Are you looking for a high-quality web hosting provider that has a long-standing reputation, is eco-friendly, and gives you all the features you need to run your growing WordPress website?
With so many hosting options available, it’s difficult to make a choice. Luckily, we’re here to help by taking a close look at DreamHost.
If you want to check out a particular part of DreamHost hosting, click below to jump straight to that section…otherwise, start from the beginning and read the entire in-depth review!
An Introduction to DreamHost
DreamHost has been around for 18 years and hosts over 1.5 million websites. But just because a hosting provider is well-known, or hosts a lot of websites, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right solution for you.
In this post, I’ll dive into everything that is DreamHost. I’ll look at features, real-time performance data, documentation, support, and everything in between.
So, without further ado – let’s get started!
Founded in 1997 by 4 friends – Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez and Sage Weil – at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, DreamHost has grown to become an exceptional hosting provider with a strong reputation. In fact, WordPress.org officially recommends DreamHost as one of the best hosting companies around.
With over 400,000 customers, spanning 100 countries (and hosting over 750K WordPress websites), DreamHost aims to help people own their digital presence. It supports the WordPress content management system by helping improve code and regularly contributing to the WordPress community. In addition, DreamHost seeks to provide expert-level WordPress support to its customers.
The team’s core values include things like embracing open-source solutions, providing exceptional service, and maintaining high levels of honesty and flexibility.
Not to mention, DreamHost is not part of Endurance International Group (EIG). In other words, it’s independently owned, which not many hosting companies can say about themselves.
The hosting plans available are suitable for website owners of all kinds, including bloggers, designers, small business owners, and more. But more than that, the team at DreamHost claim to put customers at the forefront of everything they do.
Standard hosting features include:
- Unlimited bandwidth and storage
- Easy to use proprietary cPanel
- One-click installers
- Free email addresses
- Instant WordPress setup
- Automated backups
- Free SSL certificates
And that’s just the beginning…
Now let’s take a deeper look into what DreamHost offers website owners.
Having a fast-loading website is crucial to the success of your blog, online business, or eCommerce shop. That’s why knowing how fast DreamHost is before you choose to use it is a good idea.
I’m going to run speed tests on my DreamHost website, which has a fresh WordPress installation. My test site also has the default “Hello World” post, complete with one sample comment and a featured image, and 2 default pages that auto-create on every new WordPress installation. The active theme is the WordPress Twenty Nineteen. I deactivated and deleted all pre-loaded plugins.
Here is how my test site did in a Pingdom speed test:
The site loaded in an impressive 290ms and had a performance grade of 96%. That said, there is next to nothing loaded on this site (the page size is only 55.2KB and there were only 9 requests), so it should load blazing fast.
I also ran a second test using a pre-made Remixer theme to add some weight to my website and see how it affected the speed and performance of my site.
Here are the results:
I found that increasing the page size and the number of requests significantly lowered my site’s speed. That said, 966ms is nothing to scoff at, since Pingdom found that the average website loads in 3.21 seconds.
Next, I ran a LoadImpact test with 50 concurrent users over 12 minutes to get a better idea of how DreamHost would perform on a real high-traffic website.
Here’s how DreamHost did:
The average response time during the LoadImpact test was 35ms with a request average of 46 requests/second (for a total of 32,936 requests throughout the test).
You’ll notice in the graph that despite the influx of users (the green line), DreamHost’s response time (the blue line) stayed relatively level, only reaching the 40ms mark once, which is something to look for in a good web host.
Again, I ran the same test on a bigger website to see how well it would fare. Here’s what I found:
Here, my website slowed as more users came to it, and the response times were a lot more sporadic.
So what does all this mean for you? DreamHost proves itself to be a fast web host, no matter how much site traffic your site sees on a daily basis or how big the site gets (even if things aren’t perfectly stable).
DreamHost’s Top Features
1. DreamHost Remixer Website Builder
DreamHost has a built-in DIY website builder available for all its hosting customers. Called Remixer, this website builder makes building a website from the ground up a cinch. To access it, all you have to do is be in your DreamHost account.
Start by selecting a layout – small business, professional, or creative – and then choose color schemes, images, and fonts for your site.
You also have the option to choose from dozens of pre-designed, mobile-friendly themes that are fully customizable. Once you choose a theme, you’ll immediately have access to the click to edit interface so you can change every element of your website you want. For example, add contact forms, images, galleries, maps, and so much more.
In addition, use Remixer to do the following:
- Customize text and background colors
- Add beautiful filters to all images
- Access free stock photography from Pixabay
- Optimize titles and meta descriptions for SEO
- Create unlimited websites and webpages
When you’re done editing your website, you can easily assign it to your site’s domain so it’s live for site visitors to see.
2. Domain Name Registration
Not only does DreamHost offer free domain name registrations to its customers (except those using the Starter shared hosting plan), they also include a bunch of helpful features that make starting a WordPress blog easier.
