What is Dreamhost?

DreamHost is the dinosaur of web hosts.

It’s ginormous. Challenging over 400,000 active clients and hosting over 1.5 million sites. That’s a lot.

It’s ancient. Founded way back in 1996 by a few undergrad students at Claremont College in California.

And it’s well honored. Bringing home PCMag’s ‘Best Web Hosting Service’ prize for the second year in a line.

They indeed go so far as to offer insane things like 97-day money back guarantee and guarantee 100% uptime (or you get refunded).

We required to put DreamHost to the test and see for us if the reality lived up to the hype. We also needed to know if they’re any better than BluehostSiteGround and HostGator.

In June of 2015, we set up a primary WordPress test website on DreamHost’s ‘Shared Plan.’ Detailed performance stats including uptime & speed can be found here by clicking ‘History.’

Pros of doing Dreamhost Hosting

There’s a lot to like about DreamHost.

They ensure high uptime and customer support. They even drive in a few freebies to make your skill even better.

Here’s an overview of their best qualities.

1. Good Uptime, but an objectionable September

It’s fair to say that DreamHost reaches their uptime. They’re so confident, that they’ll give an extra day of service for every hour of downtime your site practices with them.

Fortunately for their analysts, that doesn’t happen very often (99.92% is less than 10 minutes of downtime per month).

Over our one-year review process, DreamHost gave 99.73% uptime, which isn’t great reflecting that the industry’s elite produce around 99.98%. There are much more stable and low-cost web hosts like – A2 Hosting, HostGator Cloud & SiteGround.


  • January average uptime: 99.99%
  • February average uptime: 99.84%
  • March average uptime: 99.89%
  • April average uptime: 99.97%
  • May average uptime: 99.99%
  • June average uptime: 99.93%
  • July average uptime: 100%
  • August average uptime: 99.50%
  • September average uptime: 97.79% !!!
  • October average uptime: 100%
  • November average uptime: 99.83%
  • December average uptime: 100%


Dreamhost Load Time & Uptime: (Last 12 months, detailed data can be seen here.)

2. Page Load Rate 21.0% Faster than Average Competition

DreamHost’s page charging times didn’t let us downgrade either, clocking in at 931ms over the same twelve-month span. That’s about 21.0% faster than the average of 1185ms we have seen in analyzing other web hosts.

You can check further stats below:

dreamhost load time

Last 12 month average load time


  • January average speed: 851ms
  • February average speed: 855ms
  • March average speed: 945ms
  • April average speed: 832ms
  • May average speed: 782ms
  • June average speed: 748ms
  • July average speed: 1,315ms
  • August average speed: 1,141ms
  • September average speed: 1,301ms
  • October average speed: 818ms
  • November average speed: 806ms
  • December average speed: 773ms

3. Knowledgeable, Friendly Support

The excellent uptime and quickest loading times mean nothing without great support to back it all up.

Hereabouts, DreamHost excels. Within 5 minutes we were attached to a live chat agent, getting specific responses after a few seconds.

Their support is not outsourced (which is evident) and is open 24/7. The only catch? No phone assistance.


4. 97-Day Cash Back Guarantee and ‘Free Days’ for Downtime

DreamHost offers the most extended money back guarantee in the industry, coming in at 97 days for shared hosting plans.

But that’s not all.

They will also credit you a day’s service for every hour of interrupted service. They aren’t kidding around about standing behind their service. In my opinion, that’s just awesome…

P.S: We used that perk in March when our uptime was slightly lower than promised (99.89%).

According to DreamHost’s Terms of Service, you’ll only be eligible for free days if:

  • The DreamObjects service is unresponsive, or
  • DreamObjects gives a server error response to valid user requests for more than a minute of constant demands.

Scheduled sustaining that may cause downtime is excluded.

It’s also significant to note that DreamHost doesn’t offer automatic refunds for some payment methods, like:

  • PayPal
  • Check (written checks or electronic checks)
  • Money Orders
  • Gift Certificates

It’s incredible that DreamHost provides such an extended period for receiving your cash back. If they’re that sure that you’ll love them, you should be too.

But if you don’t need to get stuck committing to DreamHost until you are 100% sure that you love their assistance, then be sure to pay for your subscription automatically with a debit or credit card.

That way, you will be able to receive your return automatically.

5. Unlimited (Really!) Bandwidth

All companies say they provide unlimited hosting. But most don’t come close.

DreamHost indeed does give unlimited bandwidth and data transfer according to their ‘Unlimited Policy‘ terms.

This service is amazingly rare for a reason (read: cost). So here are the differences:

  • Copyrighted content to which you do not hold usage or sharing rights.
  • File upload / sharing / archive / backup / mirroring / distribution sites.
  • A site created originally to drive traffic to another site.
  • Making your account resources available (whether for free or pay) to the general public.

 6. They are Carbon Neutral (AKA Green)

Being a web host exerts tons of resources. Just the amount of electricity it needs to run servers alone is excellent.

That’s why DreamHost is assigned to reducing their impact on the environment. One way that they do this is by the buying of carbon offsets.

In fact, DreamHost has been a carbon neutral company since 2007. In just ten years, the company has compensated a whopping 29,298.1 tons of greenhouse gases.



That’s tremendous!

But according to the website, that’s not the only approach that the firm stays committed to energy performance.

