DreamHost is a popular award-winning hosting company, and one of WordPress.org’s officially recommended hosts. They offer domain registration and web hosting services, including managed WordPress hosting. Their platform offer everything you need to grow your website, whether you’re a new blogger or an established business. See our expert DreamHost review to decide if it’s the right choice for you.
In this detailed DreamHost hosting review, we’ll put their promises to test. For a comprehensive overview, we’ll look into the following areas:
- Performance: Speed is critical for making successful websites. How fast will your website load with DreamHost?
- Reliability: Will your website will be up all the time without any service disruptions?
- Customer Support: How good are DreamHost support options?
- Features: What features do they offer to make it easier to run your website?
- Pricing: How much it would cost you? Are there any DreamHost deals that can save you money?
This is a comprehensive DreamHost review with lots of details. If you don’t want to read the full review, here is the quick scorecard with our verdict right below it.
|DreamHost Review Summary|
|Average load time||330 ms|
|Average response time||77 ms|
|Support||Live Chat / Knowledge base|
|Start with DreamHost|
Bottom line: We found DreamHost to be fast and reliable. They have flexible hosting plans and friendly technical support.
That being said, let’s get into the detailed DreamHost review so that you can compare our test results and make your own mind.
DreamHost was founded in 1997 by four friends at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California: Dallas Bethune, Josh Jones, Michael Rodriguez and Sage Weil. Since then, DreamHost has become one of the most well-known and popular web hosting companies. They now host over 1.5 million websites, including over 750,000 WordPress installations. They’ve won PCMag’s Business Choice Awards for Best Web Hosting Service for 2014-2016.
DreamHost is also a certified carbon-neutral host, and makes every effort to conserve resources in their own offices. They’re also a member of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce.
Pros and Cons of DreamHost
DreamHost is a popular web hosting provider, but it may not be right for everyone. Consider these pros and cons before choosing a plan.
- Award Winning Hosting – DreamHost has won the PCMag Readers’ Choice Award for best business hosting. They rated high in reader surveys for their reliability and tech support.
- Money Back Guarantee – DreamHost offers a 97-day money back guarantee. That means you can cancel your account within 97 days of signing up and get a full refund.
- Free Domain and Privacy – Every DreamHost plan includes one free domain name registration plus domain privacy, so your contact information isn’t made public on the web.
- Monthly Billing With No Setup Fee – DreamHost pricing plans allow you to pay month-to-month, without having to pay a setup fee.
- Automatic Daily Backups – DreamHost plans come with automatic daily website backups. Although we always recommend users to set up their own real-time WordPress backups.
- Support Isn’t Immediate – DreamHost has set times for live chat support and an emailed based ticket system. This means it may take a while before you can get a response.
- No Email – DreamHost doesn’t offer email accounts for the Starter plan of their WordPress shared hosting. Though you can get it for $1.65/ mo or use an external business email provider.
DreamHost Performance Tests
WPBeginner users trust our reviews of WordPress products and services because we only recommend the companies that we have used ourselves.
For our WordPress hosting reviews, we sign up for each top hosting provider. After that, we set up demo websites so that we can properly test their claims with our own performance tests.
For this DreamHost review, we signed up for a hosting account and installed WordPress. We used the default theme and filled our test site with Theme Unit Test Data including media and images. This way our test site looked and behaved like an actual WordPress site.
DreamHost Speed Test Results
No one likes a slow website. A faster website is crucial for a better user experience and SEO.
That’s why we ran the website speed test first. For this test we used Pingdom and here are the test results:
Our test site loaded in less than half a second, which is excellent. However, this test alone does not show the full picture because our test site has no traffic at all.
DreamHost Stress Test Results
Next, we wanted to see how well DreamHost handles website traffic during peak hours. To measure this, we used a tool called K6 (formerly called Load Impact).
We gradually built up to 100 unique visitors at once to see how the server would handle increased requests from multiple connections at the same time.
Here is our first stress test result.
The blue line represents page load time and the green line represents the number of users on the site.
As you can see, our site remained available throughout the test. However, the response time went up as users increased.
That’s because we turned off DreamHost’s pre-installed WordPress caching solution. Once we enabled a caching plugin, the stress test result improved dramatically.
As you can see, our test site handled 97 requests per second (16,000 requests total) with an average response time of 77 ms.
What this means is that if you have a WordPress blog, small business website, or an online store, your website can easily handle sudden traffic spikes.
DreamHost Response Time Test Results
Next, we wanted to test how our DreamHost test site responds to requests from different geographic locations. To measure this, we used a tool called Bitcatcha.
