Something Else I like about Dreamhost
16.22.17 - Mark
I've hosted my various sites at Dreamhost since December 2004, and despite some hiccups and screw-ups (some more serious than others, but none of them lingering) I've always been happy with the service I'm getting. For about $120 a year I get more than enough resources for my various personal projects (and have taken to hosting some stuff for friends and family for free under my account) especially since some of it's insanely easy to set up using Dreamhost's control panel. It's hands down better than some of the small hosts I've known, and easier to use than some of the other big hosts I've used. To top everything off they (and by extension my websites) are carbon neutral too. I'm convinced that they're hard to beat if you want some personal web space to play with.
Plus the user friendly tools they offer are always useful. The latest one I've found really has me happy - an online flash video converter and player. I've thought about setting up a streaming flash video player for my videos for a while, but the process of converting my files to flash video files was a little intimidating, and I'm not a big fan of flash in the first place so setting up a player wasn't very appealing either. But since Dreamhost will do both, I'm actually getting it done (Even the converting is enough to make me happy). I still need to queue a few of the videos and add the player code to the site, but I'm going to try and have streaming videos up by the end of the weekend.
Much ado about nothing
14.38.41 - Mark
The web is making a big deal about the planned dreamhost outage over the weekend, and I'm not quite sure why. I've been hosting at dreamhost for over two years, and in that time I've suffered two significant outages - this weekend's building repairs, and the LA blackout in 2005 and only a handful of short downtimes. Only the LA blackout was a concern to me since it was the only one that I actually noticed. In a year, I'd be pushing it to say that I'm suffering more than 8 hours of downtime. 99.9% uptime is fine with me.
Rogue Amoeba has some good things to say about webhosting, but it's from a business point of view. As a software company, they need to have a site online 24/7, they need it to be fast and secure, otherwise their sales will suffer. However as an individual, with a couple of small projects, or, having recommended Dreamhost to friends and clients I've built sites for, a small business, 100% uptime is not only superfluous, but expensive. The Rogue Amoeba posts says they pay about $1500/year on a hosting solution they feel gives them 100% uptime. At dreamhost, I'm paid up though the end of this year and for three years of service, dreamhost has taken less than $200 of my money, and it averages out to under $5 a month. If the difference between 100% uptime and 99.8% uptime (a maximum of 16 hours of downtime/year) is $100 a month, I can live with my site being down for a few hours a year.
If I felt dreamhost was at fault for any of their downtime, I'd probably seriously look at moving my hosting elsewhere, however I feel confident that Dreamhost isn't at fault, and that they are constantly taking steps to improve their service.
My Dreamhost referral link, if you want to try out dreamhost yourself.