DreamHost History & Company

Read this article to learn about the history of DreamHost and how the company got started.

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DreamHost Beginnings

New Dream Network, LLC is a private company founded in Claremont, California in early 1996 by four Harvey Mudd College undergraduates in the computer science deparment: Dallas (whose last name seems to be variously listed as Behune and Kashuba), Josh Jones, and Michael Rodriguez. Rodriguez registered the web hosting branch of the company, DreamHost in 1999, but it had already begun hosting customers’ web sites in 1997, the same year that Sage Weil joined the group.

New Dream Network grew out of Behune’s, Jones’s, and Rodriguez’s private design clients, and they joined together with no external funding and no business plan, either, but  a plan to become an Internet design company through which a network of independent designers shared resources. Because their initial clients needed hosting after their web site designs were complete, they converted their one-shot design business into long-term relationships by offering these clients web hosting.

In September of 1997, they named the service DreamHost. At first, their business grew through advertising on Weil’s webring setup. Jones, who had been handling tech support, was hired when he graduated from college in May, 1998, and was the first to work at the site fulltime. Behune joined him toward the end of 1998, and by December, DreamHost hired their first employee, who worked from Canada, and shortly thereafter, their second, who worked from Washington State.

In the summer of 1999, DreamHost moved to their first office in Huntington Park, California, and by 2001, they had 32 employees and an office in Boston as well, and had begun branching out with dedicated servers, but also farther afield, like their Internet radio collective, Vibeflow (vibeflow.com). As of 2009, they had 90 employees and offices in Los Angeles and Brea, California. In addition, the company has grown from one server to 1500.

DreamHost Growth

From 1998 to 2005, DreamHost had a slow, steady expansion to reach 100,000 domains in early 2005. By the beginning of 2006, it had doubled to 200,000 domains, it hit 300,000 in about mid-year, and 400,000 right about the beginning of 2007, reaching 700,000 by early 2008.

DreamHost continues to grow. In February, 2009, it had a 0.7734% market share  globally with 804,627 domains. As of June 11, 2012, Dream Host had 1,220,463 domains, giving it a 0.9282 market share globally and a 1.5329% market share in the United States. This, according to Webhosting.info, placed it 9th among web hosting companies in the United states and 12th among web hosting companies world wide.

As a domain name registrar, Dreamhost ranks 28th world wide, and has 505,198 domains as of June, 2012, which gives it a 0.504 market share.

DreamHost Hosting Issues 

Although DreamHost is highly ranked by many web host reviewers (FindMyHosting.com – 10th; TopTenReviews – 19th), DreamHost has suffered from some dramatic problems. Two power outages struck their datacenter in 2006. In 2007, hundreds of websites and several thousand FTP accounts on DreamHost servers were compromised, leading to security improvements. In 2008, DreamHost mistakenly billed some of its customers for an extra year of services. The year 2010 saw a DDos attack against both DreamHost and a website they hosted take place in May. And in January of 2012, one of the database servers at DreamHost was accessed illegally, with possible compromise of some customers’ shell access and FTP passwords. This situation was addressed with a forced password reset.

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