DreamHost Review for 2024

Our Verdict

DreamHost offers great performance and security and makes web hosting simple

After our experience with several plans and features, we can recommend DreamHost as one of the best hosting services. Beginners and advanced users alike will find it easy to set up and use, with exceptional website-building tools and simple account management in its custom-built control panel.

None of its plans left us with a negative impression in terms of performance or security, and we were impressed by DreamHost’s wide range of hosting types.

Although we would like to see its excellent malware protection incorporated with regular security plans rather than offered as a paid add-on, DreamHost remains one of the most affordable web hosting providers on the market, and thanks to its 97-day money-back guarantee, you can try DreamHost risk-free.

Pros

  • 97-day money-back guarantee
  • Affordable plans
  • Free SSL certificates with all plans
  • Unmetered bandwidth on all plans
  • 100% uptime guarantee
  • Solid security features

Cons

  • No free telephone support
  • US-only data centers
  • No free email with basic shared hosting plan

When it comes to web hosting, you’ll need a well-established provider known for its open-source technologies and affordable plans – say hello to DreamHost. Its reputation is one of the best in the industry, offering a range of hosting types for individuals and businesses.

Our DreamHost review will help you determine whether or not it’s the perfect host for your website needs, especially when it’s up against the best website hosting services.

DreamHost Hosting Plans & Pricing

Our DreamHost review starts off with one of the most important features of any hosting service – the pricing structure. We were glad to see a diverse range of plans for businesses of any size.

Starting at just $2.59/month for its cheapest shared hosting plan (ideal for beginners), DreamHost is one of the most affordable services we’ve reviewed in 2024.

Plans Price Number of Websites Free Domain Free SSL Storage Bandwidth Free email accounts
Shared Starter 36 months $2.59/m 1 50GB SSD Unlimited No
VPS Basic 36 months $10/m Unlimited 30GB SSD Unlimited Unlimited
DreamPress 12 months $11.99/m 1 Only with an annual subscription 30GB SSD Unlimited Unlimited
Dedicated Server Hosting 12 months $149/m 1 1TB HDD Unlimited Unlimited
Cloud Hosting $4.50/m 1 80GB SSD Unlimited Unlimited

Shared hosting is the most popular type of hosting, and it’s the best fit for the vast majority of sites, so we’ll explore the shared hosting plans in more detail.

Shared Starter – from $2.59/month with a 36-month plan

DreamHost’s Shared Starter plan is an excellent entry point for beginners looking to create their first website.

It’s well equipped with robust basics, including:

  • Support for one site
  • A free domain for the first year
  • A website builder
  • Unlimited traffic
  • A free SSL certificate
  • Fast SSD storage
  • Free automated WordPress migrations

Although these features make it one of the most feature-rich shared hosting plans, it’s important to note its limitations – you don’t get email hosting for free, and you only get one website. However, you can pay extra to add emails for $1.67 per month.

Shared Unlimited – from $2.95/month with a 12-month plan

You can also upgrade to Shared Unlimited for $2.95 per month. With Shared Unlimited, you can:

  • Host unlimited websites
  • Get unlimited fast SSD storage
  • Register unlimited email accounts at your domain
  • Use unlimited subdomains and MySQL databases

What Hosting Types Does DreamHost Offer?

DreamHost control panel
The DreamHost interface

Before you commit to a DreamHost subscription, you should know what each hosting type can offer you. Here’s a quick summary of the capabilities and use cases of each available hosting type.

DreamHost Shared Hosting – from $2.59/month with a 36-month plan

Best for individuals and small businesses, DreamHost’s shared hosting plans offer essential features without breaking the bank. Ranging from one to unlimited websites and equipped with fast SSD storage, we felt that its Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited plans provide an affordable starting point.

DreamHost VPS Hosting – from $10/month with 36-month plan

  • VPS Basic – 30GB of SSD storage, 1GB of RAM, $10 per month
  • VPS Business – 60GB of SSD storage, 2GB of RAM, $20 per month
  • VPS Professional – 120GB of SSD storage, 4GB of RAM, $40 per month
  • VPS Enterprise – 240GB of SSD storage, 8GB of RAM, $80 per month

VPS hosting is ideal for tech-savvy users seeking a customizable, flexible hosting solution. All VPS plans are Linux-based and work with DreamHost’s custom-built control panel. Ranking among the best VPS hosting services, DreamHost’s VPS plans offer:

  • Unlimited emails on your domain
  • MySQL databases
  • Free SSL certificates
  • A professional, custom-built user control panel

DreamHost’s excellent VPS hosting service is best for dynamic websites for growing businesses, as well as e-stores.

