If you host your own site, you’ve probably at some point come across Dreamhost.com. Everybody seems to be raving about them, and some people seem to be dedicating whole sections on their blogs to them. But to me, Dreamhost sucks!

Last year, before the first version of SoMinty was launched, I decided to go with Dreamhost because every other web designer seemed to be using it (like Mike Davidson for example). Plus at the time, they offered you a whole year of hosting for less than $10 if you used this coupon. So I signed up. It was good at first. There was this referral program, that if you set it up right, you could get $97 for your first referral. And they have a lot of space, and they let you host unlimited domains. But I later realized how dysfunctional it was.

Ok, everything you do, does not happen instantly. If you create a new MySQL database, you actually have to wait 10-20 mins before you can use it! Same thing with mailboxes, users, and even the built in application installer which lets you install web applications like WordPress and PhpBB with, “one click”. This is not something you would expect from a company that hosts that many websites. I mean. have they not heard about CPanel?

And then, on the new version of SoMinty, I’ve moved the whole site over to another host. I still have about 4 months of hosting left on Dreamhost, which I am going to just leave it there till the time runs out. Also, just in the past month, there have been 9 major problems at dreamhost. Including:

  • Sun 1/15/2006 7:59 PM – We were experiencing hardware issues with your webserver ‘boyd’ and needed to fail it over to a new machine.
  • Thu 1/12/2006 6:17 PM – We are currently experiencing hardware instability with our database machine ‘orangey’.
  • Tue 1/10/2006 1:49 AM – Your Mysql server, Gwen, crashed recently and we’re working on getting it back up.
  • Mon 1/9/2006 11:24 PM – The apache webservice ‘basic-rank’ on your machine soto has been flooded.
  • Fri 12/16/2005 2:13 AM – We’re having serious problems with the cluster of machines that handle mail for your domains.
  • Thu 12/15/2005 8:10 PM – One of our NetApp filers (the back-end serverst that store all your email and web sites) has crashed.
  • Mon 12/12/2005 7:16 PM – We’re currently being hit by a fairly large Distributed Denial of Service Attack.
  • Fri 12/9/2005 3:13 PM – Starting this morning at around 10:30AM PST we had problems with one of your mail servers that handles incoming / outgoing mail services.
  • Fri 12/9/2005 1:19 PM – Starting yesterday and still going on now our email servers have been absolutely inundated with the “Sober.X Worm”..

So, yeah, If someone tells you to use their referral link and use Dreamhost, make sure you think about it. Hard. And if you do decide to use Dreamhost, use my referral link and that will make me some $. (Hey, I did try to warn you. But if your decision makes me some money, I wont complain :P)

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  1. I have recently moved from dreamhost to a service called “Wewillhostit.com”. Server is really fast and reliable. I am able to host my blog and use 100% of my allocated bandwidth. They filter all http and DoS attacks at the network core level. Support is really great. If they don’t know the answer, the two guys I have spoken to have combed the internet looking for my answer. I know its just my blog but it means a lot when they are that committed to customer support and excellence. If they are reading this, GREAT JOB!

    There site isnt the best looking site but I like the service enough to post this:

    Check them out:

    Tell them James sent you. They might give me some kind of referral.

  2. DreamHost’s poor customer service has led to a serious privacy invasion. When my client attempted to sign up for an account, the transaction hung halfway through. When customer service (which can only be reached by tedious email exchanges) “fixed” the problem, the pay by credit card option was no longer available. The customer service representative insisted that we use Google Payments. I proceeded, and then my client realized his financial information is now in the Google system. The worst possible scenario then came true. Instead of completing the transaction, Google called my client’s bank for “preapproval”. This was not to complete the transaction (which was never completed), but to gather information for Google’s marketing. My client is furious, reviewing everyone’s privacy policy, and is looking into ways to bring this problem up at the political, and possibly the legal, level.

    Throughout this whole situation, Dreamhost has been nothing but pig-headed. Every customer service representative ignores the case history and either refers us back to Google Payments or says patronizing things like we could have paid with the original credit card system. I offered them a solution where I quietly pay for the account using Google transactions, and they won’t even let me help bail them out!!!

    I will never refer another client to dreamhost. Right now I’m looking for the best place to air this complaint publicly in as many places as possible. People have to know that when Dreamhost pushes people into using Google Payments, Google then has their financial information to aggregate and deploy for their own purposes.

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