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DreamHost Review 2024 – Don’t Waste Your Money!

Mark Holden Mark Holden Web Hosting Expert

DreamHost is okay for what it is, but its customer service is sometimes more of a nightmare. On the plus side, it’s pretty cheap for what it offers, and if streamlined shared hosting on a budget is what you’re looking for, it might just be the host for you. Before you make any final decisions, you should check out Hostinger’s cheap plans.

We hosted the same WordPress website on the most popular web hosting platforms and measured their performance
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🏆Performance GradeA
⏱️Uptime GuaranteeYes
🔒Free SSLYes
🔧Hosting TypesShared, VPS, Dedicated Server, WordPress
💡Basic Plan Features
  • Storage: Unlimited
  • Bandwidth: Unlimited
  • Websites: Unlimited
💲Starting Price$2.95
Shared Reseller Dedicated Cloud WordPress

Not a dream, but not a nightmare either

DreamHost has a pretty good range of different services and packages, ranging from VPS hosting and dedicated hosting to flexible cloud hosting setups and its more affordable shared hosting packages.


DreamHost isn’t quite the industry giant, but it has grown from zero to 400,000 customers in the 22 years since it was established in 1997. It has customers from over 100 different countries and power more than 1.5 million websites and 750,000 WordPress installations.

But is DreamHost the best hosting company for you? Well, that depends.

It’s an affordable hosting provider, keeping its features lean in order to keep prices low. That may sound great if you’re on a tight budget. But what about quality? Can DreamHost keep it high?

Read on to find out.



Light on Features, but It’ll Do

DreamHost isn’t one of those hosts which offer an endless list of features. Still, it does provide a tool suite with enough to get you started, and it makes up for its lack of features by being easy to use and reasonably reliable.


Of course, some of its more advanced plans, such as its VPS hosting and cloud hosting packages, come with added features. Even its cheap shared hosting packages come with SSD storage, email hosting, and a free domain name. If you want to use the website builder, though, then you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.

Open Source First

There’s a difference between offering open source software and actively supporting it. DreamHost puts its money where its mouth is, actively contributing to the open source movement and WordPress in particular by creating and contributing to code snippets, community libraries and more.

This might not have any noticeable impact on you as an individual, but it can only be a good thing for the company as a whole.

Privacy Second

DreamHost may be a budget brand, but it certainly takes your privacy seriously.  In fact, you’ll be pleased to know it has some pretty decent freebie privacy features including a comprehensive anti-spam policy and free WHOIS privacy.


At first glance, you might wonder why to bother to obfuscate WHOIS information if you’ve got nothing to hide, but the truth is that hiding your WHOIS information can cut down on spam and make it harder for hackers to target you.

100% Uptime Guarantee

You can’t get much better than this. DreamHost guarantees 100% uptime on all of its hosting plans. What’s more, it’s not just a gimmicky marketing campaign – it’s actually backed up by compensation. You’ll get a credit of one day’s fees for every hour of downtime, up to a maximum of 10% of the monthly fee.

Eco-Friendly Hosting

If you’re trying to reduce your company’s carbon footprint, DreamHost is a pretty good choice. It uses high-efficiency cooling infrastructure at its data centers, and it’s powered by grids that obtain electricity from renewable sources.

The company also implements a range of recycling plans and other eco-friendly initiatives on-site in its offices to reduce its impact.


Ease of use

DreamHost is one of the easier web hosts to use, but that’s in part because it doesn’t overload you with features and so it’s relatively easy for you to find your way around.

Signing up isn’t too tricky and neither is building your own custom package. The only ease of use problems that you might have will crop up if you have a problem and can’t get the customer service team to help.

DreamHost also offers a website builder, which can help you get started quickly. However, it can’t really compete with more professional tools and content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress.

It is nice that it offers monthly packages as opposed to the six-month and one-year minimum contracts that many competitors force upon their customers.

Creating an Account

Signing up with DreamHost isn’t too tricky, and it goes out of its way to simplify the process as much as possible with language that’s as approachable as having a chat with a friend at a bar.

The only drawback is the verification process, which was a bit of a pain, but I doubt that DreamHost puts every single one of its customers through that extra step. All in all, it was a pretty pleasurable experience and you can read about it here.

Installing WordPress and Connecting a Domain

Installing WordPress is so easy, all you basically have to do is wait. You can automate the process by checking a box when you sign up. You’ll receive an email from DreamHost once WordPress is set up, and you can go straight in and start using it.

