Django off Dreamhost

Earlier this week, great news was delivered to my inbox: My Dreamhost account expires in a matter of days, and though switching will be a hassle, I can’t wait to get this site sitting on a box far, far away from their servers.

For basic needs, Dreamhost provides an incredible amount of services for the price. That’s why their business does such great volume.

But that volume has been its downfall for me. Limited resources on each server mean that Dreamhost is NOT an ideal host with which to server Django apps. Yes, it’ll work (sometimes). But not very well. And not very reliably: Django apps often fall to internal server errors, and restarting Django apps one too many times may lock the server for an hour or so.

Earlier this month, Dreamhost experienced some widespread server outages right as I was attempting to move some code I’d written for the Kansan over to the Kansan’s server to meet a deadline. The timing was terrible, and this was the final straw.

I need a new Django-friendly host.

While I’ve had very a very positive experience hosting some Django projects over at WebFaction, I’m not sure I want to worry about having to pay for more memory if my site isn’t as efficient as I think it is.

Monthly payments for the Shared 2 plan at WebFaction are pretty close to the Startup plan over at Joyent, which claims to support Django.

Does anyone share their experience hosting Django sites with Joyent? Does Joyent have Python2.4? mod_python?

Or does anyone have positive experience to share with another Django-friendly host? (Side note: This page would be a lot more useful with user reviews)

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I have nothing but good to say about webfaction. Maybe dealing with the memory limitations isn't your thing, but 80MB is definitely enough RAM to host a small/moderate site.

But webfaction really shines in their support. I asked about getting bazaar version control installed on my server, and it was done within the hour.

One vote for webfaction from me.

August 30th 2007, 5:35 p.m. by Dan L
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What is your budget? I got a (dv) Base from Media Temple, but US$50/month is not everyone's idea of a good deal. However I prefer dealing with someone who replies to tickets within a reasonable time frame, and will most likely still be around in 2 years time.

It's a full VPS type setup though, so if you want something more restricted or is less manual maintenance, they're working on a Django container that runs on their Grid (much like their Rails container).

I've also heard reasonable things about in #django, and their prices are significantly lower than MT.

August 30th 2007, 6:19 p.m. by nexusprime
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I'm an advocate of SliceHost ( which is a VPS, though I'm not sure how much you'd like that.

Other than that, hosting with Joyent has been pretty good -- though you'd be on the new shared solaris so I can't help you... James Bennett ( is on there so perhaps he can help?

August 30th 2007, 6:29 p.m. by SuperJared
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I use the "Developer level 2" of with Django (fatscgi or lighttpd) and it's nice, I'm considering migrate to VPS. is very good too.

August 30th 2007, 7:39 p.m. by Kristopher Murata
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I have a few sites on a Joyent Accelerator. Top notch platform. Extremely stable, it's never gone down, and container reboots take only a few seconds! The "on demand" aspect of the container is quite appealing too: if my sites grow, commissioning additional memory and drive space won't require any reinstalls.

I had to install Python2.4 from source because the container's default package manager only provides 2.3. Install from source went without problems.

I use Lighttpd, so can't speak to the mod_python version, Apache, etc.

I have to say that administering a container is downright beautiful compared to a VPS! The SMF start up scripts sport the ability to specify very useful dependency and recovery plans -- to me, that alone is worth the cost of the accelerator.

August 30th 2007, 7:50 p.m. by RajeshD
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I hate to be a "me too!", but:

Yet another vote for WebFaction, here. Their support makes the reasonable price a huge bargain. I've long used BlueHost and Django was a pain to run on their servers (they're much the same deal as Dreamhost). But switching to WebFaction was like night and day. I wouldn't dream of using anything less for Django.

August 30th 2007, 8:33 p.m. by Tyson Tate
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Glad to see you ditching Dreamhost. I have no idea why I stayed with them as long as I did. Their outages are ridiculously frequent and seem to come from all sorts of causes, both external and internal. I've had great luck with Slice so far, although some of my stuff is hosted by work (we have an array of 8 boxes running Django alone now).

August 30th 2007, 9:25 p.m. by pyt
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VPS solution is definitely a bit overkill for me.

And based on my Dreamhost experience, I'd rather not deal with FCGI.

I'm not tied to apache/mod_python, per se, I'm really only marginally familiar with configuring that setup (enough to edit a prewritten httpd.conf file)

Rajesh - Were there any "gotchyas" when building Python2.4 on Joyent? What differences will I see on a Lighthttpd when compared to Apache/mod_python?

I do agree with the consensus that WebFaction has very good support. Their staff has been very helpful getting sites up and running in the past. I should definitely take that into consideration. (If they're good enough for me to host my clients on them, they should be good enough for me, right?)

Thanks for all the input!

