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DreamHost WordPress Guide (2021): How to Install WordPress on DreamHost

DreamHost is among the best web hosting providers for WordPress websites. In fact, WordPress.org itself officially recommends it. Needless to say, that says a lot about how much you can trust the company.

Now installing WordPress on DreamHost has been streamlined to the point that you don’t need much technical know-how to do it. In other words, the process is fairly simple and straightforward, but in case you need a little helping hand, we outline the steps below so you can launch your WordPress website as soon as possible.

DreamHost WordPress Guide Comparison Chart

NameDreamHost Shared StarterDreamHost Shared Unlimited
 DreamHost WordPress GuideDreamHost WordPress Guide
PriceCheck Price at DreamHost.comCheck Price at DreamHost.com
Storage50 GB SSDUnlimited SSD
EmailNo (paid add-on)Yes, unlimited email @ your domain
Free Domain for 1 YearYes (one- and three-year terms only)Yes (one- and three-year terms only)
SSL CertificateFreeFree
Domain PrivacyFreeFree
Support24/7 DreamHost Help Bot, live chat (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT), ticketing system, phone (paid)24/7 DreamHost Help Bot, live chat (5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT), ticketing system, phone (paid)

DreamHost WordPress Installation Guide

Installing WordPress on DreamHost is as easy as 1-2-3.

DreamHost WordPress Guide DreamHost WordPress Installation Guide
Shared hosting is the most affordable way to get a WordPress website on DreamHost off the ground.

It only takes a couple of minutes and a few steps to install WordPress on DreamHost. For this tutorial, we’ll be using the web hosting provider’s shared plans rather than its DreamPress or any other options designed for the content management system (CMS).

The steps in a nutshell:

  1. Purchase a plan (Shared Starter or Shared Unlimited).
  2. Register a new domain, choose a domain later or enter an existing domain.
    • One- and three-year terms come with a free domain for one year.
  3. Enter your billing details (credit card or PayPal), enter your account details and click on Submit Order.
    • Watch out for upsells here, such as DreamShield Protection and G Suite.
    • On Shared Starter, DreamHost Email is available as a paid add-on, but it’s free on Shared Unlimited.
    • You can leave Pre-Install WordPress and WP Website Builder checked, but if you don’t, you can always use DreamHost’s one-click installer later (more on that in a bit).
  4. Create a password for your DreamHost control panel.
    • DreamHost will set up its hosting service at this point, which shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes.
  5. Under Build Website, look for Log In to WordPress and click on Open WordPress Editor.
  6. Click on Let’s Get Started!, pick a theme and choose page options. 
    • Optional: enter essential info (website title, email, phone and address).
  7. Click on Finish and Install. Your website should be up and running after that.
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Alternatively, you can use a one-click installer to set up WordPress on DreamHost:

  1. Follow the same steps above until Step 4. Make sure to register a domain or enter an existing domain and uncheck Pre-Install WordPress (in Step 3).
  2. On the left menu on the dashboard, click on Domains, click on One-Click Installs and click on Learn More & Install.
  3. Choose where to install WordPress to. Your domain should appear in the drop-down menu.
    • The text field next to your domain name is for a subdirectory. Generally, you’ll want to leave this blank, unless you want to use a different service for your primary domain or if you simply don’t want to install on your main directory.
    • In most cases, you’ll want to leave Select Database set to Automatically Create Database, unless you want to pick an existing database.
    • You have the option to include Deluxe Install or Install WP Website Builder here. According to DreamHost, Deluxe Install includes a couple of themes, plugins and improved security, but this isn’t exactly necessary. Meanwhile, WP Website Builder is DreamHost’s drag-and-drop editor, which can come in handy at times, but again, it isn’t necessary.
  4. Click on Install it for me now! and wait for about 10 minutes for DreamHost to finish setting things up and send you an email with your account details.
  5. On the email you received, click on click this link to set your password and create a password.
    • If the website doesn’t load properly because of a privacy error, that’s likely because your SSL certificate hasn’t been installed yet. To fix this, return to your DreamHost control panel, click on Domains and then on SSL/TLS Certificates. Look for your domain in the list and click on Add next to it. On the next page, choose the free option for personal websites or you could choose the paid alternative made for business websites. After that, you should be able to reset the password to your WordPress website and log in.
  6. Follow the same instructions as above starting from Step 6.
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It goes without saying that choosing WordPress pre-installed on your subscription can save a lot of time, but that’s only if you’ve got your heart set on using the CMS from the get-go, of course. If nothing else, it’s a nice and convenient option to have, as DreamHost will take care of practically everything for you.

