DreamHost review: I’m a satisfied 15-year customer | ZDNet

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I have been working internet sites on DreamHost for over 15 years, the use of numerous their plans. They have not stood nonetheless just like the web, now providing a aggressive vary of services for people, small companies, and enterprises.

However this is not only a assessment of DreamHost. It is a meta-review of the spurious precision of host score. As a result of whilst you take a look at other eval websites, the numbers are in all places. 

So I will assessment DreamHost, overlaying feeds and speeds, and on the finish, I will give my tackle who will have to give DreamHost severe attention.

hosting corporations do not make it simple to match plans. There are lots of variables of their choices. What number of internet sites? Garage? E mail addresses? SSL certificate? One-click installs? Malware scanning and elimination?

Then there may be how a lot the once a year worth jumps after the preliminary teaser fee ends, which is able to require some math. DreamHost’s Shared Limitless teaser fee begins at $2.95 per 30 days billed yearly however then jumps to $10 per 30 days — and malware elimination is any other $3 per 30 days.

Alternatively, the Shared Limitless plan is strictly that. Limitless internet sites, site visitors, bandwidth, garage, and e-mail accounts. Plus automatic backups, loose WHOIS protecting, and various one-click device installers, together with WordPress, and enhance for putting in or mapping to different well-liked services and products reminiscent of WooCommerce, Shopify, or Zen Cart for e-commerce, phpBB boards, or the Moodle studying platform. And there are not any startup charges.

Different options of Shared Limitless come with:

  • Limitless MySQL Databases
  • Unix Shell
  • Get entry to to Uncooked Log Information
  • Crontab Get entry to
  • Reseller & Sub Accounts
  • Rails, Python, Perl Give a boost to
  • Limitless SFTP Customers

Do not will get

However DreamHost does not you have to be all issues to all folks. They’ve strengths and what may well be weaknesses for you. Listed below are a few issues that may well be deal killers. 

First, they are a Linux store and do not be offering Home windows servers. Should you require Home windows for some explicit device, glance in different places. However a plus for Mac customers is that the enhance workforce is normally conversant with the Unix underpinnings of macOS in addition to Linux. 

Additionally, they do not be offering phone enhance. That isn’t a detrimental for me as a result of getting an issue solved takes simply as lengthy at the telephone because it does in a talk. I want DreamHost’s 18.5 hours an afternoon of loose on-line chat enhance. However you might have considered trying that additional stage of soothing handholding {that a} voice can be offering and are keen to pay for it.

Purchasing standards

Some folks love to pore over spec sheets and check effects, searching for the optimum answer. That isn’t me.

I want “satisficing” — excellent sufficient is excellent sufficient — maximum parameters and that specialize in the 2 or 3 that topic maximum to me. As an example, in a cell laptop, weight is significant, however I do not care a lot about thinness or sound high quality. If it suits in a messenger bag and I will pay attention a video clip, I am excellent.

With my standpoint in thoughts, listed below are the important thing purchasing standards for a hosting carrier.

First, do not purchase hosting on worth. Corporations most commonly purchase the similar servers and garage, hire the similar colocation house, and faucet into the similar networks. They do not have giant price differentials. AWS, as an example, makes use of its huge scale to juice margins and fund R&D fairly than passing giant financial savings directly to small consumers. 

What you’re in reality purchasing from a hosting corporate is a application carrier. Problems reminiscent of uptime, reaction occasions, ease of control, and enhance are crucial elements. 

However, as we will see, it isn’t simple to get dependable numbers for any of the ones parameters. 


Uptime is normally measured each month. A 30 day month has 43 200 mins, so 99.9% uptime interprets to a little bit greater than 43 mins of downtime a month. Every 0.1% of uptime is 43 mins up or down. 

Maximum downtime can be scheduled for machine upkeep and deliberate for off-hours, reminiscent of 0200 Sunday morning. Then there may be episodic or semi-planned downtime, normally for vital safety updates to machine device. A botnet exploits a brand new worm, a patch to mend it’s issued, and your hosting corporate wishes to put in it at the beginning is pooched. 

Then there are the unintended, unplanned outages that you just examine that experience affected each primary carrier supplier, together with Apple, AWS, Google, Microsoft, and Fb. A upkeep replace is going awry, or a tech misconfigures a router, and issues pass south, normally for hours. 

In fact that uptime has a pronounced stochastic part. Probability, or good fortune, if you’re going to.

Measuring uptime can range wildly relying at the period of time — hour, week, month, yr. Should you pick out a bunch in line with a per thirty days uptime score, remember that any other one could be very best subsequent month. 

As an example, hrank.com lists DreamHost’s uptime efficiency during the last a number of years.  They have discovered that DreamHost’s annual uptime ranged from 99.877% in 2020 to 99.948% in 2018.

However over at WebsiteSetup, they are saying that DreamHost’s 2020 uptime used to be a lot worse, 99.62%. So which is it? Hrank’s 99.948% or WebsiteSetup’s 99.62% — which is nearly 2.4 hours much less? 

