Another possible new customer with questions


#1

I have an interest in opening an account with DreamHost, as I need a PHP/MySQL solution and am impressed with the professionalism DreamHost seems to convey. However, I had a friend who still hosts with DreamHost who has over the past six months or so made many disparaging comments about the quality of service he is receiving, this after having been a happy customer for quite a few years. Specifically, he has complained of problems with the MySQL server that seem to have gone unremedied, and I noticed myself that bringing up his Web site often takes 30 seconds or more (but not to say that there’s any relation between the supposed MySQL problems and that). Is anyone else familiar with any problems with MySQL at DreamHost, and are you happy with how responsive your site is?

Thanks, guys!

By the way, I am looking for hosting for a moderately-sized, medium traffic business site, not just a personal site. Would you still recommend DreamHost? The host must obviously be robust and professional. tera-byte.com has also been recommended to me, but I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that recommendation. Thanks again.


#2

(full disclosure: I’m a DreamHost employee, with all the biases that come with that) :>

Hi Anon!


Specifically, he has complained of problems with the MySQL server that seem to have gone unremedied, and I noticed myself that bringing up his Web site often takes 30 seconds or more

It’s not entirely clear what the problems are that he has had with our MySQL server. If it’s a configuration error on our end or something of that nature, I can see a definite link to his dissatisfaction and our actions. If that’s the case, and he doesn’t feel that support has been adequately concerned with his problem, tell him to feel free to contact me directly (jeff@newdream.net) and I’ll look into it personally.

We don’t like unhappy customers here. We’re not perfect, but we prefer to make good on any mistakes we make.

If it’s a case where things just seem slow and sluggish, though, that muddies things a bit. Performance tuning is one of the most complex aspects of database-driven web sites.

For example, on a (personal) project I’ve worked on recently I decided to go through and speed things up. I dropped the number of SELECT statements I used in half, which helped. But by the use of indexing, I sped up a query from about 1 second to .03 of a second - a vast improvement. Recent improvements to our web panel also made a very noticeable speed increase as well (although we have some work to do still in that department).

Even identical database schemas can even vary drastically in speed depending on what kind of data is stored in them.

In other words, it could be all sorts of things. That’s not saying that it can’t be our fault (it could always be us, and if the database worked flawlessly with another host, it’s very possible), but there are a lot of factors involved.

That said, I’m not in a position to give an honest, unbiased appraisal of our MySQL speed or service in general. I’m sure someone will be happy to give you their opinion, though. :>

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

#3

I have been using dreamhost MySQL service for some time now. Although it’s only used for a private message board and not under heavery request attacks I have never had any problems with it.


#4

Thanks for your quick answer! While it’s true that I want to hear more customer opinions, a semi-official statement by a company employee shows DreamHost’s concern for how their customers feel about the service they are provided.

As for the specifics of the problems my “friend” was having with MySQL, I can’t entirely recall, but I think he seemed to indicate that the MySQL server was down and unavailable for hours at a time on occasion. I am not sure how accurate or reliable his statement is. He is, after all, pessimistic and prone to exaggeration. In fact, he’s quite whiney. ahem

As for his site loading slowly, I meant it doesn’t even respond until quite a while after you first request the domain name, yet at other times the site loads quite fast. As a result, clearly it can’t just be an unoptimized site. Internet traffic is a possibililty, I guess, but it seems to consistently happen with his site but no other in particular.


#5

Also, a lot of times MySQL will be slow if your code isn’t optimized properly (we’ve had this problem with some of our DreamHost code as well) - so it’s not always the MySQL server problem if a dynamic page is loading slowly. There can be other factors that play into this as well.

We have increased the performance and stability of our MySQL servers a fair amount in the past few months and hope to continue to improve it.


#6

Well, since I’m not getting many more responses, let me ask you, Jeff–or anyone at DreamHost for that matter–why I shouldn’t choose tera-byte.com instead of DreamHost? Can you enumerate some particularly good reasons that could sway me one way or the other? Thanks.


#7

as a dreamhost employee (yes posting as anon) i can think of many, many good reasons. Let me preface a selection of these reasons with this though; i am sure tera-byte.com is a reasonably good company, run by compitent, good people.

That being said…

  1. Under that companys TOS… (labeled “legal” on their home page) they are more restrictive on what you can place in your web space.

  2. under the same TOS they reserve the right to terminate your account without warning for going over your bandwidth allowance. While DreamHost will bill you for overages, we will never cut off your account.

But enough bashing on the other guy. DreamHost has great support, freindly personable staff, good prices, mad room to grow, and we have a great tan.

Plus we offer a 30 day $ back thang, so if our services dont meet your needs you can always move somewhere else (most choose to stay).

benjamin