DreamHost

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DreamHost

$9.95 Yearly Domain Fees

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DreamHost began in a college dorm room in 1997 among a couple of friends. In addition to Domain name registration, DreamHost offers domain transfer, VPS servers, and a wide variety of hosting options. Each product comes with a wide variety of features, including PHP scripts for its dedicated servers and clouds. DreamHost’s brand promises that its shared hosting and web hosting services are a great way to start a business quickly on the web. To date, DreamHost has 1.3 million domains, serving roughly 370,000 customers. 

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7.7

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The Good

  • Price
  • Other TLD prices
  • Number of TLDs available
  • Security features
  • Cross selling
  • Customer support
  • ICANN accreditation
Price

DreamHost charges $11.95/year for a .com domain. This is on par with many industry competitors who typically charge anywhere between $11.00 and $16.00/year.

Each domain purchased with DreamHost comes with:

  • Free Subdomains: which allows you to create as many subdomains as you want to customize your site. This is a unique feature that DreamHost offers.
  • DNS Management: lets you easily update your name server info along with your MX, CNAME and other records.
  • Flexible Autorenewals: Sets your autorenew preferences to "yes", "no" or "ask me" to receive renewal notices on a regular basis.
Other TLD Prices

If you want to purchase other Top-Level Domains (TLDs) (.net, .co, .org, .info, etc), pricing ranges from $8.99/year to $39.95/year. This price range is similar to a lot of companies selling alternate domains. While there are a few companies on the market that sell additional domains for the same price as the .com domain, many do not, which makes DreamHost competitive in this regard.

Number of TLDs Available

DreamHost offers over 330 Domain extensions. This surpasses a number of domain registrars who offer a limited number of domains, rounding off to around 10-20 total domains available to customers. Although there are also some domain companies that offer over 500, DreamHost offers more than enough traditional and non-traditional (exotic) domain names to choose from.

Security Features

DreamHost offers free WHOIS Domain Privacy protection for all eligible domains. This means your personal information, such as your home address, email, and phone number, is not publicly displayed on the public WHOIS database. Most companies charge an annual fee for WHOIS privacy ranging from $9.99/year to $12.00/year. Offering this feature with no additional cost is a huge advantage for customers.

Another security feature DreamHost offers is Optional Domain Locking. This feature lets you protect your domain from unauthorized transfer requests or scammers. Optional Domain Locking is also free with the purchase of each domain. Many domain registrars charge an additional annual or monthly fee for domain locking, which makes using DreamHost a superior option.

Cross Selling

Customers checking out on DreamHost's website will find something unique for any domain registrar: no upsells. Many domain registration companies try to sell you additional services and products. Other sites annoys users with their aggressive upselling techniques, making consumers go through several additional screens of sales pitches in order to buy a domain name.

Customer Support

One of DreamHost's strengths is customer support. They offer email, phone, webmail, and an online forum where you can find answers to common questions and search topics you have questions about. This includes technical Q&A pages like DreamHost Wiki and a Live Forum where you can see other user's questions and responses in real time. (These pages are easily accessed on the Contact page). You can also reach DreamHost through the Contact page on their website. A standout feature is DreamHost's 24/7 in-house customer support team. Some companies outsource their customer service with representatives who do not have English as their first language, which can be annoying for customers. If you're already a customer, you can even contact customer support through your account's control panel.

ICANN Accreditation

Yes

The Bad

  • ICANN fees
  • Bulk price
  • Mobile app
  • Simple domain transfer policies
ICANN Fees

Each registrar has to pay an annual fee of 18 cents to ICANN for each domain name registered through them. DreamHost does not indicate an ICANN fee during their checkout process. Some companies openly include this fee in their advertised cost or inform customers of the fee in small print at the bottom of their home pages. DreamHost does neither, which is a transparency issue.

Bulk Price

For customers interested in purchasing several domains at once, DreamHost does not advertise bulk pricing. This may be in part due to all the free add-ons provided with purchasing a new domain. If you purchase 50 domains at once, this may mean a loss in revenue. There are a few companies that do offer discounts if you purchase a certain amount of domains, but DreamHost is not one of them.

Mobile App

DreamHost has not yet published a mobile app at this time. This means customers cannot manage their domains from their smart device, which puts the company at a disadvantage compared to the few companies who do offer a mobile app for both Apple and Android.

Simple Domain Transfer Policies

If you want to move your domain registration to another domain registrar, DreamHost is not very revealing with how to do so. To learn the process, customers will have to search online to find a page that outlines the steps or go to their DreamHostWiki page. (It appears DreamHost does this to discourage customers from leaving).

The process for domain transfer away from DreamHost looks more complex than those outlined by other domain name registrars. First, you have to backup your data, then find your DNS (Domain Name Server) records and point your DNS to your new hosting company. All 3 steps have several mini-steps within them. It seems to be a better option to call DreamHost and ask for assistance to transfer your domain. Some domain hosts make it easier to complete the process yourself, so DreamHost is not as helpful as they could be in this area.

The Bottom Line

DreamHost offers customers a number of free benefits with their domain name that other companies charge additional fees for. One of these very competitive features is free domain privacy protection that comes with every eligible domain name you buy. DreamHost is ICANN accredited and offers in-house customer service 24/7. They don't try to sell you other products when buying a domain name. Negatives for the company include no mobile apps. Transferring your domain to another host may get complicated. Overall, DreamHost's wallet-friendly pricing, customer service and free add-ons makes them a highly recommended option.

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