August 30th 2007, 10:07 p.m. by Ryan Berg
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I quite like Rimuhosting. I've got a MiroVPS running Ubuntu Feisty and have had a great experience with these guys. Their support is first rate - they are usually in contact within about 10 minutes for high priority tickets.

Also, they're known to negotiate on things like e.g. reinstalling your VPS or whatever. I think I was installed and up and running within an hour too, although that was a year or so ago.

August 31st 2007, 1:06 a.m. by Cam
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@nexusprime: I mailed to (mt) support and asked if (dv) Base would be good enough to run 2 small Django sites, one WP-Blog and a small Rails app, but they told me I would need to have at least (dv) Extreme or multiple of them. WTF? So I'm on Webfaction now.

August 31st 2007, 1:42 a.m. by Stefan
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Hi, I left Dreamhost for WebFaction in early June and I'm very happy with their Django support. As for RAM concerns, notice that WebFaction will probably add more RAM very soon.

August 31st 2007, 1:48 a.m. by Valerix
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I have just discovered and so far it has been a great experience. As of today it is in French but they are going to launch soon an english version.

It is important to note that as far as I know they are the only one with a FREE offer like gratis.

August 31st 2007, 3:54 a.m. by yml
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+1 WebFaction

If you are able to set up a server from scratch and manage/secure it, is also a good choice.

August 31st 2007, 7:26 a.m. by Riccardo
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I believe that most of the guys we follow, Ryan, are on either on Dreamhost or (mt) Media Temple, and I've heard good things about Joyvent as well.

Too bad to hear that my monthly referral payouts might be ending. Are you keeping UDK on Dreamhost for now?

August 31st 2007, 8:30 a.m. by Stu Schaff
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The Kansan's side projects haven't been on Django since maybe a few weeks after the launch of Hawkchalk - I had to have a script restarting the server every hour, and even then I was putting out internal server error fires. They got moved to WebFaction very quickly. That's now where hawkchalk, kansantrivia, and the facebook app all currently live.

MediaTemple seems to be a very high quality host, but are a bit more expensive than others I'm looking at.

As of now, I'm looking at getting that extra months cushion with Dreamhost, then getting myself setup over the month over at WebFaction.

I'll use the server switch as my chance to implement some upgrades to the site that I've been wanting to make, without the risk of nuking the existing site.

Thanks for all the helpful input, everyone.

August 31st 2007, 9:53 a.m. by Ryan Berg
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WRT Joyent, if you set up an account now you'll be on the new Solaris shared. The limits are a lot more explicit than on the old FreeBSD shared servers; you can see them here:

You can use FastCGI with lighttpd or nginx, but no mod_python I think.

But WebFaction sounds great too... good luck!

August 31st 2007, 10:29 a.m. by Nicholas Riley
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I like the Joyent.

August 31st 2007, 10:32 a.m. by James Bennett
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I recently acquired a slicehost VPS and so far it's pretty amazing. For 20 US$/month you get a 256MB RAM / 10GB HDD virtual linux that's quick and reliable (so far, anyhow...). The only really annoying thing is the incredible wait time (weeks...) if you're not willing to pay for a full year.

This post helped me get started...

I don't think I'd ever go for a shared server... but that's just me!

Good luck wherever you go :-)

September 1st 2007, 12:16 a.m. by MarcC
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I'm going to have to go with slicehost.. I recently switched from django to them and it's been great.

September 1st 2007, 12:25 a.m. by Sean Roth
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slicehost, for sure.

September 1st 2007, 8 a.m. by adam
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I switched my site to Webfaction from Dreamhost a little over a week ago and have been very pleased with the transition. (It wasn't too hard to get used to a different web panel or directory structure when I ssh-ed in the first time.)

I had some pretty severe memory usage overruns the first few days, but Webfaction support was actually pretty tolerant of it and let me keep the site up while I (with their help) figured out how to lower the memory my Django project was using.

I think you'd be happy with the switch. (Especially since, at the very least, Django stuff just works on Webfaction.)

September 1st 2007, 9:30 a.m. by Erik
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@stefan: (dv) Extreme for two small sites? I think not.

My memory usage for small sized site (out of 256MB) is so far just 60-80MB. And this is with PostgreSQL, Apache and nginx all running. Adding another site would maybe add another 20-30MB.

September 1st 2007, 3:29 p.m. by nexusprime
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I'm running a django based web app(non CMS) for a client on Webfaction on the shared-3 plan of theirs.

I have only good things to say about the service. The control panel makes it very easy to deploy django apps.

+1 for webfaction.

September 2nd 2007, 12:12 p.m. by Pradeep Gowda
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Ive switched to slicehost a few months ago and would certainly recommend it. I still do miss those terabytes of bandwidth though ;)

September 2nd 2007, 8:01 p.m. by sri

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