Disclosure: This content is reader-supported. If you click on our links, we may earn a commission.

Brad Smith

Hosting Reviewer

DreamHost was founded in 1997 and hosts over 1.5 million websites.

DreamHost hosting review

DreamHost’s main shared hosting plan comes with popular apps like WordPress, website builder options including their own, and others like Wix or Weebly. These plans have unlimited bandwidth and disk space. And you get a full 97-day money-back guarantee to test the service out.

Their customer support is a bit limited, however.

Here’s a transparent look at how DreamHost has performed over the last 12 months.

General Info & Hosting Overview


Our Rating:

Our Verdict: 4.0

SPEED: 1470 ms (January 2021 to December 2021)
UPTIME: 99.84% (January 2021 to December 2021)
SUPPORT:Live Chat, Mail, Knowledge Base, and Forum
APPS:WordPress, Blogger, Drupal, Shopify, Wix, and more
FEATURES:Unlimited bandwidth and storage, free SSL, free domain 1st year, automated backups
HOSTING PLANS:Shared, Cloud, WordPress, VPS, and Dedicated Servers
SITE TRANSFER:Free for WordPress Sites
PRICING: Starting at $2.59/mo (Renews at $5.99/month)

Pros of Using DreamHost Hosting


DreamHost comes with lots of “unlimited” features.

They have a longer-than-average 97-day refund policy to make sure you’re happy with the service before getting locked in.

Here’s a deep dive into the results from our hands-on test:

1. Month-to-Month Hosting (Cancel Anytime)

The vast majority of all 40+ web hosts we’ve reviewed will give you a 30-day refund period. That gives you a full month to test out their services before risking your prepaid amount.

A few hosts, like HostGator, will give you 45 days.

And then there’s DreamHost.

Their money-back guarantee is good for up to 97 days. That’s over a full three months to really make sure you’re happy.

DreamHost doesn’t have any hidden terms or hoops to jump through that might jeopardize your refund, either. Furthermore, you can pay month to month and cancel anytime. This is very rare in the web hosting industry.

2. Good Basic Plan Features

DreamHost’s Shared Starter option starts at only $2.59/month. But it comes with a ton of features right out of the gate.

DreamHost features

You get one website with a free domain name, and an SSL certificate included. This site can handle unlimited traffic (or bandwidth) and storage.

DreamHost has its own website builder called Remixer, but they also offer access to SquareSpace, Weebly, and Wix in their app library.

You’ll also be able to find Joomla, phpBB, Zen Cart, Drupal, Magento, Shopify, and Tumblr in there waiting for you, too.

WordPress also comes pre-installed. It’s pretty easy to set up on most servers with the one-click install option. However, the fact that it’s immediately ready when you signup is perfect for novice webmasters.

The final bit of good news on these plans is that there’s no longer a delayed verification system.

The first time we reviewed DreamHost, they required a manual verification that could postpone you from being able to use the service for a few hours after signing up.

Thankfully, their customer support rep told us that they now only require extra verification steps if there’s a problem with your payment.

You should be able to hit the ground running now after signing up.

3. Unlimited Disk Space and Network Transfer Limits

DreamHost lists a lot of “unlimited” features on their pricing and plans, including disk space and bandwidth.

This means you don’t have to worry about disk storage or network transfer when your site gets popular.

There are a few caveats to this policy, but it’s mostly legit.

First and foremost, your site needs to be built properly. If it’s hogging server resources and causing issues with other sites, they might try to move you over to their private servers, instead.

DreamPress, VPS servers, and email do not fall under this unlimited policy.

Email is restricted to only 2 GB limits, while MySQL databases also need to stay under “a few GB in size.”

In other words, DreamHost’s shared servers are perfect for relatively small sites.

4. They’re Carbon Neutral (AKA Green)

You can add DreamHost among the list of web hosts who’re trying to be more environmentally conscious.

They’re going above and beyond just offsetting the carbon footprint of their servers, though.

