Matthew Gates http://notetoservices.com 9m 2,126
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
A Review of My Time [so far] with DreamHost
With Insight into the Backend of Confessions of the Professions
I cannot tell you that I have tried every single domain out there. My first domain was free, to an extent, and I still own it today — www.youtrippy.com. How did I get it? I heard of this company that offered FREE domains and FREE hosting, but you had to pay for it with forum message board posts. What do I mean by that? For every 100 words, you might earn a few cents — they called it myCents. After going through the message board and contributing my thoughts and my ideas, I made enough myCents to buy a domain and hosting. Little did I realize at the time, I could have just paid a few bucks for a domain and the hosting. Instead, I spent more time writing to earn the “ten dollars” that I made through word count or whatever the case may have been. They were known as XistoSupport, XiDomains, to which my domain above is still registered there.
Nowadays, I am more comfortable with spending some money for the right products. I ended up buying the domain for the next decade. I also will never to hesitate and let anyone know, and especially not hesitate to report any company to the BBB (Better Business Bureau) if they do not provide decent and fair customer support. We are pretty lucky in the United States. When we talk to companies, the majority of the time, we speak with a customer service or customer support representative who genuinely – regardless if they do or not – care about you and your issues. It is almost expected that when we call a company up to complain or find out information about a product or serve, we expect to be treated with the utmost respect and care, and in many cases, we are usually paying for it too.
In regards to my web host, it is no secret to who I have chosen. I could have gone with anyone — the majority are fairly all the same. They are reputable, cheap, affordable, and have decent customer service, and also cater to hundreds or thousands of other clients. DreamHost is my first official and will probably be my choice of web hosting for life. They have been nothing but good to me. While I could say that they could improve on their response times to my questions, queries, or concerns, they never leave me hanging for a very long time, and usually get back to me with a fair response.
So aside from that, lets get to the point, lets get to the good stuff.
Why I Chose and Why Do I stick with DreamHost?
I was tired of the old CPanel that nearly every Web Host comes with. It looks like this:
To me, it is the most boring, uninteresting, unnecessarily cluttered control panel anyone could ever have. Yes, scroll through, point, and click, and get to where you need to be. Again, overly cluttered and mostly boring. I wanted a web host without such a panel. Unfortunately, most web hosts go with it because it is a simple install script that anyone can upload and use to make lots of money.
A friend told me about DreamHost. He said I needed to go with it, they had a really nice control panel that was not like what I was used to. It was different. He also gave me a really good offer by giving me several domains for free. This good friend of mine of over 10 years made no money in the referral and was simply looking to point me in the right direction for learning making website hosting simple and easy. I am very happy with my decision so far, and I have been with DreamHost for over a year now.
DreamHost seemed costly at first with a price tag of $8.95 a month, however, once you register, that can all be changed. If you prefer to pay monthly, the price goes up. If you decide to pay yearly, the price drops significantly, and they run deals all year round. If you are not happy with the price, just wait a month or two. If you commit to them as your host for 10 years, you will pay the best price at $5.95 a month. That is a long time to commit to anything, but you could always cancel at anytime, if you prefer.
DreamHost is an extremely active company with the beta testing of a lot of new products and services always rolling out. DreamHost is a small enough company to feel like you are a part of the family and you do not mind keeping them going because they are what keeps you going. It is a great mutual relationship. There are other companies out there that are massive and it feels like you are just a number. On DreamHost, you can be more active in the community by posting on the forums, suggesting features, voting for the best websites and submitting your own, or every once in a while, sending in a random support message to keep technical support awake and on their feet (I want to say just kidding to this, but I have done it). You also can use the LIVE CHAT feature if you are ever feeling lonely and want to talk to someone. DreamHost keeps you updated with a newsletter each month which I believe is from the CEO himself. The CEO has a sense of humor that is sometimes a hit or miss – either you laugh, or you know that if you were standing in his office, you would probably stare awkwardly. And he would probably tell you that something like, “Don’t worry, you’ll get that one in a few years.” Or maybe that’s me who would say that.
Anyways, whenever DreamHost rolls out a new product in beta mode, they offer it to everyone at a significantly lower price. And it just makes you want it. Most of the time its good to jump at it, other times, you could probably wait to see if they lower the price more, or offer something better. Either way, there are never any contracts with DreamHost and you can cancel any service at any time.
So as above, getting back to answering the question: Why did I choose DreamHost? I liked the control panel.
