Confused about User vs domains


I’ve been a member of Dreamhost for years, but I continue to find their DBase maddeningly obtuse (I wish they hired an English Lit major who was not a geek, so that the explanations would make sense to beginners). I’m hoping someone can help me get my mind around the way User accounts work. Because of my confusion, I’m not sure how to best formulate the questions, but here goes.

  1. When I purchase domain names, and then let Dreamhost host them, each one must be placed under a User account, is that correct?

  2. More than one domain name can be placed under each User account, correct?

  3. The only reason someone would want more than 1 user account is if I wanted others to administer a domain, and not have access to the other domains… is that correct? If not, what is the reason you would separate User accounts.

  4. get that DreamHost calls folders “directories.” So let’s say my first and main site has been set up in a directory, “”. Under the Code Monster plan, will any and all domains be placed in that folder? I’m trying to picture in my mind how it’s organized, and if it’s organized like any folder on my Mac (OSX 10.4.4).

  5. If each additional domain sits in a folder under my directory (, then where do User accounts come in? Are they simply a level of permissions, or are they a folder of some sort.

  6. I’ve lost the correct settings to one of my domain names. Let’s call it I use DreamWeaver v8.01, and in the remote settings window, I have
    FTP Host (I preume it’s the same directory as all the rest of my sites)
    Host Directory ( ?)

  7. Where on DreamHost can I locate both my Login and Password? Are these the User login/password? (Users: Manage Users: Edit)

Whew. I hope at least half of that was clear. Any help will be much appreciated.

G5 2Ghz tower-10.4.3-a billion Ram-dual 20" LCDs


“Directories” (or “subdirectories”) is the traditional computer-science term for levels of a hierarchical file system. “Folders” is merely the popular term for the graphical representation of directories in certain visual user interfaces. The things the graphical “folders” represent are directories.

In the Dreamhost server file structure, a user account will have its own home directory named after the username. Then, within it, there will be subdirectories for each domain or subdomain hosted within this account. You can have an unlimited number of domains hosted within a user account, and you can set up multiple user accounts within your paid hosting account, so you can have a structure like:


where user1 has access to and, and user2 has access to the other domains listed (one of which is a subdomain of

It doesn’t matter which of these was the first domain you set up; each domain has a separate directory beneath the user home directory.

– Dan


Dan, that was poetry. The lights completely went on for me. I never really got the Directory thing as well as just now. Thanks for taking the time to explain this (and the history of “directories came before folders”).

G5 2Ghz tower-10.4.3-a billion Ram-dual 20" LCDs


Heh, I could tell you were a Mac user before I read your sig. (Not trying to knock you, I’m one too.) Folders=Directories. So “directory path” is also “folder path” (which is also sometimes called “file path”.)

Maybe another way to put it is like a URL…
[your user][]

And now I notice your username is that of one I remember from a particular “deal” forum.