Who is aware of? Additionally, I am vulnerable to mention, who cares? There is a greater query right here. 

That distinction is not anything. But when sensible other people who’re sincerely seeking to measure uptime are thus far aside, how a lot will have to we depend on printed stats? 

Which takes me again to satisficing. I am keen to wager that any hosting corporate that has been in industry for 10 or extra years — DreamHost is 25 this yr — almost certainly has respectable uptime. 

Some hosts reach 100% uptime for restricted classes. But if even multi-billion greenback companies staffed with PhDs have outages lasting hours, smartly, what are you able to conclude as opposed to downtime is variable. If a bunch is constantly deficient, steer clear of them. However do not evaluate the most recent numbers pondering they are carved in stone. As monetary companies say, “previous efficiency isn’t any ensure of long run efficiency.”


Ceaselessly known as reaction time, that is any other quantity that looms huge in hosting opinions. I am a large fan of low latency in garage and significant of cloud-based garage because of web latency. 

However opting for a hosting corporate in line with printed latency? I do not believe so.

Why? The similar reasoning as in uptime numbers: they are all over the place the map. Hrank sees their 2020 latency as averaging 436 milliseconds, which is excellent. WebsiteSetup sees, for a similar yr, 1,161 milliseconds, a nearly 3x distinction. 

So, once more, which is it? Who is aware of? 

Ease of control

Many hosting corporations use cPanel, a product from cPanel LLC this is one thing of a de facto trade usual. Its greatest merit for hosting corporations is that it’s affordable: 17.5¢ in line with account in bulk.  

However DreamHost makes use of its personal panel. Taking a look at either one of them, there is no longer a large number of distinction past the format. This isn’t a marvel, for the reason that they each carry out an identical duties. 

Here is a partial cPanel screenshot:


Here is a DreamHost panel screenshot:


The massive distinction is that DreamHost aggregates the entire purposes within the higher left nook. Every matter is a drop-down menu. Select Organize Internet sites underneath Internet sites, and also you get an inventory of your internet sites with their primary options and any other Organize button. That takes you the main points of that web site with, the place suitable, extra control choices. 

The cPanel, providing extra alternatives at the primary display, appears to be flatter, however the demo mode does not help you see how a ways you’ll have to drill down. The DreamHost panel turns out to require one or two extra clicks to drill down into the specifics of a website or an e-mail account. 

Except you’re a cPanel wizard, the variations between the 2 person interfaces are not prone to sway you in both path. 

Give a boost to

Accounts include 18.5 hours an afternoon — 3:00AM – 9:30PM PT — chat enhance, and 24/7 e-mail enhance. I have discovered their enhance to be normally excellent. Once in a while they’re a little bit fast to shuffle you off to a data base article that covers your downside — RTFM! In quieter classes, I have discovered the techs satisfied to head above and past by way of temporarily solving problems {that a} person may maintain themselves. Wait occasions, in my enjoy, normally vary from 3-10 mins, relying at the time of day.  

Being a Linux store, they’re a professional in Linux/Unix and related loose and open-source device. And they’re in point of fact excellent on WordPress and the standard plug-ins.

Who’s DreamHost for?

How are you able to inform if DreamHost is for you? Listed below are some key elements to believe.

You’re a WordPress person. WordPress.org has beneficial DreamHost for hosting since a minimum of 2005. If WordPress is your jam, that is about all you want to grasp. 

If you’re a certified internet developer designing and keeping up more than one websites, you’re going to to find so much to love on DreamHost. Should you resell hosting, DreamHost is usually a excellent are compatible. If website site visitors warrants it, upgrading to a VPS or devoted server takes mins. Including DreamHost control services and products can lighten your load and provide you with skilled website reviews that remind purchasers simply how treasured you’re.

Who is not DreamHost for?

If the sight of HTML code offers you the creeps, you almost certainly need a more effective internet builder carrier reminiscent of Wix or Network Solutions to construct your web site. DreamHost provides a web site builder in line with WordPress, however it is not as easy. I to find the web site developers require much more pointing and clicking than I really like, but when you want one thing fast and simple, they will be just right for you.

If you’re totally immersed within the Home windows global, DreamHost might not be a excellent are compatible. And if you do not care about WordPress, then you’ll be able to be ignoring one among DreamHost’s core competencies.


The hosting marketplace is moderately mature, this means that maximum distributors have an identical price buildings because of working on commodity {hardware}. The statistics on uptime and latency are not in particular dependable, so I’d use the net file playing cards to do away with the worst corporations fairly than depend on them to select “the most efficient”. 

Opting for a hosting corporate is price making an investment time in as a result of transferring to a hectic website is non-trivial. Remember that a large number of the hassle in beginning a website is one thing you best do as soon as, which makes it profitable to believe hiring skilled assist. However as soon as the website is up, you will have to be capable of maintain lots of the control and updates your self, except it is a giant website. 

With out a HTML enjoy, I began a running a blog website 15 years in the past on DreamHost. It labored out smartly, and I am a glad buyer to at the moment.

Feedback welcome. 

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