DreamHost WordPress Managed Hosting (DreamPress) – from $11.99/month with 12-month plan

Although you can use both shared and VPS hosting plans from DreamHost to create a WordPress website, DreamPress is a custom, managed WordPress solution. They offer:

  • Automatic WordPress website installation and updates
  • 30GB of SSD storage
  • A free SSL certificate
  • On-demand backups

DreamPress offers automatic updates, high performance with Nginx, and 24/7 expert support with its most expensive plan.

These plans are ideal for bloggers and businesses of all sizes expecting up to 100,000 monthly visitors. That said, you can increase your volume to 300,000 with DreamPress Plus ($17.39/month) or to 1 million with DreamPress Pro ($44.99/month). The tiered volume plans make perfect sense for growing businesses.

DreamHost Dedicated Server Hosting – from $149/month with 12-month plan

With exclusive server access, you won’t share resources with other users, making it great for high-traffic sites and big businesses. DreamHost’s dedicated server hosting offers invaluable power for companies that can’t afford to have their website go down or slow down.

DreamHost lets you customize your resources, choosing from 1TB of HDD storage to 2TB of SSD storage, varying CPU cores, and up to 64GB of RAM. It exclusively uses Linux-based dedicated servers, and you’ll need to use the custom-built control panel.

While it’s DreamHost’s most expensive option, a dedicated server ensures exceptional performance, even with resource-intensive applications and high-traffic websites.

DreamHost Cloud Hosting – from $4.50/month

  • 512MB RAM Server – max. $4.50/month
  • 2GB RAM Server – max. $12/month
  • 8GB RAM Server – max. $48/month

Cloud plans offer a flexible hosting type that supports multiple programming languages and frameworks with great customization options. Each Cloud plan offers an 80GB SSD disk and 100GB of block storage for data, files, or other content related to your websites.

Its user-friendly interface caters to both beginners and experienced users, and you can use DreamHost cloud hosting for a diverse range of projects, from launching websites to hosting databases.

DreamHost Features

As part of our DreamHost hosting review, we took a detailed look at its top features. With plans that offer benefits like budget-friendly domain registry, a WordPress website builder, and email hosting, some features really stand out in a crowded market.

Before we describe our favorite features, it’s worth noting that you can try these out before fully committing – DreamHost offers a 97-day money-back guarantee, three times longer than most of its competition.

Transparent Domain Registry

DreamHost offers a transparent, budget-friendly domain registration process – an important point for every website owner. With .com domains priced at just $8.99 per year without any hidden fees, DreamHost can help you establish a distinctive online identity with consistent pricing.

DreamHost's domain registration feature
DreamHost’s domain registration feature

As part of this, DreamHost includes free privacy protection for its users, meaning it will anonymize your personal details upon registration. This can protect you from unwanted callers, identity lookups, and phishing attacks.

WordPress Website Builder

We were impressed to see that DreamHost offers one of the most straightforward WordPress builders we’ve ever tested. But the best thing is that it comes free with every plan, undoubtedly making DreamHost one of the best WordPress hosting providers.

With hundreds of pre-built, responsive templates, you can build a WordPress website in minutes. In addition, its WordPress builder has built-in SEO suggestions to help you optimize your content to attract a larger audience. This means DreamHost can compete with the best SEO web hosting providers too.

DreamHost WordPress website building tools
DreamHost’s WordPress website building tools

For us, the best part is that you don’t need any coding experience. If you’re a beginner to website creation, you can use DreamHost’s creation wizard to help you pick themes, functionality, and information you’d like to see on your website. The drag-and-drop editing tools in particular are ideal for first-time users.

DreamHost Email Hosting

By ensuring all your emails are synced between devices, and offering unmatched organizational tools, we think this feature makes DreamHost one of the best email hosting services.

While most of its plans offer unlimited email hosting for you and your team, you’ll need to pay an extra $1.67 per month per address with its basic Shared Starter plan.

