As with all companies, there are some things we do the same as our competitors and there are some things we do differently. We try and imitate whenever we feel imitation is deserved, and we deviate whenever we feel deviation is a must. Most hosts offer a wide range of features bundled with various service plans, and we are of course no exception. Canned CGI scripts, full CGI access, PHP5, SSH and Telnet, raw log files plus analyzed access statistics, unlimited email forwarding, aliasing, auto-responding, vanity domain names, MySQL, e-commerce, plenty of disk space and transfer allowance are available for as little as $8.95/month.

Most hosts offer a web-based control panel to manage your account and its features, and we do too. From there you can control all aspects of your account(s), including any billing-related and customer support concerns you may have. But wait. There is more…

Where you first start to notice the difference between DreamHost and all other webhosts is the community feel of our web panel. Besides the standard links for things like email and domain management, there are areas for customer suggestions, DreamHost newsletters, the DreamHost Site of the Month, DreamHost donations, the unofficial DreamHost directory, the DreamHost Rewards program, as well as a customer discussion area. All of these are a natural outcropping of our desire to stay in touch with our clients and to foster a free flow of ideas between them and us. What better way to learn how to keep our customers happy than to ask them, and then to act on what they say?

Another refreshing difference is how relaxed and customer-oriented our billing practices are. There is an unconditional 97 day money back guarantee on all accounts, including any setup fees, and we have no hidden costs and no minimum monthly contracts on any of our plans! We accept payment via Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club, and Carte Blanche, personal check or money order, and we even accept Google Checkout and PayPal. We can provide an online PDF invoice if required by your Accounts Payable department. The differences keep coming!

Our choice to not provide Microsoft operating systems for any of our hosting products is one that is a common subject of inquiry. We feel strongly that the best products available for the job of serving Internet content are those based on UNIX TM, and that the efforts of the open source community specifically (Linux, Apache, MySQL and so on) are best of breed. To use any Windows or related products would be to us a vote of no confidence against the very technology that made it possible for us to compete in this industry in the first place! It turns out that once our customers give open source alternatives a chance they are overjoyed with the performance and feature set available to them. Of course, some will decide to go with someone else, and we respect their decision. Our only request is that if in the future the need ever does arise for a Unix-based solution they’ll give us another shot!

But of course, the biggest difference, the one that keeps people singing our praises and referring their friends, is our customer service. Every message is responded to with a friendly, helpful, and completely honest answer. Sometimes a server does go down, and we let our customers know when it happens. We’ll also let them know if they’re spending more money than they need, or what sort of software we personally use for whatever they’re trying to implement. We constantly try to treat everyone as a friend in need (indeed!).

Maybe you’re wondering just how stable we are? We’ve been a privately held company and since 1997 when we first started hosting our customers’ dreams, so that should give you some indication that we’re serious about what we do! We’re currently connected to the Internet via redundant gigabit connections with multiple carriers to ensure continued network connectivity in case any carrier goes down. Each connection is carried across a diversified fiber network and connects to different entrances to the Internet’s backbone. This allows for total network redundancy. We also keep our bandwidth ~unsaturated~. We carry enough network capacity to double our load if we need to. We’ve been doing this hosting thing since 1997, and in that time we’ve learned what it takes to provide rock-solid service and connectivity.