I signed up for Dreamhost about a week ago and canceled soon after. I'm now back to give them an honest shot at serving my pages, all thanks one of the support people, Michael S, who hangs out over at Web Hosting Talk. I'll not put him as a number in the list, but he made all the difference in the world in my being here so it goes without saying that he is an important part of Dreamhost for me.
Outside of Michael's awesome customer outreach aura, here are some of the things that drew me to Dreamhost to begin with, and they aren't actually in their true order, looking back over them... but I see no real point in re-editing.
1) The organically human, anti-corporate Dreamhost Blog. If more companies would communicate with their customers in such a non-condescending, human to human manner, the whole world would be much better off. I also really dig the blog logo, it touches my psyche in some very deep ways. It makes me feel as if there is far more to Dreamhost than just web hosting. I just dig the overall feel of Dreamhost, the aura.
2) The relaxed restriction policies. Firstly, I have never had any of my web sites suspended anywhere, nor do I intend to begin here, but to have a hard limit that shuts your site down, no questions asked, is a bit republican for my tastes. That type of setup doesn't allow for anomalies, temporary spikes, the flux and tao of web usage. As long as everything overall is working out within the shared environment and the users rarely, if ever actually conflict with each other significantly, I would rather enjoy the piece of mind that comes with not having to constantly worry about rigid limits. At a certain point it becomes likened unto stopping at being forced to stop at a redlight at 3am when there is no traffic present. The goal of the light is to prevent accidents, but you'll get a ticket even when no traffic conflicts are even possible to occur. Well, ok, sort of likened, but you should be able to get my point.
3) Michael made a comment to me, addressing my concernes about the Dreamhost system, about the people who design and maintain the server system that really made me feel them... I don't know how to describe this, now that I've gotten started, so it's cool if this one doesn't make much sense, but I empathize a deep respect for these guys and I trust them, deeply, to be the kind of people who will bust their asses to get things working again in the event of disaster, which brings me to the next point...
4) The disaster is actually a GOOD thing! Think about this... many hosts have had their systems up and running with very little real event, and they have probably become complacent to some degree. Despite the fact that YOU wanted your sites back up during the Great Calamity, I would be willing to bet that nobody wanted them back up more than Dreamhost. For many of us, our sites are our living... but guess what... our sites are THEIR living too! I would bet that no-one was sweating more than the Dreamhost staff, and I would imagine that they have really put some serious effort and research into robusifying things in ways that other hosts may still be lax about. In other words, they are probably more safe to be hosted with now than at any previous part of their history as they've now gone through a complete disaster and been forced to take a much harder look into their setup.
5) Aw, come on, let me mention that blog one more time! I REALLY dig what they're doing there, and it tells a LOT about the people behind it. The article about Overselling really helped me to see clearly beyond the negative hype, and certain parts of that article made me feel comfortable that these guys have some really cool policies. The manner in which they handle the mixing of heavy users around the servers without simply suspending and even banishing them as is common with most hosts really made a lot of sense and displays a more calm and mature way of overall being. These are level headed people with a great demeaner, it would appear.
The article exposing the web hosting review scam was awesome beyond description... it took guts, balls and humanity to write that and I am glad to have that kind of people at my site's backs.
6) I have learned to really like the Dreamhost control panel. I don't know how to explain it to anyone, but I can just feel the inspiration and genius that went into it's creation. I think it makes Cpanel look clunky and anti-elegant, in both function and appearance. To me, there is something about some good ol' fashioned, home brew UNIX that makes everything feel alright in the world. When I am in my Dreamhost controls I feel like I'm at home in The Universe. I often just leave myself signed in with the tab in the background just to soak in as much of that feeling as I can. Sure, sounds ridiculous, but that's how I feel and in case you can't tell by now, feeling means a lot to me.
7) Re-hash a bit: Organic Humans. Have I told you how much I love being able to interact and do my business with genuine, organic human beings without the massive walls of pretention and condescention? Yep... really does mean a lot to me.
8) Because one of the most highly regarded hosts on the web really let me down in ways that go against all honesty, integrity (yeah, there's a suble difference) and humanity. Touted from the mountaintops about their AMAZING support, yet their support did nothing but pass bucks and unnecessarily waste my time because they would rather play their video games than actually think about my issue or put any real effort into looking into what was happening to prevent me from being able to do one of the most rudimentary functions of web hosting, FTP.
9) One more shoutout to Michael S and the Dreamhost aura!
10) Because The Beatles White Album told me to.