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Dreamhost Web Hosting

Dreamhost Web Hosting - Dreamhost Web Hosting

DreamHost has many features to satisfy your personal- and business-related web hosting needs. The company’s shared, WordPress, virtual private server (VPS), cloud, and dedicated plans offer plenty of options for webmasters looking to create attractive, flexible sites. In addition, DreamHost’s website building software makes site creation a simple task. As a result, DreamHost stands at the front of the pack with HostGator and Hostwinds as our Editors’ Choice picks.

Shared Web Hosting

DreamHost’s tierless shared web hosting plan (starting at $10.95 per month, or $9.95 per month with a one-year commitment) offers unlimited disk storage space, domains, email, and monthly data transfers. DreamHost gives you your first .com, .net, .org, or .info domain for free, but you have to pay the registration fee for additional domains.

Most competitors, including HostGator (the Editors’ Choice for shared hosting), offer unlimited domains only as part of their higher-tier plans, which makes DreamHost particularly attractive.

That said, HostGator is one of the few web hosts I’ve reviewed that offers Windows-based shared web hosting. That’s a big deal, as there are many businesses that require Microsoft’s operating system to run specific software. DreamHost, on the other hand, only offers Linux-based servers. HostGator also offers unlimited monthly data transfers, storage, and email.

VPS Web Hosting

DreamHost offers four Linux-based VPS web hosting plans (starting at $15 per month) for businesses that need more power or expect higher traffic volumes. DreamHost’s VPS plans offer unlimited monthly data transfers and domains, which is a nice perk. However, the base memory and storage is quite low; the $15 per month plan offers only 1GB of RAM and a 30GB solid-state drive. On the other hand, the highest configuration ($120 per month) maxes out at 8GB of RAM and 240GB of solid-state storage.

Still, Hostwinds, PCMag’s top pick for VPS hosting, has wallet-friendly, well-rounded VPS offerings that start at just $7.50 per month for 1GB of RAM, 25GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email. Hostwinds’ plans scale to $129 per month for 18.5GB of RAM, 130GB of disk space, unlimited monthly data transfers, and unlimited email. Note: DreamHost lacks Windows-based VPS servers.

Dedicated Web Hosting

Dedicated server options (starting at $169 per month) on DreamHost aren’t radically different from what many competing web hosting services offer—you get 1TB of storage and can configure the servers with up to 16GB of RAM—but you get a highly desired feature: unlimited data transfers.

Unfortunately, DreamHost lacks Windows-based dedicated servers; it’s Linux or bust here, too. If you want a build a website using Microsoft’s operating system as a foundation, I suggest checking out Hostwinds, PCMag’s Editors’ Choice for dedicated web hosting, which offers Linux and Windows dedicated server options.

Cloud Hosting

You’ve probably heard of cloud hosting, which spreads resources across multiple servers (traditional hosting pulls resources from a single server). Cloud hosting allows sites to easily increase server needs when the situation calls for it. Fortunately, DreamHost offers three cloud hosting tiers—512MB RAM Server, 2GB RAM Server, and 8GB RAM Server—that come in Linux and Windows varieties.

DreamHost has excellent packages that start at $4.50 per month (for 512MB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers) and top out at $48 per month (for four CPU cores, 8GB of RAM, 100GB of storage, and unlimited monthly data transfers). DreamHost’s specs aren’t quite as powerful as those offered by Arvixe, but it’s a far more dependable service. As a result, DreamHost is our Editors’ Choice for cloud hosting services.

Reseller Hosting

If you’re looking to get into the web hosting business, but don’t want to deal with infrastructure matters, reseller hosting is the way to go. Unfortunately, DreamHost doesn’t offer dedicated reseller plans; you can resell your own server space, but only if you add other domains to your own. Check out DreamHost’s reseller FAQ page for more information.

If you really want to dabble in reseller hosting, I recommend Hostwinds, the category’s Editors’ Choice. Hostwind’s plans, starting at $25 per month, have unlimited email, storage, and data transfers. On offer are dedicated and VPS packages of both the Linux and Windows variety, as well as shared hosting, which is limited to Linux. The servers have the same RAM and storage amounts as those that Hostwinds supplies directly, which is not always the case. Hostwinds also lets you apply your own branding to the servers you rent, and it supplies 24/7 tech support, too.

