Dreamhost is one of the oldest and most used web hosting for WordPress.
They have a peculiar relationship with this CMS, and we’re deep more about that in this DreamHost review.
Until a few years ago, DreamHost was probably the #1 choice to consider for running a website on WordPress, even though you have more options nowadays.
This does not mean that Dreamhost is either outdated or no longer competitive.
On the contrary, this still is one of the top hosting providers, with so many great reviews, especially when it comes to specific features, such as speed and uptime.
Not to mention pricing, which is always to consider, even if the cost/benefits ratio is much more important when you’re planning to purchase a hosting plan.
And DreamHost delivers a lot.
So, we recommend going for their services, if you like the idea of working with one provider which was meant to be perfectly adapted to WordPress.
If you don’t want to read the full review, you can jump to the conclusions and make faster decisions.
If you want to learn a bit more about DreamHost, keep reading and discover all pros and cons of one of the most used service providers for WordPress (but not only).
DreamHost Review: Not Just For WordPress
The first thing we want to point out from the very beginning is that DreamHost is not just for WordPress users.
For sure, people who like WordPress will find this hosting offer very fitting, however, you can create a solid business with DreamHost even if you don’t work with WordPress.
This is extremely important to consider now, to avoid having a wrong perception of this hosting service.
That being said, we can move forward.
DreamHost main features or, at least, its most rated qualities, are:
Considering security, you can further enhance the performance by installing this PRO security suite: very good for all websites.
Another great feature is that Dreamhost supports you at best for SEO: which is good, especially if you’re just starting out and you have no specific experience in the matter of ranking websites.
So, let’s dive a bit deeper into some of DreamHost’s specific features.
According to their Terms, you should have a 100% uptime guarantee.
This probably is a bit too optimistic, in fact, DreamHost’s average uptime value is around 99.95%.
Which is definitely good, one of the best in the industry.
This SSH (aka Secure Shell) is a cryptographic network protocol used to secure network connections over an unsecured network.
SSH can do everything FTP can, however, it’s more difficult to use and this is the reason why it’s not recommended for beginners.
We want to mention it, because of what we’ll consider later about cPanel (which is missing).
That’s why you could use FTP more than with other web hosting service providers, and also SSH can be greatly useful if you’re familiar with it.
Talking about CDN, there’s something worth mentioning.
The screenshot posted above presents the special service available for DreamHost customers: it’s called DreamObjects and it’s a proprietary storage solution that also serves CDN-like purposes.
In short, you can rely on this quite inexpensive object storage service to host your files, to store backups, and you can also use it for Web App development.
More specifically about backups, and if you’re using WordPress as CMS, we recommend using Backupbuddy, one of the most reliable and likely the easiest plugin for WordPress.
But Dreamhost is also compatible with many other “external” solutions.
They have a detailed and highly useful blog post to learn more about 9 effective services you can count on.
This guide covers what CDN services are currently the best for your website, and how to implement them in the proper way.
The image below shows what you find on the DreamHost Status web page.
You can read in real-time what’s going on, and if there are some problems to solve for the entire DreamHost network.
Some people reported issues (servers down): in all these cases, the first thing to do is to check if the problem is DreamHost-wide 8to do that, you only need to visit the DreamHost Status page).
Then, there may be several other reasons for this problem: it may relate to DNS, billings, file locations, WordPress configuration, and more.
However, DreamHost support will guide you towards the solution to this issue, if it’s not dependent on a server-wide problem.
DreamHost has one of the best ratings from review websites, and from people as well.
If we take a look at Trustpilot, for instance, we read 78% 5-star reviews, and 10% 4-stars reviews.
This means that almost 90% of people rate DreamHost as at least “Very Good”, but for 80% of people this hosting is “Excellent”.
There’s no need to add more, let us just say that the most 5-star reviews report a great experience with the website speed, even more than uptime.
There are three main offers you can choose from, depending on your business needs.
The first one to consider is the shared one.
This is the likely best option for people who are just starting out, but only in case they have no intention of using WordPress.
In fact, for people who like WordPress, the special solution to go for is Dreampress.
Finally, VPS solutions are for more advanced users and more demanding business needs.
Before seeing each plan with a bit more details, we want to outline an important thing.
DreamHost has great scalòability, which means that you can progressively adapt your business needs to your hosting features.
So, you can start small and grow with time, and you’ll be totally covered by DreamHost.
This plan is actually made by two different levels, as you see in the screenshot posted below.
The most basic one is called “Shared Starter”. It comes along with one website, a free domain, and unlimited traffic. This latter is simply great, because the vast majority of competitors, like SiteGround just to name one, pose limits to the traffic you can handle according to the specific plan.