Their data centers include “high-efficiency” cooling and processors. They’re also involved in state-level ‘clean wind’ programs to harness renewable resources.

Their offices are LEED and EnergyStar-certified, and everything from lighting to HVAC systems is also energy efficient.

5. Custom-Made Control Panel

DreamHost uses a custom-made control panel instead of the industry-standard cPanel. For cPanel fans, it can be rather a con than a pro, but it’s actually very easy to grasp and beginner-friendly.

DreamHost control panelFrom there you can manage your databases, email, billing, and websites. The WordPress editor is also just a click away.

6. Free WordPress Site Migration

Not so long time ago DreamHost didn’t offer free site migration. But, now, they have included a free site migration option in their WordPress and shared hosting plans. Moreover, migration is promised to be done with no downtime.

DreamHost site migrationHowever, there’s a small catch.

Site migration is free only for WordPress sites. Meaning, if you’re using some other CMS (Wix, Weebly, etc), you’d still have to pay a one-time fee of $99.

For WordPress users, this is good news, for others not so much.

Cons of Using DreamHost Hosting


DreamHost has a lot to offer, including its handy features and free WordPress site migration.

Unfortunately, there were still a few drawbacks we ran into while testing out their services.

Here’s a complete list of the biggest cons to consider:

1. Slow Average Speed (1470 ms)

Loading time is one of the most important factors while choosing a host. Not only does page speed affect visitor bounce rate but slow loading time can also affect your overall SEO (not to mention Google rank). This, however, calculates to lost profit.

So needless to say, the faster your website loads the better.

Unfortunately, DreamHost’s 1470 ms average loading time over the past 12 months hasn’t been good. It puts them in the lower half of the hosts we’ve tested.

DreamHost last 12-month average speed statistics
DreamHost last 12 months average speed (monitoring since 2017) | See stats

That’s a pity, because not a long time ago, DreamHost still managed to deliver above-average speeds, but lately, their performance has gone gradually worse.

2. Poor Average Uptime (99.84%)

DreamHost’s 12-month average uptime is also nothing to brag about – 99.84% with almost 14 hours of downtime.

That’s bad and could potentially mean lost website visitor traffic and profit for you.

However, the good news is that DreamHost has an uptime guarantee. Like other hosts, if your monthly average falls beneath that threshold, you’ll get a credit for the cost of the service.

Most uptime guarantees we’ve seen might hover around the 99.98% mark. So these hosts believe and stand behind their services, but they’re also giving themselves a little wiggle room in case normal fluctuations hit.

DreamHost, though, guarantees 100% uptime in their Terms of Service. Keep in mind that scheduled maintenance or user errors aren’t covered in this guarantee.

However, any other DreamHost issue that messes with your site, database, email, or webmail can trigger the guarantee. You’ll get a free day’s worth of service for each hour of service interruption. The only catch is that there’s a 10% max of your “next prepaid hosting renewal fee” (so it applies in the future, as opposed to a retroactive discount or refund).

DreamHost last 12 months average speed and uptime
DreamHost last 12 months average uptime (monitoring since 2017) | See stats

Last 12-month average uptime:

  • December 2021:99.95%
  • November 2021: 99.66%
  • October 2021: 100%
  • September 2021:99.89%
  • August 2021:99.98%
  • July 2021: 100%
  • June 2021: 99.97%
  • May 2021: 99.28%
  • April 2021: 99.68%
  • March 2021: 99.76%
  • February 2021: 99.97%
  • January 2021: 100%

3. Good, but Limited Live Chat Support

DreamHost provides an obligatory knowledge base and discussion forums to help customers solve their own issues.

They also claim to offer “24/7 in-house support.” Although, our tests actually revealed the opposite.

In the lower right-hand corner of their screen is a little messaging icon. Click on it, and instead of being met with an open box, you have to select from a few pre-set answers.

In other words, they’re trying to automate the live chat process with something that mimics a phone tree (called a chatbot).

