Great Value for Money
Whether you’re in need of shared, VPS, dedicated, or cloud hosting, you can rest assured DreamHost has a plan that’s got you covered. But the real question is, are these plans any good?
DreamHost scores an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 in our hosting rankings, coming in fourth out of 12 providers. Its best hosting type is shared hosting, where it comes joint second with a 4.5 out of 5. If a cheap provider is what you seek, then look no further than DreamHost, since it has some of the best value hosting plans on the market, with discounted prices beginning at $2.95/month and renewing for only $6.99/month!
While its shared hosting may be great value, the same can’t be said for its dedicated hosting, which suffers from a dramatic increase in price compared to other packages. There’s also no phone support available at DreamHost, which isn’t great if you’re the type who likes to talk your problems out to a real person.
At Website Builder Expert, we’re committed to helping you get online – and we want to set you up for the best possible chance of success once you’re there. That’s why we independently research a wide range of web hosting providers across different hosting types and industries.
Below, you can take a sneak peek at what we made of DreamHost; its overall rating, and how it scored across some key areas:
Read on as we discuss all things DreamHost. By the end of this review, you’ll know exactly how good DreamHost is, and whether it’s the perfect provider for you.
Best Overall Hosting Provider – discover the 11 top-rated providers on the market
Web Hosting Comparison Chart – take a side-by-side at the best providers
DreamHost vs Bluehost – see how two of the top providers compare
| DreamHost offers shared hosting plans for as little as $2.95/month. It’s one of the cheapest quality provider we’ve tested. |
DreamHost provides dedicated WordPress hosting that comes packed with handy features, like one-click installs and automated WordPress updates.
Has the second best uptime of any provider we've tested with a 99.98%
| Unlike many of its competitors, you can’t call DreamHost directly. You can request a call back, or reach out via live chat, by submitting a ticket, or using its online help center. |
If you’re a large business who needs its own dedicated server, you’re better off looking at brands like HostGator, Bluehost, or InMotion, which offer far better features.
We certainly wouldn’t recommend DreamHost for cloud hosting. You can’t even set your own resource limits.
Setting up your web hosting with DreamHost is easy. Before getting into that, though, you’re going to need to choose which type of hosting you need.
This largely depends on what your website is, and what its requirements are. In most cases, personal sites and startups will be fine using shared hosting. More established businesses may want to look at VPS hosting, while enterprise-level companies will need a dedicated hosting plan.
Once you know what type of hosting you need, signing up to a DreamHost plan is a breeze.
Firstly, you’ll be presented with a list of optional extras. Things like registering a domain name, enhanced security, and email hosting can all be added into your plan at this stage.
After you’re happy and your payment has been processed, you’ll enter DreamHost’s dashboard. Unlike most leading hosting providers, DreamHost doesn’t use a cPanel dashboard.
Instead, DreamHost has its own custom-made dashboard that’s easy to use and super responsive.
If you’re used to working off a cPanel, it will take a little time to get used to. But with plenty of tutorials out there, it’s a pretty gentle learning curve.
DreamHost’s performance across its different hosting types had ups and downs in our testing, with its best performance in our research being for managed WordPress hosting with 4.3 out of 5, coming second overall for performance.
Meanwhile, DreamHost’s worst-performing hosting type and worst-performing overall was in VPS hosting with a 2.5 out of 5!
Uptime is, essentially, it means the amount of time your website is up and working online.
But what constitutes good uptime? Aren’t 99.00% and 99.99% both really good? And why does no provider have 100% uptime? These are all valid questions, so allow us to explain.
Most hosting services offer 99.9-something percent uptime. For that reason alone, anything less than that is seen as poor. No provider can physically have 100% uptime, simply due to the nature of the internet.
|Uptime||Annual Downtime||Weekly Downtime|
|99.9%||8.75 hours||10.1 minutes|
|99.5%||4.38 hours||5.04 minutes|
|99.9%||52.6 minutes||1.01 minutes|
DreamHost guarantees uptimes of 99.98% for the sites it hosts. That means, on average, your website will be online and in good working order for all but four and a half hours each year. That roughly equates to five minutes each week.
In our research, this is very good! DreamHost actually comes second in our overall rankings across all hosting types with 4.5 out of 5 for uptime.
