Elliott C. Back: Internet & Technology

Dreamhost Sucks At Hosting

Posted in Hosting,Performance,Scalability,Uptime by Elliott Back 4 weeks ago.

I’ve concluded that Dreamhost sucks phenomenally at hosting websites that generate any kind of traffic. Sure, their $9.99 a month plans with massive savings coupons are enticing, but if you knew what you were getting yourself into, you’d stay away. Dreamhost sucks like you’d want to suck on a knife covered in chocolate–which isn’t very much.

hellhost.jpg

Others tell the tale better than I can:

There are also two unbelievable sites which actually claim that Dreamhost doesn’t suck. Well, if you read the above articles, you’d understand that Nightmarehost is really a bad dream.

So far not a single blog has explained at a high technical level why Dreamhost can’t handle their customers. I’ve seen some vague hand-waving about overselling, but no one actually has numbers to back it up. Sure, when someone tells me it takes them 10 minutes to go from SSH login prompt to terminal I believe them, but it’s not good enough. We’re making serious accusations about quality of service; we had better be able to back it up. We need hard data.

I have a shared hosting account on one of their machines, sepulveda.dreamhost.com [205.196.222.24]. The ping is fairly responsive, but not exceptional. They get their bandwidth directly from Level3, so it’s good bandwidth:

%ping -n 100 sepulveda.dreamhost.com
Minimum = 77ms, Maximum = 116ms, Average = 87ms

Unfortunately, there are 1200 users on my machine. I’ve seen industry guidelines that recommend far, far less than that, anywhere from 1/4 to 1/10th for shared hosting services:

[sepulveda]$ cat /etc/passwd | wc -l
1199

The machine itself appears to be a single dual-core opteron with 4GB of RAM, which isn’t hefty by any means. It should be dual dual-core and have 16GB of RAM to be at all useful. Besides, RAM is cheap–if they did put in more RAM maybe they could realistically handle 1-2k users per machine! Here’s the proc info:

/proc/meminfo:

        total:    used:    free:  shared: buffers:  cached:
Mem:  4172861440 3993358336 179503104        0 24576000 2158034944
Swap: 6465036288 326541312 6138494976
MemTotal:      4075060 kB
MemFree:        175296 kB
MemShared:           0 kB
Buffers:         24000 kB
Cached:        2033020 kB
SwapCached:      74436 kB
Active:         810260 kB
Inactive:      1321512 kB
HighTotal:     3211200 kB
HighFree:        34404 kB
LowTotal:       863860 kB
LowFree:        140892 kB
SwapTotal:     6313512 kB
SwapFree:      5994624 kB

/proc/cpuinfo:

processor	: 0
vendor_id	: AuthenticAMD
cpu family	: 15
model		: 35
model name	: Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 175
stepping	: 2
cpu MHz		: 2194.592
cache size	: 1024 KB
fdiv_bug	: no
hlt_bug		: no
f00f_bug	: no
coma_bug	: no
fpu		: yes
fpu_exception	: yes
cpuid level	: 1
wp		: yes
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic 
sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse 
sse2 ht syscall mmxext lm 3dnowext 3dnow pni
bogomips	: 4377.80

processor	: 1
vendor_id	: AuthenticAMD
cpu family	: 15
model		: 35
model name	: Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 175
stepping	: 2
cpu MHz		: 2194.592
cache size	: 1024 KB
fdiv_bug	: no
hlt_bug		: no
f00f_bug	: no
coma_bug	: no
fpu		: yes
fpu_exception	: yes
cpuid level	: 1
wp		: yes
flags		: fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep 
mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht 
syscall mmxext lm 3dnowext 3dnow pni
bogomips	: 4377.80

It’s funny that a guy actually monitored his site with Pingdom for a week. He writes in a comment on the dreamhost status blog:

Sorry, guys, but your service is simply terrible.
Today, there were just 83.11% of uptime (3h23min offline until now!) – data obtained from Pingdom.com.
Since 4/9, there were just one day with 100% uptime.
In the sum of last ten days, I just had more than 9 hours of downtime (while my other servers had no more than 15 minutes).
Every day I see server problems in my server.
That is unacceptable!!!

Dreamhost and I have been having conversations now for a while about a site which gets 1-2k visitors, and hosts 51GB of transferred static content a day. I thought you might be interested in reading them. On 4/30/2007, I received this email from Brian S. about my site:

Connections to your domain ( static.imgfly.com ) crashed the shared apache service several times this morning. A connection limit has been placed on your site. Being on a shared server means you need to share the resources with other customers. Due to the heavy volume of traffic, other domains on the same service were not able to load. Once the traffic to your site has taperd off, we will gladly remove the connection limit. Please read the appropriate section of our Terms of Service and let us know if you have any questions.

dreamhost.com/tos.html

My only thought is was dismal woe. If they don’t know how to configure Apache with the right connection and threading settings so it won’t crash, all is lost. Also, some of my DNS settings (I forget which exactly) were mangled in their blocking process, so I sent them a snarky email:

Unfortunately, you did far more than place a connection limit. You also edited my dns settings without my consent, which is strictly against any kind of ethical hosting policy. I had a CNAME on feifei.us pointing * to the domain so that subdomains would work; now it has mysteriously disappeared.

My account is advertised at having ~2.9TB of bandwidth a month; I pointed 50GB/day of static hosted content at my dreamhost account, which is about half of what I’m allotted, and you screw up my domain settings? You can’t handle half of what you promise?

I want to know exactly what kind of connection limit you’ve placed on my site, at a high technical level. I want to know why you can’t deliver even half of the bandwidth allotted to my account. This isn’t a high-level of bandwidth, it’s just a constant level of about 50GB a day, and it’s not even dynamic content, just static files.

At that time I was frantically re-routing and re-setting up the site, because all the DNS settings were lost, even ones pointing offsite and not at Dreamhost servers. They replied quite fairly to the email, I have to give them credit:

The CNAME was not removed as part of the connection limit. I’m sorry that it may have disappeared, but this was not as a result of the limit put in
place and was instead likely a bug in the system. You’re free to put it back if you’d like, but let me know if you don’t notice the wildcard working and I’ll get it set up for you again. I’m sorry that you believe we removed it, but we did not. The domain you mentioned was not one that was touched.

Bandwidth and connections are two separate issues. While you can definitely use all of the bandwidth that we offer, the number of connections per second and concurrent connections that your site was receiving was causing the Apache service to crash. If we didn’t put the limit in place you wouldn’t be able to use any of the bandwidth we provide as your site would have continued to crash the service. This would prevent yours and other customer’s websites from appearing online.

Unfortunately you’ve since removed hosting for this so I can’t provide you any sort of information about the limit that was put in place. I’ve explained the bandwidth issue above. Please don’t hesitate to write back if you need help with anything else.

Of course, I don’t buy the bandwidth explanation. They would have to allow me enough connections to actually constantly use 11Mbs for me to use it up. With 1200 customers on their server, even with a gigabit ethernet card they couldn’t fulfill their contracts if everyone used all their bandwidth. Some overselling is, of course, necessary and acceptable. Dreamhost goes a little overboard. The next day I noticed the new arrangements of sites I set up wasn’t working well, so I sent them a quick checkup email:

There’s some serious issues with this site; it took 8 connection tries to even connect to the server.

The reply I got back was shocking, even to me (emphasis my own):

Your domain imgfly-static.feifei.us is again causing serious problems on the sepulveda webserver. The number of requests coming in is almost instantly crashing the apache instance. This is unacceptable, and since instead of working with us you simply moved your problematic site to another domain I’m going to ask you now to stop running whatever you’re currently hosting on imgfly-static.feifei.us immediately, and to not start anything like it on any user, domain, or server of ours, ever again.

I’ve disabled imgfly-static.feifei.us to preserve the stability of the server, please do not re-enable it.

I only moved my domains around because (a) I wanted them that way in the first place, and (b) the DNS disappeared at some point. I had thought their connection limit was account-wide, but apparently my fixing the DNS also ruined their limiting. Today, since even though they suck, I sent them a nice, long, clearly written, conciliatory email. I really do want to get my 3TB of bandwidth out of them, and if it takes some sucking up, so be it:

I feel like we’re misunderstanding each other–I’m not trying to subvert your sepulveda cluster, and I am trying to work with you. Last time there was an issue, either my CNAME or A record for the subdomain somehow got lost in the dns, so I added a wildcard CNAME to feifei.us. I was under the impression that connection limits were placed on the account to prevent it from affecting sepulveda, but whatever change I made must have invalidated that.

I’ve just arrived home from work and I’ve pointed the stream of traffic you can’t handle elsewhere until we can work out the configuration. I’ve enabled the subdomain again, but there won’t be anything running on it until I get the ok.

Let me explain the software solution I’m running. The domain ImgFly.com is hosted on a dedicated server I run offsite. Requests for actual image content are forwarded to imgfly-static.feifei.us, which serves them as static content if they have been cached by that server, otherwise makes an attempt to fetch the resource remotely from amazon S3 and cache it to disk. Approximately 100 photos are uploaded an hour, and 2.1 GB of data downloaded. This isn’t much. It’s mostly serving random static content to consumers.

When I SSH into sepulveda, I see some indications that the problems you’re seeing aren’t my fault:

[sepulveda]$ uptime
16:40:39 up 26 days, 2:48, 5 users, load average: 10.67, 10.77, 9.30

Sepulveda is a dual-dual-core opteron, but those load averages are still pretty high. When I SSH in I can barely get a single command to run. Clearly the server is overloaded to the point where all it can do is serve an extremely limited amount of information. I’m willing to work with you to best manage your server resources, but you need to let me know exactly what you can handle.

Here are some solutions that come to mind:

1) Move me (or just feifei.us) to a reasonably loaded server
2) Configure apache so it doesn’t crash, or, give me an .htaccess file with reasonable limiting I can use
3) Run feifei.us without mod_rewrite or the cache script, just on a completely static filesystem
4) Tell me exactly how many connections you are able to handle, and I will send you only that many

I’m sure you’ll have some good ideas as well. It’s disappointing to be offered 3TB of bandwidth a month which is an unmetered constant rate of 10 Mbs, but be unable to fully utilize it.

I’m sure this post will get lots of comments… if any of you know someone willing to host 2+ TB of bandwidth for < $100 a month, let me know. I’m almost to the point of paying for another dedicated server to manage this.

Update:

I guess telling Dreamhost that I’d turn off the site which was causing them problems and work with them to figure out a better way to host it was a bad idea, because I received this lovely email a few moments ago:

Hello,

I’ve disabled your account for failure to comply with my request. This
is a permanent account closure, I’ve refunded your last payment.