To start, there’s a domain name search tool that you can use when trying to decide which domain is a perfect fit for you website.
While performing your search, consider using a unique domain extension like .club, .global, or .shop to create a stand out website that people will remember. Or choose from more traditional extensions like .net or .com.
In addition, enjoy domain name features such as:
- Free private registration
- Automatic domain name renewals
- DNS management
- Unlimited subdomains
- Custom nameservers
- Domain forwarding
- Domain locking
- Easy domain name transfer services
When it comes to launching a website, very few things are as important as the domain name. DreamHost knows this and makes it easy and affordable to register a domain name.
3. 100% Uptime Guarantee
It’s rare to find a web hosting provider that will provide a 100% uptime guarantee for their customers. After all, nothing in this world is perfect all the time.
That said, DreamHost takes advantage of multiple data centers to handle downtime threats and promises customers their websites will never go down. But if they do, DreamHost will compensate site owners to make up for the downtime.
If your website experiences downtime, you can expect a credit equal to the hosting cost for 1 day of service for each 1 hour (or fraction thereof) of service interruption. You’ll earn credits up to a maximum of 10% of your next pre-paid hosting renewal fee.
Keep in mind, that even though there is a 100% uptime guarantee, this does not apply to things like scheduled maintenance or errors on the part of the customer, aka you.
If you want to check the current status of any critical issues, downtime, or system updates DreamHost is conducting, hop on over to the DreamHost Status Website anytime you want.
Here you see the real-time status of the Remixer website builder, DreamPress managed hosting, email, WebFTP, the ticketing system, live chat support, and more.
And to top it off, if you want to see any DreamHost server issues that have happened in the past, you can do that here:
The transparency that DreamHost provides its customers, on top of the stellar uptime guarantee, certainly make this web host a front-runner when it comes to choosing a hosting company.
4. Green Hosting
The team at DreamHost understand the resources it takes to run a global web hosting company. And while no business can eliminate their entire carbon footprint, DreamHost does its best to reduce it in any way possible:
- Offices: facilities are LEED Platinum and Energy-Star certified, complete with advanced lighting control systems, occupancy sensors, LED and low-mercury CFL lighting, and highly-optimized HVAC plants.
- Data Centers: data centers are equipped with highly-efficient cooling infrastructure, power-efficient processors, and grids that power data centers using electricity sourced through renewable sources.
Adding to this, DreamHost partners in state-level “clean wind” programs, provides employees with recycling bins, refuses to provide disposable cups, plates, and cutlery, and does its best to reduce paper usage by taking advantage of e-forms.
If taking care of the environment is something you’re passionate about, rest assured DreamHost is right by your side holding their services and humans accountable for their energy output.
5. Fast Speed and Performance
You already saw the potential DreamHost holds when it comes to page loading time and site performance in the real-world tests I ran earlier.
But I want to share with you the exact steps DreamHost takes to ensure its customers their sites will load fast – every single time a site visitor arrives.
- WordPress Optimized Servers: all DreamHost products and services are designed with WordPress in mind. For example, the server and database software is 100% compatible with WordPress. Plus, they are ready to perform automatic WordPress updates, include easy one-click installations, and have all the right setting configurations so your site gets up and running without a hitch from the very start.
- Solid State Storage: With Solid State Drives (SSDs), your WordPress site, caching, and database queries are 200% faster than old-school HDDs. This means your site visitors will never get caught up in lag time when they click on your site.
- Resource Protection: as a DreamHost customer, you can rest easy that those with malicious intent will never hijack your resources and cause your site to slow. That’s because DreamHost works diligently to monitor resources at all times.
Part of becoming a successful website owner is having a site that never lacks in speed or performance. DreamHost knows this and does everything it can to make sure you never have to worry about a slow website or a poor user experience.
Dreamhost Support and Customer Service Experience
With more than 20 years of web hosting experience and WordPress expertise, you can trust that when you have a problem, someone at DreamHost will be able to help you.
DreamHost boasts having 100% in-house support to help its customers when they have trouble. In other words, they don’t outsource their support services to those that may or may not know how to help.
The support team can be accessed via live chat (5:30AM – 9:30PM Pacific Time, 7 days a week) or email 24/7. There’s also the option to request a callback from a team member is you prefer to talk to someone in person. The thing is, callbacks are not part of any hosting plan; you must add them to your hosting package separately.
If you’d rather troubleshoot on your own, you can also tap into the extensive Knowledge Base or community forum.
One unique thing that DreamHost has for its customers is the DreamHost Academy. In it, there are 42 premium WordPress tutorials, written as in-depth guides and complete with images, step by step instructions, and video content for anyone that needs WordPress specific help.
Pick from categories such as Learn, Setup, and Optimize and master WordPress sooner than later, even if you have zero experience.
If you’re anything like me, you want to know there’s a money back guarantee in place before you spend a lot of money on anything, including web hosting.
