Web Hosting Review: Dreamhost
As with most tech successes, Dreamhost started off with a seed of an idea. Three undergraduate friends, Dallas Bethune, Michael Rodriguez, and Josh Jones thought of an opportunity in the market in 1996 even as they were busy with school in the Harvey Mudd College of Claremont in California.
It didn’t take long for the company to carve a niche in the burgeoning industry. It quickly gained a reputation for offering superior quality service at an affordable cost. More than two decades later, there are already over 1.5 million websites being hosted by its servers.
Dreamhost and WordPress are a match made in heaven and this partnership will only benefit the end-consumer.
Cloud Computing – You get access to OpenStack and Ceph API if you want your website to go beyond blogging and want to create your own cloud storage. It’s compatible with third-party apps like MongoDB, Python, Ruby, and Redis, among others. You can access the SSH in less than 30 seconds and also create your virtual machines. DreamObjects, meanwhile, is the perfect solution for app developers, as well as websites dealing with big data.
Customized Control Panel – The control panel is straightforward, if not a little vanilla. Nevertheless, some businesses like it that way. The simplified and clean design allows is very intuitive, which cuts back on the learning curve. The tool allows you to control every aspect of your website, or multiple websites, on one centralized panel. The company’s proprietary web builder, dubbed The Remixer, can also be accessed in the control panel so you don’t toggle from one app to the next.
Domain Parking – Domain parking allows you to register a domain name temporarily until you decide what to do with it. There are several benefits to this service. First, you provide yourself with flexibility in the future because you already have a reserved domain name. Second, you can monetize that parked site by putting your ads there. Third, you stop somebody from taking your name (or at least a variation of it) and probably diverting traffic that should have gone to your site.
1-Click Install – Don’t know a single lick of code? Do not fret because Dreamhost has a 1-click feature from the installation process of the program itself, as well as adding new apps like Magento and Joomla!, for instance.
Solid-State Drives – The hard-disk drive is a thing of the past. Now, more and more people are moving toward the SSDs or the solid-state drives. In terms of reliability, the SSD trumps HDD any given day and twice on Sundays because it has no moving parts. This means fewer chances of breaking down. The floating gate transistors allow the SSD to still retain the data even when there’s no source of power.
Dreamhost offers superior technical support for its subscribers. You can talk to a dedicated success manager via phone call or Live Chat. You may also email your questions, problems, and feedbacks. The company makes sure that all its customer support agents are Tier II certified before they are allowed to interact with customers. This makes sure that anybody you talk to in the team has both the knowledge and experience to address your concern.
Creating a Site Without WordPress
Sure, more than half of the websites around the world are using WordPress as their CMS of choice, however, you shouldn’t be limited to this option because of the inability of the web host to offer another platform.
We suggest that you conduct due diligence on the right platform for you. In fact, depending on your requirements, WordPress might not be the option for you. When in doubt, you can talk to Dreamhost technical support, which can provide you with some alternatives to the WP platform.
- Magento – This platform is designed for e-commerce websites so take heed for those in the industry.
- Drupal – This is another platform that is a good alternative to WordPress, even if it’s not as recognizable. One drawback, however, is that it’s quite complicated for novices. It’s why this is the platform of choice for website developers.
- Joomla! – Joomla! Is WordPress on steroids. You have greater flexibility with all its tools and features. You also have improved scalability. This is perfect for e-commerce sites or websites with large volume to traffic.
- Shopify –Another platform for e-commerce websites is Shopify. You can choose from the different tools to create your own website even without a technical background. Another platform that should be mentioned with Shopify is Woocommerce.
Regardless of the platform you choose, Dreamhost is perfectly suited to address your needs.
Award-Winning Web Host
For three years running, Dreamhost was adjudged as the Best Web Hosting Service in the annual Business Choice Awards. The winners are voted not just by customers but also tech experts who know their craft.
The company won over other big names in the industry such as GoDaddy, 1&1, Wix, HostGator, and Bluehost. In fact, Dreamhost scored an excellent 9.2 in the reliability scorecards. 1&1 trailed closely behind at 9.0 and third was Wix which garnered an 8.9 score. This is hardly a surprise considering the 100% uptime guarantee.
In terms of tech support, Dreamhost was still blowing dust on the competition after scoring a solid 8.5. There was a bigger gap between Dreamhost and runner-up 1&1, which scored 7.8 in the tech support category.
When customers were asked what web host they would likely recommend to their families and friends, they were unanimous in answering Dreamhost.
Dreamhost has several datacenters all across the United States. Typically, the company will decide where to store your data from several server locations from the East Coast and the West Coast. However, the service provider does offer the option of allowing you to choose the location but it’s going to cost you extra.
