DreamHost Reviews of 2021

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Our Verdict: Most Generous Money-Back Guarantee

DreamHost is known for their 97-day money-back guarantee. They also offer a variety of plans, ranging from basic shared hosting to managed WordPress hosting to dedicated servers for high-traffic sites.

Over 250 of our users have reviewed DreamHost, giving them an average score of 4 out of 5 stars. In particular, DreamHost receives a lot of praise for their excellent customer support, user-friendly interface, and reliable performance.

We'll go over everything else you need to know about DreamHost below. Also, you can click on any of the links in this review to get a special discount on DreamHost hosting.

Quick Overview

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

Over the years, DreamHost has become famous for their generous 97-day money-back guarantee for shared hosting plans. They've also introduced cloud hosting and computing services to broaden their portfolio and improve reliability.

Most of DreamHost's packages are marketed to individuals and startups, but there's also a lot of room to grow with their dedicated servers and VPS hosting plans. They support e-commerce as well.

DreamHost Homepage

DreamHost Pros and Cons

Before we dive into the details, let's review the biggest strengths and weaknesses of DreamHost as a hosting provider:

Pros:

  • Generous money-back guarantee
  • Fast site speeds with SSD servers
  • Free domains and SSL certificates
  • Customer support is available 24/7

Cons:

  • Custom control panel instead of cPanel or Plesk
  • Site migration from a cPanel host can be tricky
  • No reseller plans

DreamHost Hosting Plans

Now that we've covered the basics, let's run through what each DreamHost plan has to offer in terms of performance, features, and resource allocation.

Shared Hosting

DreamHost's strength has always been in the shared hosting market, and they continue to offer great shared hosting plans today.

Their 100% uptime guarantee will certainly be attractive to small businesses. Resources are also unlimited/unmetered on all but the cheapest plan: storage, bandwidth, email accounts, and domains have no cap.

For WordPress users, DreamHost offers both a pre-installed option and manual one-click installs. There's also an option for automatic updates.

WordPress Hosting

Speaking of WordPress, DreamHost offers shared and fully managed WordPress hosting services alongside their conventional web hosting plans.

SSL certificates are pre-installed with hosting plans.

DreamHost claims that these plans are a lot faster than regular shared hosting, and they automatically scale in order to adjust to spikes in traffic.

The cheapest unmanaged plan, "WordPress Starter", costs as little as $2.49 per month and comes with unmetered bandwidth, 50 GB storage, and a free domain name.

"WordPress Unlimited" customers get unmetered bandwidth in addition to unlimited storage, email, and websites. And then there are the "DreamPress" plans, which are fully managed.

WordPress StarterWordPress UnlimitedDreamPressDreamPress PlusDreamPress Pro
Free SSLAvailableAvailablePre-installedPre-installedPre-installed
Free JetPack Pro
On-Demand Backups
WordPress Support
Lowest Price *$2.49$3.95$16.95$24.95$71.95
* Prices are based on 3-year (unmanaged) and 1-year (managed) contracts

VPS Hosting, Dedicated Servers, and Reseller Plans

DreamHost's managed VPS plans start at $10 per month for 1 GB of memory and 30 GB of storage. Their top plans are $80 per month for 8 GB of memory and 240 GB of storage.

These plans include a free trial of DreamHost's MySQL VPS add-on. This service places your MySQL databases on their own servers for improved load times. If you want to keep the service, you'll need to pay $15 per month after the trial.

DreamHost also offers fully-managed dedicated server plans. The prices start at $149 per month, which includes:

  • 4-Core Intel Xeon CPU
  • 4 GB memory
  • 1 TB HDD RAID 1 storage
  • Local MySQL database server
  • Ubuntu

DreamHost doesn't offer 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 additional useful tools alongside its hosting plans.

For example, the Remixer website builder is designed for those looking to immediately get their websites up and running with little to no coding required. Its features include:

  • Unlimited websites and pages
  • Mobile-friendly pages
  • Free domain name
  • 24/7 support
  • Email accounts (premium only)
Dreamhost Website Builder

DreamHost also offers many other services, such as:

  • Domain registration with over 400 top-level domains available
  • Email hosting plans are priced as low as $1.67 per month, which includes a 25 GB mailbox, IMAP support, and spam, virus, and phishing protection
  • WooCommerce hosting can be added to any DreamHost plan — this service includes free migration, SSL certificates, and 1-click restore backups


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DreamHost Control Panel

DreamHost has always rejected third-party control panels like cPanel and Plesk. Instead, they have their 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?

DreamHost does not provide a tool for importing 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.

