I thought I was having a nightmare. But it turns out it wasn't a dream, I chose a very bad Web hosting company.

About a year ago I signed up for Web site hosting at a particular company that had cheap prices and did their best to create a "buzz" around their company. I won't name the company but there's a clue there for those of you that can put two and two together.

All I needed for hosting was email for a domain name and a simple Web site where I could post something once in a blue moon. As it turns out, the Web hosting company's servers had so much downtime that I frequently found myself wondering whether it was really downtime or whether someone was actually causing denial of service attacks or breaking into their systems!

When downtime occurred it took them 24 to 48 hours to fix simple problems. And more often than not, when the servers came back online some of the services didn't work anymore. I had to repeated remind them to fix one or more services. Sheesh.

Almost needless to say, when my account was coming up for renewal I cancelled - two weeks before the renewal date, just to be sure they didn't, uh, accidentally bill my credit card again. I even asked the sales staff to formally acknowledge my cancellation and confirm that they'd removed me from their billing system. They acknowledged. But as it turns out they lied!

Two weeks later I found a charge on my credit card! I became more than a bit angry. So I wrote yet another support request (one more added to the nearly 50 requests I'd had to submit over the one year period that I was using their services). It took them more than two days to respond. Surprise! That's par for the course with those bozos.

While I was waiting for them to respond I took pre-emptive action by contacting their merchant account provider where I claimed a fraudulent charge, and thereby had the charge refunded to my card directly within a matter of hours. So when the hosting company's support staff finally got around to responding I already had my money back ;-) No thanks to them either.

Meanwhile I had already found a great Web hosting company called Dreamhost. If you haven't heard of them and need reliable Web hosting then check out their services. Some of the sites I support use them and I found that they have what I consider to be the best support I've ever encountered at a Web hosting company. They definitely know what they're doing, plus they are employee-owned and they own their own data centers. My recommendation doesn't come lightly - they've earned it.

When I last signed up for a new account at Dreamhost I used a promo code to get a decent price break. If you decide to use them you can use a Dreamhost Promo Code to get a price break or a unique IP address for life (which is perfect if you want to use SSL on your site since it requires a unique IP) or a free domain name registration for life:

Get $10 off any one-year package: DREAMTEAM10
Get $20 off any two-year package: DREAMTEAM20
Get a free unique IP for life: DREAMTEAMIP
Get a free domain name for life: DREAMTEAMDOMAIN

$10 or $20 might not seem like a lot of money in the grand scheme of things, but it's enough to buy a new WiFi card or a good meal!