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Dream Host Review – A Nice Option for Users with Advanced Needs?

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Dream Host is a good choice for more tech savvy users who already have some skills in building websites. It can be a viable solution for people looking for multiple hosting options and who do not need a lot of support or hand holding. Likely customers include business owners and bloggers. Dream Host offers a whole host of features to satisfy most people’s personal and business related web hosting needs. However, those who have little experience in building or maintaining a website may find Dream Host a little intimidating. It is best suited to those who have prior knowledge of building websites and who will appreciate the company’s flexible packages. This product is most widely used in Canada and the United States, and in New Zealand and Australia.

Products

Dream Host offers shared web hosting plans at a reasonable price and the price gets even lower for those committing to a year. This plan offers unlimited disk storage space, email and monthly data transfers and domains. The first .com, .net, .info or .org domain is free, but users will have to pay the registration fee for additional domains. The fact that the company offers unlimited domains makes Dream Host an attractive option.

Features

Dream Hosts Linux-based VPS web hosting plans are suitable for businesses requiring more power or who are expecting higher volumes of traffic. These plans offer unlimited email, monthly data transfers and storage, but the base memory is quite low with the cheapest plan offering just 300 MB of RAM.

This company’s dedicated server options are similar to those offered by other competing web hosting services as they provide 1 TB of storage and can configure the service with up to 16 GB of RAM. However, users also get unlimited data transfers every month. On the downside, Dream Host does not have offer Windows-based dedicated servers and those wishing to build a website using Microsoft’s operating system as the foundation may need to look elsewhere.

One of the most unique features of Dream Host is that it offers a 100% uptime guarantee right across all its hosting plans. This is clearly stated in the terms of service and failure to provide this will result in users being compensated. If the service is unavailable, users receive a Dream Host Credit that is equal to one day of service for one hour of downtime, with the credit being capped at 10% of the next prepaid renewal fee. The company considers a user’s downtime to start when a support ticket is opened and this guarantee does make it very attractive for those looking for a reliable host.

Dream Host also offers another feature that is a 97 day money back guarantee, which is a little different from the standard 30, 45 day or 60 day guarantee. Not surprisingly, there are some caveats that are applied to this guarantee. It is only available for accounts that have been purchased through a credit card and refunds are only available for shared hosting. Even so, it is a good way for Dream Host to stand out from its competitors and it does show a high degree of confidence in its products. When combined with the uptime guarantee, Dream Host does carry some of the best customer assurances in this market.

Dream Press 2 is able to manage WordPress sites on virtual private servers. It can dynamically scale WordPress site resources so there is no need for users to be concerned that their website will outgrow the resources available. This enables users to concentrate on building and maintaining a WordPress website while Dream Host will back up the files and will handle all the updates.

The Good

Dream Host offers a range of shared hosting plans as well as managed WordPress hosting, dedicated servers, VPS and cloud services. Users get one free domain name for life whereas most companies will only offer a free domain for a year. Users benefit from unlimited storage and bandwidth provided they adhere to the terms of service. They can also have as many domains as they want attached to their account and they can create as many email addresses as they like, although those found using these email addresses for spamming will soon be shut down. Dream Host’s cloud storage is Dream Objects and can be used to backup personal files and comes with a free 30 day trial.

The Bad

Dream Host doesn’t offer telephone support as a standard. This is only available for an extra fee. It does offer email or ticket support, or chat support which may not be enough for some users. It has no cPanel or Plesk, but instead has proprietary web-based control panel. There is no option for a reseller account. Although building a website is straightforward for those with a little experience, it’s not possible to get started straight away as users have to wait for an email from Dream Host confirming their account has been set up. This can delay the process by several hours.

Recap

Dream Host is one of the most popular and well-known web hosting companies and its guarantees make it somewhat different from the rest of the crowd. The fact that the company feels able to offer a 100% uptime guarantee as well as its 97 day money back guarantee shows it is confident in its product. Apart from that, the plans offered are quite straightforward and are pretty standard.

People who have previously used cPanel or Plesk may not particularly like Dream Hosts web-based control panel. Unfortunately some reviewers have found the panel is difficult to navigate and is far from being intuitive. This may not be the best company for people who lack experience or who are complete beginners and who could do with a greater level of support.

The fact that Dream Host doesn’t offer phone support could put off some potential users, but it does offer chat support. However, people who are comfortable using their own tools to build their website and who have the experience should consider Dream Host. It offers extensive tools and security options, as well as unlimited bandwidth and storage, domains and email.

