DreamHost Web Hosting Review

If you’re looking to build a website with Linux, DreamHost should be one of the first places you look. The web hosting service has a rich feature set that caters to many personal and business web hosting needs by offering shared, WordPress, virtual private server (VPS), cloud and dedicated plans. In addition, its website builder software provides webmasters with simple tools to create attractive and flexible pages. As a result, DreamHost is an award-winning Editors’ Choice web host, racing to the top alongside competitors like HostGator, Hostwinds, and Liquid Web. Buy Dreamhost Click Here

Shared web hosting

If you want to create a website but don’t want to spend a lot of money, shared web hosting is the way to go. Shared hosting is an extremely cheap form of web hosting where your website shares CPU, RAM and other server resources with other websites. As a result, it is not a very powerful host layer; if you expect your site to get a lot of traffic, you should look into a virtual private server (VPS) or dedicated hosting.

Additionally, since the “shared” in shared hosting refers to the fact that each server can host multiple sites that share hardware resources, you are somewhat at the mercy of your fellow servers. If one of these makes it to the front page of Reddit, you may find your site slows down as a result.

DreamHost has two shared hosting plans: Shared Starter and Shared Unlimited. Shared Starter (from $4.95/month or $3.59/month with an annual commitment) offers unlimited monthly data transfers and storage, but lacks email. That’s right: no email. To do this, you need to upgrade to Shared Unlimited (starting at $10.95 per month or $4.95 per month with an annual commitment). This plan adds email and unlimited website hosting. The reduced price for the one-year plan (previously $7.95 per month) puts it within striking distance of the Starter option, making it a much better option than before.

That said, HostGator, an Editors’ Choice winner for shared hosting, is one of the few web hosts we’ve reviewed that offers Windows-based shared web hosting. This is a big deal because there are many businesses that require a Microsoft operating system to run specific software. DreamHost, on the other hand, only offers Linux-based servers. HostGator also offers unlimited email across all domains.

VPS web hosting

DreamHost offers four Linux-based VPS web hosting plans (starting at $15.00 per month or $13.75 per month with an annual commitment) for businesses that need servers with more performance than shared hosting offers. VPS hosting places your website on a server with far fewer virtual roommates than shared hosting. As a result, more server power is available for your website.

DreamHost’s VPS plans offer unlimited monthly data transfers and domains, which is a nice perk. However, the base memory and storage are quite low; the basic plan (the prices of which are listed above) only offers 1 GB of RAM and a 30 GB SSD. On the other hand, the highest configuration ($120 per month or $110 per month with an annual contract) maxes out at 8GB of RAM and 240GB of SSD storage. Unfortunately, the VPS plans only offer the Ubuntu Linux operating system.

Hostwinds, PCMag’s top choice for VPS hosting, has excellent VPS plans. It has a wallet-friendly, well-rounded VPS offering. Take managed Linux VPS plans that start at just $5.17 per month for 1GB RAM, 30GB disk space, 1TB monthly data transfers and unlimited email and scale up to $247 per month for 96GB RAM, 750GB disk space, 9 TB of monthly data transfers and unlimited e-mail.

Dedicated web hosting

If you want maximum web hosting performance, you need to get a dedicated server. With this setting, your website lives entirely on its own on the server and thus uses all system resources. You should look into dedicated hosting if you expect your site to get incredible traffic and if your site is so important that it absolutely cannot go down or slow down.

DreamHost has several dedicated server options. The offering starts with the Standard 4 plan ($169 per month or $149 for an annual commitment), which includes 4GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. Rounding out the options is the $379/month Enhanced SSD 64 plan, which boasts 64GB of RAM and 240GB of SSD storage. Every DreamHost dedicated server plan comes with unlimited data transfers.

Unfortunately, DreamHost lacks dedicated Windows-based servers; it’s also Linux or bust. If you’re looking to build a website using Microsoft’s operating system as a foundation, we recommend checking out AccuWeb, PCMag’s Editors’ Choice for dedicated web hosting that offers dedicated server options for Linux and Windows. AccuWeb also has powerful dedicated plans, including a $1,070 per month package that has 8TB of storage, 512GB of RAM, and up to 50TB of monthly data transfers.

