DreamHost founded back in 1996 the same year the Bulls faced off against the SuperSonics, they have stood the test of time. Today they make some bold claims of having over 500,000 active users, and almost 2 million active hosted websites.
If you are looking for always reliable hosting with superior support and a hosting provider that actually has reliable uptime. They backup the claim of being an award winning hosting provider, and in this review we will find out exactly what it takes to be an award winning hosting provider with a look at DreamHost.
Who is DreamHost as a Company? Ill do my best to highlight the value for the money during this DreamHost review and help you decide if DreamHost will help your business online.
Located in Los Angeles, California DreamHost is a specialist in website hosting and cloud services. Respected among peers and able to hold their own against the recent rise of new players in the hosting space. Now the kicker, the company was brainstormed in a college dorm room by four friends that had a burning desire to use technology to help people and include open source tech to provide a service and presto DreamHost!
Since inception they have helped 1.5 million website owners and currently supporting more than 400,000 web designers, developers and small businesses with their open web power.
DreamHost has a nifty little infographic type explainer on their about the company page, the basics of it are that the company's core values are:
- Embrace Open Source
- Empower People
- Be Irreverent & Fun
- Speak Hacker (Its hard to read but Im 99.9% sure this is correct)
- Practice Flexibility
- Practice Shameless Honesty
- Give Everyone A Voice
- Provide Super Hero Service
Who Would Use DreamHost
You would use DreamHost if you want load speed and scalability, I would also say if you wanted to support one of the dinosaur's in the hosting provider industry. Having a budget allocated for your money making website also works in your favour. DreamHost is a bit on the higher end of website hosting prices, I see the value and I want to highlight that in this review.
I would use DreamHost for my business websites, any website that generates an income preferably enough income to pay for hosting right. I wouldn't use DreamHost on an Adsense website or an informational website that was not focusing on creating income.
Reliable website hosting is not hard to come by, but exceptional customer support along with reliable hosting sure is.
Enter DreamHost The Award Winning Host
Having been around over 20 years DreamHost knows a thing or two about hosting websites. Key points to mention about DreamHost are the 100% uptime guarantee, the speed factor, they offer a 97 day money back guarantee if you don't love the service provided and the support staff.
The Good and The Bad
- Reliable its Always up 99.95%
- Customer Service is Exceptional
- Easy Signup
- Easy to Instal CMS and Third Party Integrations
- Expensive for Entry Level
- Custom DreamHost CPanel
- Access After Payment is Not Instant
Taking a Deeper Look at The Features
Buying a domain name with DreamHost allows you to qualify for a free website, use ReMixer to build and publish your website. My notes on this are that the attractive domain price is for the first year only and you should check the finer print for the full price of the domain. Buy the domain and you also have the bonus features such as free subdomains, Custom name servers, Domain forwarding and DNS management.
Website Remixer Builder
The one out of the box template comes responsive designed, great for mobile and tablet viewing. It hosts royalty free image library and a very simple click to edit builder, when you are ready click publish and you have a website. They make this way to easy, I might be out of a job if this catches on.
What do you think of these so simple to use website builders? drop me a comment below.
The overall page load speed is freakishly fast, Im well impressed with the speed and think you will be as well. The speed is noticeable when compared to other hosting providers supporting my websites, having a premium host makes a world of difference.
Taking the already ludicrous speed that DreamHost provides, add a CDN and you are well and truely off to the races. DreamHost has the ability to use CDN to accelerate streaming, of audio and video files with little to no buffer time.
DreamHost states that they guarantee 100% uptime. Impressive and if not they credit you a days service for every hour disruption to your website.
Taking several months to gather the data on actual uptime can be a bummer, whats worse is seeing how long your website has been down during those months. I encourage you to make some record of your website uptime, and do a spot check every 3 to 6 months to test the quality of your hosting.