DreamHost has an impressive 97-day money back guarantee, which is better than most web hosting companies out there. This means you have plenty of time to gauge how well DreamHost is for your website and needs, without having to rush your decision to keep them or not after a few weeks.
Keep in mind, if you sign up for managed WordPress hosting with DreamHost (which is the DreamPress plan), you’ll only have a 30-day money-back guarantee, which I think is still generous.
DreamHost Plans and Pricing
DreamHost has every type of web hosting you could need. Here’s a breakdown of the plans available, as well as pricing for monthly, one year, and three year (if available) plans:
|Monthly||One Year||Three Year|
|Shared Hosting||Starter: $4.95/mo Unlimited: $10.95/mo||Starter: $3.95/mo Unlimited: $6.95/mo||Starter: $2.59/mo Unlimited: $5.95/mo|
|Managed WordPress Hosting||DreamPress: $19.95/mo |
DreamPress Plus: $29.95/mo
DreamPress Pro: $79.95/mo
|DreamPress: $16.95/mo |
DreamPress Plus: $24.95/mo
DreamPress Pro: $71.95/mo
|VPS Hosting||Basic: $15.00/mo |
| Basic: $13.75/mo |
|Basic: $10.00/mo |
|Dedicated Servers||Standard: $169.00/mo Enhanced: $299.00/mo|| Standard: $149.00/mo |
*Prices listed above are subject to change
Each web hosting plan comes with its own set of distinct features. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect with each DreamHost hosting plan:
The Starter shared hosting plan works for one website. It comes with a free domain name, unlimited traffic, WordPress pre-installed, SSD storage, a free SSL certificate, and the option to add email services for $1.67/month.
The Unlimited shared hosting plan has everything the Starter plan does, except it works on unlimited websites and comes with free email services.
Managed WordPress Hosting
The DreamPress managed WordPress hosting plan comes with features such as ~100K visitors, 30GB SSD storage, unmetered bandwidth, a pre-installed SSL certificate, daily backups and one-click restore, 24/7 WordPress support, and one-click staging.
With DreamPress Plus, you get everything found in the DreamPress plan, plus ~300K visitors, 60GB SSD storage, and unlimited CDN services.
Lastly, the DreamPress Pro plan comes with everything found in DreamPress Plus, in addition to ~1m visitors, 120GB SSD storage, and elite WordPress support.
DreamHost offers four different VPS hosting plans:
- VPS Basic: 1GB RAM, 30GB SSD storage, unlimited websites and traffic, free SSL certificates, and unlimited email.
- VPS Business: everything in VPS Basic plus 2GB RAM and 60GB SSD storage.
- VPS Professional: everything in VPS Business plus 4GB RAM and 120GB SSD storage.
- VPS Enterprise: everything in VPS Professional plus 8GB RAM and 240GB SSD storage.
The Standard Dedicated Server Plan comes with features like:
- Intel Xeon 4-Core 8-Thread
- 4GB RAM
- 1TB HDD
- RAID 1 storage
- Root access
- Local MySQL database server
- 100% Network Uptime Guarantee
- 24×7 tech support and server monitoring
- DDoS protection
The only difference with the Enhanced Dedicated Server Plan is the fact that it comes with Intel Xeon 12-Core 24-Thread, 16GB RAM, and 2TB HDD.
If you need more complex dedicated server hosting, check out all the plans here.
Additional Services and Features
If the hosting plan you choose doesn’t come with email services, you can always opt to invest in DreamHost’s affordable email plan.
For $1.67/month per email box, you can get 25GB of storage space, mobile and desktop syncing, and ad free webmail.
You’ll also enjoy features like:
- Drag-and-drop between folders
- Automatic delivery filters
- Route messaging using aliases
- IMAP support for mobile devices
- Inbound spam filtering
Having a professional email that matches your website’s domain prevents you from having to mix your personal life with your professional. It also lends credibility to your brand, which is just another way to get ahead of the competition.
Conclusion: Do we recommend DreamHost?
As you might guess, we’d definitely recommend DreamHost if the price is right for you.
In fact, here are the reasons why you should strongly consider using DreamHost:
- It’s blazing fast and will never harm the user experience.
- There are tons of WordPress specific features and functionality that make creating and maintaining a website easy – even for beginners.
- The support team is knowledgeable about WordPress, available 24/7, and there’s plenty of documentation to help you along the way.
- The built-in Remixer website builder means you can start creating a site from your DreamHost account right away.
Though DreamHost’s prices are a little on the high side (depending on which plan you choose), overall they are a high-quality web hosting company and have the ability to help you reach your potential.
Also, since this is a question that we’re often asked, we think it’s worth mentioning that we host all of our websites with Kinsta. So if you’d like to learn more about their managed WordPress hosting, check out our Kinsta review.
Have anything to add? Are you a current Dreamhost customer or thinking of becoming one? Feel free to leave a comment below and let us know – we can’t wait to hear from you! 🙂