Dreamhost Review

I’ve had an account with Dreamhost since June 2004. Before that time I’ve tried several different hosting accounts but I couldn’t remember their names (one of them was Globat) and most of them are probably gone by now. I stuck with Dreamhost because they offered the best experience, although they had their share of bloopers as well.

Since 2004, I couldn’t remember how many downtimes my shared server experienced, but for every time my server goes down they would send out emails detailing why the server went down, the steps they took to fix it, and what steps are being taken to avoid similar disasters in the future. My support tickets were answered within 24 to 48 hours and sometimes got issued rebates for downtime when I asked for it.

One particular period in 2006 was terrible as their servers kept going down for some reason. Few years later, I found out from their blog that it was a really disastrous time for the Dreamhost Team. At that time they were co-located with Switch and Data in The Garland Building in downtown L.A. It’s interesting to note that they do not attribute any of their problems to overselling, as most other hosting companies do.

Features

At the time of writing, they’re only offering one shared hosting package at $8.95 a month (get a 60% discount when you use “RICKONG60OFF” promo code). Almost every feature that you can think of is included and most things are unlimited. The only limited thing is RAM so that’s where your bottleneck will be. You can pay extra for additional IP, premium support, vpn access, SSL, or upgrade seamlessly to a VPS.

Their VPS offering is very simple and easy to use. You can seamlessly switch from the shared server to the VPS with just a push of a button and raise your memory (RAM) requirements as you require. You will be billed by the amount of RAM you allocate to your VPS. It starts at $15/month with 300MB of guaranteed RAM.

Dreamhost also offers dedicated server hosting co-located with Alchemy Communications in L.A. and is priced at $69/month for a 2.2Ghz Server with 4GB of RAM.

The Control Panel

Their control panel is proprietary and has a slight learning curve but once you get used to it, it’s easier to use and with less clicks than cPanel or worse, Plesk.

The Dreamhost System Status Blog…

Customer Service

Dreamhost is very serious about web hosting but is very playful and personal in their customer service. It may be because they’re an employee owned company so you can rest assured that they LOVE what they do. This can be exeprienced even before you sign up with them. Just take a look at the ads on their website and this funny Dreamhost employee profiles page that has fun head shots of each employee as a kid. Makes you wonder what their server room looks like with a bunch of bratty playful kids!

Their newsletter always features a “Dreamhost Site of The Month (DHSOTM)” which usually is a some curious or interesting website by one of their customers.

When you submit a support ticket, you have an option of specifying the type of request as “OMG! EXTREME CRITICAL EMERGENCY!! EVERYTHING’S BROKEN! PEOPLE ARE DYING!!!” and state your understanding about the request as “Not to be rude, but i probably know more about this than you!”.

Throughout the whole Dreamhost experience you will encounter bits and pieces of playfulness that can take the boredom out of managing your web server. No wonder they call themselves the “Happy Dreamhost Team”

Takeaway

Overall, I’m very pleased with Dreamhost and I will recommend them to anyone looking to get their first web hosting server or as an addition. The only complaint I have with them is that they don’t allow you to have multiple billing accounts (but of course you can have multiple domains).

If you think Dreamhost is the right web hosting provider for you, sign up using the coupon “RICKONG60OFF” and save 60% off of your one year hosting. Instead of $119.40 for a year you will only pay $47.76 ($3.98 monthly), that’s $71.64 in savings!!!

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