Is there ANY easy thing about this?


I’ve had my account for over a week now and I still do not have a website up and running because every day is a struggle. Here are the things I have been having issues with:

First, ALL the passwords and usernames and hosts for the One-Click installs. I couldn’t keep them all straight so I totally started over. Deleted everything except my domain and started again.

Second time around, decided to do one at a time. First, Open Web Analytics. Installed, wrote everything down, etc. It’s looking good. So I go to bed. Get home today to work more and think, I should work more on each install before going to the next… I go to the OWA directory and get an error page! Delete it from the databases and from the install page to start again then try to reinstall and it says I already exist. Fine, let me reset my password. Email it to me. Oh, my email doesn’t exist? @#$%!!!

Does anyone have a userguide to this crap that is in beginner language? I’ve had websites before and damn if they were not easy compared to this. This is just torture.


Step One: Ascertain what you want to accomplish

Step Two: Get that happening

Step Three: What Step 3? “Analysis”? Okay, whatever. see: Step 1 – because it’s relevant.


Forgive me if I keep failing to understand why people actually pay for web hosting when they don’t have a clear idea of what they want to do. There are a TON of free web hosts out there that give most of the basic stuff that’s become standard (FTP access, php, mysql, free scripts etc…) a newbie would need to learn with. You say you have had websites before so what did you do ‘before’ ? Did you use a page builder like dreamweaver (does that even still exist?)? Did you hand-code it (notepad++ is your friend) or what? Static web pages are fine if you don’t want anything dynamic (so 90’s…). If your time is valuable, a content management system like WordPress or Drupal is the way to go (WP is MUCH better for the beginner).

With that being said, are you sure you need a paid web host if you know very little about developing or authoring for the web? IMO you may be wasting your money if you haven’t been able to throw up website content successfully. Even a fresh WP install (without using one-click) can be done in 5 minutes or less. DH is not the type of host that wants to hold your hand. You are expected to have a certain level of competence about developing your site (wishful thinking, I know). They just offer use of their resources for a fee. Take my advice and hone your skills on a free host (some let you use your own domain name without a fee if you have one registered). Once you have a bit more confidence about what you are doing, then go paid since that usually offers more freedom and stability.


Hi Grygon, I think and I hope the page below points you out to the right direction. Basicall, a “Getting Started” guide. And just click on which one you want to accomplish.


You know what discourages users from delving more deeply into the developer side?

For one thing, pages like this:

'A WordPress user does not need to learn PHP in order to use, run, or manage a WordPress powered website.

Most users can use WordPress without ever learning to program or code in PHP."

Yes, on the official WP Beginner page. And it isn’t true, as I know now, after several days and dozens of hours of total misery trying to figure out a problem on my site. I finally did, but no thanks to all of the advice out there that consistently says a WP site owner doesn’t really need to know anything complicated.

Then, let’s take a look at Wordpress: The Missing Manual, by Matthew Mcdonald. (2013) The blurb on the front cover is: “The Missing Manual series is simply the most intelligent and usable series of guidebooks.” (Kevin Kelly) Wouldn’t you think this would seem to imply that if it isn’t in this book, you don’t need to know it? (And the other books in that series come a whole lot closer to fitting that description.)

545 pages long, I have read it again and again and again, and I know how to do everything that is in it. But that’s not enough, not that you’d ever guess from reading this book or using other sources like it.

The book covers:

Starting out, installation, maintaining the site, building the blog, creating posts, permalinks, WP themes, widgets, theme customizer, using pictures, posting excerpts, adding pages and menus, making WP look like a website, comments, plugins, gravatars, mobile support, backing up the site, galleries, embeds, shortcodes, embedding video, audio files, podcasts, multiple authors, promotion, sharing buttons, publicizing, feeds, search engine, site stats, editing themes, child themes, adding e-commerce.

Number of times that PHP is even mentioned in this book: 4
Number of times that mysql is even mentioned (and the reader is specifically told that if they have something like a one-click install option, they shouldn’t even learn anything about it because they’ll never need it): 2
Number of times that FTP is even mentioned: 1
Number of times that scripts are even mentioned: 0 (yes, zero)

All mentions are extremely brief, almost all less than one paragraph, and almost nothing is explained in anything resembling detail.

None of that was any help at all when I ran into the registration problem with my site.

People should not be blamed for not understanding that they really do need to know more than the user side when they run a WP site. That is what most available sources say (that you don’t really need to know too much), and it’s just wrong. The fact that the “unofficial manual” clearly is making that incorrect statement… it really sums the problem up. Maybe that’s the whole story with the OP’s issues; maybe it isn’t, but either way, the point needs to be made a lot more often than I’ve ever seen it expressed.


