dreamhost review for wordpress
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In this detailed DreamHost review, we dive into the specifics of what this host offers for WordPress websites. We’ll discuss various aspects such as features, overall performance (real tests!), customer support, and more, all to give you a comprehensive understanding on what you can expect from this host.

Does DreamHost really deserve to be one of the few companies officially endorsed by WordPress? To get the answer, let’s explore their shared hosting plans, their “DreamPress” (managed) line of hosting, and their VPS solutions.

DreamHost

4.6 out of 5

Dreamhost is a web hosting company that specializes in providing scalable and flexible hosting solutions for businesses of all sizes. If your target audience is the U.S. market and you appreciate excellent customer support along with a wide range of WordPress features, then Dreamhost is a solid choice.

User Rating
4.3 out of 5
Reliability
4.5 out of 5
Performance
4.9 out of 5

Pros

Excellent performance

Lots of WordPress-specific features

Customized tools and solutions

Cons

Won't fit into every budget

Server locations in the U.S. only

An overview of DreamHost

Load times 2.17s (US avg.), 2.06s (EU), 3.3s (Asia)
Uptime 99.98% (avg. over 3 months)
Support 24/7 support via chat, phone, and priority support (depending on plan).
Key features WordPress pre-installed, automated updates, integrated caching, SSD storage, free SSL, daily backups, improved security with WAF.
Apps CDN available, one-click staging, SSH, WP-CLI and other dev tools.
Price From $2.59 / month, host 1 website, unmetered bandwidth, free domain name for the first year.
Best for A wide variety of WordPress users ranging from those who need a simple, but powerful shared hosting setup, to those needing more robust managed hosting. Advanced users who like lots of backend control and straightforward scalability will feel at home too.

DreamHost vs main competitors

DreamHost SiteGround WP Engine
Rating 4.6 / 5 4.7 / 5 4.7 / 5
Load time avg. 2.32s 1.03s 1.21s
Uptime avg. 99.98% 100% 99.99%
Price from $2.59 $2.99 $20.00
Free domain
Free SSL
# of sites From 1 to unlimited From 1 to unlimited From 1 to 30
traffic allowed unmetered 10k-400k visits monthly 25k-400k visits monthly
Visit DreamHost SiteGround WP Engine
DreamHost compared to market average
DreamHost market avg.
Load times US 2.17s 1.14s
Load times EU 2.06s 1.01s
Load times Asia 3.3s 1.9s
Uptime 99.98% 99.86%

DreamHost review for WordPress 🔎

DreamHost review for WordPress intro

DreamHost is notable for how many WordPress-specific hosting plans it has on offer. For this review, we’ll focus on their shared WordPress plans, their managed WordPress hosting – otherwise known as DreamPress, and also their VPS solutions. We’ll also say a word or two about their WooCommerce offerings.

Plans and pricing 🎯

Overall, DreamHost’s plans are competitively priced across the various options they offer. Feel free to jump ahead to whichever set of plans interests you the most or just read through all of them to compare.

Shared WordPress plans

Most new websites begin their hosting journeys on shared plans and that’s because new websites usually have relatively low resource demands and don’t need to spend extra money on extra features that they don’t need.

With that said, DreamHost’s shared plans are different from much of the competition in that they are not only suitable for beginner WordPress sites, but they have quite a high capacity to support even growing websites.

To think about it from a monetary perspective, with DreamHost, you’ll be paying within the range of a typical, competitive shared hosting price, but in return you’ll be getting a lot more in return than you would with many other hosts for around the same price. This is true for both of the shared plans, but in particular with the higher Unlimited plan.

Pricing 💵

  • WordPress Starter (starts at $2.59 per month): The most basic entry-level plan will set you up with one website with no cap on traffic. You’ll also get 50 GB of SSD storage and a free domain in your first year. You won’t get free email hosting, but it’s very cheap to add it on – only $1.67 per month.
  • WordPress Unlimited (starts at $3.95 per month): True to its name, this option will give you unlimited websites, unlimited email accounts using your domain name, unlimited site storage, unlimited subdomains, unlimited MySQL databases, and more.

Regardless of which plan you choose, you’ll also get a free domain in your first year, a free SSL certificate for as long as you continue to host your website with DreamHost, and support for unlimited traffic. Plus there are other conveniences thrown in, such as an easy WordPress installer (for new sites), and an automated migration plugin for those of you with existing sites who want to bring them over to DreamHost.