As you can see our response times remained steady across the globe. They were particularly great in North America and Europe.
DreamHost Uptime Test Results
It is also important to notice that our website didn’t go down during testing. We enable the downtime tracker because often during stress tests, some hosting servers will crash.
This is another sign that DreamHost is a reliable hosting platform.
DreamHost Hosting Plans and Features
DreamHost specializes in providing hosting for web designers, developers, bloggers, and online businesses. They support and use open source technologies, apps, and platforms like WordPress and Joomla.
Their one-click installer includes configurations for many open source apps. As a Dreamhost customer, you get expert support, free migrations, and built-in security features.
Their hosting options include: shared hosting, email hosting, managed WordPress hosting, VPS hosting (Virtual private servers), and dedicated servers. They also offer cloud hosting packages and cloud storage.
All of DreamHost’s plans use SSD drives for faster loading. DreamHost also uses a proprietary control panel instead of cPanel.
Shared hosting includes:
- 1 free domain registration and Let’s encrypt free SSL
- unlimited storage and bandwidth
- Easy to use control panel
- Unlimited email accounts and subdomains (with WordPress unlimited shared plan)
- 1-click installation of WordPress
Shared Hosting Pricing
DreamHost’s shared hosting plans start at $2.59 per month (3-years billed). You can also choose to pay monthly for the Shared Starter plan, but the price goes up to $4.59 per month.
For additional functionality and email accounts, you can upgrade to WordPress Shared Unlimited plan which starts at $3.59 (billed 3-years). This plan also allows you to add unlimited websites to your account.
Managed WordPress Plans
DreamHost also offers a managed WordPress hosting plan called DreamPress. DreamPress is over 5 times faster than shared hosting. The linux servers are optimized for WordPress, and they can handle traffic spikes (millions of visitors) without your website going down.
Managed WordPress hosting also includes:
- Automatic WordPress core updates for security
- Private IP address and SSL certificate pre-installed for eCommerce sites
- SSD storage and unmetered bandwidth
- Web application firewall to block malware and brute-force attack mitigation.
- One-click staging site set up
- Free website builder along with on-demand as well as daily backups
- DreamPress Pro and Plus plans also include unlimited CDN and Jetpack Professional add-on features.
- Dedicated hosting with your own CPU server resources for maximum performance
In our DreamHost review, we found that they provide high-quality, reliable hosting at very affordable prices. Their plans include everything you need to build your website and room to upgrade when your site grows.
Support and Customer Service
DreamHost offers 24/7 email support via a ticket system. You can open a request for support through your DreamHost account dashboard.
They also offer Live Chat support between 5:30 AM and 9:30 PM Pacific Time through the panel. You can also request a callback service for an additional fee.
They also maintain a comprehensive Knowledge base and a forum on their website where you can post your questions. The support team is active in the forums, and most questions are answered within 24 hours.
Many reviews mention the quality of their support, though some reviewers were frustrated by not having access to immediate phone or live chat support (24/7).
While live chat and phone support can be useful for simple questions, customers with more complicated issues are usually directed to open a support ticket anyway.
DreamHost maintains an extensive knowledge base on their website that answers the most common questions users have about hosting. If you have a more complicated issue, it probably could not be answered immediately via live chat or phone even if it was available.
Conclusion: Is DreamHost Right for You?
Now that you have read through our entire DreamHost review, you might be wondering whether DreamHost is the right web host for you.
After reviewing DreamHost services in detail, we are awarding them with the title “Best DIY Hosting” for WordPress users.
DreamHost is highly rated for its fast and reliable hosting. They’ve won numerous awards and get rave reviews from their customers. But it may not be the right choice for you if you need a lot of help getting started.
They have limited live chat hours and email-based support can be slower. We recommend DreamHost to DIY users who want affordable prices, high uptime guarantee, and are comfortable figuring things out on their own using the comprehensive knowledge base.
Ready to get started with DreamHost? Click here to select your DreamHost plan today.
WPBeginner users get an exclusive 72% discount on shared hosting and a free domain with our DreamHost coupon code, or a 16% discount on managed WordPress hosting with our DreamPress coupon code.
All you have to do is click on this link to purchase. The discount will be auto-applied.
Frequently Asked Questions About DreamHost
Following are a few of the commonly asked questions (FAQs) about DreamHost that we have been asked by our users.
Is DreamHost a good host?
Yes, DreamHost is a good host for any type of starter WordPress website. They offer great features, a rock-solid platform, and fast servers at an affordable cost.
Their quality of service and pricing is on par with HostGator, GoDaddy, InMotion Hosting, and Bluehost.
