DreamPress overview

DreamPress is DreamHost's managed WordPress hosting. It's a scalable service that allows users to manage their WordPress sites with simple pricing, added benefits of server robustness, caching, and memory.

Behind the scenes, it ties together different pieces of DreamHost's existing technology into a cohesive single unit. Below are all the details of this new service.

Technical details

Each DreamPress instance is made up of two VPS instances: one web, and one MySQL.

The two VPS instances:

  • are provisioned automatically
  • are configured as a pair
  • are hosted on isolated clusters of hardware so other sites won't interfere with their stability or performance. All of them are hosted in the Virginia datacenter as of June 2013.
  • disallow root and sudo access
  • auto-scale RAM (memory) dynamically (customers cannot modify the RAM allocation)

In addition to the standard VPS setup, DreamHost added Varnish as a caching layer, which:

  • is set up automatically for the DreamPress customer
  • listens on port 80
  • responds to web requests as a proxy in front of the Apache and PHP WordPress stack
  • is extremely efficient at caching content
  • allows this set up to scale to very high levels of traffic
  • comes with a Unique IP

Apache runs on port 81 and is still publicly accessible.

DreamPress 2

DreamPress 2 is the latest version of DreamHost’s managed WordPress Hosting service. The main difference between DreamPress 2 and DreamPress 1 is speed. Unlike DreamPress 1, all sites on DreamPress 2 are hosted on SSD drives and support PHP 5.5 with OPcache. DreamPress 2 also supports HHVM (Hip Hop Virtual Machine), Facebook’s faster replacement for PHP. HHVM is a beta feature on DreamPress 2 and can be enabled in your control panel. What does all this mean? DreamPress 2 outruns DreamPress 1 by a mile.

Service restrictions

DreamPress is a managed service, which means DreamHost has restricted certain actions that users can take that would irreparably break their WordPress site.

DreamPress is a one-site service in that a single plan covers a single domain with a single WordPress installation. However, users can have multiple DreamPress instances for multiple sites, and they can mix and match it with shared, VPS, and dedicated hosting as well.

Current restrictions

  • Unable to configure or modify the VPS instances.
  • Unable to manually set memory on the VPS. The memory is configured and scales automatically.
  • No admin users or root SSH keys on the VPS instances.
  • Unable to add or remove users or domains on the VPS. One SFTP (optional SSH) user and the domain you choose will be configured automatically.
  • Unable to add or remove databases or hostnames on the MySQL VPS. The database and hostname will be created automatically for WordPress.
  • Unable to merge databases to or from the MySQL VPS
  • Unable to delete the web or MySQL VPS instances independently. To delete the VPS instances, go to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘DreamPress’) page and click on the Downgrade or Delete buttons.
  • Unable to add Wildcard DNS as DreamPress does not utilize a standard DreamHost VPS.

In general, if it's not listed as a restriction above, it's still doable. Adding an SSL can be done on the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page.

User support

DreamPress comes with support from some of DreamHost’s top tech support, who also have experience in WordPress. After intensive training and evaluation by in-house WordPress core contributors, they were selected as the best-in-class to represent DreamHost and WordPress, and help you with any problems with your DreamPress site. If they don’t know the answer, they know how to find someone who does.

All that said, please note that DreamHost support is not a replacement for an actual website developer (should you need one); DreamHost can help install/configure plugins, but cannot make custom plugins or themes for you. Also if a plugin or theme is causing problems, the only support DreamHost may be able to provide is disabling the plugin/theme and suggesting alternatives.

See also

DreamPress specific articles

General WordPress articles