Dreamhost Webmail: A Lemon

i’m going to do my darndest to “keep it nice”…

today is yet another day of, for all practical purposes, no working webmail for Dreamhost customers. disturbingly, this is becoming the norm, and not the rare-but-quickly-fixed hiccup - i can not tell customers or associates with any certainty that i’ll be able to log into webmail to get my mail. if a web host isn’t reliable, it is on the way to oblivion imho.

even putting aside the 20th-century interface (and a kludgy one even for last century), i am extremely frustrated by Dreamhosts’ inability to get webmail working reliably. repeated email bulletins that Dreamhost is aware of the problem and appears to have fixed it, only to have the problem back again in a day or two exacerbates the frustration.

i would love for Dreamhost to bag squirrely-mail, and move to a modern-looking interface. more importantly, i need to be able to reliably access my email from a web browser - this should be priority number one in Dreamhost techsupport until it it FIXED.

Have you thought about installing your own version of SquirrelMail or another webmail with an interface you like better?

no, that sounds like webhosting to this novice :wink:

i’d prefer that Dreamhost 1) get the webmail service they advertise and provide working reliably, regardless of which program they choose to implement it 2) find and install a more capable, robust, and modern interface than the current SquirrelMail.

item 1 boils down to a tech problem that has become far too regular - webmail simply can’t be relied on whatsoever at the moment.

item 2 boils down to staying competitive.

don’t get me wrong, generally speaking i love Dreamhost :slight_smile: the repeated webmail outages coupled with that interface just got to me…

What exactly do you find deficient about the interface / design, and what systems do you think are better and / or prettier?

I personally hate webmail, but I don’t think Squirrelmail is half bad as these things go.


Firsly, it is a very simple task to install your own webmail, you can even use the webmail subdomain if you send an email to support requesting that the redirection for webmail on your domain is removed then setup your own redirection.

For me I would rather DH focus on more critical issues rather than just a nice to have webmail…

Since in your post you have indicated that webmail is a mission critical application then you really should be running your own anyway and not relying on others.

Can’t say that I’ve had any problems with webmail, and I use it in anger all the time. Are you sure it’s not something wrong with you ISP.


onlinebookmarks - have you made yours yet?

That’s a good point. I use webmail a million times a day and I’ve never had anything but slight issues with it. The only real issues I’ve seen is with the connection out from my workplace – which is also just an ISP thing, not DH. For what it’s worth, I like the interface. It’s fast and does what I need. Admittedly, that @Mail solution looks cool but it has way too much graphics and reminds me of Outlook/Hotmail – which may be a selling point to others, course.

TorbenGB . . . Get a free WebID

it isn’t my ISP, because the Monday i tried connecting using my ISP, my sister’s ISP, my wife’s ISP, my work ISP, the public library, and my phone company (using my Pocket PC). all were no go. perhaps it was the effects of the myDoom variant on the entire Internet, though that doesn’t seem likely. DH recently acknowledged (yet again) continuing problems with webmail, so i’m not sure why some of you are so quick to absolve them.

just a couple examples of da kludge: 1) from within the “Address Book” one can’t pick addressees for an email. instead, one has to compose a message, and access the address book from within the message draft. 2) no one-click means of adding cc’s from a message to the address book 3) i’m reading the only message in an otherwise empty folder. no way to delete the message immediately (“delete and previous” and “delete and next” are not clickable). instead, one must go back to the folder view, put a checkmark next to the message, then click delete.

there are dozens of similar examples of awkward, outdated design…think about it, you can surely come up with your own.

the fact that the webmail program uses frames (which often don’t all open grrr) is a perfect example of “last century’s” technology. frames are generally frowned on (for good reason) in current web design. they look great though - NOT.

once again, no, i have no interest in programming or installing another webmail program on my domain. i want the service company that i pay to maintain my domain and provide working webmail to do so. they advertise it, i pay for it, so it should be reliably provided by them with no additional effort on my part.

Uh, I think you need to give the poor Squirrel a little slack, because you’re not entirely on-base with your criticisms. I’ll take them in order.