DreamHost's email hosting service
DreamHost’s email hosting service

When testing one of its professional email addresses, the first benefit we noticed was the massive 25GB of storage per mailbox. In addition, DreamHost’s email services include clever spam, virus, and phishing filters.

How to Set Up DreamHost

Simplicity is key when choosing a web hosting service. In this section of our DreamHost review, we explain how to create an account in a few easy steps:

  1. Choose a hosting type and plan

    Select a plan that suits your needs and subscribe to start using DreamHost. You can reserve a free domain on the checkout page or use an existing one. If you don’t already have a DreamHost account, you’ll need to create one on the checkout page.
    Choose a hosting type and plan
  2. Payment and account setup

    Once your payment is processed, you’ll receive an email with login details for your DreamHost panel. Use these credentials to log in and follow the on-screen instructions to set up your hosting environment.
    Payment and account setup
  3. CMS installation

    DreamHost makes installing a Content Management System easy with its one-click WordPress installer. You can find the installer by clicking ‘Domain’ and ‘One-Click Installs’ in the menu on the left. Once installed, you can start customizing your website and adding content.
    CMS installation

DreamHost User Control Panel

Unlike most of its competition, DreamHost offers a custom-made control panel. While that may sound daunting, we were impressed with its intuitive layout and lack of clutter. Navigating the main dashboards, you can:

  • Efficiently manage domains
  • Access billing information
  • Configure hosting settings

If you start using DreamHost’s email hosting, you’ll appreciate its detailed email management menus. Among the actions in these menus in the control panel, you can:

  • Access your business inbox
  • Set up filters
  • Create an autoresponder
DreamHost's email management menus
DreamHost’s email management menus

In the Billing and Account section, you can:

  • Check when your next payment is due
  • Update your personal information
  • Improve your account security
  • Create backups

There’s also a Support section that connects you with the DreamHost customer service team.

Finally, you can also find a collection of add-ons and extra services. For example, connect your Google Workspace account to the DreamHost panel, or add a cloud server to your network in 30 seconds. Overall, this custom-built control panel has everything we’d expect to see, with a lovely UI to help you navigate.

DreamHost Website Migration

Website migration can feel like a complex obstacle when it comes to choosing your new hosting platform. We were glad to see two ways to perform this automatically with DreamHost – migrating between two DreamHost accounts, or from a third-party hosting provider.

Here’s how DreamHost prices migration services for WordPress websites:

  • Migrating from a third-party hosting service – $99
  • Migrating from a DreamHost account – $25
  • Migrating to any DreamPress plan – Free

For non-WordPress websites, the service will cost a flat rate of $99. We felt reassured by the guarantee of a full refund if DreamHost cannot successfully migrate your content, but this shouldn’t be an issue in most cases.

DreamHost Performance

It’s impossible not to be impressed by DreamHost’s 100% uptime guarantee. This assurance means your audience will have no issues while visiting your website, helping you maintain a positive user experience and a professional reputation.

Although no service is invulnerable to outages, having a 100% uptime guarantee means DreamHost will compensate you for any downtime it’s responsible for. In comparison, GoDaddy and HostGator offer a 99.99% uptime guarantee, while Bluehost has no uptime guarantee at all.

Our test website didn’t go offline once during our ten-day testing round. In addition, the service demonstrated exceptional performance during our bandwidth testing. Loading times didn’t slow down even during the most rigorous stress testing, because DreamHost offers SSD storage with nearly every plan.

Is DreamHost Secure?

With an excellent reputation for security, DreamHost offers most of its numerous safety features free of charge. Its plans include the following security features:

  • SSL certificates – These free certificates encrypt your website’s traffic, ensuring visitor data is safe.
  • Automated backups – DreamHost offers regular backups to protect your data from accidental loss or malicious activities.
  • DDoS protection – Safeguards your website from DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
  • Anti-spam protection – DreamHost flags malicious emails as ‘Spam’, shielding you from phishing attacks and concerning links.

Although these standard security features are exceptional, DreamHost does charge users an extra $3 per month for its DreamShield Malware Remover services. DreamShield continuously scans your website for malicious code, alerting you via email or in the DreamHost Panel if it detects potential threats.

DreamHost Hosting Reviews from Customers

To help us determine whether DreamHost performs well and what types of businesses or individual users it suits, we check third-party DreamHost reviews for further information.

