tl;dr summary: My small personal site on DH was very frequently down. When it was up, it was dog slow. I moved to a new host, pay the same price as before, and I’m enjoying 100% uptime and a 2x faster site.
I was a longtime Dreamhost user on and off over the years. There’s a lot to love:
- Lots of features and storage / bandwidth for a low cost.
- Free support from usually friendly service folks.
- A control panel with tons of options for beginner and advanced hoster alike.
But as I discovered to my sadness, Dreamhost is like a restaurant that has attractive decor and friendly waiters, but either fails to actually serve your food… or brings it a few hours later than you ordered.
Over my last months with Dreamhost, my small personal WordPress site (<50 visits a day) was down every week, often for hours (I know this thanks to external monitoring and personal experience). Even when it was up, the site was shockingly slow; simple operations took seconds (instead of fractions of a second) in the WP admin panel, and site latency for my visitors was also unacceptable.
But I persevered. I kept filing respectful tickets or having chats with Support, and they kept telling me:
- Hmm, must be one of your plugins!
- In either case, we’ll just reboot the apache instance.
After many instances of this, they moved me to a new apache instance, and the site stayed up for… a full 24 hours.
Like an abusive relationship, I was beginning to worry that indeed something was my fault. I’m a pretty geeky tech guy myself (have been online for more than a quarter century… yes, pre-public-access Internet days), but I asked a friend to take a look at my WP site to see if there were any red flags. There were none.
I found another host that I will not name here that was highly recommended. They kindly moved everything over for me, and then my eyes were opened: everything was faster… more than twice as fast (as measured myself, and via external testing tools)! And in the weeks I’ve been on this new host, there’s not been a single minute of downtime on my site.
Oh, and I’m paying exactly what I paid DH.
So, sorry prospective DH customer, I cannot recommend this hosting company. They seem like they’re a well-meaning, hard-working bunch, but obviously something has fallen through the cracks. And that something is reliable servers.