Shared Hosting

I like DreamHost.  They’re big and get lumped in with other big providers, but I enjoyed my time there.

It’s shared hosting in the purest sense – so great for low-volume small business brochure pages, not for active forums or big shopping site.

The things I liked about DreamHost:

  • No cPanel!  I like their custom panel.  I used it for years before I used cPanel and cPanel has always felt a bit rough and ugly to me.  Not quite DreamHost is Mac and cPanel is Windows – DreamHost’s panel wasn’t that nice.  But cPanel is certainly Windows.
  • They probably really are unlimited.  I say this because I had >200G of files there and they never complained.  A guy on WHT once said he had over 1.1TB there and the DH rep on WHT joked about it but said it was allowed.
  • Within the limits of shared hosting, I’ve found their boxes reasonably performant and have never had a serious technical issue.
  • You can pay monthly, or you can save by playing annually, etc.  A lot of the big hosters make you sign up for a year.
  • They’ve continued to innovate, offering their own custom website builder, WordPress specialized hosting, cloud services, API, etc.

There are some negatives:

  • No cPanel!  If you like cPanel or want to easily transfer sites, this could be a negative.  Also, one benefit of cPanel is that at any time, it’s easy to stamp your feet and leave your provider pretty effortlessly.  Not so when you’re moving off the custom setup that DH has (which I vastly prefer over cPanel but that’s not the point).
  • Not really reseller-friendly.  You can create accounts and let your friends have their domains, but there’s no real reseller panel and their API expressly is not designed to support reselling.

Just to be clear, I’ve only used their Shared Hosting, not their VPS or dedicated servers.