I think I understand now.
I don't think you can sign up for a year's worth of hosting (directly). Your only option is to get the free trial and then 14 days later they charge you for a year's worth of hosting after the free trial. Unless someone can show me a clear way on their site that shows how to go straight to signing up (no free trial). This can be confusing or worse: Supposed the card gets stolen and you have to cancel it. You create this site, promote it and then boom no hosting. Suppose the card expires: again lots of work and then out of the blue hosting is cancelled.
Dreamhost should provide an easy way to sign up in one transaction, charge the card and then we don't have to worry about payments for another year.