It’s hard to believe that I’ve been a user of Dreamhost.com for over 13 years. It’s where I hosted my old blogs and registered my domains. I started with a basic hosting in the early days and switched over to a virtual private server (VPS) a few years ago because I need to run Cron jobs.
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Dreamhost has been good to me. They have great customer support and nice one-click installs for things like Wordpress and MySQL databases. You can run Python or Ruby on a VPS as well as a whole bunch of other technologies.
If you’re looking to register a domain, they offer a lot of the exotic domain names as well. You don’t have to register a ‘.com’ or ‘.org’, you can register a ‘.xyz’ or ‘.io’ too.
I started here and it’s incredibly cheap. For around $3/month you can build a Wordpress site, get an email server, an SSL certificate, and all the web traffic your site can handle.
For less than $36 a year you can host your website or blog and never have to worry about some other company changing their Terms of Service (TOS) and kicking you off their server.
I started with a variant of Shared Hosting over 13 years ago but I paid about $9 per month for more than one website. Now that cost is less than $5 a month, or less than $60 a year. That’s so cheap for unlimited websites. You can run multiple websites and blogs to your heart’s content.
Virtual Private Server (VPS)
Over time my needs grew with what I wanted to do with my blog. I started looking around to see what’s out there to migrate my entire site and be able to do more. I liked AWS because there are no limits, you can run an entire site built on Fortran if you like, so the options are limitless. You just need your imagination.
What drew me originally to AWS was their Free Tier EC2 instances and S3 buckets. A lot of static blogs and sites can be configured to upload to S3 and you only pay for having the data sit there. Since I migrated away from Wordpress to a static generator, I thought this was a good idea. I believed that this would a great way to cut my costs and move away from shared hosting. Plus, I wanted to start running python scripts via cron jobs and scrape data that I use for ‘personal projects.’
So I got to work setting up servers, learning how to navigate AWS. I added storage, spun up a micro instance, ssh’d into the box, installed various libraries for Python, etc. Then I got the bill. I was spending over $20 a month for all ala-carte stuff I needed to build my own VPS. That was MORE than I wanted to spend.
Don’t get me wrong, you can build some powerful things with AWS, Azure, or GCP but they ding you for EVERY little thing. There is something really powerful by having the same cost to expect on month in and month out. So I decided to stay with Dreamhost and set up a VPS.
Dreamhost makes setting up a VPS easy and simple and it only costs $10 per month for the lowest tier. It’s the one I use because I don’t need a powerful server to run this blog and my scripts. It has plenty of storage for my databases and I get many of the same goodies that the shared plans get.
Running the lowest tier VPS is plenty for me right now and if I need to grow my sites even more, then I would probably go up to the $20 tier.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Another great benefit of Dreamhost is that they give you a basic subscription to Cloudflare, a great Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDN’s are really beneficial for keeping a website up and running during times of Internet outages and/or attacks. CDN’s also help optimize your content and your website performance overall, all with just a simple checkbox in the Dreamhost.
There are many other reasons why I stick around with Dreamhost but the biggest ones are its ease of use and customer support. Whenever I had a problem they responded quickly and resolved my issue. Their online documentation is also very easy to use and understand. AWS’s is a bit harder to understand and navigate.
Dreamhost also makes it easy to back everything up, something I do at least 4 times a year. With a simple one-click you can back up everything on the server, including your mail and databases. Setting up Python, Ruby, or even Perl is easy. I just install my Python into a virtual environment and I’m good to go.
I would highly recommend going with Dreamhost if you want to have a light touch with dealing with servers and hosting systems. Dreamhost has automated many things and makes hosting and registering domains fast and easy for a low cost. You can’t beat that and that’s why I use them.
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