Why I Almost Love DreamHost
Jens O. Meiert, March 13, 2007 / March 1, 2009.
This entry is filed under User Experience.
Only looking for promo codes? See the March 2009 update.
I almost love web hosting provider DreamHost. Right. I very much appreciate DreamHost from a professional point of view because DreamHost does several things “more than right” and generally provides a great user experience.
How’s that? Basically, because DreamHost
- is relatively low-priced (taking all features into account, German provider 1&1 is about 200 times more expensive than DreamHost, so even their nuclear weapon safe computer center doesn’t help them anymore);
- obsoletes all worries concerning both storage and bandwidth (DreamHost offers plenty of both, and you can watch your disk and bandwidth quotas grow on a weekly basis);
- provides many features (as a web professional, you always like that), and that doesn’t just mean the usual stuff but rather Ruby on Rails, CVS and Subversion/SVN, streaming support, WebDAV, Jabber, shell access, etc.
An important point is the disk storage and bandwidth aspect. On the one hand, that is still a problem when it comes to other providers and DreamHost solves that once and for all (you have to be too successful if it doesn’t). On the other hand, it’s solved very interestingly by weekly bonuses. These bonuses play an important part in the overall experience since they make you “feel more safe” and they also mean interesting opportunities. (For example, it finally allowed me to outsource all my project stuff – I just dropped the local CVS setup, created an SVN repository, and yet never have to worry that there’s not enough webspace.)
Figure: Screenshot of DreamHost’s former “Disk” and “Xfer” display.
Long story short, DreamHost made me a happy customer. A happy customer even though there is one thing that occasionally upsets me: Uptime could be better. (Monitoring my sites with Montastic reveals more breakdowns with DreamHost than with my German provider, the latter meaning almost 0 outages per year though.) I’m confident however that DreamHost brings that under control as well. So if you like me to cut the blah blah I may just recommend to try Dreamhost (promo code “j9t” will bring you “1 extra free lifetime domain registration”). They even get promo systems right.
Update (March 1, 2009)
Last time I played with promo codes it’s been December 2007; now I did it again. Overall, you might want to test the following codes when registering with DreamHost:
- “j9t”, as described above, offers you “1 extra free lifetime domain registration”;
- “j9tplus” offers even more webspace as well as $20 savings;
- “everything” lets you save a bit of everything (worth $63 I think).
The heavy use of referrer links and codes in this post can look a bit unusual, however it’s supposed to benefit everyone involved. And I just like testing and experimenting.
Enjoy the most popular posts, possibly including:
- “Valid CSS” and Similar Claims Are Unprofessional
- CSS Practice: Pseudo-Namespaces in Complex Projects
I 100% agree. Although in addition to uptime, I’d have to say their overall data transfer speed could be way better. Sometimes my site takes 20+ seconds to load.
Wow, wow, wow!
Did I get it right? After one year using “Crazy Domain Insane!” you have about 220 GB of disk storage?
And Rails support for this little money? Why are they so cheap??? Why?
Isn’t there anything like a “Pferdefuß”?
And why didn’t you tell us before?
These both blog entries and the comment of Eric shocked me a little bit.
So, it seems to be great for testing and personal presentation but for commercial websites (even very small ones) these long downtimes can’t be accepted.
And I just thought and found some Rails support at an affordable price so that I don’t have to care about my virtual server any longer …
Or am I wrong?
I wonder how many of you really use that hundreds GB’s of disk space or TB’s of transfer (?)
To me they’re just marketing catch and unfortunately (up to my experiences) the uptime and speed experienced on their servers is below average. Many other host provide much more balanced service in that case for similar price.
I think best advantage of Dreamhost is possibilities you have on shared server.. like building your own compilation of PHP I don’t know any other host that will allow that.
On August 19, 2007, 14:46 CEST, Web Hosting in Australia said:
I’ve used DreamHost for a few of my clients and I have always found the servers to be big on features (very important) but slow on speed. I think they cram so many web sites on their servers that it slows them right down
On October 22, 2009, 12:32 CEST, Linto Dilt said:
In reality, if you use a large amount of disk space (e.g. 20GB for a database), they will contact you and ask you to remove it
It is great cheap hosting though, especially if you sign other people up.
On May 13, 2010, 16:50 CEST, Justin said:
I have never felt the need to give DreamHost a try, something just made me think they provided terrible service. I’ll be sure to add them to my recommended list since you have shared a positive experience with them and I’ll give them a go if I start having problems with my current host or need another to host another site.
On October 15, 2010, 13:00 CEST, Shared Sh. said:
I’ve been a pretty happy Dreamhost customer for a couple years now, but I won’t delude myself into thinking they are the best hosts around. I’ve been burned by uber-affordable hosting before. If my site, and many of my clients’ sites, go down for a day or get throttled or the other myriad problems Dreamhost customers encounter (it’s not just the recent, third party LA datacentre), I have only myself to blame.
You always, always get what you pay for.