DreamHost In-Depth Review – Shared Hosting Edition

In this article, we will dive into the DreamHost in-depth review of their Shared Hosting offering.

If you are currently interested in hosting your website to DreamHost. Then this article might help you finally decide whether to go with them or not.

DreamHost is currently one the biggest players in the web hosting provider market.

WordPress.org even highly recommends them as your go to web hosting if you are planning to use WordPress.

Currently there are over 1.5 million+ websites under the DreamHost banner. And this number just keeps getting bigger by the moment.

DreamHost currently offers Shared Hosting, WordPress Hosting, VPS Hosting, Cloud Hosting and Dedicated Hosting on their website.

You can also buy a domain straight from them if you need to.

Now let us dive into my in-depth review of their Shared Hosting plans.

Here is my DreamHost in-depth review – Shared Hosting edition.

1. Pricing

The first part we will look into is their pricing.

Like any other hosting. DreamHost also offers lower monthly pricing if you decide to go to their annual plans.

However, they also allow you to go with monthly plan if you prefer that.

The price is almost doubled but I really admire the hosting providers that allow monthly plans.

I say this because there are actually a lot of hosting providers out there who would require you to pay 12 months in advance before you could start using them.

Starting in a monthly plan means that you could start working on your website immediately with just a few bucks.

Here is the breakdown of their plans:

Shared Starter

  • Annual Price – $2.59/mo
  • Monthly Price – $4.95/mo
  • 1 Website
  • Unlimited Traffic
  • Fast SSD Storage
  • SSL Certificate

Shared Unlimited

  • Annual Price – $7.95/mo
  • Monthly Price – $10.95/mo
  • Unlimited Website
  • Unlimited Traffic
  • Unlimited SSD Storage
  • SSL Certificates
  • Emal Hosting Included

2. Purchase Experience

The purchase experience with DreamHost is very pleasant and straightforward.

You just need to choose your plan, signup, enter your billing details and complete the purchase.

Almost immediately after that, you will receive multiple emails from DreamHost containing your login credentials.

This experience is very important for me because I have encountered hosting providers before that are far from this.

Basically after I paid them for the hosting and domain the first email I get from them is an email asking me to send them my IDs.

I sent it to them immediately and they didn’t reply for hours!

I am very happy to say that DreamHost is not like one of these hosting.

3. Control Panel

Now this is where I kind of get disappointed with DreamHost.

Basically they are not using your regular cPanel platform from this company.

So if you are like me who is used to this kind of control panel. Then you might feel like you are in an unfamiliar environment at first.

However I found more limitations on their control panel which just made my heart sank.

First is I needed to search Google first to find out if they have a File Manager as I cannot find this link in their control panel.

Alas I found the link to their File Manager, but I cannot log-in! I doubled and tripled check and made sure that the credentials I am using are all correct.

Their File Manager is also different, it is called WebFTP. It can be found under your domain name in the Domains section.

Through further tinkering in their control panel, I found a settings that has a checkbox for Disallow FTP which I then unchecked.

I am still wondering why that option is checked by default. In my opinion that should be unchecked by default.

Finally I am able to log-in to their File Manager but then again I am hit with a roadblock!

Basically, you cannot show hidden files in their File Manager. So this means that you cannot open or edit dot folders and dot files.

These are just the first things I noticed but you yourself might find more limitations in their custom control panel.

One good thing that I really admire though is that DreamHost integrated the Let’s Encrypt SSL to their system.

This means that you can get a free SSL directly from DreamHost and they will also install it automatically to the domain of your choice.

4. Preparing the Website

The next step is I worked on preparing the website for the most important part of this review.

The various performance test.

This review website is using the default Twenty Seventeen theme. Which I customized a bit so the homepage will look like an ordinary blog website.

Basically I changed the header to a full-width image with a 1920 x 360 pixels dimensions.

I also added two new posts with featured images that show on the homepage.

Those posts featured images has dimensions of 780 x 480 pixels.

There are some minor CSS codes needed to attain this appearance but they are not a lot.

