance factors go.

Uptime

Any hosting service worth its salt should pay attention to server health and ensure high uptime levels. In saying that, DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime which is dang near impossible to achieve in reality.

So to see if they live up to this guarantee, we’ve gathered real uptime data from multiple third-party, unbiased sources.

DreamHost Uptime Test Performance

Since April 2020, DreamHost has experienced a total of 20 downtime events. These resulted in 334 minutes of total downtime.

The top reasons for the downtime events were:

  • Connection timeout
  • Internal server errors.

We also discovered that so far in 2022, there have been at least 88 minutes of total downtime, with the longest outage reaching 1 hour and 18 minutes.

Low Performance

The picture isn’t any better when we compare the historical uptime data we’ve gathered either.

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
DreamHost 99.95% 99.92% 99.63% 99.85% 99.80%

Considering that in the past, DreamHost was at least over the industry benchmark of 99.

90%, it’s pretty difficult to overlook the decline in server reliability over the years.

If you’re after reliable hosting, unfortunately, DreamHost has not been able to live up to it’s guarantee.

DreamHost Hosting Support

Building and maintaining a website is no easy feat. Technology is bound to fail at some stage, and when it does, that’s when you need to ensure you have stellar support at the ready.

Customer Service and Technical Support Illustration

Knowing you have experts in your corner who can help you navigate any sticky situation makes a difference. That’s why we consider poor customer support offered by hosting companies as a deal-breaking factor.

Customer service is what makes a good web host reach excellence.

To compare the level of customer support DreamHost offers, we turned to Trustpilot, and you can see DreamHost’s page here.Dreamhost Trustpilot

DreamHost’s Rating On Trustpilot

With 24/7 support available and over 85% of customers voting DreamHost’s support as “excellent,” this is a positive sign.

It’s refreshing to see a cheap web hosting company investing in its support, as there are far too many competitors out there with shocking support that leaves their customers high and dry.

DreamHost Website Builder Review

While DreamHost offers very reasonable WordPress hosting plans, it also has its own drag-and-drop WP website builder, Remixer.

Remixer uses the power of WordPress but layers in intuitive drag-and-drop functionality so even beginners can start building their website with confidence straight away.

Dreamhost Website Builder

DreamHost also offers access to other website building tools too, like:

  • SquareSpace
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • Joomla
  • Zen Cart
  • Drupal
  • Magento
  • Shopify
  • Tumblr

With 200+ templates and starter sites to choose from, it’s very quick and easy for just about anyone to get started with building a website using DreamHost’s WP website builder!

DreamHost Domains Review

DreamHost has over 400+ domain name extensions available for sale. It also offers free domain name registration and privacy protection with its shared hosting packages.

Dreamhost Features

In fact, DreamHost includes free WHOIS privacy for all domain name purchases.

As far as pricing, DreamHost is among the cheapest domain name providers for .com and .net domains (to name a few).

In general, the initial cost for a domain name is generally well below average.

However, when it comes to renewal costs of the most popular domain T:D extensions, DreamHost is generally above average, making them a more expensive optionin the long term compared with companies like Namecheap or NameSilo.

DreamHost Hosting Pros & Cons

If you’re still weighing up if DreamHost is worth it for your projects, here are the pros and cons to consider.

DreamHost Hosting Pros
  • Fairly cheap pricing
  • Loads of “unlimited” features
  • A good variety of options for hosting packages
  • Decent security measures
  • Free, automated daily backups
  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Excellent support (as rated by users)
  • Official recommended WP hosting provider
  • Month-to-month hosting you can cancel anytime
  • Easy to use, intuitive control panel (it’s custom)
DreamHost Hosting Cons
  • Slow performance in general
  • Uptime does not meet their guarantee
  • Server reliability has been declining in recent years
  • Free website migrations are only offered as a DIY option
  • Limited live chat support
  • Over-priced, under-resourced dedicated servers

DreamHost Hosting Complaints

The most common complaints people have about DreamHost’s services include:

  • Major downtime issues
  • Problems with their website migrations
  • Support can take a while to reply
  • Server-side issues can often leave customers hanging without a live website
  • Email and lead capture forms often break

 

Email Hosting

Despite these complaints coming from only 5% of customers, there are over 85% of people that rate DreamHost’s services as excellent so they re still a worthwhile company to check out.

Final Thoughts: Is DreamHost Hosting Worth It?

For most people, DreamHost is well worth checking out.

It offers a great range of affordable and beginner-friendly shared hosting services with many unlimited features.

Compared with other web hosting services in the market, Dreamhost is far more gracious with the resources it provides and for very reasonable prices.

When it comes to the other types of hosting available, if you’re looking for customizable VPS or dedicate servers, although DreamHost has a broad range of options available, you’ll likely find better value for money elsewhere.

In saying this, you might instead prefer using DreamHost’s cloud hosting, which is more akin to object storage solutions like AWS or Azure Blob Storage and far better than what many other cheap hosting providers offer in their cloud packages.

Matt-Author-Img

Article by

Matt Diggity

Matt is the founder of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai SEO Conference. He actually does SEO too.

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