DreamHost VPS Review (2017) — Virtual Server & Web Hosting Rating

Seemingly everyone has heard about the ever-present “web hosting is like real estate analogy” that I continuously rebel against — but how many have compared the shared-to-VPS hosting transition to the 20- or 30-something still living with their parents?

Even though you might be saving tons of money while living in a familiar, albeit perhaps crowded, shared space where your parents largely take care of cleaning and maintenance, the arrangement is usually not sustainable for the long haul. Similarly, moving a growing and profitable website to a new VPS hosting plan can be a major process that should be properly timed and thoroughly researched.

Luckily for site owners, DreamHost VPS hosting plans are backed by knowledgeable support technicians who will help you pack up and move to the grown-up, dedicated space of a virtual private server. We recently tested the company’s VPS plans for reliability, performance, and support; read on to learn about the results, or click on the links below to skip ahead to the information most useful to you.

DreamHost VPS Hosting Review: 4.7 / 5.0 Rating

Known for high-quality hosting, superb support, and wonderful WordPress assistance, DreamHost delivers the full spectrum of hosting options: shared, VPS, cloud, dedicated, with specialized solutions for WordPress and a website builder. What’s more, the company’s virtual private servers come in a variety of flavors, as well.

Naturally, the company offers well-priced standard VPS configurations with scalable storage and memory. However, DreamHost flashes some hosting muscle with two VPS options tailored to increase the speed of MySQL databases and WordPress installations. The premium MySQL plan includes an isolated Linux-VServer with dedicated resources for sending large amounts of data, while we’ve long loved the company’s DreamPress platform. The company’s fully managed WordPress solution allocates two VPS servers for each customer: one optimized for the frontend, and the other for MySQL.

Regardless of the plan you choose, all VPS plans come with a dedicated IP address, unlimited bandwidth and email accounts, high-performing solid-state drives, around-the-clock support, and a stellar 100% network uptime guarantee. With the bevy of features and perks available, it’s easy to see why we ranked the company so well:

VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Custom web-based control panel
  • Unlimited MySQL databases
  • Easily scalable RAM
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $15.00
Money Back Guarantee 97 days
Disk Space 30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
VPS Hosting Plans www.dreamhost.com/vps

Our Expert's DreamHost Review

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB. While DreamHost's... read more +

With scalable RAM and SSD storage, DreamHost's VPS plans give customers a powerful, speedy, and stable environment ripe for growth. RAM ranges from 1GB to 8GB, while storage varies between 30GB and 240GB.

While DreamHost's VPS storage space and RAM options are in line with the industry average, DreamHost layers on a bevy of additional perks that turns their already competitive prices into big bargains.

Starting with all-SSD infrastructure, which boosts your website or application's speed by 20 times compared to standard SATA disk drives, DreamHost also includes a dedicated IP address and free SSL/TLS certificates, as well as unlimited bandwidth, domain hosting, and email accounts.

You can manage your virtual servers through DreamHost's custom control panel, which has been developed for more than 15 years. Although we originally missed the familiarity of cPanel or Plesk, we quickly adapted to DreamHost's sleek, modern panel. Easily scale your virtual servers up or down based on your expected needs.

For an added performance boost, DreamHost offers an add-on MySQL VPS service that puts your website's database on its own isolated server. Linux-VServers dedicate an initial 2300MB of RAM to your site, giving customers a sneak peek at what DreamHost's dedicated hosting looks like.

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DreamHost “Cloud” VPS Hosting Review: 4.7 / 5.0 Rating

All cloud servers can be considered virtual private servers, but the reverse scenario doesn’t hold true. Combining our case of the grown child needing a good shove to finally leave the nest with the “hosting is like real estate” analogy, a VPS plan is akin to moving into a condo or townhouse — you may share some resources with neighbors, but you are ultimately responsible for maintaining your property. Cloud hosting, meanwhile, would be somewhat closer to staying at a hotel, an Airbnb, or maybe couch surfing; you always have a place to stay, but you’ll be moving around and more reliant on the housekeeping service or homeowner.

