Are you the one who has read or heard many good or probably bad things about Dreamhost and still not sure if all of those were true? Well, the internet is full with Dreamhost Reviews and today I don’t want to increase the number by writing just another one.
You may have already read many bad and some good things about Dreamhost.
In my review, I just wanted to give an insight picture about Dreamhost, which you might not have found in any other reviews available on the Internet. In this article, I will unfold many facts about Dreamhost, which are not covered by others.
Frankly speaking when I did a Google search for the keyword “Dreamhost Review” I found mostly negative things about Dreamhost. I know that is pretty obvious to any company as only annoyed customers go to the Internet and write about them, You’ll hardly find a happy customer to take time and write a review. You may find many 1-star rating reviews about Dreamhost on popular sites like Yelp & CNET but don’t worry about them as I have told earlier that only annoyed customers write reviews and no company in the world can make 100% of their customers happy. Today, we’ll try to find out if Dreamhost is a hosting company you should go for OR is there any good alternative is available in the market for your hosting requirement.
Here is My Unbiased Dreamhost Review 2017
Before we come to a conclusion by reading articles on various other sites, let’s try to find out the truth ourselves. Let me give you a brief about the company’s background before moving to other important points.
The web hosting company is located at Brea, California, LA. It was founded by 4 Harvey Mudd College graduates named Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez and Sage Weil in 1996. This is a private company and offers Web Hosting and Cloud Hosting services. It is also an ICAAN Accredited registrar for registering domain names although they are not as big in domain registration as Godaddy, ENOM and others. The parent company name is New Dream Network, LLC.
The company offers 3 main products i.e Shared hosting, VPS & Dedicated Servers on Linux (Ubuntu) operating system. Apart from the earlier mentioned services, the company also offers cloud storage and computing services, which were introduced in 2012.
The company own 3 data centers to offer web hosting services. The data centers are located in downtown LA, Irvine (California) and Ashburn (Virginia).
In 2006, the company started a file hosting service called “Files Forever”. When the service was launched, the company stated that all existing customers could store their files on Dreamhost’s servers for forever after paying a one-time fee. In 2012, they stopped offering the service to new customers and in 2013, they announced that “File Forever” service has been discontinued and they are working on a better file storage solution.
In 2009, They introduced one more service called “Free application hosting”. Using the service, customers can make use of open source applications, such as WordPress and MediaWiki without paying anything to Dreamhost on their own domain name or sub domain name. The service can be integrated with Google Apps engine and using the control panel customer can manage their hosting. Using the control panel, customer also get an option to upgrade their free hosting plan to standard or fully managed hosting plan.
So this was a brief about company background. Now lets move to Pros and Cons of Dreamhost hosting.
Pros and Cons of Dreamhost Hosting
Let’s start with Pros
1. Two Weeks Free Trial
There are only a handful web hosting companies on internet who are as confident about their product as Dreamhost. They are so confident about their quality of web hosting services that they offer you to try web hosting services for 15 days for absolute free. When you sign up with them and fill-in your credit card details, they don’t charge you the money until first 15 days are over. If you don’t cancel your account in first 15 days, the money automatically deducted from your account. I personally never come across any hosting company which offer this facility to their customers.
2. 97 Days Long “Money Back Guarantee”
Any customer who signup for their shared web hosting services got a 97 days money back guarantee from Dreamhost. This money back guarantee is not applicable on VPS & Dedicated sever hosting services. Any customer who wish to cancel the services for any of the reason may cancel the service within 97 days of signup and they will refund the money immediately. Please not that the 97-Day Money-Back Guarantee is only applicable to credit card or Google Wallet payments for shared web hosting. If customer make the payment using any other payment mode, no money will be refunded by Dreamhost.
3. 100% U.S Support
Most of the customers who signup with Dreamhost are native English speakers. Either they’re from United States or near by English speaking countries. Being a U.S based firm, they have U.S based staff and if you’re from United States, you’ll never face a language barrier while talking to any of the support guy.
When you choose a web hosting company, you presume that it will help you in every phase of your website and will not let your website down even if the traffic goes on its peak. Dreamhost is a one of such company which has all the solutions available to take your website on any level. The company has different kind of products in its portfolio that can be chosen as per your website traffic. The company offer Shared hosting services which is the best option if you’re just starting up and your website has few hundreds of visits per day. The other product which is called VPS is best suited if your website traffic in moderate state and your shared hosting package is not able to handle it properly and your website is running slow or facing issues. If your website traffic has gone mature and you’re started getting few thousands or even lakhs of visitors per day, Dreamhost has Dedicated Servers in their offering to handle such load. With them, you can scale to any any extend and this is really a big Pros of their hosting services.
