DreamHost is among the oldest and most well-reputed web hosts in the industry. Founded all the way back in 1996, DreamHost has grown massively with over 1.5 million websites currently being hosted by the company. DreamHost serves as domain registrar as well, in addition to offering multiple hosting solutions such as shared hosting, VPS hosting, cloud servers, dedicated hosting, and managed WordPress hosting.
In order to evaluate the company’s performance, we set up a WordPress website on their shared hosting plan last year. The website was carefully observed by our research team for a total of 8 months, and here’s what the report says.
The Pros of DreamHost
Uptime: Uptime simply means the amount of time that you’re website remains online. It is usually measured in a percentage and almost all webhosts today offer an uptime of at least 99%; however, it is best you go for a host that offers 99.5% as a minimum uptime. Although DreamHost guarantees an uptime of 100% on their website, our research team recorded an average uptime of 99.7%, which is still an impressive figure. DreamHost’s 99.7% not only exceeds the industry standard of 99.5%, but also goes beyond that of many of its competitors in the industry.
Speed: By speed, we’re referring to the average amount of time it takes for your website to load when someone types in the address of your website in their browser. After uptime, speed is the most important aspect for your website. It’s not only important for your visitors’ satisfaction, but also for your website’s ranking in the search engines. We recorded DreamHost’s average page loading speed at 680ms, much faster than the industry standard of 820ms loading time, and also faster than many of DreamHost’s rivals in the industry.
Customer Support: The third most important characteristic of a good webhost is to offer an excellent customer support 24/7, and DreamHost remains up to the mark on this one as well. As we were testing the customer support, the company’s representative connected with us in 3 minutes and answered all our questions with great detail. We would’ve given the customer support 10/10 if it wasn’t for the lack of phone support. The company offers support only through chat and tickets. Nonetheless, the representatives are very responsive and knowledgeable.
Money back Guarantee: DreamHost offers the longest money back guarantee in the entire web hosting industry; a whole 97 days. That’s more than 3 months and is way beyond the industry standard money back guarantee of 30 days. Another great perk offered by the company is that the company offers you a free one day service for every hour that the service is interrupted. It means if you encountered a down time of three hours, the company will credit you with a free service for three days. It is another distinguishing feature offered by none of the other hosts in the industry.
Pricing Plan: Almost all webhosts in the industry have a twisted policy of advertising a cheap rate on their website but when you try to buy a plan, you will realize that the cheap price is valid only if you subscribe for at least one year. DreamHost has set itself aside here as well. The company’s website clearly states the monthly cost based on the length of time you want to subscribe for. Unlike other webhosts, it doesn’t entice you with a cheap price first and then give you the actual monthly price. This transparency in pricing greatly adds to the credibility of this company.
The Cons of DreamHost
Price: While it is true that DreamHost demonstrates appreciable transparency with their pricing plans, their prices in turn are not so impressive. In fact, to be honest with you, they are amongst the most expensive web hosts in the industry. For their shared hosting, the best price you can get is $7.95/month, only if you choose to subscribe for 3 years or more. For a one year subscription, their hosting will cost you a flat $9.95/month, which is amongst the highest prices in the industry.
No Instant Setup: Another noteworthy con of DreamHost is that like a few other webhosts, DreamHost will require you to verify your identity before they activate your account. While it is not a major drawback and doesn’t take a lot of time, it does mean that you can’t instantly setup your account after subscribing with the company.
A Single Pricing Plan: The final con of DreamHost that we’d like you to know about is that company doesn’t offer many options when it comes to shared hosting. DreamHost has a single plan for their shared hosting and you can choose to subscribe for 1, 2, or a 3 years plan. The same service will be offered on all plans, which means that whether you’re a new webmaster with very basic and limited needs, or a seasoned webmaster with lots of requirements, you’ll have to pay the same price.
Control Panel: A major drawback associated with DreamHost is a lack of the industry standard control panel, known as cPanel. cPanel is a powerful and convenient user interface that gives you full control of your hosting account. It is very easy to understand, even for new webmasters. DreamHost, on the other hand, uses its own version of control panel which is equally powerful as the cPanel, but not nearly as convenient. It may take you a while to get to know this interface, and can be especially intimidating for new webmasters.
While it is true that DreamHost is amongst the most expensive webhosts in the industry, we think the price is justifiable considering the stellar uptime, loading speed, and customer support it offers; along with some other distinguishing features such as their 97 days money back guarantee. We’d like to add, though, that it is not a good option for new webmasters because it’d cost them too much and they should consider starting with a cheaper substitute (SiteGround). All in all, DreamHost offers awesome services and is one of the few hosts that we do recommend.
Ready to Join DreamHost?
In case you are not satisfied, you can cancel your DreamHost account within 97 days and get full hosting refund, which makes the whole investment risk free.