Of course, if you have a tremendous amount of traffic your website could suffer, however, DreamHost doesn’t track traffic (neither bandwidth), meaning that you’ll never be “charged” for overruns of permitted traffic.
Despite being in the most basic plan, you have free SSL (which is quite expensive for other hosting providers, like GoDaddy), free SSD storage, a special builder for WordPress, and free migration.
The only little “downside2 is the need to pay for emails, however, the price is more than affordable, starting from $1.67/month.
In short, this Starter Plan is one of the best you can find to get started.
With just a bit more money, you can have much more, if you choose the “Shared Unlimited” Plan.
Perfect for multiple websites, but you should also consider it because of the possibility to create unlimited branded emails.
DreamHost Happy Hosting Plan
The “Happy Hosting” basically is the Shared solution
We’ve considered some great features in the previous section, but there’s more.
Just to add great features, you can get started with 1-click installation, you have an incredible 97-days money-back guarantee, and you can start at one of the lowest prices in the industry.
This is the reason why this plan is called “happy hosting”.
However, we strongly recommend going for the Shared Unlimited Plan, because it allows you to brand your emails, and look much more professional to your potential customers.
This is a very interesting feature: you can have your branded email addresses without the need to create a website.
There are some professionals who don’t have a real website, but, for instance, love to use LinkedIn, or other social media platforms, as well as specific professional networks, to find clients.
In all these cases, you can have your branded email address, thanks to the special plan provided by DreamHost.
You can sync mobile and desktop, with a generous 25 Gb storage for each mailbox. Not to mention the “Smart anti-SPAM” filter, and the drag-and-drop editor to move and organize messages on the fly.
All that starts from $1.67/month, which makes it a very good opportunity.
Unfortunately, cPanel is not available with DreamHost: we say “unfortunately” because if you’re familiar with cPanel, you’ll need a bit of time in order to know this Dreamhost proprietary panel better.
The unique panel developed by DreamHost is easy to understand and to use. In addition, you can find detailed tutorials, and several videos, on how to use it at best.
Dreamhost panel runs on a different server, which means that you can save more resources if compared to the classic cPanel.
One thing we don’t really like so much about the DreamHost panel is that you can’t back up all your data in a zip file, while cPanel makes manual backups really easy (you only need to compress your folders and files in the root and download your MySQL database separately).
Dreamhost comes with unlimited databases for all plans, which is definitely good.
In most cases, you will not need more than a single MySQL database per website.
However, it may be possible to use more than one, for subdomains, or for special sections of your website.
Whatever the case (or your specific need), you are free to create as many MySQL databases as you want, and DreamHost makes available several guides on how to create and manage one.
Databases are not encrypted, only website running on dedicated servers can have encrypted databases.
This free and open-source website software is a package written in PHP and has been created to handle the administration of a database in a web browser.
This software is not necessary unless you are an expert, or you want to execute specific operations, such as managing databases, tables, columns, relations, indexes, users, permissions, and so on.
You can use phpMyAdmin, for instance, to download the MySQL database for creating a backup copy of your website.
DreamHost provides phpMyAdmin for customers on shared, VPS, DreamPress, and Dedicated server hosting options.
DreamHost Website Builder
This is a great tool, which can help you get started really fast, especially if you use WordPress.
As you see from the screenshot posted above, there are three plans to choose from, and all of them provide access to Website Builder.
The “Quick Inspiration Wizard” is great to start, especially if you have not a precise idea of how to craft your website (you can count on 200+ starter sites).
This builder is very easy to use, thanks to the drag-and-drop functionality.
Moreover, inside this App you also have suggestions on SEO, to help you rank your website on search engines.
We are not very big “fans” of website builder, because you should have some knowledge in design, or marketing, in order for your website to be a good fit for your niche.
There are so many web templates out there, and you should focus your attention on features like speed, SEO optimization, and more.
If you like to craft websites and you know something about design, feel free to play around and create the best site for your case, however, for the people who are not expert or passionate about design, using website builders (no matter which hosting you choose) is not recommended.
Dreamhost is very good for hosting online stores.
We’ll see that in the next section, about WordPress, because DreamHost has a special plan specifically designed for people who use WooCommerce.
Given that DreamHost was built, in the first place, for WordPress, let’s see how it’s good for this CMS.
There are three plans for WordPress, and they respond to different and specific needs.
The first one is for new sites, then it’s highly recommended for people who are just starting out, and without any prior experience with WordPress.
If you already know WordPress, you should start with the managed plan, called DreamPress: this plan is particularly good because of the staging level, the frequency of backups (daily), and the custom caching, not to mention unlimited emails.
If you manage more than one website, you must go to the latest and more advanced plan. It’s called “VPS for WordPress” and has much more advanced features so that only expert users can use it.
We’ll discuss pricing later.
