I just set up a website for one of my clients on Dreamhost. So far, I have to say that I am impressed with the service. I am still hosting my personal site (ie: the site you are reading) on a different host, and would consider moving over to Dreamhost in the future (assuming that performance stays good).
Before this move, I did some reading up on them – like all other hosts, they have had some disgruntled customers in the past (usually the guy who put up a forum that is using 1 hour of CPU time per day, who wants to do this on a $10/month plan and mess up everyone else on that server). In general though, reviews were good.
The things that have impressed me most so far are the small things that tell me that show that they have put an effort into providing a good service:
- They do not use the normal cPanel install that everyone else uses. Instead, they have their own homegrown management panel. Although this can spell disaster if they authors don’t know what they are doing, in this case, it seems to work pretty well. The menu sections are well laid out, documentation is provided, and support is available when needed
- When I have needed support, the representative that contacted me answered quickly, politely and with a good response. They also have a pretty good wiki that has already answered a few of my questions
- They have a sense of humor. The copy on the site was obviously not written by someone in corporate (this is a good thing). For example:
- On their homemade auto-install page, it starts off “Fantastico, shmantastico.. DreamHost now has its very own one-click software installation!”
- On the bug submission page, instead of severities like “high”, “low” and “medium”, they have “I can’t get things done until I hear back from you, please reply asap” and “OMG! EXTREME CRITICAL EMERGENCY!! EVERYTHING’S BROKEN! People are DYING!“
- Also on the support request submission page, they have a selection for your expertise, with options like “Overall I know my stuff, but I’m a little shaky in this area” and “Not to be rude, but I probably know more about this than you!“. I personally appreciate stuff like this – I do not what I am talking about (most of the time) – just because I am contacting tech support doesn’t mean that I need someone to tell me how to click on the Start menu
- They seem to offer options for free that others either don’t offer at all, or offer at a price. Things like Subversion, Jabber support, Auto-installed software (that you can auto-update when a new version is released), unlimited domains, lots of space, etc
They also have a pretty good referral program – you can get up to $97 or 10% (“forever”) per referral, plus secondary rewards as well. On that note, I have been authorized to offer a special discount for anyone who would like to sign up for a new account at Dreamhost. Here is the deal:
- Sign up for a new Shared Hosting account
- When prompted for a promotion code, enter ELLISWEB30
- You will receive $30 off any plan that you sign up for. No catch