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#1

I’d advise anyone considering moving to DreamHost to reconsider. Here’s my experience:

I was hosting a set of sites for friends over at Valuehost. The sites were things like blogs, record labels, wedding photos etc. They’re not anybody’s livelihood but they’re still important to us.

I’ve been IT Director of various web related companies for the last 10 years and I know what to expect from “pile em high, sell em cheap” hosting. I wouldn’t host my business websites here and the people moaning about “DH ruined my business” deserve all they get. If your business depends on your web presence, you need to spend decent money on it.

But… we moved our personal/blog sites to DH because Valuehost was down twice for 2 days at a time (how insignificant this seems now!). It took a long time to move all the sites and get it running again (in between my day job) and I have to say I wish I’d never bothered. The sites are down about as often as they’re up (and no, this isn’t reflected in the status blog), my friends are constantly mailing/phoning me to ask why they can’t get their email etc.

I’ve been doing web stuff a long time and DH is shaping up to be the worst shared hosting environment I’ve ever suffered with.

I’d be interested in anyone else’s recommendations for alternatives? Valuehost were bad enough for us to leave, but they’re still better than DH. I’ve had a cheap dedicated server at 1&1 and, while they’re not as ‘chatty’ and friendly as DH (their customer service is awful) we had NO technical problems in 3 years. Their shared hosting might be as good.

In summary: If your website is critical to your business, invest in it properly. If you website isn’t critical, but you’d like to, you know, actually see it sometimes, don’t put in on DreamHost.


#2

It sounds like your sites must have been on the Blingy cluster … and there is no arguing that was a horrible experience. There is no point at all in trying to represent that as anything less than the disaster that it was.

As you have “been IT Director of various web related companies for the last 10 years” and “know what to expect…” you should be able to recognize that the situation with that cluster of servers was atypical. That doesn’t make it any more palatable for those that suffered through it, and I don’t thank anyone here has any difficulty understanding why someone with that experience would feel the way you do.

My experience is very different than yours. Yes, I had a few clients impacted by the Blingy cluster fiasco (those that had created accounts the most recently), but the overwhelming majority of my clients didn’t notice a thing as their sites were not on that cluster and were not impacted at all. That’s relevant because it shows that everyones experience with DreamHost is not as horrific as yours has been.

I can’t help you there; I’ve got clients hosted all over creation, with many different hosting companies, and they all have problems of one kind or another. A lot of it is just “the luck of the draw” at this price level; sometimes you have no problems at all, and other times you do. In spite your experience more and more of my clients eventually end up on DreamHost for sites that need to operate at this cost level, becuase, warts and all, it’s still a better value than about anything else around, and at some point that is hard to argue with.

That fact, plus over 10 years of history (both for DH and for my clients on DH) puts a very different perspective on the problems you had - it was a bad time to be sure, but overall my experience, and that of my clients who are hosted here, has been good.

In summary: If your website is critical to your business, invest in it properly. If you website isn’t critical, but you’d like to, you know, actually see it sometimes, do your research and consider the totality of the information you come across. You will find that, for DreamHost, there are thousands of satisfied customers, most of whom say nothing, for every unsatisfied customer that goes “vocal”.

This is particularly true on DreamHost’s “Curious about Dreamhost” forum where an “IT Director of various web related companies for the last 10 years” solicits help finding a suitable web host and can only say “Their shared hosting might be as good” as a competitor’s “cheap dedicated server” when dropping that competitor’s name on the forum. :wink:

Different people have different experiences, YMMV, and all that … but DreamHost continues to be doing more right than they are doing wrong IMHO, and more than a few others agree with me. :slight_smile:

http://www.webhosting.info/webhosts/reports/total_domains/DREAMHOST.COM

–rlparker


#3

I’m well aware that I’ve been unlucky and that there are plenty of happy customers too. Like I said, I’ve had problems elsewhere too and this has been worse. Bad enough to move me to write something here. I’m sure there’s plenty more like me who haven’t bothered. I’ve put up with it for weeks before I finally cracked.

Summary: If you’re thinking of hosting on DreamHost, your website, along with most new customers, will often be down. Don’t worry though, there are lots of people like rlparker who signed up ages ago on the old clusters, and their websites are just fine!


#4

I’ve also got clients on Blingy, and they took it as tough as you did … but their sites are fine now, and they understand that the Blingy situation was not “normal”. :wink:

–rlparker


#5

Indeed. The Blingy situation was a sustained outage, lasting days. “Normal” appears to mean “constant small outages of between 15 minutes and 2 hours”.