Configuring a domain name and installing your free Cloudflare CDN is also ridiculously easy.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s the easiest setup I’ve ever seen. Click here to find out more.

Dedicated WordPress Packages

DreamHost’s main offering is its WordPress hosting packages, which include everything from easy installers to free themes and over 50,000 plugins that you might have to pay for elsewhere.

DreamHost even automates updates so that you don’t have to worry too much about that, although if you’re heavily customizing your site, then you may prefer to use manual updates to make sure that a botched automatic update doesn’t take your site offline.


Built-In Caching

Built-in caching doesn’t come as standard, but it’s nice to know it’s there when you need it. You’ll have to pay a little extra for the privilege, but it can help your website load more quickly and can even prevent downtime by serving up a cached version of your site to visitors if they’re unable to reach the main server.



Pretty Slow and Not Very Steady

DreamHost garners positive reviews for its performance, as some users view it as a secure refuge from larger hosts. Nevertheless, many individuals have encountered instances of downtime or have come across 500 internal server errors. According to all reports, the responsiveness of the support team varies from being sluggish to nearly non-existent.

I see this a lot from web hosts: the server setups work okay when you’re a new customer, but as soon as you experience a problem, they take forever to fix it, leaving your site crippled or even offline for days on end.


From my point of view, there’s not much for it to boast about, and the Sucuri page load test shown above helps to demonstrate that. Its average loading speeds are terrible, ten times slower than some of the other sites I’ve tested.

Using a CDN can help reduce those loading times, but it can’t perform miracles. If you’re seeking speed, you’ll likely want to explore other options.



No Direct Phone Number but Reasonable Resources

DreamHost offers 24/7 support, and it claims to have won awards for it. Not all of its customers agree, though, and there are horror stories of people waiting weeks on end for a response to their queries. For example, you can take a look at our comparison of DreamHost vs NameCheap.

It has a knowledge base and some discussion forums, both of which can be useful in a pinch, but if they don’t answer your question then it also offers email support and a live chat between the hours of 8 AM – 4 PM Pacific Time on Mondays – Fridays.

I thought I’d go ahead and test them out and so I started with the live chat agent, which is operated by a bot and which isn’t particularly well configured, making it hard to speak to a human. I got there eventually though, and I also had a reasonably pleasant experience when I filed a support ticket.

Once you do speak to a human, they’re pretty polite and super helpful, which was a nice surprise after that initially clunky interface.


Also, one of the big pluses of going with DreamHost is the fact that it has its own discussion forums where you can seek help from other customers, as well as official representatives of the company. This can be especially useful if you’re struggling to find help from the customer service team, which can happen a little more often than you might expect.



DreamHost’s pricing is really what makes it stand out from the competition. When you combine the cheap plans with its monthly billing and unlimited resources, it’s pretty easy to see why it’s pretty popular, even when you factor in the drawbacks.

As for payment options…well, they’re few and far between. It accepts major credit cards, but if you were hoping to pay by PayPal or by cryptocurrency, forget about it.

Cancellations & Refunds

Want to cancel your DreamHost account? It’s pretty easy to do and takes less than a minute, requiring you to navigate to the billing section of your admin panel to file a cancellation request.

I was especially struck by their clear communication with me the whole time. This is one of the few hosts I’ve encountered that proactively informed me about when to anticipate my refund without needing me to reach out to their support team. Click here to read more.


How does DreamHost match up to the competition?

KamateraCompareOur Score4.8Compare
Liquid WebCompareOur Score4.8Compare
DreamHostCompareOur Score4.5Compare
Tailor Made ServersCompareOur Score2.9Compare


DreamHost is okay for what it is, but its customer service is sometimes more of a nightmare. It’s reasonably feature-light, charging a flat monthly fee if you want to use the website builder (something many other hosts offer for free as part of their shared hosting plans). On the plus side, DreamHost is pretty cheap for what it offers. If streamlined shared hosting on a budget is what you’re looking for, it might just be the host for you.

DreamHost might offer a good service at a reasonable price, but does it match up with the top web hosting companies? We find it hard to say “yes.”


Will the cost of my hosting go up when I renew?

DreamHost’s plans all incur a price hike when your initial deal comes to an end. Some of these can be pretty extreme as well, so be sure to read the deal carefully before you commit to anything.

Does DreamHost have an uptime guarantee?

A 100% uptime guarantee comes with every DreamHost plan. And if you suffer any downtime, you receive compensation equal to the cost of one day’s hosting (up to a maximum of 10% of your total hosting cost).

