Goodbye Dreamhost, Hello MediaTemple!


It took around 24 hours for the new nameservers to be resolved. Finally, JaypeeOnline is in its new home MediaTemple. For those of you who are new here or don’t know who my previous web host is, I moved JaypeeOnline to Dreamhost almost a year ago. I know some of you are waiting for this post. So why the move? My overall experience with DreamHost wasn’t that bad but it could’ve been better. I’ll be sharing with you some of the things that lead me to decide to move and switch to another web host.

The first few weeks that I was with DreamHost, I already experienced several downtimes that lasted for more than a couple of hours. I was still fortunate because I found out from other bloggers that other clients experienced downtimes that lasted from a couple of days to a week! After a couple of months, uptime was okay and more stable.

One time, I was installing a WordPress plugin when all of a sudden I got a “Fatal error” message. At first I thought it was caused by the plugin so I deactivated it but that didn’t fix the problem. After sending a support ticket I found out from the customer support that DreamHost upgraded their PHP installation. It would have helped if they notified clients and warned them about it but they didn’t. Their reason was they didn’t want clients to panic. This didn’t happen only once but several times while I was with them. Hosting providers should notify their clients whenever they are fixing or upgrading something especially if it can directly affect the client’s website or blog.

Several times I got a “505 Internal Server Error” on which I would immediately send out a support ticket each time. During one of these occassions, I found out from the customer support’s reply that there was a security breach over at DreamHost and around 3,500 separate FTP account passwords were accessed by hackers. The hacking incident, although it was a major issue it was still an isolated case. Most of the time that I got the “505 Internal Server Error” was because of abusive users in the cluster or a high load in the servers.

Who can forget about the billing nightmare that all DreamHost clients recently had? I was one of them and I was charged $119. I didn’t get the refund back in my back account until a week after. Some users were charged by their banks for overdraft fees because of this and some users who disabled the auto-bill option still got charged. ???

One of the things I don’t like about DreamHost is the response time of their customer support. A few times their replies were prompt and as fast as 5 minutes but most of the time when I submit a support ticket, the reply takes more than a few hours. Sometimes they’d reply the following day and in several occassions, it took more than a day before I got a reply. For me support is important and I need it to be available anytime there’s a problem. Talking about support, DreamHost does have phone support but you’ll have to pay an extra $9.95/month!

So what was the turning point? I’ve been in the lookout for a new web host a few months back, comparing different hosting companies and their packages but I wasn’t ready and haven’t made my choice yet. Then a few days back, while I was chatting with AJ he mentioned about how the page load time for my blog was slow. He showed me the details via a Pingdom Tools full page check. I was alarmed by the results. After checking it several times in different occassions, the average loading time for JaypeeOnline was 24.84 seconds, which is an eternity when it comes to page load times. (After moving to MT, average page load time for JaypeeOnline is 4.26 seconds)

After that incident, I made up my mind and decided to move out of DreamHost ASAP. My choices or options were BlueHost, HostGator, Hostican and GeekStorage because they were the ones within my budget. I ended up on MediaTemple after I found someone who was willing to share the expenses and split the Grid Service package with me. It’s still too early to say anything but I do hope that my experience with MediaTemple would be better than it was with DreamHost and that they’d live up to their promises.

NOTE: I know that there is no perfect web host and that unfortunate events do happen. I won’t be recommending DreamHost but I’m also not discouraging anyone from joining them. I am just sharing and talking about my own experience with DreamHost and why I decided to move to another host. Like I said earlier, some of their clients are happy and satisfied and have never complained or experienced any of these things I’ve talked about.

Anyone else hosted on or previously with MediaTemple? I’d like to hear your experiences or feedback. DreamHost clients and ex-clients are also welcome to share.

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

30 Comments

  1. JP Habaradas

    September 2, 2008 at 12:25 AM

    @marhgil – As I mentioned in my comment earlier, my experience with MT so far has been very good and much better than what I had with Dreamhost. Page load times are shorter/faster and customer support is better. They reply to support tickets much faster and I can even call them. With DH, you’ll have to pay extra to be able to have phone support which I think is totally absurd. Anyways, I’ve had minimal to almost zero downtime with MT and if there was, it was only for a short period of time and it was due to a scheduled maintenance. Also, I always get an email notification if there would be scheduled maintenance or upgrades done to my grid which was non-existent in Dreamhost.

    Hope you’ll find a way to solve this issue and something that works for you and your blog.

  2. marhgil

    September 2, 2008 at 12:24 AM

    to move or not to move, that is the question. what’s your experience with MT? medyo naaasar na ako ngayon sa dreamhost, weekly na downtimes ko at ang bagal ng tech support. internal server error na naman ako. :(

  3. JP Habaradas

    May 16, 2008 at 6:25 PM

    @archondigital – Really? Well my experience with MT so far has been totally better than when I was with Dreamhost. I just hope that it would continue to be this way for a long time. If I had the budget and if my blog’s traffic and audience increases then I’d probably get a VPS. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. archondigital

    May 16, 2008 at 6:22 PM

    I managed to stay for more than a year with (gs) and up to the last minute I was hoping the service would improve. Everything is much faster now.