The next step is to cleanup the plugins. If you use the DreamHost installer to install WordPress. Then you would see that it comes with some plugins pre-installed.

We do not need those plugins in this review so I removed them. I see that it comes with Super Cache plugin pre-installed but I prefer to use another set of optimization plugins.

After cleaning up the plugins, I then installed the Autoptimize and Cache Enabler plugins then set them up.

I basically enabled the JS and CSS minification settings. I also enabled caching setting.

5. Performance

Finally we are in the most important part of this DreamHost in-depth review of their Shared Hosting plan.

Basically I ran the Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom Tools and Bitcatcha speed tests.

Here are the screenshots of the results.

Google PageSpeed Insight – Mobile

Google PageSpeed Insight – Desktop

Pingdom Tools


These are indeed some pretty good numbers for a Shared Hosting even with a large full-width image.

I did not even go all out on the optimization as there are still a few doors open in that aspect.

You could still add a CDN or buy a premium DNS for further optimizations. The Google PageSpeed Insights also still has some suggestions you could work on.

Also looking at the Bitcatcha results, visitors from foreign countries are going to have a longer time waiting before the page starts to load. This is because their latency is higher.

On the other hand, US residence visitors are gonna have a breeze browsing your website.


If you are just starting your blog and will not have a lot a traffic yet. Then the DreamHost Shared Hosting plan is not a bad idea at all.

Just keep in mind that this is still a Shared Hosting so this mean that if another website in your server misbehaves. Then your website’s performance will be affected.

These results are very close to my HostGator in-depth review results as well.

With these results, there is no doubt that DreamHost is a good idea for a starter blog.

However keep in mind that they are using a different control panel which has some limitations.

The Shared Hosting has really come a long way now in 2018. If we are still in 2016, I doubt we would be getting the same results.

These results are mainly because of the progress in processors technology. Also another contributor is that more and more hosting providers are now upgrading to fast SSD storage.

Once you start working on your blog, you might want to try installing my recommended WordPress plugins.


HostGator In-Depth Review – Shared Hosting Edition

If you are currently interested in HostGator shared hosting.

Then this HostGator in-depth review might help you decide whether to go ahead and try them out.

HostGator is one of the giant hosting companies right now in the market. They are so big now that they are already considered a household name in the web hosting industry.

Currently they offer Shared Hosting, Cloud Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Reseller Hosting, VPS Hosting and Dedicated Hosting on their website.

You could also buy a domain from them directly if you need to.

In this review we will focus on their Shared Hosting and how it actually performs by running several tests on my review domain.

Yes, I bought a domain just dedicated for reviewing hosting services. This is so that I can take screenshots for my step-by-step guides and for reviews like this that needs actual data to be shown.

Now let’s dive into the in-depth review of HostGator Shared Hosting.

Here is my HostGator In-Depth Review – Shared Hosting Edition.

1. Pricing

One of the best thing that I like about HostGator is their competitive and really just affordable annual pricing. Atleast for their Shared Hosting.

However if you want to go the monthly route then the price really goes up.

Like 4 times the price if you compare it to their monthly price if you go 3 years advance.

And its 2 times if you compare it to their monthly price if you go 1 year in advance.

Anyway let me break it down to you. Here is the breakdown of their Shared Hosting Plans.

Hatchling Plan

  • Discount Price 3 Years – $2.75/mo
  • Discount Price 2 Years – $3.58/mo
  • Discount Price 1 Year – $5.95/mo
  • Monthly Price – $10.95/mo
  • Single Domain
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL

Baby Plan

  • Discount Price 3 Years – $3.95/mo
  • Discount Price 2 Years – $6.95/mo
  • Discount Price 1 Year – $8.95/mo
  • Monthly Price – $11.95/mo
  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL

Business Plan

  • Discount Price 3 Years – $5.95/mo
  • Discount Price 2 Years – $6.95/mo
  • Discount Price 1 Year – $8.95/mo
  • Monthly Price – $16.95/mo
  • Unlimited Domains
  • Unmetered Bandwidth
  • Free SSL
  • Free Dedicated IP

I do admire that HostGator allows monthly subscription unlike some of its competitors that will force you to buy 12 months in advance.

