Digital Strategy

DreamHost Review: Free web hosting for nonprofits plus a great WordPress option

Dreamhost web hosting review for nonprofits and charities

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DreamHost has been in the web hosting industry for over twenty years. Their web hosting services are optimized for your site’s performance and come preconfigured for easy maintenance in mind.

The company offers various web hosting packages for nonprofits, ranging from free basic hosting for nonprofits to fully managed WordPress hosting.

Regardless of your needs and price point, DreamHost’s team offers a hosting plan that can fit your needs!

DreamHost’s free nonprofit hosting plan

DreamHost offers a free shared hosting plan that includes email hosting to all nonprofits or charitable organizations registered within the United States. A nonprofit is only eligible for a single (one) shared hosting plan.

To qualify, you must be a registered 501(c)(3) organization within the United States. The discount will remain active the entire lifetime of your DreamHost account. DreamHost also offers a 35% discount on select hosting plans for nonprofits.

Managed WordPress hosting at DreamHost – DreamPress

With about 40% of all websites using WordPress as their content management system, DreamHost also offers special plans tailored for those needs outside of standard shared hosting.

DreamPress is DreamHost’s premier managed WordPress hosting tier. There are three plans within the DreamPress category: DreamPress starter, DreamPress Plus, and DreamPress Pro.

WordPress managed web hosting

DreamHost offers a 35% discount on all DreamPress plans for nonprofits with proper documentation.

Each plan includes the following:

Unmetered Bandwidth

Unmetered bandwidth will give the peace of mind of never worrying about paying an overage fee due to your website’s traffic or data usage. 

Unlimited Emails

Unlimited emails are essential for any website, especially nonprofits. You never have to worry about being capped or paying an overage fee for your email usage.

One-Click Staging

One-click staging from DreamHost allows you to stage your website by testing plug-ins or themes. The benefit of staging is you will never have to test anything on your live website so that you can avoid any unwanted errors from plug-ins, themes, etc. 

Pre-Installed SSL Certificates

Example of security certificate (SSL) on website
Example of security certificate (SSL) on a website.

Pre-installed security certificates allow you to keep your website safely encrypted and process credit card payments – such as with donations or event ticket sales – on your website.

Daily Backups

Your website will receive daily backups of all its data. You can rest easy knowing you’ll never have to worry about potentially losing all of your work due to a hack or any other issues. 

24/7 Priority WordPress Support

DreamHost gives all of its clients 24/7 priority support via email and chat regardless of their subscription tier. If you run into any issues with your website, your support ticket is escalated and dealt with immediately.

Jetpack Professional

Every DreamPress plan includes the powerful WordPress plugin Jetpack Professional. Jetpack Professional provides your website with the best spam protection, uptime monitoring, and malware scanning and repair available, at no additional cost. Jetpack Professional is $299 per year but is standard in all DreamPress packages.

WordPress Website Migration 

DreamPress allows users to easily migrate their WordPress website over using the DreamHost automated migration plugin.

WP Website Builder

Each DreamPress package includes the WP Website Builder powered by BoldGrid. The WP Website Builder gives users access to an easy-to-use site creation wizard, which offers free professional templates and its drag and drop editor.

Uptime Guarantee

DreamHost stands behind its hosting, providing a 100% uptime guarantee. If your website goes offline, you can receive a prorated refund.

Content Delivery Network

All of the DreamPress packages include DreamHost’s CDN or content delivery network. The content delivery network will replicate any static content on your website to servers worldwide. DreamPress’s CDN will help your content load quickly for users no matter their location in the world.

There are three main differences between all of these packages. These are the monthly cost, the number of visitors your website can handle per month, and the amount of SSD storage available to you.