Nevertheless, this should be the least of your problems because, regardless of the server location, Dreamhost still guarantees an uptime rate of 100% so it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Also, the company makes sure that its servers are manned by technical personnel who make sure that the datacenters are up and running 365 days a year.
You have several choices of packages for the Dreamhost service.
This is the most popular option among its customers. There are two plans under the Shared Hosting:
One is the Shared Hosting, which starts at $2.59 a month. For that money, you will get:
- 1 website
- Unlimited traffic
- SSD storage
- SSL certificate
You can also purchase a .com for just $9.95 or upgrade to add a business email.
The second type is Shared Unlimited, which costs $7.95 per month. The inclusions are:
- Unlimited number of websites
- Free domain
- SSD storage (unlimited)
- Unlimited Traffic
- SSL certificate
You can choose from the monthly, 1-year, and 3-year subscription plans.
The Dedicated Hosting service starts at $169 monthly and among the inclusions are:
- Uptime guarantee of 100%
- SSH root and shell access
- RAID 1 storage for faster performance
- Protection for DDoS
- Server monitoring and support 24/7
The Virtual Private Server Hosting service starts at just $13.75 per month. Among the inclusions are:
- Regular updates
- Full security
- Customized custom panel
- Expandable storage
- Expandable RAM
- Your personal server
- Unlimited domains
- Unlimited traffic
- Unlimited bandwidth
The basic VPS package will get you 1 GB of RAM and 30 GB of storage. However, you can expand this up to 8 GB of RAM and 240 GB of storage for the Enterprise VPS plan, which costs $110 per month.
Promos and Incentives
Head off to their website because the company oftentimes offers promos and discounts to new customers. For instance, right now you can save 40% on the price for their Shared Hosting option. However, the 97-day money-back guarantee is an incentive enough to try out the product. This no-risk option is perfect for you to familiarize yourself with all its features and tools before you decide to upgrade to the paid subscription.
The intuitive Website Builder tool of Dreamhost will allow you to build your own site even without knowing a single coding language. This DIY route is very straightforward and can be done by somebody with only the most rudimentary knowledge about computers.
Creating a website is very easy:
- Select the layout that you want. You can choose from the Small Business, Professional, and Creative options.
- Choose the colors you want for your website. Companies typically choose the hues that are compatible with their corporate colors
- Choose from the list of images
- Select the font that you need for your site
Dreamhost has an extensive library of fully customizable themes. You can then modify the themes to fit your brand. Again, there’s no coding involved in this process.
The company offers an industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee for its shared hosting service. This means that when you apply, Dreamhost assumes all the risks. However, for now, the service is only available for card payments.
The Dreamhost, like most web hosting services, is compatible with WordPress CMS. The hosting starts at only $2.59 per month for the basic package. The one-click install feature makes this the best solution for small businesses with no IT staff.
You will also get access to powerful tools like backups, server caching, and content delivery network. Updates are automatically downloaded without any downtime, while you have access to the control panel that is very intuitive. Pretty soon, you will be customizing themes and infrastructure of your website to fit your own needs.
Dreamhost boast of a 100% uptime guarantee for its dedicated hosting service. This means that you will never experience a downtime with your website, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. You will really appreciate that luxury especially in an industry where competition is stiff.
Dedicated hosting is ideal for large online stores and e-commerce websites. As you know, any downtime will mean potential revenue loss. This is why you should always insist on a 100% uptime rate, which Dreamhost can guarantee. It doesn’t matter how heavy your traffic is during holiday or peak seasons, you can have peace of mind that your website will continue to run smoothly.
This option is also ideal if you count blue-chip companies as your clients, which only demand the highest quality of service from you. You don’t want them trying to access your site only to find out that it’s down.
On the downside, the web host service doesn’t offer malware protection for your email although there’s a built-in software. Meanwhile, the SSL certificate is not automatically installed. You need to set it up on any of your websites. The technical support can help you do this, although companies with dedicated IT departments won’t have any trouble with this challenge. Also, the advanced security features of Dreamhost can only be adopted if you have some developer skills.
What should really interest you is that Dreamhost is one of the few web hosts that WordPress actually endorses. With the badge of approval from the dominant CMS in the market today, you can be sure that you are in good hands.
The team behind Dreamhost is really taking their promise seriously. In fact, for each hour that your website is down, the company will give you an approximate 24-worth of free hosting service. This is still in line with their 100% uptime guarantee.
What’s good about Dreamhost is that it’s designed to grow with your company. You can scale up the subscription plan to fit your higher requirements. You don’t need to switch web hosts and start over from scratch when your business expands. You can visit their website and try out the free trial so you can see for yourself if the web host is the right fit for you.