We tried bypassing these options to get a sales rep on as soon as possible. But at the time we tried, no one was available.

dreamhost live chatWe found out that their live chat option is limited, being available at 3.00 AM-9.30 PM PT every day.

We had to come back later during these hours to test the process all over again. It took a few minutes for a sales rep to finally join, and they were both knowledgeable and helpful.

However, it is unfortunate that you have to jump through hoops (show up at specific hours) to get access to anyone in the first place.

DreamHost Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Here’s a quick overview of DreamHost’s Shared Hosting plans:


Shared Starter PlanShared Unlimited Plan
Pricing $2.59/month
Renews at $5.99/mo
$3.95/month
Renews at $10.99/mo
Websites1Unlimited
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmetered
StorageUnmeteredUnmetered
Email AccountsCosts extra ($1.67/mo)Unlimited
Other Features• Unlimited Subdomains & MySQL Databases
• Unlimited FTP/SFTP/Shell Users

Beyond these two options, DreamHost also offers three Managed WordPress Hosting plans.


DreamPress PlanDreamPress Plus PlanDreamPress Pro Plan
Pricing$16.95/month$24.95/month$71.95/month
Websites111
BandwidthUnmeteredUnmeteredUnmetered
Storage30 GB60 GB120 GB
Email AccountsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Other Features• Unlimited CDN• Unlimited CDN
• Priority Support

DreamHost also has VPS and Dedicated servers.

Quick Facts

  • Ease of Signup: Long and complicated sign-up process. Signup should be easier.
  • Free domain: For the first year on all annual hosting plans.
  • Money Back: 97-day money-back guarantee.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card, PayPal, Check, Money Order, Checking Account
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: No major ones. Site migration costs extra for CMS’ that are other than WordPress.
  • Upsells: A few upsells.
  • Account Activation: Account activation is quick unless you have payment issues.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard: Custom DreamHost control panel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): One-click installer for WordPress and other apps/CMSs.

Do We Recommend DreamHost?

Yes, we do.

Even though DreamHost’s uptime and speed have gone worse over the past year, they still showed reliable results not so long time ago, which makes us believe that current low performance is just a temporary setback.

Furthermore, you can test out DreamHost’s services for a whole 97 days and there’s also a 100% uptime guarantee that should make you feel even safer to try them out.

Moreover, their default plan limits are pretty high, offering a bunch of “unlimited” options for disk space, bandwidth, and more. Also, if you’re a WordPress user, site migration is now free for you.

On another note, the customer support was pretty limited to only certain hours throughout the week.

Visit www.DreamHost.com

Are you a satisfied (or unsatisfied) DreamHost customer? Please leave a review below!

149 user reviews for DreamHost

Submit a review

Submit a short but detailed review and help others!

    Review Title

    Rating

    Any proof of your experience (optional)

    By clicking the button below, I acknowledge that I have read and accept the Terms of Use.

    We only accept unique web hosting reviews. If your comment/review is published elsewhere, we'll not publish it. Also, please don't use any "bad" words or swearing. Thanks!

    Dileepa

    5  — April 3, 2022

    A great service provider

    I have been using Dreamhost since 2006 and they have been one of the top service providers giving me everything I need. The shared and dedicated hosting options work very well and the up time is reliable. Dreamhost’s pricing is also very reasonable. Finally the technical support team is also one of the best I have dealt with. They are very knowledgeable, polite and helpful.

    Jane

    5  — April 2, 2022

    Not an expert so support service valued

    I taught myself to make a WordPress website 6 years ago and chose Dreamhost. I don’t have experience with other hosts, but they seem to have good links to WordPress and have helped me out within the hour on chat, or within a day if it isn’t urgent and I’ve submitted a help ticket. I can understand their response, and they are always helpful.

