I think Dreamhost is comparable to its competitors when you consider both companies' prepayment options.
Looking critically purely at pricing, the hosts in the same market/class as dreamhost priced in a little lower - that is $7.95 for one year prepayment and $5.95 or $6.95 for two years prepayment. Yes, this is a little cheaper than dreamhost (though one of them charges $7.95 per domain for domain privacy, which kills the savings for my situation).
You'd have to move up to a 3/5/10 year prepayment on dreamhost to access that exact pricing.
Purely on price, you can also factor in promotional factors. I'm not going to go into the feature bonuses that can make dreamhost superior based purely on price and stated features, but which depend on your particular needs (do you need to register 3 domains?). Instead, let's only look at the cash discount. So let's consider the $97 discount I kind of consider to be amortized across the prepayment period you're going to pick. Well, it would give dreamhost an unfair advantage to look at one year, so let's pick 2, 3, 5, and 10 years.
2 years: $214.80 - $97 = $117.8 = $58.90 per year = $4.90 per month
3 years: $286.20 - $97 = 189.20 = $63.07 per year = $5.26 per month
5 years: $417 - $97 = $320 = $64 per year = $5.33 per month
10 years: $714 - $97 = $617 = $61.70 per year = $5.14 per month
I haven't factored in the time value of money which would make the longer plans less attractive. There's also the option value of not being locked into a long term contract to consider.
I'm also haven't fully covered the $38 discount that I think you can access on one of the competitors I considered.
Finally, there were competitors which I ruled out because I considered them too evil. You all know who they are.
Anyway, my final conclusion was that dreamhost is competive on price and was superior on the "soft" features and qualities that I found to be compelling. Yes, this last bit is a testimonial but I hope you've been helped by getting a glimpse into my thinking. I'd be happy to share my "soft" analysis if you want.
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