Getting Started

Overall, I like DreamHost’s user interface—it’s simple and well laid out and made getting started on my test site easy. Instead of going the HostGator or iPage route with cute, screen-cluttering icons, DreamHost offers a tree of menu options on the left side of the screen. It’s easy to find billing information, manage domains, and view the settings for VPS and dedicated servers. I had no trouble finding the security options or the third-party app marketplace.

DreamHost now offers the Remixer website builder, which lets you start building your site right away. You no longer have to endure a long wait time as your Dreamhost account gets approved, as you once did. It’s a great addition. Remixer comes with dozens of themes that you can alter using its simple drag-and-drop fucntionality. I found it incredibly simple to add photos (my own, or those from DreamHost’s royalty-free gallery), text, and video. You also have the option of installing third-party applications to your account, such as concrete5, Joomla, MediaWiki, Piwigo, and, of course, WordPress.

WordPress Web Hosting

Like several of its competitors, DreamHost offers WordPress hosting, known here as DreamPress (starting at $16.95 per month). In fact, DreamPress is managed WordPress hosting, a service that gives your website the white-glove treatment by auto-updating the popular content management system software, performing automatic daily backups, and providing WordPress-specific security. The single-tier DreamPress also comes with 30GB of storage, unlimited email, and monthly data transfers, as well as a variety of free WordPress themes.

DreamPress lets you install any plug-in that you desire; Pagely and WP Engine, on the other hand, restrict you from installing a small number of plug-ins that may impact your site’s performance.

That said, TMDHosting remains the PCMag Editors’ Choice in the category. TMD boasts a pre-built environment comes with many WordPress-friendly features, including live malware protection and curated plug-ins that are designed to enhance your experience.

TMDHosting’s specs are similar to 1&1’s, but differ in one significant way. TMDHosting offers unlimited storage across the board. As a result, the company is the new Editors’ Choice for WordPress web hosting, knocking 1&1 from the top spot. For more on the fantastically popular content management system, you can read my story, How to Get Started With WordPress.

E-Marketing and E-Commerce

DreamHost offers the free ZenCart, which you can access from the One Click Install menu. This open-source online shopping cart software lets users quickly check out the products that you have for sale. It also supports Woo Commerce.

Along a $100 Google AdWords credit, DreamHost lets you track site traffic and analytics via Chartbeat. This is different from most other services, which tend to focus only on Google Analytics.

DreamHost

Security and Other Features

DreamHost offers antispam on its email, but no antimalware services. However, I like its attention to other aspects of website security. The control panel has an easy-to-find link for editing the .htaccess file to control access to the site or to set up a password. For parts of the site that shouldn’t get indexed by search engines, you can block spiders. You can set up cron jobs (automated batch jobs) to schedule tasks and monitor processes on the site. DreamHost also offers free SSL certificates, which is a must-have addition for people who sell products online.

If you are a developer or manage a software development team, you will like the fact that DreamHost comes with Subversion, which can help you manage your source code files. Most web hosting providers restrict you to whatever applications are listed on its software marketplace. Version-control tools such as Subversion rarely make it onto these marketplaces, so it’s nice to see the option to set up your own repository. Of course, that’s assuming you don’t just use Git repositories for your code.

What if you don’t really want a website or a blog, but just a place to store your files? DreamHost also offers DreamObjects cloud storage plans, starting at 95 cents per month for 40GB and going up to 20TB for $299.95 per month.

Excellent Uptime

Website uptime is a vital element of the web hosting experience. If your site goes down, clients or customers will be unable to find you or access your products or services.

For this testing, I use a website monitoring tool to track my site’s uptime over a 14-day period. Every 15 minutes, the tool pings my website and sends me an email if it is unable to contact the site for at least one minute. The data revealed that DreamHost is incredibly stable. In fact, of the web hosting services I’ve reviewed, it’s only one of a handful that went down zero times. You can count on DreamHost to be a rock-solid foundation for your website.

Customer Service

DreamHost offers email and ticket-based support, as well as online chat. Like Arvixe, DreamHost doesn’t offer a way to call customer support, which is too bad; sometimes you just want to deal with a human being. That said, the chat support is quite good. I tried it on a weekday afternoon and evening. In both instances, I waited less than a minute before someone fielded my questions.

