Considering dreamhost

hi, i was shopping around for a new hosting company and stumbled across dreamhost. i have two newbie questions to ask and was hoping someone could answer them for me. thanks in advance!

– i see that dreamhost has the ability to host multiple domains at once–how easy and reliable is that? i would be especially interested in having a “test server” alongside my “release server”. in addition, i have at least 3 domains i’d like to host in one place–it’s not too difficult to manage that, is it? never done this before so i have no idea what it entails.

– does dreamhost also have a one-click install script for drupal? that would be really great.


Hi, welcome to the forums :slight_smile:

Managing multiple domains on DreamHost is about as easy as it gets. Each domain, or sub-domain, has it’s own web accessable directory and you can configure separate email accounts etc. for each.

You can configure all your domains under the one user, or place individual domains under the control of different users. When a user logs-in via FTP, they will only see the files pertaining to the domains that they control.

This can be handled a number of different ways. You could create a sub-domain of your ‘release’ domain and use that for testing, or you could create a free sub-domain and use that.

Unfortunately no, but I don’t think it would be too difficult to install Drupal manually.

The applications that DreamHost currently supports via one-click-installs are as follows;
PHP4 or 5:
WordPress Weblog (v2.0.4)
phpBB Forum (v2.0.21)
Gallery Image Album (v2.1)
ZenCart Store (v1.3.5)
Joomla (Mambo) CMS (v1.0.11)

PHP5 only:
activeCollab Collaboration (v0.6)
MediaWiki Wiki (v1.7.1)

PHP4 only:
Advanced Poll (v2.03)
WebCalendar Calendar (v1.0.4)

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thanks for the quick response, mark. the reason i sound so concerned about the multi-domain hosting thing is that i found that merely separating my release and test sites into different folders wasn’t sufficient. there was funky .htaccess stuff going on that affected subfolders and such. i think it’s a drupal thing mostly. ever had problems with this?

are subdomains a subfolder of the parent domain? i think that might not work with drupal. would i be able to put the subdomain in a parallel folder?

thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. sorry if i’m completely off here–i’m making a few assumptions here based on how my current host is.


I’m not Mark, but I’m happy to answer your question. Subdomains take the form of “something.yourdomain.tld”, where “something” is anything you want it to be. :slight_smile:

You can set these up, for no additional charge, on Dreamhost, and they become completely different sites, with their own “web” deirectory in your user directory. So yes, they are “parallel” folders, and can have their own settings, choice of PHP version, .htaccess directives, rewite-rules, etc.

I “stage” sites this way all the time, and when all is ready, I just do a little deleting and renaming of directories, a tweak in the Dreamhost Control Panel, and the “staged” site becomes “live” in the “domain.tld” instead of the “sub.domain.tld”.

Does that answer your question?


I am Mark, but I think rlparker answered the question much better than I could have. :slight_smile:

As I said in my previous post, managing multiple domains and sub-domains here at DreamHost really is a breeze.


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thanks, both of you! now, i just need to bite the bullet and make a decision…


No Problem! When making your decision, don’t forget that Dreamhost offers a 97 day money back guarantee (make sure you pay with a credit card), and the Promo codes available all over this forum make paying for a year in advance really inexpensive…it’s really kinda hard not to give them a try. Good Luck!


The domains are all fully hosted, so there’s no need to worry about it. You’ll have a folder for each domain in your user directory.

I think that structure is one of my favorite things about DH. I don’t like how CPanel does the add-on domains, by mirroring a sub-domain that’s a folder in your main domain’s directory. Yuck!

It’s been awhile, but I’m pretty sure I installed Drupal here without any problems before. Didn’t do much with it, but I checked out a bunch of them before settling on Wordpress. It’s a pretty popular choice, so I doubt you’d have trouble finding support if you run into any problems.

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hi I have the same question about the “practice site” and “live site”. When I finish practising on the “practice site” at, do I just change the directory name to, say,, and then the domain will work? (of course, providing that I own and it’s pointing to dreamhost’s nameservers.

That’s pretty much it, though that may actually entail “deleting” the existing “”, and the end result must match the directory the Manage Domains section of the Control Panel shows for “”. You can change either the directory name, or the directory indicated in the panel, if needed to make sure they “match”. I only mention this as some may have “test sites” set up as sub-directories of “” rather than sub-domains, and that takes a few extra steps to sort. :wink:

Understand that “renaming” this way will leave “” without a directory, so you will need to re-create it in order to continue to work with that sub-domain (though all it’s contents will now be gone).

One way around that is to “copy” all the contents of practice-site to live-site, instead of renaming directories.

Note: Both renaming, and copying, solve the DNS resolution issue, but you still must have your content prepared properly for the domain it is being served from. Using relative urls when linking is very important if you don’t want to have to “fix” a whole lot of stuff after the “move”. Also, if using scripts or CMS systems, there may be “tweaks” needed to properly identify paths/urls for the new location of the site (depending upon the scripts and how they are coded, etc.). :wink:


To me, the multiple domain/subdomain hosting is a flagship feature of DreamHost. After you use it for a month or two, you’ll wonder how the heck you ever managed before.

Very simple to manage.


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