Fed Up

I can access my sites via FTP, but I’m getting nothing on HTTP. It seems like every few days there has been some morning outtages. I mentioned this in my last service ticket. For now though, please get me back up as soon as possible.

This is an excerpt from an email I sent to support at my current webhost this morning. My site was down for about an hour. They responded relatively quickly, restarted apache, apologized, and I was back online again but I’m tired of it already. There’s usually never a really long outtage, just short annoying ones. AM downtimes, server slowdowns, and occasional MySQL connection issues are the most common. I’ve said before that I’m getting what I paid for, and I still agree. I will never decide on a webhost again based on price. From now on, if I plan to switch hosts, I’ll choose based on user recommendation.

In the recommendation department, there seems to be one blindingly obvious choice: Dreamhost. I’m really not one to follow crowds…well, maybe I am…but a lot of people have placed their chips and their honest word on this host:

Now I know that most people who recommend Dreamhost do so inserting their own referral links (like I just did there), but I am honestly interested in finding a host that suits my needs which I can rely on. I can fix most anything I can break, so as long as the servers aren’t failing (flailing?) on their own, then I don’t care so much about support. From what I’ve read on Dreamhost’s website and from various review sites, they seem like the perfect host for me. If anyone has any negative experience with them and would like to point me in another direction, please feel fee to try. Otherwise, I’ll be switching come November when my prepaid year with my current host runs out.

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Back to the crowd following thing… I saw the MIT Weblog Survey link on Clagnut and decided to participate. I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

12 Comments

  1. Not sure where you’re at currently (I notice it has CPanel). But “Textdrive”:http://textdrive.com are good folks who have been very reliable since their last major growth spurt.

  2. I’ve heard mixed things about Dreamhost, actually. Though I’ve been impressed enough by their plans to consider switching myself anyway.

    I recently found the new plans from Media Temple to be really impressive, and while I have no personal experience with them, I have seen a lot of big ticket sites hosted there and I do like the way they sell themselves on their site.

    I like the “soon to be hosted” byline at the bottom of your page. You really are fed up….

  3. Thanks for the recommendation. I checked out Textdrive’s plans though and I’m not too impressed. $12/month for 300MB of space? That seems a bit high…but that may be because I’ve been spoiled by an insanely cheap host (with bad service). I’m paying about $4/mo for 500MB…and it’s a reseller account with cpanel and webhost manager.

  4. I’m another one of the Dreamhost converts. I’ve already set up to clients with the Dreamhost shared plan and am preparing myself to move as many of my own sites over to them as I can.

    As I am still managing my clients websites, I *have* seen downtimes with Dreamhost. This is not something you are ever going to get away from unless you have a dedicated server that guarantees 100% uptime.

    Sure 99% uptime sounds good, but it equates to a few hours of guaranteed downtime a month…remember that.

  5. Oh Geez!…you too Justin? I didn’t see a Dreamhost testimonial page on Sacromentoweb. I’m not that disillusioned. I understand that downtime happens, but it gets irritating when it happens a lot. I thought a cheap reseller account was the way to go, especially with all my “clients”. Well, most of the freelance projects I’ve worked on in the past year have had their own servers already. All the sites on my “reseller account” are either friends or family – and I’m not charging them for the space. Thinking about it in retrospect, I’d rather set clients up with a basic hosting account somewhere than try to manage billing for space on a reseller or dedicated hosting plan anyway. Why take on the extra responsibility?

  6. I’ve heard about Media Temple before, but haven’t checked their prices in a while. The Professional plan looks like competition for Dreamhost’s “Crazy Domain Insane” plan. Thanks Ryan. Is anybody out there with Media Temple currently?

  7. Ha, I’ve been doing the same thing with friends and family websites…giving them a subdomain and then managing it for them.

    I’ve slowly started to shed those piggy-backed websites, and right now DreamHost has been the easiest place to move existing websites to.

    Hey I said I was *getting ready* to move my websites over to Dreamhost, not that I am actually going to do it anytime soon though…that takes extra time and energy, something I don’t have much of right now.

  8. I use both Media Temple and TextDrive. If I had to do it again, I’d use TextDrive for all of it. Price notwithstanding, what you lose in disk space with TextDrive, you more than make up for with quick, direct access to the guys running the show, a good community, and way better features (especially for developers): WebDAV, SSL over IMAP/SMTP/POP, Subversion, Ruby, SSH, Python, etc. Not for everyone, but I like it.

    MT has the Macromedia (CF, Flash Comm) thing going for it, but I find their web-based control panels annoying.

  9. Another vote for TextDrive. Thanks Sean! You know, to be fair, TextDrive is really $11/mo if you pay for a year (they give you a month for free). Out of the list of developer features you listed though, WebDAV and Ruby on Rails are supported by Dreamhost. …and even though they don’t have Subversion, they do have CVS available for source control. I’m still leaning in that general direction.

  10. What features do you need?

    After getting burned with one small time host, I’ve had the same host for several years and haven’t noticed any major downtime, but the feature set is not as impressive as it used to be, I don’t use a lot of features.

    Brian

    • I’d like to pay less than $100/yr (c’mon, these are personal sites)
    • Unix (for sure)
    • PHP
    • A few mySQL DBs
    • Ability to host at LEAST 2 Full Domains (the more the better)
    • 500MB+ of disk space would be nice
    • 5GB+ Bandwidth
    • Some type of Control Panel. Doesn’t have to be cPanel™, but I’ve been happy with it so far.
    • …and last but certainly not least, I don’t want my site(s) to crap out every other morning.
  11. I almost feel like the black sheep for even suggesting this, but I host with 1&1 (http://www.1and1.com). Their servers pack a punch and for the life of me, I honestly can’t remember any downtimes. I’m sure there have been some, especially those few hours each night when I have to sleep.

    I have heard mixed reviews of these guys but over the past two years I have been nothing but happy. Although I can say, “Don’t call their tech support!”

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