So… I have plenty of web experience dating back to the early 90s. I’ve been running web agencies and web-based application service providers for the last 10 years. I point this out only to counter rlparkers constant insinuation that I’m being somehow unreasonable or ignorant for complaining about the shonky experience I’ve had with DH. I understand the problems of running large servers with thousands of users, it’s what I do all day. I’m not some loon screaming “DH ruined my life” and I’m not trying to start a flamewar but I am telling anyone thinking of hosting here that the experience has been shocking. It’s hardly a surprise either, I’ve seen it many times before. Company is really good, nimble, great service, cheap prices… everyone raves about it, thousands sign up, firstly they’re all happy… but then, as numbers increase, company can’t meet demand, they’re constantly fighting fires, no time to plan etc… and everything slowly slides. Oh, and there’s always a loyal rlparker, running around with an “I Love DreamHost” badge, insisting that everything’s been great for ages and that the ship is DEFINITELY NOT SINKING.

Incidentally, the way to avoid this common scenario is to put your prices up as demand increases, rather than over-extend yourself. Then you can manage your growth and maintain your reputation.

So, take it from me, DreamHost have over-extended themselves and are not handling new sign ups to anything like the standard that they (presumably) once did. You should seriously consider alternative low-end providers. Recommend me one if you find a really good one :slight_smile:

I’ll leave it there. You can decide whether to trust me, or whether to trust rlparker’s inevitable reply, insisting that DH are, like, super awesome guys and I should just stop complaining and pray to Ganesh for my sites (currently down again) to come back online.


#6

I, too, am still satisfied with dreamhost. Sorry to hear your problems. I have two clients on the blingy cluster (obviously they didn’t notice any problems…which I find amazing.) I only heard about it when I went to read the blog one boring workday.

Since you have so much experience, why don’t you have cheap failover? $15 a year and you would have never been down.


#7

In time, Blingy will become an “old cluster.” Old clusters become more reliable over time as they stabilize, and usage falls off. Blingy is probably got off to the worst start of any cluster here, but I bet that in time, it’ll become one of the reliable ones.

Now it’ll be interesting to see if such a catastrophe happens again.

-Scott


#8

Wow. I’ve re-read my posts to see where you got that “constant insinuation” you refer to … and I couldn’t find it.

What I did find was agreement with you that things have been very bad for some, and what I think was a considered and genuine acknowledgment that you have likely suffered greatly.

Well, the ship is “DEFINITELY NOT SINKING” and, at DreamHost, theres always going to be many many more satisfied customers than dissatisfied customers; it’s a shame your experiences preclude you from being on of those. Srsly!

That would be nice, but whether you actually “leave it there” or not, I will - My experience has been different than yours, and I don’t pray to anyone over my sites. :wink: I’m sorry you had a bad experience, and I understand some people’s need to “lash out” when that happens. If complaining helps you cope, then by all means complain. I was only adding balance to your negativity - and that purpose has been accomplished. :slight_smile:

–rlparker


#9

I agree that this is a common and sensible pattern for companies in certain industries or with a particular business plan. It’s certainly a pattern that I’d like the company I work for to follow, as it is a reasonably pleasant environment to work in.

I’m not so sure it’s the recipe for success in a commodity business like web hosting. It seems to me that in a business where price advantage comes from scale and where prices are falling across the industry - both from falling prices of “raw materials” and from advantages of scale, one will want to scale up. It enables you to continue to be competitive on price, but as important for us current customers, it allows us to continue to reap the benefits of more features for less money.

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#10

Sorry about your experience, but the only thing I’ll take from you is that you’re touting yourself as a webmaster of some description who’s “been running web agencies and web-based application service providers for the last 10 years”, you “understand the problems of running large servers with thousands of users” because “it’s what [you] do all day”.

Yet you’re asking where you can find a webhost. :s

In summary: If my mechanic asked me where he could buy fuel I’d smack him up the side of the head.

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#11

I can ride a unicycle and I am a circle.


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK! :@

Act on my advice at your own risk!


#12

I haven’t deployed anything other than personal/blog sites on shared hosting for a loooong time so my experience involves spending rather a lot more money than that :slight_smile: Sounds great though… is this something DH actually offer? The sites are up and down with such frequency that the failover would have to be completely automatic… or I’d spend my day switching it back and forth :confused: