I’m hoping someone from DH will be able to provide some definitive answers to a few questions:
1st: As I am based in Australia and do NOT have a credit-card (nor do I want one), what options are available to me for payment of DH fees?
My current server is giving me gyp with some out-of-field server settings which I cannot and am not allowed to modify. This is causing all sorts of problems with 3 machines I am running on my site… SMF, Gallery 2 and Mambo. I would like to know that these are going to be a straight-forward installation and set-up, and not require odd snippets of code being tucked into obscure places within the machine code to cover server short-comings.
I am not from DreamHost, but this being primarily a user-to-user forum, I will do my best to answer your questions
G’Day from a fellow Aussie
Since you don’t have a credit-card, you have the following options for payment; PayPal or Check / Money Order.
I should note that the 97 day money back guarantee only applies if you pay using a credit card and I believe promo-codes are now only applicable when paying with a credit card.
Another option is to obtain a Visa Debit card. Many Australian banks now provide these and they can be used online just like any Visa credit card, but they provide no credit, you can only spend the actual amount you have in the account. I use a WestPac Visa debit card for all online purchases.
While I can’t guarantee that you will have no issues installing the applications you require, you should not have too many problems. In fact, Joomla (Mambo) CMS and Gallery 2 are provided as ‘one-click-installs’ from within the DreamHost admin panel.
There are certain settings and characteristics of the Dreamhost php installation that may have to be tweaked, though the programs you mention are running successfully at Dreamhost. What settings, in particular, are you concerned about?
I don’t know if this is an option for non-US residents or not… if you have PayPal, but want the advantages of using a credit card (but don’t want a credit card), you could check to see if the PayPal debit card is available in your area.
Or just get a Visa/MC debit card from your bank as already mentioned.
Save up to $96 at Dreamhost with ALMOST97 promo code (I get $1).
Or save $97 with THEFULL97.
Thanks for the replies. It’s becoming more likely I’ll make the change in the near future. Yes I do have PayPal, so that’ll probably be the way I’ll go -as long as it doesn’t require credit-card verification obviously!!!
The machines: Mambo 4.6, SMF 1.1RC3 and Gallery 2.2 (Note: NOT 2.1.2)
The problem: seems mainly to revolve around the session.save_handler and the path to my temp dir. Have had all 3 machines running successfully at various times, but to date have not had all 3 at the same time. Am having to bury code within to set the properties, sometimes it works, sometimes it just gives me gyp. Have addressed this with the server help desk; they either don’t know, don’t care or both.
Every time I get a machine working there is a technical update or security patch that is ‘highly recommended’ so I install it… and go back to square one. Frustration is overwhelming me!!! Instead of getting on with developing and launching my business (as intended) I am spending WEEKS trying to resolve issues I should never have to worry about!!! Especially trying for me (a nub) as I have to try to learn something of what I am doing before I attempt it. Always it eventually seems to come back to these same server settings at some point. And forget about trying to bridge them!!
I truly hope DH can provide a more ‘seamless’ experience! DH were recommended by a friend, that’s why I’m here And again, thanks for your thoughts/opinions: keep them coming!
It is quite likely that you will want (need?) to tweak certain PHP settings on Dreamhost (by running your own custom PHP, or running your own php.ini against a private instance of PHP.cgi) in order to get the various settings into “optimal” configuration for this combination of packages.
Dreamhost PHP now runs only as cgi; this could impact certain functions that rely upon mod_php to operate properly.
On Dreamhost, using the “pre-compiled” versions of PHP, you may run either PHP 4.4.2 or php 5 (I forget the sub-version), and the default settings for various php setting differ between the two versions at Dreamhost.
Just a friendly word of caution: The continually evolving nature of all these packages, and the the fact that they are continually subjected to exploit attempts, makes it highly likely you will continue to have to upgrade each of these packages fairly regularly in order to operate them safely. As you have found with your current host, this can be problematic if you have to substantially “tweak” the application to run under your servers’ php settings.
Given the many settings that can be involved, and the way these packages evolve, I don’t think anyone here can authoritatively assure you that each of these three packages, and their next releases, will work together, with full “reccomended optimal” settings, under Dreamhost’s php.cgi (running under suexec - as your own user), without the possibility (probability?) of you having to customize either the php.cgi used, the packages themselves, or both. As an example, the latest Joomla! release needs “tweaks” to be fully “optimal”, and the tweaks required are different depending on whether you use php4 or php5. It is quite possible that you may find the same situation with one, or more of the packages you are using (and even if you don’t initially, a subsequent release of any of the packages may introduce such a situation!). Part of this is probably due to the fact that many applicatioins are kind of “stuck” between offering PHP4 compatibililty, and requiring PHP5; they are coded in different ways, and shared hosting companies often manage php settings differently for the different version (as there are different vulnerabilities). That is the “bad” news.
The “good” news is:
As long as you pay by credit card, you have a 97 day period during which you can test everything out and still get a refund if things do not work as you need/expect.
Dreamhost allows you to operate an unlilmited number of domains and sub-domains at no additional cost - this makes it feasable to, if necessary, run each of the above packages in a designated subdomain, with each having its own custom instance of php.cgi/php.ini, if that is what is required/desired due to incompatibility of their php settings, or the default settings of the php versions “precompiled” at Dreamhost.
Dreamhost does allow you to compile, and use, your own version of php , so you have lots of flexibility.
I am not trying to discourage you; I don’t think you will find a more customizable, or powerful, shared server solution out there than that provided by Dreamhost. I just want you to realize the the types of problems you described having with these packages and your current host are more related to your choice of packages, and the current state of PHP, than they are with any host. The nature of shared hosting is that php has to be controlled, to some degree, for the good of all who share the server, and some php settings that are “wanted” or “required” by certain packages are going be defaulted to different settings by different providers.
You should also understand that, while the Dreamhost techs are a great and knowlegeable bunch, the kinds of issues you were encountering with these third-party applications are not the types of problems you can expect them to be of much help with (that is just not their function).
Luckily, there is a pretty good bunch of customers here that are generally willing to help with the stuff that DH techs really can’t get involved in.
I say you should give a try, while preserving you ability to get a refund if it doesn’t work out (read terms carefully, use a charge card, etc.)
I have not long ago paid for DH hosting of my domain via PayPal (so forfeit the 97-day ‘grace’ period), oh well… I now only await the confirmation emails before moving my site over.
Yes I do understand that the PHP settings are as they are on a ‘best for most’ basis and that I will need to sort some of the issues myself. I like the idea of running my own instance of PHP and the sub-domains you mention… intriguing. More learning!!! It is definitely the lack of support from my current server (this is really only the latest in a string of issues) that has precipitated the change. These user forums are great -I have spent several hours browsing the forums looking at the issues and the responses. I am impressed. Now for the wiki…
Again thanks for the responses. It has been your input and the support I have witnessed here that have confirmed my decision to join DH.