Something Good Came Out of the Dreamhost Outage (for me)


Dreamhost is a hosting service for Websites and email. Many of us depend on Dreamhost to keep our Websites online, our emails flowing and our businesses running. Today, Dreamhost went down, not for long, maybe ½ an hour but enough to shake up many of their customers.

I understand things happen and something went wrong. I appreciate how fast they got it back up but I do think they missed the boat with client communication. There was practically a mass hysteria on Twitter about Dreamhost being down – because there was no communication coming from Dreamhost. Their site was down, their status update page was not updated, their Twitter account had not been updated for awhile. I’m guessing the Dreamhost staff was panicking and working as fast as they could to get our service back but if they would have at least tweeted an update from one employee’s cell phone saying “we know there is a problem, we are working on it” we might of all felt a little better during that stressful half an hour of outage time.

Anyway, one Twitter user @kingkool68 put things back in to perspective to me. He posted: I love Dreamhost for giving me time to go outside and play!


So, thanks to @kingkool68 instead of staring blankly at the Twitter search page for #Dreamhost I thought about what I could do to be productive while I waited for Dreamhost to get back up. I finished a client project that did not require email. I filed a pile of papers I’ve been procrastinating on filing for awhile and I made a new friend on Twitter. 🙂

The Dreamhost outage was a great reminder to me to not sweat the small things. What did you do while Dreamhost was down?

8 thoughts on “Something Good Came Out of the Dreamhost Outage (for me)

  1. Dan

    The problem isn’t that Dreamhost went down today the problem is that for many of their customers, Dreamhost goes down every few days, often for much longer than 30 minutes. When they decide to put back up, have a look through the comment history of some of the many recent interruptions.

  2. Sally Post author

    Bilal and Dan, I know. I too have been very frustrated with Dreamhost over the last year. I never used to have problems with it but lately there seems to be more. I just wanted to say thank you to @kingkool68 about how his tweet changed my whole perspective on the situation.

    Thanks for commenting!

  3. Russell Heimlich

    Anyone that gets mad at Dreamhost downtime has some serious perspective issues. Their all about affordable, easy to use web hosting not tier 1 enterprise hosting. Sites go down, nothing is perfect.

    If you’re really concerned and must have your site up 99.999% of the time then seek out a company that offers an uptime service level agreement. They’re not cheap.

    Here’s a cheat sheet with the amount of time allowed per year to be down in parenthesis for different levels of a guarantee:

    90% – 876 hours (36.5 days)
    95% – 438 hours (18.25 days)
    99% – 87.6 hours (3.65 days)
    99.9% – 8.76 hours
    99.99% -52.56 minutes

    (“five nines”)
    99.999% – 5.256 minutes

    99.9999% – 31.536 seconds

    Today’s downtime was about 30 minutes which puts them at about 99.9% for the year. Big woop!

    I stand by Dreamhost for their great tools and easy to use features in the control panel + no need to worry about bandwidth or diskspace, you can’t be that for $120 a year.

    Here is some more food for thought:
    I’d recommend printing that out and putting it in a drawer so you’ll have something to do the next time your site goes down.

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