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DreamHost vs BlueHost

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I’ve been thinking about switching from DreamHost to BlueHost. My main reason is price: I’m paying around $10/$9/$8 per month (1/2/3 year term respectively). However, I’ve come across a coupon that causes BlueHost to charge me $5/$4/$4 per month (1/2/3 year term respectively). My DreamHost term expires in June, so I’ll need to either pay month-to-month or sign up for another year.

My difficulty with BlueHost is that you need to pay up-front: there’s no free trial term. I want to lock in this cheap hosting for as long as I can (3 years preferably), and BlueHost will reimburse you if you quit early. But I want to make sure I don’t regret the time I spend switching hosts—and I definitely don’t want to have to undo all my changes sometime in the future. If anyone has any experience with both DreamHost and BlueHost, let me know (in the comments for this post).

Here’s a comparison with the services I’d be interested in:

Service DreamHost BlueHost
WordPress YES YES
SSH YES YES (but 1 account)
ZenPhoto YES YES
Backup Space YES NO
SSH tunneling YES ?
Mail Filtering SORT OF SORT OF ?
HTTP-SVN (SyncPlaces) YES NO
SSL YES $4/month YES $2.50/month
IkiWiki NO NO ?

The “SORT OF” entry under Mail Filtering isn’t merely a pun: I just mean that both hosts provide mail filtering, but they don’t (for example) do custom sieve scripts.

Between DreamHost and BlueHost, the main difference is in off-site backups. BlueHost does not provide them, so I’d have to continue paying Amazon. (I use Jungle Disk’s interface to Amazon S3.) This isn’t so bad: Jungle Disk’s solution is set-and-forget, with very little intervention required. If I decided to use the FTP space that DreamHost provides, I’d probably go with manent. I haven’t tried it in a while, but it looks really good, and they’ve just added a Windows installer.

For SSL, BlueHost is better since they offer a shared SSL site and they offer unique IP’s (required for SSL) for cheaper than DreamHost. I don’t know if BlueHost provides SSH tunnelling. However, if I can use SSL, I don’t need it (I use SSH tunnelling to secure my HTTP traffic.)

I’ll probably stick with DreamHost for now. But, I’ll continue to obsess over BlueHost. If anyone has any information to tip me in either direction, I’d be relieved to hear it.

Written by PoojanWagh

May 30th, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Posted in Web

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Picture-by-Picture: Setting up Mercurial with WikidPad

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I’m personally using Git to version-control my WikidPad files. However, Mercurial (and especially TortoiseHg) is equally well suited for this function. In many respects, Mercurial is simpler to use than Git. The only shortcoming I had with Mercurial is that there’s no managed branches; to branch, you create an independent copy of the whole repository (clone it).

Nonetheless, for most people, Mercurial will not only suffice but give quicker rewards than Git.

I don’t use Subversion for this purpose, because subversion has a centralized approach which requires a repository, separate from a working copy. Importing, merging, branching, etc., with subversion is a bit of a hassle. This “hassle”, of course, is purely personal taste; others will (strongly) disagree. In fact, for many other purposes, I strongly prefer Subversion to Mercurial/Git/etc.


By the time you’re done with the following steps, you should be able to:

  1. Place a WikidPad Wiki under version control
  2. Commit changes as files change
  3. Revert to prior versions Read the rest of this entry »

Written by PoojanWagh

October 21st, 2008 at 12:34 am

Dreamhost now includes 50GB personal backups

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Update 2008-09-21

I just realized that Amazon S3 is 15 cents/GB/month, not 10 cents/GB/month. So, Dreamhost (which charges 10 cents/GB/month only for space above 50 GB) is even more attractive!

In the latest DreamHost newsletter (Newsletter v10.8 August 2008):

Now, you know how we give out a LOT of disk space with our hosting? Well
technically that space is only supposed to be used for your _actual_ web
site (and email / database stuff) .. not as an online backup for your
music, pictures, videos, other servers, etc!

Well, just like every other web host does, we’ve been sort of cracking
down on that some lately, and it seems to catch some people by surprise!
Nobody likes being surprised, especially in the shower, which is where
we typically brought it up, and so now we offer a solution:

You CAN use 50GB of your disk space for backups now! The only caveat is,
it’s a separate ftp (or sftp) user on a separate server and it can’t
serve any web pages. There are also NO BACKUPS kept of THESE backups
(they should already BE your backups, not your only copy), and if you go
over 50GB, extra space is only 10 cents a GB a month (a.k.a. cheap)!

I’ve been thinking about this for months: I pay about $10/month and get 250 GB of storage (or maybe it’s double that). At the same time, I’m paying Amazon S3 (& Jugledisk Plus) to backup my files. Why can’t I use my DH space for that?

I realized the reason is that if DH allocated 250 GB per user and kept it available, they couldn’t support the $10/month price. It’s basically the law of averages. Not everyone is going to use the 250 GB, but the few that will are covered. As stated, they’ve had to crack down on people getting a little nuts and using it for personal backup.

However, it is great that they realize that there’s some leeway here. I figure that at 10 cents/GB from Amazon S3, I am saving $5/month through amazon. Plus they don’t talk about charging per GB for bandwidth (which S3 does). In addition, if I go over the 50 GB, I pay 10 cents per GB/month–which is exactly what S3 charges. (Maybe they’re using S3 for storage?).

Anyway, awesome job, Dreamhost. I clearly made the right choice in hosting provider.

P.S. Anyone know of good incremental backup software that supports FTP/SFTP?

Written by PoojanWagh

September 14th, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Posted in Web

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