Dreamhost Review: Web Hosting Review

Overview

DreamHost began in California in 1996 and was one of the online companies that was at the front of the .com business boom. In the technology sector there was a rapid rise in the understanding of the Internet and how it operated, and the hosting industry took off. Although initially DreamHost pitched their products at business owners, web developers and entrepreneurs, the company now understands how much individuals use the Internet and they have developed packages that can be adapted for anyone. The basic shared hosting plans are suitable for individuals and are designed so that you can blog, share multimedia content or create a portfolio. However, this hasn’t in any way removed the focus of the company, which remains predominantly directed at businesses. DreamHost provides a variety of services that are designed to accommodate larger businesses and enterprises, but the products are probably best for small to mid-size businesses. The types of hosting include shared hosting, VPS, dedicated servers and an all in one package called DreamPress. DreamHost does not use a C-Panel control panel, but it does have a highly tested and well-received, intuitive in-house designed control system. This has been finely tuned and developed so it can be customized to your needs. 

 

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Hosting Features

Core Hosting FeaturesMarketing & Bonus Features
Unlimited Space97-day money back guarantee
Unlimited BandwidthDebian Linux Operating System
Free DomainDrupal and Joomla compatible
Unlimited DomainsCloudFlare support
Unlimited MySQL 5 DatabasesOne-Click WordPress installation
Customized Control PanelCreate your own personalized web apps with software provided
Unlimited Email AccountsDreamObjects Cloud

100% Uptime Guarantee 

50 GB extra back-up of disk storage

Shopping Cart Plug-Ins

 

Hosting Technology

Although the C-Panel control system is widely used and recognised, DreamHost have chosen not to use that and instead stayed with the in-house system. The control system DreamHost developed was innovative and one of the first to be easily customised to the user’s needs. The control panel is intuitive and easy to change when you want to customise elements of it. This ability to change the internal control system had a huge impact on the industry, as DreamHost’s designs were leading in how the market was changing. DreamHost offers an incredibly rich package when it comes to features. Though they do not offer unlimited space and bandwidth for basic packages, the company does give you 50GB of free backup space, which is provided as additional space on top of what you get in your paid for plan. There is also a system in place that notifies you if your use of multimedia content or site traffic has exceeded your allowance. The One-Click installers are perfect for users who rely on WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Moodle, or any other website builders and developing software. There is also CloudFlare available as a free, high quality security service for your site.

The VPS and Dedicated Hosting are more ideal for bigger businesses or enterprises, and all hosting plans that are available use the DreamHost customisable control panel. There are Windows and Linux operating systems available and DreamHost provides the option of using an innovative cloud hosting package powered by OpenStack and Ceph. 

Pricing

A 30-day money-back guarantee has become accepted as the status quo from hosting companies but DreamHost offers a 97-day money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your hosting package during your first three months of use, you’ll receive a full refund. This is a great way to treat customers – to give them enough time to really get to grips with the product and try it out properly.

NB. Prices are only in USD.

DreamPress is the WordPress compatible package and costs $24.95 / month, or approximately 33 AUD. (You should check out the deals that are often on the site. You can save up to 20% off the usual price if you sign up for hosting at the right time.)

The shared hosting packages start at $8.95 / month (or 12 AUD) and the package offers a lot of features, even at a basic level. You’re never compromising on the quality of your hosting. You’re saving money and reducing how much of the feature is available to you with packages at the lower end of the scale. VPS plans range from $15 to $200 / month (or 20 – 263 AUD). There are six Dedicated Hosting plans and these start at a monthly rate of $109 (143 AUD) and are priced up to $249 (328 AUD).

Customer Support

Customer support is of a very high standard. The technicians take their time with you on the phone and make you feel like they’ve really investigated the problems you’re experiencing and then taken the time to find the best way to solve it. This does result in some waiting time if you’re trying to get support on the telephone, but you realise why as soon as your call is answered. The care taken over customers is outstanding. The email support and chat service are advertised as available 24/7 and the FAQ section on the website is detailed and often just good to use to learn things about how to use the hosting. The forums that are often run by customers are also excellent and will give you the tools to use your website to the best of its potential.

Reliability

It’s a tall order to expect a hosting company to give a 100% up-time guarantee, but that’s exactly what DreamHost does. The industry standard has grown to be 99.9%, which is already very high. To eliminate the possibility of even 0.1% downtime for your website is impressive. The three data centers are fully redundant and monitored by support technicians and security staff 24/7/365. DreamHost has implemented a system just in case on of the data centers in Los Angeles doesn’t quite meet their high standards and you do experience down time. For every hour your site is not working, DreamHost will reimburse you with the cost of one day’s worth of hosting. This is not just good customer service, but also a gesture of confidence.

Site Building

Building a site with DreamHost is easy and a genuinely enjoyable experience. There are options galore for you to choose from and they allow you to make your site reflect your business in terms of industry, content and style. You’ll be able to stay on brand and showcase your products to easily attract clients and customers. If you don’t want to hire a website designer because you want to save money, you can use one of the many templates that are available to you through the different website builders, such as WordPress, Joomla, Moodle, Drupal, etc. There are one-click installers for all the builders available and you just have to pick which one works the best for you.

Bottom Line

If you run your own business and you want to extend the reach of your company then this hosting will work for you. Whether you want a feature rich package or if you like having so many variables to customise, DreamHost has inexpensive and easy to use hosting and is a great choice for small to mid-sized businesses.

 

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