After 4 years ... I'm saying Goodbye to Dreamhost


#1

It’s sad to leave Dreamhost, it was good for the past 4 years and I’ve to be thankful for the good service and smooth sailing of my two sites. I will miss the 10 pages monthly newsletters and how good the control panel is.

The reason I’m leaving is not cost even tho many webhosting companies out there are offering pretty good deal beyond the first year w/ Dreamhost promos. It is a pain to move all your stuff after 4 years, thankfully I’m technical enough to know how to migrate all the data and make proper changes to all the config files.

I have 2 main sites, one e-commerce and one hobby site with an average 400 users/day total. For the past 4 months, there is nothing but problems w/ Dreamhost. First, the load average on the box spikes to the 20-60+ range, causing my sites to come a halt, my average 503 errors is at 25%-27% !! I opened a ticket, got looked at, saying it back to normal, then it spikes up again, after 3-4 tickets, I asked to move to a new box. The load went down to 2-3 on the new box, however, now there are DB overload issues. The connections kept timeout and I don’t have access to the DBs to see how overloaded they are.

I opened a few tickets, some got answered within 24 hours, some sits there for 2-3 days. All I got is the DB looks normal and my sites is back to normal. It is not ! For the past 2-3 months, my 503 errors is sitting between 14%-25%, which is unacceptable. I lost a few customers because by site was slow or unresponsive. You may have to setup your own web logs cruncher, I use the free awstats running from cron everynight to see those stats.

So reluctantly, I frantically look for a new hosting company. I don’t need a gazillion of bandwidth and disks. I just need a host who can serve 400 users a day in a reliable way. I don’t have enough traffic to justify a VPS or dedicated server. I just need to serve 15 requests an hour for my two sites, nothing fancy, I didn’t ask for much to be happy.

Dreamhost just over promise and under-deliver. Those extra bandwidth, disks I get every month is nothing if you can’t get anything out of it. Loosing 15%+ of your traffic is huge when you only have a few hundreds a day. I hope Dreamhost will put all of those porn sites on a single 386 box and let them enjoy their slow & extended orgasms.

It was a fun ride. I wish you all the best at Dreamhost.

-N


#2

What server or cluster were you on?

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#3

It is sad to see that happening. My advice will be that, sometimes, stability goes up together with monthly fee. It looks like your site has attracted good number of visitors. Time for you to invest more on hosting.

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#4

I used to be on chiclet where it was overloaded, the moved to fudge. My DB is snowdrop I believe.

My two sites has an average of 400 users on a good day, but mostly between 300-350. So it only has to serve 15 requests an hour or 1 request every 4 minutes, mostly browsing cached pages. I do not consider it a good number by any means. Yet 15% of those requests dropped in the last 3-4 months, the worse peak was 25% two months ago.

I don’t ask for much of cheap hosting. I paid $10/month, all I need is 1Gig of disk space and 10 Gig of bandwidth and I expect it to be available 99.9%, not 80% of time. The practice of over-promise and under-deliver will drive good customers away. It doesn’t matter how good the newsletters are or how many sorry it contains.

I’m sure there are thousands more at Dreamhost who has 10-100 times more traffic than me. I’m not sure if they’re all ok, perhaps they never bother looking at their logs to see how many customers they lost or happy with Google analytics, which doesn’t show those errors.

My new host is good so far, I miss Dreamhost’s panel, it is by far the best. But it is a great relieve to see all the 503 errors drop to 0 for the first time in 4 months and I’m happy serving again.

Thanks to the helpful crowd here, sometimes more or less pleasant, but always helpful. All the best for those who stayed.


#5

Sadly I have to say I’m having exactly the same problems with exactly the same answers from support. The load goes up to >50, I contact support, root logs in, load goes down to 5-10 (still to high), support says they checked the server and found abusive users/processes and now my sites are working fine. After at least a few days it repeats.

I really like the features and the atmosphere here, but the frustration is really growing on me… they already switched me to a new server a year ago and it worked fine for a few weeks but now it’s the same.

Jan

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#6

I’ve been here since '06 and love the support staff, they are just great to work with. They have a few really bright people working here who can always figure it out quickly, its just they have a lot to do.

My only complaint with DreamHost is of course the fact that a couple DH customers have free reign to do whatever they want to other DH customers, I’ve had my rewards account revoked, my DHSOTM win overturned, and now they’ve also permanently banned me from contributing to the wiki, which I enjoyed being one of the top contributors to until I had a disagreement with one of the people and the next day my account was permanently banned.

Whenever I’ve tried to contact DreamHost about it I somehow always get routed to the same guy who I think is one of the smartest people DH has, but noone seems to realize how many customers have been abused by these people. I used the callback feature for the first time ever to call anyone in the award-winning democracy that is DH so I could get my wiki account unbanned and also push for their removal from any position of power for no other reason than they are the worst kind of admin. Lording over others, getting personal, interfering, ganging up on people, and just the worst admins I’ve ever seen running anything. They hurt DH customers, they hurt DH’s reputation, they hurt DH financially, and who the heck is responsible for making their volunteer positions set in stone? I admin several sites and its just embarrassing to all of us for this to go on when many pople would volunteer who would be much better qualified and anyone could do a better jobat not harrassing and driving away you own customers.

