Inflamatory title, I know. But the tech “support” at Dreamhost epitomizes everything that is wrong with most “IT” people in general, and mass hosting services specifically.
I have four (4) websites (including this blog) with Dreamhost, and was told by clients that one of them was loading very, very slowly. One client was unable to reach the site at all, and experienced timeouts on her laptop. After checking this out and confirming the problem, I did some homework to ascertain what might be the source of the problem.
For starters, I checked page load times from several different devices and connections which included:
- Desktop on a dedicated 40Mbs line
- Laptop on a home 10Mbs DSL connection
- Mobile devices on various public wifi hot spots and on the home and high speed connections
I noted that the problems were sporadic (sometimes fine, sometimes bad, sometimes horrible), but that overall, performance was completely unreliable.
Since most web hosting services put your website on a “shared” host, I compared the IP addresses of the problem site with those that were performing adequately, and found that the problem site was on a separate shared host from the other three.
Next, I used several external “speed checking” services to get an independent assessment of page loading speeds. These included:
I then took screenshots of the results (all of which showed long loading times or timeouts) and sent these to Dreamhost with a support ticket.
The first two tech support people completely ignored all of the information I sent them – the intermittent problems, the notes about the hosting, independent tests, etc. The first actually had the nerve to tell me I needed to provide MORE information and gave me a link to a single test she ran at GTmetrix using Vancouver, BC as the test host.
The second actually told me I just needed to clear my browser cache (as if my browser has any impact on independent external testing services), and then gave me the exact same cut-and-paste link that the first person had provided.
I finally totally lost it on tech support. Let’s say I was very, very pissed, and let them know it. So finally the third person admitted they “knew there was some congestion” on the shared host, so he moved my site to another.
Since then, the speeds have improved, somewhat, but I still periodically run into 30sec to 1 minute loading times, as well as occasional timeouts – so this isn’t truly “solved”.
This is an example of:
- How little respect IT people have for customers, especially when they *think* they don’t know anything
- How little respect most American corporations have for customers – give us your money and STFU.
- How CHEAP most corps are – they don’t hire the right people, pay them properly, or provide anything resembling proper training. Moreover, they don’t even make an attempt to keep good people – I can attest that from the attitudes at the High Performance Computing Center (HPC) where I used to work.
So there you go. Dreamhost SUCKS, and more importantly, most IT people are ASSHOLES. Indeed, most of these Asperger-afflicted hipsters don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground.
If I were you, I would AVOID Dreamhost.