Dreamhost In 2019: What Do Dreamhost Client Reviews Say?

Our Verdict: Most Generous Money-Back Guarantee

Dreamhost is known for its 97-day money-back guarantee. This web hosting company also offers a variety of plans, ranging from shared and WordPress hosting, right up to dedicated servers for high-traffic sites.

Click any of one of the links in this review to snag an amazing deal on your Dreamhost plan .

Pros:

  • Customer support is available 24/7
  • User-friendly custom control panel
  • Fast site speeds with SSD servers

Cons:

  • Site migration from a cPanel host could be tricky
  • No reseller plans

Over 250 customers rate Dreamhost 3.9 out of 5 stars, praising its excellent customer support, ease of use and solid uptime.

Is Dreamhost Right for Your Website?

Looking for something specific? Jump to our most popular sections:

  • Expert review – our in-depth analysis by hosting specialist, Claire Broadley
  • Customer reviews – see what real Dreamhost customers have to say
  • Hosting plans – compare plans and pricing
  • FAQs – answers to the most common questions about Dreamhost

DreamHost Introduction

DreamHost has been an independent web hosting company since it was founded in 1997 with offices in Los Angeles and Brea in California, and Portland, Oregon.

Over the years, DreamHost has become famous for its generous 97-day money-back guarantee. It has introduced cloud hosting and computing services to broaden its portfolio, and improve reliability.

Most of DreamHost’s packages are marketed to individuals and startups.

It provides room to grow, with dedicated servers and VPS hosting, and it also supports reselling and e-commerce.

DreamHost Homepage

Hosting Services And Plans

Let’s run through the hosting plans offered by DreamHost, with quick mentions of performance, features, and resource allocations.

Shared Hosting

DreamHost’s strength has always been in the shared hosting market, and it continues to offer shared hosting today.

The 100% uptime guarantee will be attractive for small businesses, and its one-click package for WordPress includes automatic updates. Resources are unlimited: storage, bandwidth, email accounts, and domains have no cap.

WordPress Hosting

If you only run WordPress, DreamHost offers either shared or fully managed WordPress hosting service alongside its conventional web hosting solutions.

SSL certificates are pre-installed with Performance plans.

DreamHost says that it’s a lot faster than regular shared hosting, and it scales to cope with spikes in traffic. The cheapest and unmanaged “Value” plan starts at $2.95 per month and comes with unlimited bandwidth, unlimited storage, and a free domain name.

For “Performance” plans, customers can expect WordPress specialized support staff to be at their disposal. SSL certificates also come free with all WordPress hosting plans.

Variety of WordPress Hosting Plans

DreamHost proves to be a worthy contender as a WordPress hosting provider with a total of five different plans to choose from:

Shared 1 Shared 2 Perform 1 Perform 2 Perform 3
Free SSL Avail Avail Pre-inst Pre-inst Pre-inst
Free JetPack Pro
On-Demand Backups
Support Std Std Special Special Special
Lowest Price * $2.59 $7.95 $16.95 $24.95 $71.95
* Prices are based on yearly contracts

VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers, and Reseller Plans

VPS hosting and dedicated hosting plans offer SSD hosting and scalable resources.

The VPS plan includes a free trial of its MySQL VPS add-on. This service places your MySQL databases on their own server for improved load times. If you want to keep the service, you’ll need to pay.

The fully-managed dedicated server plan priced at $169.00 per month includes:

  • 100% uptime guarantee

  • DDoS protection

  • Root access

  • RAID 1 storage.

DreamHost doesn’t sell a reseller package, but you can allocate certain chunks of your account to other users. This model may not suit you if you plan to run a full reseller hosting business.

Additional Services And Features

DreamHost squeezes in a handful of useful features alongside its hosting plans.

Website Builder

Dreamhost Website Builder

The Remixer website builder plans are designed for those looking to get their websites up and running with little to no coding and immediately. They are reasonably priced, starting at $4.95 per month and include:

  • Unlimited websites and pages

  • Fully responsive design

  • Free domain name

  • 24/7 support

  • Email accounts (premium only)

  • Remixer website builder.

Domain Registrar and Email Hosting

Other services include:

  • A domain registrar with over 400 top-level-domains available. DreamHost throws in a domain management service and free private domain registrations with this bundle. Name reservations are also available.

  • Email hosting plans can be purchased at $1.67 per month and include a 25GB mailbox, IMAP support and advanced security features like spam, virus, and phishing protection.