    Jeff A

    5  — March 27, 2022

    Best support

    We’ve been using Dreamhost as our Museum of AI service provider for several years. As our needs have grown, Dreamhost has always been with us every step of the way. From shared hosting to Virtual Private Servers (VPS), the performance has been great and the support team is wonderful. Minimal wait times and they always solve issues.

    Larry S

    5  — March 18, 2022

    Hosting Support

    A company I work with asked me to add specific security items to my DNS. Dreamhost support gave me instructions on how to implement these items. After inquiring if they could provide these services for me, they said they would for a nominal fee. It is great to know that I can rely on them to help me with items such as this.

    Stephen A

    5  — March 8, 2022

    The best decision I’ve made on hosting

    Having tried a number of hosting companies and podcast hosts for my podcasts, and suffering all kinds of outages and issues, in 2015 I decided to buy a VPS from Dreamhost. It’s given me fast, friendly and effective customer service and reliable hosting for my WordPress sites! I’ve never looked back and it’s enabled me to concentrate on content, not incessant technical issues. It’s been well worth paying more for a VPS than a cheap shared server.

    Cleve R

    5  — March 6, 2022

    Shared Hosting on Dreamhost

    I have shared hosting with two separate providers, DreamHost and someone else. On the other host I have a lot of issues with cURL, PHP and performance. When I called their support about the issues they advised on shared hosting they used an older version of the cURL program that is maintained with security patches if necessary. Also, they do not provide the latest PHP for shared hosting. As a result, performance issues caused by PHP or cURL have to be tolerated or upgraded to another plan.

     In addition, the site goes down regularly for short periods. My Jetpack installation sends messages each time the site drops and these are received almost daily.

    On DreamHost, none of these issues manifest. I have the latest PHP available, there are no cURL errors and my site is rarely down. Also, response time from the admin panel is superb.

    DreamHost is great!

    Bruce

    5  — February 28, 2022

    20+ years with Dreamhost and going strong

    I’ve been using Dreamhost since 2001, including their standard VHOSTs, Virtual Private Servers, and Dedicated servers. They stand out from the competition by being easier to use (much better than the cpanel-based hosts, in my experience) and low cost, a great place to host small business sites, weblogs, and custom web apps. Uptime is great, as is support.

     

    One of my favorite features are the One-click installers, which let you install tools like WordPress in a few minutes, including creating the databases, installing the web app, and getting the basic configuration working. They also have one-click SSL installations, and easy domain registration.

    David N

    1  — February 7, 2022

    Good Help

    Quick response, either to a submitted ticket or real-time chat. Always helpful in guiding me through processes such as using WordPress and in resolving issues with connectivity. I am still on a learning curve and was embarrassed to ask for help at first, but they put me at ease. Thanks!

    Lori H

    5  — January 19, 2022

    Just Dreamy!

    After helping a relative work through a problem with their hosting company, I was reminded how lucky I am to be with Dreamhost. I’ve been with them for almost two decades now. I don’t often need their help (the control panel empowers me to do most everything myself), but when I do need them, help is almost instantaneous, spot-on, and carries a human touch. Love ’em.

    James A

    5  — November 25, 2021

    Consistent, reliable web hosting

    As an active professional musician, I’ve relied on Dreamhost for more than a decade. Using their automated development tools, I successfully upgraded to a WordPress site, without incident. All of my system updates are automatic, which is a huge time-saver, and real-time system updates are provided. My highest recommendation to Dreamhost. Thank you !

    Jackson

    5  — November 24, 2021

    Longtime Customer (over 10 years)

    I have been a Dreamhost customer for about 15 years — I think I started in 2006. Although I started out lukewarm on Dreamhost, at this point I wouldn’t choose any other hosting service and I always recommended them to friends starting their website or having trouble with their current hosting service.

    The first few years I would say that their customer service was fairly unhelpful and at times rather condescending. I probably would have switched services if I knew how to transfer a website in the mid-2000s. One time I actually switched to another service because of a price increase and dissatisfaction with an add-on service. I switched back within a month because Dreamhost’s panel was much easier for me to navigate and I learned that once I switched I didn’t have the same support that Dreamhost offers. Also, Dreamhost did resolve the cost issue once I spoke to the right person about it.

