Finally Leaving Dreamhost

Posts about web hosts sucking are very common. There are so many that I try to stay away from those types of posts, but Dreamhost’s customer service (or lack therof) motivates me to write this. I mean, they have to be #1 when it comes to ranking worst Customer Service experiences. If everybody had a web host, they would even beat Verizon in bad service. It wasn’t always this way with Dreamhost though.

I first started buying hosting from Dreamhost in 2006. Everybody recommended them because of their excellent service. I quickly found their Support staff to be very responsive when it came to handling my requests. One time I emailed them on a Saturday at 3am and they had a problem fixed within 30 minutes. For years, I enjoyed the excellent service and better than 99% uptime. Then around 2010, something changed. Dreamhost was no longer quickly solving problems. In fact, they would fail to solve problems at all in many cases. I still have files on my server that I don’t have access to remove.

I found myself having to constantly repeat myself in my Support messages. Their incompetent staff would often respond by saying “Everything looks good. I had a look here and the sites are loading normally.” even when there was still clearly issues with my sites.

This past year things have gotten even worse. I was down for 3 days and had no response from Support. Desperate for a quick fix, I signed up for their support via phone since. Dreamhost doesn’t provide phone support unless you pay for it. Even after paying for support, all I got was a call saying that their admins were working on the issue. Another 3 days went by before the problems were completely solved. So much for Dreamhost’s 99% uptime guarantee.

The problems have only continued to pile on. This past week my database has been intermittently going down, providing my visitors with a nice “Database not connected” error message. I didn’t receive a response for 3 days, and once again they responded with their patented “We don’t see a problem…” answer.

That was finally the last straw. After a 3 years of thinking about moving to a different host, I’ve finally done it.┬áSo far things are working great. I feel less stressed out about keeping my websites operational. I didn’t know it until I switched, but I think I always had a feeling in the back of my mind that something horrible might happen to my sites and Dreamhost would be absolutely useless in helping me. Thankfully, I was smart enough to switch before something like that happened.

If you’re currently with Dreamhost, grab your files and database now and run away from them like your running from a nuclear bomb. It will save you a ton of headaches in the future.

Published by Mitch Bartlett

I've been doing things on the Internet since 1994. Former dot-com era IT guy. Currently I provide technical solutions to people for fun and test software for a growing software company.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the note. I’ve been experiencing issues with them and have held on. I have been with them since 2005.

    1. Since the move my traffic is way up and Google doesn’t report anymore errors in Webmaster Tools. I’m still loving the decision.

  2. I’ve been with Dreamhost for over 10 years and I have been sustaining my membership through good times and bad in part because of my loyalty to the good, personal service they had in my early years. I don’t know when things started going downhill but they are abysmal now. I have so many sites there that it will be a huge migration but I think I will start backing things up today and start looking for a new hosting service. Which one did you move to?

    1. I decided on A2 and have been loving it ever since. I recently received an answer to a Support email on Christmas Day.

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