This is a rant. I’m not asking for advice, unless somebody can recommend some good shared hosting companies for me to check out.
My server has stabilized to some degree since the summer fiasco was mostly resolved. I don’t often notice load spikes to 25 and above now, though they still occasionally happen. My sites are up… most of the time. Maybe 1-2 times a week they’re down. (For those playing along at home, that’s still not acceptable.)
However, I’m now getting unexplained Internal Server Errors which come and go – I suspect a flaky database connection – as well as random bouts of painful load times. There is also some kind of problem with e-mail at least once a day. Most often the IMAP server temporarily “forgets” my passwords, meaning I have to keep typing them until it recovers. Or it loses track of what’s in the mailbox for a bit and then later on it might take forever to redownload headers. Or SMTP relaying fails, and when it works it’s ALWAYS slow. “Use webmail” is not a solution.
A few days back I contacted support about ongoing issues with my server and they offered to move me, which I declined for the moment because I know such a move would inevitably break things which I don’t have time to fix at the moment. They said they’d put my server on their administrative to-do list which means monitoring it and eventually giving it a round of upgrades as needed. Well, that appears to have happened because I spent half the night tonight getting my ‘screen’ processes killed while working on one of my sites. Later on, a ‘make’ process which support RECOMMENDED I DO got killed as well – I was trying to build a custom PHP5 binary so I could use outbound sockets. Fortunately I just commented out half the build script and was able to start over and it didn’t get killed again.
I rely on my sites to do homework, and I have a group of about 30 college students which also rely on my sites to do homework. Random outages are not acceptable. Oddly enough, though, it’s the e-mail problems that piss me off the most because they’re so frequent and they’ve been going on for months.
If I didn’t have so much crap deeply intertwined with Dreamhost I’d likely already have bailed. The only thing that’s keeping me here is the large amount of pain I’ll have to go through to move somewhere else, and the fact that Josh or whoever was spot on in the Dreamhost blog article about crappy “web hosting review” sites. There are literally hundreds of such sites which are complete BS and I’ve been hard pressed to find a real one with information that isn’t totally suspect.
I’m looking, though.