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First Day Review: Dreamhost web hosting

Yesterday I took out another domain at Dreamhost.com, it’s another hosting service that got rave reviews from lifehacker. The costing is quite pricey, but I managed to get a promo code online for a $50 dollar discount. Mind you it’s still on the high side for me, it works out to about $65.00/year, but that includes both unlimited storage and bandwidth , one domain AND a who-is protect on that domain. So overall it’s pretty reasonable. When the promo ends though , (presumably when I renew next year), the price will revert to $8.95/month quite a hefty sum, so dreamhost better deliver.

Dreamhost vs. Nearlyfreespeech

Right out the bat, I could sense there was a huge difference between Dreamhost and Nearlyfreespeech. My account on Nearlyfreespeech has hardly finished $2.00 after a month of usage, Dreamhost will swallow a whole $8 before this month ends. That being said though it’s not the same thing.

Firstly dreamhost offers ‘one-click’ installs. Remember how I blogged about installing wordpress in under 15 minutes on Nearlyfreespeech, in Dreamhost you cut that down to 1….yes 1 minute.

It’s far simpler. Although it took me nearly 15 minutes to get accustomed to the Dreamhost way of working, it does seem pretty intuitive. I guess I was expecting more control.

If you’re wondering if Dreamhost offers other ‘one-click’ installs, yes they do, Joomla, Drupal and other content management/document management and blogging tools are available in the Dreamhost  ‘one-click’ install. Pretty neat huh?

I haven’t had a chance to test out the support, but I usually try to refrain from support queries. These guys have a stable system and if there’s a problem it’s most likely your problem. Rather than waiting for support emails to be answered it’s a lot easier to do a quick search on google and you’re good to go.

Dreamhost also offers free web-mail, although I haven’t used it yet, and allows you the options of multiple FTP users. Users can be configured to either FTP only, sFTP only or SSH only. You can also grant a user access to any one of three, all three or just two out the three options (sFTP+ FTP, FTP+ SSH, SSH + sFTP). That to me is pretty good especially for multiple admin sites ,but less value if you’re a loner like myself.

The pricing on Dreamhost is a bit high, but that probably has more to do with uptime rather than features, I’m sure bluehost and hostgator all have the same features. Overall I still can’t help but recommend Nearlyfreespeech to all but the REALLY uninitiated first-timer. To be fair, if all you want to do is Blog or create a website with the least amount of worry than Dreamhost may be your best bet, but if you start a website to learn a thing or two about the Web, then Nearlyfreespeech is the way to go.

Dreamhost does come with a 2 week trial though, and it’s difficult to not recommend you at least try it to see it.

That being said, you may also want to check out the following webhost companies:

1) Zyma

Based out of Britain , they’re sponsoring a lot of competitions on websites like sixrevisions, best pricing for unlimited storage I’ve seen £5 /YEAR).

2) Tatahosting.com

Based out of India, (not sure if they’re related to other Tata), offers unlimited storage & bandwidth for $2/month. Also has a free option with decent storage and bandwidth limits.

3) Bluehost

Probably a cheaper version of dreamhost, although I can’t say since I haven’t tested them out yet. If you’re looking for cheaper alternative, bluehost may be the solution. But it doesn’t come with a free trial, and offers just $5.95 a month if you sign up for 2 years.

Happy Hosting!!