DreamHost Hosting Detailed Review

DreamHost supports over 1.5 million sites and uses open-source technology, which was an important thing for DreamHost’s four founders. 

One of the things that make DreamHost stand out from other hosting sites is that it offers the best month-to-month options pricing plans for hosting. You can get hosting with no commitment for a fraction of the cost of others. We are talking sometimes half as much.

It’s hard to deny that DreamHost provides the most affordable hosting on the market today. 

DreamHost homepage with picture of a woman smiling

Compare DreamHost to The Best Web Hosting

We have conducted extensive research to find the best web hosting service on the market today. Our findings from that research were put in one place to be shared with you: our guide to the Best Web Hosting Services. The guide explains all the top-rated web hosting services, so you can compare and contrast and decide which one is best for you. 

Coming in at the number three spot on our list is DreamHost. The number one spot goes to Hostinger, thanks to the fact that it is the most affordable web hosting service for long-term use. It is the one we recommend for your average user. The number two spot goes to A2 Hosting, which secured a top spot due to its speed. It has the fastest web hosting speeds on the market. It also offers great one-click installations, which, if you are a beginner, is a lifesaver. 

DreamHost made the number three spot on our top list for several reasons, which we share below.

DreamHost: The Good and The Bad 

DreamHost is one of our top picks for web hosting services, and there are many reasons why. However, there are also some things about this option that we don’t love. Here are the good and the bad things about DreamHost that will help you decide whether this is the right service for you.

The Good

Affordable: Possibly our favorite thing about DreamHost is that it is the most affordable web hosting service when choosing a month-to-month plan. The monthly billing option means that you can cancel at any time with no additional fees incurred. And the monthly plan doesn’t skimp on the features—it provides the same ones as the annual plans do. The option for monthly billing is ideal for those who either cannot front the kind of money for an annual plan or those who aren’t sure how long they will need a functioning website. 

In short, the affordability of the monthly option provides flexibility that many other web hosting services offer and may be something just right for you.

Uptime: Uptime plays a very crucial role in the web hosting experience. You don’t ever want your site to go out, but you want the recovery time to be quick if it does. If people aren’t able to find your site due to it going down, that is bad. Many tests have been run to check the stability of DreamHost, and those tests have all returned with results that show DreamHost is a stable and reliable service that rarely went down during the test periods. There was maybe one time in thousands of different tests that it went down for.

DreamHost is so confident about its uptime that it has a 100% uptime guarantee. DreamHost is the only shared hosting service that offers that high of a guarantee. And if you find that your site is ever down, DreamHost will give you a refund for the amount of time that your site wasn’t up. Now that’s a guarantee we can get behind. 

Money-Back Guarantee: Speaking of guarantees, DreamHost has another great one to share with its users. This service comes with a 97-day money-back guarantee, which is something that nearly no other web hosting service can say they offer. Your 97-day trial is completely risk-free, and if you aren’t happy with the service, you get all of your money back. And, as mentioned above, if you aren’t happy with the uptime, you can get compensated for that as well. 

However, please note that this money-back guarantee only applies to shared hosting plans and those who purchased their hosting with a credit card or Google Checkout. 

Security: Though DreamHost doesn’t offer anti-malware services on its email, there are a lot of things it does right when it comes to security. One of those things is that the control panel makes it easy for you to access and edit the .htaccess file, which is where you control who has access to the site and set up passwords. This is something you want to have easy access to. 

In addition, DreamHost offers the ability to block spiders for those parts of your website that you don’t need or want to have indexed by search engines. 

And what we really love is that DreamHost offers free SSL certificates, which provides an additional (and, in our opinion, necessary) layer of security for those selling products online or those who are collecting any sort of personal information from clients or customers. 

If that’s not enough, there’s more. DreamHost offers SSH and SFTP access, and it also supports HTTP/2, PHP 7, and has its own firewall. 

Domain Names: With the purchase of an annual plan (or a longer one), you get a free domain name registration. This makes it easy to do it all in one place. However, do note that the free domain is only for the first year. Each year after that, a .com domain costs $19.99 per year. 

You can choose from the most popular domain names out there: .com, .net., .blog, .shop, .org, .info, and more. 

Easy to Use: The dashboard of DreamHost is a favorite amongst many. It is modern, clean, and the design was made to be user-friendly.

Here is where you access everything you need for your hosting. Unlike many other managed WordPress hosts, DreamHost does not use the cPanel software. Instead, they created a custom control panel for all things associated with your account. 

Unlimited Bandwidth: All DreamHost accounts get free unlimited bandwidth and plenty of storage. If you want unlimited storage, you can upgrade to one of the higher plans. The shared starter plan limits your storage to 50 GB, and the unlimited is, well, unlimited. However, do note that there is a fair usage policy that keeps you from creating file-sharing sites. 

The Bad 

Few Server Locations: The only places where DreamHost has data centers are Virginia and Oregon. This pales in comparison to DreamHost competitors such as SiteGround and A2 Hosting. DreamHost does not have servers outside of the United States, making it a not viable option for users from other parts of the world. 

Email Account Not Part of Starter Plan: For the Shared Starter plan, email accounts must be paid for separately. While they are affordable (as low as $1.67/month), it is unfortunate that you have to pay an additional fee for something that is already included with other hosting service plans, such as those with Bluehost. 

Support: Though the email and ticket support for DreamHost is excellent, the phone support is not. In fact, phone support does not exist for DreamHost. Unless you pay the company to call you, then they are more than happy to assist you. 