And if that didn’t sound good enough, DreamHost actually maintains a 100% uptime guarantee in its service contract, meaning any downtime logged by you will result in:
DreamHost credit equal to the Customer’s current hosting cost for 1 (one) day of service for each 1 (one) hour (or fraction thereof) of service interruption, up to a maximum of 10% of Customer’s next pre-paid hosting renewal fee.
Pretty neat, huh?
DreamHost offers shared, VPS, dedicated, cloud, and managed WordPress hosting, the strongest of which is shared hosting. It has an overall features score of 4.4 out of 5, but it comes in second overall for shared hosting, joint with Bluehost with a score of 4.5 out of 5.
What’s great about DreamHost is that even though it covers a lot of hosting types, it never underperforms for one in particular. Across all our research categories, DreamHost never drops below a 4 out of 5 overall, which is quite impressive. Its worst type of hosting is VPS, no due in small part to a quite poor performance score of 2.5 out of 5 (which we covered earlier).
It also has its very own website builder, an online tool that helps non-techy folk create their very own website – but more on that later.
The features DreamHost offers are mostly consistent across all its plans, but can sometimes vary. This depends on two things: the type of hosting you have, and the tier of pricing plan you’re on.
To make it easy for you, we’ve broken down some of DreamHost’s key features, discussing what they are and what you get.
Backups and Domain Name
DreamHost provides all its customers with free daily backups, regardless of what plan they’re on. This is a brilliant feature and really gives you peace of mind should something go wrong.
If you still need to purchase a domain name, that’s also free for the first year. To qualify for this, you’ll need to register a domain ending in any of the following: .com, .org, .club, .net, or .info.
SSL Security Certificate
A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate helps protect your visitors’ personal information. It’s symbolized by a small padlock icon next to your URL, which tells people that your site is safe to browse.
It’s also useful for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), as unsecured sites are usually punished by Google in search results rankings. DreamHost provides a free SSL certificate to every site it hosts.
Because DreamHost doesn’t track bandwidth or traffic, every plan comes with an unmetered transfer. This means there is technically no bandwidth limit.
Of course, you may run into other issues if you experience a huge spike in traffic, but it’s a great bonus that you don’t have to worry about bandwidth limits.
Random Access Memory, or RAM, is how all your site’s information is stored on its server. The larger your site is, the more RAM is required to store and load it.
If you opt for a cloud hosting package, you can expect RAM limits between 512MB and 16GB. On a dedicated hosting plan, however, that jumps to between 4GB and 64GB.
To give you some context, those RAM limits for dedicated hosting are right up there with the best providers around. The cloud hosting RAM limits, though, are pretty average.
One-Click Installs and Automated Updates
These features are specific to WordPress websites and act as a real-time-saver. One-click installs allow you to set up your DreamHost account with your WordPress site in exactly that – one click.
DreamHost also automatically keeps tabs on any software updates WordPress rolls out, meaning you don’t have to worry about staying up to date. It doesn’t do the same for WordPress plugins, though, so you will have to manage that yourself.
DreamHost offers support via live chat, tickets, forums, and its help center. However, you cannot contact DreamHost directly over the phone. This does hurt DreamHost’s overall help and support score in our research, which results in a poor 2.3 out of 5 overall. In terms of hosting types, its best hosting score for help and support is in shared hosting with 3.8 out of 5 and its worst is VPS with a 2.8.
If the prospect of not talking to a real person is too terrible even consider then DreamHost has live chat support, available from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm Pacific time, seven days a week. If English isn’t your first language, you can also speak to Spanish support staff.
Fair warning – waiting times can be fairly lengthy when DreamHost is inundated with support requests. Most of the time, though, you’ll receive a response within a couple of minutes or so.
The ticketing system works by you raising an issue and submitting it as a ticket. DreamHost’s support staff can then investigate your issue and respond. You’ll be sent alerts when your ticket has been responded to, so you won’t have to waste time constantly refreshing the page.
DreamHost’s help center is an online resource where you can search any queries – a bit like typing a question into Google.
There are dedicated help articles and guides that come packed full of useful information to teach you how to do certain tasks. This should normally be your first port of call, so as to avoid clogging up the live chat requests, and save yourself some time!
