Web Hosting Reviews Driven by Data, Not Dollars

I'm disgusted with fake webhosting "reviews." Since 2014, I've been tracking the results of real-life performance tests for downtime, speed & support at the world's most popular web hosting companies. You'll be shocked by the results...

DreamHost Review and Stats

Dreamhost is known for their unlimited resources at a great value. They have been around since 1998 and hosts over 10 million sites. Data centers are located in California and Virginia.

I have purchased a hosting plan on DreamHost and set up a typical web site. I use that example website to run these tests. Learn more about how I test.

Here's the plan information I chose:

Plan NameHappy Hosting
Cost$10.95/month
Disk SpaceUnlimited
BandwidthUnlimited
Uptime Guarantee100%
Money-Back Guarantee45 days
NotesSite was ready within minutes after I purchased.

On this page: Uptime | Speed | Support | Alternatives

Uptime Test

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better.

I use Pingdom to report website uptime. Pingdom is configured to make an HTTP request to the host every minute, and report if it is unreachable. It'll also report an error if the host takes longer than 30 seconds to respond (Yes, that's not actually down, but if your site takes that long to respond it is unusable in my opinion). Pingdom performs this test from at least 3 servers worldwide, and reports a problem if 2/3 servers do no respond.

This test is important if you are concerned about the reliability of your web host (this is important!)

Measuring uptime with Pingdom

DreamHost Uptime Test Results

DreamHost performs stellar in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.98 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 94.93 %. DreamHost's most recent result on Aug 15 was 100.00 percent. Dreamhost has had a few significant outages, but I've seen worse. Their ping response time is pretty impressive, faster than most hosts, showing they have a decent network.

Let's see if DreamHost is consistent in its uptime stats:

Recent Raw Results for DreamHost

Date Uptime Downtime Outages Avg Response Time
2017-08-15100.000 %0 mins0469 ms
2017-08-14100.000 %0 mins0474 ms
2017-08-13100.000 %0 mins0470 ms
2017-08-12100.000 %0 mins0458 ms
2017-08-11100.000 %0 mins0468 ms
2017-08-10100.000 %0 mins0488 ms
2017-08-09100.000 %0 mins0507 ms
2017-08-08100.000 %0 mins0470 ms
2017-08-07100.000 %0 mins0463 ms
2017-08-06100.000 %0 mins0482 ms
2017-08-05100.000 %0 mins0499 ms
2017-08-04100.000 %0 mins0521 ms
2017-08-03100.000 %0 mins0461 ms
2017-08-02100.000 %0 mins0481 ms
2017-08-0199.861 %2 mins2470 ms
2017-07-31100.000 %0 mins0460 ms
2017-07-30100.000 %0 mins0446 ms
2017-07-29100.000 %0 mins0438 ms
2017-07-28100.000 %0 mins0428 ms
2017-07-27100.000 %0 mins0407 ms
2017-07-26100.000 %0 mins0390 ms
2017-07-25100.000 %0 mins0382 ms
2017-07-24100.000 %0 mins0388 ms
2017-07-23100.000 %0 mins0373 ms
2017-07-22100.000 %0 mins0360 ms
2017-07-21100.000 %0 mins0370 ms
2017-07-20100.000 %0 mins0407 ms
2017-07-19100.000 %0 mins0419 ms
2017-07-18100.000 %0 mins0418 ms
2017-07-17100.000 %0 mins0423 ms
2017-07-16100.000 %0 mins0436 ms
2017-07-15100.000 %0 mins0433 ms
2017-07-14100.000 %0 mins0452 ms
2017-07-13100.000 %0 mins0406 ms
2017-07-12100.000 %0 mins0412 ms
2017-07-11100.000 %0 mins0497 ms
2017-07-10100.000 %0 mins0513 ms
2017-07-09100.000 %0 mins0494 ms
2017-07-08100.000 %0 mins0463 ms
2017-07-07100.000 %0 mins0467 ms
2017-07-06100.000 %0 mins0473 ms
2017-07-05100.000 %0 mins0498 ms
2017-07-04100.000 %0 mins0492 ms
2017-07-03100.000 %0 mins0476 ms
2017-07-02100.000 %0 mins0444 ms
2017-07-0199.792 %3 mins2420 ms
2017-06-30100.000 %0 mins0415 ms
2017-06-29100.000 %0 mins0415 ms
2017-06-28100.000 %0 mins0416 ms
2017-06-27100.000 %0 mins0412 ms
2017-06-26100.000 %0 mins0485 ms
2017-06-25100.000 %0 mins0583 ms
2017-06-2499.861 %2 mins1568 ms
2017-06-23100.000 %0 mins0502 ms
2017-06-22100.000 %0 mins0488 ms
2017-06-21100.000 %0 mins0493 ms
2017-06-20100.000 %0 mins0489 ms
2017-06-19100.000 %0 mins0523 ms
2017-06-18100.000 %0 mins0533 ms
2017-06-1799.861 %2 mins2533 ms

Page Speed Test

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better.