James

So my DNS and whatever miscellaneous files (I think my dad’s site!) are there are currently being held hostage. Considering they’re my property, unless I hear from Dreamhost in the next three hours, I will be calling my lawyers tomorrow. I want blood now.

Update 2:

At 4/04/2007 5:19 PM EST I received a lovely email from Dreamhost, explaining that they weren’t doing anything to address the fact that my domains and data are being held hostage:

I have gone ahead and forwarded this to James, he will get back to you as soon as he can. Please wait for his reply.

I have forwarded the to XX so that they can update your incident report with this info, They will get back to you with any information that they may have if it is necessary, if so please wait for their reply.

It is now 24 hours since my first of three requests in writing for them to release my data and domains to me. If you know someone at Dreamhost who’s friendly and sane enough to let me pick up my things and leave, you should let them know about this. Otherwise, this is going to be a whole lot more painful tomorrow.

Update 3:

Some kind soul submitted this story to Digg. Yay! Maybe if it gets enough attention Dreamhost will give me my domains and access back.

Update 4:

Hello Digg crowd. Maybe I wasn’t clear about things. This site isn’t running on a Dreamhost machine. Hellllllll no. It would be down right now if it was. My Dreamhost account, which contains only domains, my dad’s low volume blog, and maybe one other blog, is currently disabled. The rest of it’s on a dedicated server I run from Cari.net, a company I’ve never had any problems with.

Update 5:

Now they’re telling me to wait. This should take a tech all of 2 minutes to resolve, just enable the account, wait for me to tell you I’m done with it, and then close it permanently:

It means that we have passed your message to the Tech that is responsible for disabling your site. While we understand your urgency to get this issue resolved, you will need to wait until the Rep is able to follow-up with you regarding the issue.

Update 6:

The Co-founder of Advection .NET emailed me and offered to help out. Really nice guy. If you need serious big time content-distribution and bandwidth, you should check out Advection .NET Global Media Hosting Network.

Update 7:

Ah, the sweetness of resolution. It’s a very long day and a half later, but I’m now almost again in possession of my files, databases, and domains. For some reason, the Dreamhost abuse team decided to zip up my files themselves. They probably didn’t trust me to download my files and be off again:

I’m sorry about the delay in this responce, it was in part due to the time needed to prepare all of your data.

I’ve tarred up your files and placed them at abuse.dreamhost.com/misc/user-content/xxx/ the login is xxx and the password is that which you used to login to the Webpanel. Your data has been split into three files, and will need to be concatenated before you can unzip it. Also there are your databases, they were spread between three database servers, so are in three different files. I will be removing the files after one week.

Here are the authorization codes for the domains you have registered with us. Once you’ve initiated a transfer out you can contact us again and we’ll approve the transfer.

If they had added a line to their two line email about terminating my account saying “We will provide your domains and files for transfer in __some timeframe__, please wait for our email” they could have averted this post.

Final Update:

I’ve finally gotten an email from someone in the know, a level 2 support manager. Hurray for moving up. His email is very nice:

I’m terribly sorry about the recent events that have transpired, it looks like we disabled you a little overzealously. I apologize for that. We’ve re-activated your account, however, it’s my understanding that you’re moving your domains off of our servers, which is completely understandable. If you’d still like to do that, we’ll be more than happy to refund that payment James offered.

As for the domain, imgfly.com, I’ve moved it over to your account, so you should be able to transfer. To save you time, I’ve included your auth code for transfer, should you need it. Now, if you do decide to stay, that’s great, however, we will need to discuss the stability issues you were having, however, I’ll save that, if the issue pops up if you decide to stay.

We do appreciate your willingness to work out the issue, and I apologize for the misunderstanding, and the overzealous nature on James’ part. If you’d like to discuss any other matters, please let me know at xxx@dreamhost.com, and I’ll be happy to speak with you.

I’m going to send him an email back about using imgfly-static.feifei.us as a cache node, because I really would like to use all my bandwidth up. Everything else is moving off, however.

Post-final Update:

I had thought that was the end of it, but I noticed this comment allegedly from Dreamhost’s Co-Founder and CTO, which includes the false statement:

3. He ignored our requests to not re-enable his website and did it anyway.

I tried to leave a comment explaining that I disabled my website per instructions, then put up an index page–which was somehow misconstrued by Dreamhost as ignoring their instructions. However, it’s been a few days and my comment has not been approved. Later comments have. I guess Dreamhost feels that they should have the right to slander me on their forum. I don’t feel the same way. If any Dreamhosters want to comment here, be my guest.

New News on Dreamhost

Recently 3,500 ftp accounts got hacked, including several high-profile websites like Cameron Moll. Still, there’s nothing on their official blog about this, like they want to cover it all up.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 3rd, 2007 at 8:16 pm and is tagged with . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.

178 Responses to “Dreamhost Sucks At Hosting”

  1. Anon says:

    The best is their staff Jen D. who decided to rename my htaccess and make my site go public against my wishes before I had a chance to make security implementations in full. Pure stupidity, and probably illegal.

  2. vuego says:

    Surely if you have a ‘high traffic’ site you shouldn’t be on $9/month hosting?

    Dreamhost like all the other hosts provide a service for a price – if you don’t like it move to another one, it’s pretty straight forward.

    The problem is nobody wants to pay for anything anymore – Don’t get me started on UK Manufacturing lol

  3. Vinícius Borriello says:

    DH is the worst host ever.

    Believe Elliott when he tell you: DREAMHOST IS REALLY A TRASH

  4. A says:

    I too have experienced the same type of blatant ignorance on Dream Host’s part, and more specifically, Robert R.. That guy is just in another world, I swear! And because communications are via email, you can’t ask for a supervisor, right? Well, you can, but Robert R. will say something like this: NO!.

    I’m extremely disappointed and upset with this. I’m telling you, there’s no difference between this American hosting company and 1and1.com who outsources its tech support from the Philippines. That’s a trip as well. Getting them to understand why you called in the first place is almost as hard as getting Dream Host to reply to an email. Horrible.

  5. Tom says:

    What the heck do you expect from $9/month hosting? Customers like you are a nightmare. DH did exactly what I would’ve done — send you a refund and boot you off.

  6. Joe Restivo says:

    I use GoDaddy for my hosting, and maybe an independent contractor for a couple projects here and there. Everybody to me seems to be the same.

    However, when it comes to website monitoring, I use yupitsup.com/ and it works great for e-commerce sites!

  7. Roshekh says:

    I was planning to buy an unlimited hosting plan on Dreamhost??But now I’m confused!

  8. Mark E Mark says:

    I am a website developer and I also resell hosting for mostly static websites and a few blogs. A few years ago I experimented with DreamHost, GoDaddy and HostGator. Here are my very short summaries of each.

    DreamHost: Best CPanel of any host I’ve ever used EVER. Unfortunately this is not the main purpose of website hosting, which DreamHost fails to provide. My customers’ servers were frequently placed on email blacklists, my websites would run slower that Forrest Gump, servers (both email and web) would be down and DH wouldn’t even acknowledge that it happened, and sometimes files would simply DISAPEAR for no reason! Customer service was meh. In one word: NightmareHost.

    GoDaddy: SLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWW. Customer service is meh. Cheaper than tap water, but they will nickle and dime you for things that should be free, so that’s how they make their money back from the cheap hosting. Problems with my clients getting on email blacklists.

    HostGator: Been with HG for over three years now. Shared servers run fast, I’ve NEVER had any trouble with email or spam, customer service is acceptable. The CPanel is not great, but it gets the job done and is still better than GoDaddy’s. Bottom line is that they get the IMPORTANT things done right, like making sure your websites and emails are actually WORKING instead of spending time writing self-absorbed humorous joke newsletters like NightmareHost, or figuring out how to nickle and dime you to death like GoDaddy.

  9. Jfrieson says:

    Dreamhost sucks! Site has been down for over 11 hours today, no help, no reasons, no eta nothing. They refuse to say anything other than “we’re working on it”

    To top it off this was all started with a scheduled server upgrade for daytime! Any sys admin worth his salt knows to do server upgrades during the slow time not peak hours!

  10. Rudy says:

    Dreamhost service and support sucks. They will deny account cancellation requests if you have a balance. Can you imagine that? They want to continue billing me for crappy service I don’t want!

    Dreamhost is good for hosting only a few static web pages and images. Anything more (Joomla, WordPress, PHP scripts) is a gamble.

    I have had an account with them for 3 years and remember the times the site(s) would go down or crawl. I usually shrugged it off cause of the cheap price. There is not much one can expect from budget hosting.

    However, Dreamhost should be honest in their advertising and stop over-promising. Luckily, I have migrated all of my sites out of their crappy servers today. Even though I have moved everything out and deleted all domains they rejected my cancellation request over a balance of $20.

    $20!!? C’mon, they must be tight for money. The support staff were ******** with me over 20 bucks! -Which will be paid in a few days and I was merely trying to avoid the next billing period.

    Stay away from Dreamhost! I would not even host for free with them.

  11. Rahul says:

    My site www.crickethighlights.org/
    was having serious downtimes while using with hostgator.I recommend dreamhost for any services

  12. Rahul says:

    I was using hostgator for few months and they couldn’t handle my traffic spikes,now I am using dream host and I’ve had no problems till now.

  13. for 8 years they allowed libelous harassment on their servers, after years of reporting the abuse be removed i finally hit them back with spam blogs containing all the abusive posts containing their names and walla… they finally removed the ****. they suck.

  14. PeterP says:

    I have been using dreamhost for 2-3 years. They upgraded some servers a while back and everything went from OK considering the cost to the best hosting of this kind ever. I get super fast page loads even with gallery. Resizing thumbnails is super quick, upgrading, uploading and downloadig all good. I get shell access and unlimited traffic and space pretty much. My site has never been offline apart from the one off switch / upgrade and to be honest, I really didn’t even notice it apart from the large number of mails communicating this to me. If there is a better ISP for the price then I’d be surprised. If only dreamhost had tomcat and maybe a few other bits it would be 10 out of 10! What is this thread all about, I guess you must be the unlucky minority?

    • A says:

      No Peter, you’re the lucky minority. :) DreamHost is good for people who don’t run a business or anything important using their services. Sure, you use gallery. Woohoo! Some PHP code, some MySQL database, and a bunch of static content. And your family visiting that gallery once in a while. That’s awesome, but you my friend are mistaken if you think we are ignorant and don’t know what we’re talking about when we say that DreamHost is unreliable. Want proof and don’t believe an idiot who signs “A” in a reply to you? Fine. Read reviews by real and current DreamHost customers on their own status page: www.dreamhoststatus.com/2010/12/05/service-outages-for-a-handful-of-servers/#comments

  15. Berthold says:

    Who in their right mind orders shared hosting and uses it as an image cache? What’s next, building a search engine on php-enabled freespace?

