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 2023.
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!
Table Of Contents
- Introducing DreamHost
- DreamHost Web Hosting Review
- DreamHost Features Review
- DreamHost Hosting Performance Review
- DreamHost Hosting Support
- DreamHost’s Rating On Trustpilot
- DreamHost Website Builder Review
- DreamHost Domains Review
- DreamHost Hosting Pros & Cons
- Final Thoughts: Is DreamHost Hosting Worth It?
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.
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
Copmared with other affordable web hosting providers, Dreamhost has a wide range of web hosting services available including:
- Cheap shared 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.
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|
If you’re after the best value for money shared hosting service from DreamHost, we would recommend checking out the Shared Unlimited plan and sign up for three years. Dream Host also offers a 30 day money back guarantee.
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.
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.
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
DreamHost will migrate your WordPress site for free.
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.
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! And you also a get a 30 day money back guarantee for a monthly plan.
DreamHost Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting Review
VPS hosting stands for “virtual private server hosting”.
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.
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.
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|
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.
Compared with a company like Hostwinds (which allows you to fully customize your 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 2023.
DreamHost Cloud Hosting Review
DreamHost also offers cloud hosting which spreads your resources over multiple servers instead of using a single server.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Price||$99 – $199|
|Number of Sites||Per site|
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.
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.
However, when it comes to DreamHosts 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.
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!
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.
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.
When shopping for a hosting service, it can be very difficult to go beyond the sales pitch on each web host’s website.
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:
|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|
|Brute Force Protection||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.
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 and better web hosting service.
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 phone 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.
Not gonna lie; the results were less than optimal. Here’s what our testing uncovered.
DreamHost Hosting Speed
|TTFB||Fully Loaded Time|
|Pingdom Performance||Pingdom Load Time|
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.
Pingdom’s data, on the other hand indicates better load time, but compared to other web hosting service 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.
Any web 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.
The picture isn’t any better when we compare the historical uptime data we’ve gathered either.
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 phone support at the ready.
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 phone 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’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 plans, it also has its own drag-and-drop WP website builder, Remixer.
Remixer is a WP website builder that 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 also offers access to other website building tools too, like:
- Zen Cart
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 web hosting service packages.
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).
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.
- Fairly cheap pricing
- Loads of “unlimited” features
- A good variety of options for web hosting packages
- Decent security measures
- Free, automated daily backups
- 97-day money-back guarantee
- Excellent support (as rated by users)
- Official recommended WP web hosting provider
- Month-to-month web hosting you can cancel anytime
- Easy to use, intuitive control panel (it’s custom)
- 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 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
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.
Is DreamHost a Good Company?
Yes, DreamHost is a good company. It offers some of the best web hosting services out there. DreamHost is one of the most well-known web hosting providers because it simplifies WordPress administration. It provides a reliable platform for websites by providing 24/7 server uptime, top-notch security, and complete confidentiality, in addition to a wealth of features like email web hosting and a plethora of other options.
Is DreamHost Better Than GoDaddy?
Yes, DreamHost is better than GoDaddy. In comparison to GoDaddy, DreamHost offers more bang for your buck, better security at no extra cost, and a plethora of useful extras like a streamlined control panel and an option for both automated and manual website migration.
Is DreamHost Hosting Fast?
Yes, DreamHost’s speeds are truly remarkable, and it can instantly load both lightweight and heavy pages. In our testing, it took just over 0.8 seconds to load Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). It meets the standard at all of our offices with a little extra time to spare.
How Reliable Is Dreamhost?
When it comes to web hosting services, DreamHost is among the most dependable options. Users have given it high marks for its reliability and speed, and the product has been widely recommended. Shared, virtual private server (VPS), cloud, managed WordPress, and a dedicated server are just some of the web hosting options available. Also, DreamHost’s website builder makes it easy to launch a brand-new web presence.
Who Is DreamHost Best For?
DreamHost is a great web hosting option for newbies and small businesses due to its intuitive interface and user-friendly features. The “Starter” plan is designed for individuals, while the “Pro” plan is the best option for businesses and advanced users (unlimited plan).
Where Are DreamHost’s Data Centers?
DreamHost has two data centers in the United States, located in Ashburn, Virginia, and Hillsboro, Oregon.
All the best service providers typically have data centers in multiple locations worldwide. For instance, if you want to host your website with GoDaddy, you can choose between servers in the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Australia.
If your site doesn’t primarily target users in the United States, you can select a data center that is physically closer to them, thus enhancing the loading speed of your site.
What Types of Payment Does Dreamhost Support?
DreamHost only supports payments via card and PayPal.
Does DreamHost Offer Refunds?
With DreamHost, you can cancel your shared web hosting plan within the first 97 days and get your money back. The industry standard is usually only 30 days.
There could be one hitch. Although both credit cards and PayPal can be used to pay for DreamHost’s services, the Terms and Services page specifies that only card payments qualify for the 97-day discount. So, even though the Knowledgebase doesn’t explicitly state that on its Refunds page, suggesting instead that you contact Support for assistance, you should bear this in mind. It might be convenient to pay with a credit card after signing up if you have the option.
For other products, the regulations are different. For instance, if you cancel your dedicated hosting plan within the first 30 days, they’ll give you your money back. In addition, the first month’s payment is nonrefundable, but the remaining fees will be returned to VPS customers who cancel within the first 30 days.
Final Thoughts: Is DreamHost Hosting Worth It?
For most people, DreamHost hosting is well worth checking out.
It offers a great range of affordable and beginner-friendly shared web 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 web 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.