DreamHost again has two options for cloud hosting: DreamCompute cloud servers engineered around OpenStack and Ceph go live in 30 seconds or less for powerful application hosting, while DreamObjects is an inexpensive, open-source object storage service for hosting static files, storing backups, or augmenting Amazon Web Services S3 functionality.

We’ve written about and tested both DreamObjects and DreamCompute before, but read on for a more general review of DreamHost’s overall cloud services:

CLOUD RATING
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • Distinct options for cloud computing & object storage
  • Launch cloud servers in 30 seconds or less
  • SSD servers engineered around OpenStack and Ceph
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $15.00
Money Back Guarantee 97 days
Disk Space 30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Cloud Hosting Plans www.dreamhost.com/cloud

Our Expert's DreamHost Review

For cloud storage needs, DreamObjects offers a fully scalable solution for app developers and anyone with big data. DreamObjects is compatible with Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift APIs and integrates with WordPress to automate several functions. For cloud... read more + For cloud storage needs, DreamObjects offers a fully scalable solution for app developers and anyone with big data. DreamObjects is compatible with Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift APIs and integrates with WordPress to automate several functions. For cloud storage needs, DreamObjects offers a fully scalable solution for app developers and anyone with big data. DreamObjects is compatible with Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift APIs and integrates with WordPress to automate several functions. collapse info -

DreamHost “Managed” VPS Hosting Review: 4.8 / 5.0 Rating

For our poor 20- or 30-something still living with his or her parents, managed VPS hosting represents the least amount of shock when entering the real world and moving to a grown-up living or hosting arrangement. Managed hosting typically means that the provider will handle most of the nitty-gritty technical details like lawn care or pest control, while you focus on acquiring furniture and decorating your space to your aesthetic.

For DreamHost, managed services include performance optimizations, added security protections, automatic WordPress updates, and ensuring your hosting environment has the most recent versions of the operating system and PHP. Choosing a reputable managed hosting company, such as DreamHost, enables site owners to spend less time maintaining infrastructure and more time concentrating on producing the most vibrant website or application imaginable. Although the company offers roughly the same managed servers across VPS and dedicated server plans, we’ve opted to show you our review of managed dedicated hosting to compare the various options DreamHost has available:

MANAGED RATING
★★★★★ 4.8/5.0
  • Up to 12 cores available
  • Full root and shell access
  • DDoS protection and 24/7 server monitoring
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $149.00
Money Back Guarantee 97 days
Disk Space 240 GB SSD - 2 TB HDD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
Managed Hosting Plans www.dreamhost.com/dedicated

Our Expert's DreamHost Review

When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times more RAM compared to well-known competitors. What's more,... read more + When your high-traffic site outgrows VPS, turn to DreamHost for premium dedicated hosting at a reasonable rate. The 20-year-old hosting provider offers servers with three times more cores and four times more RAM compared to well-known competitors. What's more, DreamHost includes up to 2TB of SSD storage, unlimited bandwidth, and a 100% uptime guarantee.All dedicated servers come with full root and shell access, along with DDoS protection, RAID 1 storage, and unlimited MySQL databases. With DreamHost's custom control panel, customers can quickly add, remove, or reboot servers with just a few clicks.We appreciate that DreamHost prides themselves on providing open-source solutions, contributing to and supporting developer communities, and maintaining expert-level support teams. In addition to running Ubuntu Long Term support, DreamHost supports PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby.DreamHost has datacenters on both coasts and offers integration with the Cloudflare content delivery network, making sure your content loads quickly, no matter where your traffic comes from. DreamHost's newest facility, dubbed "Data Center Alley," includes 2N+2 power redundancy and dual water lines for redundant cooling. Around-the-clock staffing, a 1GBps internet connection, and emergency generators can give dedicated hosting customers peace of mind that their sites will stay online for the long haul. collapse info -

DreamHost “SSD” VPS Hosting Review: 4.7 / 5.0 Rating

When looking for a place to live, would you prefer central air conditioning or a window AC unit? Both options should adequately cool down your living space, but there are major differences in terms of efficiency, noise, and durability. The same can be said for web hosting storage and the choice between solid-state and hard-disk drives.