If you are looking for free help with your web hosting, then you can use the live chat, an active forum, or take advantage of their support via Twitter. 

More Complex Installs: Whereas many other web hosting services make things easy and help you get everything set up with just one click, DreamHost does not. The service only provides automated installs for a few CMSs (including WordPress). If you want to use any other CMS on the list, you will have a more complex installation.

DreamHost Pricing and Options

DreamHost Pricing

To better understand whether DreamHost is right for you, it’s essential to know the different pricing and packages. There are several different package options and various products you can get via DreamHost at various prices. 

DreamHost pricing table with starting rates for shared, VPS, WordPress, website builder, dedicated, and cloud hosting plans

DreamHost Shared Hosting

The Shared hosting plan is the cheapest way to host your website with DreamHost. 

This package starts at $2.59/month to host one website if you opt for the three-year contract. Otherwise, you’re looking at $2.95/month billed annually or $4.95 billed monthly. 

Within the shared options, there is the Starter and the Unlimited. The Starter is great for, as you likely guessed, those who are new to websites. With this plan, you get:

  • One website
  • Free domain
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Pre-installed WordPress
  • Free automated WordPress migrations
  • WP Website Builder
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Email for as little as $1.67/month 

With the Unlimited option, you get:

  • Unlimited websites
  • Free domain
  • Unlimited traffic
  • Pre-installed WordPress
  • Free automated WordPress migrations
  • WP Website Builder
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Unlimited email at your domain 

These are both great places to start, but if you start getting more than 200,000 visitors a month, you will want to upgrade your plan.

DreamHost VPS Hosting

The best way to describe a VPS (virtual private server) is a shared hosting server that is then split up into smaller servers, giving you more ability to fit your specific needs. Opting for the VPS hosting plan means that your website will be hosted separately from other people using DreamHost. 

The VPS plan is perfect for those who have a larger business or are using ecommerce as part of their work. 

There are different levels within the general VPS plan with DreamHost: VPS Basic, VPS Business, VPS Professional, and VPS Enterprise. They are meant for different types of websites that will be used for different things.

The pricing listed above for these VPS hosting services is shown when you pay for three years’ worth of the service. VPS Basic starts at $13.75/month for annual billing, and VPS Enterprise starts at $110/month. For monthly billing, VPS Basic starts at $15/month, and VPS Enterprise starts at $120/month.

DreamHost Dedicated Hosting

If you are a large business or get lots of traffic to your site, you may want to consider getting a dedicated server. This means that you have a server all to yourself that won’t run the risk of getting bogged down by others. DreamHost can fully manage this server for you, but it is the most expensive type of hosting. 

DreamHost dedicated web hosting plan configuration options

Under the dedicated category, there are two options with DreamHost. 

The Standard plan includes 4GB of RAM a 1TB of storage. This plan will set you back $149/month when billed annually and $169/month when billed monthly. 

The Enhanced plan includes 16 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage. The cost of this plan is $279/month billed annually or $299/month billed monthly.

There are different tiers of both the Standard and Enterprise plans that provide different amounts of RAM and storage. 

DreamHost Cloud Hosting

DreamHost also offers cloud hosting plans. This method of hosting spreads your resources across multiple servers rather than the traditional single-server way.

DreamHost Cloud Computing and Object Storage landing page with a man standing holding a laptop

DreamHost offers two different options within its cloud hosting category—DreamCompute and DreamObjects.

There are three different DreamCompute plans, starting at $0.0075 per hour with a maximum of $4.50 per month for the entry-level plan. The other two tiers max out at $12 and $48 per month, respectively.

As the name implies, DreamObjects is for object storage for things like music, photos, high-res videos, and even personal files. But it also supports web app development environments and works well for backing up WordPress sites. These rates start at $0.025 per GB of storage per month and $0.05 per GB of downloads per month.

DreamHost Domain Names

DreamHost makes things even easier by also letting you purchase your domain through its website. Simply search for something you’re interested in on the website, and if it’s available, it can be yours for $6.99 per year. That also includes a free private registration. 

When you buy your domain through DreamHost, you get:

  • Free private registration
  • Free subdomains
  • Easy domain transfers
  • Simple domain management
  • And more 

DreamHost Website Builder

If the idea of building your own website has you feeling all kinds of stress, you may want to consider turning to DreamHost’s Website Builder. 

DreamHost's website builder landing page showing how it works as a drag-and-drop builder for WordPress

This product makes building a website far less intimidating and much more straightforward. The WP Website builder comes with themes to choose from and drag-and-drop features that make things as easy as they can be when building a website yourself.

Comparing the Best Web Hosting

There are many pros to using DreamHost, but if you want to see what else is out there and what will best fit your specific needs, stay tuned for our in-depth reviews of other web hosts.

  1. Hostinger – Best web hosting for most users
  2. SiteGround – Best for keeping uptime above 99.99% 
  3. HostGator – Best for scaling your small business easily
  4. DreamHost – Best pay-as-you-go web hosting
  5. Bluehost – Best drag-and-drop page builder for beginners
  6. InMotion Hosting – Best price for hosting two websites on one plan
  7. Nexcess – Best for experienced WordPress users
  8. A2 Hosting – Most dependable web hosting for European and Asian audiences

Overall, DreamHost is a great service to go with for your web hosting. There are plenty of different plans to choose from that offer plenty of features. The fact that it is priced so well for those interested in month-to-month plans is a massive win in our book. It’s ideal for anyone looking to host a website, whether you are a small business or a larger company. The tools, website-building software, security, money-back guarantee, domains, and more make it one of our top picks.