    Maybe Dreamhost could have communicated a bit better, but what on earth did you think you were doing running such an application on anything but dedicated systems?! I’d be really interested to know which provider actually covers your site now, and how much more they charge you (unless of course they profit from you plugging them).

  16. Deviled Eggs says:

    I guess I’ll go with Hostgator. I’ve read a lot of bad stories about Dreamhost.

    • A says:

      I tried HostGator. May you never ever need their tech support representatives or have a problem paying for your invoice ON TIME. Now go son, go with my blessing and use HostGator.

  17. Adi says:

    Hey Elliot

    Did you actually pursued them legally?

    I am putting together a lay suit with my attorneys. Those guys are bunch of stupid jackasses.

    I would love to hear what charges you pressed and what happened?

    Adi

    • How is the situation with the legal action? Are you going ahead with it? I tried to cancel my account with them and have lost a considerable amount of money in overdraft fees when I asked them beforehand to cancel my account because I didn’t have the funds and they went ahead with unautharized charges anyway so I’m considering legal action as well..

  18. Jessica Hughey says:

    Dreamhost may be guilty of “overselling” but you, my friend, are guilty of “underbuying”. Dreamhost had every right to cut you off, if for nothing else than the immense size of your ego. Thanks to you, they have probably added an “ego limit” section to their TOS. Get a dedicated server and leave the shared hosting to the “little people”, k?

    • A says:

      Jessica, what exactly does little people mean? What I had was a simple Joomla installation that would get about 2000 hits a month. That’s less than 70 people per day. Nothing fancy, just some text and linked videos from S3. Do you think that qualifies for little people? If you do, then I’ll have you know: I have experienced the same kind of ignorance and idiotic behavior described by the original poster. And it was all over their ridiculous email policy where one has to still abide by it even though they use iContact or something like that. Absolutely unacceptable.

      Before you get upset, I ask you again: what is little people? My server had 1067 other users at the time they screwed up my account.

  19. Crash says:

    Dreamhost are pretty good for us although you do see a bit of downtime on various services. I guess it’s just vital to keep backups of your stuff (at the end of the day the only person you can rely on is you).

    I think this is especially true with large hosts like Dreamhost where emphasis is on ‘buy bulk’ rather than ‘buy service’.

  20. Now I’m scared to host my sites with Dreamhost. :(

  21. Grrambo says:

    For DreamHost or bluehost I found some good promo codes on a website called OneMoreGadget just type OMG2009 at the check out and you can get a ridiculous deal. I thought I would try it as I had nothing to lose because of the price being so cheap.

    So far the service has been good, they’ve been helpful. Way better customer service than I had expected and they made it easy to transfer my hosting which I was worried about. Since signing up they have actually called me twice in reply to questions I asked them.

    I think its near the bottom of the main page on www.onemoregadget.com

  22. pceasies says:

    No wonder why Dreamhost servers are so overloaded. You should at least be hosted with a VPS. Your site uses huge resources and bandwidth, it’s supposed to be shared equally, that’s why it’s called shared hosting.

  23. Michael says:

    I loved this article, I’m banned at them for like the stupiest reason ever, ‘archiving site’, which comes pretty close to your reason.
    They didn’t even gave me the right time to backup everything, dreamhost sucks!

  24. Kinkow says:

    Yes Dreamhost suck …

  25. web hosting says:

    I have used DreamHost for about 6 months now, its really simple. The one click installs are a nice time saving feature. Unfortunately they don’t have the latest version of PHP on their servers so its been a bit restricted for me lately. Can’t complain about downtime as I haven’t seen any.

  26. eacomm says:

    We’ve been a loyal dreamhost customer for over 5 years now and for me, for low traffic sites, they’re great value for money and we still have over 30++ sites hosted with them for just a few dollars a month. However we did experience SEVERE traffic capping on our high traffic sites. We had a site getting around 5000 visitors a day and suddenly on day it got less than a thousand hits and this continued for weeks. After moving to another provider (media temple) the traffic went all they up to 7000 visitor in our first day! Media Temple has a lot of horror stories as well but at least for us (knock on wood) so far it’s rolling along smoothly. So in conclusion: light traffic brochure sites? Dreamhost Rocks! Medium-High traffic sites? Look elsewhere!!

  27. Thomas says:

    Nice article. When I started with Dreamhost years ago they were great, but their service and dependability have become horrid. Recently my site and email have been down repeatedly with NO help from their “support”. I finally gave up and moved one of my domains to another provider* and am in the process of moving my website as well to the same provider*. DH sucks and keeps on sucking.

    *”Go Daddy”

  28. Nancy says:

    I hosted my blog at dreamhost for a year and for the most part they were alright, but there were constant issues with mysql database connectivity. I was victim to that billing debacle, which really peeved me. I switched my blog recently from dreamhost to Uptimehost (www.uptimehost.com) and it’s been very smooth.

    Dreamhost was good, but for a properly priced web host, you can get a lot more satisfaction in knowing that your site will be up and running all the time and not some of the time!

  29. Julie F Outlaw says:

    nice article! nice site. you're in my rss feed now ;-)
    keep it up

  30. Nobody says:

    To anyone who reads this, please ignore “NoneOfYourDamnBusiness”. First off, no rep. for a company would act like this so publicly. Secondly, his entire argument is false. I have just verified today, 01.10.08, that said information can be accessed.

    In any case, it appears that DreamHost has picked up the quality of their service. While this is by no means an endorsement, merely a tidbit for consideration.

    Ping statistics for 208.113.132.7:
    Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 27ms, Maximum = 39ms, Average = 28ms

    Linux oreo 2.4.32-grsec+f6b+gr217+nfs+a32+fuse23+++opt+c6+gr2b-v6.192 #1 SMP Wed

    _ _|-_) _
    ___/_|___|___/

    Welcome to oreo.dreamhost.com

    ***@oreo ~ $ cat /proc/meminfo
    total: used: free: shared: buffers: cached:
    Mem: 4172877824 3979927552 192950272 0 171114496 1509117952
    Swap: 6465036288 485101568 5979934720
    MemTotal: 4075076 kB
    MemFree: 188428 kB
    MemShared: 0 kB
    Buffers: 167104 kB
    Cached: 1370292 kB
    SwapCached: 103456 kB
    Active: 785560 kB
    Inactive: 856008 kB
    HighTotal: 3211200 kB
    HighFree: 31448 kB
    LowTotal: 863876 kB
    LowFree: 156980 kB
    SwapTotal: 6313512 kB
    SwapFree: 5839780 kB
    ***@oreo ~ $ cat /proc/cpuinfo
    processor : 0
    vendor_id : AuthenticAMD
    cpu family : 15
    model : 35
    model name : Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 175
    stepping : 2
    cpu MHz : 2194.606
    cache size : 1024 KB
    fdiv_bug : no
    hlt_bug : no
    f00f_bug : no
    coma_bug : no
    fpu : yes
    fpu_exception : yes
    cpuid level : 1
    wp : yes
    flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov
    pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall mmxext lm 3dnowext 3dnow pni
    bogomips : 4377.80

    processor : 1
    vendor_id : AuthenticAMD
    cpu family : 15
    model : 35
    model name : Dual Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 175
    stepping : 2
    cpu MHz : 2194.606
    cache size : 1024 KB
    fdiv_bug : no
    hlt_bug : no
    f00f_bug : no
    coma_bug : no
    fpu : yes
    fpu_exception : yes
    cpuid level : 1
    wp : yes
    flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov
    pat pse36 clflush mmx fxsr sse sse2 ht syscall mmxext lm 3dnowext 3dnow pni
    bogomips : 4377.80

  31. Dreamcrash says:

    Lying douche.

  32. […] entry at Wikipedia talks about the billing controversy. There have been other complaints about Dreamhost Web Hosting going back at least a few years, like when Dreamhost Web Hosting shut down one guy’s site and […]

  33. NoneOfYourDamnBusiness says:

    I work at DreamHost and I can tell you first hand that you can't even access any kind of computer information with your shell account. Furthermore, I think that it is even ridiculous that anybody –anybody at all could believe for a moment that a server is gonna be running with a AMD 2GHz processor! Are you serious? You are just showing us your computer specs :D
    Our servers have around 128gb of ram and 4 Intel processors (not sure which but some are dual-cores some are quad but all of them are clocked 2.66+).

  34. dreamhostsux says:

    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.

  35. Piccolo Johnson says:

    Word of advice… Anytime your expecting lots of traffic, go with Dedicated. Might cost more, but avoids plenty of headaches be that your site grows, trust me.

  36. OK first, thanks for this post! I will look for the Digg vote button….

    2. I think my personal computer has more oomph than their servers! (AND up-time).

    3. 1,000-2,000 visitors a day is NOT a lot. You need 2,000 visits a day just to make rent money through advertising, so sure, it’s not bad. But a couple of my sites have had or currently get or almost get that right now, and I’m NOT known/popular/nominated for awards, etc. etc. I’m puny.

    Yet I’ve been through this problem.

    But somehow I think you don’t know what the actual issue is. It’s CPU “minutes” and what crashers their servers is ONLY the kind of actions your site was taking (requests off-server). My problems were solely to do with content scraping from splogs. You’re basically, if I read correctly, doing this on purpose to yourself. It just can’t be done with Dreamhost.

    Other than that (and their rudeness to you, well some of them) they’re not too bad.

    But I’m on my own server now, and it’s not cheap. ;-) The rest of my blogging/web design is though, it’s nothing compared to craft supplies!!!

    *Cheers*

  37. sadboy says:

    I had a DH account…

    I put up my personally owned non-DRM mp3 files (I got from Amazon) up on a site with andomeda.php and my site got disabled.

    I setup the andromeda to stream only and no download.

    I password protected the site to maintain just personal use….

    I setup a hit counter to monitor traffic and look for problems…

    I paid for ten years and had six domain names with them.

    I had 20 thousand pictures from my friends and family in a Gallery.

    All is lost. No reply from tech support.

    You have been warned.

    DH doesn’t care.

    -sadboy

  38. mike says:

    To those who say he shouldn’t complain because the service only costs $9.95 so what do you expect… they advertise service. He wouldn’t be complaining if they told him he could have 10 megs of space, 100 megs of monthly bandwidth, 10 concurrent connections. They promise, unlimited domains, subdomains, terrabits of space, gigs of bandwidth etc… In other words they promise you the world, and get you to sign up your friends as well… and they don’t deliver. State of California should take them to court. What they are doing is illegal here. Poor service, poor customer support, poor customer relationships. They jumped the shark over a year ago.