But yeah, their monthly subscription is a bit expensive in my opinion.

There are definitely other hosting out there that offer monthly subscription at a lower price than HostGator offers.

2. How Long To Get Access After Purchase

If you are wondering how long it will take until you get access to your domain and cPanel after purchasing. Then I would say almost immediately.

I did encounter some hosting providers before that made me wait a couple of hours before they gave me access to everything.

I am not gonna name them because I cannot remember exactly which they are. I think there are 2 hosting provider that did this to me. They required me to submit a picture of my ID. And made me wait hours!

Come on all you hosting providers that still do this. Please stop! It’s 2018. It is so fast paced now. Kindly stop hindering your customers.

I am so glad to tell you that HostGator is not like this!

It is like an easy 3 step process on HostGator. You add to cart the domain and hosting. You fill up your billing information. You complete your purchase.


Within a minute later you will get multiple emails containing your login information for cPanel, Customer Panel etc.

Kudos to you HostGator! Keep it like this please.

3. The Control Panel

The reason I am adding this is because on my current reviews that I am doing.

I noticed that some hosting used a different control panel which kind of surprised me. It is also not the cheapest bunch that do this.

Come on, hosting providers that do this. Surely you guys can afford the cPanel license. Especially since you guys can buy in bulk.

Also some of these different control panels are actually missing some features and you cannot do the normal things that you can do on the cPanel.

So I am glad to say that if you are used to the cPanel which is from this company. Then HostGator is perfect as they also used them.

This means that you will not be in an unfamiliar environment.

The only difference is that they are using a skinned version of it. Maybe just to make it more modern looking. But it still functions the same. It is just a skinned or themed version.

4. Preparing The Blog

We are now in the last step before the most important part which is performance.

In this example I am using the Twenty Seventeen default theme which I customized a bit so the homepage will look like a normal blog website.

The first thing I did is remove the whole screen hero image and replaced it with a full-width image with 1920 x 360 dimensions.

Next is I added two featured images for my posts which both has 780 x 480 dimensions.

All of the images I uploaded are already optimized, meaning their size is compressed already.

You can use a plugin to do this for you automatically if you want.

Then I added some lorem ipsum text so they will have text content.

The next step is to cleanup the plugins.

If you used the HostGator installer to install WordPress, then you would be surprised to see that it comes with a lot of plugins pre-installed.

So first I uninstalled all of those unnecessary plugins.

The next step is to install performance plugins. The performance plugins I installed are Autoptimize and Cache Enabler. That’s it.

You can tinker around furthermore later if you want to and you will surely get better performance than I already got.

Some further improvements you can do is add CDN and get a Premium DNS.

5. Performance

Finally the most important part of this HostGator in-depth review. The performance part.

How does the HostGator Shared Hosting actually perform in real time.

Here are the screenshots of the various tests I did.

Google PageSpeed Insight – Mobile

Google PageSpeed Insight – Desktop

Pingdom Tools – Washington DC Server


These numbers really blew my mind!

I mean it is only a Shared Hosting and I didn’t even go all out on optimization. There are still things I can improve.

The only issue is yes, since this is a Shared Hosting this means that if one of the websites in your server misbehaves. Then yes, your number will decrease.

Meaning these numbers that you see here are not 100% consistent.

Also if a visitor from foreign countries visit your website then they will need to wait a bit longer for your page to load. As their latency are higher compared to the local US residence.


First of all I am really surprised at the numbers of the performance tests.

If you are a starter blogger that will only have a few number of visitors at the beginning. Then the HostGator Shared Hosting is not a bad deal at all.

It also comes with a cPanel so you can control your backend visually. There is a lot of guides present if you have a question about something.

Completely perfect for a beginner blogger who doesn’t know his way around the website’s backend yet.

If you are currently sold on the HostGator Shared Hosting. Then you might want to consider reading my step-by-step guide on how to start a blog with HostGator.