I asked about the differences between VPS and dedicated hosting. The representative gave me a thorough, satisfying answer. I also asked the representative how to import my WordPress.com setup into DreamHost and received a very helpful link with step-by-step instructions. Again, I was quite pleased with the answers. DreamHost also offers a Knowledgebase that answers many commonly asked question.

Money-Back Guarantee

DreamHost has a very good money-back guarantee policy. According to its terms of service, you can cancel your shared web Hosting service within 97 days of the initial signup and have the money promptly refunded. Considering most hosts offer 15 to 30 days, this flexibility is welcome.

A Power User’s Dream

Thanks to its extensive tools, including useful website-building software, security options, a generous money-back guarantee, and unlimited storage, bandwidth, domains, and email, DreamHost is a top pick, and a PCMag Editors’ Choice for web hosting services. It’s also our first choice when it comes to cloud-based hosting.

Get Dreamhost Today

WebHostingHub

What is Web Hosting Hub?

Web Hosting Hub aims to provide affordable shared hosting to small businesses.

Founded in 2010, they’re owned by the conglomerate InMotion Hosting. They are headquartered in Virginia Beach, VA, and they have two U.S. data centers – one on each coast.

Their 200+ U.S. based team services over 40,000 customers, providing a simple platform to help you start, run and grow a new website.

They also use solid-state drives on all plans, which (it’s claimed) can deliver up to 20x faster than more traditional mechanical hard drives used the by competition.

Web Hosting Hub Review: Their homepage
Best Website Hosting? A bit bold claim, but are they truly worth it?

20x is a bold promise. Do they back this up?

To find out, we set-up a new basic WordPress website on the Web Hosting Hub ‘Personal Web Hosting Plan’ in June of 2015. In-depth performance stats including uptime and speed can be seen here (click ‘History’ to dig deeper).

In order to provide an unbiased review, we also cross-referenced a few others sources to do a complete ‘background check’ into what other users think as well.

Here are the details.

 

Pros of using Web Hosting Hub

Web Hosting Hub boasts incredibly fast speeds due to their state of the art technology at an affordable cost.

But does the data live up to the hype?

Let’s take a look at where they perform admirably.

 

1. 34% Faster Page Load Times than the Competition

Web Hosting Hub prides themselves on speed, referencing (many times) the fact that their solid-state hard drives can be up to 20x faster.

(Did we mention they have solid-state hard drives?)

While our experience didn’t show 20x faster, their page loading times were about 34.0% faster than the competition (785ms vs. 1185ms).

Not quite the fastest, but still very good considering site since even a one-second delay can cause a 7% decrease in conversions.

Last 12 month average load time

2017:

  • January average speed: 871ms
  • February average speed: 822ms
  • March average speed: 852ms
  • April average speed: 817ms
  • May average speed: 832ms
  • June average speed: 780ms
  • July average speed: 726ms
  • August average speed: 788ms
  • September average speed: 701ms
  • October average speed: 760ms
  • November average speed: 750ms
  • December average speed: 720ms

While this is a relatively good result from WHH, there are still hosts who are much faster.

WebHostingHub: Page Load Speed and Uptime (Last 12 months, full data here.)

2. ~7/10 Support

Good uptime is critical, and Web Hosting Hub delivered. Fast page loads are equally important because site visitors will leave in droves if your site takes longer than a few seconds to load.

But customer support can be a deal killer if issues aren’t addressed or fixed quickly.

Web Hosting Hub provided pretty good customer support, connecting with us in under three minutes (plus an additional five to verify).

There was a bit of downtime and lag between responses though, so it wasn’t as quick or concise as many others we’ve experienced.

Overall, a positive experience. Our background checks confirmed as much, revealing that the majority of other customers are also satisfied with Web Hosting Hub’s customer support.

WebHostingHub Support

Quick chat with WebHostingHub customer support

3. EXTREMELY Easy Website/Blog Setup

Web Hosting Hub features a simplified, quick signup process that might be the best we’ve seen after reviewing almost 30 other web hosts.

It’s so easy (“How easy is it?”), that even the LEAST technical person you know could figure it out (so, probably your mom).