This test is performed by submitting a typical web page served on the host to WebPageTest and recording how long it takes to load. This test web page is 56 KB of HTML, 287 KB of JavaScript, 51 KB of CSS, and 1,128 KB of images (these are typical according to the HTTP Archive). WebPageTest (a 3rd-party, vendor-neutral organization) uses servers located in Virgina and California to measure the page load waterfall in the latest version of Chrome, on a very fast internet connection. The test is ran 5 times each, and the middle (median) result is what is counted from each location. Then the east coast and west coast times are averaged, which should eliminate any bias due to server location. We're interested in first page load, not the repeat/cached view.

If you're really interested, I use the 'Load Time' measurement that's returned from WebPageTest for ranking page speed. I still collect other metrics such as TTFB (time to first byte), fully loaded time, and the speed index, in addition to server setting scores which are translated to grades. You can see these detailed values in the "Raw Results."

This test is important if your site resembles a typical website and you're concerned about speed (which you should be!)

Measuring page speed with WebPageTest.org


In September 2014 I updated this test to be more accurate, and you'll notice page speeds were a bit higher before then. The test used to be run only 3 times from one location using a simulated cable internet connection on Internet Explorer 11. The new method provides much more consistent results.

DreamHost Page Speed Test Results

DreamHost performs stellar in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.09 seconds. Its best run was 2.24 s, but has been as bad as 15.73 s. DreamHost's most recent result on Aug 16 was 2.95 seconds. I expected Dreamhost to have poor performance, but they're not that bad. There are faster hosts out there, but you're not going to be disappointed with them.

Let's see if DreamHost is consistent in its page speed stats:

Recent Raw Results for DreamHost

Date Location Load time TTFB Fully loaded Speed index Keep-alive Score Compress Score Caching Score
2017-08-16Dulles, VA3.7s0.5s3.8s2.1sAAF
2017-08-16San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-15Dulles, VA6.1s0.3s6.4s3.9sAAF
2017-08-15San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-14Dulles, VA3.8s0.8s4.0s2.0sAAF
2017-08-14San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-13Dulles, VA3.3s0.3s3.4s1.7sAAF
2017-08-13San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-12Dulles, VA3.1s0.5s3.4s1.8sAAF
2017-08-12San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-11Dulles, VA3.5s0.5s3.7s1.9sAAF
2017-08-11San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-08-10Dulles, VA3.3s0.5s3.5s1.8sAAF
2017-08-10San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-09Dulles, VA3.7s0.4s3.9s2.0sAAF
2017-08-09San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-08-08Dulles, VA3.2s0.4s3.4s1.6sAAF
2017-08-08San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-08-07Dulles, VA3.0s0.4s3.2s1.4sAAF
2017-08-07San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.3sAAF
2017-08-06Dulles, VA3.2s0.4s3.4s1.5sAAF
2017-08-06San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-05Dulles, VA3.1s0.3s3.3s1.5sAAF
2017-08-05San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.5sAAF
2017-08-04Dulles, VA3.4s0.4s3.5s1.8sAAF
2017-08-04San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-03Dulles, VA2.7s0.3s2.9s1.4sAAF
2017-08-03San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-02Dulles, VA4.4s1.2s4.5s2.7sAAF
2017-08-02San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-01Dulles, VA3.1s0.4s3.3s1.4sAAF
2017-08-01San Jose, CA2.3s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-07-31Dulles, VA4.7s1.5s4.9s3.2sAAF
2017-07-31San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-07-30Dulles, VA4.0s1.2s4.1s2.7sAAF
2017-07-30San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-07-29Dulles, VA3.8s0.4s3.9s2.2sAAF
2017-07-29San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-07-28Dulles, VA3.5s0.4s3.6s2.1sAAF
2017-07-28San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-07-27Dulles, VA3.0s0.3s3.2s1.6sAAF
2017-07-27San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-07-26Dulles, VA3.7s0.4s3.9s1.6sAAF
2017-07-26San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-07-25Dulles, VA4.0s0.8s4.1s2.1sAAF
2017-07-25San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-07-24Dulles, VA3.2s0.3s3.3s1.9sAAF
2017-07-24San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.4sAAF
2017-07-23Dulles, VA5.3s0.4s5.4s3.8sAAF
2017-07-23San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-07-22Dulles, VA4.5s1.7s4.7s3.2sAAF
2017-07-22San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.3sAAF
2017-07-21Dulles, VA3.8s0.5s3.9s1.9sAAF
2017-07-21San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-07-20Dulles, VA3.2s0.4s3.3s1.6sAAF
2017-07-20San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF
2017-07-19Dulles, VA2.9s0.4s3.5s1.4sAAF
2017-07-19San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.3sAAF
2017-07-18Dulles, VA3.3s0.4s3.4s1.5sAAF
2017-07-18San Jose, CA2.2s0.2s2.3s1.2sAAF

Does DreamHost Suck?

Some people may think DreamHost sucks. Here are some real benchmarks to show you DreamHost's speed, reliability, and support - so you can see if they really do suck.

Is DreamHost slow?

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better. Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

DreamHost performs stellar in the Page Speed test, with an average result of 3.09 seconds. Its best run was 2.24 s, but has been as bad as 15.73 s. DreamHost's most recent result on Aug 16 was 2.95 seconds. I expected Dreamhost to have poor performance, but they're not that bad. There are faster hosts out there, but you're not going to be disappointed with them.