  39. I have never had a problem with DreamHost!

    I once made a 3rd party picture section for Digg (digpicz.com (see also reddit pics :)), and the shared hosting for $9.95 a month handled 100’000 (hundred thousand!!!) visitors the first day!

    I blogged what I optimized to handle such a traffic on a cheap shared host in this post: A few words about Digpicz.com.

  40. Shaza says:

    Well,

    First of all, I know exactly what you are talking about. As soon as my website started generating traffic, like GIGS per month, they suddenly capped me off and then no one could access my domain at all. I had to split all the sections of my website into different SUBDOMAINS and even then I faced major issues. It was just a huge pain, but you get what you pay for is what I say. In terms of other hosts in comparison (Ive tried around 10 or so) they are okay. I couldnt afford more than 15 dollars a month since my sites are all personal.

  41. Peter says:

    @Mary Anne: VistaPages also sucks!

  42. Matt says:

    I freaking hate DH. I’ve had lots of sites on their servers. Over the past year or so, the service has plummeted to the ground and exploded into painful reminders that DH is purposely ******** us. I picked up a new DH account in December to start development on my new site that will be moved to a fully load balanced cluster on Ripple Web next week. However, here’s my beef with them:

    I can never successfully update the site through FTP. Not only is the site slow, but the FTP times-out more than 50% of the time. It takes forever to update to test.

    In addition, the damn server (LINK) is always over loaded. With just under 900 users, the load average is around 7 7 7 more than 90% of the day. Seriously crappy. I’m now paying $2300/mo for 5 fully dedicated servers. It sounds like a lot, but I’m getting top of the line equipment. I was hoping to get away with doing the development on DH for $10/mo, but it just sucks too much for even that.

    I have absolutely no traffic other than me going to my current site on LINK and I spend most of the time (after an update to the code) banging my head against the key-board. I should just setup a new in-house server to test on… This is completely BS.

    Matt.

  43. Big Jim Slade says:

    Dreamhost sucks or Dreamhost blows. Take your pick.

    They overpromise and underdeliver.

    Dreamhost promises the moon and stars and delivers mediocre product and lazy, slackassed service, with some weird “S’all Good” cult mentality.
    I swear I don’t know how they manage to suck in so many people with this “feel good, but don’t expect much,” philosophy.
    The typical response is – Hey, you pay $20 a month, don’t expect professional hosting.
    Let me break down my expectations for ya: you promise 5TB of bandwidth a month, I expect to be able to use my full 166 f**king Gigabytes each and every g.damned day, and even more in February. You offered it, you sold it; you took the cash – now deliver.

    The argument of the Dreamhost boosters is akin to: Yes, McDonald’s _says_ those are beef hamburgers you’re eating, but, hey! They’re 99 cents, man! Don’t complain if you’re chomping down on dogsh*t!

    Dreamhost. Sucks.
    And one day, I’m hope some litigious Nimrod with the time and resources to spend takes fat, dumb, and happy Josh to the cleaners and maybe serves him up some time in Oswald maximum security to boot. It’d be nice to imagine him getting bend over and taking as good as he’s given these past years.

    Another Bitter Former Dreamhost Customer

  44. Based on this review, I changed my mind about going with dreamhost for a current project and have chosen superbhosting instead.

  45. Trey says:

    ive been with DH for about 3 years.

    i have a site that gets 8000 unique ip hits per day, and about 27000 pageloads, each page roughly 100K.

    i added an image resize (image magick command) and they shut off my site. claiming im using to much “CPU seconds”. they told me this IS NOT traffic related. which is totally insane, what if i get 10 hits per day, still using to much CPU seconds?? that makes no sense.

    any ways i removed the image magick command and optimized my site, now its still online, but its like walking on glass with DH, you never know when one of thier noob unix admins will shut off your site.

    then they say your sites stay off UNLESS you get the dedicated PS server…

    THERE IS NO WAY you can use your full 2TB/month bandwidth, without going over the CPU limit, also that includes using static HTML only too.

  46. fred says:

    I’ve been on Dreamhost for about 5 years now. It’s much better than where I was hosted before. At least I can find out there is a problem.

  47. David says:

    Thanks for the detailed account of what happened to you. I think you just made my decision between eApps and dreamhost.!

    Thanks again!
    David

  48. bluez says:

    I use dreamhost
    Also dreamhost has good deals
    use coupon code MAXNOW to get max discount + 2 free additional life time domain registration

  49. It’s very clear that Dreamhost use dirty tricks to accomplish the sell of exagerated and more-than-oversold disk space and bandwidth promisses.
    In my case, it custed me one year of valuable personal files when my account at DH was suddenly canceled.

    If you have a personal blog and 2 visitors/day, go for it.
    If you need real hosting, keep away.

  50. Victor says:

    DreamHost is fine for small, low-traffic sites. However, it’s oversold and their servers are amazingly bottlenecked. I switched most of my sites to a dedicated server from Layered Technologies.

    However, people with low-traffic dynamic sites would still be better off with a host that doesn’t oversell, e.g. nearlyfreespeech.net or rapidvps’s shared offerings. DreamHost’s oversold service is pathetic.

  51. TiredOfReading says:

    Elliott, it’s you who does suck, not the dreamhost for your $10. think of it stupid kid

  52. […] Another significant change—and one that affects you, the steadfast visitor—is my decision to host this site with my employer and dump the deplorable Dreamhost, who should seriously consider changing their name to Nightmarehost after perpetrating an extended era of ineptitude on their customers, myself included. I have certainly noticed a dramatic increase in the speed of Bradezone, and hopefully you can too. […]

  53. Mary Anne says:

    Yesh! That’s one bad horror story. I host with www.vistapages.com. I’ve had my share of problems with them, but no where as bad as you’ve been treated!

  54. bloodred says:

    Man, you had it good.

    This is my support transcript from the depths of hell.
    thedigitalpinoy.wordpress.com/2007/10/02/dreamhost-support-transcript/

    As you can see, I NEVER got a hold of my files and databases. I spent a weekend of HELL waiting for their reply. Please give me the email address of the guy you know, maybe I can still get a hold of my databases…

  55. […] Dreamhost is celebrating their 10th anniversary today and have a great promotion. All of the deals are on long term hosting, the best deal being a 1-year of full hosting for $9.30 which comes with 5GB webspace and 5TB of bandwidth. Before everyone signs up I have heard some negative reviews about DreamHost which might be worth taking a look at. Here are the details: Sign up for hosting with us TODAY and prepay for a year (or more) of service using the promo code 10ten10diez10dix10dieci10shi (yes, that entire crazy thing). We’ll give you an INSTANT discount of $110.10 off your bill! […]

  56. Emperor says:

    Many people complain about Godaddy saying they are expensive, **** hosts, etc… From my experience they’re the best out there and at a very reasonable price.

  57. rounak says:

    dream host have bring me in condition to suicide
    pls every1 here read
    www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=636169
    pls take some action

  58. talon says:

    i only have static pages in my website but still my website oftens down !!!
    Server down !!! at least 2-3 hours a day.

    Next time what Thing I have to concern the most is “I get what i pay”.

    you ‘d better call “Nightmare host” for a really suck hosting like dreamhost.

    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.
    dreamhost is a nightmare host.

  59. […] Many people have said they oversell their web hosting, but I’ve always thought, who doesn’t? But I’ve never hit a problem until a few months ago, that I was getting 500 Internal Server Errors because they have a CPU/memory monitor program that kills anything that exceeds a certain CPU usage during peak hours. One person even calculated if he was to serve a static page 24/7 at the sustainable speed and below the CPU/memory requirements, he’d never be able to reach the allotment of bandwidth that he has purchased. I can’t find that blog entry anymore, but I did find this: Dreamhost Sucks At Hosting […]

  60. Dreamhost _is_the_worst_host says:

    Dreamhost stinks…Been with Dreamhost only one year? And you are seeing slowness? You must not check the status panel or your sites very often. They are down more often then..(insert pithy analogy here)

    They really are the worst.. I have had 20+ sites there since 2001 and even though many are simple little lightweight sites, it has finally became more of a hassle to NOT move them.. I am gone….
    Cheap? oh yeah….

    I especially enjoy how they post on the (Often unreachable such as RIGHT NOW) status.dreamhost.com site..in some childish manner how a;
    “Server Freaked out!” instead of simply fixing something… Yeah, blame it on the server…Real professional…

    Oh and they don’t sell STATIC IP Addresses anymore. After I found them changing my “STATIC IP” (as they listed it at that time) 2 years ago, that I paid $45.00 a year for..They now call them UNIQUE IP addresses. You have to pay for a UNIQUE IP…that they now say they can change at anytime…

    I hope you enjoy the completely idiotic processes their “Control Panel??” employs…..
    Ya like cutesy? A big fan of piercings? Stay with dreamhost the worst web hosting provider on the planet….’cause you’ll get the cute newslettters from the self absorbed owner showing off his piercings.. Instead of telling you how he fixed something..

  61. This company is a sham! I ask people to seriously file a complaint with the BBB and get seriously involved.

    www.labbb.org/BBBWeb/Forms/Business/CompanyReportPage_Expository.aspx?CompanyID=13131294

    They are a fraud and a waste of time. I had my own unpleasant experience with their bull and kindly packed my bags and left. Had I actually paid for anything I would have called my lawyer, but seeing how I abused them like the dirty…. they are I left satisfied. But I think people need to stop doing as such and start filing with the proper authorities.

  62. Having hosted 20+ sites with DH for just under a year now, I’m getting my $9.95 worth. I have not experienced lots of downtime albeit a very slow service.

    Question is: what’s a few other provider options with similar offerings?

  63. bdfef says:

    Better coupon for dreamhost.com
    TRY90 will give 90$ off when signing up for 1 or 2 year hosting plans

  64. Brian says:

    It gets even better. Dreamhost has now leaked 3500 FTP passwords to the wild: digg.com/security/Dreamhost_Leaks_3500_FTP_Passwords_Sites_Get_Hacked_Big_Time

    Time for me to change my hosting…

  65. Danmd says:

    What amazes me, is that you are a tech savvy guy, come on anyone can see that DreamHost can’t comply to those promises, well if you host large files like i do meybe you get the full bandwidth, but small files i doubt it, it’s just too many users and connections.

    Plus you need to be lucky in the server you land, and hope for the best… it’s cheap! that’s the only reason people go with dreamhost, it’s cheap and has loads of features, for small communities like 100-200 people where you have 10 or 20 ppl concurrently navigating the site, it is a great solution. For anything else it is so very evidently clear that it will not be able to handle that only a fool would close his eyes and sail ahead… they offer allot of band for the buck, but to do anything remotely traffic intensive or advanced, a dedicated server is the only way to go, it’s that simple… perhaps they should put that on the product page, “ideal for 100-200 communities, with 15-20 concurrent users”.

