Is DreamHost for Me?


#1

Hi all - I’m trying to decide if DreamHost is right me and my Sister. The thing is I don’t know anything about html, ftp, or maintaining a website. This is a whole new world for me. I have “built” mom-n-pop web pages on yahoo, but that’s about it.

My goal, for now, is to build a simple website that will advertise my Sister’s new business. I have a (free) site at yahoo for her already, but she wants her own domain name. She said people are complaining about the long url—it’s www.geocities.com/(name). In looking at DH, it’s obvious that I’ll get MUCH more for the dollar than Yahoo’s starter plan. This is great, but if I don’t know what to do with it, does it make since to buy into it??? Eventually I’ll learn, but she needs something up right away.

Yahoo offers a (1) domain name, (100) sub-domains, 5gb disk space, 200gb data transfer, 200 e-mail addresses, site builder, free templates, no ads, some other features. Trying to find out if DreamHost offers some kind of site builder or templates (fingers crossed) and will I see those pesky ads on the site. I’m interested in the “Crazy Domain Insane!” plan.

Any input or suggestions would be great appreciated!

Shay


#2

Well, the good news is that DreamHost doesn’t put any of those ‘pesky’ ads on your sites :slight_smile: The only ads you will see on your site are the ones you place there.

However, DreamHost doesn’t offer any kind of easy to use site building application. You are expected to have a certain level of knowledge when it comes to creating your webpages and uploading them.

Having said that, the whole procedure isn’t too hard and there are many easy to use HTML editors out there (some are free). It might pay to have a look around and see if you can find one that you like, you will then be in a better position to decide if you you can get your sisters site up quickly enough.

As for uploading using FTP, this is also pretty straight forward. you have a number of options here, you can use a proper FTP client, the Web-FTP provided by DreamHost or even just use IE (if you are using Windows) and drag and drop the relevant files directly to your hosting space.

Overall, DreamHost is probably not the best choice for the absolute beginner, especially one that needs a site up and working fairly quickly, but they do provide enough resources (space and bandwidth) that you can grow your site(s) without worrying too much about running into quotas etc.

If you do decide to go with DreamHost, you will find this forum a great resource if you run into problems or have trouble working something out. There are many helpful individuals here that are sure to lend a helping hand.

Whatever you decide, I wish you good luck and hope things go well for you.

Mark


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#3

Dreamhost has a 97-day money back period, so it wouldn’t hurt to give them a try.

Is there any reason you can’t just move her current site to Dreamhost? You might have to update some links or image paths, depending on how it’s setup there.

As far as templates go, there are places like TemplateMonster.com, or you could do a Google search and probably come up with a bunch of free ones. Here is a site with some basic templates you could build on.


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#4

Mark & Seiler, THANK YOU both for your quick responses. They were both very helpful. I’m afraid that between reading what DH had to offer and some of the threads here, I had become overwhelmed and panic. lol

Mark - I appreciate your taking the time to address my concerns…esp. the FTP thing. It’s good to know that it isn’t as complicated as I thought. I’ll take your suggestion and look around for an HTML editor since I don’t know Frontpage. I do have MS Publisher, but I’d have to figure out how to use that also. LOL Besides the site builder and a page wizard, Yahoo has an HTML editor so I’m a little familiar.

Mike - You have a good point, I CAN always get a refund. Perhaps I can upload the website to DreamHost, but I’ll have to figure out how. Thanks for the links. All I could find so far were templates that were free for personal use, but none for commercial use.

Again, thank you, Gentlemen. Hopefully this will be a good choice.

Take care,
Shay


#5

Concerning the FTP upload to DreamHost, there is a browser-based and (somewhat) user-friendly FTP tool here: http://webftp.dreamhost.com

Of course you need to have a hosting account at DH before you can use this tool, but the tool will save yourself from the worry of installing an FTP client on your own computer.

When you’ve become more experienced, you can always use your own software.

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#6

I sugest you doenload winscp and use ssh instead… besides being mores secure is more reliable. It’s as simples as drag and drop


#7

If you wish, you can use either DreamWeaver, FrontPage, or other WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editors to do the page layout, before uploading them to DreamHost.

If you need assistance, I think there’s always this forum. Don’t you guys agree?

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#8

Do you have access to the actual files that are used for the current site? You can always try out DreamHost and just upload all of those files to have a starting point. If you don’t like DH, you can get a refund, but be aware that the domain name registration is not refundable ($9.95 I believe), but that’s standard for any host.

Check out Gordaen’s Knowledge, the blog, and the MR2 page.


#9

Agreed. And I too would be willing to assist in any way I can.

As for my first suggestion, I would indeed recommend Dreamweaver for EVERYTHING, design, site maintainence and FTP. You can FTP from right there in your site manager.

Fronpage can upload directly too, but only with those danged Frontpage Extensions, and the code that it uploads would be… not code that I would want to upload…

If you just can’t afford Dreamweaver (or can’t otherwise “find” it) I’ve seen a lot of people using Nvu, which is free. Also, the W3C provides a free editor called Amaya which is pretty spartan, but it would force you to do things the right way, code wise (comforming to standards and having to actually learn some code). Their site, http://www.w3.org/ has everything you need to know about HTML and CSS. Check out:

http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/

http://www.w3.org/Style/CSS/

and another awesome:

http://www.w3schools.com/

It’s really not as difficult as it seems on the surface once you grasp some very basic fundimentals.


#10

It should be noted that the 97 day money back guarantee only applies if you pay by credit card.

I’d like to add another vote for DreamWeaver, it is not free and the learning curve can be a little steep as you try to figure out its particular way of doing things, but it is a fine package.

Mark


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