DreamHost Review

In a world full of domain name registrars and web hosting, standing out from the crowd is the only way to help ensure survival. Founded in 1996, DreamHost has managed to survive nearly two decades in the increasingly populated hosting marketplace. Since it first began as a small hosting service outside Los Angeles, California, it has grown to host some of the most successful and remarkable websites in the world.

Today DreamHost offers shared, VPS, and dedicated hosted solutions designed to cater to both small fan websites as well as industry giants. But how does DreamHost stack up to its competition and what can it offer?

Main Features

DreamHost offers unlimited e-mail accounts, bandwidth, FTP, SSH, MySQL databases, and even unlimited domains. While you will not find your Windows hosting through DreamHost, Linux developers can rejoice for their state of the art Debian Linux VPS servers.

As you would expect, DreamHost accounts include access to all the fundamentals web developers need through their web panel GUI. This includes everything from data related to your memory/load settings, a record of your resource usage, and of course a web panel to help facilitate the fabled DreamHost one-click installation for several of the web’s most popular apps (including WordPress.)

Infrastructure

In terms of infrastructure, the DreamHost database offers every vital amenity you would expect of a modern day hosting solution. This includes but is not limited to redundant protections against power failures, automatic data backups, and contemporary HVAC systems.

Supported by their infrastructure, DreamHost offers consumers a 100% uptime guarantee. This guarantee promises subscribers that should any feature of their website (including FPT and email) become unusable due to DreamHost’s own failure, customers will be credited with one free day of hosting per hour of interruption.

In regards to their VPS hosting, DreamHost offers the not so unique but still crucial ability to adjust the resources allocated to your virtual server in real time. If you need to consume more or less processing power, it takes only a matter of minutes to adjust your VPS through DreamHost’s website.

But where DreamHost stands apart from more of its competition is in regard to server access. DreamHost’s GUI server panel also enables customers with full root access to their virtual server as well as the ability to reboot remotely.

Plans and Pricing

On the bottom of the proverbial shelf, DreamHost’s shared hosting starts at $8.95 per month and includes unlimited disk storage, bandwidth, and every other amenity previously listed. On the top shelf, DreamHost offers dedicated hosting ranging from 2 to 16GB of memory for between $99 and $299 a month.

While neither of these prices is particularly remarkable, between the unlimited resources and the promise of no overage fees, just about any small business should feel at home with DreamHost.

Much the same is true when it comes to their VPS hosting. Their most basic option starts at $15 a month and then can be incrementally increased as far as $200 by adding more processing power (ex: 300MB-4GB of RAM.)

DreamHost begins to separate itself from the competition only when it comes to which cherries you can put on top your hosting sundae. DreamHost also offers additional domain name registrations, optimized MySQL databases, unique IPs, and even VPN access – for a little extra. While a $10 domain registration is nothing to write home about, five cents per MB per month for optimized MySQL databases is something many smaller hosting services simply can not offer.

Customer Service

DreamHost’s standard customer service includes a well-documented DreamHost Wiki available on their website, access to the DreamHost discussion forum, and technical support through e-mail.

While DreamHost claims that it attempts to answer e-mail within 24 hours of receiving it, one of the most common complaints by current and former customers is that this timeframe is exaggerated and occasionally extended to two or three business days.

If support is a principal concern, DreamHost offers premium customer service for an additional $9.95 per month including online chat and telephone callbacks. While their best customer support package is still a few degrees shy of what you would expect of a fully managed hosting service, it also comes with only a fraction of the associated cost.

Final Thoughts

Beware that DreamHost’s much flaunted money-back guarantee excludes domain registration fees, dedicated server payments as well as any payment that is not made by credit card. This means if you decide to use DreamHost, the only way to completely assure your satisfaction is to pay by credit.

On the other hand, if you are so satisfied with DreamHost that you want to keep doing business with them well past your guarantees duration, DreamHost offers nearly $100 in referral credit.

If you decide to join DreamHost, be sure to check out our DreamHost discount page to get the best promo code and invitation code.

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