Web Hosting Horror, Industry Comparisons, and Humor


Back in 2015, I told my friends: "I finally ended an abusive relationship, with my web hosting company. I had enough with all the lying, cheating, abuse, and neglect," I joked. It was just a very frustrating experience. When a product works without much fuss it seems invisibile. You don't even notice it.

So at the time I thought it would be fun to do a little public data analysis using some Perl, bash, ping, and MySQL to screen scrape and save a variety of data about users, their reviews, word frequencies, domain attrition rates, and comments.

Not out of vengance, or anger, but just out of pure curioisity. How many other people felt frustrated? What were the numbers? What about other hosts? What did the data look like for them? So I screen scraped thousands of messages on the DreamHost status pages, the Linode forums, the Linode status report site, the MediaTemple reviews/incident reports, as well as several other web hosting review sites.

I love charts, real world statistics, data analysis, and discovering new trends. I also love humor and I felt that some of the DreamHost user comments were a comedy gold mine, so I just had to share them here too. The old adage that you get what you pay for is still quite true. However, that wasn't the most interesting thing I discovered from this project.

The Big Takeaway

If there is one big takeaway from this project that you should remember it is that the loudest customers are at the very edge of the distribution curve. They are the fewest in number. But they also have the most power to damage your brand.

Why? Because they have the most emotional investment in your company, or product. In the data I uncovered from this research, I learned that just a few users demonstrated the willingness to voice themselves up to a hundred times.

What is your business doing to address those customers? Do you have a plan? Has your business identified who they are?

I am almost dumbfounded when I see companies ignoring their social media, or even worse, sending robotic responses to people with real problems. People only go to social media to voice their frustrations when they feel every other avenue has failed.

Is your business paying attention to those posts on your competitors' social media? Those are potential customers right there just waiting for you to give them a solution...

Dive into the numbers behind DreamHost customer outrage »



This circa 2015 project was a fun public data discovery & analysis of DreamHost and its users. How might the comparative stats for your industry and customers look like?


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Email Josh Schultz.

Disclosure: I receive a small commission if you click our links to web hosters I endorse. I only support those hosts I feel are worth it.