My Bad Experience with DreamHost

Last updated on February 10th, 2018 at 01:40 am

I’m using Bluehost for this site, but for my travel site I decided I wanted to try another web host, just out of curiosity. Well, curiosity killed the cat. (The cat being my user experience with DreamHost. Unfortunate, because their customer service was actually pretty great.)

I’m a noob. I’ll admit it. I don’t know what it means to have a fast site or great features. I read up on what I’m supposed to look for in a hosting provider, but wasn’t sure where to find the information. All I know is that this site works, it’s not noticeably slow, and I haven’t had any issues yet. All I have is a WordPress site and some blog posts. If even I notice that something’s wrong, something’s wrong.

The first major problem I encountered with DreamHost was that I couldn’t install certain plugins without getting an “Update Failed!” or 404 error. Strange, because I only installed plugins I’ve already tried with this site. Here’s an example with a popular social sharing plugin that is updated frequently with over 60,000 active installs and a five-star rating.

Plugin Update Failed with DreamHost

After trying two more times, I finally see a different page.

Install Plugin 404 DreamHost

So I hit the back button and keep abusing the “Install Now” button until it works. I click the “Activate” button and what do I see?

Activating Plugin

Again, I hit the back button and try activating it until it works. What a waste of time. At least it worked. But wait! There’s more!

I noticed that I couldn’t update or publish posts without getting a 404 error at least once. It was odd because there was no way it was being overloaded due to traffic (brand new site) and I installed the exact same plugins I use for this site minus the few I don’t use. So after a bit of digging around, I find out that the recommend fix is to deactivate every plugin and turn them back on one by one. Each time I reactivated one, I had to try updating a post a couple times to make sure it wasn’t the culprit. Even after I found one, I had to check the rest in case there were more troublemakers. Note: never had to do this with Bluehost’s shared hosting plan.

That’s basically the end of my little rant. After finding the culprits and testing different replacements, the site is working fine on the admin side now. It’s still such a pain to have to keep track of my latest plugins in case the errors come back. I know one bad experience isn’t necessarily indicative of the quality of a company, but I will never host with DreamHost again.

UPDATE: I’ve since switched the site over to HostGator. It took two days to figure out how to get my posts back and I ended up doing it manually, but I haven’t had a problem since. Granted, it hasn’t been long, so I’ll write a review in a month or so.

Another UPDATE: Just a few days after this post, I received an email from Wordfence letting me know that DreamHost was experiencing a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack. Guess I really dodged a bullet. Highly recommend using the Wordfence and GravityScan to protect your site because they’re both great and they’re both free! For other resources I use, check out my resource link in the top menu.

What web host are you using? Would you recommend them?

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