Cloud hosting

You’ve probably heard of cloud hosting, which spreads resources across multiple servers (traditional hosting gets resources from a single server). Cloud hosting allows websites to easily increase their server needs when the situation calls for it. Fortunately, DreamHost offers three tiers of cloud hosting—512MB RAM Server, 2GB RAM Server, and 8GB RAM Server—that come in Linux, BSD, and Windows variants.

DreamHost has excellent packages that start at $4.50 per month (for 512MB of RAM, 80GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data) and end at $48 per month (for four CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, 80GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers). As a result, DreamHost’s powerful specs make the web host a co-Editors’ Choice for cloud hosting services.

If you’re a business customer who wants world-class cloud hosting, 1&1 Ionos is the way to go. It’s a co-publisher’s choice for a category that boasts incredibly powerful cloud hosting packages.

Reseller hosting

If you want to get into the web hosting business but don’t want to deal with infrastructure, reseller hosting is the way to go. Unfortunately, DreamHost does not offer standalone reseller plans; you can sell your own server space, but only if you add more domains to your own. Check out the DreamHost Reseller FAQ page (opens in a new window) for more information.

If you really want to dabble in reseller hosting, we recommend Hostwinds, an Editors’ Choice category. Starting at $3.29 per month, Hostwind’s plans come with unlimited email, storage, and data transfers. There are dedicated and VPS packages for both Linux and Windows, as well as shared hosting that is limited to Linux. Servers have the same amount of RAM and storage as servers directly supplied by Hostwinds, which is not always the case. Hostwinds also allows you to use your own branding on the servers you rent and also provides 24/7 technical support.

Creating websites

Overall, we like DreamHost’s user interface – it’s simple and well laid out, and it made it easy to get started on my test site. Instead of going the HostGator or iPage route with cute screen-filling icons, DreamHost offers a tree of menu options on the left side of the screen. It’s easy to find billing information, manage domains, and view settings for VPS and dedicated servers. We had no problem finding security options or third-party app marketplaces.

DreamHost now offers a WP website builder that lets you start building your website right away. You no longer have to endure long waits for your Dreamhost account to be approved like you used to. It’s a great addition. WP Website Builder comes with dozens of themes that you can change with a simple drag-and-drop feature. We found it refreshingly simple to add photos (my own or ones from DreamHost’s free gallery), text and video. You also have the option to install third-party applications such as concrete5, Joomla, MediaWiki, Piwigo and of course WordPress in your account.

WordPress hosting

Like several of its competitors, DreamHost offers WordPress hosting in three different categories: WordPress Basic, DreamPass, and VPS WordPress. DreamPress comes standard with managed WordPress hosting, a service that will give your website white-glove care by automatically updating your popular content management system software, performing automatic daily backups, and providing WordPress-specific security.

Entry-level WordPress Basic (starting at $4.95 per month or $3.95 with a three-year commitment) comes with 50GB of SSD storage, email that can be purchased like shared web hosting, and unlimited monthly data transfer, as well as a range of free WordPress themes . Upgrading to the starter DreamPress option (starting at $12.00 per month) starts with 30GB of SSD storage, unlimited email and monthly data transfers, and support for up to 100,000 visitors per month. DreamPress Plus (starting at $24.00 per month) doubles the storage, increases the number of visitors to around 300,000, and adds a content delivery network (CDN) for faster page loading. The high-end DreamPress Pro (starting at $71.95 per month) offers 120GB of SSD storage and a limit of 1,000,000 visitors.

DreamPress allows you to install any plugin you wish; On the other hand, Pagely and WP Engine limit you to install a small number of plugins that can affect your site’s performance. Recently, DreamHost added WordPress staging to their offerings, so you can test new site features on another site instance that won’t affect your live pages.

Although DreamPress is impressive, the Linux-backed A2 is PCMag’s Editors’ Choice in this category. A2 boasts an optimized environment that is said to be six times faster than traditional hosting environments. Additionally, A2’s WordPress plans offer unlimited storage and monthly data transfers in most of their options. For more information on the fantastically popular content management system, you can read our story on how to get started with WordPress.

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