Solid-state drives, or SSDs, are a more modern, performant, and durable solution, while hard-disk drives, or HDDs, hold the advantage when it comes to affordability and capacity. DreamHost goes the extra mile and deploys SSDs in all of the company’s infrastructure and hosting plans, and configures the component to produce page load speeds that often measure more than 20 times faster than more traditional hardware configurations. DreamHost’s SSD drives are a major reason the company is worthy of extra consideration when shopping for a VPS plan. For more information about the perks of SSD-powered VPS hosting, check out our review below:

SSD VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.7/5.0
  • SSD-powered hardware that moves 20x faster
  • Industry-leading 100% network uptime guarantee
  • Additional performance boost with MySQL VPS plan
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $15.00
Money Back Guarantee 97 days
Disk Space 30 GB - 240 GB SSD
Domain Name FREE (1 year)
SSD VPS Hosting Plans www.dreamhost.com/ssd-vps

Our Expert's DreamHost Review

We love that DreamHost seems to be genuinely built with their customers’ experience and success in mind. Beyond unlimited storage and bandwidth, their luxurious shared hosting package boasts high-performance SSDs that make your websites perform at least... read more + We love that DreamHost seems to be genuinely built with their customers’ experience and success in mind. Beyond unlimited storage and bandwidth, their luxurious shared hosting package boasts high-performance SSDs that make your websites perform at least 20 times faster. Customers can also enjoy unlimited domain hosting, free domain privacy on sites registered through DreamHost, and unlimited email accounts. collapse info -

Other DreamHost “VPS Ratings” By Feature

A veteran in the hosting industry for more than two decades, DreamHost started in a Harvey Mudd College dorm room in 1997. The Founders, four undergrads, were among the earliest adopters of web design and hosting, and they have since scaled DreamHost to serve more than 400,000 customers, 1.5 million websites, and 750,000 WordPress installations.

Now, the company is known across the web hosting industry for optimized performance, a love of open-source programs, and knowledgeable customer support. Even though DreamHost’s shared hosting plans have a hard time competing with mass-market, bargain-basement competitors, more experienced site owners will appreciate the upgraded features and scalability of the company’s VPS plans.

Features: 5.0 / 5.0 Rating

DreamHost provides everything needed to scale your virtual hosting requirements as your website or application attracts more visitors and customers. We are suckers for the accelerated performance that the company’s SSDs provide, but the company offers a full slate of features to complement the speedy page loads.

In addition to managed services and SSDs, DreamHost VPS includes a ton of advanced features.

Among our favorites is DreamHost’s custom account management portal, which engineers at the company have spent more than 15 years developing. The sleek, minimalist interface gives customers complete control over every aspect of their infrastructure, billing, and support needs. Other services included with DreamHost plans are automatic backups and updates, malware scans, and DDoS protection, but our favorite DreamHost perk is one we’re not sure we’ve seen elsewhere in the hosting industry — domain privacy is included with all eligible domains registered through the company.

Pricing: 4.5 / 5.0 Rating

DreamHost’s luxurious features mean shared hosting customers pay a bit more of a premium when compared to the rest of the industry, but the company’s services are much more competitively priced at the higher hosting levels, including for virtual private servers. Add in an industry-leading 97-day money-back guarantee, however, and customers will have plenty of time to gauge if the investment is worthwhile.

Performance: 4.7 / 5.0 Rating

The SSDs powering DreamHost VPS plans are just the start of the fine-tuning the company has done to take out every millisecond of page load time. The company’s managed services include frequent updates to the operating system, program language, and software behind your website, making sure your site is running at peak performance. RAM is easily scalable from the management portal, and bandwidth is uncapped.

