DreamHost, as an experienced web hosting brand, was established in a college dorm room since 1997. During those years, it has not only expanded the company size, but also broadened its hosting service including shared, WordPress, VPS hosting and dedicated servers. Now, it claims to have more than 1500 servers for 1 million domains worldwide.
However, according to hundreds of real customer reviews and our real hosting experience, we find that DreamHost still needs to improve for many aspects, such as tech support, pricing policy, features and performance. And we will give a comprehensive review of DreamHost service from the mentioned points.
To start with our topic, we work out a rating chart that indicates that the service is rated 3 out of 5 stars in reputation, features and technical support.
Pricing & Extras
Compared with other web hosts, DreamHost offers the single hosting package at a litter higher price of $8.95/mo, which is not affordable for the majority of webmasters all over the world. Moreover, as many other excellent web hosting providers offering effective discounts to save money for customers, DreamHost do not have coupon or promotion things.
What’s worse, the monthly plan is priced for $10.95/mo and even charges extra $49.95 for setup fee. Check the following table for detailed price information.
1 year plan$9.95/mo
2 years plan$8.95/mo
3 years plan$8.95/mo
1 month Billing$49.95 setup fee
12 months Billing$49.95 setup fee
As for extras, this company provides marketing credits, but it is not that abundant. Without credits on Facebook, Twitter, Bing, Yahoo and other famous social networks, it only gives $100 Google AdWords voucher.
Money Back Policy
DreamHost claims to give customers a full refund if they cancel the accounts before 97 days of registration, but it does not mean customers can get each penny back. Here, we have listed all the situations, in which customers are not eligible to receive a refund from this web host.
- DreamHost 97 days refund policy is only applicable for the purchase of shared hosting service, but not for the VPS and dedicated hosting.
- Fees paid for domain registrations, SSL certificates, any free advertising credits and other benefits are not refundable.
- This refund policy is only valid for new customers who have paid with credit card or Google Wallet. Therefore, any other forms of payment, such as PayPal, Checks, Money Orders, Cashiers Check are non-refundable.
- Accounts that are cancelled by DreamHost due to the violation of Terms of Service, Spam Policy or Acceptable Use Policy are non-refundable.
- Fees paid for services provided by 3rd parties and DreamHost partners are not part of the 97 days money back guarantee.
Even, DreamHost has not introduced a detailed way on how to cancel the hosting accounts and get a refund. If customers want to do this, they have to contact the support team that is not so effective.
As one of the safest payment channels, PayPal is widely accepted by web hosts. DreamHost, however, doesn’t support Paypal. We have to say that the truth for this issue is that DreamHost is trying to charge the customers renewal rate that is costly.
Almost all the web hosts deduct fees from customers’ credit cards without further notification when the former signup is going to be expired. With PayPal, however, this cannot happen. After all, the transaction via PayPal can be only proceeded by the customers manually, and the PayPal Buyer Protection Policy ensures that the consumers can get a full refund if they don’t receive the same service as described or without authorization.
At another hand, the secure purchase with PayPal means that no web hosts can deduct fees in an automatic way. Once customers get any dissatisfaction with DreamHost, they can feel free to move to another web host. Therefore, DreamHost doesn’t allow PayPal, in hope of maintaining the renewal rate.
Features & Compatibility
Being aware of the fact that features matter in web hosting service, DreamHost includes basic features in the plan. To be specific, this company offers unlimited disk space, monthly bandwidth, domains hosted, email accounts, FTP/SFTP Users and so forth. In the meantime, there are also some advanced offerings, from which DreamHost can be a good choice for some popular apps, like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
- Auto 1-click installer, with which even beginners can install and run scripts within minutes.
- The latest versions of MySQL and PHP, which play an important part for running these scripts smoothly.
- Advanced scripting languages that include Perl, Python, Full Unix Shell, full CGI access, Ruby On Rail, etc.
- Debian Linux, an advanced operating system that helps customers operate their websites effectively.
- PHP memory limit set up to 128 MB to maintain a rich-content site
DreamHost guarantees 99.99% uptime as same as other reliable hosting companies. In order to check out the hosting performance offered by this company as they claim, our editor has tested this in the real world as below:
According to this performance test, we can find out that DreamHost is not very good on speed. The tested site served by this company consumes an average of 498ms for server response, which is much slower than BlueHost.
DreamHost offers a 24/7 available technical support, with which customers can get help to solve their problems when they need. There are so many resolving approaches.
- Wiki: it is the absolute fastest way to get answers because there is an extensive online documentation. Wiki is maintained by both DreamHost technical staff and most knowledgeable customers.
- Discussion forum: even though it is not a professional place to seek help, customers should notice that if answers are not found in wiki, maybe they have been available in the forum.
- Status blog: this is where customers can find answers to downtime, hardware replacement and maintenance operations.
In fact, as we review the customer support offers by DreamHost, we find that there is no call-in phone support, but charges $9.95/mo for callback services. Besides, there is no live-chat either, which is inconvenience to resolve some emergency issues raised by customers.
To be honest, this kind of technical support doesn’t make DreamHost shine among countless top-notch hosting providers that offer free 24/7 technical support via various channels including phone, live chat, ticket system and email.
Based on our objective review as above, it can be easily seen that DreamHost is not a favorable web hosting choice for its expensive price, poor performance and inefficient technical support.
According to our real hosting experience with more than 150 hosts, we highly recommend customers going with the following providers which have gained high recognition in web hosting communities such as BestHostingSearch, WPMatters, PHPMatters and LinkedHosts, for they offer affordable prices, rich features, outstanding uptime, blazing speed and amazing technical support.