DreamHost (or DH) is a privately-held hosting company founded in 1997 in California by four computer science majors, making it one of the first pioneers to lay the foundation of the web hosting industry. Ever since its appearance on the market, it’s fully satisfied millions of subscribers and currently hosts over half a million domains.
Although it’s exponentially grown and now nets millions of dollars on a yearly basis, their customer support has conversely become only stronger and customer satisfaction-sided. Catering to the needs of their customers is top priority and not a single client is left aside should any problems appear on their end. As a result, they are widely-known on the market for accruing many positive reviews and very few negative ones. Let’s delve a bit into their offer.
DreamHost Review: General Information
DreamHost possess a wide array of impressive hardware. As such, their data center houses hundreds of multi-CPU Debian Linux servers, which host a whopping 500,000 domains quite hassle-free. Aside from the technicalities, they have been long known to establish a personal touch with each of their customers. This can be seen, for example, in the monthly newsletter that is sent to their millions of customers. A company which treats their clients as people rather than chart numbers is a very good sign.
Being a web hosting industry pioneer, it goes without saying that DreamHost’s offer is highly-varied. They offer shared, VPS, Cloud and Dedicated Server hosting, each of them striving to cater to as many needs and budgets as possible. As customary, each of these hosting options is divided in subsequent personal and business plans, following the same catering-to-all policy.
Additionally, each of their hosting plans feature one-click install software for the installation of popular blogging platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, MediaWiki and phpbb (forum software). While it is not as varied as Fantastico is, their proposed software will likely suffice, especially if you envisage to only install widely-known platforms on your website.
While the shared hosting offer is not the cheapest one on the market, it is also considerably more equipped with the necessary benefits to upstart your business and/or blog. For $8.95 per month, you can get the following and many more:
- Unlimited Bandwidth, Disk Space and websites to host
- Unlimited E-mail Accounts, IMAP and SMTP enabled
- Full SFTP/FTP and SSL support
- Debian Linux OS
- cPanel Control Panel with 1-click install software
Furthermore, it is also advisable to bear in mind that this price brings with it a lot more advantages than rival hosting provider, such as guaranteed 100% up-time or your money back, and unlimited everything (CPU allocation, bandwidth, disk pace and websites to host), so you actually get what you pay for. On top of that, they also offer a 14-day service evaluation period which is more than enough to shape an initial opinion about their overall reliability.
VPS Hosting Plans
If your projects easily exceed the hosting power shared servers can provide, it is highly commendable to opt for a VPS hosting plan. Once again, the price is slightly more expensive than those found at rival companies, but since it’s DreamHost we’re talking about here, you are not committing any mistake. Since VPSes cannot be shared between clients due to their nature, it only results in enhanced reliability, server speed and dedicated resources.
Dedicated Server Hosting Plans
If you want to take your website to the next level and not worry about the inherent problems that shared and VPS hosting bring along, then DH’s Dedicated Server Hosting Plans will cater to you the most. It being the pinnacle of the company’s hosting options, it’s also bound to burn a hole in your pocket if you do not possess the budget to invest on a monthly basis. Leaving aside this concern, all of their dedicated servers support standard scripting languages such as CGI, Ruby and PHP4 & PHP 5.
DreamHost Review: Uptime & Performance
As we previously covered, the folks at DH offer a generous 100% uptime guarantee. Independent tests conducted by us and other sites alike show that it is not an empty promise, their servers being truly up to par with the stringent standards that this industry has implemented.
As unexpected issues are always bound to arise, they also considered the imminent eventuality of their servers suddenly becoming unstable, and as such, would be glad to offer their users one day of free hosting for each hour their site is down because of the host, which is a nice perk, considering other companies are not so eager to admit to having problems.
One way to test their performance without actually buying any of their plans is to see how much time it takes for their website to load. At the time of writing of this review, we spent a total of 7.8 seconds waiting for the homepage to fully load, which is not a bad result for 10 MBPS Internet speed.
DreamHost Customer Support: The Good and The Bad
The best part about DreamHost’s customer support is that they guarantee all queries are responded to within 12 hours. It’s not only a promise – they really do respond within 12 hours, regardless of the complexity of your problem. The worst part about their customer support is that, well, they do not currently support live chat facility for shared hosting subscription holders, in spite of popular demand, unlike Hostgator or A2Hosting . The lack of live chat support is however compensated for by a support forum and a wiki page for customers to diagnose common problems without waiting for their query to be answered. The VPS and Dedicated Hosting customers do benefit from live chat support via phone.
DreamHost In a Nutshell…
The best part about DreamHost is that they offer 97-day money back guarantee, way above the 30-day industry standard, along with 1-click software installer and a plethora of satisfied customers that can vouch for them. On top of that, their two-week trial is very welcome, considering a lot of people have grown skeptical over the course of time owing to previous bad experiences with rival companies.
The worse (not worst) part about them is that they’re not the cheapest company on the market (at least with regard to the shared hosting plans) and that they do not offer live chat facility for shared hosting subscribers, which is a shame, considering they are paying a whopping ~$9 per month, whereas they could easily get the same benefits for $5 or $6 elsewhere (check out 5 best cheap hosting companies), without the 100% uptime guarantee of course.
DreamHost Review: Conclusion
Their offer seems indeed promising, and the unlimited-everything extra is as tempting, but if you believe your budget cannot really support the inherent costs, you would be better off claiming the two-week trial beforehand and see if the hosting provider does indeed cater to your needs and possibilities. Good luck!
If you are currently hosted your website at DreamHost, please leave your comment and opinion about DreamHost in the comment session below!