    I have the Dreampress plan for my main site and shared hosting for the others. Their customer service in the past 10 years or so has been exceptional for the Dreamhost site. I don’t know if the same level of chat support is available with shared hosting (I don’t really check on those sites much and haven’t contacted support) but their team has been awesome at resolving everything from needing to load larger file sizes to DNS help to site speeds on our main site. Every person I’ve worked with on chat support in the past few years has been able to walk me through fixing issues that are way over my head. Between Dreamhost and having one WordPress expert on our team, things have worked out well for quite a long time.

    Arun

    1  — October 31, 2021

    All these positive reviews are paid ones

    All the dreamhost positive reviews are paid ones. There are thousands of good hosts out there. While other companies focus on improving their infrastructure this company focuses on fake testimonials and advertisements.

    I owned an account and I was not even able to upload my 250MB website.

    Also the database server throwed all sorts of errors when I tried to upload a 10MB DB.

    Sandry

    5  — October 5, 2021

    Super Long term Service

    At the time of writing I’ve been with Dreamhost for about sixteen years. Is that long term? Anyway, I have shared hosting with them. The service has been great. When I’ve had problems they’ve been resolved quickly and when I’ve had questions, they’ve been answered sensibly.  Good work Dreamhost – here’s to the next decade.. or two :c)

    Gary

    5  — September 2, 2021

    Ten years of satisfaction

    I have hosted my sites with Dreamhost since 2011. I have had a couple of customer service experiences and they were prompt and competent. I’m completely satisfied. I have recommended Dreamhost several times and have never heard a negative word back. Top drawer!

    Donna J

    5  — August 25, 2021

    Dependable and responsive

    We have been a client for over 13 years for multiple websites. They are a very dependable platform and are consistently updating to keep everything running smoothly. Customer service is knowledgeable, responsive and fun to work with. We are very happy clients!

    Lyssa

    5  — August 23, 2021

    Satisfied customer for 15 years

    I have been a Dreamhost customer since 2006, and I have been extremely pleased with them. My hosting plan has everything I need for all my domains (currently 10, from personal websites to work-related ones). In the rare instances I’ve had a problem, support is quick to reply and help. I’ve recommended Dreamhost to my friends and clients and they have also been very satisfied!

    Matt

    5  — August 21, 2021

    Dreamhost has great customer service

    I built my first website for my wife’s business. I’ve learned my way around WordPress but I don’t know anything about hosting and the technical side of that. What I do know is that Dreamhost has great customer service. They have been amazing to deal with and have helped me with some issues I have been having with the site. I highly recommend them.

    Lance

    5  — August 16, 2021

    Really Happy with DreamHost

    DreamHost has proved a reliable and feature-rich host for our site. The free BoldGrid Post and Page builder made designing the site easy. The free BoldGrid Total Upkeep (site backup) service is a plus. Technical support, both from DreamHost and BoldGrid has been wonderful: fast and helpful. I’m on a shared

    Susan

    5  — August 14, 2021

    Good support. Great features

    Good support –they answer everything quickly and are always helpful and I don’t worry about being hacked. DH has a great array of features including a bold grid for the price. I have be en very happy with my decision to use them for my business and would recommend them without question.

    Brad S

    5  — August 11, 2021

    You Can’t Go Wrong With Dreamhost

    I tried multiple hosts over a period of years but my search stopped once I found Dreamhost. I don’t understand why their name doesn’t stand out with some of the more common hosting companies out there that are far more inferior. What makes them stand out? I’ll make it easy by listing the three most important things to me:
    1. Ease of use
    2. Outstanding customer service/support
    3. Minimal down time

    I got one or another from the other hosts, but Dreamhost is the only one that makes me feel confident I’ll continuously receive all three.