Dreampress plans include:

Starter Plus Pro
  • Starting at $16.95 per month
  • Built to handle 100,000 monthly visitors
  • Offers 30 GB of SSD storage
  • Starting at $24.95 per month
  • Built to handle 300,000 monthly visitors
  • Offers 60 GB of SSD storage
  • Starting at $71.95 per month
  • Built to handle 1,000,000 monthly visitors
  • Offers 120 GB of SSD storage

It’s important to note that all of these plans are outstanding in terms of hosting. Although the storage size varies per package, the SSD storage will give your website 200% better performance than a traditional hard drive found on many hosting servers.

Using solid-state technology gives your websites a significant performance boost which decreases load times and helps increase your google ranking.

Key web hosting features of DreamHost

Instant WordPress Setup

Each DreamHost plan includes its one-click installer. The one-click installer is designed so that anyone can install WordPress regardless of their technical skill level. 

Auto WordPress Updates

DreamHost takes care of all of the updates required for your WordPress website. Automatic WordPress updates save you time on the technical end so that you can focus on your website’s overall success. Not only that, but it puts you ahead of the curve when it comes to hackers. Hackers are quick to send out bots to attack websites that aren’t updated. Thanks to auto WordPress updates, this will never be an issue for you. 

24/7 Award Winning Support

The team of experts at DreamHost is all in-house as well as based in the United States. Unlike many other companies, they do not believe in outsourcing their support team. They are there 24/7 and are more than happy to help you out anytime you need. No question is too complex or too simple to ask.

Free Domain

Dreamhost offers domain registration as well as web hosting.
DreamHost offers domain registration as well as web hosting.

DreamHost gives you a free domain registration when you sign up for hosting. Other hosting providers will typically charge their customers a fee for their domain.

Free SSL Certificate

DreamHost provides its users with a security certificate giving your website the protection of HTTPS. This will allow you to encrypt all of your traffic and boost your overall SEO with the search engines. 

Easy To Use Customization Panel

Dreamhost panel for website management
The DreamHost panel for website management.

DreamHost has an easy-to-use customization panel that features advanced features for all of its users. This panel will allow you to create email addresses, add SSL, forward domains, add users, and install WordPress. 

Free Email Hosting

DreamHost will provide you with a custom personalized email address for your domain. This will give you a look of professionalism and brand recognition with every email you send.

Automated Backups

Backing up your website is one of the best ways to keep it safe. DreamHost creates backups of your website daily. You will never have to worry about losing your website.

How to get the nonprofit discount at DreamHost

To receive the discount from DreamHost, you must follow a few steps to verify your nonprofit status.

First, you need to sign up for hosting and provide your domain name and organization information. If you need a domain, you can also register one during the signup process.

Once you have completed those steps, make sure you have entered the proper credit card billing address, as this is what DreamHost will use to verify your identity.

Once you have completed these steps, you can contact support and attach proof of your 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status under the tax code to allow the DreamHost nonprofit team to verify you and approve you as quickly as possible. 

It’s important to know that the 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS is the only documentation that Dreamhost will accept. If you are a nonprofit organization and do not have this letter, you will not be eligible for a free hosting plan.


Does DreamHost offer discounts for nonprofits?

Yes, DreamHost offers a free shared hosting plan for nonprofits.

Is DreamHost’s free shared web hosting for nonprofits good?

Shared hosting is perfect for smaller websites. If you’re a new nonprofit or just starting out online, shared hosting should be fine.

Remember, you must be able to provide DreamHost with your 501(c)(3) documentation to prove you are a recognized nonprofit. Without this letter, you will not qualify for free hosting.

What are the requirements for DreamHost’s free shared web hosting?

You need to be a verifiable nonprofit that can provide a 501(c)(3) letter proving that you are a tax-exempt nonprofit.

Is DreamHost a good website host?

DreamHost can provide users with 20 years of experience explicitly handling WordPress websites. Their servers use top-of-the-line tech to help your overall performance and their support team is available 24/7.

Does DreamHost support cPanel?

Unfortunately, no. cPanel is not available at DreamHost.

DreamHost uses a custom-built panel that will allow users to manage databases, websites, email, and billing. Any task that can be performed with cPanel can be performed with DreamHost’s custom panel.