Welcome to our Dreamhost Review. Dreamhost is a web host and domain name registrar based in Los Angeles CA. Dreamhost founded in Claremont, California the year 1996 and have provided hosting to customers since 1997. Current CEO for Dreamhost is Simon Anderson. Dreamhost is a well known and big web hosting company. Dreamhost has hosted over 400,000 customers and over 1.5 million websites. They have all of the hosting options to choose from that you could want: Shared, VPS, Dedicated, Cloud, and Managed WordPress hosting (DreamPress 2).
Dreamhost uses RagingWire’s Ashburn, Virginia Data Center that houses thousands of DreamHost servers. Dreamhost is an anchor tenant there since contracted in 2012. According to CEO Simon Anderson, their Virginia data center was chosen because they had the physical infrastructure “to deliver ultimate reliability” (for their web and particularly cloud hosting network.) As of 2015 Dreamhost is also an anchor tenant in the 140,000 sq. ft Brookwood data center in Portland, Oregon.
Dreamhost is not known to oversell customers or up sell its customers. They won’t bother you with a newsletter as other hosts will do. They have taken a bold approach in guaranteeing customers 100% up time rather than your typical 99 point something up time guarantee.
According to Simon Anderson, Dreamhost support team are all made up of (highly qualified) web developers themselves so they can provide stellar support to the customer without reaching “typical phone support people” who are polite but have no idea how to provide the actual technical support.
The latest development at Dreamhost is Grizzly, an Openstack Networking configuration with coding using Python programming language. Their Grizzly project is designed to beef up their Cloud infrastructure and balance loads. We’ll discuss further details in our other Dreamhost Reviews which are plan specific as this review is all about the Dreamhost company and what they offer new customers. Dreamhost offers shell access even for shared services. Dreamhost also has made their own control panel rather than providing old fashion Plesk.
According to a video released by the CEO Simon Anderson (who seems to have an Australian accent) there is one big difference with cloud over shared. This is that with Cloud, your storage space can be virtualized, that is to say much more scale-able where with shared it’s to remain on the hard disk of one server. In this sense, we think of their Cloud platform as perhaps a hybrid of sorts part shared part VPS. He stated this is one thing that sets Dreamhost Cloud apart.
Other hosts that use the cloud platform such as Media Temple may or may not work in this same way. Media Temple probably does work the same way. Media Temple also uses a data center that Dreamhost uses. Simon Anderson also said Dreamhost is gradually implementing a new open stack style infrastructure.
Dreamhost does not offer a main line contact number but it is still very easy to get a hold of them. If you wish to speak with them over the phone you can request a callback. Dreamhost is also active on social media so you can message them on twitter, facebook, and google plus. When you need support there’s at least 3 options for contacting Dreamhost customer support. Chat with an agent where it will open a live chat or submit a ticket where support can email you back. Or request callback with your phone number to be reached.
If big web hosting companies don’t do something to offset their energy usage customers will think they are terrible people for not doing something to give back. Some of them plant trees and some of them use their own wind turbines. We have yet to find a web host that claims they power mainly with solar perhaps because of very high costs to do so. The hosts like Dreamhost who pay for Renewable Energy Credits they are contributing to energy conservation in doing so although it will depend on how much they are buying.
On their website Dreamhost claims to effectively “zero out” their energy consumption requirements in purchasing the REC’s. Now this may not be quite as green of a web hosting company as someone like GreenGeeks who generate their own wind energy with wind powered turbines but GreenGeeks are effectively their own power company.
Dreamhost Review of Pros & Cons
Dreamhost claims to purchase Renewable Energy Credits to offset their environmental impact regarding energy usage. You may wonder why so many web hosting companies take green initiatives. The reason is because big web hosting companies consume an enormous amount of power far more so than most any manufacturing plant by comparison, and they do so continually.
There are lots of servers constantly running 24/7 that require many kilowatts to run them all, then you add cooling, forced air flow, backup power, all on a large scale and lights etc. and you have a lot of power being consumed all the time. And now our Pros and Cons for Dreamhost:
- Not lacking hosting options
- Support is staffed in LA and not outsourced
- 97 day money back guarantee
- Unlimited Sub-domains
- Two Large Data Centers in continental USA
- Currently based in beautiful Brea, California
- Shared prices higher than competitors
- No Direct phone number for Contact. You’re charged money for callbacks. If you want phone conversation you must request a callback and pay a fee for either one callback or a fee to purchase “up to three callbacks per month” Callbacks are reportedly in English speaking language only.
Dreamhost Review Summary
In Reviewing Dreamhost we find that they are a good web hosting company very capable of satisfying their clients needs. If we have any gripes that should come to light in this review we should mention that with Dreamhost callbacks have a fee that customers are responsible for and the fee is not included with the standard hosting packages. You can add three callbacks per month to your account for a monthly fee or do one-time callback for a fee anytime you need a callback.
In many cases you may never need to use callback anyway in which case you will not need to pay for it and you can use live chat or email. Dreamhost now has a 97 day money back guarantee which is an odd number usually its 30, 60, 90 days etc. Perhaps they chose this number because that’s the first year Dreamhost began selling web hosting.
In concluding this Dreamhost Review we think Dreamhost is a good solid web hosting company. Just look at the office places where the Dreamhost team of staff has worked at and you can tell how professional the folks behind Dreamhost are. Their office spaces in downtown LA which used to be in the second tallest building in LA and now in beautiful Brea, Califoria are admirable when we compare them to any given hosting provider and where they are running their business from. However this is the case with most all of your big hosting names is that they are not low-budget and are generally operating a legitimate looking hosting business at all angles from the naked eye.
At least Dreamhost is not ran remotely unlike some other providers are so there is a much more pronounced sense of structure behind Dreamhost in terms of who is working for you and where they are working. Because support is local and no doubt costly for Dreamhost to employ and provide the offices, this is obviously one reason for slightly higher pricing than the industry average particularly when you look at the pricing of their shared plans from Dreamhost. This company has that local vibe but with the productivity well beyond a young hosting company. Dreamhost is one of the biggest web hosting companies in the world and anyone living in the continental USA in particular may be well suited to choose Dreamhost for your web hosting needs. Dreamhost by the way is not limited to providing hosting to USA customers.