DreamHost Review

DreamHost Logo

Reviewed by:

Pros: lots of space and bandwidth, cheap, some nifty addon features, awesome affiliate program

Cons: clunky control panel, lack of good statistics programs, phone support is limited to certain amount of calls per month, only shared hosting (no reseller or dedicated)

Bottomline: For a simple site that needs lots space and bandwidth, and not much else, DreamHost is probably as good as it gets.

I had a site that took up quite a bit of space and even more bandwidth, and basically nothing else. I needed a host that could support it (for cheap) and I found DreamHost. DreamHost gives you an insanely huge amount of space and bandwidth for not very much money. I signed up with them and so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

First impression of DreamHost is “Wow, this is a lot of space and bandwidth, for cheap.” Note: after this review was written, disk space and bandwidth have gone to unlimited. Once you navigate through DreamHost.com’s slightly 2000-esque web site that’s kind of hard to navigate, you’ll find out that it’s true.

For $8.95 per month, you can get “unlimited” storage and “unlimited” Terabytes of bandwidth (per month). The resource quotas also increase by 160 MB (storage) and 8 GB (bandwidth), weekly. Many other features (email, domains/subdomains, MySQL, FTP, etc.) are also unlimited. Their plans do have a $49.95 setup fee, but it’s not that big of a deal if you intend to keep your site simple. Setup is waived if you pay for one year or more.

DreamHost’s activation process is somewhat clunky and definitely not streamlined. Though the actual process is simple for a customer, when you throw in the free domain registration (included with most accounts), prepare your inbox! I think by the time I was up and running, they had sent me about 10 emails with various information about billing, passwords, control panels, and what not. Once you digest all of it, it does make sense and is helpful, but it’s not streamlined. It doesn’t taken very long for you to get up and running so DreamHost can be forgiven.

By far my least favorite thing about them is their control panel. It has the basics and a few nice extra features, but it’s clunky and difficult to figure out right away. The terminology is different than what a lot of web hosts use, but once you figure it out, it isn’t too bad. I’d definitely pick cPanel over this, but you can’t always pick. From their control panel you can view and manage all of your billing, domains, usage details, pre-installed scripts, emails, users, and all of that jazz. There’s a few nice addons like an ad-free version of DreamBook (a fancy guestbook application), a nifty affiliate system dubbed “Rewards” that lets you create your own promo codes and decide your payout, and quite a few other things.

Uptime and support has been good enough. For my simple needs, I only had to contact DreamHost once and I received a reply within a few hours. Uptime hasn’t been bad at all (I haven’t noticed any downtime, but I don’t pro-actively monitor it). All in all, DreamHost is great for a simple site that isn’t mission critical.

Price: $4.98

Disclosure: Clickfire has an affiliate advertising connection with DreamHost

Shared Hosting Reviews

Douglas Hanna is a former writer for Clickfire and other publications who went on to become CEO of a major web hosting company.

15 Responded to this DreamHost Review

  1. Emory Rowland says:

    Hamid, I count 16 web host reviews done here so far. 2 were given 5 out of 5 stars by the reviewer. 7 were given 4 out of 5 stars. The rest were 3 or below.

    I too would like to see more DreamHost user reviews here in the comments. Please speak up DreamHosters!

  2. Hamid says:

    By these posts on this site, all the hosts seem to be good (even best), but the replies to posts reveal the facts. I will prefer this host if this post get some replies.


  3. Hubyx says:

    Five years with dreamhost. I was thinking on moving to another provider, but they have grat support (they realy answer after a few hours) also offer unlimited space and bandwith… but also have several downtimes (for a very short time) during a month. Also, if you have any problem, tey’ll fix it. I give them ****1/2.

  4. phototristan says:

    I tried Dreamhost but it went down at least once a week so I canceled and went to Hostgator. I’m way happier with Hostgator.

  5. Patrick says:

    The worst hosting company in the HISTORY of mankind. PLEASE stay away. It only gives you headaches. They never answer your email, they never fix the problem and your website will just not work. Nothing ever works.

    Did you ever want to use a hosting company and have it just, work? That’s not Dream Host. Dream Host is known as Dream Disgrace. Possibly the worst hosting company on the face of this earth.

  6. Shelton says:

    I’ve used dreamhost for a year and a half now, i was well chuffed with them, infact that chuffed that i moved all of my sites (about 15) bar one which is on a private server across to them.

    They’re support is great, everything is easy to use, loads of space and bandwidth. awesome. I just hope that they don’t bite me in the ass at a later date because i’d have a lot of stuff to move 😉

    I think i’ve only had downtime for a few hours, and this was due to some punks trying to hack them, so they were straight on the case.

    hope that helps!

  7. Martin says:

    I am pretty happy the way they handle customer inquiries, so far so good. I am loving it!

  8. Paolo says:

    A word advice: Keep Away From Dreamhost! The only way to describe Dreamhost’s tech support team is that they are incompetent.