  • WooCommerce hosting is another available option under DreamHost’s WordPress hosting with free migration services, SSL certificates, and 1-click restore backups included.

Continued after user reviews

Dreamhost Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 274 Reviews by Dreamhost Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Davdi French avatar
Davdi French jackalope.tech
Nov 19, 2018

Love Dreamhost. They’re great. Sometimes I wish there was a little bit better organization to their UI, they don’t use cPanel and the panel they use instead is a bit odd at times, but I think that’s mostly just preference.

What they’re great at, and the most important thing to me, is their customer service. It’s dope. It’s amazing.

The best. I can get in contact via a chat window with a tech within 5 ten minutes no problem, give a brief explanation of my issue and they will help me fix whatever I’m having trouble with, no issue. Also they have a great API that makes DNS management easy, and a very accessible and well written knowledge base that is SEO.

Visit Host Now →

Warner Blake avatar
Warner Blake pstoo.org
Nov 03, 2018

In 1996, the Seattle Art Museum and Microsoft funded a program to help artists create and host a website which I did for my nonprofit organization, Pstoo (Puppet Soup Theater of Objects). Still had the website when the program ended, but no host — that’s when Dreamhost stepped up with free hosting for nonprofits! Think I discovered Dreamhost around the same time I was embracing WordPress, circa 2005. We have been a team since then, even before they began throwing parties in Seattle.

Visit Host Now →

Ellen M. Gregg avatar
Ellen M. Gregg ellenmgregg.com
Oct 29, 2018

I’ve used several – perhaps many – different web hosts. Dreamhost offers me a sense of stability for my site that I haven’t experienced before this. First, there’s the SSL certificate, which grows ever more important for online businesses. (I’m always shocked when I see that my peers don’t have SSLs for their sites.) Then, there’s the uptime.

Save for an incident on Thursday night, when Jetpack reported my site being down for three hours, my site’s uptime has been blessedly constant. Oh – and the incident was taken care of in short order once I reported it to support. That means a lot – both the uptime and the support.

I also appreciate the alignment of DreamPress for my WordPress-platform site. That synergy is a match made in website heaven. So… That’s why you rock, Dreamhost!

Visit Host Now →

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DreamHost Control Panel 

DreamHost has always rejected third-party control panels like cPanel and Plesk. Instead, it has its own proprietary panel. This panel allows you to control most of the same technical aspects of a hosting account, and it’s provided free with every hosting package.

This consistency means that many users have grown to love the custom panel.

How Can I Import Data From Other Control Panels?

However, there is one important thing to remember. DreamHost does not have a way to import data from other panels. If you need to transfer from a cPanel host, for example, you will need to manually migrate your files and databases.

Additionally, you can’t import your email from a cPanel backup file. You will need to recreate each email address, download the mail from your old host via IMAP, and manually drag it into your DreamHost mailbox using a desktop mail application.

The same applies to transferring to any host that isn’t DreamHost. It’s got to be a manual process, and it might involve some work at the command line.

This isn’t a reason to reject DreamHost. But be aware of its unusual approach before committing to a contract.

DreamHost Datacenter

DreamHost uses datacenters on the east and west coasts of the US. Customers can’t choose which datacenter their files are stored at, and you can’t select your preferred location at checkout.

If you want to change, you’ll need to raise a support ticket.

One advantage that DreamHost does have is that its staff are physically close to some of its machines at all times. So it can get that crucial hands-on access that’s sometimes needed, without the need to rely on third-party remote hands.

Technical Support

DreamHost operates its own in-house customer support team, with support staff available 24/7 to assist customers.

Customers can raise a ticket through the DreamHost control panel, and there’s also a form on the website. The account area also has a live chat facility which is not available to non-customers.

Dreamhost Knowledgebase
There are a variety of self-help categories available.

You can’t contact DreamHost support by phone unless it offers a callback to assist. It does have a large knowledgebase, and a huge customer support forum stretching back for many years.

Uptime and Service Guarantees

DreamHost offers an excellent 100% uptime guarantee across all hosting packages. Credit is provided for downtime, using a simple calculation: 1 day of credit for 1 hour of downtime.

However, this is capped at a maximum of 10% of your hosting fee. Downtime only officially begins when you open a support ticket, so if you suspect network problems, it’s a good idea to act quickly.

Money-Back Guarantee For Shared Hosting Accounts

The guarantee only applies to accounts paid for using a credit card.

DreamHost’s 97-day money-back guarantee is a key selling point for its service.