Just talking from personal experience with DreamHost and WordPress. I have four small sites that are pretty active, each running WP, each for a slightly different purpose. Each of the sites has a multitude of people writing for them, including myself. I also have a personal blog, also running WP. Not once have I had to look at a PHP file. I tweaked a few CSS files, and that was it. If you’re having a problem with your WP setup, then you’re either trying to do something incredibly complex with it (Even then, there’s plugins for that), or you’re deliberately messing around with the PHP files and breaking things.

Even so, I fail to see how any of this is DreamHosts fault. WordPress has a huge support community, and is actually pretty friendly. If you’re having an issue with WP, then asking the right questions there will provide more fruitful than complaining about it on the DreamHost forums.


One thing that happens frequently is that people not in the know sit and read the plugin/add-on descriptions and say “oh oh I need that”… and then they keep going, adding many plugins all at once. And as many of us know, some plugins just don’t play nice with others. Then when it doesn’t work, it must be dreamhosts fault. All this is before they have even done anything with content usually.

Another thing that happens is people new to hosting have absolutely no clue how many different building blocks they need to use to get from zero to fully hosted. registration, dns, software install, MySQl…etc etc. Many of the little steps get automated, into the process of a one-click install, surely if something breaks it must be dreamhost’s fault.

And then there is propagation… many people get stuck there because they did it all in 5 minutes from registration to one click install, then they get stuck on the 404 error on a link that dreamhost emailed them. that has to be dreamhost’s fault right, after all they sent the email.

The people that complain are the ones that have never had exposure to a web hosting environment before. They don’t understand the components, and why there are many passwords. They’ve heard someplace wordpress is easy, and it is, but then when it’s also complex it’s also hard to see how it’s also easy. Frustration sets in. Complaining that it’s not like they thought it would be and it’s too complicated might help :wink: Dreampress was supposed to help, and it does make some things easier for noobs, but it has it’s own set of things that can go wrong and probably will.


Well, the OP was the one who talked about all the passwords. I don’t care how many passwords there are or how long all of this process takes, and as long as the Ritalin holds out, I will spend ungodly amounts of time on an issue. I have taken the time to learn everything I possibly could on the user’s end, and that kind of knowledge was not going to fix this problem. But I do care that a very incorrect impression is being put out there about how much users need to know, and I think that this is indeed the case. I really and honestly have to say that I am pointing out facts. I don’t know how to say that without sounding snide. I’m really not trying to be. But they ARE facts. These things are happening. When WP’s official information constantly says in writing that users can get away without knowing essentially anything, when the best-known book in a very well-known series specifically tells users that they don’t need to know anything about the back end, then people are not being told the truth.

Yes, there’s more to it. I didn’t come up with the idea that I needed to know PHP on my own. I was specifically told BY DREAMHOST in writing that the problem could supposedly only be fixed by going into the PHP scripts and that I would probably need to talk to a developer (and I have the email.) Then they pointed me towards the forums as the place to learn more about the mysterious scripts. Okay, if that’s the case. But then that does indeed mean that I would need to know how to handle PHP in order to really fix this thing(rather than jerry-rigging it, which is what I did.) All I can tell you is-- that’s what I was told. It’s true that people need to know more than they usually are led to believe.

After dozens of hours, I DID find some kind of answer, one that at least worked well enough so that the problem went away-- so at least nobody can say that I don’t put in the time! But many people who ask specific questions on the WP forums have the same experience I did-- about a zillion radically different pieces of advice about what to do. I can tell you where they do answer questions… on the SimplePress forums, which is where I finally got the lead that enabled the many many hours of work to go somewhere. However, some people complain about the SP forum model, because they do cost a small amount of money to access. I don’t know how popular this opinion is going to be, but all I can say is that I think you often get what you pay for. I kind of wish the OP would chime in again, though.


OP here and just wanted to clarify that I am not in fact an idiot. Thanks. I did have web sites before and then I did not and I did not bother staying up to date on how websites work. My bad. Wasn’t important.

I struggled with the issues that were not working out for days before a friend came to my aid and he is a web site builder as a career. I’m glad, because he was able to go into my account and see that yes, it WAS dreamhost’s fault and not my error and he was able to correct it. The databases were not making the connections they needed to the Word Press and to the Piwigo even though I had created them and linked them exactly as they should be. Once he worked that problem out now everything works smoothly.

Just because someone runs into a problem they can’t solve doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be doing that thing. For goodness sake then no one would get to do anything.