DreamHost ended up at the top of a Lifehacker poll today for best personal web host. Well, not counting “Other”. Given how many web hosts there are and the likelihood that most of the people voting have experience with only one web host, it’s not surprising that Other came out on top. Still, DreamHost got almost 26% of the vote, more than double their closest competitor.
I’ve hosted this site on DreamHost since 2002 and have been very happy with their performance, attitude and sense of humor. I’ve added two more domains since then.
A few months ago I developed and deployed a simple Django app for calculating magic numbers for soccer leagues on shared hosting. The app scrapes league standings off websites and displays a matrix of teams and the magic numbers. DreamHost did a fantastic job of making it really easy to deploy a Django app on shared hosting with Phusion Passenger. I only had to make a few config changes from running it locally on the Django development server.
Recently I moved onto a Private Server and ported my app to run on mod_wsgi. Although mod_wsgi is the preferred way (I think) of deploying Django apps, it required a lot more debugging and config work on my part. I’m working on a blog post to cover everything I had to do to get it working. Part of the problem came from me having previously had it running on shared hosting. Someone starting with a private server would have had fewer issues.
I’m also planning to port the app to run on Google App Engine. Since there is no database backend, it should be very straightforward.
This is all leading up to a much more complicated web app that I plan to run on my DreamHost PS, as well as GAE. The data it will be storing is a natural fit for a relational database, so it will be interesting getting the app working on the App Engine datastore. I’m also going to try MongoDB as the datastore.