DreamHost was established in April of 1997 by four computer science undergraduates. Since then, they have grown to over 1,500 servers and a full time staff of over 100 employees.
DreamHost currently offers shared web hosting, Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers, and Cloud Hosting services to their clients. For shared hosting, DreamHost is an “unlimited host” that offers unlimited disk space and bandwidth under one single plan.
The difference: Dreamhost shares their success with others via charitable contributions. To date, they have contributed well over $200,000 to charities all around the world. They also provide free hosting to hundreds of non-profit organizations in the United States, which I think is a nice touch, don’t you?
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Featured Dreamhost Video
This video by Dreamhost shows what it is like being an employee at Dreamhost. This company prides themselves on doing things differently and this video explains the reason behind that. They really sound like a great place to work!
Hosting Plan Comparison
For shared hosting, DreamHost offers one single plan that offers unlimited disk space, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited domains (sites) hosted, and access to most programming languages including PHP, MySQL, Ruby on Rails, and much more.
- Annual: $9.95 per month. Total: $119.40
- Two Year Prepay: $8.95 per month. Total: $214.80
If you need a unique address, the price is $3.95 per month.
DreamHost Available Hosting Options
DreamHost has expanded significantly from the days where they just offered shared hosting. Now they offer many different plans and options that you can use as your site grows into a massive behemoth of a site that requires all of the bells and whistles a dedicated server can provide. DreamHost’s current offers include:
- Virtual Private Servers – They currently offer five plans ranging from $15 per month all the way to $200 per month based on the amount of RAM you’ll need. All VPS plans come with unlimited disk space and bandwidth. Let me tell you, this is the first time I’ve ever seen VPS plans with unlimited disk space and I’ve reviewed VPS hosts for years!
- Dedicated Servers – Be sure to visit the DreamHost dedicated servers page to check current specials. At the time of this review, they are offering a quad-core dedicated server at the dual-core price and it includes a free month of service. At the time of this review, they are offering 6 dedicated server plans starting from $99 per month.
- Cloud Storage – DreamHost offers several options in this arena including public cloud services, DreamObjects (an inexpensive scalable solution), and DreamCompute which they claim is next generation and highly scalable. Pricing is based on how much you use and I’d strongly recommend contacting DreamHost if you are interested in these solutions.
Are They Reliable and Trustworthy?
One thing I absolutely love about DreamHost is their openness and transparency. Instead of hiding major issues that they have had in the past, they address them publicly and take care of the matter. Here’s an example:
On January 21st. 2012, a major breach occurred on one of DreamHost’s database servers that resulted in some customers’ FTP and shell access passwords to be reset. Since this was exactly one year ago and nothing major like this has happened since, I believe Dreamhost has taken it upon themselves to learn from their mistake.
DreamHost currently offers a satisfaction guarantee policy that is backed by a 97-day money back guarantee for shared hosting clients. In addition to this, they also offer a 100% uptime guarantee. If you site is offline as a result of a failure in their systems other than announced scheduled maintenance, they will reimburse you with one day credit for each hour that your site is offline.
In my research, I’ve determined that most of their clients are satisfied with many positive reviews posted all around the Internet. How has your experience been? Leave a note in the comments section below.
Your ECommerce Solution Dream Come True?
Under the shared hosting plan, DreamHost allows access to a SSL secure certificate for $15 per year. You’ll also need to pay for a unique IP address which will cost $3.95.
If you paid for the annual plan for $119.40 and wanted to add support for ECommerce, you would need to pay an additional $227.40 per year.
Another option you have is to use the DreamHost CafeCommerce™ solution for $30 per month. This will allow you to use their system to design and build your eCommerce store and it allows you to grow your store without restrictions or limits. They boast you can sell an unlimited amount of products with unlimited images and unlimited transactions all under this plan.
Customer Service Review
The following are the options DreamHost currently offers for customer support:
- DreamHost Wiki database. This is a frequently updated and vastly extensive online documentation database that typically answers most questions with a quick search. Impressive!
- Busy and active discussion forum. This is one of the busiest forums I’ve seen by any web host with over 32,000+ threads and 174,000+ posts at the time of this review.
- Status blog. This is a fully transparent blog that openly discusses server issues, time of repair, how long the downtime was, and more. Again, most web hosts do not do this and is quite impressive!
- Ticket system for active clients.
- Phone support is provided as an add-on for $9.95 per month for all hosting services. This price includes three callbacks.
- Social networking including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. They currently have over 3,600 tweets.
All support requests are reliably handled via the top four options above and I have confidence that the support channels provided. Should you need telephone support, it is an option for $9.95 per month. I’d suggest going without this add-on because they do respond rather quickly to any tickets I’ve submitted.
Scott’s Final Thoughts
Let me put it this way, if I lived in Los Angeles, Orange County, or San Francisco, I’d happy apply and work for DreamHost in a heartbeat. Their employees are a family and they have a lot of good times and memories while working there. Happy employees make for happy clients because the client’s experience with the support department makes or breaks a long term partnership.
Based on my research, they currently host well over 500,000 WordPress sites and are growing each and every day. Also, based on this research, I’ve determined they are trustworthy and reliable.
The only thing I don’t like is they charge for telephone support. With all of the other support options available, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but it’d sure be nice if they allowed even one call per month on all plans just in case a client has an emergency that they need answered immediately.
Please visit Dreamhost directly to verify current pricing and plan options.