The number of web hosting services have over the years increased considerably. Globally, there are thousands of of web hosting providers all boasting their unique features and plans. Drowning in a sea of choices, people are unsure which service they should subscribe to. Choice complexities further arise when one considers the hosting they prefer. Many host servers provide all or some of the types of hosting customers need; shared hosting, dedicated servers, VPS among others. A good example of a web hosting service that offers versatility is DreamHost.
Born way back in 1996, DreamHost has lingered around enough to establish hosting reliability and a good reputation for itself. Being one of the pioneers in the industry, it has over 400,000 active users and is currently hosting more than 1.5 million sites! It isn’t a surprise then as to why it has won some awards for being the Best Web Hosting Service two years consecutively.
DreamHost is famous for its fast and reliable web hosting service for both small scale or large-scale websites. It avails services like unlimited storage and bandwidth. It even goes further to guarantee a 97-day free money back policy. Although considered a little bit pricey as opposed to other web hosting services, it still is one of the best choices to make. Did you know that its website builder is among one of the best to use?
Its features continue to grow, and recently, it made a great leap in investment by launching the cloud computing storage. The platform has been built around the OpenStack and Ceph. It is also a leader in WordPress hosting through its DreamPress installation. Furthermore, DreamHost serves as the basis for the servers support of the latest web standards and is the best in platform innovation in the IT sector. Its speedy bandwidth and its more unique features continue to keep it on the edge of technology and top of other web hosting services.
Is DreamHost the best web hosting service? I won’t answer that for you, but the following unbiased review with all the pros and cons will help you determine if it is the best choice for you.
Before summarizing the pros and cons of DreamHost review and to help us better understand them, let us explore some of its remarkable features.
Incredible Up Time and Speedy Hosting
Should you be on the lookout for a speedy web hosting service, DreamHost is the first place to make a stop at. If you are a DreamHost customer, you probably have a testimony on how excellent the uptime of your website or blog is. As one user claimed, after testing the uptime of the host using Uptime Robot, the result was 100%. This shows that DreamHost beats all the other web hosting services available on the market.
The web hosting is facilitated by their SSDs which have a remarkable speed as opposed to other using mechanical hard drives. For this reason, they are ideal for heavy traffic websites. Apart from the SSD storage, DreamHost also offers unlimited domain support, email accounts, round the clock customer support and a web-based control panel, which is custom built. The interface is streamlined and simplified for ease of use, unlike CPanel, which other web hosting providers utilize.
Their plans have been split into five categories, and each has just what you need at a particular price. Here is a sneak peak:
Scalable and highly flexible, the DreamHost Virtual Private Server(VPS) Hosting accommodates the ever-growing needs of a business website. The VPS plans are accompanied with full SSD storage which helps in the load time. All plans come with unlimited domains and bandwidth.
For $15 a month, you get 1GB RAM and 30GB SSD storage for the Start Here Plan. Then there is the Scale Up plan which for twice the price of the first scheme, you get 2GB RAM and 60 GB SSD storage. The Go Bigger and the Max It Out Plans for next level users and high traffic websites, offer 4GB RAM and 120GB SSD storage for $60 and lots of content with 8 GB RAM and 240 GB SSD storage for $120 a month respectively.
DreamPress 2 for WordPress Hosting
DreamHost’s DreamPress 2 service is a management tool for WordPress hosting. This service best suits Bloggers who are looking for an easy to manage hosted blog. This plan comes with 30 GB SSD storage, remarkably high bandwidth, auto-closing, RAM with unlimited email addresses, servers for MySQL database and a support tech for WordPress. All these features amount to $19.95 a month for annual subscriptions and $24.95 a month for monthly subscriptions.
Dedicated Server Hosting
This plan was specifically designed for those with heavy traffic websites and with high profile clients. The dedicated servers hosting has two schemes, a 4-Core CPU plan, and a 12-Core CPU plan. The first one comes with a terabyte of hard disk storage with between 4 and 16 GB of RAM for a price of $149 to $229 a month for the annual subscription and $169 to $249 a month for monthly subscriptions.
The 12-Core plan is a bit expensive but is accompanied by 2TB of hard disk space and 240 GB of SSD storage. It also comes with 64 GB RAM for $279 to $379 a month for yearly subscriptions. Monthly subscriptions cost as high as $299 to $399.
