I have been using DreamHost for the Free Lutheran Chorale-Book almost from the site’s inception. Early on I had to upgrade from the cheapest shared hosting option to a VPS (Virtual Private Server). I had thought that with that upgrade I might see some performance gains, but the site kept moving at a tedious crawl, and no matter what optimizations I made, I could not get a significant boost in speed. I even began to consider other hosting options.
Today that changed.
In the course of attempting further optimizations, I narrowed my remaining speed issues down to the host itself. A diligent search revealed the culprit: my database was stored at a different data center from my domain, as explained here. I contacted support, and within an hour the site became blazingly fast. The database and website had been consolidated in the same data center, and I received a very courteous message from DreamHost support explaining what they had done. I could not be more pleased. Everything about administering this site is infinitely more pleasant than it ever has been before. I hope the improved speed may positively impact the user experience as well.
I post this chiefly in the hope that if anyone else is having issues with speed at a DreamHost site, this post may show up in search results and lead to others finding that the same solution works for them.
Thank you, DreamHost!