Author: Matthew Rogers
Last Updated: January 2020
Why our reviews are worth reading
As a web agency, we use/test a LOT of hosting providers to scale both our clients and our many many side-projects (we like to experiment).
Having done this for quite a few years now, we've used, analysed, and reviewed a lot of web hosts... these are our findings.
A few of the better-known brands that link to our content
DreamHost: A quick summary for people with no time (pretty much all of us)
In a nutshell, we definitely recommend DreamHost! They offer very reliable hosting, offer free SSL certificates (make your site secure with https), 100% Uptime guarantee, and a pretty big money-back guarantee. While they don’t have data centres in the UK, their US-based one is pretty fast, and if you use CloudFlare, speed becomes a non-issue.
Here’s a quick overview of their best features:
100% Uptime guarantee: Most web hosts guarantee around 99.9% uptime, and the others don’t guarantee anything (avoid those). DreamHost goes to 100%, and they’re very confident about it, even crediting you a days worth of hosting for every hour your site might go down, we’re impressed!
Security + Privacy: A very important combo these days. DreamHost offers free SSL certificates (make your site secure with https) + a free domain name with free WHOIS privacy enabled (so nobody can look you up).
Custom Control Panel: Most web hosts use the default cPanel control panel, which works fine but can be a tad difficult for beginners. DreamHost custom built a control panel to cater to everyone from beginners to veteran webmasters. It’s very easy to use!
97-day money-back guarantee: Pretty self-explanatory, just in case you’re not happy.
Honestly, we really like them, they’re a no-brainer in our book. Their main cloud hosting plans start at only $2.59/mo.
DreamHost was founded in 1996 by four undergraduate students at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. These four undergrads include Dallas Bethune, Michael Rodriguez, Josh Jones, and Sage Weil. In 1997, the company was registered by Michael Rodriguez.
Since its inception in 1997, the company has worked with over 400,000 customers spanning more than 100 countries. They host over 1.5 million websites, applications, and WordPress blogs.
DreamHost has won many awards. For example, the company has been the 2014-2017 Business Choice Awards For Web Hosting by PCMag. That’s an award won for four straight years in a row, and we like them as well, which is why they’re on our review list for the best website hosts for the UK.
The company has committed itself to protect the environment and going green. For example, their data centres are powered by grids that get electricity from renewable sources such as solar panels, wind farms, and hydroelectric plants. Their employees are also committed to protecting the environment by performing actions that would not harm it. One such rule they implement is to use ceramic cups, plates, and silverware in place of disposables in the office.
DreamHost provides four types of Shared Hosting packages. These plans are named Starter and Unlimited.
The cheapest plan is called the Starter package and costs USD 2.95 per month. You can choose a monthly or annual mode of payment. With this package, you can have one website per hosting account.
On the bright side, you can have unlimited traffic. This means, your bandwidth is unlimited too. With this feature, millions of viewers can be accommodated per day without having to pay extra for more-than-usual amount of traffic.
Instead of giving you a cPanel, which most hosting companies do, DreamHost gives a customized control panel that’s easier to use, making starting a WordPress blog a breeze. This customized control panel does everything that a traditional cPanel do. They even provide a 100% uptime guarantee, better than other hosting companies who promise around 99.95% to 99.99%.
Disk storage provided uses SSD drives. This means, your website will load faster because of the unique mechanism of SSD drives that makes it more speedy than traditional drives. Websites are guaranteed to perform excellently with these solid-state drives with stats of up to 200% better performance than the traditional ones.
If you want your site and its sensitive information to be secure, you are also given free Let’s Encrypt SSL Certificates. This means, you get to protect sensitive information and boost your rankings in search engines at the same time. You might not know it but Google favours secure websites over non-secure ones in search engine rankings.
DreamHost supports various applications and software such as Flash, WooCommerce, and WebDAV. Languages and scripts such as JAVA JRE, JSON, golang, PHP, Python, and Ruby are also supported. Web and database servers include Linux, MySQL, Nginx, Node.js, and sqlite3. Supported site-builder applications include Joomla!, MediaWiki, Concrete5, WordPress, Web Calendar, and Zen Cart.
You are also given unlimited MySQL databases. MySQL is a database management system used to store and retrieve data. With unlimited databases, you are not limited to the amount of data you store and retrieve for your website.
Finally, you have a 97-Day Money-Back Guarantee. If you wish to cancel after working with them for 97 days, you get a refund. This is useful especially if you are just starting out with their products and/ or services and want to try out if they suit your needs.
DreamHost has an award-winning support system. PCMag rated it as the best support service among hosting companies. Here are the various ways you can get support from DreamHost:
- Knowledge Base,
- System Status,
- Online Live Chat,
- Email Support, and
- Ticket Submission.
The Knowledge Base is a way of helping yourself troubleshoot your problems through an extensive list of tutorials and guides on how to use the products and/or services of the company. Obviously, forums allow you to interact with other customers and user accounts by posting your own questions or answering other people’s queries.
The System Status page gives a status of each and every system of DreamHosts. It states if there are problems with each system and if each is operational. Scheduled maintenance is also posted in this page. Some systems included in this Status page are Discussion Lists, Shared Hosting, Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Services, Email, WebFTP, and Live Chat, among others.
Online live chat, ticket submission, and email support are available 24/7. Reviews of their customer support service are excellent. It takes less than a minute to get a live chat representative to get back to you. Representatives give a thorough answer and were also able to provide helpful links to help you troubleshoot the problem. Most reviews were happy with the company since they were very helpful in managing the customer’s problems.
One downside to DreamHost’s customer support system is their lack of telephone support. There are some things that cannot be explained through chat (or written text) but can be easily done by talking (with your voice). There’s a different feeling when you’re talking to somebody you know is there to help you. However, their excellent customer support system engulfs their lack of telephone support. So, overall, DreamHost is a winner when it comes to giving customers the help they need.
There are multiple advantages to working with DreamHost. Some of them are the following:
Faster Website Speed
They provide faster website speeds since data are stored in high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs). This type of drive stores and retrieves data up to 200% faster than traditional hard drives.
Unlike other hosting companies who only promise a 99.95% to 99.99% uptime, DreamHost guarantees a 100% uptime. Most reviews even stated that they deliver and live up to this promise. That’s a good thing for website owners like you since you won’t experience losing customers and sales just because your website is down.
Excellent Support System
They provide multiple options for getting the support you need. Plus, customer experiences are excellent when it comes to their support system. Most reviews stated that they were very helpful. Again, they are living up to their name of having PCMag’s award-winning support service.
Got millions of viewers? You need not worry about paying extra for additional bandwidth used. DreamHost promises you it can accommodate unlimited traffic at no extra charge.
Free SSL Certificate
You are given the ability to freely protect your website and make it more secure with their free SSL certificate. This is given on every Shared Hosting plan you avail, even on the Starter plan. You can now protect sensitive information contained within your website and make you look favourable in front of search engines.
No Telephone Support
They do not provide a telephone support system which might be useful if it’s hard to point out what you want to say through written text. However, they still make up for it with a stellar customer support system through live chat, email message, and ticket submission.
We LOVE DreamHost and would recommend you to try out their shared hosting services. If you want a fast, high-performing website with no downtimes, then DreamHost is the company for you. We looked at what DreamHost can offer and obviously, the pros of signing up for this company heavily outweigh its cons.