DreamHost will transfer your data for you, however. This service is included for free with some plans. Otherwise, it will cost you $99 per website.

DreamHost Datacenters

DreamHost uses datacenters on the east and west coasts of the United States. While customers can't choose their datacenter at checkout, they can have it changed via support.

One advantage to using DreamHost is that they have staff who are physically close to their machines at all times. So, they can always get that crucial hands-on access that is sometimes required, without the need to rely on third parties.

Technical Support

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

Customers can open a support ticket through the DreamHost control panel, and there's a form on the website. The user's account dashboard also has a live chat feature, which is not available to non-customers.

Dreamhost Knowledgebase
There are a variety of self-help categories available in the DreamHost knowledge base and forums.

Unfortunately, you can't contact DreamHost support directly by phone. But they do have a large knowledge base, as well as a huge customer support forum that stretches back for many years.



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Uptime and Service Guarantees

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

One of DreamHost's key selling points is their 97-day money-back guarantee.

This is one of the longest guarantee periods you'll find at any hosting company, and it gives you more than enough time to try out their control panel without making a long-term commitment.

DreamHost Review Summary

Despite the popularity of other control panels, DreamHost has stuck to their own custom panel. Depending on your situation, the control panel could be a blessing or a curse, and the lack of a reseller option could also be limiting in some cases.

But the extra-long money-back guarantee that's provided with shared hosting plans means you have a chance to try DreamHost for 97 days without any risk.

Sound good? Visit DreamHost now.

Contributing editor: Marko Csokasi.

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

DreamHost Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does DreamHost offer a money-back guarantee?

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

  • Can DreamHost help me migrate my website?

    Yes. They offer free migration on some advanced plans. Otherwise, they charge $99 per website. DreamHost provides some support documentation to help you move your website manually. Given that DreamHost uses a proprietary control panel, this can be an involved process.

  • How do I contact DreamHost?

    DreamHost prefers for support requests to go through their ticketing system. You can open a new ticket by filling in a form on their website. Their technical support team is in-house and available 24/7. They offer live chat as well. If you'd like to speak on the phone, you'll need to ask for a callback. Also, there is a fee for this callback support.

  • Where is DreamHost located?

    The company is headquartered in Brea, California.

  • Where are their datacenters located?

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

  • Is there a minimum contract period?

    The minimum term on most packages is one month.

  • Is the customer support multilingual?

    No. Support is provided in English only.

  • Are backups included?

    DreamHost automatically takes daily snapshots, but these are for internal use only. You should make your own backup arrangements using the manual backup feature in the DreamHost control panel.

  • Which payment options does DreamHost accept?

    DreamHost only accepts credit cards and (for some hosting plans) PayPal for the initial payment. For later payments, they accept major credit cards, checks, electronic checks, money orders, gift certificates, and PayPal.

  • Can I install Magento?

    Magento will run on any plan with sufficient storage space and RAM, but 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 their datacenter security.

  • Are one-click installers provided?

    Yes. DreamHost offers a number of one-click installers, including WordPress, Joomla, MediaWiki, phpBB, and Zen Cart.

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

    Yes. DreamHost offers unlimited storage and bandwidth with many of their plans. As long as you don't create a download site, you shouldn't 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.

Dreamhost Reviews by Our Community

Overall Rating from 276 Reviews by Dreamhost Customers

Support
Quality
Features
Value

Most Helpful Reviews

Natalie Mootz avatar
Natalie Mootz nataliemootz.com
Aug 07, 2019

I've been with Dreamhost for over 10 years and I've never had a reason to want to switch. Their customer support has been able to help me with any problems I've had - and there haven't been any that weren't self-inflicted. They are extremely responsive via email and chat.

What's wonderful is that they understand WHY you want to do a thing, so they're not just drones pasting in canned answers. For example, I had a couple of self-hosted sites. When I lost my job and was cutting back expenses, I couldn't even afford the $10/month hosting I was paying.

However, my sister had a Dreamhost hosting plan and she offered to host my sites on her account. I was upfront and explained all this to customer support. They totally understood and walked me through the entire process of moving my sites over to my sister's hosting account. (All this for free, mind you, they didn't get any money out of it.

In fact, they lost my monthly hosting fee!)

Although their domain renewals aren't super cheap (~$16/year), you can renew them any way you like: automatic renewals, don't renew, or ask me. If you choose "ask me" they'll shoot you an email a month ahead of time so you can have a chance to move the domain if you want. (I never want.)

It should be noted that my sites are all WordPress and I don't do any development so I can't speak to any super-technical setups. Dreamhost's 1-click WP install works right out of the box so I just click and go. I recommend them without reservation.

Visit Host Now →

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 →

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