Actually, this is an image from a few years ago, around June 2014, as I wrote this article a few years ago, and haven’t got around to publishing it, so here is the updated DreamHost dashboard panel as of 2019.
Why did I stick with it? I liked DreamHost because their pricing is not bad and you feel a sense of freedom when hosting with them.
Lets continue on…
I was running Confessions of the Professions on a DreamHost server for a few years, and I also had several clients websites I put on DreamHost. In fact, the majority of all my websites were on DreamHost. Hardly did anything ever go down. To this day, I am still with DreamHost, specifically for the clients who pay me $6 per month for hosting, and for DreamObjects, or the DreamHost CDN.
Since I have been with DreamHost, there was only one major incident that took Confessions of the Professions down for a few hours. Other than that, there were only 2 more minor incidents — where the website was down for about 5 minutes. This was not enough to piss me off or make me feel I needed to leave the company and find a better one. Sometimes people have to poop… so do companies. Give them that much and let them freshen up once in a while.
DreamHost rolled out a new product called DreamPress. At first, I was skeptical, but I knew that Confessions of the Professions was only going to last so long on a Shared Server. I decided it would need something more powerful and advanced. While the website was not receiving nearly as much traffic then as it is now, I knew it would eventually come to it – I was dedicated enough to make this website as successful as I could and I am still trying – and therefore I made the decision to make the switch. It took a few hours, but DreamPress is a dream — its everything I needed, everything I ever wanted for Confessions of the Professions to feel like it is floating in a cloud.
DreamPress is an optimized VPS mainly designed and catered to websites running on WordPress. Yes, the secret it out: Confessions of the Professions is run on WordPress. I love it. I find it allows enough freedom for me to program in PHP and do what I need, but provides me the comfort level of knowing I have a fast, safe, and secure platform to work with. In order to keep Confessions of the Professions running fast, we do our best to serve – our infographics, images, and other files from fast secure servers. Photon is enabled which serves all images from a WordPress CDN, enabling most photos to load instantly and not cause an ounce of bandwidth to really ever hit the server that Confessions of the Professions sits on. While the image files of infographics are served from the WordPress servers, we also serve them up in PDF format. The PDFs — for those who prefer PDF files — are served from Google Drive, also reducing the load on the server, and allowing Confessions of the Professions to experience none of the download requests or bandwidth hits, only focused on serving you, the visitor, content — specifically cached content.
WP Super Cache is enabled which allows most of the pages on Confessions of the Professions to be served quickly to anyone who comes across them. Finally, Google PageSpeed is also enabled, caching anything that it can cache, allowing for images to load upon view rather then immediately, speeding up the time it takes to load pages, as you, the visitor, do not have to wait for anything to load.
While no one is ever guaranteed the experience of fast speeds on the website, we certainly do our best to try and make sure everyone who comes on Confessions of the Professions has a good experience and this is made in part by the fact that DreamHost allows so much caching to go on by providing such an amazing optimized server known as DreamPress, while WordPress themselves do everything they can to help out by automatically serving images from to the visitor from their own very fast servers, and Google — the masters of Internet search and advocates of speed, have also provided the necessary Google PageSpeed platform, which DreamHost has happily adopted into their system, and can be enabled with a simple click.
Recently, DreamHost just offered a CDN by Fastly called DreamSpeed CDN which any hosted website can use, for about 12 cents a gig, and serve up images and other files very quickly. I have not personally used this feature yet, but I am definitely considering it for a future feature I want to add to Confessions of the Professions that involves image hosting.
So why do I recommend and love DreamHost? Because the experience of having a fast website and hardly having to do anything to make it happen has been one of the best experiences of running Confessions of the Professions. DreamHost offers a 97-day trial period and if you are not happy, you can always cancel at anytime. I highly recommend DreamHost as your web host. You are not obligated and I certainly won’t think of you any less (okay, maybe a little… okay, not really) for not signing up, but if you are willing to try, you should sign up, host a website or two on DreamHost, and you will see how easy and smooth everything is.
To some people, the Control Panel is nothing special and to other people, they prefer the old fashion CPanel, but to me, I love its unique design. While it is nothing to write home about, it is just something that appeals to me more than the old CPanel. I know there are not a ton of new options every time I go in there, but I do check up on a few things every so often. I do need to go in there to pay the bill and with that, I check the bandwidth, the space for all of my hosted websites, among other data. I love DreamHost. I love DreamPress. I love DreamObjects. I love all the products they offer and I think you should try it out too.