    Right now, the same page loads in 0.2 – 0.4 seconds compared to 4.78 – 10.00 seconds when I was back in the grid. There were numerous downtimes but support is cool and the community at MT is great.

    archondigital’s last blog post..Saying Goodbye to the Grid

  5. JP Habaradas

    April 23, 2008 at 11:40 PM

    @archondigital – Really? I’ve also read about some MT clients who are experiencing a bit of downtime but not as much as the ones in Dreamhost. Btw, are you still experiencing downtimes now? In my case, I haven’t had any problems or downtimes except for the schedule maintenance which only took a few minutes.

    Having VPS is cool but not everyone can afford it. I was also thinking about it but then I wanted to try out MT first. If it works out on MT, I’ll stick with them, if not then I’ll probably find a VPS myself. I’ll take note of Slicehost. Thanks for sharing! :)

  6. archondigital

    April 23, 2008 at 9:37 PM

    I’m on Mediatemple and experienced a lot of downtime lately.

    But Mediatemple has good and very friendly tech support. I love Mediatemple but I need to grow out of it.

    I am currently making the move to Slicehost also at $20 a month but it’s VPS and the features can be compared to Mediatemple’s DV except that you have to set everything up yourself.

    archondigital’s last blog post..Ubuntu – Switched

  7. JP Habaradas

    March 27, 2008 at 12:25 AM

    @Showbiz – It’s all good, I totally understand. Anyways, it’s good that they increased the alloted bandwidth to 20 GB. That’s quite a lot already. Although in your case, because your blog is getting more popular then you get more hits/visits which leads to more bandwidth usage. But of course it also means more earnings. Ka-ching! ;)

    I hope you’ll be able to find a solution to this ASAP. Btw, if you need any help just let me know. Okay?

  8. Showbiz Intriga? Get It From Boy!

    March 27, 2008 at 12:20 AM

    sorry i can’t tell out of courtesy, since would you believe my plan is only max 8gb but they extended it to 20gb just to accomodate me. and i am now at 19.7gb..and march is not over yet.. :oops: it’s a local webhost.

    i plan on the 1and1 route since they have 6 months plans, although godaddy has 1 month plans, there are too many godaddy horror stories… :?:

    i actually don’t have a budget, since i came from blogspot! actually, :grin: but i would settle for that $6.95/mo. webhosting that are offered abroad now that i don’t actually have a choice but to go self-hosted wordpress…

    Showbiz Intriga? Get It From Boy!’s last blog post..Chikezie voted off American Idol

  9. JP Habaradas

    March 26, 2008 at 4:00 AM

    @leo – I see. When choosing webhosts, you shouldn’t only look at the disk space and bandwidth that they offer. There are other things to consider like cpu quota, number of mysql databases/subdomains/ftp accounts allowed, customer support and uptime.

    It’s true that it is cheap and they offer more than your previous web host but that’s what you call “overselling”. They sell hosting packages with a lot of disk space and bandwidth hoping that the user doesn’t use most of it. I’m not sure how Hostmonster does it, but some hosts who “oversell” sometimes overcrowd servers with many accounts in an effort to save up on expenses.

    I hope you don’t have any problems with them. Thanks for sharing and for dropping by! :D

  10. leo

    March 26, 2008 at 3:58 AM

    i switched recently to hostmonster.com, i read good feedbacks about this webhost considering that their package is kind of cheap. for $6.95 you get 1.5 TB space and 15 TB bandwidth. my previous webhost is charging me the same amount for a mere 500 MB space and 40 GB bandwidth. imagine the discrepancy?!!

    leo’s last blog post..How to Make Halo Halo

  11. JP Habaradas

    March 22, 2008 at 6:10 AM

    @Showbiz – That’s true. Sorry to hear about that. Mind telling us who your current web host is?

    Although I have my domains at GoDaddy, I haven’t tried their hosting service. I also have an account at 1&1 which I opened just recently. Too early to say how good their service and uptime is. How much is your budget for hosting?

  12. Showbiz Intriga? Get It From Boy!

    March 22, 2008 at 6:08 AM

    One of the reasons why you never should pay for long term hosting is that if something comes up, you can always move out anytime you want.

    i just learned this the hard way.. in fact my site was down for more than 2 hours today.i am now way past my 8gb bandwith plan, i’m now on my 11th gb and the end of the month is still days away…thank God my host had to reconsider…

    i’m on an extensive webhost search, so far, i’m considering godaddy or 1and1..any insight?

    Showbiz Intriga? Get It From Boy!’s last blog post..Angel Locsin and Piolo Pascual sexy pics in Lobo

  13. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 9:10 PM

    @trench – Since 2001? Wow, I guess they’re really reliable. If it doesn’t work out with MT, I’ll give Webhost4Life a try. But you got to remind me okay? Hehe Thanks for sharing about it. :D

  14. trench

    March 13, 2008 at 9:09 PM

    Im with webhost4life since 2001! Great host and still going strong!

    trench’s last blog post..10,000 B.C. (Theaters)

  15. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 3:50 PM

    @Jimpur – As I mentioned in my post, I’m talking about my personal experience with Dreamhost and that I know of other customers who hasn’t had the same experience as mine, one of them being you.