It’s one of the longest guarantee periods you’ll find at any hosting company, and it gives you time to try out its control panel without commitment.

DreamHost Pros and Cons

Let’s cover the strengths and weaknesses of DreamHost as a hosting provider before we proceed into the depths of the review.

Pros

  • Free domains and SSL certificates

  • Generous money-back guarantee

  • Large selection of premium services

  • Reasonably priced web hosting.

Cons

  • Extended money-back guarantee limited to shared hosting plans only

  • Custom control panel instead of cPanel or Plesk

  • No domain transfers available, manual migration only.

Summary

DreamHost offers an innovative approach to hosting, and its move to the cloud has allowed it to branch out. Despite the advance of other control panels, it has stuck to its approach of using its own custom panel for everything.

Depending on your situation, the control panel could be a blessing or a curse, and the lack of a reseller option could be limiting in some cases.

But the long money-back period with the shared hosting plans means you have a chance to try DreamHost’s unique service for 97 days without risk.

Sound good? Visit DreamHost now.

Contributing editor: Marko Csokasi.

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DreamHost Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does DreamHost offer a money-back guarantee?

    Yes, but it’s limited. DreamHost only offers its 97-day money-back guarantee on shared hosting purchased by credit card. No other products, services, or payment methods are eligible. If you received a free domain, the value will be deducted from your refund.

  • Can DreamHost help me to migrate my website?

    No. If you need to move your site, you will need to do it manually. DreamHost provides some support documentation, but it will not migrate your site for you. Given that DreamHost uses a proprietary control panel, this can be an involved process.

  • How do I contact Dreamhost?

    DreamHost prefers support requests to go through its ticketing system. You can open a new ticket by filling in a form on its website. Its technical support team is based in-house, and is available 24/7. It does offer live chat as well. If you’d like to speak on the phone, you’ll need to ask for a callback. There is a fee for telephone support.

  • Where is DreamHost located?

    The company is headquartered in Brea, California in the USA.

  • Where are its datacenters located?

    The company utilizes one datacenter in California and one in Virginia.

  • Is there a minimum contract period?

    The minimum term on most packages is 1 month.

  • Does Dreamhost support WordPress?

    Yes. Dreamhost supports WordPress with both their shared and VPS hosting services. More, a fully managed WordPress solution is also available for bigger websites as well as businesses that need the most dependable environment. Note, however, that managed WordPress hosting is significantly more expensive.

  • Which control panel does DreamHost offer?

    DreamHost has its own proprietary control panel, Web Panel. 

  • Is the customer support multilingual?

    No. The support team provides support in English only.

  • Does DreamHost have a reseller plan?

    DreamHost allows reseller, but it doesn’t offer a traditional reseller option. If you want to resell its hosting, you just add your customers’ domains to your account, and manage them in the usual way. DreamHost does not provide any white label services or support, and you will be fully responsible for any violation of DreamHost’s terms.

  • Are backups included?

    DreamHost takes daily snapshots, but these are for internal use only. DreamHost is vague about the details, so it would be wise to make your own backup arrangements using the manual backup feature in the web panel.

  • What payment options does DreamHost accept?

    DreamHost accepts major credit cards, checks, wire payments, money orders, gift certificates, and PayPal.

  • Can I create more than one website?

    On a shared hosting plan, you can create unlimited websites. On a WordPress hosting plan, each additional website attracts a monthly charge.

  • Can I install Magento?

    In theory, Magento will run on any plan with sufficient storage space and RAM. DreamHost does not offer specialized Magento packages.

  • Are DreamHost’s servers secure?

    DreamHost’s sites and servers are protected around the clock. The company does not provide details about the nature of its datacenter security.

  • Are one-click installers provided?

    Yes. DreamHost offers around 20 one-click installers, including WordPress, Joomla!, MediaWiki, phpBB, and Zen Cart.

  • Could I host an image-heavy site with DreamHost?

    Yes. DreamHost offers unlimited resources on its shared hosting plans. Providing you do not create a resource-intensive website, such as a download site, you should not run into any problems.

  • Does DreamHost offer any discounts for non-profit organizations?

    US non-profit charitable organizations can claim a free shared hosting plan. A 501(c)(3) letter will be requested. 

Claire Broadley

About Claire Broadley

Claire has been creating websites for over 20 years and has been using WordPress for over ten. She is an expert in web hosting, design, HTML, and more. She lives with her husband and son in the United Kingdom.

Connect with Claire

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