Will DREAMHOST do the RIGHT thing?


Recap: Last Sunday Dreamhost randomly (for no reason) deleted my entire
account and now will not completely restore it!

My Website is an Art/Design site. There are 5000+ images MISSING!

This is the last message I got from the DH Tech support:

I am so very sorry for the problems. I had a system administrator search
every single drive we could find (he even pulled your old server off the
shelf and ran a system check on it to see if he could recover the files).

Unfortunately, none of our searches found the files. I am very sorry. You
will need to restore the site from your own offline backups.

My Wordpress Forum friends are telling me that this sounds like a

You need to have a Sys Admin retrieve my images from your backup system.

We are waiting for Dreamhost to do the RIGHT thing!


Tell me, seriously: You don’t have your own backup of these files? If they are worth anything at all to you, you should. That is your responsibility. Never, ever, depend on the host, however good they are, to safeguard your files.



Again, we sincerely apologize for the loss of data.
Unfortunately, we don’t guarantee back ups of your site and do this as a courtesy.
I apologize for the frustration being caused from the data loss.
We did our best to try and retrieve the photos but were unsuccessful.
Please note, that this is a rare occasion for data loss to happen during a migration. This is why we always advise our customers to do manual back ups.
There isn’t much we can do beyond this point for retrieving any data, as it is not there.
Again, I sincerely apologize.

Justin H
DreamHost Staff

Stop offering 'backups'

What is the right thing to do, in your mind? Made up excuse for what? Do you think the Dreamhost staff deleted your files for fun?


And, again, I am concerned that someone has 5,000 photos that they post online without a personal backup of some sort.


Finger waggling aside, I find it hard to believe that an account that was functioning perfectly well one day can be > /dev/null and no trace of any file system data can be found (let alone reclaimed) the next. OP was apparently migrated a month ago, so unless DH have ceased backing up files altogether it’s quite a mystery.


Yes, it is hard to believe that lightening struck twice (first w/ the loss of the files, then the inability to do a restore)

But I am moving on… and will religiously do my own backups from now on.

Thanks for all your support, sXi!


As a WordPress Forum Regular, I can promise you, this isn’t made up :frowning:

I know it seems totally crazy, to think that it was working and then it didn’t. The only idea I had was that after we moved you, you were still going to your site’s old server instead of the new one. So you didn’t notice the copy didn’t happen right away. Then, when we finally did remove the old sever files after a month, it vanished. We just can’t find it in our backups and, like Justin, I’m really sorry.

Your database, being on a different server, wasn’t affected by this.

I feel bad that this happened to you. I once did this to myself (deleted my whole wp-content folder without a good backup), so I know exactly how gutting this feels. My host couldn’t restore all the media for me either. I used the tricks I relied on then to see if I could get anything, and tried to see if Google had cached some of your images so you could have something. We’re all really sorry this happened, and we didn’t take it lightly or blow it off in anyway :frowning:


Another lesson to all customers. Please please back up the files on your own.


^ Agreed. And we do digitally “sign” a TOS Agreement that we know what we’re doing as webmasters when we sign up.

It’s always a shame when we learn the hard way :frowning:


If you can find me one webmaster who hasn’t made this mistake, you’ll win a prize.

We’ve all done it at least once :frowning: and I wish we didn’t. I recently wiped out all the docs I had on the cloud by accident when I re-installed my iPad OS. I thought I had a backup, I did not. I sighed, salvaged what I could, and moved on. Apple didn’t say that what I did would wipe my settings, but in retrospect, yeah, I can see why it happened.


Maybe Dreamhost COULD do the right thing and in one click installs of wordpress include a simple backup plugin along with something like login lockdown and provide a LISTING of available themes and where to see what they look like without installing them. That way a user doesn’t have to spend 30 minutes to an hour Deleting unused themes AND they get a clue that backups should be done and wp-login.php should be protected.

my $.02


Such as WB-DPManager, which I’ve used for several years with great success. Also optimizes and repairs databases, and emails them to you if you like.


Personally? I think a backup should be more than just for one app.

We do recommend VaultPress for WordPress. It’s $15 a month at http://vaultpress.com/ but they’re absolutely amazing.


If you don’t want free, of course. :slight_smile:

But the author of the plug-in I recommended accepts donations. :slight_smile:


You know your suggesting a monthly expense for backup that’s more than the cost of Dreamhost on a monthly basis? Why not have DH offer an ‘uninformed webmaster’ service for $25 a month and help the newbies actually backup, and similarly protect their wp installations? How about filtering the unwashed non-wp bots that troll DH every day as part of that service?


Honestly, with DreamHost offering a free 50gb backup account, cronjobs, and SSH access there should be frequent and multiple backups of your database and website files running on a daily basis.

I would write up a detailed tutorial but I suppose it would need to be written for Windows. Anyone want to collaborate on a tutorial: I will write it for linux and someone else can translate it for Windows? I already have a half-decent script written, just need to take some screenshots. Not sure how Windows people do SSH commands. Putty?


Already exists, but better than a tutorial.




I think that’s a good idea, personally, and it would be pretty cool if we could do that and tie it in to, say, DreamObjects. Again, I wouldn’t make it a WP thing only. Make it available to everyone, back up everything per-domain, win :slight_smile:

$25 is more than DH costs a month BTW :wink: However I’m of the opinion that, if your website is an important part of your income, you should be paying around $300 a year for it, give or take.

I pay around $1500 a year (which is still less than I pay for my cell phone family plan… Ugh).

You lost me on that one… You mean NOT backup the non-wp users?