So I’d like to know of there is a Beginner’s User Guide for the whole DreamHost setup.
So I’d like to know of there is a Beginner’s User Guide for the whole DreamHost setup.
You mean like getting going with e-mail, getting your website online, etc? The wiki has a section on this.
Besides the wiki, this forum is also a great source of information.
If you run into any problems getting things setup the way you like, a quick search of the forum will usually find someone who has encountered the same problem and (hopefully) found a solution.
If a search doesn’t turn up the information you are after, a post in the relevant forum section will usually result in some helpful advice.
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Thanks for the replies, guys, but wiki-searching and forum-posting are only good if you know what the problem is, or know the end result you want to achieve.
I find that reading through the user-guide gives you a good understanding of things from the beginning (teaches you a couple of basics about running a server, perhaps?) and you learn about loads of things you didn’t know you could do with the product.
While most of the control panel seems really straightforward, there are some things which remain a mystery, such as the users profiles, etc.
I know a getting-started guide would normally firstly cover the uploading of pages, etc, but I’m sure that there are many great features I’m unaware of!
My day job is that of technical author, so I’m more than willing to get together with some of the more advanced users and the DH admins to write this book, if they agree it would be a useful addition.
My benefits are that I would learn the tricks I need, discover some great features I never knew existed, and be able to contribute something to the hosting community.
If any of you think a user-guide that starts from the very beginning would be handy, reply to this post with positive comments!
As I said before, I know that the Wiki and Forums are here for that purpose, but they are only good if you can identify a problem or desired end result. A flick through a user guide often turns up a feature that save a frustrated user hours of heartache!
Get posting with positive comments to make this happen!
I think the DreamHost wiki is more than adquate for this task. To be brutally honest, I would argue that if customers are finding it hard to do things despite all the existing resources, they should probably be hiring web designers to build their sites. I forget who actually said this, but it went something along the lines of:
“[color=#6600CC]One of the best things about the web is that it is easy for anyone to build and deploy a website; however, one of the worst things about the web is that it is easy for anyone to build and deploy a website.[/color]”
I’m basically saying that if a customer cannot figure out how to get the information they need from the wiki (and from this forum, of course), they probably shouldn’t be trying to build a site without professional help in the first place.
a very valid point, but this thread has absolutely nothing to do with building web sites.
I’m talking about using/administrating the server.
but thanks for the reply, at least it’s being discussed.
I’m afraid you misunderstand me. The point I am trying to make is that anyone with reasonable web experience should be quite capable of utilizing this forum and the wiki to learn how to use the DreamHost control panel, and how the system is set up. I see no need for some kind of written user guide, when that essentially exists (in the form of the wiki).
If a customer is incapable of getting the information they need from these excellent resources, they are probably in need of assistance from an industry professional.
So what do I get for three times?
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Seriously, Bob. In over a thousand forum posts (and almost as many wiki edits), have I given you the impression that I’m just here to drum up business? Your personal vendetta is making you look ridiculous.
I definatly agree that it is often difficult for people to find the information they’re looking for, not knowing the key terms to search for. A majority of the time I now spend writing replies on these forums is linking to wiki articles that address the question. A lot of people know they want to turn off their site if their bandwidth goes to high, but they don’t know that it’s called ‘bandwidth throttling’. Or they say I want to move my wordpress install to this new host, but how do I copy over the database. They would have a hard time finding the wiki article called ‘migrate mysql’
I also agree with scjessey that the wiki provides a lot of the informaiton that this user guide might have. And that someone who’s going to manage to administer a website at dreamhost has got to be able understand and use the wiki. But why can’t these two ideas co exist happily?
I think a wiki article that functions as a user quide would be a great idea. The getting started article is close to this idea, but could use to be expanded on. Why not make use of the wiki as an official informaiton source to write this article. Once it’s coming along well we can link it from the main page, with a breif explination. The user guide can provide explanitory text, a good TOC, and link to the wiki articles for specifics.
I certinly see no need for a ‘dead tree’ form of this guide though, things change way to frequently in this industry for that to be worthwhile in my opinion. And I’m certin several of us, myself included, would be very happy to contribute to writing this guide. If it’s really coming along well, I bet we could even hassel dreamhost into linking directly to it from their welcome E-mails.
And one other thing:
Please, let’s not have an other fun little discussion between you and scjessy here. It’s thread hijacking, start a new OT thread, PM him, use his user’s wiki talk page, whatever, but lets keep it out of unreated threads. ‘Can’t we all just get along’? Please?
I actually think a users guide is a bad idea. The main two reasons for this are:
The decay of the kbase is a prime example of this. The wiki is a good start, and I would love to go in and write detailed articles on all sorts of stuff. However, I would want to see a roadmap of DH’s plans before I spent my time (on my own dime) for that. Also I would want some sort of support from DH that they will inform us when they, for example, remove functionality.
The only thing worse than no information is bad information. A users guide will be filled with bad information in very short order.
DH’s communication is getting better, but it’s far from what it used to be. To their credit, things have become more complex.
Just my .02 €
I have never solicited for business in this forum (or the wiki), beyond a simple link in my signature. There is no need to remind people that I didn’t do anything, is there?
I agree that ‘dead tree’ versions of anything in this day and age is silly. Like I said, I’m a Technical Author, so everything is in word or pdf version here.
The most contructive suggestion so far has been to try and update the ‘getting started’ wiki entry up to speed.
My point is very simple, and needn’t involve ‘an industry professional’;
I personally like having all the info at my fingertips, from start to finish.
Hopping around wiki pages and posts can take time.
Yes, I agree that we do need Dh to chip in with updates when functionality is affected, but I would hope that they did that, anyway…
[quote]The most contructive suggestion so far has been to try and update the ‘getting started’ wiki entry up to speed.
2nd or 3rd that.
[quote]Yes, I agree that we do need Dh to chip in with updates when functionality is affected, but I would hope that they did that, anyway…
Give 'em an E+ for effort.
If you haven’t already stumbled over it, this seems to be the wiki vision statement for switching from the old Knowledge Base to the wiki:
I encourage you to “grab” the Getting Started page, which doesn’t have much yet, and make it into something.
There hasn’t been much talk about that page on the wiki. It’s obvious why not - Spam protected page. Maybe that could be opened up again.
Are you kidding me? Did you really just say that? Pots and kettles come instantly to mind.
Look, Bob. I have never solicited for business here. The OP of that thread was looking for examples, and I provided them from my own site. You can choose to believe whatever you wish, but I would appreciate it if you would not behave like a jerk and continue to slap me in the face every chance you get. Did I wrong you in a past life or something?
They don’t, and just when I thought they might be getting better they pull the “let’s not tell the users we’re going to take their email offline” stunt today.