In their offices, they use:

  • LEED Platinum and EnergyStar-certified abilities
  • Advanced lighting control systems with occupancy sensors
  • LED and low-mercury, high-efficiency CFL lighting completely
  • Balanced, highly-optimized HVAC plants
  • Window film to decrease solar load
  • Motion-controlled, low-flow restroom appliances

In their data stations, they:

  • Use high-efficiency cooling foundation with both airside and waterside economization
  • Have evaporative cooling plants that use a blend of municipal water and reclaimed water
  • Use power-efficient processors whenever feasible
  • Are partners in state-level “clean wind” programs
  • Use power of grids that obtain electricity from many renewable sources including wind farms, solar panels, and hydroelectric plants

DreamHost also gives recycling bins in every office, steers clear of disposable silverware by delivering real silver and dishes for employees, and practices in-office composting.

They give operators the option to work from home to reduce discharges.

Talk about a commitment to the planet! It’s good to know that businesses using large amounts of energy are concerned about being as energy efficient as possible.

They are passionate about backing up their claims, too. DreamHost’s Certificate of Carbon Neutralization from TheGreenOffice is accessible online for anyone to view.

dreamhost green

If you are proactive about reducing your carbon footprint, DreamHost is a great web hosting option to consider.

Cons of doing Dreamhost Hosting

DreamHost is a perfect choice for maximum people.

However, there are a few potential pitfalls which might be a deal breaker for others.

Starting with cost.

1. Between the More Expensive Options Available


Five bucks a month is more than sufficient for most web hosts, assuming you’re signing up for at least one year’s value of service.

But DreamHost begins at $7.95. IF, you pay for three years at one.

Unless the one-year minimum will set you back $9.95 per month.

2. ‘One Size Fits All’ (in most cases it’s sufficient)

Most web hosts offer tons of different hosting plans that make it hard to differentiate between what each provides, and which is the reliable option for you.

DreamHost doesn’t do that, offering only a single yielded hosting plan to get begun.

Sure, that makes it easy to pick. But that also means a freshman with a simple site is going to pay the similarly as a pro who regularly gets over 300,000 monthly uniques.

3. No cPanel – is it a con? Hard to tell

DreamHost has created their control panel to provide a streamlined version for non-techies.

However, those professionals are accustomed to using cPanel or Plesk (like we do) probably won’t like this approach.

4. Possible Delayed Setup

New customer accounts need to be verified before activation. That means while registration is immediate, provisioning can take a few hours. Factor that into your new launch plans if you are trying to get up-and-running ASAP.


Dreamhost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Active Facts

Here’s a fast overview of Dreamhost’s hosting plans:


  • Shared Hosting: Unlike most other web hosts, Dreamhost gives one simple shared hosting plan that costs $7.95 per month. They do not use the three-tiered strategy like most web hosts, and this makes it easy for their users to make a choice. SSDs power Their shared hosting plan.
  • Managed WordPress Hosting: Their managed WordPress hosting requires $19.95 per month (billed annually). It begins with 30GB SSD storage. The WordPress hosting has no limits, and they claim that it can handle 2.1 million monthly visits. It appears with support for unlimited email accounts and one free dedicated IP address.
  • VPS Hosting: Their VPS hosting begins at $15 per month (with 1GB RAM and 30GB SSD storage) and can fetch up to $120 per month (with 8GB RAM and 240GB SSD room). All their VPS plans come beside unlimited bandwidth and allow assistance for universal domain names.
  • Dedicated Hosting: Their dedicated server starts at $149 per month and can cost up to $379 per month. For $149 per month, you will get four cores, 1TB HDD, and 4GB RAM. Their dedicated servers come with full root and shell access, unlimited MySQL databases, RAID-1 storage, Ubuntu Linux, 1-Click WordPress installer, unlimited bandwidth and DDoS protection.
  • Ease of Signup: Long and complicated sign up process. Sign up should be more comfortable.
  • Free domain: For the first year of all annual hosting plans.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal, Check, Money Order, Checking Account
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: None. Yay! 🙂
  • Upsells: A few upsells. Boo.
  • Account Activation: Account activation can take a while. Grab a cup of coffee (or two).
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: Custom Dreamhost control panel. It can be a little harsh to use, blah. But who knows, maybe you’ll like it?
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): One-click installer for WordPress and other apps/CMSs.

Do We Recommend Dreamhost?

DreamHost might cost you 2X what another option does.

But they’re worth it.

They’re super reliable, offering incredible money-back guarantees if you experience any downtime or other hiccups along the way.

Their support is exceptional across the board. And they throw in a few freebies which can offset the higher initial cost.

If you value reliability and support that’s second-to-none (and money’s not as big of a concern), look no further than DreamHost.

P.S. If you need to see hosting providers that ranked above Dreamhost, check our best performing hosts here.

What’s good about Dreamhost?

  • Good uptime (99.76%)
  • Page loading times are 18% faster than competitors (~870ms)
  • High-quality, helpful, and fast customer support
  • 97-day money back guarantee
  • You’ll get “free days” when you experience downtime
  • Bandwidth is truly unlimited
  • They’re carbon neutral (AKA green)

What’s terrible about Dreamhost?

  • More expensive than some other web hosts
  • Only offers a “one size fits all” plan
  • There’s no cPanel
  • Setup may be delayed since each visitor must be verified before their account is activated

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