For a really long time, I have been hosting through GoDaddy.com. They have great prices and great customer support. Every time I’ve called in, I talked to someone who understood my issue and had access to enough of my account information that they could figure out what I could or couldn’t do about my issue. They’ve also been very quick to respond. It was always a bit of a love/hate relationship though, because despite all the good things I could say about their service, there was the sleaziness of the company that hung around it like smog over a tropical beach. If you have seen any of their superbowl commercials or seen any interviews with the companys CEO and founder, Bob Parsons, you know what I mean. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw him flash a gang sign and say “straight outta Babylon”.
Recently, a friend of mine showed me Dreamhost. He raved and raved about it. At first I was thinking “What could be so great about it. GoDaddy seems to have everything I could ever need.” But he had experience with GoDaddy too, so I listened. We even did a screen share connect session and he showed me what the administration side of the hosting account looked like and what options there are to play with.
Some of the features he showed me existed at GoDaddy, such as the quick-install apps, various language support, etc. These did impress me though, because the interface was designed better. Administration panels were cleaner and easier to navigate.
What got me really interested was the features that came with Dreamhost that GoDaddy doesn’t have (or charges extra for).
- SVN hosting
- Jabber IM server hosting
- Google apps easy setup
- SSH into the server
- Referral bonuses
The big one for me was the referral bonuses. At GoDaddy, you have to sign up to be a reseller and it costs a little money but the hope is that you’ll make enough money from it that it’s worth it. At Dreamhost, it’s included. You can choose between getting 10% of the fees from those you refer, forever, or getting a one time bonus of $97. How cool is that!? On top of that, you can set up promo codes that gives people a discount. These work by essentially sharing the $97 commission with those you sign up, so you don’t get as much when they sign up, but they are encouraged to sign up. It’s great. If you decide to sign up after reading this, email me and I’ll send you a promo code for a free domain registration and 2 months free hosting to get you started.
The final thing I’ll point out is that Dreamhost is not sleazy. They actually will punish you for spamming. They don’t use sex to sell their services. It just feels right.
The one thing they don’t have is ColdFusion hosting. I don’t use it much, but it’s really nice to have available, even if I did have to pay for it. Like I said, I don’t use it much so it was not hard to give up.
I encourage you to check it out. The price to sign up for a year is the same as GoDaddy, and it’s less if you sign up for more than a year at a time. I know the search for a good hosting provider can be tedious so I hope I’ve saved you some time.