    Dreamhost is the worst hosting company I have ever dealt with. I’m responsible for number of websites and by mistake I choose Dreamhost for the newest client (askdivine.com)!

    They have disabled my website which is only two weeks old, and it is offline for well over 24hrs because of a security threat!

    Apparently a phishing page was uploaded to the account. After removing the threat they also have disabled the website, which was absolutely unnecessary!

    Their excuse was that the old versions of WordPress, PHPBB, etc. are the common causes for this sort of thing – the irony is that I have never used any of them!

    Anyway, I went through the files and told them everything is OK and 10 hrs later came up with a new excuse that our web software itself is the threat – and we need to update Joomla. According to them Joomla 1.5.11 has potential vulnerabilities.

    Cut the story short, I have upgraded to Joomla! 1.5.12. and the website is still down! I have submitted a new ticket support over 7 hrs ago and no response yet!

  9. Larry says:

    I have been with Dreamhost for almost 10 years and they have been fantastic. I have HTML sites, PHP sites, WordPrees, and Joomla sites. I have several MySQL db’s and all works well. We had a couple short down times, but now they have a new DataCenter and all runs well. They even helped recover our Gallery when we deleted the wrong copy.
    So far, they are great. PLUS, the PHP, MySQL, and other software is kept up to date! Unlike other ISPs where I have sites I maintain. They give you access, but you can also create your own problems. I plan to move more sites to Dreamhost as the other contracts expire.

  10. Rannison says:

    I have never written a review before, but I nor have I ever been so enraged before. I was totally scammed, and I have vowed to submit as many reviews as I can muster about my experience in order to warn others.

    I can see that several people have given positive reviews. Perhaps in the past, DreamHost was an honest and reliable company. They certainly aren’t anymore. My wife and I are starting a mousery, and this was our first attempt at making our own website. My wife saw that DreamHost was offering a free trial, so she decided to try it out.

    It was suppose to be completely free. However, when we clicked on our account status, it stated we owed $109. Already getting a bad feeling, she informed me of the situation, and I took over and tried to cancel the account. We were told we cannot cancel until we paid our balance. I then sent an email, and I was told something along the lines of “no problem, we’ll close your free trial, but you will be charged a $9.95 registration fee”.

    After many emails and tempers lost, we were resigned to having to pay. Apparently, it was “stated in the terms and agreements”. Actually, it wasn’t; it was stated in a separate hyperlink below the terms and agreements. However, legally at least, it was stated on their page.

    I still cannot even begin to comprehend how a major company can resort to such petty, deceitful, and disgusting methods to con people. However, I will make sure that everyone knows about this so that no one will ever be scammed again like us.

    If you can, please help us spread the word.

  11. I am looking a web hosting company that can satisfy my needs. Currently my site is hosted by my uncle’s webhosting reseller account.

    My domain and hosting will expire soon so I am looking for a reliable account which can accomodate the bandwidth requirement for my site and blogs.

    I am also looking for a a company which has unlimited domains and with CPANEL and fantastico deluxe for easy wordpress installation.

    Pleas help.


    • Emory Rowland says:

      You may want to start out by looking at the 5 star reviews here like IX, Yahoo, BlueHost, HostGator, etc. They should all have cPanel, Fantastico or equivalent. Good luck!

  12. 9/02/2010

    Hi, I have been reading your reviews and this is only to thank you for the information, I used to have an account wit APLUS.NET (do you have any review of them?), aplus.net services where fine, I had my website hosted with them for about eight years, no problem at all; unfortunately I needed to run DOKEOS wich is an e-learning platform; I moved because their database naming got me problems with Dokeos code; they name every MySql dabase with a number next to your username, mine was tutor and all databasess were named tutor-1 and so on; then I moved to SITEGROUND, I have no complaints about them also; great service and could run Dokeos but the Barracuda network had it DNS server ns1.siteground.com on the blacklist and certain companies with Barracuda firewall rejected my emails.

    Right now I am wit Lunarpages, so far is fine, I do not like their LPCP but I guess I will get used.

    Thanks again.

    • Emory Rowland says:

      Hi Aroldo, Thanks for the comments. I love it when visitors like yourself come back and take the time to describe the experiences they have had with the various hosts.

      I have placed Aplus.net on the list of hosting review candidates. Good luck with Lunarpages.

  13. JoeLansing says:

    Dreamhost isn’t bad. It’s just not that good compared to some. You could do a lot worse than DreamHost. Over the years I started out on PowWeb which was horrible. Then I used HostGator. Then I tried to save a couple pennies and went to DreamHost. HostGator support is friendly and very fast and really knows their stuff. Dreamhost is just kinda meh.. Not bad, but everything takes twice as long as HostGator. I’ll be going back to HostGator as soon as my DreamHost runs out. The real Cpanel on HostGator is another big plus. The home made thing DreamHost uses works, but it’s clunky and strange.

Leave your Review of DreamHost Review