Reselling DreamHost?

DreamHost is extremely generous with respect to what a “plan” or account provides. It seems almost perfect for resale, to me. However, there is one slight issue: DreamHost’s panel has dreamhost written all over it.

I had an idea to create my own panel, which would interact with DreamHost’s panel to perform certain tasks (such as change email aliases/domain redirects/add domains, or create new users for new resale accounts, etc.).

I will make this panel available to all DreamHost customers once I receive word back from DreamHost about my question, which I’ve sent to their support team directly and am pasting below:

Is there a backend or API to DreamHost with which I can interact with DreamHost to perform functions such as changing email aliases, etc. that are available through the panel without actually having to have a web browser open to the panel and manually make the changes? For example, a user visits my website and registers for “” as his website, therefore my site’s backend (PHP or Perl), goes ahead and communicates with the DreamHost Panel API/Backend and tells it to create the subdomain “” and the user “joeschmoe” with access to’s web directory…

If there isn’t a backend/API, would DreamHost’s development/sysadmin team be willing to cooperate with me to develop one? (This service is unique and extremely attractive to resellers!)

(WebID: idorosen. Donate!)

Hello Ido -

[quote]If there isn’t a backend/API, would DreamHost’s
development/sysadmin team be willing to cooperate with
me to develop one? (This service is unique and extremely
attractive to resellers!)


There isn’t an API for this sort of thing, unfortunately, and it we decide to provide private label re-branding we’ll actually probably just add direct panel support for it - that would be easier than creating an API that almost nobody would write to (actually, some time back we did some work on such a project, but eventually decided not to continue for various reasons).

  • Jeff @ DreamHost
  • DH Discussion Forum Admin

Perhaps it might be possible to pay a small monthly “reseller” fee (say, $4.95 or $9.95 or something), and we could specify on our site and subdomain or directory to store a signup sheet. In that sign-up sheet, our customer could specify a directory or subdomain, and it would create an alias to a branded dreamhost panel on their subdomain (like or This seems like it would be less work, and wouldn’t require an API. And the reseller fee would help to defray the server costs for running the additional panel tools.

For all those resellers out there (me included), please login your control panel at DreamHost, go to:

Home > Suggestions

and vote for the New Feature of “Allow users to customize the look of the Web Panel for reselling purposes”. (2004-07-02) - Register your own domain with DreamHost for just $14.95 now

Can we use DM shared hosting as a reseller hosting. ? Can we we create end user cpanel in a shred hosting for hosted domains and can they manage their own cpanel ?

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is “the future”.

I personally think the “web panel API” is a start

You can give anyone you like any amount of control over your hosting account.

Panel > Users > Account Privileges

Tread carefully.

Remember as “reseller” you are responsable for what ever is done with the hosting. If they do anything against DH TOS or the site gets to big for your server it will “overload” and get temp. shutdown.
Overselling will also become an issue very soon. Which is something DH does not do.

Anyway, I do not see the need for reselling nowadays. With the prices DH has (and many, many other hosting companies) any body who wants personal/private hosting with access to it features (panel) would just pay the prices, which range between $60 to $150 for shared hosting, depending on the company.

I have my personal websites and I design for others. My customers can choose their own hosting, but most just want me to handle everything so they are on my DH server, without panel access. They would not know what to do with it any way. This way I am in control, always know what is happening on the websites and can stop problems before they start.

People who do know what to do with a panel, are smart enough to google and find their own hosting.

I only resell to family. Mostly because if Mom’s site goes down, she’d be yelling at me anyway. Customers, though, get their own accounts. That way, if they’re ever ‘ex’ customers, I don’t have to worry.

Do you register domains for your customers in your dreamhost account, or do they register their own domains with dreamhost or with someone else.

I register the domains for others in my own DreamHost account, I created custom webmail that can access email for any domain on my account, and I want users to be able to create their own email accounts without access to anything else.
At the very least, I want an API that will let me determine whether an email address is in use or not. If that’s all I can get, at least the user can request from me an address that has been verified to be available.
On revisiting the TOS: There is nothing about reselling in any of the policies that I saw. The Unlimited Policy only indicates that against the terms to allow access to “account resources” - the examples are all about file sharing, which hog both space and bandwidth - and to the general public. It seems that if I am providing services to my existing customers, to a group or club, or some other group that is any way limited, that’s not to the general public. As I read it, providing services to those who have registered with me and created accounts are also not the general public, and they do not seem to consider email access to be “account resources”.

The prohibition in our Terms of Service against “making your account resources available (whether for free or pay) to the general public” applies to all features that we make available as part of your hosting account, not just to disk space and bandwidth. We specifically mention those two because they’re the ones that come up as an issue most frequently, but other features such as email are included in that statement too.

Reselling DreamHost’s email services to your customers is a little bit of a gray area. It’s something that we’re generally okay with on a small scale — for instance, if there are only a couple customers involved — but if you expect to have so many users that you need an API to manage these accounts, that’s definitely beyond the limits of what we consider reasonable.

The term “general public” does not exclude users who have registered an account on your web site, either. The intent here is to allow customers to provide their account resources, on a limited scale, to individuals with whom they have a significant personal or business relationship. A user who just found your web site and registered an account is not included.

We realize that this policy is a little bit vague, and we do intend to clarify it in the future. Based on your description here, though, it sounds like you’re planning to set up a free webmail site, and that is definitely not something which you’d be permitted to do on a shared web hosting plan, either under current or future policies.

Hello, I know this thread is about 6 month old now, but i would like to clarify something before i continue looking at other hosts.

I have been a customer here since Jan 2010, and absolutely LOVE IT
however i started a business recently that focuses on small businesses getting their online presence, setting them up with Email and a website, (among other offline services) and i was under the impression that i was not allowed to charge my customers to host on my account. This thread makes me re-think my current situation of looking for a reseller host.

The main page of dreamhost says [quote]“Shared hosting is an ideal solution for bloggers, website designers, e-commerce stores and small businesses.”[/quote]

does this mean as a website content creator I am allowed to use my hosting for my customers? since they are not the general public?

or do i have to have some loop that gives them free hosting on my account and make money of the designing only?

again I’ve been a customer for a while, and if i don’t have to look for a reseller hosting account somewhere i would be happier.

if i have to look for a reseller hosting account, does dreamhost offer this type of hosting?


Kenny Quast