Both plans are also topped with RAID 1 storage, Full Root, Ubuntu, Linux OS, Shell Access and a few other supports with DDoS protection.
This is a significant boost for enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and developers who are dedicated to app testing and deploying their cloud servers. With scalable servers and customizations, customers can enjoy this plan with unlimited data and an immense potential for computing capabilities. This plan has the public cloud service referred to as DreamCompute and storage solution called DreamObject.
DreamCompute offers open source cloud server that is customizable to fit every day’s needs. It further avails full root access and a free stack API access. Surprisingly, the plan is available for as little as $10 a month accompanied by a trial period of 30 days. More details of this plan are on DreamHost’s website.
DreamObjects, on the other hand, is characterized by its flexible and extensive online storage options for multimedia files, other personal backups as well as website and blog files on top. It also offers API requests and uploads for free. Also, it offers a fully equipped and integrated CDN. Check more offers of this plan on their website.
Are you hosting a site for the first time? A shared server would be ideal for you. DreamHost is one such provider that listens to your needs. With its shared server plans, one gets unlimited storage, bandwidth, emails, domains and customer support.
The shared server plans are, however, dependent on the periods of the services offered. A two-year plan will go for $8.95 a month with the annual plan fixed at $9.95 a month. The monthly cost is $10.95 a month. On top of this, should you set up another domain, you will be charged nothing even for the domain protection policy. However, other services like SSL certificates, premium support or unique IP addresses attract costs.
Compatibility for Third Party
The association of the third party for website building is also permitted by DreamHost. This is an added advantage people who are experts in WordPress, Joomla, Pligg, MediaWiki, GertSimple, and concrete5. These platforms will enable you to speed up your website speed up process.
Online Commerce and Marketing
Customers dealing with e-commerce and e-marketing have not been left out. DreamHost offers CafeCommerce, which is a platform specifically designed for online shopping website build up. Even better, if one is on a shared website hosting, a discount of $21.05 a month and a trial period of 14 days is offered.
cafeCommerce facilitates the creation of web pages for different products. It also enables you to check on inventory as well as customize the various templates it offers. Building this type of website is very simple especially after downloading and installing ZenCart.
For those of you using .ninja, .expert, .xyz, .today and .guru, top-level domains (TLDs), you are in luck as DreamHost has support for all of them.
Customizing Built Control Panel
Probably one of the best features DreamHost could ever offer; the customizable control interface is something every Web host should have.
The DreamHost control panel has consistently been developed for over ten years, and the result has been a fine-tuned web-based interface, which packs lots of easy stuff to grasp. One can change the hosting plan, create new emails, buy new domain names, makes changes to their payments, manage FTP access as well as conduct other numerous activities with it.
Perhaps the most envied feature that DreamHost offers is their safety. As is every other person's concern, security is highly prioritized, and this is the reason why many would prefer to host their websites through DreamHost. It takes care of all the data you collect. This, however, is only up to a certain extent.
DreamHost packs several programs for data security and servers. SSL certificates, SSH key fingerprints, IP-based restrictions on control panels and enhanced user security protocols for data security.
It also gives users a chance to manage subversion codes depending on the rights one has. As such, one is permitted to come up with a repository for their code.
Money Back Guarantee
If this isn't one of the reasons why it wins many customers, I do not know what is. DreamHost offers a 97 day period return policy, where one can try out their service and should they find it not satisfactory; they can cancel the subscription and get their full amount of money refunded. This feature alone shows how important satisfying the customer is.
Pros of Dreamhost
After looking at all these amazing features, which also hint on the advantages, of DreamHost Web service, here is a summary of the pros.
1. Unlimited Storage
From the various plans discussed, one can safely say that storage isn't an issue if you are using DreamHost. It comes with unlimited storage for all your needs, whether for personal backups, multimedia or much more. It gets you covered.
2. Unlimited bandwidth
If you thought unlimited storage was the only useful feature DreamHost offers, think again. It comes accompanied with unlimited bandwidth for all your websites, whether regular or heavy. Many companies lack this feature.