Let's take a look at some of the times that DreamHost had some poor page speed performance:

Date Location Load time TTFB Fully loaded Speed index Keep-alive Score Compress Score Caching Score
2017-08-15Dulles, VA6.1s0.3s6.4s3.9sAAF
2017-08-02Dulles, VA4.4s1.2s4.5s2.7sAAF
2017-07-31Dulles, VA4.7s1.5s4.9s3.2sAAF
2017-07-23Dulles, VA5.3s0.4s5.4s3.8sAAF
2017-07-22Dulles, VA4.5s1.7s4.7s3.2sAAF

Is DreamHost unreliable?

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

DreamHost performs incredibly in the Uptime test, with an average result of 99.98 percent. Its best run was 100.00 %, but has been as bad as 94.93 %. DreamHost's most recent result on Aug 15 was 100.00 percent. Dreamhost has had a few significant outages, but I've seen worse. Their ping response time is pretty impressive, faster than most hosts, showing they have a decent network.

Let's take a look at some of the times that DreamHost had some poor uptime performance:

Date Uptime Downtime Outages Avg Response Time
2017-08-0199.861 %2 mins2470 ms
2017-07-0199.792 %3 mins2420 ms
2017-06-2499.861 %2 mins1568 ms
2017-06-1799.861 %2 mins2533 ms

Does DreamHost's have poor customer service?

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

DreamHost performs okay in the Support Response test, with an average result of 2.8 hours. Its best run was 0.2 h, but has been as bad as 11.0 h. DreamHost's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 1.3 hours. Dreamhost will usually get back to you within an hour, although that's not always the case. Regardless their support is average.

Let's take a look at some of the times that DreamHost had some poor support response performance:

Date Support Ticket Submitted Support Ticket Resolved Response Time
2014-09-06Sept 6, 6:55pmSept 6, 5:40pm11.0 hours

Still think DreamHost sucks?

I've presented you with lots of data that will show you whether or not DreamHost sucks. So, what do you think? Are they reliable, fast, and helpful? If not, consider these DreamHost alternatives.

Support Response Test

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better.

I personally contact each host's support department with a new question/concern and measure how long it takes for them to get back to me.

This test is important for every host - it's imperative your web host is able to quickly address your concerns in a timely manner, even if you're an expert webmaster. Who wants to deal with a host that has poor customer service? Tech is hard, and tech support is critical!

Measuring a host's support response speed

DreamHost Support Response Test Results

DreamHost performs okay in the Support Response test, with an average result of 2.8 hours. Its best run was 0.2 h, but has been as bad as 11.0 h. DreamHost's most recent result on Mar 2016 was 1.3 hours. Dreamhost will usually get back to you within an hour, although that's not always the case. Regardless their support is average.

Let's see if DreamHost is consistent in its support response stats:

Recent Raw Results for DreamHost

Date Support Ticket Submitted Support Ticket Resolved Response Time
2016-03-22Mar 10, 4:29pmMar 10, 5:42pm1.3 hours
2015-02-24Feb 24, 3:39amFeb 24, 6:36am3.0 hours
2015-01-27Jan 27, 6:04amJan 27, 9:52am3.8 hours
2014-12-20Dec 20, 3:01pmDec 20, 4:59pm2.0 hours
2014-11-28Nov 28, 4:47pmNov 28, 7:35pm2.8 hours
2014-10-26Oct 26, 11:01amOct 26, 11:44am0.7 hours
2014-09-06Sept 6, 6:55pmSept 6, 5:40pm11.0 hours
2014-08-09Aug 9, 3:07pmAug 9, 3:23pm0.3 hours
2014-07-12July 13, 2:22pmJuly 13, 2:34pm0.2 hours

DreamHost Alternatives: Better speed, reliability, and support

Are you having problems with DreamHost? It's not uncommon to want to change to a better host if your current host has issues with being slow, down, or unsupportive.

Let's see if we can find a DreamHost competitor that has better uptime, faster load times, and speedier support.

Hosts faster than DreamHost

This test measures the total time it takes to load a standard web page. Lower is better. Learn more about the Page Speed Test.

If DreamHost is having page speed problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

Hosts more reliable than DreamHost

This test is performed by measuring the % uptime of a host. Higher is better. Learn more about the Uptime Test.

If DreamHost is having uptime problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

Host Average Best Worst
DreamHost99.98 %100.00 %94.93 %Test ResultsSignup Now

Hosts more helpful than DreamHost

This test measures how quickly the host's support team responds to your request. Lower is better. Learn more about the Support Response Test.

If DreamHost is having support response problems, consider these alternative hosts that score better:

DreamHost Versus Other Hosts

If you're trying to decide between DreamHost and another host, here's are some specific comparisons that will show you the differences in detail:

FTC Disclaimer

Yes, I do use affiliate links on this site to help cover the cost of testing and $1000+ per year in server charges. Results are 100% unbiased and never skewed to favor a higher commission. Thanks for understanding :)

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