    However, I know many bloggers who are or have been with Dreamhost and most of them have left or are thinking of moving. ;)

    Btw, good to see you here. I heard you got a very nice job offer. Hehe Anyways, hope everything’s going well for you back in Indonesia. :D

  16. Jimpur

    March 13, 2008 at 3:48 PM

    I’m a happy Dreamhost user and I know lots of other. I had a problem once and sent them an email. Dreamhost fixed the issue and extended my domain for free. Wohoo :)

  17. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 3:15 PM

    @Joie – I’m glad that I made that decision too and wish I did it earlier. Anyways, it’s good to know that the page load times have improved. Its good not only for me but also for you guys. :D

  18. Joie

    March 13, 2008 at 3:14 PM

    I am happy that you packed up and move to your new host. It’s true the page loading is a lot faster now than the your previous host.. :neutral:

    Joie’s last blog post..Pregnancy and Preparation

  19. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 1:40 PM

    @Melo – I’m not discouraging you guys from joining Dreamhost. I’m just talking about my experience which unfortunately wasn’t what I was hoping it would be for the amount I was paying. It could’ve

    Btw, who’s your current web host? Other than Dreamhost, who are your other choices/options? Hope you find one that works for you. :D

  20. Manila Freelancer

    March 13, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    too bad.. Im planning to try dreamhost pa naman…

    Manila Freelancer’s last blog post..Simple Tips to Help You Become An Effective Guest Blogger

  21. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 1:15 PM

    @K – It’s all good. But if you’re interested, you can easily learn about it. When I started, I was also clueless and I only learned from experience and from a little help from friends.

    Multiple emails? Are you talking about RSS feeds via email?

  22. K

    March 13, 2008 at 1:13 PM

    I’m clueless with all these hosting stuff that’s why I ended up using the free account wordpress after my hosting (first attmept) account was dyfunct 2 yrs ago. Fortunately, last year someone gave me a domain (or whatever you call it for free – free is good but I don’t know if I can use it longer, siguro as long as I still blog). I noticed this error in your site a few times ago pero ok na dahil I received multiple emails from you.

    K’s last blog post..Kenneth Cobonpue takes his seat

  23. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 9:00 AM

    @jhay – Yeah, it’s a little surprise. Although I was already looking around for a new web host, the decision to go with MT was done in a matter of minutes.

    I’m curious about what made you change your mind from hosting with MT. So have you decided where to host your blog?

    It’s too early to give feedback on MT now. I could probably do it after 3 months. :D

  24. jhay

    March 13, 2008 at 8:58 AM

    Well this is a little surprise. :razz:

    You know my end of the story. I seriously considered MediaTemple last month, but something changed my mind. I’ll blog about when I switch webhosts by the end of May. :lol:

    In the meantime, I’d be waiting for your feedback on MT.

    jhay’s last blog post..Frustrated with the Brother printer

  25. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 2:15 AM

    @deuts – Too bad you didn’t ask me, I could’ve shared the account with you. Why are you stuck with Bluehost? Can’t you get your money back and move to a different web host? I’m sorry to hear that. One of the reasons why you never should pay for long term hosting is that if something comes up, you can always move out anytime you want.

  26. deuts

    March 13, 2008 at 2:11 AM

    Before I actually switched to Bluehost, I was seriously considering Media Temple. But it was too expensive for me, especially when you’re simply earning Philippine Peso. :D I was actually wondering then if someone would like to share the cost with me.

    But anyway, I’m stuck with Bluehost now for the next two years. I just hope you can provide us some feedback later how it is going with Media Temple.

    deuts’s last blog post..Zenphoto

  27. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 1:25 AM

    @Mikko – I’m assuming you’re also unsatisfied with Dreamhost services and/or experiencing problems with them thats why you wanna move, right? How long have you been with Dreamhost? Have you found a new web host?

  28. Mikko

    March 13, 2008 at 1:23 AM

    Waaaaa, still here at DreamHost. Save me from the dark. :(

    Mikko’s last blog post..Research Paper without a Spellchecker?

  29. JP Habaradas

    March 13, 2008 at 1:15 AM

    @Dre – Sorry but I haven’t heard of that hosting company before. Do you know the owner personally? I just checked their hosting packages and they’re good but not enough for my needs.

    It’s good that you’ve found a good and reliable host for your blog. I’m hoping that MT would be the one for me. :D

  30. Dre

    March 13, 2008 at 1:14 AM

    I’ve been with Joyce (hostprestige.net) for years, and I never had a problem, and if there will be downtimes, she would inform me through email. I can reach her through email or text messaging (free through her site). One of her email addresses can be accessed through her phone, too, so for any urgent problems, she can be reached. Your switch to MediaTemple is much needed, hopefully, there wouldn’t be any problems :smile:

    Dre’s last blog post..Ramiele Malubay : Top 12 Week

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