Right on their signup page, you can select to install WordPress as your website/blog content management system or Prestashop for eCommerce. After a simple click, they take care of all the heavy lifting and will configure everything for you.

web hosting hub easy setup

4. Free Domain Name & Site Migration

Currently, have a website hosted somewhere else?

No problem! Web Hosting Hub will transfer up to three websites and databases for you (assuming they don’t exceed 5 gigs). Another added bonus includes their ‘zero downtime’ promise during this process.

Starting up a new site? They’ll throw in a free domain name to sweeten the deal.

5. Solid State Hard Drives

Warning: You tech geeks are about to have a nerdgasm.

Web Hosting Hub likes to boast that every site they host takes advantage of new solid state hard drives. These ‘SSD drives’, according to the experts at PCMag, can deliver 20 times faster results than normal (mechanical) hard drives used by some of the competition.

Yup, there it is.

(Personally, we didn’t experience a huge performance boost during our reviewal process. However, they were faster than the average web hosts we’ve reviewed during this six month period.)

6. 90-Days Money Back Guarantee

You can always tell which companies stand behind their service by looking at their refund policies.

Web Hosting Hub is a big believer, offering a full 90-day money back guarantee (one of the few offering that extended term).

That means if you’re considering giving them a chance, you have an almost risk-freechance to ‘test drive’ their services for a full three months.

Or, just about as long as the time it takes to completely forget where you’ve hosted your site in the first place. 🙂

That’s great news if you’re worried about committing to a web host only to later find that you dislike their services and features.

According to Web Hosting Hub’s Terms of Service, there are a few nonrefundable fees that may apply, though.

Fees paid by a subscriber, like purchasing SSL certificates, domain privacy, or domain names are nonrefundable.

If a subscriber registers a domain name through Web Hosting Hub as part of a “Free Domain Name” promotion, they will have to pay $11.99 per year for the domain, plus a $5.00 administrative fee.

That means that they will deduct a total of $16.99 from your total refund amount, which is pretty standard when compared to most competitors.

However, you’ll retain complete ownership of your domain name(s), and you can transfer them to an alternative host after canceling your subscription with Web Hosting Hub.

7. They’re Environmentally Friendly

http://www.webhostinghub.com/green-web-hosting

While I wasn’t able to find any certifications for Web Hosting Hub from the EPA that prove that it’s a green web host, they do have several eco-friendly policies.

Since 2010, the company has claimed to make efforts to reduce waste, recycle as often as possible, and use fewer paper products.

Web Hosting Hub has an energy efficient data center, and they believe that reducing energy usage is better than simply offsetting it.

The company opened up the first (ever!) green data center in Los Angeles, CA by using advanced Outside Air Cooling technology.

They’ve cut their cooling costs by 70% by switching to this cooling method, and they also claim to have reduced their carbon output by over 2,000 tons per year.

According to Building Energy Resilience, just one ton of CO2 would fill up a 1,250 square foot, one-story ranch house (with an average height of 13 feet) full of carbon dioxide, so that’s a huge reduction!

Outside Air Cooling vents hot air out of the building to bring cooler air in, only cooking it through the CRAC units when it’s necessary due to high temperatures or humidity.

Traditional data centers run Computer Room Air Conditioners, also known as CRACs, 24/7.

This method allows for hot air to be cooled and then recirculated, but it burns more energy than is needed.

If you’re concerned about reducing your carbon footprint or you’re looking to work with brands who care about the environment, consider Web Hosting Hub.

They may not be as green as other sites, like Green Geeks, but they’re still making innovative waves when it comes to being energy efficient.

Cons of using Web Hosting Hub

Web Hosting Hub provides a decent list of positives.

Speed was good. And support was decent too.

Those are a few of the primary ways to evaluate a host, and Web Hosting Hub delivered the goods.

Unfortunately, there are a few potential drawbacks as well.

1. Just Below Industry-Standard Uptime

Our twelve-month testing process revealed that Web Hosting Hub has an average uptime of around 99.92%, .13 faster than the industry average (99.79%). 

That’s pretty decent!

Although they’ve struggled since almost the beginning to deliver good uptime consistently. Some months are great, while others struggling for stability. Kinda a mixed bag to be honest.