For the moment, we just want to point out the importance of saving money with a 3-year subscription: you can save up to 64% of the full price if you pay in advance, for the WordPress Basic plan.
This is one of the best deals on the market.
DreamHost Managed WordPress
This program is called DreamPress and presents three further choices.
The above-indicated DremPress plans are progressive, and they are suitable for all needs, from basic personal websites, up to big agencies, and pricing also varies accordingly.
The plan in the middle is best for most cases, and it’s packed with some great features (for the price), such as:
- Daily backups
- Unlimited CDN
- 60GB SSD storage
- The capability to handle 300k monthly visitors
Safety is also on the top, especially because of the 1-Click staging which allows you to edit your website, or even test new plugins, without the risk of losing anything.
These plans come with Jetpack, a very famous plugin with many purposes. To be 100% honest, we don’t use it on our websites, because we believe that you could replace its functions with other, simpler solutions, but this is just an opinion.
If you like Jetpack, especially if you used it before, feel free to keep it because it has many interesting functions to explore.
The screenshot below presents the three different and progressive plans suitable for online stores that use WooCommerce.
We want you to focus your attention on the traffic features: the more basic plan, called “DreamPress”, can handle up to 100K visitors per month. This is far beyond the vast majority of web hosting providers (if compared to their basic or starter plans).
You have a large availability of disk space, unmetered bandwidth, and WooCommerce pre-installed you have solid foundations from the very beginning of your online business journey.
This offer is one of the best, and, for what concerns traffic, the best currently available on the net, for online stores.
SSL certificates, on-demand and daily (not weekly) backups, and free automated WordPress migrations are high-quality additional features that bring the value of the whole offer to a level of absolute excellence.
A tip: if you plan to sell digital products ONLY (meaning zero hard items and goods, but just Pdf, videos, and similar) we don’t really recommend using WooCommerce. If you work with digital goods only, we strongly advise you to use EDD (Easy Digital Downloads) and integrate Stripe as a payment gateway.
DreamHost WordPress Review
In short, DreamHost is one of the best, if not the best, when it comes to working with WordPress.
We’re not here to say that other web hosting providers like BlueHost, SiteGround, GreenGeeks, GoDaddy, Hostinger, HostGator, iPage, and others are a “worse” choice because there are actually features where some of them can outperform DreamHost. This is the reason why we strongly recommend reading all our reviews about each of them.
DreamHost was built for WordPress in the first place and still delivers great things.
And this is not just valid for shared hosting, because also VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated Servers are more than simply “good”.
This is the fully managed virtual private servers solution for your business.
There are four different and progressive plans to choose from.
Of course, this solution is for advanced users or businesses with important needs.
If this is your case, you should consider DreamHost VPS very seriously, especially because of some reasons.
In fact, you have from 2 up to 8 Gb RAM, from 30 up to 240 Gb disk space storage, and several other great features as a default, including SSL certificates, unlimited traffic, and unlimited emails.
This is the perfect solution for a business that grows rapidly, and/or websites with increasing content.
If you choose the unmanaged solution, this is powered by DreamCompute, which uses the Open Web and the OpenStack cloud stack, and gives you total control of virtual machines with full root access.
You can also benefit from an add-on service, MySQL VPS, which includes an isolated managed VPS optimized to deliver peak MySQL performance (meaning faster page load time): this service is not free, but worth mentioning.
DreamHost VPS Review
This VPS solution collects the highest rating by users on PCMag.There are at least four big reasons to write a totally positive review on DreamHost VPS:
- You can scale your business with ease
- A custom control panel to make daily management a lot easier
- A complete package made of SSDs, emails, 1 click SSL, unlimited domains, privacy, and many more
- A dedicated space in DreamHost servers, meaning that you can always count on low latency and high performance
Other things to consider is the total support (24/7) from the DreamHost team, and the possibility to create an unlimited number of sub-accounts to help you manage client accounts.
So, with the VPS solution, you also have the opportunity to resell hosting programs: this is great because you don’t need to purchase dedicated plans for reseller hosting.
DreamHost Cloud Hosting
This is one of the most detailed offers you can find on the net when it comes to Cloud Hosting plans.
You literally can launch your server in a matter of seconds, and you can benefit from extremely good features, such as great speed, handy tools to craft your website(s), total control, and great scalability.
But this is just the preview: in fact, there are two things to choose from: the first one is called “Dreamcompute”.
The screenshot above presents the most relevant features of Dreamcompute. It works with MongoDB, Redis or node.js, ruby, and python, and it is engineered around OpenStack and Ceph.
You can also choose another option, called “Dreamobjects”.
The screenshot above presents the most relevant features of Dreamobjects. It has been made to make easier access to objects, backups, and App development, and it’s particularly useful for websites with very many files to store.