What performance tools for WordPress does DreamHost have?

DreamHost’s WordPress plans all come with Jetpack — the free version with the standard DreamPress package and Jetpack professional with DreamPress Plus and DreamPress Pro. Considering that Jetpack is one of the most popular plugins around, that’s a useful addition.

If you need to find a host specializing in WordPress, check out our list of the top web hosting services for 2024. All of these offer WordPress-optimized hosting with features to improve your site’s performance.

What is the cheapest way to host a website?

Generally, finding an entry-level shared hosting plan is the cheapest way to host a website. You get some space on a server (along with other subscribers) which generally costs a lot less than a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server all to yourself.

If you’re looking for affordable web hosting, Hostinger is the cheapest host around. It also offers a suite of features that outdo what DreamHost offers. And if you’re looking to save even more money with Hostinger, check out our coupon page with the latest deals for 2024 before you commit to any hosting plan.
Mark Holden Mark Holden
Mark is a full stack web developer specializing in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, MySQL, and PHP. When he’s not busy building websites or geeking out over the latest addition to his ever-growing gadget collection, he enjoys playing drums for his progressive rock band. He can also make a mean Spanish omelet.
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Fraudulent extended billing.

Signed up for Promotional rate, service was acceptable. Canceled prior to renewal. No option to select "no services". Forced to select "monthly" when changing service. Now they're trying to bill me after I cancelled my account. Not sure if it's an "English" problem or just the quality of employees, but they don't seem smart enough to realize you don't bill someone because they cancelled their account... thats not how it works.

Brian, USA
March 19, 2024
Avoid Dreamhost like the plague

This main review is woefully out of date. They have increased all their prices, and deprecated many services, so I cancelled. They charged a $20 "free domain registration fee" which is completely fraudulent -- that domain was supposed to be included with the paid hosting. Avoid Dreamhost like the plague.

TakeyMcTaker, USA
December 20, 2023
Be very careful

It saves your credit card without asking you, and then receives your approval with texts that you cannot see. At the end of the month, you may encounter unwanted invoices. I suggest you find another company. They are far from helpful.......

Oardal, Turkey
September 29, 2022
Nightmare host

Support is without any experience, servers are so limited. I had a problem with their server, and I could see the php error in the log file, when asking them to fix it, so my website can work smoothly, they just stopped the file from writing any errors, so I went blind, any error of php, I can't track, and talking to support is a total waste of time.

Moustafa Ramadan, USA
May 23, 2021
Not As Advertised + Did Give Full Refund

Dreamhost clearly states on the VPS product page that they offer reseller functionality. I assumed this was their own panel similar to whm/cpanel with full account separation per client. This is not the case. All domains on their panel share the same directory structure, similar to addon domains. Additionally, when I went to cancel my three year plan 2 days after signing up they charged me $10. Then I needed to file a ticket with support and will potentially need to file a dispute with my credit card company. If Dreamhost had simple advertised what they are actually selling, I would have saved time and hassle by not signing up in the first place. And if they would have actually refunded my money per their money back guarantee, they would not have a negative review from me.

John S, USA
October 13, 2020
Dreamhost Disaster

After three years of happy and reliable hosting on Dreampress, changes in Dreamhost's web servers, hosting service, and technical support forced our online business to go elsewhere. It began with unexpected servers crashes which quickly became daily and unresolvable. In about a week we dropped from years of stability to every-day troubleshooting to keep our site online. And with each crash, we learn our server was running out of memory but tech support seemed less specific about the causes or instability. Instead, they chose to up-sell us on a new “Openstack” server deployment, promising better caching and performance -- at the same price. We were thrilled with how fast we were operational on the new 'bionic' server but not happy to discover this upgraded server would actually cost us 35% more annually, that the memory configurations were no different, and ultimately the server crashes would continue. For the next 10 weeks, we meticulously followed Dreamhost's advice to optimize our site build, to employ different caching strategies, to minify, to defer code, to better optimize images, and reduce page loading sizes. We did everything required to get us to an A-rating with GTmetrix but the server crashes continued while Dreamhost offered us no effective assistance with resolving what became a maintenance nightmare. The final straw was learning that DH tech support was aware of a bug in the new servers that prevented some MySQL DBs from restarting after a server crashes. When we migrated our site off of Dreamhost servers, they still hadn't isolated the problems or taken any ownership of them.

Joe Cordes, USA
August 21, 2020
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