Dreamhost Not Really Reducing Disk and Bandwidth Daily

Posted on Monday 15 January 2007

Dreamhost recently started something new where they are reducing the amount of disk space and bandwidth that you get with each hosting plan every day. For example, right now for the “Level 1″ hosting plan, it says you get 194.5 GB of disk space, and “On Jan 15th starting Disk drops to: (Sign up TODAY!) 194 GB.” Bandwidth for that plan is 1.945 TB today, and 1.94 TB tomorrow.

Of course, they keep adding to your disk and bandwidth every week (1 GB disk and 16 GB transfer for that plan), so the 1 GB of starting disk that you lose if you wait two days will be added back after a week, but you’d always be 1 GB behind someone who signed up two days before you.

I’ve been thinking about signing up with them, because that much disk space would be great for off-site backups of my irreplaceable data. And so I did.

And it turns out that they aren’t really reducing those plans day by day at all. The hosting plans description page says I should be getting 194.5 GB of disk space, but my hosting account says I have 200 GB. The plans page says 1.945 TB of transfer, but I apparently have the full 2 TB (2048 GB listed in the Dreamhost control panel) that it started at before they began dropping the amounts each day.

On the Dreamhost blog, they explain that this is all because people refuse to believe that they can be stable and reliable if they oversell so severely:

People aren’t going to consider us a “stable” host until we offer LESS DISK AND BANDWIDTH!

But…ARGH! More disk and bw => more sign ups => more money => more resources => better service!

What to do?

Fortunately, I have a master-of-marketing pouch too (double-major).. so here’s what we’re doing:

Every day, starting tomorrow, the amount of starting disk and bandwidth we offer new customers (this does not affect existing customers at all!) will drop. You can see the amounts here.

(Don’t worry, once you sign up, your disk and bandwidth allocations will grow weekly just like before!)

And we’ll keep dropping them daily until our precious rep is restored!

(Or it cuts into our sign-ups too much.)

(Whichever comes first.)

I guess not really changing these values fits in with this; if it’s all based on appearances, then as long as they give the appearance of reducing their level of overselling, it’ll still work out. Not that this made anyone change their opinion, since it’s such a small reduction and since the weekly increases offset them pretty quickly anyway.

But I just wanted to get on these here Internets and let people know that they shouldn’t let themselves be rushed into a decision or anything, because these reduced plans seem to be strictly superficial and don’t actually affect how much disk and transfer you get when you sign up. If you do want to sign up right away anyway, though, feel free. Don’t let me stop you, I’m no signup stopper.

And of course, this could all be a temporary bug, and they might fix it by tomorrow. Your mileage may vary, allow 4-6 weeks for delivery, etc. But for me, signing up an hour ago, I’m getting the full 2-week-old values. I better put those extra 5 GB of space to good use with… umm… something awesome. I just need to figure out what.

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