DreamHost is still the best

Posted Jan 18, 2008 in Miscellaneous, Technology, Web Design.

DreamHost recently suffered from a well-publicized billing snafu in which thousands of customers were accidentally billed for a year or two in advance. As soon as the error was discovered, the company took steps to rectify it. Lots of people complained, and many decided to cancel their hosting plans. Despite this event, DreamHost remains one of the very best shared hosting companies available. Here are 10 reasons why:

  1. They said sorry. Many times, in both a jovial (their cultural norm) and serious manner.
  2. 500 gigabytes of storage space. This increases by a further 2 gigabytes every week.
  3. 5 terabytes of monthly bandwidth. This increases by a further 40 gigabytes every week.
  4. Unlimited MySQL databases, email aliases, hosted domains, hosted subdomains, announcement lists, discussion lists, etc.
  5. An ever expanding wiki-based repository of DreamHost-related knowledge that is constantly updated by staff and customers.
  6. A vibrant and active customer forum where “DreamHosters” can ask questions and offer sagely advice to each other.
  7. A no-nonsense 97-day money back guarantee.
  8. A friendly, accessible staff (many of whom can be found haunting the #dreamhost IRC channel).
  9. A constantly improving and updating service - DreamHost encourages its customers to submit service suggestions that others can vote on.
  10. All for a piffling $5.95 per month, with a special $50 discount if you use the promotional code of SCJESSEYTOTAL when you sign up.


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    Its just a mess at this point. It's going to take a lot to recover from this. I'm still waiting on my refund (I saw my bank on Friday). If its not in by tomorrow I'll be taking another trip to see what steps could be taken to ensure I get it back.

    Dreamhost is awesome though... but they need to sort out some things ;)

    Posted by James Henry on Jan 22, 2008.

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    DreamHost have assured their customers that all refunds have been processed at their end, and that actually getting them will be just a matter of time.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Jan 22, 2008.

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    Sounds very tempting Simon.

    One thing i "am" impressed with is the speed of page loads with SI Blog.

    I was on a reseller plan with a company which was ok, however they offered Failover plans where the database and web page server runs on separate machines. Also mirrored so if one machine fails the other takes over the lot.

    Excellent i though, 2 machines sharing the load and less chance of downtime.

    Wrong, nothing but problems. Database syncing issues, high loads on one machine causing the whole site to be slow. eAccellerator problems meaning a few sites have been down 6 days now and i'm getting sick of it.

    I don't need much space or bandwidth, just a fast server not bogged down with a million sites.

    What's the specs on your server Simon? It seems very fast and that's all i need.

    Posted by Wreck on Jan 23, 2008.

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    The specifications of the server are not all that impressive. I am on "absinthe" in this partially-maintained list; however, DreamHost ensure that the resources consumed on each server are fairly low. They will move people around a bit if they feel it is necessary. New servers are added continuously, as and when needed.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Jan 23, 2008.

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    Everybody knows they hugely oversell. How and why to use Dreamhost? If you have a website that demands lots of space/bandwidth, create several $5.95 Dreamhost accounts and use up all the allowed space/bandwidth with it, as needed. Do the same with Goodaddy cheap hosting, etc.

    Personally I picked leasing a server.

    Posted by David Collantes on Jan 29, 2008.

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    Thanks for the info Simon, after i posted my stats etc on WHT it was determined a shared hosting wouldn't be 100% suitable with my traffic and particular script.

    The problem with my script is it's very MySql intensive (poorly optimized) and my biggest requirement is CPU and RAM rather than space or bandwidth.

    So i needed something in between DreamHosts shared and dedicated that had a guaranteed amount of resources rather than shared resources.

    After a week tearing my hair out i got something called a VPS which i'm told is like a "piece" of a dedicated server. So far so good.

    Si-Blog still runs very fast despite the average specifications, seems like dreamhost are managing the server really well.

    Posted by Wreck on Feb 04, 2008.

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    It did not occur to me to mention the DreamHost PS service, because I don't use it myself. It would seem that DreamHost PS is perfect for your needs, Wreck.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Feb 05, 2008.

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    I was just wondering if anyone knows what the VPS specs are?
    Other than RAM, CPU etc.

    I've been searching but I can't find an answer.

    What i mainly want to know is, when you switch over to VPS (for maybe 15-30$ a month extra) which gets you 300 CPU / RAM i believe..
    Do you still have the same amount of disk space and monthly Bandwidth you had before upgrading to VPS?