Reviews provided by long-term users give us unique insights into the service, including DreamHost’s customer support quality, its tendency to change prices, hidden fees, and more.

On Trustpilot, DreamHost enjoys an overwhelmingly positive score of 4.7 out of 5 stars with more than 5,000 reviews, 86% of which are 5-star reviews.

We found that customers most notably praised:

  • Migration – DreamHost’s website migration services are said to be easy to use.
  • Value for money – price points are a recurring topic on Trustpilot, with most users pointing out the affordable Shared Unlimited plan.
A DreamHost review on TrustPilot
A DreamHost review on TrustPilot
A DreamHost review on TrustPilot
TrustPilot users praise DreamHost

However, we did notice a few reviewers complaining about automated chatbots that you need to go through to reach customer support teams.

What is DreamHost Good For?

DreamHost stands out as one of the most budget-friendly providers in 2024, which makes it one of the best website hosting services for small businesses, individuals, and startups. Besides its excellent price points and ease of use, DreamHost is also among the best WordPress hosting services we’ve tested this year.

There aren’t many services that rival the DreamPress plans, especially DreamPress Pro, which includes priority customer support, staff monitoring, and more.

From their one-click WordPress install to built-in Jetpack features – which offer brute force protection and downtime monitoring – the DreamPress plans have unrivaled benefits for WordPress hosting.

DreamHost vs Top Competitors

To get the full picture for our DreamHost review, we also had to look at it side by side with its top competitors. The truth is that they aren’t far behind each other in quality and price.

Provider DreamHost Bluehost GoDaddy HostGator
Best For WordPress hosting Bloggers and individuals VPS hosting E-commerce
Starting Price $2.59/m $1.99/m $6.99/m $3.75/m
Domain Free Free Free Free
SSL Free For the first year Free For the first year
Storage (from) 50GB 10GB 25GB 10GB
Monthly Visitors N/A ~15,000 N/A N/A
Automatic Backups Free, daily Free, daily Free, weekly
Server Locations US India, China, US Singapore, Netherlands, US, India China, Russia, Brazil, US, and more

DreamHost vs Bluehost

DreamHost and Bluehost both offer WordPress Hosting, VPS hosting, shared hosting, email hosting, and other services. However, DreamHost’s WordPress hosting brings benefits such as a lifetime free SSL certificate and exceptional website building.

That said, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Bluehost has an exclusive, unique partnership with WordPress. The only thing is that DreamHost has a 100% uptime guarantee, which makes it one of the best enterprise WordPress hosting services, while Bluehost offers no guarantees.

On the other hand, Bluehost does offer a more scalable approach to shared hosting, with four plans compared to DreamHost’s two. This allows growing businesses to pay only for features they require. Bluehost also has more responsive customer support teams and offers phone support, which DreamHost lacks.

DreamHost vs GoDaddy

Although both providers offer robust security features and speedy SSD storage, GoDaddy may be a better pick for users looking for VPS hosting. It doesn’t stop at 8GB RAM and Linux-only servers like DreamHost, but offers a 16GB RAM server plan compatible with Linux or Windows.

GoDaddy also offers four data centers strategically placed in India, Singapore, the Netherlands, and the US, providing truly global coverage. DreamHost only offers data centers in the US.

However, the payoff is that DreamHost offers much cheaper plans and superb WordPress and shared hosting services, making it a better pick for small and medium-sized businesses in the US overall. You can also read our full GoDaddy review

DreamHost vs HostGator

Unlike HostGator, DreamHost offers several benefits that go a long way. For example, DreamHost provides domain owner privacy protection free of charge, while the same service costs $14.95 per year with HostGator. As well as this, HostGator will only back up your data for free once a week, while DreamHost does it daily.

However, HostGator’s incredible network of data centers across ten countries makes it a better choice for websites with global audiences, especially e-commerce sites. In addition, it offers two online-store-focused plans that provide benefits like gift card management, bookings and appointments, wishlists, and more.

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Ilijia Miljkovac

Ilija Miljkovac is a Techopedia writer with 7 years of experience covering all things tech. He writes about everything from cybersecurity to ISPs, ensuring businesses and customers are educated about the latest products and services. He's written for publications such as Business2Community, TheTechReport, Comparitech, and more. When he's not maniacally hacking away at his keyboard, Ilija spends his time either hiking in nature or holed up in his apartment gaming.