2017:

  • January average uptime: 99.79%
  • February average uptime: 99.96%
  • March average uptime: 99.98%
  • April average uptime: 99.98%
  • May average uptime: 99.58%
  • June average uptime: 99.95%
  • July average uptime: 100%
  • August average uptime: 99.93%
  • September average uptime: 99.98%
  • October average uptime: 99.98%
  • November average uptime: 99.97%
  • December average uptime: 99.94%

2. Only Shared Hosting is Good for Newbs, Not so Much for Advanced Users

Web Hosting Hub likes to keep things simple, offering ONLY shared hosting options.

That provides a few benefits, like their fast signup process.

But if everything goes well and your site takes off, that might pose a few problems.

Larger websites (and more savvy users) like to use dedicated hosting options for larger sites that require more resources to run. And if you hit this tipping point, you might be forced to start the hosting-reviewal process over again by looking into more premium options elsewhere.

Kind of a hassle if you know this might be an option in the not-too-distant future.

3. Age-Old Hosting Price Tricks

Sure, that low $4.99 monthly pricing seems like a great deal.

BUT you gotta sign up for a full three years to get it.

Wanna just start with month-to-month? You can’t.

Twelve months is the lowest they’ll go, and that price jumps up to $6.99 monthly (paid in advance).

Not such a great deal after all.

Unfortunately, this pricing trick is pretty pervasive in the hosting industry, as many try to pull the same stunt. Buyer beware, I guess.

Web Hosting Hub Pricing Details

4. Extra Fees for Backups & Security. Boo.

Daily backups are incredibly helpful for a variety of reasons.

For example, sometimes, plugins don’t play well together. You upload a new one and hit Activate immediately without checking to see what versions of WordPress (or your theme) it’s been tested for.

All of a sudden… nothing. Site go bye-bye.

At least you can easily recover from this mistake.

God forbid hackers exploit security breaches and inject malicious code. Good luck cleaning that out.

Backups can help you in each case, allowing you to basically hit the rewind button to simply roll back to a previous version.

BUT they’re only good if you (1) remember to do them, (2) do them consistently, and (3) keep them ‘offsite’ so they’re not corrupted either.

Web Hosting Hub offers to provide daily backups, and will even automate the process, but it’ll cost you an extra dollar each month.

Most other web hosts will also throw in security features for free, as part of their core offering. But again, Web Hosting Hub nickle-and-dimes you for anti-virus and anti-spam protect, and more.

The prices themselves aren’t that terrible. But it’s more the principle of it that’s frustrating.

5. Possible Delayed Activation

Web Hosting Hub (similarly to parent company InMotion Hosting) might require extra details (like even a live phone call) to completely verify your account.

In theory, this is a positive because it’s done for security. However, it can still be frustrating if you’re trying to get things up-and-running and are located overseas.

Web Hosting Hub Pricing, Hosting Plans & Quick Facts

Unlike other web hosts, Web Hosting Hub only offers shared hosting. Here is a quick overview of their shared hosting plans:

  • Spark plan: This plan costs $4.99 per month. It supports 2 websites, 10 MySQL databases and 25 sub domains.
  • Nitro plan: This plan costs $6.99 per month. It supports unlimited websites, unlimited sub domains and unlimited MySQL databases
  • Dynamo plan: This plan costs $8.99 per month. It supports unlimited websites, unlimited sub domains and unlimited MySQL databases.

All their hosting plans come with a free domain name, are powered by SSD and come with SSH access.

web hosting hub shared plans

  • Free Domain: Yes.
  • Ease of Signup: Very easy, one-pagesign-up process. One of the best.
  • Payment Methods: Credit Card.
  • Hidden Fees and Clauses: There is a limit of 75,000 files and 10,000 messages (or 2GB in size) for their users. Accounts that exceed 10GB or 75,000 files are automatically excluded from their backup system. It can cost up to $50 to have your backup restored.
  • Upsells: A few upsells.
  • Account Activation: Quick activation.
  • Control Panel and Dashboard Experience: cPanel.
  • Installation of Apps and CMSs (WordPress, Joomla, etc.): Quick and easy install of popular apps and CMSs via Softaculous.

Get Web Hosting Hub Here