So I just migrated our site to dreamhost because they are free for non-profits. However, right after I switched the nameservers over to them they changed the IP address of the site. So first they propagated out IP address x.x.x.180, then they switched it to x.x.x.178 and had to propagate that out. Point being it meant a lot of downtime since a lot of big DNS servers (like google) thought the address was still x.x.x.180 for up to 5 hours after they switched it.
This is compounded by the fact that most our visitors to the site live here in Unalaska and we have local DNS servers that take a LONG time to update (like a day or more) since we get all our internet over satellite. So every time Dreamhost changes our IP address it can mean > a day of downtime for us in our community. So my question is, how often do these changes take place? I asked Dreamhost support and they gave me a vague response:
I wish I could say, however those changes happen at random times. They're not that frequent, maybe even months between updates, but there's no way to know for sure.
First, I hardly believe that they don't know their own system well enough to give me at least some estimate or average. Second, is it worth looking at other providers so that I can get a static IP address? We were hosting the site here originally and hadn't run into this problem since we have a static IP here.
We don't get a ton of traffic but usually around 500 hits a day or so, sometimes more if our stories are featured on statewide or national news broadcasts. So hours of downtime every time Dreamhost "randomly" decides to move our server location can be bad for our readership.