    But hey if you find anyone that offers the same they do, svn, databases, ssh, ror, etc… for a lower price let me know, i will switch, i just want to pay the least amount of $$ to run my small community, and that is what dreamhost is for, i have used him for over a year now, some problems with email, etc… but nothing that did not get solved, problems will happen with every shared hosting company DH is no different. I have used these past years 5 diff hosting companies, and DH is not the worst, but it is the cheapest.

  66. I’ve read a lot of these responses, and your article, and I have two very different stories to relate to you:

    1) I have a low bandwidth low use site (go ahead… go there and check it out). I’ve been with DreamHost for a little over 3 years now, and not had problems in all that time with responses to service requests (bar once when I got a canned response and I ripped them a new one, to which I was politely responded with correct information). My service requests are usually responded to within the hour, and if I ask for phone, I get a phone call.

    2) I am a member of a high bandwidth image sharing site which recently was using 90% CPU use for the better part of the day on it’s Dreamhost server. Due to similar poor quality of responses by Dreamhost’s customer service the owner of the site was forced to migrate it to a new host. I *can* vouch for the lack of appropriate response at times, and the fact that once your site starts causing problems the support team is lothe to deal with it properly.

    All that being said… I am going with “It’s the luck of the draw”. These guys offer a front row experience at cheap seat prices, so you’re going to have some spottyness… I can’t guess how many customers DH has now, but they probably are starting to run in to a couple of hundred of these types of issues a week now… at some level they’ve got to cut their losses… probably at the level when you start asking them to change their default setups and start trying to tell them how to do their jobs… at least… that’s the level I’d cut it off at.

    Now as for my second story… the big site is now hosted at a new facility that is shared hosting, but on a much less over-sold scenario.

    As for my first story… I’m sticking with dreamhost. I have a local copy of everything I’ve ever put up there, so no worries should they lock down my accounts (why don’t you have a local copy???), and if I ever *do* get that much traffic, I must be doing something right business wise, so I can just pay them to fix the problem.

    Good luck in your future endeavors.

  67. Nate says:

    I’ve used dreamhost for something close to seven years now and all of the negative comments about them here ring all too true. My site is by no means high-bandwidth and does not attract a significant user base but I’ve suffered repeated email outages, network downtime and ridiculous responses from customer service.

    To those who think that Elliott left some correspondence out, let me assure you that Dreamhost customer service interactions are almost always that disjointed and surreal. It’s like maintaining email correspondence with a sociopath who has very poor reading comprehension.

    I suspect that those waving the Dreamhost flag on here are simply Dreamhost owners/employees. Their ranting has the same flavor of the excuse-making their customer service people make.

    Oh, and why haven’t I switched? I simply haven”t taken the time to research another host. But after their latest network outage (today!), I’ll make the switch a priority.

  68. Howie says:

    And don’t forget Mr. Jones is more interested in how many websites he hosts than in what the sites actually are. He is currently hosting al-Qaeda’s Voice of Jihad website. I was hopeful when his abuse department got back to us quickly. But that email was the only response we have. Dreamhost in knowingly hosting a website owned and operated by an officially designated terrrist organization according the the US Dept of State. This is a violation of the law.

    mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/187895.php

  69. weizhong says:

    well, i’m glad to hear the outcome of this kind of situation because i’ve just started getting myself into it now….. the EXACT SAME SITUATION SO GOD JESUS CHRIST SAVE ME!

  70. Tikitiki says:

    It’s always a good idea to talk to a pre-sales rep before purchasing. You can ask the specifics like the amount of connections, and what they will actually handle on shared hosting. If they say it can’t then you know you need to go somewhere else – If they say yes, you can hold them responsible for lying.

    Anyway, best of luck to you in the future. I’ve never been with DreamHost, but a friend is hosted on them and have found them at minimum decent in most cases. Of course he doesn’t plan on using 3TB’s of bandwidth anytime soon ;)

  71. StoneCypher says:

    To be clear, what they actually promise is that if you manage to cross 3g, they will bill you or shut you down, not that you will get 3g. That’s the difference between caps and capacity promises.

    I own a small VPS company – to keep this clean, I won’t say which – which offers clear bandwidth commitments for prices in this same ballpark. $10 for shared is obscene; you can get better shared than DreamHost for $4/mo if you know where to look. For $10/mo, you should be getting root and a bandwidth guarantee – “N k per second minimum at all times” is the only phrasing you can take seriously.

    It’s a shame that they pull this kind of shady phrasing game, but the honest truth is that you’ve been had. They never promised you the bandwidth in the first place. In the future, look for terms that measure the minimum capacity per second. That’s the only way you can rely on cost. If you called your lawyers, I’m sure they told you the same.

    It’s hard to be a good host. Scum like DreamHost does stuff like this. Help your readership. Find a host that sells guaranteed bandwidth VPS in this price range; there are a bunch of them. Try them out. If you like them, tell everyone else.

    Dreamhost has to go. You can help. Look for something better. I’m showing you how.

  72. Brian Jones says:

    Stop saying that Dreamhost uses clusters, the do not load balance their web servers using load-balancers, if a single one of your domains is not served by more than one web server at a time its not a load-balanced cluster. Just because they store files from multiple servers on a NAS/SAN system does not make it a cluster… It just makes for crappy web hosting… try moving to a hosting provider that actually provides true load-balanced web hosting, there are a lot of them out there… removes part of the bad neighbor issue that running sites on a single limited server has… They are probably fine if you have a blog you update once ever 6 months and have 3 friends visit, if you are running a real business, or make revenue from your visitor base, look for some real hosting…

  73. john says:

    um don’t forget the fact that if you have a billing issue (using the same credit card i used for my flickr without issue yay yahoo! boo google!) you can never get it sorted so you knwo you can umm pay them. i think when it comes to billing that is one area that desparetely needs a phone contact.

  74. 1. Read the TOS when you sign up someplace. They might not have handled it in the most diplomatic way, but they did everything within the TOS.

    2. Figure out what shared hosting means.

    3. Realize that what happens to you doesn’t happen to everyone. I’ve been with DH for about 16 months, know what my uptime is? 99.92699%. Maybe I’ve just been lucky?

    4. I’m on shared hosting, when my site starts getting the traffic I know it’s going to get, I’m moving to dedicated. End of story.

    Sorry to be so short, but it pisses me off when people trash a company without realizing that what happened was either their own fault or completely preventable had a little thought been put into it. Bottom line: DH didn’t screw up, you just didn’t plan for your success well enough.

  75. I am currently with Dreamhost, I must admit I am having a lot of downtime myself which is very annoying. I havent been able to touch my allocated bandwidth let alone the 2 terabytes given when i first got the account.
    I can definatly say I am off it asap.
    Just a quick note I have a very high traffic site on powweb with a complex CMS, its not brilliant but I havent had any major issues other than its a bit slow to load the pages, but I wasn’t aware you needed to hack the .htaccess to enable extra domains to be hosted :@.

  76. William Warby says:

    I have about 15 domains hosted with Dreamhost but most of them are only for emails, and I have one actual website there which receives a maximum of 5 visitors a day, all of which is on the one $99/yr hosting package. At this level of usage my experience has been that Dreamhost is pretty reliable, and technical support as been second to none – they respond within hours with a polite, personable and technically competent answer to my queries. Perhaps Dreamhost are a more suitable choice for small-time users than heavy duty ones but then again, the are pretty much the cheapest too.

    Of course, Dreamhost didn’t have a high bar to meet for me. I came from 1planhost.com who after being taken over by new management broke my database, broke my secure access pages, broke my email accounts, put me on an email server that was blacklisted as a distributor of spam, locked my domain into a state where I had no control over it, lied to me, forced me into renewing my domain through them, ignored almost all attempts at communication and then went bankrupt but not before selling my email address to spammers (I know because I used an alias, 1planhost@mydomain.com for registration and I started getting spam as soon as they closed down).

  77. Elliott Back says:

    Minimum cost, my dear dell boy. There’s nothing insanely special about server ram over regular memory, except that it costs a bit more and has ECC, which is something we could argue about if it’s worth the price. Are there any studies on bit errors in different modern memory?

  78. DellBoy says:

    “2GB of RAM can be bought for $100. To give each processor 8GB / RAM they need to spend $800 more. Of course, that’s the minimum cost.”

    Dear sir, you clearly have no clue what you are talking about. Maybe 2GB of RAM costs $100 — but that is no server memory!

    More likely, 2GB of server RAM would cost you around $250-300, so it’s like $1600-$2000 more (check NewEgg). Or even more, if you buy it from your server vendor.

  79. I used Dreamhost for a while, and a couple of years ago it was a good deal because the service and price were both pretty good. Unfortunately they didn’t seem to scale well as their customer base grew. Now I’m using a GoDaddy VPS server running CentOS. While the price higher, the service is better and flexibility and power of a virtual dedicated server makes it all worth it.

  80. Bashar says:

    It’s nice to see how the public community on the internet can help pressure for better quality. Glad you had your files back

  81. Sam says:

    I second slicehost.com. You can’t beat a xen virtual host. Switched away from site5 and didn’t look back. Learn how to setup an email, DNS, and webserver and you get to control almost everything about your environment.

  82. Solo says:

    Appaling. Not just the fact that they cannot provide what their contract entitles you, you know, those terms of service, the reason why you pay a certain amount for a certain level of service, but also the terrible customer service provided.

    “How can I get what I am promised? I’m willing to work with you.”
    “We disabled your account. Refunded your money. Go away. Obviously we can’t let you have 3TB because we said we’d let you have 3 TB”

    My host tells me I can have 1 TB, but they also tell me I can’t use that much half as clearly in the TOS…

    Now it’s clear, no Dreamhost for you!

  83. doug says:

    You get what you pay for. I switched my mail and blog servers to Slicehost and for $20/month get a virtual dedicated server with 256MB RAM. Can’t beat it.

  84. Nenad says:

    I’m on sepulveda, apart from downtime in spring and summer 06 that server works very well. Dreamhost is an excellent host, what you expect from them is something no one can provide for that money. Get a dedicated server and stop bashing one of the best value for money hosts out there (and my site has been on 4 different, same price category, hosts, two chucked me off for overusing resources, and my site was half the size it is now).

    If someone has a medium sized site (1000 visitors, 10000 pageviews a day no problem) dreamhost is a dream. Those who think they can get a $300+ service for $10 are kidding themselves.

  85. DynamicBits says:

    I think one problem DreamHost does have is that they don’t properly balance accounts across their servers. The server I have an account on shows 734 users in the /etc/passwd file. As of right now, the load average is around 2.00. I’m sure it has been higher, but I’ve never seen it as high as your server. The CPU and memory on this server do match yours.