DreamHost is one of the few providers we’ve seen tout a MySQL-optimized VPS service, and the dedicated resources of a Linux-VServer offer an incredible boost. Site owners can test this out with a weeklong free trial. The company’s other specialty service, managed WordPress hosting, contains multiple layers of caching, isolated server resources, and a modern version of PHP.

Reliability & Support: 5.0 / 5.0 Rating

Reliability doesn’t get any better than a 100% network uptime guarantee, and that’s exactly what DreamHost promises its customers. The company will reimburse site owners the cost of one day’s worth of hosting for every hour of unplanned downtime outside of scheduled maintenance.

DreamHost maintains offices in California, Georgia, Oregon, and Virginia.

The company’s in-house support teams are based in Southern California and Portland, Oregon. The company does not include a phone number for technical assistance, but customers can request (and pay for) a callback. Support is mainly delivered through email tickets, live chat, and the company’s generic contact form. Each support agent is trained to a Tier II level before they can communicate with customers, and DreamHost maintains specialized support teams for WordPress and OpenStack problems.

How Do DreamHost Virtual Servers Compare with Those of Competitors?

Even though we love DreamHost for performance-driven virtual private servers, investment in open-source development, and overall expertise, the company isn’t the only one to offer such positive hosting experiences. The host below is one of a handful of providers that optimize customer experiences by offering user-friendly plans and intuitive management tools to help websites, applications, and online businesses find success. As you’ll read, our favorite VPS hosting provider offers many of the same advantages as DreamHost.

VPS RATING
★★★★★ 4.9/5.0
  • 50% off the first month with added discounts the first year
  • Real-time redundancy powered by a cloud infrastructure
  • FREE cPanel/WHM licenses with enterprise-grade CentOS
(read more)
Starting Price/Mo. $19.99
Money Back Guarantee 90 days
Disk Space 75 GB - 260 GB SSD
Domain Name New or Transfer
VPS Hosting Plans www.inmotionhosting.com/vps

Our Expert's InMotion Review

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere. Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6,... read more +

Boasting market-leading VPS hardware, slick management software, and free SSD drives and backups, InMotion offers the most attractive VPS plans you'll find anywhere.

Each VPS plan comes with free SSD storage arranged in RAID 6, which is incredibly fast and secure. Each of their plans also come with an awesome amount of RAM for the server cost, so the speed-to-dollar ratio is high with this host.

InMotion’s VPS packages run on CentOS 6 Linux operating systems and all feature a license for cPanel. Each plan also comes with Web Hosting Management (WHM) software, making it super-easy to resell some unused server resources.

InMotion's reputation for uptime is second-to-none, with a solid track record as a large-scale VPS host and a large, friendly support team available at any time.

Lastly, InMotion has a 90-day money-back guarantee and offers a choice of datacenters, which are nice customer-centric features. Their support is top-notch and 24 hours. We highly recommend you check them out if you are looking for a VPS with great hardware and reseller options at a low price.

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DreamHost VPS Performance & Reliability Exceed Expectations

With the overdue transition to a more mature and self-reliant living arrangement complete, we hope you enjoy your DreamHost VPS hosting experience — or whichever VPS provider you choose. Once you master living life and get a taste of what dedicated computing resources can do for your website, application, or online business, you’ll be looking to expand beyond your starter house and into the best dedicated server options before you know it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Stamey

Laura Stamey is a multi-talented communicator with a master's degree in web design and online communication and extensive experience creating web, print, and multimedia products. As a Contributing Editor for HostingAdvice.com, she combines her communication skills with web design experience, a passionate love for WordPress, and a strong desire to continue learning. When she's not addressing user questions via helpful how-to guides, you'll find her connecting with the folks behind companies that are powering the Web — covering their innovative technologies and the teams that engineer them.