I was a Dreamhost customer for twelve years (2006-2018).
I have never needed a webserver for anything life critical or even for anything all that important. I use a webserver for rather pedestrian reasons, primarily very small web hosting. I suspect that after culling out web crawlers, 90% or more of the traffic to my websites is me. I also like to have control over my email server. I don’t have great reasons for doing it, but I like having complete control over my email.
In 2006, Dreamhost was the best webhost you could find. A lot has changed since then, not all of it is necessarily the fault of Dreamhost. I have lived through numerous outages, including some that lasted days. I have lived through Dreamhost all but banning email servers. I have migrated from shared hosting to virtual private servers to cloud compute.
Back in the day Dreamhost offered technical solutions and features that were hard to come by. Today, webhosting has become a commoditized process. Containerized and virtualized servers mean you as the user are now in control of everything. Gone are the days where a webhost adds much value, instead today a webhost provides little more than bandwidth and hardware. The less cruft and abstraction between me and my machine the better. As always the more uptime the better.
In my experience, and I suspect the data bears this out, AWS uptime is better than Dreamhost’s. While DreamCompute is a good step, Dreamhost’s implementation of OpenStack still puts too much between me and my server.
This year I finally decided that it was time to move everything to an AWS instance. It was the right decision, since moving everything has been much easier with little to no downtime.
So long Dreamhost, it has been real.