    I believe i read somewhere (on a random forum, so its not official) that your space gets reduced to 100GB-ish.

    Can anyone confirm this?

    I live in Europe so the processing speed is quite slow, and that its a shared-server of course. But i love the specs(disc space, bandwidth, unlimited everything etc) apart of the CPU/RAM. I just want to keep what I have now and boost my RAM/CPU up a little if possible!

    I would like to know whether you keep the 500GB disk space and 5TB bandwidth when you upgrade to VPS or not.


    Posted by Michael on Feb 11, 2008.

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    Wanted to add:


    Everything else you've come to looooooove about DreamHost stays the same though: you get all the same features available from the same web panel, the same huge amounts of bandwidth and disk, the same load-balanced email, the same dedicated MySQL servers*, the same so-good support, and the same centralized high-performance storage with automatic versioned backups.


    So i assume everything is exactly the same as it was, but you get your own share of CPU/RAM? Meaning that you still have Unlimited: Databases, Email Accounts, Add-On Domains, and all that fine stuff, as well as your current amount of Disc Space and Bandwidth?

    If so, then i think I'll try out the VPS.

    Oh just one last question, even if I get the cheapest VPS specs (which starts at 15 dollars a month, 150 RAM/CPU) is there still an increase in performance since its not shared? Or will i suffer from lower transfer speeds than I am currently on the shared server?


    Posted by Michael on Feb 11, 2008.

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    It is my understanding that DreamHost PS customers get exactly the same deal as shared customers, but with the additional benefits of not having to share resource allocations with other customers and the ability to run persistent processes. In theory, there should be performance gains over shared customers; however, I find the existing performance to be more than sufficient for my needs - although that may be because the other accounts I share my particular server with "play nice", if you know what I mean.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Feb 12, 2008.

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    Yes, I believe that's how it is myself. However I came across a thread last night about the VPS and they were talking about your diskspace and bandwidth getting reduced to 100gb and 1tb.

    I think I'll just contact DH by mail and ask them myself.

    By the way, I just checked Wreck's Blog, it loads super fast compared to my websites.

    Mind timing how long it takes for you to load my website?

    Since you're probably im America, and I'm in Europe. Would like to know how long it takes for
    someone in America to load the website. Anyway, I'm still satisfied with Dreamhost. I like the Control Panel, the unlimited everything and massive amount of storage space.

    I'm going to be building some small community websites in the near future, which is another reason I would
    like to try out VPS on Dreamhost.

    Posted by Michael on Feb 13, 2008.

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    It took 13 seconds for anything to appear at at all, but once connected the page loaded in less than a second. I'm using a 6 megabit Comcast cable connection from Philadelphia.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Feb 13, 2008.

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    Thanks Jessey,

    Yeah, first load after clearing cache takes quite a while, as you can see.
    Even while living in the US. But like you said, after it's cached, all other
    pages load pretty fast. I'm not sure about all the technical stuff behind that,
    but I'm assuming that apart of all the images and such that get cached, also some query's get cached? On the front page of Yojimbos, (actually every page) theres a bunch of query's going on. It used to be more, but i managed to sort of re-facture it quite a bit, merging a few together. That'd helped as well.

    Anyway, I should read up on that stuff, about how the caching and such work.

    Going to send Dreamhost an email right now, and see what the deal is with VPS.

    Posted by Michael on Feb 13, 2008.

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    You know, I recently tried another host and it was a mess. I didnt get half of what I got from Dreamhost and it cost more.

    I failed to check if they offered My SQL (it supported PHP 4/5)... and was out of luck because My SQL cost extra monthly.

    Back with Dreamhost I went. For the price and what they offer, it can't be beaten.

    Posted by James on Feb 18, 2008.

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    Hello! Could you tell me how to share storage space (DreamHost) between several users? I'll greatful for an answer.

    Posted by Mic on Mar 28, 2008.

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    That's actually quite a complex question, because there are several different classes of user in the DreamHost setup. There is an account user, FTP users, shell users and also users can be grouped. For more information, see this page of the DreamHost Wiki.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Mar 28, 2008.

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    I tried dreamHost a few months ago, but it was a pain trying to get OpenID to work while on their servers. Turns out I had to recompile PHP with the right modules. After a couple weeks of trying, I decided to give up and move back to the host I used to use. Otherwise, Dreamhost is great. I love them.

    Posted by Devon Young on Jun 04, 2008.