Are you planning to create your presence online? That’s great. However, looking for a web hosting provider can be a daunting task sometimes as there are thousands of such hosting providers on the Internet. To make things more difficult, most of these hosting providers offer almost similar features at about the same price.
But let us assure you that finding a hosting provider should not be such a confusing matter, especially when you are planning to set up a WordPress site. WordPress is a very popular content management system (CMS). It doesn’t matter if you are not sure what CMS is… just think of it as an application for you to create a website on. What is more important at this point is finding a good web hosting provider to host your website.
Luckily, WordPress do not have complicated hosting requirements. In fact, there are a few web hosting providers who specialize in WordPress hosting. DreamHost is one of them.
DreamHost was founded by 4 undergraduates back in 1997 and today, have grown to become one of the leading shared web hosting providers with more than 1 million domains hosted with them!
Like many successful businesses, they went through a number of problems. Some of these had caused some major disturbance to their hosting services like the major power outages and when hackers attacked. But those were in the past and we are glad to know that DreamHost has taken steps to try to prevent these from happening in the future. The fact that the company has continued growing to where it is today proved that users still believe and support them.
The company offers shared, VPS, Dedicated and Cloud hosting but for the purpose of this review, we will focus on shared hosting. If you would like to learn more about the different types of web hosting, check out this infographic.
Is DreamHost shared web hosting any good?
Well, let’s just say that we have hosted with them for a good many years now and so far, no complaints. Initially, we moved a couple of sites over because of an attractive promotion. We were getting features-rich hosting at a fraction of what other web hosting providers were asking. Over the years, we found that DreamHost was keeping to their promises and we transferred a few more sites over to them after that.
8 Reasons Why We Think DreamHost Is Great
What’s so great about DreamHost, you may ask. Below are the reasons.
Unlimited Bandwidth and Storage
DreamHost is one of the first few hosting providers who offer unlimited bandwidth and storage for their users. However, it is not really “unlimited” since resources are limited, of course. What unlimited meant is that you won’t have to worry about your website being shut down should your site gets a sudden traffic surge – for instance when your latest post suddenly becomes a viral sensation!
But in case you are still unclear on this subject, Dreamhost has an Unlimited Policy page to make this clear and to ensure there are no misunderstandings.
Free Domain Registration and Privacy Whois
There are a few web hosting providers who do offer free domain registration for the first year as a promotion to draw new subscribers. The same goes for DreamHost in which they offer a free one year domain registration that’s worth $9.95 to new subscribers.
But you hardly heard of a web hosting provider who also offers free domain whois privacy. This is a service which prevents your private information (like your full name, address, phone number etc) from being displayed in the Whois directory.
While we are on this topic, you will be glad to know that DreamHost also offers you unlimited domains and subdomains. This means that you can create as many domains and subdomains as you like and they won’t charge you for it.
Custom Built Control Panel
DreamHost’s web-based control panel is easy to use even for a beginner. That’s because it is not a generic control panel that many web hosting provider tend to use. Instead, this unique control panel is developed by the people behind DreamHost and thus, is fine-tuned to better suit their hosting environment. They are able to add features or improve usability to the control panel software since it is their own software and technology.
What can you do at the control panel? Well, almost everything, from accessing billing information to creating and modifying your MySQL databases to managing emails accounts.
97-Days Money Back Guarantee
DreamHost has the longest money back guarantee in the web hosting industry. While most other leading hosting providers would offer 0 – 30 days, DreamHost gives you a 97-day money back guarantee, no questions asked!
This means that if you decide to cancel for whatever reason within 97 days from signing up, you are entitled to a full refund of the hosting fee. This refund will not include other services that you have purchased though, e.g. SSL certificates. If you have taken up DreamHost’s offer for a free domain name registration, then the refund will be reduced by $9.95 which is what the domain name registration fee costs. Since the domain name is legally yours and that you are able to transfer it to another host, it makes sense that you should bear the costs when you no longer want to host with them.
