Dreamhost Hosting Tips

By Dave

I have been using Dreamhost for about a year now, and have really enjoyed my experience there. There are a few horror stories out there, but I think those are few and far between. I have learned a few things since hosting there that I thought I might share here for anyone that is currently hosting with them or may host with them in the future.

BTW, there is a post here on FG with lots of great promo codes in it for a great deal on Dreamhost.

Admin Panel
The Admin panel is where “all the magic happens”. You control pretty much everything about your site from this set of tools. One complaint that I have seen a lot in the support forums is that the panel takes a long time to load. This is actually only true if you leave the panel from one of a few pages. The slowest page, by far, is the rewards page. More than likely this is because of all of the reporting that is going on, showing your rewards for the current month, as well as a history of who has signed up for dreamhost with you as a referrer.

One key to making sure the Admin Panel loads quickly is to not leave the panel from the Rewards page. The Panel sets a cookie to remember the last page that you were on when you leave it so that it can return you to that location. So before you decide to get out of your admin panel, just switch back over to the overview page and you will be able to get back in without delay.

Multiple Domains
Another feature that I have just recently discovered was the ability to host multiple domains on a single account. With the amount of storage and bandwidth you get with even the L1 account (20GB/1TB), you can easily host 2 or 3 sites (or more depending on traffic) from a single account. When you add a domain to your control panel, it will create a seperate folder structure for that domain in your shared server space. You can then upload completely seperate components to each site, even do one-click installs to the seperate domains.

Stats and Permalinks
The permalink has become a bloggers best friend, and this is usually accomlished by activating mod_rewrite in the htaccess file. However on Dreamhost, activating permalinks in WordPress or Textpattern will break the path to your stat reporting. The easy way around this is a quick entry in your .htaccess file.

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/stats/(.*)$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^/failed_auth.html$
RewriteRule ^.*$ – [L]

Hopefully some of these tips will help someone out. If you have any more, add them to the comments.

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