Suggestions


#1

This isn’t really trouble shooting, but more of a question of ‘why not’. I already used my panel to make these suggestions, but it hasn’t moved in three weeks so I thought maybe one of the dreamhost employees that frequent this board might be able to answer my questions.

When I was searching for a host I narrowed it down to two, and eventually decided on dreamhost. I’ve been very happy with that decision. I’ve never had a problem with dreamhost and I recommend it to everyone who is looking for a good host.

I’ve also been very happy with the recent monthly additions to the dreamhost hosting packages. They’ve all become much better values than when I first signed up.

However, the other host that I was looking at before joining dreamhost has two features that I wish dreamhost had. I’m not going to mention the host, but I know dreamhost employees can figure out who it is.

So I guess this is a ‘will dreamhost ever include these features’ question.

  1. No limit on domains.

I’ve actually seen this several places. It seems like it would increase value without really costing the host company anything more. Now, I admit I know nothing about servers and such, but if you have 400 mb of space, and a limited amount of bandwidth, what does it matter how many domains take up said space and bandwidth? Someone could have one domain and take up their entire alloted space and bandwith, while someone else could have 20 domains and be only using a fraction of their alloted space and bandwidth.

It seems like it would add great value to the plans, without costing dreamhost anything more than they are already giving out. Of course, I have no idea how easy this is to implement on dreamhost servers in respect to how they’re set up.

2)phone support

I completely realize the cost reasons behind not having phone support, and I know dreamhost is currently testing out call back, which really isn’t full phone support.

I don’t think someone paying 10 bucks a month should expect phone support. But it seems like someone paying 30 or more dollars a month (almost 400 dollars a month) could reasonably expect such a feature.

So instead of rolling out a call back service to all packages, why not simply offer phone support for those who give dreamhost more of their paycheck.

I’d love to hear any opinions by any dreamhost employees.


#2
  1. Unlimited domains

Well never say never. I don’t think we have plans to offer this at the present time (we do have unlimited parked / mirrored / redirected sites, and unlimited subdomains). Obviously nothing is ever really unlimited (there is almost always SOME type of limit) – so I’d hold that this type of feature is more than a gimmick than anything else. Hosting domains costs us money, and of course we have to leave some sort of reason for people to sign up for more expensive plans.

  1. Phone Support - I think we’d like to offer this in some form at some point, but I can’t say when… Some plans already have a certain number of “callbacks”, which is a step in this direction.

I realize it’s frustrating not to be able to talk to a person “right now”, but having dealt with phone support at other companies, I’m actually struck by how well our system generally works - I’d say your question is more likely to get routed to someone who can really answer it in the first place with the web / email based support, and it makes it easier for support to ask each other (or us) for help, since they’re not on the phone…

On the other hand, there are some times where talking to someone on the phone can get something resolved much more quickly. I hope that we’ll be able to offer phone support in the future.


#3

Will, thanks for the quick reply.

“Obviously nothing is ever really unlimited (there is almost always SOME type of limit) – so I’d hold that this type of feature is more than a gimmick than anything else.”

Yep, I know what you’re talking about. Hosting companies claiming unlimited space or bandwith. I’ve been through many hosting companies and learned very quickly that if it seemed too good to be true it more than likely was.

However, unlimited domains doesn’t strike me the same way, and the company I was referring to is high quality.

Unlimited bandwidth and space is easily abused. Upload 200 mp3s and you’ve got over 800 gb used easily and the resulting bandwidth from downloading could easily be a problem.

Unlimited domains is a little harder to abuse. First, you couldn’t use more than the space you’re alloted. So if my plan gives me 400 gbs, I can only use that much, regardless of how many domains I have.

And domains are not free, so it’s highly unlikely you would find someone abusing this feature by intentionally buying up and hosting more domains. Still, if you have 100 domains you would only have 4 gbs perdomain, including mail storage (assuming the 400 gb limit), so as far as storage it wouldn’t cost the host anything more.

“Hosting domains costs us money, and of course we have to leave some sort of reason for people to sign up for more expensive plans.”

Is it the ‘hosting’ of the domains that costs you money, or the server space and bandwidth? Domain names are basically just pointers right?

You can use added features, bandwidth, storage, phone support etc. to get customers to upgrade packages. But if unlimited domains brought dreamhost more customers in the first place, wouldn’t it be a good move? Better yet, if those domains are registered through dreamhost, that’s even more revenue.

As I said before, the storage and bandwidth for the plan would have limits that the domains would have to fit inside of, no matter how many domains there are. So as far as bandwidth and storage, it’s not costing dreamhost anymore money, and the feature could bring more money in.

For instance, on my plan I have 900 gbs. Eventually, I’ll have about 10 domains, but with my plan I only get 7 domains. Yes, I could add 3 more with a booster pack, but I can’t afford anymore than the 30 bucks I pay a month. There’s no ‘package’ upgrade that would even come close to making sense for me.

I can tell you right now I will never come close to my storage or bandwidth limits. So I’d rather have 400 gbs instead of the 900 to have more domains.

And that’s the catch. You’re saying it would cost dreamhost more money. But wouldn’t it be less? I could have 15 domains pointing to my server space, which would be only 400 gbs. The other 500 could be used by another customer, or several, which means dreamhost makes more money.

Hopefully, you can see how it kind of puts me in a spot. It’s not important now, but in the future when I (if I) get all my domains up (10) it could be a problem. Unlimited domains, unless I’m missing something, just seems like a win/win situation for both customers and dreamhost, and I was (and still am) curious as to why it’s not implemented.

As far as the phone support, I was just curious why dreamhost wouldn’t add it to a feature on the more expensive accounts, where it seems a better fit.

But I agree with you, I’ve never had any problems with dreamhost support. It’s been fantastic. I can honestly say since I’ve been with dreamhost (several years) I can’t think of one time I would have used phone support.

Anyway, thanks for the responce will.


#4

Well I’m not going to officially suggest that you do this, but if you really can’t afford the extra cash for a booster pack, there are several ways you could abuse the unlimited free mirrored / redirected domains to get free unlimited domains… The simple way would be to redirect example.com to example.net/example/, but you could do it in a more transparent way with a little bit of messing around (ie you could setup a site and have several sites mirror it, and then present different content based on the address the viewer typed in). I think there’s been some discussion of other ways of doing this on this board somewhere.

Anyway, it’s an interesting idea (and obviously, if people are registering domains through us, we make money on the domain registration).

W/r/t domains costing money, the way we have things setup now, domains themselves do cost us a certain amount of money, since we try to keep machines limited to a certain number of domains and / users to prevent them from getting overloaded. Most machines have 5-700 domains on them, IIRC. We have lots of customers that have tons of domains, so one customer adding a couple hundred domains could mess up our balancing algorithms (obviously most of these domains probably wouldn’t be getting a lot of traffic, but this is the sort of thing that’s hard to predict). Machines cost us money, and having fewer users per machine costs us money… Of course redirected / mirrored domains enter this equation too, but I think we may allow more of this sort of domain on a machine since they take up very few additional resources for the most part.

Anyway, marketing people (even ours) love words like “unlimited”. This is, of course, based on the idea that 99% of people don’t even begin to approach practical limits.

Personally, I’d rather see the limits raised, and this is likely to happen if recent trends are any indication.


#5

Thanks for the input will. I understand the ‘other’ side of things better now. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed=)