The only web hosting company that offers cheaper web hosting prices than DreamHost is Hostinger.
Does DreamHost use cPanel?
No, DreamHost does not use cPanel. Instead, they have built their own custom control panel that has all the management features you’ll find in cPanel.
You can easily do MySQL database management, change PHP versions, access 1-click installers for WordPress, manage SSH & FTP access, and more.
Which is better Bluehost or DreamHost?
Bluehost and DreamHost offer similar features and they are both good hosting providers. However, Bluehost has an edge as they offer 24/7 Live Chat support which is great for beginners.
Which is better DreamHost vs SiteGround?
DreamHost and SiteGround used to be similar, but recently SiteGround has significantly improved their web hosting platform. However, they have also increased their pricing by 2x.
So the comparison isn’t fair anymore.
If you were comparing DreamHost vs SiteGround based on shared hosting prices, then DreamHost is better.
However if you were comparing DreamPress managed hosting vs SiteGround, then SiteGround offers a lot more value for better pricing.
Where are DreamHost servers located?
DreamHost servers are located in the United States. They have data centers in Ashburn Virginia and Hillsboro Oregon. DreamHost headquarter is located in Brea, California.
Can I Install WooCommerce on DreamHost?
Yes, you can easily install WooCommerce on DreamHost shared hosting as well as VPS plans.
Ready to start with DreamHost? Get 72% off on your DreamHost plan by clicking here to sign up for DreamHost. The discount will be auto-applied.
577 DreamHost User Reviews
Peter N says
Their livechat system is 24/7 now. Rarely does it go offline, but they tell you in their status page in advance.
Nice, It’s A Good One
Tyler W. says
Dreamhost is great until you try to cancel. Their automated system does not let you cancel and then they try to charge you to close your account. No wonder the prices are so low to start.
Peter N says
This is not true, their cancellation is a 4-step process. Takes 3 minutes to complete and if your balance is $0 you pay nothing to close the account. From what I am seeing, the only time you have to pay to cancel, is when you received a free domain registration credit from the service plan you chose. Imo, it is fair for them to charge you for the free domain registration if you cancel the service that provided it.
Ed Lehmann says
This is a great company. I’ve been using them for 9 years for a number of small web sites. They have been fantastic for someone who isn’t super web savvy. Plus you only pay an annual fee for as many sites as you want (I’m sure you wouldn’t use this feature if your site got 50,000 hits a day). I just started learning WordPress and again they have been excellent in their help. Also, I use them for my domain name management as they don’t inundate you with extra fees and ads.
John F says
Dreamhost tech support is bad. Well, not just bad- non-existent. Many emails, no response. And you cannot call them on the tel-e-phone!
Simply awful. The only available support is so-called “24/7 in-house support”, which in the Dreamhost reality means you’ll get an answer on your question / problem in a few DAYS over email. And if their reply wasn’t completely clear, wait a few days for another reply. This company lives in some sort of parallel universe, where everything is extremely slow and inefficient. Literally the worse web-hosting experience in many years.
I haven’t purchased web hosting with anyone yet, but I want to share that DreamHost offers 1 free shared hosting plan for non-profit, charitable organizations registered in the US as 501(c)(3) organizations.
I thought this was a great offering, and I like the idea of joining a company that assists non-profits. The company is also dedicated to being as “green” as possible.
I absolutely love this service! I am a novice at setting up and updating websites but DreamHost makes it easy. If you have a question about anything, you get a response with the answer within 24 hours. I recommend this to all my friends and family who are starting a business and need a website.
Ava Sonnenthal says
Love this service! As a newbie, they made it very accessible, clearly stating each process step by step. They have integrity, and the set up with WordPress works beautifully!
Haven’t had any issues. Glad I went with Dreamhost!
AMAZING service. I had even canceled my plan and they still PROMPTLY helped me get access in order for me to migrate my site to another host. Very good customer service. I just wish they had a plan to suit my needs better. I’d still be a customer.
Jeff Herzbach says
I have ten wordpress sites on dreamhost, and plans for several more. They are a stellar hosting service, with unlimited domains for one hosting account.
Their support has always been timely and accurate. I recommend them without hesitation.
Eli E says
Fast response, personable message, instantly cleared up my confusion over a message from you guys. So glad YOU handle my hosting and domain reg.
Danny Winslow says
We recently changed our hosting to Dreampress and are very glad that we did. Their plans and service are the best that we have found in our 15 years experience.
Terrible service. I was very surprised. We connected and then nothing. They kept me waiting but didn’t ever try to let me know what they were doing. I finally disconnected. It was a very easy question.