Bad hosting day blog

How do you treat your customers when you let them down? DreamHost did about as good a job as I can imagine after they were down during a power outage that they couldn’t control. Read the comments where customers are coming back — corporate blogging done right. Thanks to Dylan Bennett for emailing me this.

Comments

  1. The reason Dream Host isn’t my host anymore is exactly because they’ve had outages like this before and promised to fix them before.

    I gave them a whole bunch of chances, and they were Mickey Mouse all the way to the day I switched hosts to one that provides tech support 24/7 and great service for *less* money than I paid Dream Host.

    Dream Host may do blogging right, but when it comes to hosting, they just don’t have their act together.

    They don’t need a good explanation, they need a good contingency plan.

  2. The reason Dream Host isn’t my host anymore is exactly because they’ve had outages like this before and promised to fix them before.

    I gave them a whole bunch of chances, and they were Mickey Mouse all the way to the day I switched hosts to one that provides tech support 24/7 and great service for *less* money than I paid Dream Host.

    Dream Host may do blogging right, but when it comes to hosting, they just don’t have their act together.

    They don’t need a good explanation, they need a good contingency plan.

  3. I wish my past hosts had been that honest, I give these guys alot of credit for coming forward and explaining what was really going on instead of just sending out a canned email saying ‘Were working on the issue’.

  4. I wish my past hosts had been that honest, I give these guys alot of credit for coming forward and explaining what was really going on instead of just sending out a canned email saying ‘Were working on the issue’.

  5. Like Ochman, I’ve had problems with Dreamhost as well.

    When everythings working, Dreamhost is great. They provide a nice control panel, good pricing, nice features. But unfortunately, they have a bit too much downtime.

    I was with them for a year and had numerous instances of “we’re taking the server you’re on down for maintenance”, “we’re replacing the harddrive in your server”, “we’re doing [insert whatever] on your server” and so on. And those are just the announced downtimes. There were many more periods when the site I hosted with them would be inaccessible (from multiple locations — it wasn’t a home connectivity problem).

  6. Like Ochman, I’ve had problems with Dreamhost as well.

    When everythings working, Dreamhost is great. They provide a nice control panel, good pricing, nice features. But unfortunately, they have a bit too much downtime.

    I was with them for a year and had numerous instances of “we’re taking the server you’re on down for maintenance”, “we’re replacing the harddrive in your server”, “we’re doing [insert whatever] on your server” and so on. And those are just the announced downtimes. There were many more periods when the site I hosted with them would be inaccessible (from multiple locations — it wasn’t a home connectivity problem).

  7. I’ve had fewer problems with DreamHost than I’ve had with other web hosts I’ve used. The people at DH know what they’re doing and they’re honest about what’s going on. One hosting company I used went down for a few days and when they came back up all the MySQL databases were gone. Thankfully I keep local backups.

  8. I’ve had fewer problems with DreamHost than I’ve had with other web hosts I’ve used. The people at DH know what they’re doing and they’re honest about what’s going on. One hosting company I used went down for a few days and when they came back up all the MySQL databases were gone. Thankfully I keep local backups.

  9. Honesty’s Important. Competence is Too!

    DreamHost (a California “colo” facility) has been bitten by enough bugaboos to last a while. Power outages, bridging problems, the list is embarassing to them to be sure.
    But, you know what? They did the right thing and were wide open about…

  10. I agree with most of these comments — I love their open discussions, and enjoyed their system when it worked. I switched to them by recommendation in January this year, and suffered through monthly drops (atleast half a business day a month we lost all sites and email), my mysql databases being ‘accidentally’ moved for two days and downing all my sites, my sites being down during business presentations… I loved the cutting edge, but not at the expense of odd ball drop offs, delayed support responses, and all around insecurity. This was the nail in the coffin, we swung all of our systems over during this mess; and I have no desire to go back, regardless of their honesty.

  11. I agree with most of these comments — I love their open discussions, and enjoyed their system when it worked. I switched to them by recommendation in January this year, and suffered through monthly drops (atleast half a business day a month we lost all sites and email), my mysql databases being ‘accidentally’ moved for two days and downing all my sites, my sites being down during business presentations… I loved the cutting edge, but not at the expense of odd ball drop offs, delayed support responses, and all around insecurity. This was the nail in the coffin, we swung all of our systems over during this mess; and I have no desire to go back, regardless of their honesty.

  12. I’m willing to forgive them the downtime, hard as it’s been on my blog. They have EXCELLENT customer service, and great services for the little they charge. In particular, they were kind enough to forgive me $260 in disk overages when, like an idiot, I let a cron job that backed up my mySql databases run amock.