3. Round the Clock Customer Support
DreamHost, being one of the few enterprises that have live chats, telephone or email support, have a 24/7 support system for its clients. This way, if one faces an issue, they are always available to help you.
4. Simple Installation
Most of the software required by DreamHost for a website to run are simple and often feature a one-click mode to get it up and running. All one does is to press that button, and the script will automatically be set up.
5. Domains, SQL database, and Subdomains Unlimited Support
Based on any plan one subscribes or purchases, he/she will have a chance to host another add-on like subdomains, domains and also the creation of an unlimited SQL database.
6. Money Back Guarantee
As mentioned earlier, DreamHost offers a 97-day money back guarantee with no questions asked should a user determine that the hosting does not satisfy their needs.
DreamHost has a remarkable uptime that is unlike any other of any Web hosting service. There's no lagging of a website or time wasting for a user as he/she waits for everything to load.
To further motivate users, DreamHost has an incredible offer of $100 Google Adwords to help you earn aside from the purpose of your website.
Some claim that DreamHost is one of the most expensive Web hosting companies as compared to others. This might be true, but did you know that DreamHost offers prices to as low as $8.95 a month? This is a price that competes well with the other Web hosting companies, especially if you consider all the benefits and features it is accompanied with.
10. Full Root, Shell Access, SFTP, FTP and SSH Support
The incredible range of features that DreamHost offers further extend to the provision of Web files accessible through the shell, SSH, SFTP, and FTP. This saves on the time one could have used navigating the pages with other platforms trying to pull files.
DreamHost is user-friendly and offers a fantastic support for Web developers and enthusiasts who are used to continuously Customizing their Web pages to meet their demands. It avails a comfortable support of a one click installation mode upon which the recommended scripts will be automatically set up.
12. DreamHost is both Independent and Employee Owned
To ensure that it doesn't miss the pivotal capital expertise and to avoid taking cost reduction and management too far, DreamHost made it their mandate to become both independent and corporate owned. Considering its many years of service, this feature has seen them garner solid advantages. Whereas other brands belonging to large corporations are hell-bent on cost-cutting, DreamHost has time and again invested in its team and customer base. This is the sole reason why of all other Web hosting services and large corporate owned hosting brands, DreamHost is the better company with amazing products.
Cons of DreamHost Hosting Service
With all the greatness that DreamHost boasts in its features, performance, prices, load time among others, it doesn't mean that it is perfect. Like any other Web hosting services, some issues scream at you for attention and you can't help but notice them. Therefore, we are going to look at some of the notable disadvantages of DreamHost Web Hosting service.
It is true, we mentioned it as an advantage, but it doesn't mean that DreamHost is the cheapest when it comes to hosting. In short, it has different prices that are made to cater for the needs of many. However, it still is one of the most expensive Web hosting services available.
From the earlier review of its plans, we can safely say that some plans like the shared plan are plain comprehensive and competitive as well with no short term discounts. This is a good thing and a bad thing as well. Bad thing how? It does not favor small website owners. Having an unlimited plan with no deep discounts proves to be more expensive as compared to other Web hosting providers like InMotion, Web Hosting Hub, HostGator, etc.
It also happens that not every website one builds or hosts needs unlimited bandwidth or websites for that matter. Users should be free to pay for what they want. If you are a big site owner and needs to run it on a single and tight budget, perhaps the unlimited plan will best suit you. It will give you a chance to enjoy more with less cost. On the other hand, this is not true for small website owners who figure the unlimited plans as unnecessary.
Again, deep discounts that other hosting providers give will work to your advantage. Take for example a year's bill of $100; you can save 30% of that cost. Assuming you renew at the same rate as that of DreamHost, you will still be more steps ahead.
Nonetheless, even though DreamHost offers pro prices, it will be best if you took your time to decide the kind of plan you want and which Web hosting service provider offers it.
2. Custom Control Panel
Even though this was also listed as an advantage, it sometimes amounts to a setback in certain occasions.
Most Web hosts offer an account where one can access all their account information including billings and bonuses like the Google Adwords bonuses, as well as giving one a direct link to their real server dashboards.
CPanel is one such platform, and one can do virtually anything with their parent host server. Making installations for any application is easy using CPanel. This includes email address set up, using FTP for file uploads among others. The process is precise and clear. As such, it is considered an industry standard that works best for troubleshooting online.
