Unlike many shared hosting providers, DreamHost also provides Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting and Dedicated Server hosting. This means that a customer who needs to upgrade an account has options.
DreamHost categorizes its hosting plan features into 6 categories:
- Core Resources
- Technical Support
- Account Upgrades
Let’s start by discussing the features that all the DreamHost hosting plans have in common, and then discuss the distinct elements of the plans separately afterwards.
• DreamHost Account Upgrades
The available account upgrades are identical for all accounts. They can all add additional domain name registrations in the top-level domains of .com, .net, .org, or .info. They can all add unique IP addresses, and if they have done that, they can add an SSL certificate (or bring their own). They can also add VPN (Virtual Private Network) support or Premium Support, which provides Live chat support and 3 callbacks via phone.
• DreamHost E-mail
The email features are also identical for all accounts. All the accounts at DreamHost have IMAP/POP/SMTP, and web-based email access. Mail filtering is provided, and SpamAssassin is included for spam filtering. All accounts get unlimited email addresses, unlimited announcement lists, unlimited discussion lists, unlimited vacation auto-responders, and Gmail for <your domain>.com.
• DreamHost Domains
Customers with any plan can host unlimited domains and subdomains, and forward and/or mirror unlimited domains. All domains have custom DNS available and Free WHOIS privacy. The only difference in the plan levels is that shared hosting accounts are provided with a free domain name registration, while VPS and Dedicated hosting accounts are not.
• DreamHost Programming
All hosting plans have One-Click Installs available, which gives them access to the following software:
|Content Management System (CMS)||WordPress, Joomla!, Pligg, Moodle|
|Shopping Cart||Zen Cart|
|Photo Gallery||Gallery, Zenphoto|
|Project Management Tool||dotProject|
|Phone System||Open VBX|
|Complex Narrative Creation||Omeka|
They also have access to the Jabber Chat server, anonymous FTP (as long as they have a unique IP address), QuickTime streaming, and Real Audio and Video.
There is support for Ruby on Rails, PERL, PHP5, and SSL Secure Server (which also requires a unique IP address), as well as WebDAV, data backup and daily stats, access to raw log files, password-protected directories, and a Google AdWords credit (not sure why that is in the programming section). VPS and Dedicated hosting have access to XCache and control via DreamHost’s API; shared hosting accounts do not have these last two features.
• DreamHost Technical Support
All accounts have access to the DreamHost Wiki and DreamHost Forum, a 100% uptime guarantee, web-based account control panel (designed by DreamHost), and 24/7 technical support via email. While VPS and Dedicated hosting have access to live chat 24/7, holders of shared hosting accounts can obtain this service via an upgrade.
• DreamHost Core Resources
Core resources is the hosting area in which there is the most difference between and among account levels. However, all accounts are hosted on servers with the Debian Linux operating system, all can host an unlimited number of domains, all can use unlimited monthly bandwidth, and all can use 50 GB of space for personal backups. Since this is not only discouraged, but actually forbidden, by many webhosts, let’s explain a bit. While the rest of the disk space that you have access to must be used for files needed for your website, you may use up to 50 GB of space for private backups of anything that is legal. This is done by creating a separate backup user, and no one else is allowed to access this data (i.e., you cannot use this space for file sharing). Extra space for this purpose is available at $0.10/GB/month. Additionally, all hosting plans can access VPS MySQL-Optimized databases for $0.05/MB/month.
They also have “unlimited TB” of disk storage, in a joking reference to the one-upmanship displayed by webhosts in discussing how much space their “unlimited” accounts have. DreamHost defines unlimited as meaning “you don’t have to worry about disk storage or network transfer when your site gets popular.” This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize your site or your MySQL databases, or keep your databases to a few GB in size, but if you are using your site acceptably, they claim that you will not have a problem. Acceptable use means you may not use your site to drive traffic to another site, make your account resources available to the general public, or use your site for file uploading, sharing archiving, backing up, mirroring, or distribution.
DreamHost Shared Hosting
Shared hosting accounts are distinguished by their have shared CPU resources and shared RAM resources, but they can have unlimited MySQL databases.
DreamHost Virtual Private Server Accounts
VPS CPU resources are based on the amount of RAM you purchase (RAM is how the various VPS offerings are distinguished, and the RAM choices are 300 MB, 600 MB, 1000 MB, 2000 MB, and 4000 MB). The RAM resources are reserved for the one account and are scalable.
DreamHost Dedicated Hosting
Dedicated hosting plans have access to 100% of the CPU and Ram resources on the server, and has access to local MySQL.