DreamHost Shared Web Hosting Review 2017
In this review, we’ll take a look at DreamHost’s shared hosting. DreamHost’s shared plans are an affordable solution for hosting multiple small websites. But..spoiler alert – the performance isn’t that great. If you want a better offering from Dreamhost, we recommend you check out our review of Dreamhost’s only slightly more expensive DreamPress hosting.
Founded all the way back in 1997, DreamHost is one of the oldest hosts around. Though DreamHost had humble beginnings in a college dorm room, it now serves over 400,000 customers and hosts over 1.5 million websites.
Keep reading to learn more about Dreamhost’s shared hosting as well as get a peek at our real world testing data.
Overview of DreamHost Shared Hosting Features
Before digging into our testing data, we’ll take you through the features of Dreamhost’s shared plans. Here’s what you can expect:
- Unlimited websites
- Unlimited storage
- Unlimited bandwidth
- One-click WordPress installer
- Shared SSD storage
- PCI Compliance for eCommerce sites
- 100% uptime guarantee
- 24/7/365 support via live chat, ticket, and Twitter
Fairly standard as far as shared hosts go. But let’s see how it does in our real-world tests!
DreamHost Shared Hosting Performance – Real Testing Data
To get an idea of the performance of DreamHost’s shared hosting, we set up a test site on their west coast USA data center and looked at three key metrics:
- Time to First Byte – a good general measure of how quickly a server responds.
- Average page load time – how long, on average, it took our test site to fully load.
- Uptime – what percentage of time our test site was up and available.
Here’s how DreamHost’s shared plan did:
When testing Time to First Byte, DreamHost’s shared server responded in a dismal 0.76 seconds. This was one of the slowest times for the hosts we tested. The fastest shared hosts that we tested typically had speeds in the .15 – .35 second range, so DreamHost isn’t even close.
For average page load time, DreamHost’s shared plan wasn’t much better. Our test site loaded in an average of 2.55 seconds. The fastest shared hosts that we looked at loaded in under 2 seconds. With that being said, DreamHost isn’t as far off the mark for this metric. Small victories, right?
Thankfully, DreamHost’s shared plan at least offered solid uptime, with an uptime of 99.977% for our test site. While this doesn’t quite match DreamHost’s claims of 100% uptime, it’s close enough in our opinion.
Despite the solid uptime, we were still disappointed with the performance of Dreamhost’s shared hosting on the whole.
DreamHost Data Center Locations
The actual physical location of your site’s data center is an important consideration because it can affect your site’s performance for your target readers. A closer data center typically equals slightly better performance, so you always want a host which offers data centers in your target market.
DreamHost currently has data centers on the east and west coasts of the USA. While this is perfectly fine for anyone targeting a North American audience, those targeting Europe or Asia may want to take this into consideration.
DreamHost Hosting Technology
DreamHost uses SSD storage for all of their hosting, which offers up to a 200% performance improvement over older physical drives.
They also support PHP 7, the newest version of PHP which offers performance improvements over PHP 5. One caveat, though – PHP 5 is the default language installed on servers. You’ll need to ask support to upgrade to PHP 7.
DreamHost Green Energy Commitment
One thing we like about DreamHost is that they’re committed to using green energy. DreamHost is certified carbon neutral and actively attempts to use hardware with lower energy consumption.
DreamHost Support and Knowledge Base
DreamHost offers 24/7/365 support for all their plans. However, shared plans can only get support via live chat, ticket, or Twitter. There’s no phone support for shared plans, which is a bummer.
DreamHost also offers a detailed knowledge base with around 800 articles if you like solving problems by yourself.
DreamHost Shared Plans and Pricing
DreamHost is unique in that they don’t offer different pricing tiers for their plans. Instead, there’s only one shared plan to choose from.
DreamHost’s shared plan offers three different billing options:
- Month-to-month at $10.95 per month.
- Annual at $9.95 per month.
- Triennial (3 years) at $7.95 per month.
Remember, you get unlimited websites, storage, and bandwidth with this plan.
While there’s no promotional pricing like many other hosts, DreamHost’s non-promotional price is competitive with similarly performing hosts.
Should You Choose DreamHost Shared Hosting?
We weren’t very impressed with DreamHost’s shared plan. For the price, there are definitely better options. We recommend that anyone looking for cheap shared hosting should go with A2 Hosting or SiteGround.
However DreamHost’s plans come with a generous 97-day money back guarantee, so you only pay if you’re happy!
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, DreamHost’s DreamPress hosting offers significantly better performance, as well.
Disclosure: This page contains external affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of these links we may receive a commission.
We do not receive any money for positive reviews and all opinions on this page are our own.