Since April 2002, I have had an online home at DreamHost. I don’t want to leave, but in less than a month they are disabling catch-all email addresses, and that is a feature I can’t live without.
I have spent the past few days searching for a new place to host email and personal sites, but let me tell you – it is not a fun process. When I started here 16 years ago, I don’t remember having so many choices. GoDaddy was the cheap place to register domains, but if they offered hosting it was not attractive. DreamHost was a relatively new company using open source software and a custom control panel. I started with a package that cost $20/mo, but in 2005 I switched to a package and payment plan that worked out to $8/mo. I think that’s about the time that I brought the family on board, hosting a family-name domain that I could share with my brothers.
Today, there are hundreds (or thousands?) of web hosting companies. There is one company (Endurance International Group) that operates over 100 different hosting brands/companies. There are sites that pose as review lists (like these) that promote only EIG brands, and sites that warn against hosting with EIG. There are even (hopefully objective) review sites that give reliability and performance statistics for some prominent hosting providers. PC Mag and cnet have their own lists, but both of them get affiliate kickbacks that may affect their ratings.
But then I start poking around on IsItDownRightNow, and I find conflicting reports about reliability and I wonder if the Pingdom stats (like this one for DreamHost) are telling the whole story. I need to do more research, but I’m running out of time.