If you’re seeing this, then my site has been migrated to DreamHost.

Note that while I set things up, I fully expect the site to break from time to time. So… gimme time to get it working properly.

TODO Step 2: Switch to nginx. :)

Shortlink:

9 Comments

  1. Terrific decision! I’ve been a happy Dreamhost customer since 2003. They’re fantastic and super helpful. While they are not a highly recognized go-to for webhosting, they should be, they have always provided me with excellent customer service.

  2. Shared or VPS? I’d love to hear what you think about Dreamhost once you’ve settled. Ease of use, performance, etc. My GoDaddy hosting is up in January, so by early December I’m looking to start a migration.

  3. Should be a definite improvement over GD, and for this type of site, it should work out quite well for you… good luck!

    Also very interested to hear about your transition to nginx… (hint: one of your great tutorials would be most welcome)

    • As Mike said below, switching to nginx with Dreamhost was a piece of cake. Changed it from Apache to nginx in the configuration page, then waited a few minutes.

      I did have to create an ~/nginx/ottodestruct.com directory to put my rules in. The default rules provided on their wiki worked fine. Since I started using W3 Total Cache, I reconfigured that and it wrote out the rules for it into an nginx.conf file, which I symlinked into that directory too.

      Seems to work fine. Not seeing much speedup or memory usage improvements yet though.

  4. Nice!

    As a (hopefully helpful) note, if you’re using management at all for your web server, switching to Nginx is pretty much as easy as flipping the switch in “Configure Server”, then checking out this for the base rules to add for WordPress/WP SuperCache (W3 writes its own, which you can symlink in):
    http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Nginx

  5. I’m another disgruntled GoDaddy user. If I don’t get off of their service I’ll lose my mind. But for every host, there are hundreds of problems, so I’ve been hesitant to leave. (the Devil you know, sort of thing). But it’s getting worse by the day, so I’m ready for the horror of jumping ship.

    I’ve narrowed it down to HostGator, BlueHost and DreamHost.

    So what’s your experience been thus far with the new host. Smooth or rough. Better than GD or just another host?

    Thanks Otto.

    • DH is fine. I’m using their VPS service. It’s a bit weird in that they want you to sign up for a second VPS account just for the database server. Odd, that. But if you have both a normal VPS and the MySQL one, then it cuts 20% off both of them, bringing the cost down to $24 per month total. Reasonable.

      The management and control panel is weird. They have some custom stuff there to let you manage the amount of memory available to the VPS, which kinda works a bit wonky and half-assed. It never seems to show the right settings. But it does work, as far as that goes. The cost for the service depends on the amount of memory you choose, basically.

      The configuration stuff is simple enough. And Mike above was right about switching to nginx, for the most part. There was some custom config I had to do to get permalinks and stuff to work properly. Basically had to learn the nginx config system, which is more like a scripting language than anything else. However, using nginx is almost a requirement, because the Apache configuration takes a *ton* of extra resources, and if you want to keep the memory usage down, it’s really the only way to go short of customizing it yourself (which is indeed doable on the VPS).

      However, the downside to using nginx is that it’s really flaky on their servers, and their config system doesn’t seem totally geared to do it properly. I was getting 503 errors every few days for a while. Restarting nginx fixes it, and a little cron job script to detect and restart on this condition seems to eliminate the problem for now. But a couple days ago, the VPS lost its mind and wouldn’t start up nginx at all. Even running it manually said that the server wasn’t configured for it. Eventually I had to use DH’s config to switch the VPS back to Apache, wait for it to start, then switch it back to nginx. This seemed to reload the configuration back onto the system and it started up again. No idea what was up with that.

      So in conclusion, DH’s VPS services work, but their config system is mighty flaky and weird. If you’re going with the VPS, then you have root and can do what you want, so it’d probably be worth doing a completely custom config from the ground up instead of fooling around with it. Their shared services may be better for lower traffic sites.

  6. The help is most appreciated.

    Thanks.

  7. which is better DreamHost or Hostgator? i have a bit confusion.

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