PROS / This web host offers a fantastic money-back guarantee.
CONS / There is no phone support.
VERDICT / Not only does DreamHost have all of the features we looked for in a web host, but it offers a shared hosting plan with unlimited features and an extended money-back guarantee. All of these features, combined with its high ease of use, make it a worthy competitor.
DreamHost, a web hosting service, has been around longer than most of its competition. For many reasons, this web host serves as a top tier option for individuals and small business owners due to its unlimited features and numerous security and support options. This cheap web hosting service not only offers one of the best money-back guarantees, but it also has an easy-to-use website builder. For its feature-filled hosting package, we award DreamHost our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award winner.
The service offers several security features to give you peace of mind. Site backup and restoration are both available under its shared plan. With many of the other services we reviewed, they charge extra for this feature. However, DreamHost includes it in their shared hosting package.
Shared secure sockets layer (SSL) and a solid-state drive are both included in the plan as well as email spam protection and secure shell (SSH) protocol. All of these security tools and features can be used to protect your websites and domains. You also can use them to reassure your users that any personal or financial information they share with you will be secure.
Like all of the services on our lineup, DreamHost has raw access logs that you can use to gather more in-depth idea of who is accessing your sites so you can optimize your user experience to your target audience.
Control Panel Tools
DreamHost's control panel does not follow the same pattern as the industry-standard cPanel. Instead, it feels more like a dashboard. We gave it high usability marks for its emphasis on tools that apply to basic host owners and site creators. We only faulted the service for not being immediately accessible.
Signup involved more than a one-step process, but once we had an account, the platform launched with a startup wizard. This showed its app manager, allowing us to utilize one-click installs. Also, we found it easy to create new email addresses.
The control panel is compatible with WordPress, so you can integrate the popular blogging tool into your websites. You also can use the eCommerce tools to create an online store and sell products to your users.
After you purchase a subscription, DreamHost offers a free domain name for the first year of service. This is standard among web hosts. However, the service will also transfer your domain name for free, making it even easier to host a website with their service. DreamHost is one of the few hosting services to not offer advertising credits with a subscription purchase.
Help & Support
DreamHost's help and support options are a mixed bag. Support relies mostly on email ticketing rather than phone-based interaction. For quick results, we turned to the company's live chat. Each time we contacted them, we had a 10-minute wait time, which is average among the companies we evaluated.
Once we were able to reach an agent, we found its representatives to be smart and courteous. They never kept us waiting more than one minute per response. Also, they helped us navigate the control panel to find important tools in the site builder.
Despite the lack of a telephone support line, DreamHost has a good knowledgebase and FAQs that can answer many of your questions. It also provides a forum where other users can help you with problems and concerns. These features don't make up for immediate phone support but are useful if you have time to learn.
This web hosting service works well for small websites and experienced web developers. DreamHost really shines with its hosting package. Between the numerous security and control panel tools, as well as the unlimited hosting package, DreamHost is one of the best web host providers on our lineup. If you find that it's not the right company for you, you have more than three months to cancel and get your money back. That being said, we don't think many will cancel once they get used to the unique control panel.