I had a site that took up quite a bit of space and even more bandwidth, and basically nothing else. I needed a host that could support it (for cheap) and I found DreamHost. DreamHost gives you an insanely huge amount of space and bandwidth for not very much money. I signed up with them and so far, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.
First impression of DreamHost is “Wow, this is a lot of space and bandwidth, for cheap.” Note: after this review was written, disk space and bandwidth have gone to unlimited. Once you navigate through DreamHost.com’s slightly 2000-esque web site that’s kind of hard to navigate, you’ll find out that it’s true.
For $8.95 per month, you can get “unlimited” storage and “unlimited” Terabytes of bandwidth (per month). The resource quotas also increase by 160 MB (storage) and 8 GB (bandwidth), weekly. Many other features (email, domains/subdomains, MySQL, FTP, etc.) are also unlimited. Their plans do have a $49.95 setup fee, but it’s not that big of a deal if you intend to keep your site simple. Setup is waived if you pay for one year or more.
DreamHost’s activation process is somewhat clunky and definitely not streamlined. Though the actual process is simple for a customer, when you throw in the free domain registration (included with most accounts), prepare your inbox! I think by the time I was up and running, they had sent me about 10 emails with various information about billing, passwords, control panels, and what not. Once you digest all of it, it does make sense and is helpful, but it’s not streamlined. It doesn’t taken very long for you to get up and running so DreamHost can be forgiven.
By far my least favorite thing about them is their control panel. It has the basics and a few nice extra features, but it’s clunky and difficult to figure out right away. The terminology is different than what a lot of web hosts use, but once you figure it out, it isn’t too bad. I’d definitely pick cPanel over this, but you can’t always pick. From their control panel you can view and manage all of your billing, domains, usage details, pre-installed scripts, emails, users, and all of that jazz. There’s a few nice addons like an ad-free version of DreamBook (a fancy guestbook application), a nifty affiliate system dubbed “Rewards” that lets you create your own promo codes and decide your payout, and quite a few other things.
Uptime and support has been good enough. For my simple needs, I only had to contact DreamHost once and I received a reply within a few hours. Uptime hasn’t been bad at all (I haven’t noticed any downtime, but I don’t pro-actively monitor it). All in all, DreamHost is great for a simple site that isn’t mission critical.