I'd like to take a moment to clarify something.
DreamHost was trying to explain that since URL re-mapping only affects the way a web site works it will not make a difference when using FTP or SSH2.
If it simply a matter of being too lazy to change the current working directory, any real FTP client will allow you to configure it to do that for you automatically when logging in.
What you really want is FTP/SSH2 to be configured to specify the initial working directory to be that of a certain subdirectory instead of the root (FTP is chroot to home directory) or home directory (SSH2). DreamHost does not provide a way for you to modify the FTP or SSH2 configuration in this way though.
If you are using a client that supports FTP URLs, eg ftp://ftp.example.com/, then ftp://ftp.example.com/files should allow you to "FTP directory into a subdirectory", but this is the same thing as telling the client to automatically change the current working directory when logging in.
Scott is incorrect. You may not re-map an HTTP URL to a home directory:
OK: http://example.com/files/ -> /home/user/files
NOT OK: http://example.com/files/ -> /home/user
Perhaps it helps to keep this in mind:
Home directories are used for all user files including mail, logs, configuration, private, and web directories.
Web sites use web directories to make files available over the web.
Mail, logs, configuration, and private files should never be available over the web.
A home directory should never be a web directory.
FTP and shell users access the home directory.
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