DreamHost's tagline is 'imagine the web your way.' This line was the brainchild of four Claremont CA college undergrads who thought of making DreamHost their way. Josh Jones, Dallas Bethune, Sage Weil and Michael Rodriquez were students at Harvey Mudd College studying computer science when they had this idea. In 1997, they came up with a way to host their own website using the few resources they had. Using shared bandwidth a friend of theirs had on their T1 line, and one Pentium 100 web server named Destro, their goal was to create a place for individuals and businesses to make a website. Not only did they succeed, the quality was top-notch and the price was affordable. DreamHost was born and the creative way to make a web host is a habit that sticks with them today. In 1999, Michael registered the name New Dream Network LLC and DreamHost.
- Free domain privacy for all eligible domains
- Free domain for web hosting packages and convenient set-up process
- In-house customer support team
- 97-day money-back guarantee
- Straightforward pricing schemes
Dreamhost.com provides great features, a variety of domains, and affordable payment methods, but what is it like to use the site? Well, it has a pristine, uncluttered look, and all menus are well laid out which makes it easy to use and navigate, at least for those who are already familiar with the process.
Everything a user needs for domain registration and management is centrally located in the Domains menu which directs you to the search bar, and below it, a list of TLDs. Searching for your desired domain is simple and produces not just one but several suggested names with various extensions. There is also a helpful tool when single domain searching just below the search bar which provides suggestions for TLDs that you can use when registering a name. This isn’t a terribly necessary function for pros but suggestions in this area could come in handy for those who may not be aware that they can play around with TLDs they could use for their site. A user can easily choose between purchasing a domain and transferring an old domain to their servers.
But while DreamHost has great features and a fine look, it may not be the best option for new users who are not that well-versed in the entire process of establishing a website. These users are probably going to go for sites whose main selling point is the easiest user experience.
Registering a domain requires all users to provide their contact information which is not something everyone is amenable to. Having one’s own complete name, address and phone number publicly displayed online is not an ideal situation, to say the least, but that is a requirement by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) which most registrars, in order to be tagged as accredited, are required to follow.
Luckily, protecting your personal information is free at DreamHost. Domain privacy can be applied to .com, .net, .org and .info as well as to some other Top-Level Domains (TLD). As with most domain registries, there are extensions being offered for which domain privacy isn’t permitted – the same goes for other domain registrars. Extensions with this restriction are mostly ccTLDs such as .ca, .de, .eu, and .us domains which is the same across many registries offering these same extensions.
If domain privacy is of utmost importance to you, you should first verify availability of this feature when registering a domain here. In DreamHost, you can do this by ticking on the domain privacy box upon registration. If this option isn’t presented initially, it simply means privacy isn’t allowed for that extension. Despite this industry-wide limitation, the DreamHost team is one of the few web hosting companies whose views on privacy most users probably share: You shouldn’t have to pay for privacy. Thus, their free domain privacy feature with every domain and hosting.
Since the company recently became an ICANN-accredited registrar, they’ve been offering top level domains of all kinds. There are the common names of .com, .net and .org, while more detailed domain names are listed under .me, .info, .mobi, .tv and .biz, to name a few. There are country-specific domains such as the US, the UK, Canada, Asia, Columbia and New Zealand. DreamHost’s domain registration capacity is certainly at par with other registration and hosting companies offering similar web service package. As for its hosting service, DreamHost offers the following:
o Data transfer
o Disk storage
o Cloud storage
o WordPress integration
o Secure servers
o Password protection
o Web security
o Data backup
Numerous features, however, doesn’t necessarily translate to a complete suite of products and services. Although domain registration is the core concern here, there are some noticeable features that are absent in DreamHost. For one, it does not have a website builder which in most web host-registry companies is a staple. Furthermore, its dedicated web hosting package is exclusively Linux-based. These are for web hosting reviewers to elaborate, but could be quite important to note nonetheless for the benefit of those who want their domain registration and web hosting needs served under one roof.
Other services offered are shared hosting, managed WordPress hosting, Virtual Private Servers (VPS), cloud storage, and public cloud computing.
Bulk Registrations and Management
DreamHost’s actual control panel provides a serviceable user experience that could potentially equal some of the web hosting and domain registries companies with the available today. But, again, only if you’re an experienced domain registration user.
Managing multiple domains, in particular, is not that complicated, requiring only little familiarization for some users. Its bulk search and registration functions, however, could be enhanced for convenience. Searching and registering for, say, 20 domains at a time, requires individual search which can be tedious. Naturally, there is no bulk pricing available and certainly no coupons for bulk registration. Needless to say, you will be better off using a different domain registration company if your requirement for bulk searching is significant.