  13. I’m willing to forgive them the downtime, hard as it’s been on my blog. They have EXCELLENT customer service, and great services for the little they charge. In particular, they were kind enough to forgive me $260 in disk overages when, like an idiot, I let a cron job that backed up my mySql databases run amock.

  14. I’m sticking with them because, unlike my last hosts, they’re honest. I can deal with a bit of downtime if it means they don’t delete my entire site and reset everything back to defaults. Yes, my previous company did that and then tried to blame me. Good bye to them.

  15. I’m sticking with them because, unlike my last hosts, they’re honest. I can deal with a bit of downtime if it means they don’t delete my entire site and reset everything back to defaults. Yes, my previous company did that and then tried to blame me. Good bye to them.

  16. I have been with Dreamhost for a year or so, and my site has been offline for almost a day once, and a few hours three times. I have a script that automatically checks the status every 15 minutes, and it has reported my site offline 14 times this year. 10 of them reported it back up again the next time it checked so it could be just traffic. The last two were about an hour and two hours, the last one my bad as I had messed with the htaccess files too much.

    So: A day and a half in total? Probably less. And most of this was the outages they report in the blog.

    1.5 days of 365, that’s about 99.6 uptime. It seems like Del.icio.us and Flickr has been more offline than that during the same period…

  17. I have been with Dreamhost for a year or so, and my site has been offline for almost a day once, and a few hours three times. I have a script that automatically checks the status every 15 minutes, and it has reported my site offline 14 times this year. 10 of them reported it back up again the next time it checked so it could be just traffic. The last two were about an hour and two hours, the last one my bad as I had messed with the htaccess files too much.

    So: A day and a half in total? Probably less. And most of this was the outages they report in the blog.

    1.5 days of 365, that’s about 99.6 uptime. It seems like Del.icio.us and Flickr has been more offline than that during the same period…

  18. The last month has been a royal pain for hosting with DreamHost. I only get to work on sites at certain times, and when those sites are down, it means I can’t work.

    I’ll finish out my year with DH, and see how they do. They do have excellent pricing, and I like the honesty… but if things don’t improve by the end of the year, I may have to move.

  19. The last month has been a royal pain for hosting with DreamHost. I only get to work on sites at certain times, and when those sites are down, it means I can’t work.

    I’ll finish out my year with DH, and see how they do. They do have excellent pricing, and I like the honesty… but if things don’t improve by the end of the year, I may have to move.

  20. Liftport has been a Dreamhost customer for a little over three years now. Uptime has been superb, customer service is great and I love the transparency.

    Qualifier – uptime has been superb for the price. We don’t pay that much, and we get more from them than we could elsewhere for the captial we outlay. I don’t have stats ready to hand but the downtime we’ve had isn’t as much as reported above. YMMV.

    We’ll be leaving soon but not because we’re miffed – we’re simply outgrowing DreamHost and we can get a colo server cheaper than they can provide.

    Why they are not using power generators. Or at leasta kind of a batteries…

    Cosmo the answer to your question is in the linked article.

  21. Liftport has been a Dreamhost customer for a little over three years now. Uptime has been superb, customer service is great and I love the transparency.

    Qualifier – uptime has been superb for the price. We don’t pay that much, and we get more from them than we could elsewhere for the captial we outlay. I don’t have stats ready to hand but the downtime we’ve had isn’t as much as reported above. YMMV.

    We’ll be leaving soon but not because we’re miffed – we’re simply outgrowing DreamHost and we can get a colo server cheaper than they can provide.

    Why they are not using power generators. Or at leasta kind of a batteries…

    Cosmo the answer to your question is in the linked article.

  22. Robert, im a longtime user of Dreamhost; i recommended it everytime someone asked for my advice… and this kind of “communications” are the rule within the site.

    However, i dont think that this honesty is enough fi you run a web based business. What you need is reliability and thats something that DH was lacking.

    Yes i know..if you want to run a business site in a 7,95usd/month hosting you are a cheap-stupid-bastard but… come on, a full month of problems?

    That full month of problems were nothing but excuses, i also host in Mediatemple and they are located in the same facilities… Why did MT went down just 12 seconds in the last 3 weeks?

    And im not talking about few minutes down.. im talking about almost 3 days down in a row; and 2 or 3 hours every single day for almost a week.

    Yes, i love their honesty, the pricing and the features… but sometimes i love reliability and uptime.

    (BTW, im still hosting some blogs in DH)

  23. Robert, im a longtime user of Dreamhost; i recommended it everytime someone asked for my advice… and this kind of “communications” are the rule within the site.