    I don’t recall having experienced any problems, but to be fair, I haven’t really monitored anything, and my usage is extremely minimal compared to yours.

  86. While I haven’t used dream host – I had a similar problem with hostgator – for a site that was doing 50 gb/month on an account that was allowed 2 tb.

    But they said it had to do with too many concurrent connections. we switched to mosso.com – while they have their own issues – at least i’m not limited on server power (its clustered host)

  87. xamox says:

    Amen to that!

  88. david says:

    have you tried www.site5.com for hosting?

  89. I have heard terrible storys about Dreamhost, and I am glad listened to them before choosing a host. This post just backs up that claim. Thank you for posting this for other people to read and make there own minds up (cough * don’t go with Dream Host) :0

  90. Hexapus says:

    Cheer up, emo kid. I’m sure you’ve omitted some incriminating correspondence between yourself and DreamHost. Seems to be an awful short, disjointed exchange that you’ve posted.

    Emo Kid: “hello Dreamhost…let’s work this out…I’m sure we can find a solution. Let’s fix this together”

    Mean, Evil HostingCo.: “NO WAYZ! BALETED!! You can’t has webhosting!!!”

    *CRYING IN A CORNER*

  91. Elliott Back says:

    Yeah, I’ve been asking for my data and domains back for the last couple days–as soon as they disabled my account. It’s all I want!

  92. nick says:

    You get what you pay for. Ask nicely for your data back and move on. Is $10 seriously worth more frustation? :)

  93. Elliott Back says:

    Tim you’re so right. I can’t believe I missed that! That’s ridiculously underpowered. Let me go update the entry…

  94. Tim says:

    Actually, your interpretation of /proc/cpuinfo is incorrect. The machine has a single dual-core AMD processor. A dual dual-core would have four entries in /proc/cpuinfo (one for each computation unit).

  95. Michael says:

    I’ve had bad experiences with Dreamhost in the past. I always had issues with SSH, and the uptime was horrible.

    I’ve since switched to tangerinehosting.com and haven’t had any problems.

    Also, if you’re looking for 2 TB of transfer, check out layeredtech.com. Most of their servers have 2TB+ of bandwidth, and all are reasonably priced.

  96. I’m not going to get into why I suspect is going on. But I am going to say one thing. When you want cheap, cheap is what you get. Overbooking is a necessity and it’s the only way to make any real money in the hosting world. The lower someone takes their rates the more overbooking they have to do which, obviously, is the real problem.

    No matter what way you look at it, if you need to move a lot of data, you might as well expect that you’re going to have to pay a fair price. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t host you pushing that much data for anything less than $200/mth but you would also end up on a leased server all to yourself rather than a shared system.

  97. Elliott Back says:

    Hey Bananas! Since you’re the last comment I can respond inline! My site wasn’t using CPU resources, just sending over people who wanted to download a file. I guess I sent too many people :( But the point of it isn’t that–I don’t care if they kick me out, because I don’t want to use them anyway. I just want my files, databases, and domains before I go.

  98. I used to host my website with Dreamhost because I found some coupon that gave me a full year for $10 or something.

    THAT was a mistake. I encountered pretty much everything you describe: random uptime, bad service, etc. Nobody could download at more than 30 KB/sec.

    Now I’m on Hostmysite.com. The performance is REALLY good, and so is the support. Heck, at one point I was mirroring some files with Coral Cache and something happened where I did 1 TB in ONE day! I ended up at 1.7 TB for the month, waaaay over the 0.5 TB I had paid for. They didn’t even flinch — the site stayed up, nobody complained about speed, and they didn’t even charge me for the overage. All I got was, “You don’t plan on this being typical do you?” Heck, I upgraded to the 1.0 TB account immediately because I felt bad! (plus, it was like an extra $3/month, totally worth it — so I’m paying $39 per quarter or something). Oh, and the downloads go as fast as my connection can handle.

  99. bwb says:

    I wouldn’t say they suck, you get what you pay for, right now in our database they have 32 positive and 10 negative, which is about a 76% rating. Cheap shared hosting is not the most stable, thats why its so damn cheap and under 10 bucks a month.

    www.webhostingunleashed.com/dreamhost

  100. Bananas says:

    Dreamhost or any other company shouldn’t spend millions on new infrastructure to create a “perfect” clustering and balancing solution so they never have to suspend any sites. That doesn’t make business sense.

    And why should your site overpower all of the others on a shared server? If you need that much room to move around, you need your own server.

    You can use your space. You can use your bandwidth. But when it comes to your CPU/memory abuse, that’s another level that is defined in the contracts you agree to upon sign up.

    Some sites do not belong on shared servers.

    This data provided here is about as hard as a Twinkie.

  101. RR says:

    I’m on their caprisun server, and haven’t had any problems.

    My guess is that this is a result of their recent merger with NoUptime.com

    :)

    Great article. Keep up the good work!

  102. Markus says:

    1TB for $20 at Mediatemple (Grid). Just don’t host anything other than static files as their MySQL crashes like crazy.

  103. mac says:

    get your own virtual private server and stop complaining

  104. blamcast says:

    Yes, Dreamhost sucks badly. I dumped them and got my money back. I admin another site that is still hosted by them, and it’s down weekly.

  105. Eric says:

    Hey mate,

    Sorry to hear about your issues. I also went through similar problems when I was on a shared host. I would recommend using iWeb, here is something that might interest you:
    iweb8.com/dedicated/budget-servers/

    Check out the Now II plan, a nice dedicated server and 1.5TB of bandwidth per month. By default, you get a 10mbps line but when I released the video sharing section on my website and the bandwidth peaked they upgraded be to a 100mbps line for free, just send them an email when you get close to peaks of 7-8mbps.

    Their network is the best i’ve seen, here is a siteuptime for my website:
    www.siteuptime.com/statistics.php?Id=16861&&UserId=20578

    99.8%, certainly not bad at all (although only TWO of those downtimes were caused by the host, all of the rest were from me crashing the server).

    They are a Canada based company, but their network is just as fast as any i’ve ever been with.

    Hope this helps.

  106. Chris says:

    I love all the users going on about you “abusing” DreamHost’s servers, or that DreamHost had the “right” to limit you.

    Regardless of whether or not a high traffic site SHOULD be on shared hosting, DreamHost couldn’t live up to what he agreed to when he signed up for hosting. What you think, recommend, or bash has nothing to do with the fact that this was a contract, that laid out specific usage limits that couldn’t be met. Period.

  107. scott says:

    “Dreamhost and I have been having conversations now for a while about a site which gets 1-2k visitors, and hosts 51GB of transferred static content a day.”

    “Requests for actual image content are forwarded to imgfly-static.feifei.us, which serves them as static content if they have been cached by that server, otherwise makes an attempt to fetch the resource remotely from amazon S3 and cache it to disk.”

    These two statements seem to disagree with each other. How is determining if an image is cached, fetching it if it isn’t and sending the response considered serving “static” content?

    Editor’s note: Have you heard of Apache mod_rewrite? You can specify the condition !-f to redirect results which don’t map to a real file somewhere, thus serving static content for all files that do exist.

  108. anonimus says:

    try hostingzoom.com , one of my friend just moved at this company and service is good for the price, support is nice too from what my friend tells.

  109. sck says:

    I wouldn’t take the users count to be an accurate example of overloading. If a site has multiple FTP accounts, all of those will show up as valid users. While it probably is true that they do overload their servers, I would go on that metric alone as you have mentioned.

    I think the main problem is that Dreamhost doesn’t have any real resource monitoring for individual accounts. You hear of other people hosting large forums and other resource intensive things on the shared servers. I’ve seen “top” showing loads in excess of 400.

  110. Molokh says:

    I’m not sure what grounds you think you have. They told you not to reenable your subdomain, you did, they terminated you. It’s their server, and regardless of any other issues, you couldn’t follow the rules.

    Editor’s note: I deleted the script running on that subdomain, and cut off its source of traffic. Then I chmod’d the subdomain folder from — to r-x. This left an index page. Since there aren’t “enable/disable” buttons for me to push, I tried to follow the intent of their instructions–turn off this high-load thing.

  111. MajorPain says:

    The fact is they advertise what they cannot accomplish if truly tested. If you ask me that is fraud and the users above defending dreamhost are plain dumb.

    You are simply saying if Dreamhost tells you to jump you will jump. **** that. Mediocre hosting is mediocre hosting. Don’t try to pretty it up. I once hosted with them and really had no complaints because my sites were not high traffic but that does not justify advertising a capacity which they cannot deliver.

    Regards,

  112. Karthik says:

    All the people saying “its 9.99/month, what do you expect?” are missing the point.

    Dreamhost gets away with FALSE ADVERTISING. They get so many customers because they have claim almost no limits on everything and can quite easily attract you into a 1-2 year agreement.

    Once you get on them you realize that they rarely deliver even 1/4 of what their marketing promises to deliver.

    So yes while it is cheap, a scam is a scam no matter what form it comes in and if anyone wants to start a class action lawsuit against them I’m all for it!

    I’m not aiming to take them out of business or get rich, but I want them to update their marketing material to more accurately reflect the reality of their service.

  113. Eleo says:

    I’ve had Dreamhost before. They’re really a rather mediocre host. But at the same time I feel I cannot complain. If you get a good coupon code you get a year’s worth of hosting for, what, $25?

    They do upsell and they do give you the runaround when in reality they simply want you off their servers or at least using less resources. As dishonest and bogus as they are to any customer that starts to cause them some amount of grief, there’s a limit to how much I can get upset.

    Truth is I’m getting ready to sign up an account soon, just as something temporary before they become completely impractical and I have to move on to a better host or VPS.

  114. Levant says:

    “Dreamhost sucks like you’d want to suck on a knife covered in chocolate–which isn’t very much.”

    If Dreamhost sucks as badly as your attempt to characterize their sucking by simile, then Dreamhost does indeed suck big.

  115. Billco says:

    I hate to knock the author but Elliott, you need to learn a thing or two about web servers. I won’t argue, not even for a second, that Dreamhost is a scam shop because they are. They advertise huge amounts of bandwidth and storage which they obviously can’t deliver, and they offer deep deep discounts to any idiot with a referral code. The saying goes “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is”. There is no way a web host can provide 2.9+ TB of transfer for $9.99 a month. Shared hosts usually run like ISPs, they oversell like crazy because most people going that route will have very modest needs… just like grandma doesn’t download 600gb of warez a month, the common $9.99 web hosting client won’t get a hundred thousand hits.

