Complete DreamHost Review: Is This Web Host Good?

When it comes to cheap web hosting, there are a ton of services to choose from. They vary in terms of the features, customer support, and quality offered, but one webhost that stands out is DreamHost. They’re one of the most popular web hosts around, used by millions of people worldwide. They have a good record of customer satisfaction and server uptime, and offer a wide variety of services such as personal and professional web hosting, dedicated servers, VPS hosting, and many others. All of their hosting packages are jam-packed with features, a lot more than we can cover in one article, but we’ll highlight a few important ones as well as evaluate DreamHost’s quality of service.

Types of Hosting

dreamhostlogoDreamHost, like many other web hosts out there, offer three major kinds of hosting: shared hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), and dedicated hosting. In more recent times they’ve expanded into cloud services as well. There are a ton of things you can do with any of these hosting plans; the difference lies in how hardware and resources are used.

Shared hosting is the cheapest service offered on DreamHost. You are essentially given server resources that are shared with one or more other people, which means that your website’s performance may fluctuate depending on the traffic of other websites on the same server. This kind of hosting should be fine for most people, and is appropriate for personal blogs, small-scale web apps, and small businesses. At about $8.95/month it’s probably the cheapest web hosting you can get for the quality of service and number of features that Dream Host offers.
A Virtual Private Server (VPS) has aspects of both shared hosting and dedicated servers. A VPS may be hosted on the same machine as another website, but the difference is that resources are partitioned such that you’re guaranteed a certain portion of CPU power and available RAM. Even if other websites on the same machine start to use more resources, they won’t take any power away from your own website. Thus, a VPS tends to be great for more complex and demanding web and database applications as well as high-traffic sites. With a monthly price of at least $15, it’s a tad steeper than shared hosting, but DreamHost will give you guaranteed resources in return.

A dedicated server is the highest quality hosting that you can purchase. As the name implies, you get machines that are absolutely dedicated to serving your website, making it ideal for bigger businesses and those who want the most amount of control over how their server resources are used. If you’re willing to pay at least $99 to $109 a month (depending on whether you want monthly or yearly billing), you can essentially “own” your own server, and do as you wish with its resources.

Features and Service

All of DreamHost’s services include the promise of “Unlimited” resources, whether it’s disk space, bandwidth, CPU, or memory usage. Note that the lack of limits is more accurately called “Unlimited within reason”. This mostly applies to shared hosting, but if Dream Host sees that your website or web app is taking away too many resources from other customers, they will take action against it. So while they don’t limit resources by strict numbers or capacity, they do limit by whether you’re using a disproportionate amount of power compared to others. To some this may make “Unlimited” seem a little misleading, but DreamHost is actually pretty upfront about it on their website. They aren’t trying to deceive anyone, and the limits are clearly outlined.

Web Technologies

Dream Host servers are equally capable in terms of web technologies available. You have access to MySQL databases, you can install CMS solutions like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc, and if you’re a more advanced web developer you can take advantage of server-side languages like Ruby, Python, Perl, and of course PHP to make your own web apps. Full SSH, Perl, cron, .htaccess support, FTP, and SFTP access is also included.

Control Panel

One of the issues we had with the control panel was the wait required for script installs.  Even though script installation of something like WordPress was rather painless, it required that we wait for an email from Dreamhost that notified us of completion before we could go in to customize it.  This took about 10-15 minutes sometimes which can be a pain to put up with if you’re in a hurry.  The nice thing though, we didn’t have to think of user names and passwords for any installs like CMS software.  The system automatically creates a random one for you guaranteeing you a strong log-in password.

Your features as well as account and billing can all be managed via DreamHost’s well-designed control panel interface. This is essentially your one-stop shop for modifying, adding, or removing features on your account. It makes everything very easy and convenient to use, and you can even install blogging software in just a few clicks. There’s no need to fiddle with FTP clients or edit configuration files.  The nice thing is you can do everything you want to do within the interface.

Technical Support

All of this comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. Granted, it’s something that nearly all web hosts guarantee, but DreamHost backs it up with a long history of reliability as well as proactively just in case any issues do come up.

If you ever encounter problems with your website, you can always contact live chat or send in a support ticket.  You can also be informed of any scheduled downtime they might have via their site through a subscription to their RSS feed.

What Do Users Say About Their Hosting?

It is important to know what others think of this service because this will likely determine the experience you will have.  From features to the fast service times to the cost of the service, it seems that many people are happy with their hosting services.

“They have some cool features, and keep adding more nice stuff. DH is great for development, backups and hosting non-critical hobby sites. They’ve given me two of years of relatively worry-free and cheap hosting, which was nice because I didn’t have the budget for much more.” — nettiapina,

“I’ve been a Dreamhost customer myself and really didn’t see much problems at all.” — Nadabrahma,

“I love their control panel and how it doesn’t baby you, I love their setups and how laid back they are.” — quantumphysics,

“I use Dreamhost and have experienced little problems. I’d recommend them.” — philb30,


Even if you decide to go with the cheapest $8.95 package, you’ll get a lot of value out of it with all of the features and capabilities at your fingertips. For anyone wishing to start their own blog, or their own online business, or anything in-between, DreamHost will take you a very long way for its miniscule monthly price. The only notable downside is their “Unlimited” policy, but such policies are clearly defined on their website and are very reasonable given how shared hosting works, so it’s certainly not a deal-breaker.

Ready for DreamHost web hosting or want to know even more about their service? Check out the link below…

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