The same level of help and support is offered to all customers. This is great if you’re on a cheap hosting plan, but it’s kind of annoying that you’re not seen as a priority if you pay a little extra.
DreamHost’s value for money across its plans is really good! DreamHost comes third in our overall rankings for value for money, with an overall value score of 4.2 out of 5. Plus, it actually comes first for the cheapest form of web hosting – shared hosting – with a value score of 4.4 out of 5!
Many hosting providers like DreamHost show their three-year plans to customers so they see the cheapest price first. But we think three years is a bit of a commitment to make to a hosting provider! So we tend to show the annual prices, as we think they are a better reflection of the plan’s value and a more sensible contract length to you, the users.
|Hosting Type||Discount Price Range||Renewal Price Range|
|Shared||$2.95 per month||$6.99-$12.99 per month|
|Managed WordPress||$16.95-$71.95 per month||$19.99-$74.99 per month|
|VPS||$10-$80 per month||$12.99-$92.99 per month|
|Dedicated||NA||$149-$379 per month|
Which DreamHost Plan is the best value?
Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s the best value for money. We’ve researched each plan and its offerings against countless others to find you the best bang for your buck.
When it comes to good value, DreamHost’s shared hosting plans don’t get much better! With two plans at discount for the great price of $2.95 per month, plus their monster money-back guarantee of 97 days, DreamHost certainly earns its brilliant shared hosting value for money score of 4.4 out of 5 in our research.
DreamHost’s managed WordPress plans come in at a perfectly middle of the road 3.2 out of 5 in our research. While they offer some great features, the price of $80 per month for the higher plans is stretching it.
VPS hosting fairs a little better with a value score of 3.5 out of 5, coming in joint third place for value along with InMotion. A price decrease from $13.75 down to $10 makes this plan much more appealing to the eyes.
Finally, dedicated hosting brings up the rear with 2.5 out of 5 for value for money. The expensive starting price of $149 per month is a little offputting, especially for newcomers.
DreamHost pricing vs Competitor pricing
We’ve assembled some other top providers os you can see how DreamHost shapes up. We’ve kept them at annual prices to be fair as well:
|Provider||Shared Hosting||WordPress Managed Hosting||VPS Hosting||Dedicated Hosting|
|InMotion||$3.49-$14.99||$4.49-$16.99 (Shared WordPress)||$24.99-$59.99||$69.99-$259.99|
For a full breakdown check out our DreamHost Pricing review
DreamHost may not be the best provider for overall features, but it can stake a claim to be the host with the most.
On top of offering five different types of hosting, you can also purchase any of these three services.
If you don’t already have one, it makes sense to purchase your domain name with DreamHost. That way, everything’s kept under one roof, and you don’t have to worry about bills coming from lots of different places.
Companies can also host their emails with DreamHost. Anything above its most basic shared hosting plan will give you access to unlimited email accounts, which you can link to your domain. For example, if your domain was websitebuilderexpert.com, you could set up emails like email@example.com for your site’s visitors to contact.
Just starting out and don’t even have a website to host yet? Not a problem. You can create and customize one using DreamHost’s own DIY website builder, Remixer. There are tons of professionally designed templates for you to work off, and its editor makes it easy for technical novices, too.
There are two price plans for Remixer – Standard ($4.95/month), and All Access ($7.95/month). Both plans include your hosting costs, come with a free domain and 24/7 support, and are mobile optimized. You can even export your site to WordPress, should you outgrow the platform.
DreamHost has some clear strengths and weaknesses. However, with an ever-growing customer base of 1.5 million and coming in fourth overall in our rankings, it’s only improving.
With an impressive 4.4 out of 5 for shared hosting value for money and some consistently high scores across its hosting types, DreamHost makes a provider for those looking for an alternative to the big dogs like Bluehost or HostGator. DreamHost is a sleeping giant – both in name and service.
We Recommend DreamHost For Beginners On a Budget
DreamHost is ideal for anyone who needs a cheap web hosting plan, but doesn’t want to sacrifice too much quality. Its shared hosting service – both for WordPress and in general – is up there with the very best on the market.
It also comes with a 97-day money back guarantee, so if you’re not satisfied with the service, you can get your money back in full within the first three months. So why not turn your dream into a reality, and give DreamHost a go?