Just Host: A Reliable Entry Level Hosting Option

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Just Host is an inexpensive hosting option that has a reputation for being reliable. It could be a good choice for a small business looking for a site that can be hosted professionally, or for an individual who wishes to host a blog.  Since Just Host’s inception, it has grown considerably in popularity and is widely used in North America and Australia, and in particular in the United Kingdom. Just Host is also gaining in popularity in India and in Mexico.

This option could be good for anyone looking for an accessible and easy to navigate interface. The company offers shared, dedicated and virtual private server hosting. It has a money back guarantee so users are able to cancel their web hosting at any point and will receive a refund for the unused time.

Products

There are three Linux-based shared web hosting plans available through Just Host. The Basic Starter plan offers 100 email accounts, unlimited monthly data transfers, 100 GB of storage, basic site backup and one year free domain registration and hosting. The Plus plan is only slightly more expensive and has unlimited email accounts, domains and storage. The Business Pro Plan is approximately twice the price of the Plus Plan and includes all of the Plus plans features, a free SSL certificate and Site Backup Pro alongside free domain registration for life, but this does require a one-year commitment.

Just Host offers four virtual private servers (VPS) hosting choices suitable for people looking for a more robust option. These plans include root access, guaranteed server resources and managed services and an enhanced control panel. The prices of these plans vary according to allotted space and range from 2 GB of RAM up to 240 GB and 4 TB of monthly data transfers.

This company also offers dedicated web hosting packages, with specifications that are typical for the price range.

Features

Unique features of Just Host include its cPanel demo which is an award-winning control panel. There is a demo showing exactly how this works and which can be viewed before purchasing a hosting plan. Users are able to work through the demo as if they are actually working in the real cPanel. This enables them to see how one-click installations operate, how email accounts are set up and exactly what the file manager and FTP manager will look like. This feature is particularly user-friendly.

Instant provisioning is another unique feature, so it’s possible to start using the system extremely quickly, saving time and money. This feature could be particularly good for e-commerce website owners who do not wish to spend days provisioning their new site.

Purchasers who opt for Just Host’s dedicated hosting plan have exclusive access to dedicated server specialists, a team of support staff who can quickly answer any queries. Unlike many hosting companies, the phone number for this specialist service is prominently displayed on the company’s website.

The Good

Just Host’s introductory prices are particularly low and even though these introductory prices revert to regular prices on renewal, they are still reasonable. Its cPanel is particularly user-friendly and intuitive and is visually appealing. Setup is very simple, although there have been comments about the signup process being constantly interrupted by up-selling. Setting up email should be very straightforward, and setting up a store is also simple to navigate. Support options are very good as there are multiple avenues which include live chat, phone and email and which are available around the clock. Much of the appeal of the company lies in its user-friendly cPanel combined with excellent support. The staff also has an extensive knowledge base. Hosting plans include a free script library called Simple Scripts and which is able to install the most popular scripts including phpBB, Joomla, WordPress and osCommerce. The company’s dedicated hosting plans are available at competitive prices.

Services are hosted on quad processor servers and its data center has a backup generator. The network is continually monitored around the clock, enabling this company to just about guarantee uptime and giving it the ability to address any issues very quickly.

The Bad

Just Host’s website can be confusing to navigate. It is difficult to find out information about virtual private servers and dedicated hosting, as these services are somewhat buried. Although Just Host promotes unlimited bandwidth, email accounts and storage on its main page, options are extremely limited for their cheapest plan.

This company has a standard 30 day cancellation policy but it’s worth being aware that this doesn’t extend to domain names. Anybody who cancels their plan will not receive a refund on the price of the domain name. However, cancellations outside the 30 day period will still receive a pro-rated refund for the remainder of the term.

Just Host doesn’t give users any help with migration. People with a WordPress website may well find migration is awkward. Some reviewers have found it necessary to contact customer support to get instructions on how to do this, but even so it’s best to be prepared for a process that will be anything but straightforward.

Although many reviews are positive, customers are frustrated about certain aspects of this service. These include their email service and downtime. One review that tested all the web hosting services found Just Host’s uptime ranked pretty poorly in comparison with its competitors. Even though it’s not at the bottom, it may not be reliable enough for some users.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Just Host only offers Linux based dedicated servers. Anybody who would prefer to host their site on a Windows based dedicated server may be better choosing another provider.

Recap

This option is popular due to its solid support combined with a user friendly interface. Introductory prices are low and even Just Host’s regular pricing is competitive with other companies. Just Host is a good choice for anybody looking to run a small website or blog and even though the entry-level option doesn’t have unlimited storage, it can always be upgraded to a dedicated server hosting plan or VPS. These accounts have instant provisioning so it’s incredibly quick to get going.