DreamHost Shared Hosting Plans

Shared Starter has the essentials, but Shared Unlimited can go a long way.

DreamHost WordPress Guide DreamHost Shared Hosting Plans
Emails, unlimited websites and unlimited SSD storage are some advantages Shared Unlimited has over Shared Starter.

Obviously, Shared Starter is cheaper than Shared Unlimited, and by the same token, it has its limitations. For starters, you only get one website and 50 GB of SSD storage, and if you want email, you’ll have to pay for it as an add-on, which was mentioned earlier. True to its name, Shared Unlimited gives you unlimited websites and SSD storage, and it even includes unlimited email @ your domain.

Regardless of which you purchase, you’ll still get these handy features:

  • Free domain for one year (one- and three-year terms only)
  • Unlimited traffic
  • WordPress pre-installed
  • Automatic WordPress updates
  • Automatic daily backups
  • WP Website Builder
  • Free SSL certificate
  • Free WordPress migration
  • 24/7 support
  • Free domain privacy

It’s worth mentioning that free domain privacy is a nice addition since most major web hosting providers charge extra for it. For the uninitiated, this feature keeps your personal data private by displaying DreamHost’s info instead of yours when someone is trying to snoop on your domain name’s owner info.

Another huge plus with DreamHost is its 24/7 support, which is pretty self-explanatory already. On top of that, it has a 97-day money-back guarantee that’s a notch above what its competitors offer and a 100 percent uptime guarantee, which means you’ll be compensated for any downtime.

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DreamHost WordPress Guide

Its prices are lower than most too, so you’ll be getting a lot of value from either Shared Starter or Shared Unlimited. However, take note that the monthly fee for Shared Unlimited that DreamHost puts front and center on its signup page is its promotional pricing. It’ll revert to its regular pricing after the initial term, be it one or three years.


Don’t expect to find cPanel on DreamHost.

DreamHost WordPress Guide Considerations
DreamHost’s control panel may not be cPanel, but that isn’t exactly a problem to begin with.

The one thing that could set users back from DreamHost is it doesn’t use cPanel. It uses a custom-built control panel instead, aptly called the DreamHost Control Panel. 

If you’re coming from other web hosting providers, it might take a little bit of getting used to, but the keyword here is “little bit.” Over the years, DreamHost has improved on its dashboard. It’s easy on the eyes and well laid out, and it’s far from lacking in terms of functionality. Put differently, what was once considered as a disadvantage isn’t that much of an issue anymore.


It’s a breeze to install WordPress on DreamHost.

DreamHost Shared Unlimited

For the complete experience

DreamHost WordPress Guide

DreamHost can deliver where it counts, providing excellent web hosting services for your WordPress website. What’s more, installing WordPress on DreamHost is a cinch, and you don’t even need that much technical knowledge to set everything up. That makes it suitable not only for advanced users but also for those who just want a website fast.


📌 Is WordPress free with DreamHost?

Yes, you can avail a DreamHost web hosting plan with WordPress pre-installed or use its one-click installer with no additional charges.

📌 Does DreamHost compensate users for downtime?

Yes, DreamHost will compensate users who may experience downtime since it has a 100 percent uptime guarantee.

📌 Does DreamHost use cPanel?

No, DreamHost doesn’t use cPanel. Instead, it uses a custom-built panel.

📌 Does DreamHost have 24/7 support?

Yes, DreamHost has 24/7 DreamHost Help Bot support and ticketing system. Live chat is available from 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. PT and phone support is paid.

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Vincent Lanaria