Scheduling Payments

Heya, so, I just want to check how Dreamhost handles billing. I see that the billing page talks about being billed at a specific point in the month if your account owes more than a certain amount, but also each time I’ve registered a domain or whatever it very clearly says “charge this card now”. Am I actually being charged on the spot for each one, or should I expect a single transaction for the month? What about in the future, when my domain renewals go off?

This is an issue for me because Dreamhost bills in US dollars, and my bank charges me a $10 fee for transactions in foreign currencies. That means if I’m getting charged individually for each domain, I’m paying about twice as much as I need to :\ Normally I use a service like Paypal to get around this (since they charge me in $AU to pay you in $US, which kills the extra fee), but apparently that’s not an option here?

Anyway, if these are all individual fees, is there any way I can get them billed as a lump sum? Even if it means I have to renew some domains earlier to match the earliest in my group, I’d rather do it that way, since that will save me about $50 in fees overall.

(Also, I had a domain credit available the last time I registered a domain, but the process still stepped me through as if I was paying for it with a credit card. I don’t seem to have the domain credit any more, so can I assume it was used and I was not charged? It’s really unclear!)

The domain costs are separate from the web hosting charges. Domains are circa $10 each per year and hosting is circa $10 a month for as many domains as you want on one account.

Once you have an account you can transfer money into it via Paypal to keep things rolling. That’s what I do at least (I’m an Aussie, too).

Panel > Billing & Account > Make Payment

As sXi said, domain registration costs are separate from web hosting charges. For services other than domain registrations, you shouldn’t be getting charged on the spot. You should have a monthly billing date when you navigate to the Manage Account page in your panel, which should look something like this:

“You are rebilled on day 26 of each month (if you owe more than $5.50).*
*Services which are billed annually will only be billed once a year on day 26 of the month in which they renew.”

That means that whatever you purchase during your billing cycle will be charged, and you’ll be billed on day 26 (or whatever your day is). Think of it like a phone bill. :slight_smile:

PayPal is definitely an accepted form of payment here at DreamHost. It should be one of the options at Billing & Account > Make Payment

[quote](Also, I had a domain credit available the last time I registered a domain, but the process still stepped me through as if I was paying for it with a credit card. I don’t seem to have the domain credit any more, so can I assume it was used and I was not charged? It’s really unclear!)

If you can give me your webID or account number (or the domain registration in question), I can look into this domain credit for you, as well as take a look at your payment settings. Just let me know!

Also — if making a bunch of individual payments for domains is the issue, you can make a single payment up front for all the registrations (or other services) you’re going to need through the “Billing > Make Payment” tab of the DreamHost Panel. While you’re there, you can make a payment using any of our supported payment types, and it’ll be retained as a credit on your account until you need it.

For instance, if you were about to register five .com domains, you could make a single payment of $59.75 ($11.95 x 5) in there, and you’d be able to continue to register those domains without being prompted for any additional payments.

(Of course, if there’s an outstanding balance on your account, any payments you make will get used to pay it off before we start keeping it around as an account credit. Take care of that first!)

Thanks everyone,

Hmm… so, Paypal is specifically not an option for either automatic billing, or first-time domain registrations (I thought I’d read that somewhere when I was registering domains, which is why I said it in my original post), or both? I know for sure that it wasn’t an available option when I was first registering each of my domain names, but for the actual hosting payment I let it happen automatically, not expecting that I could use Paypal instead if I did it manually.

I think sXi/Andrew F’s advice will cover me in general - I’ll just have to try to remember to pay in advance using Paypal. It’s kind of a drag - it sure would be nice if automatic billing could use Paypal - but definitely better than no option ^_^;

So, to clarify - I can use Paypal to add credit to my Dreamhost account, preventing my credit card from being billed unless I run up extra expenses somehow - BUT, automatic billing and domain name registration can’t use Paypal, so essentially I just have to make sure I get in before the auto-renew date?

(And if this is the case - if I should want to register new domains in the future, I can offset the credit card charge by adding fund to my DH account before I register the new name?)

Unrelated question; can I use your hosting donation button on a site, if another site hosted in the same space has adult content? I run a personal art site with two separate names/URLs/brandings for adult and all-ages content, but it all works off the same database and just uses PHP to filter content and change presentation. Best to assume that Paypal would consider any donation to be supporting adult content, and thus I shouldn’t use the button even on the all-ages site?

Thanks folks! ^^

Both, but for two separate reasons.

We can’t do automatic billing via PayPal because they don’t allow us to “pull” money from your account — PayPal only allows payments to be made by you, the user, clicking a link, logging into your PayPal account, and clicking “make payment”. So, it’s not something we can make happen automatically.

That being said, if you want to pay for your account renewal using PayPal, that’s fine! You’ll just have to do it manually through the panel, before the account renews automatically using your credit card. We send you a few emails warning you before we rebill you, so you can use those as a hint. :slight_smile:

You can’t pay for a domain “on the spot” using PayPal because the payments don’t always go through immediately. They usually show up in a few seconds, but it can sometimes take a few minutes (or longer!) for the payment to appear and be credited to your account, and we can’t be sure you actually paid at all until that happens. Since we need the payment right away for services that cost you money immediately, like domain registrations, we currently restrict that to credit cards only, since we always know immediately whether those went through or not.


PayPal’s policies on this are pretty vague, so I really can’t say for sure. Please contact DreamHost Support with details.

Paypal does have a means by which you can authorise automatic billing though - I’ve used it for MMO and forum subscriptions in the past. Is it that that method can only be used for fixed recurring amounts, so it can’t be used for something that might vary month-to-month, even if in practise it doesn’t?

Ohhhh okay. Thanks for explaining that ^^

Okidoki. It’s not too much of a concern yet, so I’ll just drop an email if it comes up. Thanks!

You’re correct that PayPal recurring payments only work for fixed amounts, so they aren’t suitable for our billing system. We did try using PayPal recurring billing at one point in the past, but decided pretty quickly that it wasn’t the right option for us. I don’t know much of the details, though, as this all predates my involvement with the company.

(I’ve also gotten the sense that it isn’t a service which PayPal maintains very well. The only documentation on subscriptions in their developer site is buried under several layers of “old stuff”, many of their lists of products don’t mention it at all, and I don’t see any API for managing subscriptions.)