Server Issues

Sorry folks. My site was down from Saturday afternoon until Monday afternoon.

At the moment, I can say that I'm none too happy with 1and1 hosting. It's hard to really complain when the hosting is free (I signed up during their big "3 years free" plan) but it's frustrating when you get no help in getting things back up to speed. Why would I spend money on the service after my service is done? Noticing I was getting server errors on Saturday, I logged into the web admin to find my domain had been locked. I searched the support pages and found a toll-free number for tech support. All they could tell me was that I had to get in contact with billing. That's great but billing is only open during the week. This morning I called them up again bright and early to get the phone number for billing. Apparently I'm not allowed the phone number because I'm on the free account. Only those who want to pay are allowed.

At this point I was fully willing to spend money to get my site back up and running. I sent billing an email and waited for an answer. In the meantime, I transferred my DNS to point to Dreamhost so that I could at least get a temp page up letting people know what the problem was. Having not heard a thing from billing in 6 hours, I called back. This time, the tech support guy told me I hit my bandwidth limit for the month. Not having access to my account, however, I had no way to confirm it. With recent traffic higher than normal, I thought it entirely possible. Then, out of the blue this afternoon, my site reappeared. I double checked my traffic for the month and found it was well below the limit. So much for that theory.

I've switched the domain servers back which means some of you have had to wait an extra day or two to see this. In the end, I'm going to begin transfering everything over the next week to Dreamhost permanently.

Full disclosure: links to Dreamhost are referrer links. I get a referrer bonus if you sign up. The service is decent and they keep upgrading my package for free. I recommend them.

Published October 31, 2005 · Updated September 14, 2006
Categorized as Other
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14 Comments · RSS feed
Yannick said on October 31, 2005

Glad to see your site back up and running Jonathan. You'll definitely be happy with Dreamhost. I know I certainly am and even Dave Shea switched over as well.

Wesley Walser said on October 31, 2005

I have been with 1and1 for a while (since the 3 year thing), and I have several pay servers through them. I couldn't be happier with their service.

benK said on October 31, 2005

I agree with Wesley. I have been running a dedicated server with them for a year and a half now (off of which I serve my own web hosting customers) and have no complaints. Mind you, my service has been so solid I've never had to contact them. (473 days uptime, since last manual reboot)

Jonathan Snook said on October 31, 2005

Ain't that the case. Any host is decent enough if there's never any problem. It's how they handle the situation when there is.

Nathan Smith said on November 01, 2005

Jonathan: Like you, my site got its start on the Free Pro Preview 1and1 hosting plan. It was good for what I was paying for it, but if I'm having to pay money at all, it's definitely not going to them. I got so tired of 1and1 that I went ahead and just left, even before the free trial expired.

I'm now on Dreamhost, and have been loving it. I can't speak for 1and1's dedicated / pay services, but I do think their Pro Preview plan is anything but. I mean, isn't the idea to intice people into wanting to pay for their service eventually? I left with a bad taste in my mouth.

I highly recommend Dreamhost to anyone who happens to read this comment. So, ante up, and go support Snook by listing him as your referrer when you sign up. With unlimited domain names now, there's never been a better time to host with them.

ranvier said on November 01, 2005

So far in my course of surfing thru a number of web designer's/Design related blogs, most of them i see are hosted on dreamhost. And man, their hosting deals looks enticing and economical.

I think you have made a right choice. :)

Wesley Walser said on November 01, 2005

The new unlimited domain hosting does actually make me like their services a bit better. After being with 1and1 with several clients, and myself I can't stand it when hosting companies make you start a new plan just for extra domains, or when they charge you out the nose for domain registration.

Dream host supports ROR, has high numbers on what your allowed (bandwidth server space etc.), multiple domain hosting, and decent (not the lowest) domain registration pricing. They look like good people, but I have heard horror stories out of their came, but I have never had a plan with them, so I wouldn't know. I will consider trying them out in the future, and when I do I will definitely click on Jonathan or Nathan's referral link to do it.

(someone clicked on my name about an hour ago, thanks mint!)

Liam McNulty said on November 01, 2005

I have sites hosted on both Dreamhost and 1&1, and it's a bit of a toss-up.

On one hand, DreamHost has excellent support. The problem is, I have to actually *use* this support, because things go wrong pretty frequently on their end. Response times on support requests are generally within 3-4 hours.

On the other hand, my site on 1&1 has basically never gone down, so I've never had to contact support for anything other than billing questions. When I do contact them, it sometimes takes about 24 hours to receive a response.

So which is better? Obviously DreamHost has better support, but 1&1 doesn't have as many technical issues.

I guess it just boils down to what sort of person you are. I personally don't subscribe to the "something is guaranteed to go wrong at any website" theory, so I'm of the opinion that support only needs to be good if you have customers that frequently requiring supporting.

Bernie Zimmermann said on November 02, 2005

Something tells me you won't be disappointed with Dreamhost, but I have to say, I don't hear very many people talk about Hard Hat Hosting. I've been with them for a few years now (I also have an account with Dreamhost) for my personal sites and a business site, and their customer support is phenomenal. Plus, their control panel blows Dreamhost's out of the water. The only real difference may be price, but they still offer pretty darn good deals. If anyone comes here looking for hosting options and isn't dragged into the whole Dreamhost thing, definitely give Hard Hat Hosting a look.

Pooya Karimian said on November 17, 2005

They just did the same thing to me. They email me that I have used 90% of my bandwidth but I'm not even near half of it according to their own stats and my stats. Did you ever recevied any response from the support? I'm sure they'll not survive the bad reviews they'll get soon.

Jonathan Snook said on November 17, 2005

Pooya: yeah, I did finally get a response a couple days later. They simply reiterated that I had exceeded my bandwidth for the month...

Chris said on July 30, 2006

Want the bottom line on 1&1. Simply visit my website to learn about the hoards of angry (ex-) customers 1&1 has created.

Brendan Burns said on August 11, 2006

How's Dreamhost been looking recently? I've been reading about a lot of people's frustration with their reliablity lately.
I'm researching for a switch of my own. It's hard to see through the facades of some of these businesses.

Jonathan Snook said on August 13, 2006

Brendan: Dreamhost definitely hit a rough patch as of late. It was a 3-4 week downturn. However, it seems they've turned the corner on issues they've been having and have been more consistent as of late. If a client needed closer to 24/7 uptime, I'd be tempted to refer them elsewhere. For the majority of people, I have no problems recommending them.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.