However, DreamHost doesn't use this panel and instead has its customized panel. They utilize a proprietary back-end for your server and account.
Not that this is a bad thing, in fact, the customizable panel offers an amazing experience, but again, it is a limitation, and everything is not clear. In short, people find a hard time looking for what is buried among other things. Everything is so confusing with DreamHost dashboard.
3. No Auto-Installation of Applications
A hosting server barely limits anyone looking for software applications they can incorporate in their system. Some of these apps include Joomla, WordPress, Pretashop, etc. Although they can be individually installed, other Web hosting services have scripts that enable them to run automatically. All it takes is a few clicks, and you're set to building whatever it is you wanted to make.
All these applications can be manually installed. Other companies have easy to install scripts that set up your software through only a few clicks.
Again, this is a disadvantage to DreamHost who have their controlled panel with easy application management. Applications link to other apps but do not install them for you. The only app, which can be fitted quickly is WordPress. Others will have to be manually installed.
4. No Phone Support
Yes, the customer service is quite remarkable and can be reached around the clock. However, even after setting up the live chat, mail lines among other channels. It, however, lacks a telephone support system, which other customers find it necessary.
After trying all the other channels of communication, they will then give you a call. It could be nice if there was a direct line meant for customer support.
5. Unsatisfactory Performance
It is always important that after one has successfully set up and hosted a website, they get to deliver Web files to others whenever and however they choose to do it. This process should be fast and straightforward for convenience and reliability.
Whether one has remarkable speeds, the hosting server is still the limiting variant. Even though there are countless ways one can effect to improve this performance, it still gets limited to an extent. One such service to use in checking the performance of a website is the Time To First Byte (TTFB).
TTFB gives a measure of how fast a website gives a return of the first preliminary information after it receives a request from any browser one is using. Simply stated, it refers to the server's turnaround time.
In as much as it is not the only reason one can use to get the response time, it is one of the easiest for acquiring a ballpark approximation.
Using this method to check on DreamHost's performance gives a clear indication of how it has better cut-rates than other Web hosting services like GoDaddy or iPage. Surprisingly, when it is compared to other hosts like HostGator or InMotion, it comes down to being the last. DreamHost, with their integrated SSD servers, should be the fastest but oddly, it fails to top the list even after several retests.
That's one disadvantage we can all dispute on, but the reality remains, DreamHost's performance is not horribly rated, but again, it isn't an advantage.
6. DreamHost Lacks Windows Support
Considering how fast Windows products are grazing the market, it is only logical to assume that many users are embracing the Windows servers support. Therefore, they will start looking for Web hosts that support Windows servers.
DreamHost, for some reasons I wouldn't know, only shifted their focus to supporting Linux servers. Well, they are great at it but, why don't they have even a single support for Windows servers?
7. Too much wait time for help
Their customer support services are great, that's right, they have round the clock support team ready to hear your cries. However, time and again, DreamHost has proven to have delayed customer response. Reaching out to them is no problem, but it will take time before they get back to you with a solution.
8. Server Capabilities not Mentioned Anywhere
To help people make better-informed choices on the type of host server to Base their website, it is often mandatory that a Web host offers various tiers for a shared hosting. DreamHost is one such company that does not avail this option. It, therefore, makes it difficult for one to get to know how much traffic a host supports.
9. Security Glitch
Offering the best security terms among all other servers, DreamHost users have one cross to bear. The security plans are not entirely comprehensive, and it often becomes a nagging issue for many subscribers.
DreamHost is the best server one could ever find on their website. A general overview of its features will leave you gasping and dying to subscribe. Focused on satisfying the customer over everything else, one is guaranteed of the best support and incredible up times, which all translates to your website ever running.
Although some might consider their plans expensive, the truth is that they are well thought of with many consumers in mind. Every plan they offer is worth your money and should you be skeptical about trying it out or becoming wholeheartedly committed, remember that they have 97 days money back guarantee.
Their price range is rationally in line with their features. Most of its disadvantages are considerable trade-offs, and with its continued development, perhaps we will have Windows support, better customer feedback time and a telephone line for relaying issues quickly. Otherwise, it remains as the number one choice for both small and heavy website holding.