Managed WordPress (DreamPress) plans

In contrast to the shared plans, which only have two options, DreamPress comes in three tiers. Before we review their prices and key distinctions, let’s look at what you’ll get with all three:

  • One WordPress website
  • Free domain for the first year
  • Unlimited email accounts using your domain name
  • Unmetered bandwidth
  • Pre-installed SSL certificate
  • One-click staging site capability
  • Advanced features like SFTP, shell access, WP-CLI, and more!

In addition, DreamPress sites are hosted on NGINX servers, which are known for their high performance and the ability to smoothly handle large numbers of concurrent visitors. In other words, if a whole bunch of people happen to visit your website at the same time, they are less likely to experience delays and other issues due to NGINX’s ability to efficiently handle web traffic.

Pricing 💵

  • DreamPress ($16.95 per month): With the standard DreamPress plan, your site will be able to accommodate up to 100,000 monthly visitors. You’ll also get 30 GB of SSD storage.
  • DreamPress Plus ($24.95 per month): This plan increases your site’s potential load to 300,000 monthly visitors, and bumps your storage up to 60 GB. Plus, you’ll get access to the JetPack CDN.
  • DreamPress Pro ($71.95 per month): For the highest tier, your site will be able to handle up to 1,000,000 monthly visitors, and your storage will be increased to 120 GB. Aside from the JetPack CDN, you’ll also unlock access to priority support. This includes expedited resolution time, proactive monitoring, and advanced troubleshooting.

Unlike with the shared WordPress hosting plans, the number of sites supported doesn’t change between the tiers. It’s not a service meant for developers or agencies, but rather for WordPress users who want to run a fully-optimized and managed site. If that’s what you’re looking for, you do get a lot of value for the cost involved. You can also contact DreamHost to get a customized plan set up.

All in all, the DreamPress plans boast a very comprehensive feature set, especially if you’re looking for something created with WordPress in mind.

WooCommerce plans

Whether you’re thinking about launching a WooCommerce store with DreamHost or you already have an existing one that you’re considering transferring over, you’re likely interested in what DreamHost’s WooCommerce plans look like.

Well, here’s the thing:

DreamHost’s WooCommerce plans are more than adequate to run a high performing store, but what you should know is that their WooCommerce plans are really just a not-so-subtle repackaged version of their DreamPress plans. This isn’t some sort of attempt to fool you, and in fact, it’s quite common in the hosting industry to do this. For example, Hostinger does it with a lot of their packages as well.

The reason is simple – marketing and SEO. Different people have different needs and are searching for solutions to meet those needs. It just so happens that in the world of hosting, you can have one product that fulfills multiple needs. This is fine from a technical, hardware perspective, but from a marketing and SEO perspective, it helps to have dedicated pages for those different solutions. That’s exactly the case here.

DreamHost has a dedicated WooCommerce hosting page, but once you go there – and if you’ve already visited the DreamPress page – you’ll immediately realize that the plans are identical.

Long story short, all three DreamPress plans can be a great option for your WooCommerce store. It all comes down to how much traffic you’re currently getting and how much storage space you are using.

For new stores, the entry-level DreamPress plan is the way to go. You can always scale up later if you need to. If you already have an existing store that gets considerable traffic, then you’re going to want to consider the two higher tiers.

Pricing 💵

As mentioned, DreamHost’s WooCommerce plans are just the DreamPress plans. This means that the pricing is identical to what you see above for the three DreamPress options – $16.95, $24.95, and $71.95 per month, respectively.

Virtual private server (VPS) plans

In some ways, DreamHost’s VPS plans are like an inverse of their DreamPress plans. While the DreamPress plans are intended for individuals and businesses who want to run a single WordPress site for their blog, online store, or some other singular purpose, the VPS plans are meant for developers or agencies who need to scale.

With that in mind, it’s not a surprise that all four VPS plans support an unlimited number of websites, unlimited number of email accounts, unlimited bandwidth, unlimited MySQL databases, and an unlimited number of sub accounts to help you manage client accounts, client and contractor website access, FTP, and billing. There’s a free SSL certificate included with each plan as well.

In addition, while the DreamPress plans do have some advanced features, they are intentionally designed for less technically inclined users. After all, they’re called “managed” for a reason. On the other hand, the VPS plans come packed with loads of advanced features for developers:

  • Your choice between NGINX or Apache web servers.
  • Support for the three P’s: PHP8, Perl, and Python.
  • A Ruby version manager so you can toggle between your preferences.
  • Node.js support for the JavaScript lovers.
  • Secure remote access with SSH.
  • Crontab access so you can automate command-line tasks with ease.
  • A subversion repository (SVN) for teams to stay organized – and more!