5. Truly Unlimited Hosting
The shared hosting plan offered by Dreamhost is a truly unlimited one. That means when you buy a shared hosting plan from them, you can host unlimited websites with it and you need not to worry about the disk space and bandwidth your website is required. Although it is clearly mentioned in their terms of services that ……
If your site isn’t well optimized and is causing issues for others on your shared server (either because it’s pounding the CPU, hogging RAM, or doing tons of disk I/O), you may be asked to sign up for your own Private Server.
This means to enjoy the unlimited hosting to its fullest, you may have to tweak your website in a way that it consume less server resources and don’t cause a problem to other website which are hosted on the same server. This problem generally happens when your traffic increase to an extent that shared servers can take up the load. This is the time when you’re required to move to a VPS hosting solution.
6. Good Customer Support With Knowledgeable Staff
Customer support is something I always look seriously when I signup with any web hosting company. A customer support could make or break your website as it is a very important when your website not working properly or facing some issues. My experience with Dreamhost’s customer support is pretty good. They have in-house customer support and the staff is really trained and has very good knowledge about the products. Many of the web hosting company outsource their customer support outside United States and that cause really a bad customer support experience. With them, you not only never face a language barrier but your queries get answered very quickly as your query is handled by the right guy in the first attempt.
7. Hosting Performance
Customer support, Money back guarantee, Free Trial etc become secondary when it comes to the web hosting performance. A web hosting service is of no use if that fails to provide more than 99% up time and fast speed to your website. Whenever I do purchase web hosting, I do check the performance of the server. There are two important factors when you analyze the speed of any server i.e Response time & Time taken to the first byte received.
You can even test the speed of any server if you know the IP address of that server or know about any of the domain name hosted on that server. There are many tools available on internet that can tell you all the information about the server including the status of the server.
You can even integrate some tools in your website that keep pinging the web server and will give you a report at the end of each week, month or year that how much up time the host provided to you. Some tools even send you an email or even SMS on your mobile every time your website goes down for any reason.
Uptime can only me measure after you buy a web hosting service but speed of the server can be measure in advance. To make your web hosting search easy, I run a test on a website to check speed of their server and found the below mentioned results.
The test results were in favor of Dreamhost. We found their servers very fast, even better than Bluehost (Read Bluehost Review here). We received the first byte in just 0.0124 seconds and the total response time was just 0.2041 seconds, which is remarkable. Here Dreamhost wins the race compare to other top host. In terms of speed we’ll give them full marks i.e 5 out of 5.
Although all of these results vary time to time on shared hosting services. The above test was run on a dedicated server. At the time of heavy traffic on the server, we may get totally different results and that is the case with every host.
Dreamhost Overall Rating
Web Host Rating always helps to get a clue about the overall performance of that hosting provider. There are various websites, magazines and agencies that publish that rating time to time. Recently one of the most trusted computer magazine published a ranking report about various top hosts in the industry and Dreamhost comes out to be better than many other popular hosts in the industry. Below is the screenshot of that report that we found on their website.
If we believe on the rating, they are better than some of the big hosting companies. The rating seems to be correct if we keep the above mentioned points in mind like Hosting performance, Money back guarantee etc. Although we should not think that other hosts are bad just by looking at the rating because you never know what were the criteria used by the rating company and what were the situations while the rating process was taking place.
Web Hosting Plans & Pricing
As I mentioned earlier in this article that they offer shared hosting, VPS & Dedicated server hosting. Below are the plans for the same. For shared hosting & WordPress hosting, there is the only single plan but for VPS & Dedicated Servers, they offer more then one plans that you can choose as per your requirements.
100% Up-Time Guarantee
While other host claims to give you 99.99% up time guarantee, They claim to give 100% up time guarantee. Although practically that is not possible for any host to give you 100% up time as no one can avoid those unavoidable circumstances that may cause your server down. They claim to credit you a day’s service for every hour of interrupted service. I personally never asked them to give me that credit because I never got that much of downtime that I should ask them to credit me some extra days of services.
Freebies & Extras
I personally loves the freebies and hope you love them too. Like all major hosting providers, Dreamhost also offer Freebies and Extras. With every hosting package that you buy from them, you get a free domain name. Apart from this you also get a Mobile website generator that helps you convert your existing website into a mobile-friendly layout – automatically.
The hosting also comes with 1-click installer that helps you install popular software like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla etc with few clicks in your hosting package. Too speedup your server, your hosting account is equipped with CloudFlare, A leading CDN.