It is very odd to be driven away from a company I love by a couple of people who aren’t on the payroll and indeed should be recruiting me to contribute to the wiki and forum. Something is very wrong here!

All this is apparently going on without anyone at DH knowing that such damage is being done. My lenghty heart-felt request asking for anyone at DH to help me out was answered with a 1-line email saying they had cancelled my callback request.

Thanks for caring DreamHost… if that is your real name.

Unless I am able to get through to someone who can get some qualified or even semi-qualified admins in here then I’ll be joining nocloo and leaving DreamHost as soon as I decide on a replacement host…

I’ve had some smaller hosting companies (like DH used to be) offer me some sweet incentives to move over with them, and all the salespeople I’ve talked with want to know what exactly I was unhappy about at DH adn if I would be publishing articles about any dislikes, security issues, that would encourage others to avoid them. I still believe in DH and Im still waiting for someone to do the right thing.

So far I haven’t found a host that meets all my technical requirements. And I haven’t found another company with such excellent customer support. Id really like to stay with DreamHost but these people have been so successful at getting DH to do whatever they want DH to do, that is pretty scary.

I’m worried that they’ll shut my whole account down for no reason, and that would be a disaster for my company and my family. So unless DH decides they want to make this right then I have no choice but to move to another host for my job and families sake. Once gone the last remaining bit of leverage that these people have over me is gone… they’ve literally banned blocked and barred me from every possible thing except this forum and my main account. I’m really looking forward to being able to return as a customer to DreamHost and resume the bliss that I had until deciding to check out the DreamHost Discussion Forum… Big mistake as it turned.

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#7

The part that drives me crazy is that I couldn’t be happier with DreamHost, its absolutely hands-down the best web-hosting company out there.

I’d still be telling everyone about how great DreamHost is, contributing to the wiki and participating here if it were up to me and DreamHost employees. But apparently trying to get people to participate in Dreamhosts own contest is just the lowest kind of spam and deserves to lose your rewards.

You guys want to see how they were able to justify revoking my rewards account? I copied a few paragraphs and an image from the DreamHost.com aboutus page and wrote a blog post that had their text and then I went on to give them a scorchingly positive review of their company and service. which I’ve left up just because I am still in shock that they found that grounds to revoke my account.

The real reason they revoked my account is because a couple people were being challenged in the forum about whether promoting the DHSOTM contest on the DH forum by linking to the page to vote was ethical or not. And since thats the dumbest argument I’ve ever heard, I mean where else do you promote a dreamhost contest submission that only dreamhosters can vote on? hmm. So these people just lose it when you argue with them, and that leads to a group of them all ganging up on you and threats and all sorts of pleasant admin behaviour. So one of them starts scouring every square inch of my site (I have the logs to prove it) looking for something they can try to manipulate into being a rule violation.

Can you even imagine? They actually go around looking for ways to be able to kick your rewards accounts if you argue with them. Thats there standard m.o. here that that is well documented in google. Then if that fails to keep you from having and voicing a different opinion then they go after your main account.

But they ran into a slight setback… I don’t break any freaking rules! So they can’t kick me off DreamHost, but hey guess who admins the DreamHost wiki? Oh ya THEY do. And the same pattern happens again. We have a brief disagreement on the forum, and (looking at the times from the forum and the wiki) it would be hard to deny that he just flipped out again and decided to “permanently revoke” my wiki account. The reason on the official block is so utterly weak that I’m not even going ot describe it. But other than manipulating another DH employee into believeing whatever crazy story they invented they control the wiki too.

I challenged the whole gang to provide me with a SINGLE rule that I violated and they stammered and stuttered and came up with some really creative ideas but NOTHING even close to breaking a rule.

So I am all confident thinking that theres no way DreamHost would let this guy disregard all the rules especially when its so clearthat he just decided to do this right after we had a a disagreement. I sent out an email to the 6 other wiki admins that had email addresses and also sent a copy of the email to support to make sure someone at DH got it. That is also when I scheduled the callback.

I didn’t receive a single response back from any of the wiki admins and the only response I got from DreamHost at all about my wiki account being permanently banned with no rule violation whatsoever was that my callback request was denied.

I’ve been working on a php5 install script for the past 6 months to contribute to the wiki. mmm

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#8

[quote]The part that drives me crazy is that I couldn’t be happier with DreamHost, its absolutely hands-down the best web-hosting company out there.

I’d still be telling everyone about how great DreamHost is, contributing to the wiki and participating here if it were up to me and DreamHost employees. But apparently trying to get people to participate in Dreamhosts own contest is just the lowest kind of spam and deserves to lose your rewards.[/quote]
So you disagree with the OP on his reasoning for switching hosts and you think there’s no downside to using Dreamhost for hosting unless you want to write articles on your own site and contribute to the wiki and forum by linking to them rather than posting content directly to the wiki or the forum, right?

