- Godaddy’s connectivity was extremely dodgy – it would disconnect frequently during important file transfers
- Godaddy’s hosting service was excruciatingly slow – posting a comment on this website was taking way longer than it should have
- Godaddy does not properly support CGI scripts, which Movable Type depends upon to function
- Godaddy can’t handle sub-domains properly
- Godaddy doesn’t offer a shell account for SSH
- Dreamhost has good connectivity
- Dreamhost offered me unlimited diskspace and unlimited bandwidth for the life of my account at a reasonable rate
- Dreamhost has very fast servers – this means faster commenting speed and search speed for you
- Dreamhost can configure sub-domains properly
- Dreamhost offers a shell account for SSH
Maybe not ironically, the worst part of dealing with Godaddy was the transfer away from them. I had over 12.7 gigs worth of files on my account and Godaddy’s sketchy connectivity meant a lot of retries. I thought about transferring my install of Movable Type over from Godaddy to the new servers but instead I installed a fresh version of Movable Type, but then I would be stuck with all the workarounds in the CGI files that I had done to make it work on Godaddy. Not something I wanted. So now I’m running Movable Type 4.23 and it’s got a few sweet changes to the interface. I also grabbed the Movable Type iPhone interface and installed it as a plugin – I’m yet to use it, but I like that I have it ready in case I decide to start doing mobile updates once again. Perhaps when I start up classes again in September I will find this useful.
In any case, there are my reasons and things appear to be working smoothly. The only real hiccups were, as I mentioned, coming from Godaddy on my exit, but I don’t have to deal with that anymore. A quirk of Dreamhost is that you can’t do absolute path PHP includes – instead you must use relative path referencing. That’s not really a big deal at all.
how do i really feel about Godaddy?
I hate to say something like this, but I never really felt like Godaddy was a real webhost. They’re more of a domain registrar than anything. After two years of dealing with them, I can say that they appear to run their hosting service much like a gas station would run a video store. Yes, they have some things you’d expect, but some of the items are old or out of date or even damaged and it’s just not their focus or area of expertise.
On the other hand, I am very excited to have a real hosting company like Dreamhost serving up my pages now, and I’m also pleased with the proper hosting abilities I have now. I don’t feel like I am compromising disk space or bandwidth for a good hosting fee, as I’m paying essentially the same amount and getting superior service and features in just about every way that I can think of.
Who are you hosting your website with? What have been your experiences? What do they do well, and what do they do not so well?