Best for Performance
- Top site speed + uptime
- Good for shared hosting
- Lacking in support
Paid Plans: $2.95 – $379 / month
DreamHost performs pretty poorly in the features category and, as a result, it scores an unappealing 2.8 out of 5 – the lowest ecommerce features score in our list of six providers.
However, DreamHost does provide “unlimited traffic” on every plan, which just means that it doesn’t track bandwidth or traffic, so you won’t be charged for exceeding any certain amount. This isn’t so different from the “unmetered bandwidth” that you’ll see from a lot of other providers, and it means that your site won’t be punished for growing! Because of this it receives an ecommerce hosting score of 4.3 out of 5.
Additionally, DreamHost has the best performance score of any provider on this list – 4.2 out of 5. So, even though its features are a disappointment, your website is in reliable and stable hands.
DreamHost also provides free daily backups on all of its plans, which can be a lifesaver if you’re just starting out because you won’t have to worry about losing all of your progress from one mistake. Domain names come free for the first year when you register a .com, .org, .club, .net, or .info domain, and unlimited email is included on every plan. However, its plans don’t include a dedicated IP address, which will be an added cost to consider.
DreamHost’s shared plans are a decent option, coming third overall in our shared hosting research, but DreamHost is let down by its unimpressive VPS, dedicated, and WordPress managed hosting plans.
Alongside these hosting routes, DreamHost also offers WooCommerce-specific plans. These are tailored to support online stores, and the cheapest DreamPress plan comes with unlimited email, WooCommerce pre-installed, 30GB of storage, and on-demand backups in addition to the usual daily ones. DreamHost doesn’t track traffic, but it does recommend the DreamPress plan for no more than 100k monthly visitors. If you exceed this, your store won’t be shut down, but your performance might just be slightly reduced.
It is worth noting that DreamHost only supports WooCommerce. It doesn’t have a Magento-specific plan, and it also isn’t compatible with other shopping cart software, such as OpenCart.
Support & Security
DreamHost’s customer support has improved significantly since our previous research. Where it once only scored 2.5 out of 5 in our research, DreamHost is now on par with SiteGround with a help and support score of 3.8 out of 5. Despite the increase in score, there are stronger providers out there, such as Bluehost, if support is a key factor for you.
With DreamHost, you can’t contact support directly over the phone. The support team can call you back in response to a query, but you can’t reach out first, which can be annoying. Instead, DreamHost’s live chat function is available from 3:00am to 9:30pm PST, seven days a week, although you may have to wait a bit during peak times.
On a positive note, DreamHost’s security measures are more impressive than its customer support. Every DreamHost plan comes with the industry-standard of a free SSL certificate, but you also get access to DreamHost’s internally built (and pretty self-explanatory) malware remover, which finds and fixes malware on your site.
Although not bad value for money, DreamHost also isn’t the best of the bunch. It scores 3 out of 5 in our pricing research, ranking it joint last (with InMotion) out of the six platforms we’ve explored. This is because its ecommerce-focused WooCommerce plans can be pretty expensive, starting from $16.95 per month. And if you want more storage and greater traffic capacity, you could be looking at as much as $71.95 per month with its most expensive DreamPress Pro plan.
Of course, you don’t need to start out on the WooCommerce-specific plan, especially if your store is only small. In this case, one of DreamHost’s shared plans will do. For a 12-month contract, the two plans both start at $2.95 per month, so we’d recommend starting on the larger Shared Unlimited plan. It has everything you’ll need: unlimited traffic, WordPress pre-installed, fast SSD storage, and unlimited email @ your domain.
The cheaper Shared Starter plan has most of these features, but you’ll have to pay an additional $1.67 per month for email hosting – and the cost of Shared Starter plus $1.67 per month means you’ll be paying more than the Shared Unlimited plan.
DreamHost offers a 97-day money-back guarantee, but note that this only applies to credit and debit card payments made for shared hosting plans – which, if you’re just starting out with DreamHost, will probably include you! If, however, you fall outside of these terms, you’ll only get 30 days to change your mind.
- DreamHost Review: Read our detailed review for more information on this provider.