I finally closed my Dreamhost account yesterday, after nearly 11 years of hosting my websites, email accounts & lists, Jabber, and code repos with them. Over the last couple of years I’ve been migrating things to other providers: the web stuff to Digital Ocean, email to Fastmail, and a few bits and pieces to Google and Github. It’s a nice feeling to shed this old account! And a bit sad.
I now have just three main computers in my life: my phone, laptop, and VPS.
It’s not because Dreamhost is bad that I’m leaving, not at all: it’s just about simplifying things, gaining control, and feeling confident enough to manage a Linux server on my own. If I wanted a shared hosting account, I’d still use them, and I dare say I’ll carry on recommending them to anyone looking for a place to host their own WordPress, MediaWiki, or Piwigo etc.
I get the impression that self-hosting isn’t as popular as it once was, and that people prefer to hand their data off to firms who will dictate structure and offer reliability and ease. I think that’s partly because of the network effect of it being somtimes better to use the same service as everyone else, and partly because self-hosted software isn’t as easy to use as it should be. The former is hard to fix (see Mastadon etc), but the latter is about building quality software that’s easy to install and maintain. That’s something I want to help with.