Dreamhost Shared Hosting Review
Second update (2023):
Wow! It’s been a long time with Dreamhost, and things have really come a long way. When this review was originally written, shared hosting was the primary offering over at Dreamhost and they provided a very affordable service that was also super easy to use. My biggest complaint at the time was that all this convenience and affordability often came at the cost of speed and performance, but the last decade has changed everything.
The shared hosting plans are still available and are still incredibly affordable, but they’re so much faster than they used to be. You’ll still start to see resource limitations if your shared sites get too popular, or if they’re running intensive scripts, but upgrading to a lightning-fast VPS has never been easier. These are now fully powered by SSDs, so a Dreamhost VPS can compete with just about anyone in terms of responsiveness and quick performance.
It has been almost four years since I first registered for Dreamhost web hosting under a shared plan, and I’m still happily hosting about two dozen domains on that account. Since I originally wrote this review, I haven’t had any significant problems with downtime or slow speeds – in fact, I’d say everything about the experience has been quite pleasant.
The original post is preserved below to record my feelings after eight months of hosting with Dreamhost. Oh yeah, the info is also still relevant for potential new customers!
Perspective: So far I am using a few WordPress sites and a few Pligg sites with no problems. Here’s a basic banner describing what they offer:
Who should use Dreamhost shared servers?
Dreamhost is a great option for new webmasters, because the automatic software installers can get your first website up and online within 10-15 minutes – and you don’t need a bit of technical know-how to get it done. Just pick the type of software you want to install, configure a few options, and Dreamhost’s automated installation script will email you with more instructions when you’re ready to log in and start modifying your pages.
WordPress software allows a user to set up a website, choose a visual design, and add new articles as quickly and easily as one can write a Microsoft Word Document (Probably quicker, since MS Word is a slow piece of software and WordPress runs fast). This site right here (websitebuilding.biz) is run on WordPress.
Who shouldn’t use Dreamhost?
Too much traffic isn’t a problem except for the largest and busiest of websites – most shared services can handle thousands of visitors a day as long as the sites are properly optimized to use minimal processing time. If your website is heavy on the traffic or you’re using experimental software that hasn’t been stress tested against heavy loads, you might want to consider upgrading to a Virtual Private Server. People with already successful sites might give a bad Dreamhost review for shared hosting – but realistically they should be able to afford more than $6 a month if they have too much traffic for a shared web host.
Unlimited Domains on one account
One domain is free and unlimited additional domains are always available for $10 a year. Domain names make a great investment too, because they appreciate in value both as the website becomes established but also due to the ever-increasing scarcity of good name choices. Pick up a keyword-rich name now, build it up, and it could be worth a lot more than $10 in a year or two. The cost of trying is almost nothing, and the odds of some return are pretty high if you stay patient and put some work and useful content into it.
There are a few notable advantages that Dreamhost has over other shared hosting services:
- Support & Auto-Install for Beta Software – Many shared hosts do not allow users to upload and install software in beta stages because a fear that instability and bugs could cause problems to the entire server PC. Dreamhost not only allows beta software, it also includes more popular ones for auto-installation like Pligg (a site that allows users to submit their favorite websites, vote on them, and discuss them.)
- DreamHost Reselling Review – Chances are, even with a shared host, you may have more bandwidth and resources than your websites use. This then, is where reselling comes in – you could add other peoples’ websites to your account and charge them whatever you like. This is great for people who design pages for local businesses or home pages for individual users. Even with a shared account, you can host other people’s websites on the server at whatever terms you and they agree on.
- Dreamhost Coupons and Dreamhost Discount Codes – Customize your services and the price you want to pay by selecting from one of several discount & promo codes. For similar shared hosting services, these guys offer a great bargain. The nature of the coupon is that you can customize the price you pay and the features you get. Before you sign up, make sure you check out all the Dreamhost coupon codes available