A week or two ago, I moved this and all my other sites from 1&1 to Dreamhost. I was only on 1&1 because someone mentioned a good deal they had going when I needed hosting five years ago, and I just never bothered switching away. I never liked their admin interface, my sites were sometimes slow as hell or missing entirely, and it was a pain in the ass to do anything. Case in point: a few weeks ago, I got a notice that one of my domains was about to expire and would be auto-renewed for me. The problem was that I didn’t want to renew the domain. The notice gave me no direction with regards to disabling the auto-renew, and their help docs were completely useless. In the end I had to e-mail the tech support to find out that http://cancel.1and1.com is the place to cancel a domain name or any other service. I understand that they don’t want to lose business, but making it difficult for customers to leave is no way to gain favor.

Anyway, I had been planning to switch to Dreamhost for a while, after hearing good things from some people and working on a project that was hosted there. Their pricing is similar to what I was paying at 1&1 but with a much more usable admin interface and shell access. And you know what? They act like they care about their customers. Maybe they really don’t, but I don’t care - two days before my free trial with them was set to expire, they sent me an e-mail explaining how to close my account if I didn’t want to continue service with them. Treating your customers with a little respect goes a long way.

The kicker is that on the day I got the domain renewal notice from 1&1 and decided I was through with them, Dreamhost was running an iPad promo (and a giveaway) so I got my first year of hosting dirt-cheap.