DreamHost hosts over 1.5 million websites and is nearly 25 years old.
DreamHost’s main shared hosting plan comes with popular apps like WordPress, website builder options including their own, and others like Elementor, Wix, or Weebly. These plans have unlimited bandwidth and disk space. And you get a full 97-day money-back guarantee to test the service out.
Their customer support is a bit limited, however. Migrations are also a pain, not allowing any imports from other cPanel sites and charging you $99/each.
Here’s a transparent look at how DreamHost has performed over the last 12 months.
Alongside hosting packages, you can get domain names at DreamHost. Choose from over 400 TLDs (like .com, .org, .net) or more exotic extensions (like .club or .guru). Country specific TLDs such as .es, .fr, .co.uk or .de are also available. A .com domain name is $15.99 at renewal.
DreamHost’s shared hosting will give you a lot for your money, they cost $3.95 a month for the 1-site plan or $9.95 for the Unlimited tier – straightforward pricing. This type of hosting is great to start, but if your project grows a lot (e.g. more than 200,000 visitors a month), you’ll need to upgrade.
You can imagine a Virtual Private Server (VPS) as a shared hosting server that has been divided into smaller servers. This means that you can configure it to your needs. Therefore, your website will be hosted independently from other clients’ – the resources aren’t shared either. VPS hosting plans at DreamHost start at $13.75 a month and can go all the way up to $110 a month.
But, if your website gets so big that you need your own server, that’s when you should consider getting a dedicated account – beware, these are a bit more expensive. Dedicated hosting at DreamHost starts at $149 per month.
That’s not all, DreamHost also offers cloud hosting. Imagine this as a series of interconnected servers that host your website. This solution is ideal for those expecting peaks of traffic as more resources (e.g. RAM and CPU) can be added as you need them. Figuring out how much will you pay it’s tricky as the price depends on the resources (e.g. RAM or storage) that you need.
On top of all that, they also offer WordPress hosting plans – they have special WordPress packages for their shared and VPS hosting. If you’d like automatic updates, staging areas and dedicated WordPress support, you can opt-in for a Managed WordPress account. Shared WordPress hosting starts at $3.95 a month, VPS at $13.75 and Managed WordPress at $16.95 (for one site only).
However, if you don’t want any technical hassle and just want to easily launch a simple website, they offer a website builder too. It seems very cheap (starts at $4.95), but in all honesty, I haven’t tested it so I would not know if it’s any good.
The focus of this DreamHost review is their shared hosting plans, so from now on, I’ll be referencing those.
DreamHost Pricing: What Do Their Shared Plans Include?
|Support||24-hourChat and ticket (email) *||24-hourChat and ticket (email) *|
|Max. files amount (inodes)||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Email accounts||$1.67 a month for 25 GB||Included|
|Backup||8 backups||8 backups|
|Monthly pricing||$4.95 a month||$10.95 a month|
|Annual price||$3.95 a month||$9.95 a month|
|3-year deals||$2.59 a month||$7.95 a month|
Chat support is limited to 5:30AM to 9:00PM Pacific Time. DreamHost has an ‘Unlimited Policy’ and they don’t accept certain projects like file distribution sites.
I really appreciate that DreamHost’s pricing and plan structure are both transparent and simple. They only have 2 shared plans which come with most of the basics you’ll need – no aggressive and expensive upsells.
Let’s check out what plan will you need:
The Shared Starter plan is limited to 1 website, so if you are only looking to host 1 site, this is your best option. Be aware that if you need email accounts, those are paid separately in this plan ($1.67 a month extra) – a fair price if you ask me. The only other limitation are databases (6) and 50 GB of storage – this is plenty for most small to medium websites.
To host more than 1 website you’ll need the (still affordable) Shared Unlimited package. This one includes email accounts, unlimited storage and databases too. There aren’t any other features added as the basic plan is already pretty generous with FTP accounts, bandwidth and so on.
There are also optimized pricing plans for WooCommerce users, that you can find here.
DreamHost Review: Pros & Cons
Sure, DreamHost is pretty inexpensive and offers quite a lot, but how they perform and what features are they missing? *Spoiler Alert*: they’re missing a couple of advanced features.
Let me help you out:
|Affordable: DreamHost is one of the cheapest shared hosting providers around.Performance: In our tests (uptime & speed), DreamHost performed really well – more on this below.Unlimited: All accounts come with truly unlimited bandwidth and generous storage. Unlike others, no inodes limitation.Modern-looking backend: Their backend looks very contemporary. It may take a bit of time to master for those used to cPanel dashboards.No upsells and upgrades: So many competitors push you into buying add-ons with aggressive pitches. DreamHost is a breath of fresh air.97-day money-back guarantee: They’ll refund you if, after 97 days (yes 97) of using them, you are unhappy with their service.||Not many 1-click installs: They only have automated installations for a few CMSs (e.g. WordPress).Only US-location: They don’t have servers outside the US. These may not be ideal for users from other regions (e.g. Europe or Asia).No email account in the starter plan: Email accounts are paid separately for the Shared Starter plan, but they are fairly affordable too.Some advanced features missing: Some functions for larger projects seem to be missing. For instance, no staging, no built-in caching or advanced backup solutions.Support: It doesn’t offer live chat 24 hours a day, only from 5:30 AM to 9:30 PM Pacific time. Outside those hours you are left with ticket support, which is significantly slower.|
When to Use DreamHost’s Hosting?
Well, a lot of site owners should think about using DreamHost. It combines both low prices and high quality, something that’s very difficult to find these days in the hosting world.
I would say that small projects (e.g. a dentist’s site) looking for the best value for their money should consider DreamHost.
However, larger sites could find a good partner in DreamHost’s shared hosting too. It has enough speed, good support and reliable uptime for avid bloggers and hardcore site developers.
Even if it’s not PCI compliant out-of-the-box, DreamHost supports this technology – you could make it happen to geek around. This is obviously a massive pro for eCommerce projects.
Do We Recommend DreamHost?
Yes, we do.
Even though DreamHost’s uptime and speed have gone worse over the past year, they still showed reliable results not so long time ago, which makes us believe that current low performance is just a temporary setback.
Moreover, their default plan limits are pretty high, offering a bunch of “unlimited” options for disk space, bandwidth, and more. And we also really liked that there’s no price increase when your hosting plan renews.
On another note, the customer support was pretty limited to only a few certain hours throughout the week. And the paid migrations can really add up, especially when there’s no cPanel offered to automatically move sites yourself.