To make your website secure from hacker, their hosting comes with malware monitoring and remediation tools, powered by StopTheHacker. The tools helps you keep the hackers away from your website and informs you if it got hit by any malicious activity.
Time To List Dreamhost Cons
When I compared their pricing with other top web hosting providers like Godaddy, Arvixe, Bluehost etc, I found Dreamhost prices are higher. They only offer unlimited domain hosting package which cost somewhere $9 per month, whereas competitors charge on an average $5 per month for the same unlimited domain hosting package. If someone wants to host a single website, the $9 per month price is pretty high. If you’re the one who just want to host a single website, I would recommend to go with Godaddy. The Godaddy plan will just cost you $1 per month along with a free domain.
You can also go with Siteground, which cost only $6 per month for unlimited domain hosting package.
If you’re a cPanel lover and find it easy to manage your website using the same, Dreamhost’s hosting is not for you. They don’t offer cPanel with its hosting package. Although they do offer a control panel that has been developed in-house by their team. They claim that the panel is equally good as cPanel but as a cPanel lover I don’t find it worthy for me.
One thing I really like in the panel is the Billing & Ticketing section. You can manage your billing within the panel and can see which bill is pending and what service need to be renewed. From the panel itself you can generate tickets and can view their reply and status.
It also gives you incentives for recommending their product to your friends and family. The money you receive for any referral can be used to renew the services or can be cashed out to your bank account. You receive your unique affiliate link that you can use referring new clients. Although your referral could also use your registered email ID at the time of purchase to get you the referral money. The affiliate section can also be managed from the same panel panel, which is an added advantage of their panel.
No Call Support and Limited Chat Support
Unlike all other popular hosts, Dreamhost doesn’t offer phone support. Chat support is available to all customers but it is available only when the level of support emails is low. Although by paying some money Call-Back support can be availed but that too is limited to the few call backs as per the support plan you buy. Chat support is always available to all paid support clients.
I really find this strange. You can’t wait for a ticket to be replied when you’re middle of a something urgent OR you’re losing money because your website is down.
If all other hosting providers are giving that phone & chat support for free, why I’ll buy a over priced hosting where I’ve pay extra for the phone support.
Best Dreamhost Alternatives
If after reading my Dreamhost Review, you think, Dreamhost is not the right web host for your website and you should search for an alternative, below are the top 3 alternatives to Dreamhost hosting. I’m listing these 3 alternative for shared hosting services.
1. Godaddy: Best Economical Alternative
We all know that Godaddy is world’s largest domain name registrar and known for its highly discounted deals for new customers. If you’re looking for web hosting solution for a single website and don’t want to spend big money, Godaddy is the right choice for you.
Under an exclusive discount offer that I’ve received for my blog readers, you can get Godaddy’s hosting with a Free domain name of your choice for just $1 per month. The offer is applicable only on “ECONOMY” hosting plan. You’ve to click on this link to activate this offer.
2. Siteground: Best Affordable Unlimited Domain Hosting Alternative
If you also find the $9 per month price of Dreamhost a bit over priced like me and want to buy a reliable and equally fast web hosting for half of Dreamhost price, I would recommend you to go with Siteground.
Siteground is one of the faster growing web hosting company on Internet with brilliant customer support. The hosting company provide its shared hosting services with cPanel which otherwise not available with Dreamhost.
3. Bluehost: Best Alternative to Dreamhost with Good Customer Support
If customer support is something which is more important to us. I would recommend you to go with Bluehost.
Bluehost is a company which doesn’t require an introduction. Like Dreamhost, Bluehost is another hosting company which WordPress officially recommend to host WordPress powered websites. The hosting company offers both single domain and unlimited domain hosting plans.
You can also save some money on Bluehost hosting. To know more about current offers, Click here to visit Bluehost
Final Verdict: Is Dreamhost a Good Host
After reviewing all the features, plans, uptime & hosting performance, I would like to say that Dreamhost is a decent host for your hosting requirement but at a higher cost. Although I won’t say you should not go with them just because of the higher price. It has a better up time compare to many other hosting companies which makes big promises but don’t deliver. With them, you will get at least 99.5%-100% uptime even in worst conditions. There are few drawbacks as well, e.g absence of phone support and in-house control panel but that can be overlooked if you’re getting good hosting performance. Dreamhost is a recommended host from my side if you can compromise cPanel & Phone Support. I must highlight that their knowledge base & online forum community is full with all the knowledge that you need to manage your web hosting. Ticket support response time is above average.
Considering all the facts & figures and reading reviews on Internet about Dreamhost, I would give it 4 out of 5 Stars. Now its your turn to share your thoughts on this review. Happy Hosting!!!