Pricing 💵

Since DreamHost bundles in all of the features into all four plans, the only real differentiators are memory and storage.

  • VPS Basic ($10.00 per month): 1 GB RAM and 30 GB SSD storage
  • VPS Business ($20.00 per month): 2 GB RAM and 60 GB SSD storage
  • VPS Professional ($40.00 per month): 4 GB RAM and 120 GB SSD storage
  • VPS Enterprise ($80.00 per month): 8 GB RAM and 240 GB SSD storage

If you’re an astute observer, you’ll also realize that the fact that all of the plans support an “unlimited” number of websites is irrelevant to some degree because the real limiting factor is going to be the memory and the storage space you’re paying for.

For example, if you have 50 client websites and you plan to run them all on the VPS Basic plan, then technically you can because there’s no website limit, but in practice, 1 GB of RAM and 30 GB of storage spread out across 50 websites isn’t going to work out too well.

In short, when deciding on which plan is right for you, take a step back and consider the size and scale of your operation and then sign up for the one that’s going to be able to handle it.

Support options ⚙️

DreamPress doesn’t disappoint when it comes to customer support. You can get help through the website or your control panel, by submitting a ticket, requesting a callback, and even chatting with a live support agent.

We tried out the live chat ourselves, and asked a few questions:

An exchange with the DreamHost live chat service.

The support staff were friendly and knowledgeable, both about their own services (obviously) and WordPress itself. DreamHost claims to employ experienced tech support, and that does seem to be the case. For even more assistance, you can peruse the comprehensive knowledge base or check out the dedicated forums.

Performance 📉

Now, let’s check out what DreamHost does to ensure your site’s performance. It provides a number of noteworthy features, including:

This is an impressive set of features, and it’s notable that DreamHost designs quite a bit of its own technology rather than settling for existing solutions.

DreamHost also offers several datacenters, with four locations in the US:

  • Los Angeles
  • Irvine
  • Portland
  • Virginia

Public information on this is difficult to find, but it appears that DreamHost doesn’t run any datacenters outside the United States. This isn’t necessarily a problem for international WordPress users, thanks to CDNs and similar technologies, but it’s still worth bearing in mind.

With that out of the way, let’s see how good of a job DreamHost does when it comes to load times.

To conduct our evaluation, a while back we set up a sample website using the Neve theme, equipped with a selection of commonly used plugins and demo content. This setup was designed to closely mimic an actual website.

Since that time, we’ve been conducting monthly performance tests using a tool called Pingdom, which measures loading times from various locations. We update the results every single month using a shortcode mechanism. The most recent evaluations from the previous month are below:

DreamHost loading times 🔃
East Coast USA: 3.61sWest Coast USA: 1.11s
Central USA: 1.79sLondon, UK: 1.93s
Paris, France: 2.19sMumbai, India: 3.30s

We conduct a similar monthly test to gauge the uptime of the same mock website. The data you’re seeing below shows the average uptime across the most recent three-month period:

DreamHost uptime 📶
February 2024March 2024April 2024
99.95%100.00% ⭐100.00% ⭐

See the live status page and historical data for DreamHost.

Overall pros and cons 👍👎

At this point in our DreamHost review for WordPress, we’re ready to summarize the key advantages and drawbacks of their WordPress plans.

Pros

Excellent performance across the board.

Lots of WordPress-specific features.

Plenty of customized tools and solutions for optimizing your site.

Knowledgeable support.

Cons

No server locations outside the United States.

Not the cheapest managed WordPress option, although DreamPress offers a lot of value for your money.

Conclusion 🧐

Overall, the results of our DreamHost review for WordPress are very promising. It’s proving to be a strong choice for WordPress users, particularly those seeking user-friendly interfaces, robust capabilities, and straightforward scalability.

If you don’t want to deal with site maintenance and security, then the managed DreamPress plans are an ideal solution for expanding your website’s capabilities without getting bogged down in technical details. So if the DreamPress plans align with your budget, we can confidently recommend them as a great choice.

Otherwise you can go for one of the more affordable shared WordPress plans.

Finally, for those of you who are more tech-savvy and prefer more backend control with flexible scalability as your needs grow, you might want to opt for the VPS plans.

Do you agree with the findings of our DreamHost review for WordPress? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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