    Apache can and will crash if it gets overloaded. It’s not a matter of configuration, it’s about exhausting server resources. When you have Apache spawning PHP and heavy database queries written by people who don’t know the first thing about proper programming (which is maybe 90% of web developers), the server’s resources (memory, cpu, disk) get used and abused. What happens is that the server might be able to keep up with 100 requests per second without breaking a sweat (100 is a hypothetical number). Once it crosses that break-even mark, it will start slowing down because it can’t keep up with all the new requests coming in,… now that it’s overloaded, it might only process 75 connections per second, and it will keep spiraling down until the server runs out of memory, the disks are thrashing madly moving processes to swap, and nobody can connect at all.

    The alternative to this spiral of doom is to kick people out with a “Server is unavailable” error page. Needless to say, this is highly undesirable but without a dedicated load processor/balancer in front of the web server, there’s not much else that can be done.

    Here’s something for you to think about: most popular web sites run on a whole cluster of web servers, not just one but dozens of machines. Digg has over 75 servers runnings its simple little site, and lots of big companies outsource their heavy traffic to Akamai’s distributed cache, which is literally thousands of caching servers around the world. If you even think your site is getting popular, then it’s time for you to take off the web hosting training wheels and move to a dedicated server.

  116. Icheb says:

    LOL, I just wrote an article about Dreamhost yesterday!
    My account should have 2.2 TB bandwidth, and I wanted to test if they could even handle that, or they’re just overselling like crazy.
    And well, I’m using 1 TB per month now, and their system doesn’t seem to be able to cope with it really well.

    Furthermore, with some tricks, you can see some content from other users… Entire article.

  117. Sean says:

    I’ve been hosting my sites on DH for about 16 months now, and of course the big outages affected me but since then I’ve had nothing to complain about. According to HostTracker, my static content main page has 99.98% uptime this year, my wiki is at 99.96%. That is about 8 minutes down for the main page and 17 for the wiki. That’s pretty damn good for any shared host in my experience, and exceptional for a budget host that oversells as much as DH does. Now I’m on nash, which seems to have less load than others (I’ve seen some people report 400+ load averages, nash is sitting at 3.6 right now) but friends of mine on other servers have similar experiences.

    Hell, I even destroyed the available bandwidth for a few days earlier this year. I’ve got ~2.5TB/mo bandwidth and within the first three days of the month I was receiving automated notice that if it continued at that rate I’d be over by a ton come month’s end. I cut it off when it hit 2TB used since I can’t afford overage charges, but never once did I hear from a real person at DH complaining. That’s 2TB in 5 days, so just serving a ton of content certainly does not draw the wrath of DH. You were obviously doing something different that put extra stress on the server.

  118. Rich says:

    Tss, whiny ***. Get your own dedicated server if you can’t manage to understand the meaning of shared hosting. Idiot…

  119. Andric says:

    I was considering them because of their great prices. I guess their value isn’t up to par.

  120. Vladekk says:

    I forgot to mention: one week I’ve got 50000 visits a day, and site worked almost flawlessly.
    That is about bad service and overselling.

  121. Vladekk says:

    My site on DH holds 120 GB and eats 20 GB bw a day.
    I experienced some minor troubles, but nothing you describe. For 10 bucks/month I am happy to keep my visitors ad-free, contrary to your blog.

    It’s great to write such poorly reasoned blaming articles, get digged by people who like to blame someone for their problems and get some cash from it, isn’t it?

    For myself, I’ll stick with service that I’m happy with for this money – dreamhost.

  122. jayzel says:

    useless use of ‘cat’, e.g. “cat /etc/passwd|wc -l”
    should be
    “wc -l /etc/passwd”

    Editor’s note: Come on. Either works, but cat blah | some really long unix pipes … | wc -l is the usage I usually use, so why should I bother putting my file on the end? :D

  123. Lee says:

    You know, that entire conversation with Dreamhost was going pretty much how I expected right up until they closed your account, which is absolutely ridiculous, especially since you even proposed further limitations to your account that would keep the server stable and allow you to use your bandwidth. I use Dreamhost myself and issues like this always lurk in the back of my mind (not that I’ve ever seen that amount of usage, but you never know, right?)

  124. Andrei says:

    This will be my last message:

    “the number of connections per second and concurrent connections that your site was receiving was causing the Apache service to crash”

    “If we didn’t put the limit in place you wouldn’t be able to use any of the bandwidth we provide as your site would have continued to crash the service. This would prevent yours and other customer’s websites from appearing online.”

    In my opinion they’ve put it quite clearly.

    They probably disabled your site because tens of other customers wrote in to complain that the server was down.

    So it looks like you were crashing the server while at the same time complaining about their poor service.

    DreamHost would suck much less if they’d kick sooner all the customers that abuse their service.

    I can only imagine how many connections per second your site was receiving, but know that DreamHost servers handle digged WordPress blogs (with WP-Cache installed) without any problems.

  125. Iron Tony says:

    If you want a reliable high end hosting solution from a company that actually cares about it’s customers check us out.

    www.IronEdgeHosting.com

  126. Andrei says:

    Also, I know that usernames are unique to a cluster, so the users displayed there may reside on several machines (Plus that, as I said earlier, a customer can create up to 75 users and many (unlimited?) unix groups.

  127. Another discussion for your list of links on the topic: Dream hosting… A nightmare?

    And like I wrote on that thread, webhosting seems most often to come down to luck. It all seems to depend on landing on the right server when your account is provisioned. And when it came to Dreamhost, I guess I was lucky. It hasn’t been an issue-free experience, but it has been much better than some of my other experiences.

  128. Happy_DH_User says:

    You sound like the typical kind of nightmare customer that ISPs are happy to dump. You have a little bit of networking/unix knowledge that you abuse and then demand dedicated server features for shared-server prices.

    Editor’s note: I’m happy to be “dumped.” The real problem here isn’t hosting. It’s that they disabled my account, which at the time wasn’t hosting any high-load sites, which locks up my domain registrations and a couple small sites that I can’t migrate.

  129. Andrei says:

    Your article is misleading; just because there are 1200 users on that machine doesn’t mean there are actually 1200 customers on that machine. Even on the cheapest plan, each customer can create up to 75 users. I, for example have 36 users because I like to host each domain/subdomain in its own user account (for security purposes).

  130. Ephemeron says:

    “If anyone knows of 2TB for $100…”

    Well, 2000GB/$100 = $0.20/GB, and we (and other real CDNs) would offer you that while caching your images on hundreds of servers in a dozen datacenters.

  131. Fable says:

    Afraid I haven’t tried them myself so I can’t really comment but after reading this article I can honestly say I won’t be looking in their direction for hosting any time soon… ;)

  132. Just to show that there are some people out there who like it, Colin Barrett, a developer for Mozilla, recently posted an entry about them:
    iamthewalr.us/blog/2007/04/25/on-hosting/

  133. Angry Asian says:

    Get Rackspace!

  134. Will says:

    I had over a year of no-problem service from Dreamhost. Then one day my site went down randomly and it didn’t come back online for about 24 hours. The next day it was down for 8, then the following day a little less but still a lengthy amount of time. In the end I was having about 6-10 hours of downtime a week.

    Support took 24 hours to respond, which required a response from me to actually invoke any action on their part. So my questions and requests took about 48 hours to actually take action. Not cool in my books.

    After a few weeks I decided to cancel my account and move on. I had signed up for a package which included a domain on their services. I wanted to keep my domain though, so I requested that I pay for that on it’s own or move it off. They refused and it’s still owned by someone else to this day, unused. I assume it’s them, which sucks cause that was the last available instance of my name for my personal portfolio. Oh well.

    I wasn’t pleased with their support and once the downtime started it didn’t seem to stop. When I look back, the only thing quality about their service was the newsletters, they cracked me up.

    I now reside my php projects with eleven2 webhosting, who after about 5 hosts after dreamweaver, actually gave me the feel of being an important customer, would work with to get things right, and who had remarkable uptime with my server. But now I’ve fallen into the RubyonRails trend a little and they haven’t been able to expand to my needs. I’ll keep my old stuff there probably, I have faith in their service. But I am on the quest for a new host and was actually considering trying dreamhost out again because they do offer rails hosting.

    Looks like I’ll avoid their services for good now.

  135. David Bannon says:

    Jesus, Its meinhosting all over again!

  136. Kossu says:

    I was with DreamHost about a year, I think I was suspended 3 times under that time, from copyright issues (????) to too high usage. However there were also times when everything was working perfectly.

    The last nail to the coffin was the speed of the hosting and downtime, last month I was with them the server was down probably around 1/4th of the time, blaming hardware failure.

    I have to suggest going with HostGator to be honest, I run bandwidth intensive hosting plus a huge forum at hostgator without any problems (thats a lot of connections and a lot of bandwidth) and I haven’t had any problems with them for 4 months now, unlike dreamhost where I was suspended.

  137. nobaloney says:

    Your needs are high. I don’t see how any hosting company can offer that, have it used, and stay in business, and I’m in the hosting business so I know the costs. That said, have you tried 1&1? They advertise a 250GB account with 2.5TB of transfer per month for $7.95/month. I doubt they offer shell access, but if all you need is static hosting it may be worth trying them. And oh, don’t rely on them or any other hosting company you’re having problems with to do your DNS; find a free DNS account somewhere.

    Editor’s note: 1&1 terminated the account hosting this actual site about a year ago. Then I moved it to Dreamhost and they killed it in days. Then I moved to a dedicated server with Cari.net and it’s been there ever since.

  138. Rich says:

    Your post, while it has a few technical issues, is bang on for the money. I too had serious problems with Dreamhost, enough to cancel my account and just leave the domain to expire rather than try to go through hell transferring it. I was using nowhere near my ‘allowed’ limits, but the server was slow, the MySQL servers were TERRIBLE, the security was virtually non-existant and the network performance sucked beyond belief.

    A lot of people are posting here saying that your views must be wrong because you tried to put a ‘big’ site on a shared server, and no-one else ever has any problems. These bullsh*t blinkered responses need to wake up and smell the coffee because you are NOT alone with your problems. They could not deliver what they sold you, and in reality they can’t deliver what they’ve sold to ANY of their customers, and this is gross negligence.

  139. stfu says:

    Dreamhost is the walmart of shared hosting. Its cheap, period. If you need real hosting, go buy it. 2GB of ram is nothing? 16GB to be useful? You’re clueless and pissing an moaning. Go spec a machine with 16GB of ram and see how “cheap” it is. Christ, what did you expect at the prices they offer?

    Editor’s Note: 2GB of RAM can be bought for $100. To give each processor 8GB / RAM they need to spend $800 more. Of course, that’s the minimum cost.

  140. Ed O'Keeffe says:

    I have been using Dreamhost for the past 10 months to host my site and although I may only be pushing a GB or two a month bandwidth I have had no downtime that I have noticed and my support emails have been delt with very promptly.

