Problems / Status

I am considering DH for hosting several domains. The problems they have been having since July are not encouraging. Anyone who has been here for a while - care to give me some thought???
As for status, I suggest DH to look at HIWAAY.NET. Granted they are an ISP, as well as a hosting company. Their automated status screens could be an inspiration to hosting companies such as DH.

I don’t use any external monitoring service, but the service works pretty well.

There is a “manual” status page here :
Which is mainly used for maintenance.

For the automated status in panel :
"We have decided to decommissi n the system status page until we are able to make it more accurately reflect actual system uptimes! Our apologies. "

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Well. I’ve been hosting sites at Dreamhost since mid-1998, so I guess that qualifies as “a while” :wink: .

My experience with Dreamhost has been overwhelmingly positive. That is not to say that there have not been problems, and this past summer there were some pretty rough stretches. I think it is important to keep a sense of perspective, however, and that is sometimes hard to do when reviewing the status pages and forum posts.

Consider that, in many instances, negative forum posts are the result of normal human frustration, and as such, many are not very objective. A user may have hosted here for a long period of time without ever posting on the forum or making a comment on one of the Dreamhost blogs until, one day, his site doesn’t work right, he can’t get a “quick enough” tech support response, and he becomes frustrated enough to post. Suddenly, in this poster’s opinion, Dreamhost service is “terrible” and so on and so forth.

With notable exceptions, checking the “profile” of a poster of a heavily negative post for the number of posts they have submitted, and how long they have been registered on the site, can give a pretty good indication of how “widespread” or “significant” their negative experience might be.

I think it is also important to remember that Dreamhost is big. With over 300,000 domains hosted at Dreamhost, if only 1 percent of those domains users are “unhappy” then hundreds of unsatisfied users, while they may be vocal, represent a very small percentage of Dreamhost users (I say “hundreds” rather than “thousands” to allow for many users hosting multiple domains - my arithmetic isn’t that bad :wink: ).

I’ve also found it to be true that very often the most satisfied users feel no need to participate in forums as “all is well” in their world, and they have no need to seek help or vent. Generally, in an “unmoderated” forum such as this, you should expect for the “problem” posts to far outnumber the “Dreamhost Rocks!” posts (after all, that is one of the reasons the forum is here!).

Your suggestion re. an more sophisticated, possibly “automated”, status reporting system is a good one, though the current Dreamhost system has served me well. Again, it is important to recognize the scale involved; a quick read through the typically ignorant comments of the Dreamhost Status blog (though it has been getting better, of late) will reveal that many users confuse the reporting of maintenance or a problem as being an indication that “the world is ending” without realizing that, with the number of servers Dreamhost is running, it is highly likely, and normal that “something” is always needing attention. I see the presence of problems and resolutions on the status blog as a sign that Dreamhost is actually maintaining their stuff, and that is encouraging to me.

Hey, that ramble was probably a good deal more than you asked for, but it should give you a pretty good idea about how this long-time customer views Dreamhost’s quality and reliability.

These are machines, that break from time to time, run by people that “screw up” now and then. The great majority of the time, the machines work fine and the people perform admirably. The power, flexibility, and value provided by Dreamhost is unbeatable. Dreamhost Rocks! :slight_smile:


I haven’t been here for anywhere near as long as rlparker (8 years with the one host, that must be some kind of record!), but I am glad to give you an honest opinion of my DreamHost experience so far.

Firstly, the network troubles experienced a couple of months ago were widespread and extremely frustrating for those affected. I was reasonably lucky, my particular server escaped the majority of issues and my sites (mostly) stayed up, albeit with reduced speed at times.

For a while these forums were full of complaints from those affected and they had every right to complain, they were paying good money for a service that, at the time, just wasn’t working at an acceptable level. To be fair to DreamHost, they did an good job of keeping their customers informed of what was happening and the steps they were taking to rectify the issues, in fact they showed a refreshing honesty that you rarely see in companies these days.

Having said this, the problems during this period are definitely not indicative of the level of service normally provided by DreamHost. My experience before these problems (and since) has been excellent, with site downtime being extremely rare for me, in fact the only downtime I can recall since the problems was a planned RAM upgrade on my server.

Overall I would rate DreamHost as very good, they aren’t perfect, but I think they come closer than most other hosting companies out there.


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[quote]I am considering DH for hosting several domains. The problems they have been having since July are not encouraging. Anyone who has been here for a while - care to give me some thought???
As for status, I suggest DH to look at HIWAAY.NET. Granted they are an ISP, as well as a hosting company. Their automated status screens could be an inspiration to hosting companies such as DH.[/quote]
Whoa, hold the phone before you sign up here. You know there’s unfortunately no short answer for you other than, “It depends…”

On what your priorities are – flexibility(ssh access with pretty free reign), reliability(web/email?), SPACE(disk, net bandwidth), performance(net latency issues, server speeds), etc… I’m sure you get the picture.

I’ve been with DH 2+ years, multiple accounts for personal and professional use. When using service providers in the low market range like DH, the lesson of “hedging your bets” definitely applies. In other words, have a backup plan for every service you intend to host. It was true for the ISP I moved from to come to DH, affectionately called “LooneyPages” by an old sysadmin friend who insisted that a T1 in his home would provide more reliable service(he was right). And it is true for DH.

I’m already going on too long so I’ll bottom line my rec, based on MY experiences here…

Reliability is definitely a sore point – specifically email service. It’s been down, slow, misconfigured, whatever. If you expect rock solid service, I think you’re better off going with a dedicated email service(again depending on your needs). Admittedly, it’s hard to find an IMAP email service that gives you the disk space you enjoy at DH! But reliablity has been poor.

Everything else – flexibility, space, performance? Good enough to excellent for me. Others will almost certainly have had a different experience.

If you can afford it, get DH and a second service. Manage your DNS through yet another party(one with rock solid reliablity and fast updates, like Mirror those services you consider critical between the two providers. You can’t do this with email though, which is why I highly rec that you decide just what kind of service level is acceptable to you and then act accordingly.

And so the ramble ends.


In the last 7 years I’ve used many webhosters, after several investigations, and I like DreamHost for many reasons, one of them is the possibility of using one ftp account to manage all my domains.

Some people like them because of the reward money they give, but I even think the rewards should be lower, to invest money in more equipment.

But because we can’t do that, the only thing we can do is direct more clients to them. I hope DreamHost continues, with quality, for many more years.

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I have been with Dreamhost for about 4 months. Things started fine because we had zero users and were just building our site. Our site is run on Ruby on Rails. Here were the problems I have faced:

  1. Our system was way tooo sloooow with only 20 odd user hitting the site a day. DH’s response was that we will kill the server and restart Apache!!!

  2. The next time round when our traffic bumped up to 40 uniques a day, the server was sloow as hell. We asked them to port us to another machine. Which they did, but guess what the guy who did it forgot the last couple of steps and just left the server move half done. Can you believe that - they didnt even confirm if the site was backup!!!

  3. Our SVN and Trac has been down for at least 11 hours now and I have sent in 2 requests as our engineers cant check in any code. I am still waiting to hear back from them. I cant believe DH is used by too many people.

Based on my experience, I would not recommend DH.

I dont know how 40 uniques a day could cause a slowdown, thats only one unique every 36 minutes! I think either your server has a serious problem or the scripts you are using are very badly written.

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