Oh, and it’s also the case that people should think twice about using Dreamhost for hosting if they want to provide direct links from their site to a page where they’d vote for their site as Dreamhost site of the month.

Does that summarize your opinions on the topic, stripping out the opinions about the unfairness of those particular decisions? Do you think the unfairness transcends those specific incidents and can be generalized to other cases as well?

BTW, I do think it’s a bit offtopic to the OP’s original thread and I do apologize for continuing a potentially derailed discussion.

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#9

And now you are co-opting another thread so that you can whine about your harsh treatment and provide yet another link to your site. Nothing you said has anything to do with the OP, and lots of what you said is just more of the same BS you have said before. Get over yourself and move on with your life.

si-blog
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#10

askapache,

Step one is you should stop posting about this on the forums. You are just arguing with the same people about the same things endlessly. It is time to break the cycle and move on. Just run your website and enjoy that. No need to be a big wiki or forum contributor, there are more useful things in this world, believe me.

I am telling you this because it will improve your life. Your real life! Not the online community of your webhost life! As great as it all seems (I know I love our little geekfest, :wink: ) it is really not very important when it comes down to it. Really its not! Find self worth somewhere more concrete! Volunteer at a charity! Do nice things for your family! Go outside and enjoy the sun!

Please heed my advice. I implore you. Life is short my man.


#11

Ok … has someone at DH read this and acted? The performance of the server I’m on has been blasting for the last two days. Great! I hope it stays this way. If someone at DH has done something - Thanks!

Jan

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#12

The list has been updated accordingly.

si-blog
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#13

I appreciate your good advice and pleasant attitude michael, really I do agree with you. This cycle and even my blog are very small parts of my life believe me. During the course of my job I discover a new thing and then if I have time I quickly post how to do that thing on my blog. Since my job is a web developer and designer and the company hosts on DH a majority of the thiings I learn are directly related to DH and would be beneficial to other DH customers. Unfortunately a couple of customers with a lot of free time and admin privileges decided to be biased against me and my blog and run a highly successful campaign against me and my blog… My personal feeling is that they are jealous or frustrated with my clear success, old in a way that makes them hate new or groundbreaking material and ideas, or just plain mean and the type of person who feels good about themselves only by making others feel bad.

Just today I posted a new article on my blog about my experiences migrating to the new DreamHostPS system, and it would have been nice to update the wiki article with a couple things I’ve learned and the shell script I wrote but I can’t do that now. That pisses me off as I was unarguably and irrefutably wrongly banned from the wiki, permanently, for no violation whatsoever, no broken rules… its completely absurd. For one thing there is not supposed to be any permanent bans, and banning me at all was entirely and completely personally motivated and hurts the other dreamhost customers to the detriment of the wiki.

These people should NOT be allowed to break the rules just because they dislike someone for personal reasons. I have never before encountered an admin of such a large site with so little regard to proper admin behavior. But why should they if DH lets them do whatever they want and break whatever rules they want as long as they provide ANY justification… no matter how slim, biased, and flat out wrong the justification is. The very fact that I was permanently banned without cause for personal reasons to the detriment of the entire wiki and base of DH customers is enough to permanently remove admin privileges from these people immediately. That type of clear violation of the spirit of the wiki and such obvious abuse of power would NOT be tolerated on any proper wiki. One of the reasons why this would not be tolerated is because of the result: ME!

I’m not going to stop warning the net about what has happened to me until DreamHost fixes the situation by doing what is fair and right by published rules and guidelines. Apparently they ignore these small disagreements because they sure have ignored this one. I feel like letting people know about what is going on is charity. I may already have saved a bunch of people from experiencing what happened to me and that makes it worth it.

I think about the php5 installation shell script I spent countless hours on almost every time I ssh into my account, which is pretty much daily, and it reminds me how incredibly unfair banning my account was and makes me think about how many people will never have the chance to use my php5 install script and countless other contributions to the wiki I could make.

I will always think it was unfair and wrong to revoke my rewards account and disqualify my win for DHSOTM, but I let those things go because they are issues I don’t care very much about. This is such an obvious abuse of power and a violation of not only the wiki guidelines but also the spirit and purpose of the wiki. Such a lack of justice on the part of DH is making me wonder if anyone actually works there or if the whole company is automated now, or worse, run by suits.

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#14

You are free to think whatever you like, but just take note that you have been asked directly by one of the owners of DreamHost (me) to leave the forums and wiki. The DreamHost community will survive if you only post the minutia of your day on your blog and not on our wiki with links back to your website. (See: Google) If you continue to ignore my pleas I will be forced to terminate your account with us. Your tireless whining has been giving me a headache for over a year now. Please, Please, Go!

IF this is still not getting through to you please consult the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_K._Mooney_Will_You_Please_Go_Now!


#15

Oh my bad, I thought all the user titles like DH Ninja and Honcho were based on how many posts.

I’ll stop discussing these topics at once, have a great day!

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