1.) When I bring up my address book, the individual addresses are clickable and bring up a composition window. You are correct that you can’t select multiple recipients at once. Nothing’s perfect, including ‘real’ webmail like Yahoo and HoTMaiL.

2.) Not sure what you mean.

3.) If you look in the upper left-hand corner of the message frame, you’ll see a stand-alone ‘Delete’… it’s right next to where it says ‘Message List.’

Listen, I understand your frustration, to a point. There are mods that I wish were installed, but scalability is really an issue. DH is a hosting company, not a webmail service.

I use the webmail exclusively because I travel a lot. I like it and it gets the job done. I’m not really worried about how pretty the interface is because, like I said, it gets the job done.

You used to sort of be able to do this - at least you could “select all” and then uncheck individual addresses… they may have removed this because it’s a feature that can so easily be abused to spam your whole addressbook.

A plugin like this:
which lets you create different “groups” of addresses might work for some applications…

Also, if anyone is so motivated, the developers of Squirrelmail are usually responsive to feature requests, and so if there are areas where the UI or functionality could be improved, please feel free to suggest them.

All webmail systems that I’ve seen are deficient in some way - Squirrelmail at least makes it fairly easy for people to extend the functionality via third party plugins, and has a pretty responsive developer community.

Also, because of the way our system is setup, we have to do some hooks to make "user@example.com" login to webmail and get to the right place. While we’re not open source bigots, doing this with a proprietary / commercial webmail system would likely be much trickier in many cases (though we might be able to create a simple login program as a gateway for such a tool).

We have been working on the overloading and general issues with webmail; we believe we’ve at least partially fixed a tricky internal networking problem that might have been responsible for some of the slowdown; we’ve made some other improvements that should help, and are looking into adding some more webmail machines. Things seem to have cleared up / calmed down quite a bit today.

Thread drift - I haven’t used it yet, but I hear that Gmail has a great interface and text editor… how do people who have tried it like it? Now if only they’d open source their webmail system…

[quote]Thread drift - I haven’t used it yet, but I hear that Gmail has a great interface and text editor… how do people who have tried it like it? Now if only they’d open source their webmail system…


Gmail is just … SO MUCH better than Hotmail that I don’t think ANYONE who has tried them out would go back to other Web-based e-mail interface.

P.S. Private message on the way, will … :slight_smile:

EDIT: Oops! “This user is not accepting private messages.” :frowning:


My email’s not too hard to find, though.

Horde IMP webmail system http://www.horde.org/imp/

…it may need the other Horde components for things like calendar, todo list, etc., but it’s well worth it.

WebID: idorosen Donate.

[quote]My email’s not too hard to find, though.


Found one. Gmail invitation sent. :wink:

In case you don’t get it, please let me know so I can resend it.


We tried IMP before SquirrelMail. It was annoying to configure, required idiotic PHP modules, and worst of all, used PHP’s uw-imap module.

It was slow and dumb. Maybe it’s improved, but we hated it. Or at least I did.


My Works offers imp as the web mail.
From a users point I far prefer SquirrelMail.
I dont have to admin either :slight_smile:

To be honest I LOVE SquirrelMail. (So far) I can’t speak for it having or not having good reliability since I’ve only been with Dreamhost for a few days but what I see so far I like!

My last webhost did not have IMAP server capabilities (Only POP3) and used an old version of SQWebmail. http://www.courier-mta.org/sqwebmail/ They also had a version of IMP installed that I disliked even more.

Messages that were in anything other than plain text did not format correctly and if I composed an e-mail for longer than a few minutes it would time out and I’d lose everything I wrote when I tried to send. Plus I didn’t have a little indicator that I could bring up like SquirrelMail does. Plus it appears that Dreamhost keeps up with Squirrelmail releases pretty well unlike my previous webhost. Looking at that website they were a few releases of SQWebmail behind. The new version looks like it has quite a few more features.

There were plenty of other things wrong with how my last webhost did things with webmail and e-mail in general but rather than go off on a tangent I’ll just say things could be a LOT worse. I’ve used a lot worse at least.

That being said @Mail looks like it’s pretty kick butt however I don’t see a need to spend $250 for what I need.