Dreamhost Webhosting Removes CPU Minutes Usage Limits

This site is hosted on Dreamhost webhosting ever since I moved from Blogger. With so many webhosting companies providing amazing deals on bandwidth, storage and multiple domain hosting, it was difficult to decide the best web hosting for me.

Then I looked around forums, searching for pros and cons of different webhosting services. While evaluating the best webhosting deal, I finally decided upon Dreamhost Webhosting, and the crazy hosting package was unbelievable. Add that with a $97 discount promo code I offer, and you get a powerpacked starter webhosting package for around $22 for the first year!

But a major drawback was a well publicized fact that Dreamhost imposed a limit that you can only use up to 60 CPU minutes a day. Their CPU Resources FAQ explain CPU minutes usage issue as

When someone accesses your site, the amount of data moved between them and your server is bandwidth, but the amount of time it took the server to create your page uses CPU resources. These days, with so many sites being dynamically generated by CMS and blog software, gallery software, and other types of scripts, it’s quite possible the CPU is working far harder than what your bandwidth statistics might suggest.

Once your site starts to adversely affect the shared hosting server you’re on though, we may have to take action. If your site is just causing the load to creep up on your machine, we’ll try and contact you and give some suggestions on how to make your site less resource-intensive. If your site (or just a particular script) is causing the entire server to become unresponsive, we may have to take immediate action and temporarily disable whatever was bringing the machine down.

Remember this is shared webhosting and other websites are hosted on the same server as yours. If your site hogs lots of CPU resources, then the entire server goes down with all the sites hosted on it. So they had set up this limit to keep CPU resources under control. Recently they posted on their blog about the truth about CPU minutes (read the postscript)

“People who are getting disabled for cpu resource abuse are people who are crashing their server. It’s completely unrelated to the disk/bw limits, except for the fact that those higher limits got us a lot more customers, so we are a lot bigger now, so a lot more people (not percentage-wise, just overall) are causing problems, possibly getting disabled, and then possibly complaining about it.

Some people point to our CPU Minutes FAQ in our wiki and say Aha, you can only use up to 60 cpu minutes a day and then you’re disabled! But that’s not true either. The truth is, it’s really always handled on a case-by-case basis. However, our customers really want to see a hard number.. so we put up 50-60 because you’re definitely not in trouble if you’re under that.”

And the latest Dreamhost newsletter at item 3 says that they no longer have any limits on “CPU minutes”.

We no longer HAVE any limits on “cpu minutes”. Maybe it’s just semantics, and maybe it’s just “crazy overselling”, but as long as your site or scripts aren’t causing problems with the server, you are IN THE CLEAR!

Let’s say you’re not IN THE CLEAR though.. don’t worry! We’ll work with you! We’re adding a BUNCH of new servers to help “get” the average load per web server down, and we’ll work with high-load people to get their usage down or their butts onto a new server that can handle it.”

I have been through all sorts of traffic spikes etc, and I must say I have been very happy with Dreamhost. There support has been quick and you can easily track their status page for downtimes and upgrades. And I am sure that this news of removing CPU minutes limits is more than welcome to all Dreamhost users. Another reason to switch to Dreamhost.

One comment on “Dreamhost Webhosting Removes CPU Minutes Usage Limits

  1. Nitin Nanivadekar says:

    This post is perticularly useful to me as I am looking out for a reliable host.
    Can you tell me how many users come to your site every day?
    I am sure it will have a lot of traffic and a good CPU burn. I am looking a good ISP for this goose.

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