Both of the above, Dreamcompute and Dreamobjects, purchased together, represent the top-quality solution for Cloud Hosting.
DreamHost Dedicated Server
This is the most advanced, professional solution for big websites and highly demanding businesses.
As you see from the screenshot above, these plans cost a lot, and present the best of the best, when it comes to hosting features and benefits.
We don’t want to dive too deep into them, because these plans are not for all.
You can choose from two different, progressive plans, meaning that basically any site, with any need, can be satisfied.
You can search a domain by using the tool provided by the DreamHost website.
You only need to digit the desired domain name and the search tool will tell you if this name still is available, and its cost.
DreamHost Domain Registration
If you register your domain with DreamHost, you can take advantage of several benefits. One of the most important is related to domain privacy.
In fact, DreamHost gives you the WHOIS Privacy, so that your personal data are not disclosed on the net.
More than this, you have advanced protection from phishing and spam, as well as shielded personal and contact information for unwanted callers.
DreamHost’s WHOIS Privacy protection also applies to transferred domains, which is quite unique in the industry.
DreamHost Domain Pricing
If you start a website for business purposes, we strongly recommend using a .com domain name.
DreamHost has a great promotion for .com domains, available for less than $7/year.
This is likely the best offer on the market.
DreamHost Domain Renewal Price
Other registrars, like our most preferred, Namesilo, allow you to register a domain for $8, then you can renew at the very same price forever.
That’s why we always recommend registering your new domain name with Namesilo, then re-direct it to your servers’ DNS for the best possible experience (not to mention the fact that it’s a lot easier to manage all your domain names from one dashboard, such as Namesilo does).
There are many people wondering how to integrate DreamHost and Squarespace.
Squarespace is a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based content management system (CMS) that is composed of a website builder, blogging platform, and hosting service.
You can create a website with Squarespace while hosting your domain on DreamHost.
There is a specific procedure to do that, so you only need to follow it carefully and everything will be fine.
In general terms, DreamHost pricing is one of the best you can find on the market.
We want to base our analysis on shared plans because they are the most purchased.
As you see, for just $2.49/month, you can run a powerful website, with unlimited traffic, which is literally outstanding, because almost 100% of DreamHost’s competitors do not provide such a possibility.
In addition, Dreamhost was built for WordPress in the first place, meaning that you’re going to find it a bit easier to work with this CMS.
DreamHost also provides some add-ons, which however are more affordable than many other service providers.
In short, the cost/benefits ratio is one of the very best.
We suggest checking DreamHost’s website for a few days before making a purchase because you can find some deals or coupons.
The screenshot posted above shows the promotion that was run in December 2020.
So, check their website very well because you can find similar offers periodically.
DreamHost Pricing Plans
As in the case of other web hosting service providers, if you pay more in advance you can take advantage of great savings.
We suggest paying 3 years in advance if you can afford that because you’ll have several months for free.
If you need to upgrade or switch your plan during this period of time, DreamHost allows doing everything with ease.
That’s why we strongly recommend saving money for the medium and long run.
If you plan to use WordPress, DreamHost can be the right choice for you.
In fact, it has been built for WordPress in the first place: in addition, it has some of the most advanced features for WordPress plans and gives you such advanced features at a very low cost.
Not to mention their VPS and Cloud plans, full of great resources and tools that normally would cost you thousands of dollars.
In short, DreamHost is certainly one of the very best options to consider, and not just for WordPress users.
We list below a series of pros (green bullets), and cons (yellow bullets for things that could be improved, or red bullets for real downsides).
Here are the pros:
- One of the oldest and most used for WordPress
- Specifically built for WordPress users
- Great Speed, Security, and Uptime
- Great CDN-like features
- Almost 90% enthusiastic reviews on the net
- One of the best Shared hosting plans
- Highly scalable solutions
- Special features for WordPress users
- One of the best email plans for businesses
- Unlimited MySQL databases (great!)
- Unlimited traffic (great!)
- Unmetered bandwidth (great!)
- One of the best Website Builder tools
- The perfect solution for online stores, even if you have tons of products in your inventory
- One of the best VPS offers
- A great cost/effectiveness ratio for their Cloud offer
- Dedicated servers are powerful and don’t cost a lot
- Great introductory offers for people who register a new domain
- WHOIS Privacy for all domain names
- Big savings if you pay 3 years in advance
- One of the best customer support
- 97-Days money-back guarantee (the only case)
Here are things that could be improved:
- There is not cPanel
- Free migration is limited
- In some cases, you must wait a quite long time to get access to their Live Chat
Here are real downsides:
- There are no real downsides
What To Do Now
We hope that this DreamHost review was helpful for you.
Now, check DreamHost plans right now and start your new business journey!