On the upside, not having this option reduces the possibility of abuse leading to domain squatting. Otherwise, this is a feature that DreamHost could improve upon.
Access Level and Delegating
In the very competitive domain registry market, a company can beat its competition by having an access delegation functionality – this could even be a deciding factor for most users scouting for a new or transferring to a different registrar. Users of DreamHost will be pleased to know that account owners can grant third party users certain rights and privileges on their account. Primary users are able to assign the level of authority on their domains, including billing (adding new plans and making payments), granting privileges to another third party user, managing private servers, modifying existing and future domains, and editing other account settings.
A detailed guide on how to edit account privileges and what each privilege entails can be read through the DreamHost Wiki page.
Pricing and Coupons
Registering a generic (eg., .com, .net) domain costs $11.95 while shared hosting is at $8.95 a month which comes with free domain, unlimited domain hosting, unlimited storage and bandwidth, and a 97-day money back guarantee. Unlimited storage applies only to legal content, or at least those that do not violate terms of usage. Added features in other hosting service plans are clearly outlined and do not really require you to read the fine print. In addition, you can start a two-week trial before signing up and gift cards are available. These two-week trial are a plus considering how most registrars offer a very limited 1-week or 3-day free trial periods which just do not allow enough scrutinizing for usability or efficiency.
In addition, DreamHost’s pricing scheme won’t confound the hapless client looking for domains; a user is guaranteed to pay only for the amount specified in the sales page. Special discounts are offered to charitable organizations for which the company is known for. Customers availing of its web hosting packages can rest assured that its free domain is actually free. DreamHost also has a reliable money-back guarantee that is so much better than the shorter term money-back guarantee offered in other providers.
DreamHost has an in-house customer support team which provides 24/7 assistance. They have live chat but is frequently sometimes busy. It doesn’t have a support hotline which might seem problematic for users who want technical and other type of support available to them instantly, but users will soon find out that its in-house help team more than makes up for this seemingly huge shortcoming. Having an in-house support team means you get highly competent staff on the other end responding to any issues you might raise or questions you may have.
A user may send a support request through neatly organized categories: Sales, Public Relations, Business Development, Abuse, Billing, Chargebacks, and Tech Support and they are answered by knowledgeable in-house support staff. While there is nothing patently wrong with an outsourced support, DreamHost’s in-house team, although there often are issues with responsiveness, seems to highlight that their staff know what they are resolving.
There is a lot to recommend in DreamHost: great features, straightforward pricing, reliable support, and a good-looking control panel for both domain and shared hosting management. It’s one of the few domain registries that don’t trick you into restrictive or limited pricing strategies. Even with the limited means to contact support, anyone looking for clarifications on certain functions (access level delegating, billing, or transferring domains, etc.) is likely to find the solution on its Wiki page which reduces the need to get in touch with a support personnel in the first place.
Despite a few limitations, DreamHost.com is one of the best choices for both domain registration and web hosting. And even without having the most variety in terms of services offered, its streamlined model could please personal or business users looking for services that DreamHost offers best.
Available Top Level Domains and Prices
|Tld||Price||Price level||Better deal|
|.biz||$12.95||Average||23 registrars offer cheaper .biz||Check Availability|
|.ca||$14.95||Cheap||6 registrars offer cheaper .ca||Check Availability|
|.co.uk||$9.95||Cheap||7 registrars offer cheaper .co.uk||Check Availability|
|.com||$9.95||Cheap||7 registrars offer cheaper .com||Check Availability|
|.im||$14.95||Cheap||3 registrars offer cheaper .im||Check Availability|
|.info||$9.95||Average||23 registrars offer cheaper .info||Check Availability|
|.me||$32.95||Expensive||27 registrars offer cheaper .me||Check Availability|
|.net||$9.95||Very Cheap||10 registrars offer cheaper .net||Check Availability|
|.org||$9.95||Cheap||11 registrars offer cheaper .org||Check Availability|
|.us||$9.95||Cheap||13 registrars offer cheaper .us||Check Availability|
DreamHost Promo Codes and Coupons
Domain Raccoon frequently monitors DreamHost for the latest coupons, discounts and limited-time offers on a regular basis. However there are currently no special offers available at the moment. Feel free to sign up for our newsletter to be notified of upcoming DreamHost coupons when they are available.