DreamHost web hosting review

Industry-leading managed WordPress hosting

DreamHost logo
(Image: © DreamHost)

Tom's Guide Verdict

With its great selection of hosting options, impressive features, excellent customer support, and neat, beginner-friendly control panel, DreamHost stands out as one of the best web hosts around.


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    Excellent native control panel

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    Great selection of hosting options


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    Limited one-click installations

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    No email hosting with cheap plans

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If you’re looking for the best web hosting service for your new website, you might just have found a winner in DreamHost. It offers a selection of hosting solutions, including everything from cheap shared hosting to dedicated server and cloud options. 

DreamHost also has a great reputation, and it’s rapidly growing to become one of the world’s most popular hosting platforms. In this comprehensive DreamHost review, we take a closer look at this provider to see if it’s actually as good as its reputation suggests. 

DreamHost: Plans and pricing

Screenshot of DreamHost pricing plans

There are numerous hosting options available (Image credit: DreamHost)

DreamHost offers a great selection of hosting options, with everything from cheap shared hosting to high-end dedicated servers. It also provides domain registration, email hosting, web design, and a range of other professional services. You can pay for plans monthly, annually, or even three years in advance, with a big discount for paying for your plan in advance.

Prices start at $2.59 a month for a Shared Starter subscription, which features unlimited bandwidth, a free domain name, and free website migrations. Unlock unlimited website support with the Shared Unlimited plan that's also $2.59 a month at first but rises to $12.99 a month

Note, though, that you will have to pay for three years in advance to access these prices. For example, a Shared Starter subscription with monthly payments costs $4.95 a month, which is almost double the advertised price.    

Unmanaged WordPress hosting is available, but this is actually identical to the shared hosting options. Fully managed WordPress hosting starts at $16.95 a month and increases to $19.99 after the first year. 

Alternatively, you might decide to go for one of the four configurable VPS hosting plans. Base prices range from $10 to $80 a month. The benefit of VPS is that it gives you your own dedicated storage and bandwidth allocation without having to pay for an entire dedicated server. 

Speaking of dedicated servers, there are various options available for high-end users, with prices starting from $149 a month for 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD storage. Last, but not least, highly customizable cloud hosting is available for versatile uses. 

DreamHost: Features

DreamHost's webpage for its domain registration portal

DreamHost has a complete domain registration portal (Image credit: DreamHost)

DreamHost offers a wide selection of hosting options with different tools and features, but there are a few standout features that are definitely worth noting. 

A lot of people enjoy using cPanel or Plesk, and that’s absolutely fine. But if you’re looking for a streamlined, beginner-friendly management interface that stands out above the crowd, it’s hard to get past DreamHost’s native control panel. 

DreamHost also offers a full domain registration portal. This is convenient, as it allows you to manage every aspect of your website from one central dashboard. Prices start from less than $1 a year for exotic domains, and .com options start at $7.99 a year

Another standout feature is DreamHost’s excellent 97-day money-back guarantee. This essentially means that you can request a full refund at any time within the first three months of your subscription. Very few competitors offer anything that comes even close to rivaling this. 

DreamHost offers a free automatic website migration plugin that you can use to transfer an existing WordPress website to your new account. This requires absolutely zero technical knowledge, and can be completed without having to worry about downtime or other issues.

DreamHost offers a range of professional services including custom web design starting at $1499, SEO marketing starting at $399, and social media marketing starting at $399 a month.

DreamHost: Interface and in use

BoldGrid's website builder homepage

DreamHost offers the BoldGrid website builder as a streamlined way to start a new site (Image credit: DreamHost)

Getting started with DreamHost is as simple as selecting a plan and working through the streamlined checkout process. Pay via PayPal or credit/debit card, and wait a couple of minutes for your account to be activated. 

Again, it’s worth it to be aware that DreamHost uses a native control panel. It’s attractive and highly functional, but it could be a pain if you’re used to using cPanel, Plesk, or another popular management interface. 

Another standout here is how easy DreamHost makes it to start a new site. Install any of a selection of different content management systems and use them to build your site, or select the WordPress editor option to use the BoldGrid website builder.

DreamHost: Support

DreamHost's knowledge base homepage

The DreamHost knowledge base is excellent (Image credit: DreamHost)

DreamHost has an excellent knowledge base that contains a wide range of self-help material. There are numerous how-to articles, along with detailed guides, tutorials, and in-depth documentation. There’s also an active community forum that you can use to seek answers to more complex questions. 

On the customer service front, DreamHost offers both live chat and email support options. However, it’s worth noting that you can only use live chat between 5:30 am and 9:30 pm Pacific Time. 

Alternatives to DreamHost

If you’re looking for a cheap yet reliable hosting option, you can’t overlook Hostinger. It offers some of the best shared hosting we’ve seen. With a suite of advanced security and site management features, along with prices starting from just $0.99 a month, you won’t find better value for money anywhere.

Another great alternative is Hostwinds, which offers extremely powerful shared hosting at a very competitive price. Even its cheapest shared plan, which starts at $5.24 a month, includes unlimited bandwidth, storage, emails, and databases. You will also get access to an impressive one-click installer, automatic backups, a website builder, and much more.

DreamHost: Verdict

At the end of the day, there’s a lot to like about DreamHost. It offers a selection of web hosting services, including everything from shared hosting to dedicated servers. Its prices are quite competitive, it boasts a range of great features, and its native DreamHost control panel is excellent. 

With this in mind, it’s easy to recommend DreamHost. Its managed WordPress hosting stands out as excellent, and its shared and VPS options certainly aren’t bad either. 

More from Tom's Guide

See where DreamHost features in our buying guides for specific hosting services, including the best VPS hosting, the best Linux web hosting, the best WordPress hosting, the best unlimited hosting, and the best cloud hosting services. It's also worth taking a look at the best website builders, if you're looking to create a site.

Daniel Blechynden

Daniel is a freelance copywriter with over six years experience writing for publications such as TechRadar, Tom’s Guide, and Hosting Review. He specializes in tech and finance, with a particular focus on website building, web hosting, and related fields. 

With contributions from