    I do understand though, I very popular site on a shared server will have problems.

    Great article, thanks for the information

  141. blabsfaf says:

    Hi, I had almost EXACTLY the same problem — I used to run an imagehosting thing which used about 30GB per day, IIRC, and one day it got closed down, never to be opened again — it just gets bad_httpd_conf, like yours. They ignore any emails/support requests I send them, and it’s been maybe 6 months now. I was left with a load of pissed-off people who’d lost all their images, with no warning whatsoever, and no means to get them back.

    Editor’s note: Fortunately I use Amazon S3 to store all the images, and (at the moment) to serve them as well. The Dreamhost thing was just an attempt to cache them somewhere more cost-efficient.

  142. nikos says:

    Hello, I am a researcher at a prominent tech university. I would like to collaborate with you on a paper I am writing. It’s titled “Estimating Server Load Based on /etc/passwd File Size”.

    Please let me know if I can cite you in this groundbreaking work.

  143. derek says:

    Seems like dreamhost is nice on the outside but suck on the inside. I’m sorry to see you in such situation as i myself have met lousy host too.

    Hope you can get your data back and never take a peep at dreamhost again.

  144. Lane says:

    I host through dreamhost and got very similar experiences.

    I was told that the cap on my server was placed at 5 connections per second and reset every 5 seconds, so basically 25 connections every 5 seconds.

    I am hosting the forums for our huge alliance in InselKampf.com. My solution was to just break the forums up over several domains and use the same database. I still get database errors because their database servers are just as craptacular as their hosting servers, but it got around the cap.

    I can also attest to the random down-time.

    Somebody posted a link to this in my forum, so I’m sure all my users are reading this and laughing and then crying.

    Editor’s note: I’m really sorry for you. 5 connections a second is a ridiculously low limit. I would argue that they can’t meet the terms of their contract with that. I could imagine a limit of … 100 connections a second?

  145. Dick Scent says:

    I love watching so-called experts get torn a new one by the Internet populace. And by the way, Dreamhost just called, and wanted me to tell you they are in ur serverz, deletin ur filez

  146. David says:

    You get what you pay for?

  147. Stuart says:

    Lucky I havent had this problem ever on MediaTemple, I used to have a system that was pretty intense and scoured all the links on a site and drew sitemaps of it and then stored them.

    I hope DreamHost give you back your files, if not sue them. Oh, and dugg!

  148. Mari says:

    I’ve never had any problems on my Dreamhost account except there was a week or two where the MySQL queries were pretty slow. It’s really shocking to hear this. I guess you just have to search for “HostingCompany sucks” on Google. Or wait for it to be Dugg. You’re on the front page. Hopefully you get some sort of explanation. I personally want to know why they did this. I intend to use a bunch of bandwidth myself, and if they’re going to kick me off for using what they promise, I may have to reconsider.

    Good luck getting your domains and content back! If you don’t this may well turn into a PR nightmare for Dreamhost with the amount of diggs it’s getting.

  149. Bashar says:

    Hey that’s sooo bad. Wish you get your files back! I was aiming for Dreamhost best I read about for Ruby on Rails hosting. Does anyone recommend an alternative?

  150. Simone D. says:

    I got a Dreamhost account (to host my personal sites) in the past but i ALWAYS had problems with it.
    I left it … but also this operation required some troubles … a really bad service with really bad help.

    I moved to asmallorange.com, it isn’t helpful for you but i think they are REALLY serious. I love them :)

  151. Aaron says:

    It’s too bad that things went so badly, but… Dreamhost had every right to limit your connection. You were on a shared server. It’s how hosting works. And just like they said, bandwidth != connections. It was your mistake for thinking otherwise.

    I have 13 domains hosted with Dreamhost right now and, for $9, it’s been fantastic. A little downtime, a little sluggish customer service (but still always a reply in under an hour), but it’s exactly as advertised — a shared server with a huge amount of space and excellent bandwidth.

    Your experience sucks, but you were clearly in the wrong.

  152. Halenthal says:

    What do you expect for, let me guess, $10 a month? Less? You get a shared server for that much money. And a high bandwidth site does not play well with shared servers, you know that.

    With that much bandwidth being used, and that much traffic going to your site, you certainly should have a dedicated server for it.

    But you knew that already, didn’t you?

  153. Sam says:

    @**** Hunt

    Bandwidth hogs!? So hes hogging bandwidth for using what hes been supposedly “allocated” i’ve heard of over-selling but this is ridiculous. When it turns out that the server load is at 10.00 anyways that is still ludcrously high for the processor they’re running. They want to keep costs low, but if they had any sense they would group all high-resource users together on one server or allow the customer a chance to fix the problem.

  154. Well put together post. It’s about time somebody stuck it to them.. again.

  155. I'm surrounded by idiots says:

    you get what you pay for.

    $9.99 service is $9.99.

    what do you expect, a dedicated colo. Lets see how you justify the costs of running your own website on one, especially if it ever needs as much bandwidth as many that they run.

    Perhaps you should spend the $9.99 a month on getting your ego in check. You’re not more important than anyone else. you payed for share hosting, you were an ******* to customer service. you get what you deserve.

    Btw, gravatar sucks, as if we need to see more ugly peoples faces on the internet. And you definitely need to get over your dreamhost hatred, everyone else has had no problems with them at all.

  156. John says:

    I can host you. I would allow you to have 450 gb of space and 4 tbs a month for 50 dollars.

    dream host is hell by the way.

  157. teckoda says:

    Hey, I had fun myself with dreamhost. Mainly due to their lack of security on a local basis on their servers. Most of the customers directories are accessible on the server. I have managed to retrieve several databases, website files from alot of their customers on my server.

    I reported it to dreamhost and all they had to say was that i is the users responsibility to chmod their files. Although this wasn’t done through direct ssh access, i had done it via a php shell. which seemed to give me more access than direct ssh did.

    I hope you call your lawyer. Best of luck.

  158. Emile says:

    That’s horrible… I was considering Dreamhost a while ago but was scared off by posts such as this one. I am now under no illusion that Dreamhost is good. :( I finally rested upon another shared host which hasn’t given me bad service ever – save the time I tried hosting a proxy there. :P

  159. Dick Hunt says:

    In order to keep prices low for the average user, hosting companies have to send bandwidth hogs like you packing every now and then. I guess you’re also expecting to find a lawyer that works for 9.99 a month, good luck on that.

    Editor’s note: I don’t know any for $9.99 a month, but I have other access to legal services. It might cost me, but I want my domains back!

  160. nevermind says:

    I have just left dreamhost, it appears i was placed on a server with a smaller load (max it was at peak was 5), it was ok but the downtime and pathetic support made me leave.

    Best of luck

  161. Decay says:

    Perhaps if customers were a bit more thoughtful about processes they use.

    I mean really why use cat?

    wc -l /etc/passwd

    [:

  162. Corin says:

    Cry more, ive been hosting very high traffic sites on DH’s cheapest package for just over a year now.

  163. Anon says:

    We have had a horrible experience with IX WEBHOSTING. So horrible, that they would not refund our money. Luckily, our bank stepped in and issued a charge back because they understood we were being cheated. To make along story short, AVOID IX Webhosting.

    End of the day, host with somebody local, that way you can bang their door down when something goes wrong. We then choose to host with Lunarpages which is local to our business. That way, they are not some out of state company and its easier to sue if something goes wrong.

    –my 2 cents.

  164. Sam Brown says:

    Dreamhost could not handle my high traffic site either!

    But not wanting to rain on your parade, and while I do agree with what you are saying, trying to host such a popular, reasonably high traffic site on a shared server with Dreamhost was a bad idea in the first place.

    They suck you in with their great deals, but any popular (I mean really popular) site is going to need more than just a shared hosting place unfortunatly!

  165. Steve says:

    I had issues with them a while back and my conclusion was that any webhost company which displays a picture of a fat guy drinking beer on their home page simply has no reason to be in business.

  166. You should have read the TOS before doing anything. You shouldn’t expect your things back, and especially not threaten to use your lawyers to get them back. Read the terms of service, their there for a reason.

    Editor’s note: When Dreamhost informed me that the caching experiment I had run was imperiling their server, I turned it off and sent them an email noting that their server was too overloaded to meet the terms of their contract. They disabled my account.

  167. Anonymouse says:

    While it’s a good attempt at a bash post, there’s quite a bit missing. Don’t you realize that DreamHost users can create a large number of users on their account that might not be hosting web pages? Ever heard of FTP-only accounts? You should… you were a customer.

    Anyway, 1,000 users on a server is not such a bad thing especially when they’re not all hosting websites. I can guarantee you that they’re not. Lets say you created 100 users on your account and just had them as FTP accounts. How detrimental do you believe that would be to the service?

    Not very.

    It’s a good try. But honestly a site like yours will not perform well on *any* shared web host. It’s time to suck it up and spend the money for a dedicated server. Stop choosing shared web hosting just so you can be disappointed and then bash the host for them not letting you compromise their service.

    Editor’s note: This site is hosted on a Dedicated server from Cari.net. Dreamhost is only holding my domain registration hostage.

  168. christian says:

    Not to be a disagreeable jerk but I use dreamhost and never really had a problem. I always thought th service was great with increasing space and a cheap price. Then again I don’t run a site which gets over 10 hits a day – its good for personal uses.

  169. Easy TV says:

    lol fight the good fight, dreamhost has had this coming to them for a long long time. They upsell and cramp their hosting relying on the fact that most hosted sites will not use a fraction of what they pay for.

  170. Mat Collins says:

    Thanks for this great post. I’ve been with dream host for 4 months now, and I too don’t think that there’s enough uptime per month to even TOUCH the alloted bandwidth. I hope to see more about this in the future!

  171. George says:

    A lot of people seem to use Limelight when they want to push a lot of data cheaply. I remember hearing Patrick Norton speaking briefly on the subject a while ago on TWiT. I’m not sure if your 3Tb/mo is enough to warrant their intrest, but couldn’t hurt.

    I’ve also never had a poor connection to any file being served off of Limelight, so I’m not sure if they use only Tier 1 peers, but it seems good to me. Interested in hearing how this saga turns out.

  172. Wow, Elliott sorry to hear about those problems. I wrote one of the original Dreamhost sucks articles that you linked to, and I’m impressed at the level of technical analysis you’ve done.

    The site we were running last year was a simple, but popular blog. Around our peak season, Dreamhost started having their infamous outages. We lost a lot of credibility and income over that, but they were unapologetic.

    Everything you’ve said here matches my experiences. Faceless customer support taking major decisions, no telephone or personal contact, no proper explanations of what went wrong and no attempt to resolve the issue.

    If you take the legal route, let me know how you get on.

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