As regular readers are aware, I’ve been evaluating web hosts after having some trouble with my current host, Dreamhost. Yesterday, all six of my sites hosted on Dreamhost were down again. While waiting for technical support to get back to me about my help desk ticket, I tried my best to get them back online, because some of them make money for me and I don’t want to be losing dollars, or visitors while they are down.
In a desperation move, I used the Dreamhost control panel to restore the mySQL database that powers the WordPress installation on one of my websites. When that worked, I did the same thing for all six sites and was able to get them back online.
Tech support responded to my ticket by saying that they “suspected that the database permissions needed to be reset.” It went on to say that restoring the databases does that, and since I already did that it looked like everything was fine.
This is pretty poor support to say the least.
First, I specifically noted in my ticket that this was not the first time this had happened. Apparently, no one cares that I KEEP having problems, all they care about is that it is up for right now. That isn’t good enough.
Second, this is the third different answer I have gotten to the exact same issue, namely that my WordPress blogs seem to be going offline for no real reason. So far, I’ve been told that someone else was using too much resources and that took my sites down. Then, I was told that I was using too much resources and that is what took my sites down. And, now, I’ve been told that my database permissions probably needed reset. No word on how all six of my sites got junked up permissions in the first place.
I’m now officially very unhappy. I have signed up for Dreamhost’s Private Server offering, which is an extra upgrade to the regular highly advertised price that their site claims is good enough for most websites except those that get high traffic, which mine do not. This is not really acceptable, because I should not have to sign up for Dreamhost PS based upon my sites and their traffic, but it is better than losing my Pagerank, or new visitors, or losing more money.
The Private Server cost is variable depending upon how much resources like RAM, or memory, you use and how much processor you use. I am most definitely NOT a Dreamhost customer for long, depending upon how my evaluation of other webhosting services goes. As soon as I find a better home, I am gone.
I only signed up with the Private Server plan because it is free for the first week, and because as a PS customer I get access to a graph with my memory and processor usage so that I can see if tech support is just feeding me a line when they say it is my fault that my sites are going down. More specifically, I bet that the first thing that Dreamhost technical support checks is what kind of hosting plan you have. With Private Server, they can’t blame me, because I am allowed to use up to 2300 MB of RAM during my trial period, which I know I will never hit, so that excuse is out.
Now, they will either have to keep my websites up and running, or at least come up with better excuses. If I get really lucky, maybe one of their administrators will actually do their job and look into my issues instead of just clearing my ticket as quickly as possible, but I’m not holding my breath.
I’m trying out HostGator right now. It comes recommended from several in the blogging community, so we’ll see how it goes. Right now, I’m setting up a couple of new sites and will be moving one of my Dreamhost sites today. If things run better, faster, or smoother over there, that will be ONE of my new hosts.
I’m getting ready to launch a major web development and site creation project that I hope to use to build up some pretty solid income, and I know better than to put all my eggs in one basket. No matter how this move goes, I will have at least two web hosts, and maybe more soon.
Thankfully, I was smart and did not register my domain names with the same company that does my webhosting (except for the free domain name they gave me when I signed up). That makes transferring to a new host so much easier.
If any of you have suggestions for web hosts that you like, I would love to hear them. But, please don’t just put I use So-and-So and have been happy with them. I’ve already read that a thousand times about a hundred different webhosting companies. If you can say WHY you like them, or what they give you that you don’t get elsewhere, that would be helpful.
Wish me luck.