How well can DreamHost handle the bigger fish?


I’ve hosted a personal website with DreamHost for well over a year, and I’ve been extremely happy with them.

Now, I’m the new online director for the organization I work for and we are strongly considering a switch to a new host. I don’t have specific statistics at the moment, but I’m talking about something bigger and more complex than personal websites, like probably a few gigs per month of bandwidth and such. It would require a database (ex. MySQL), and I can’t estimate at the moment how many queries that database would get. There would be a dozen or so email accounts that would be quite active. Sorry if this description is a bit vague, I don’t have more specific numbers with me right now.

Being a happy customer, I have suggested DreamHost as an option for our new host, but have only hosted personal websites with them. I want people’s experiences with them for hosting sites on the scale I just described with DreamHost. How well does DreamHost handle such larger sites?

We’re still weeks away from any decision, but I want to make sure our options are explored now. Thank you.



In my opinion, very well. Better than most. And that’s a fact. And if your organization is very big and busy, they do have dedicated servers available.

zentao web design, graphic art and design at

zentao7, Gallery of Artists and Speculative Novel Writers Groups

Given that I’m obviously a biased source, I’ll keep my words to a minimum. :>

But one of the nicer things about our setup is that you can start with a shared hosting plan, and if things get a little too big you can very easily upgrade to a dedicated server… And we handle the transition for you.

This is because we offer both products. A lot of web hosts do shared hosting only, so you’d have to switch companies (and deal with them both during the transition) if you get ‘too big’.

What kind of web apps will you be running on this site? Is it something really high profile or heavy load?

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

You biased? Never. :wink:

zentao web design, graphic art and design at

zentao7, Gallery of Artists and Speculative Novel Writers Groups


also a biased source here, but i do have to say for most sites, our system scales pretty well.

certain things (really large, busy databases, or scripts that aren’t properly optimized) can cause problems at times.

as jeff mentions, the scalable aspect of our system is one of the big advantages - if you outgrow your current plan (or server), we can move you to a bigger plan or dedicated server very easily (and usually very quickly).

Well, I have a Strictly Business Account with 27 active domains and a bunch of parked ones, several MySQL databases, two FTP servers, two secure servers, one Miva Merchant store, and more e-mail accounts, announcement lists and CGI scripts than I can enumerate offhand, and I go through a lot of bandwidth due to one client (a computer security company) FTPing huge report files from a security auditing program all the time and other clients routinely sending me large numbers of photos, or big Photoshop and Quark files.

So even though my account comprises a number of different sites rather than just one big one, I’d say I’m one of the bigger fish. And I’m happy. :slight_smile:

The one time one of my sites experienced a huge surge in popularity and sent me over my monthly bandwidth limits, all that happened was that I got a nice e-mail from one of the Dreamhost staff alerting me to this fact and saying that I might get charged a bit extra for bandwidth this month - and adding that if that was a problem, they could help me modify the site so it was less bandwidth-intensive. Quite a pleasant change from the many other hosts who will shut you down if you go over your limit…