What our friends at DreamHost do is offer you what no one else does. Their offer is if you are displeased with the uptime of your website, they will credit you a day of service for every hour of downtime. Bold move but backed by their performance I can see why they offer that credit exchange.
Solid State Drives SSDs
DreamHost uses nothing but SSDs for your website caching and database queries, making it a more overall faster browsing experience.
The term unlimited is thrown loosely around with hosting providers, unlimited means it doe not run out. Hosting companies dance around the actual understanding of what unlimited and fair use actually mean. To gain full understanding of the hosting companies policy you need to comb through their terms and conditions pages and Policy pages.
Not fun but what DreamHost does is actually stand by what unlimited traditionally means, they have said that unlimited means unlimited.
Not included with the standard purchase but available as an add on, important that you know that getting an SSL certificate is an extra payment.
Say Goodbye to CPanel
The industry standard CPanel is not a part of DreamHost, some may not be happy with this but to the non technical this is a simplified dashboard. As you can see in the image here the interface is clean and easy to navigate with left hand tabs, Your subscription information is available with the click of a button. While I am not a fan of this CPanel it may well suit others, I do however applaud the effort of standing out from the crowd.
DreamHost provides a Who Is? lookup search page, should you want to do some research into a competitor website or even check you own domain information.
Bonus add ons for WordPress include
Create ready to use emails and as many as you need for your domain.
Access the exciting new atmail web client, browser based email reader and composing features.
DreamPress instals come with LetsEncrypt SSL/TSL certificates and allow access for private IP address dedicated to your website.
Combine your favourite ecommerce plugins and take the hassle out of Googles secure web browser warning screens with the already installed SSL.
Top of the line caching provides improved browsing for your shoppers.
No bandwidth restrictions, your monthly visitors can keep on coming without penalizing your website allowance. Traffic spikes and retail promotions that cause them are handled by DreamHost with a prescheduled consultation.
Rock solid security using a firewall block that focuses on known vulnerabilities. No more brute force attacks.
On The Web
One thing I always do before parting with my hard earned cash, is to look at the company and around the web. You can find out some insightful information about a hosting company that you are about to invest your money into for their service. Not surprisingly I couldn't find much bad press about DreamHost, scathing review free and undoubtedly a provider of quality services.
What I noticed was that most of what Ive seen online is all positive towards DreamHost and a lot of praise for the customer support team. I reviewed another hosting company earlier this month and while checking their online profile noticed finding actual user generated reviews was quite hard, if the reviews were not under their control the option to review was removed.
DreamHost is one of the good guys, I have no doubts behind their product or the service behind it. It is rare when a company especially in the digital space has an almost flawless reputation and review following.
What Awards Have DreamHost Achieved?
- Best Customer Service 2016
- Top 25 ScaleUp Awards
- Freedom Centred Workplace
Who Partners with DreamHost?
Having quality hosting is just one part of the puzzle although it is quite the foundational part, so partnering with DreamHost to further enhance your website and online experience for your visitors are;
Knowledge Base & Tutorials
I really like the DreamHost knowledge base it has functionality and is very easy to navigate. They cover entry level to advanced support within the resources. The forum is very active and there are a good mix of beginners and advanced users taking part in the discussions.
I actually had an issue that support said they would get back to me on, using my head I went and visited a topic on the forum. A simple moment to acquaint myself and using the search function, I looked up my problem and saw it was answered on 16th November 2016. The answer to the question was provided in short bullet point form by a ever helpful member. My problem was solved and I emailed support to let them know I had resolved my problem by using the forum, they acknowledged the helpful information in the forum.
To the forum they said.
Pricing and Subscriptions
You can forget about scanning the fine print for hidden fees and charges, DreamHost has made the signup process simplified. The plans come with some upgrades as you take the sales checkout journey, these are entirely your choice if you do purchase them but to run the website on the hosting you do not need anything extra.
Upgrades offered by the hosting provider are at best, recommended add ons to your hosting subscription. All shared hosting plans come with complimentary Free domain for 12 months, free domain privacy, free SSL / TLS certificates with Lets Encrypt and Unlimited bandwidth and storage.
- VPS Hosting
The confusion is taken out of choosing a plan with one simple shared hosting plan option.
Unlike most other hosting providers the shared hosting plan is set at $7.95
The shared host comes powered with SSD's
Freebie alert you get a free domain name when you sign on as a paying customer.
Thinking of a dedicated server the basic plan allows you to access 4 cores, 4GB Ram, 1TB HDD and 1 click WordPress instal.
Entry price starts at $149.00 and the available upgrades range towards $379.00 per month, so more options available than the shared plan.
For the technical minded the dedicated servers come with DDoS protection, Ubuntu Linux, unlimited MySQL databases, shell and root access and RAID-1 storage all the spoils.
DreamHost offers an affordable VPS option, that includes unlimited bandwidth and unlimited domain names. A testament to DreamHost is that they are one of the few providers, that actually cater for "unlimited" they mean what they say.
Starting at $15.00 (1GB Ram & a 30GB SSD) looking for something bigger thats ok they have a 8GB Ram and 240GB SSD storage option at $120.00 per month that includes the unlimited bandwidth and domain names.
The VPS pricing plan comparison below shows the price increase and added features, really its adding more storage and RAM but pick what suits.
Ease of payment is assured with DreamHost, they accept payment by the following methods
- Credit Card
- Money Order
- Checking Account
As you can see the entire sign up process with DreamHost is quite simple, and the ease of use at the sign up process is a good sign for ease of use with the actual product.
The added bonus that DreamHost provide is unheard of, within the first 97 days if you are not happy with their service you can get your money back for shared hosting plans. That type of offer makes me want to look at making them one of main providers.
In case you have been asleep these guys lead the pack, providing exceptional customer support. Taking Customer support next level they have also included a support wiki page, go on DreamHost you lead the way with your over delivering customer service.
They have a very helpful page dedicated to scheduled maintenance so you can see upcoming disruptions along with a status of each service within their business. Just subscribe to the page and you get this nifty notification letting you know about planned disruption to their network.
Methods of Contact:
- Email Contact Form
- DreamHost Wiki Page
- Customers Can Connect Through Their CPanel
Preferred method of contact for customers is through the customer dashboard, non paying visitors can use the email contact form.
Being one step ahead of the competition is how successful business stay successful, implementing a status page takes the guess work out of knowing whats happening with your hosting provider. This saves you calling customer support and asking the question, just subscribe and get those handy notifications.
One thing to point out is something called organisation, Yes Im talking about using these notifications for your own good.
- ReceiveScheduled Maintenance notification
- Add date and Times Into Your Calendar or Project Manager Tool
- Not Have To Worry or Contact Support, You are Organised
I used to be one of those people that would sign up for everything and never do anything with the notifications, but taking the two minutes to add the data provided into my schedule changed the way I operated. I recommend saving and using the notifications for your own internal benefit.
Alternatives To DreamHost
Super fast and rated as one of our top performers, WPEngine is worthy of a mention.
We reviewed SiteGround and rated it #1, hard to fault we noticed the benefits immediately. Pricing added with performance and security helped shape our decision to switch to SiteGround.
Rare fact the support team is actually based in the US, compared to so many others using virtual assistants this is a pleasant added bonus
Taking all this into consideration you need to ask yourself if having superior hosting, speed and exceptional customer support, is worth that extra spend. I would say yes it is and well worth the investment that my business website is in good hands.
If you have read the HostGator review in our review section then you would know my appreciation of helpful customer service especially when dealing with technical support. DreamHost excels at providing helpful information and taking you from problem to solved.
My recommendation is that if you have a business website or what is also known as a Money Site, that you invest in your business by using DreamHost . As the name says it is an absolute dream to use, take a action and click here to give your business superior hosting with DreamHost