There are a few other terms and conditions involving this refund. You will need to have paid your subscription via credit card or Google Wallet in order to qualify for the refund. And that you were not spamming or conducting anything that is prohibited. Do check their Terms of Service for details.
One-click Software Installation
DreamHost offers a nifty tool that allows you to install various popular software with just a few clicks of your mouse! You can easily and quickly create a WordPress blog or a phpBB Forum or start an online store using ZenCart. If you like, you can even create a poll using Advanced Poll software or create a calendar with WebCalendar.
This intelligent tool will first ensure that your server is compatible with the software before proceeding to install the software. So you don’t have to worry about whether the application or software will work on your site.
Besides installing software on your website, this One-Click Installer can also help you update and upgrade your installed applications easily. This feature is provided free when you subscribe to their shared hosting plan.
DreamHost understands that their customers have a variety of requirements and therefore, worked hard to make website hosting and management a breeze. An example is the partnerships that DreamHost has strike with 2 well-known companies, i.e. WebAssist and CloudFlare.
With WebAssist as a partner, DreamHost is able to offer CafeCommerce. CafeCommerce is a great tool for those who want to create professional and unique online stores without needing to learn coding or programming. There are loads of store templates that you can customize to suit your business.
The difference between CafeCommerce and other e-commerce solutions is that CafeCommerce allows you to sell unlimited products, display unlimited images as well as have unlimited transactions. There is a monthly fee of $30 for this CafeCommerce and DreamHost bundle but for someone who wants a unique and reliable e-commerce site, this is a good deal.
If you like, you can try out the service for free since they are offering a 14-day free trial.
One of the factors that I always emphasize on when testing a web host is the after-sales support. A hosting provider can promise anything and everything but if I can’t get decent support from them, then it just goes to show how much I can depend on the company to keep their other promises.
As for DreamHost, my experience with them over the years showed that they have good support. They offer 24/7 Los Angeles-based technical support via emails. Of all the times that I have written in for support, my complaints were attended to quickly and the issues resolved in less than an hour!
The DreamHost forum is another great source of information for me. The community is very helpful and most of the time, I am able to find the answer to my questions here. For those who prefer to find their own answers, there’s the resources-packed Dreamhost Wiki.
DreamHost shared hosting package costs $8.95 per month. This may seem to be a little higher than some web hosts. But if you take into consideration the features that you will be getting, this price is reasonable.
For starters, you will get unlimited bandwidth, storage, domains, subdomains, databases and email accounts, just to name a few. You also get lots of freebies, for example free domain registration for the first year, a free domain Whois Privacy and free $100 Google AdWords credit.
On top of that, DreamHost also offers a 100% uptime guarantee and a secure hosting environment.
You won’t have to worry when your site requires more resources since DreamHost also offers VPS and Dedicated Hosting services. You can easily upgrade to a higher package without needing to transfer your site to another hosting company. Convenient indeed!
They even have a two-week free trial if you are still unsure. That’s how confident they are about their services.
Does DreamHost suck?
Is there anything no good about DreamHost?
I guess the only thing that I would wish for is for DreamHost to offer support via live chat. I admit there are times when we feel that we need to have support at that very moment, instantly and immediately. Yes, Internet users are notorious for the lack of patience!
However, I don’t think that is too much of a disadvantage since their support team is very quick to reply emails. And because the support team are experienced experts, the answers or suggestions in the email replies are usually able to help me sort out any issues at hand, however tricky.
The bottom line is that while DreamHost is not a perfect hosting provider, it is nevertheless a reliable company that also happens to be affordable too. They offer features-rich hosting packages with unlimited resources, a free domain name, one-click installer, free marketing credits, 24/7 technical support and enhance web security. They are highly recommended by businesses and professionals as well as individuals too.
In other words, DreamHost is indeed a web hosting dream come true. So it is little wonder why even WordPress.org recommends DreamHost as a hosting provider. So, why not check them out and test out their hosting service?