    However, i dont think that this honesty is enough fi you run a web based business. What you need is reliability and thats something that DH was lacking.

    Yes i know..if you want to run a business site in a 7,95usd/month hosting you are a cheap-stupid-bastard but… come on, a full month of problems?

    That full month of problems were nothing but excuses, i also host in Mediatemple and they are located in the same facilities… Why did MT went down just 12 seconds in the last 3 weeks?

    And im not talking about few minutes down.. im talking about almost 3 days down in a row; and 2 or 3 hours every single day for almost a week.

    Yes, i love their honesty, the pricing and the features… but sometimes i love reliability and uptime.

    (BTW, im still hosting some blogs in DH)

  24. That full month of problems were nothing but excuses, i also host in Mediatemple and they are located in the same facilities… Why did MT went down just 12 seconds in the last 3 weeks?

    They explained that – it was a power problems PLUS a raft of internal issues on their network that brought them low.

    Yes, i love their honesty, the pricing and the features… but sometimes i love reliability and uptime.

    Agreed but . . . you get what you pay for.

  25. That full month of problems were nothing but excuses, i also host in Mediatemple and they are located in the same facilities… Why did MT went down just 12 seconds in the last 3 weeks?

    They explained that – it was a power problems PLUS a raft of internal issues on their network that brought them low.

    Yes, i love their honesty, the pricing and the features… but sometimes i love reliability and uptime.

    Agreed but . . . you get what you pay for.

  26. [...] The last two weeks this site has been down quite a number of times; responsible for the mayhem was some Big Trouble at our webhost, Dreamhost. I quite like Dreamhost for the features they’re offering (Ruby on Rails, unlimited domains etc – onontbeerlijk voor Het Voorlopig Nog Geheim Project!) and they’re generally very responsive and communicative. They for instance published a lengthy blog post chronicling their problems, illustrating it with images of the exploding Hindenburg, earthquakes and fires, generating some comic relief. It even prompted corporate blogging mogul Robert Scoble to compliment them on their efforts (and also generated an entry in Valleywag). This fast and open communication is quite nice for us customers, though it may occasionally backfire (check what they posted a year ago). Even nicer of course would be enjoying a webhost offering the same features, communication *and* less downtime. [...]

  27. [...] I found the Josh Jones’ blog post by way of a pointer from Robert Scoble.  Apparently, Dreamhost (an outfit I’m actually considering to host some Web sites) has had what can best be described as the perfect storm, a part of which had to do with the power shortages that came as a result of the current heat wave that’s melting the country.  There a bit of "wrong place at the wrong time" in this saga; a case of really bad luck.  The blog post goes into hair-splitting detail about what went wrong, how Dreamhosters attempted to rectify the problems, and where thngs stand. [...]

  28. We need to appreciate that Servers do go down. The capability to shorten the period and actually turnaround the sytsem within a reasonable period would set apart the winning hosts. I am happy to report that that though they carry huge lot of websites, Host Departments has been doing well. I never had any issues. The databases work fast and there is 24 hour support. After I shifted http://www.exclventures.com it loads faster.

  29. We need to appreciate that Servers do go down. The capability to shorten the period and actually turnaround the sytsem within a reasonable period would set apart the winning hosts. I am happy to report that that though they carry huge lot of websites, Host Departments has been doing well. I never had any issues. The databases work fast and there is 24 hour support. After I shifted http://www.exclventures.com it loads faster.

  30. This is a reply from an administrator from SiteGround:

    I can assure you that our servers are load balanced and very well optimized by our system administrators. Furthermore, they are constantly monitoring the servers and are doing their best to keep them in their optimal performance state all the time.

    As for your account, which currently resides on our shared server, it will be automatically suspended seven days after this ticket was opened, and due to the above mentioned reasons, we can no longer make any exceptions. If you consider the upgrade to a VPS as unworthy, then as least you will have enough time to transfer all of your files.

    —-
    Access count to my site on siteground < 100 ip per day

  31. This is a reply from an administrator from SiteGround:

    I can assure you that our servers are load balanced and very well optimized by our system administrators. Furthermore, they are constantly monitoring the servers and are doing their best to keep them in their optimal performance state all the time.

    As for your account, which currently resides on our shared server, it will be automatically suspended seven days after this ticket was opened, and due to the above mentioned reasons, we can no longer make any exceptions. If you consider the upgrade to a VPS as unworthy, then as least you will have enough time to transfer all of your files.

    —-
    Access count to my site on siteground < 100 ip per day