What I Have and What I Want

I have become officially fed up with my host. I won’t name names here but I am mad at them. So, I’ve heard alot about DreamHost over the years and right now it’s between you guys and another cPanel host… I am just wondering a few things that will sell me on you guys if this is plausible:

I am use to using cPanel, Fantastico and Webhosting Manager (cPanel Reseller Panel) to operate my sites. I am a web designer and resell my space to my clients. I don’t have many hosted with me and the few I have are small sites so I don’t mind moving them. Thing is, one of my clients has his own cPanel right now, what about when I move him?
It says I can have multiple domains, can I give subaccounts of sorts? Allocate space between? Give them their own log in to check out their panel?

My goal right now is to find a solution for my clients; I lost my personal website on my host and because of everything else going on in my life I’ve neither the time nor desire to persue it right now, so I’m satisified with just 5MB for my portfolio. But I have to fix up my clients so I can get rid of this host I’m on before I got bibbly over this.


Hi Jen,

The DH panel will take some getting used to; it’s certain not cPanel, but it’s awesome!

There’s several ways you can migrate your clients.

  1. If you don’t host them for free, (ie, you collect a hosting fee) then you should first signup and then create an affiliate link. Have them sign up through it and they each have their own panel (which you can actually admin through your own panel.)

  2. If you have clients that will never need backend access (server/ftp/mysql) you can setup all those within your own account; this allows you to manage all of them from one FTP location (because they all run under one user.) You’ll never be able to give these types of clients access to say FTP, because that would effectively give them access to everyone’s (meaning your clients setup under the user) files and websites.

  3. If you have clients who “may” need backend access, and who you don’t want to have them signup for a dedicated account, you can create a dedicated user and setup his/her domain under that user. You will still admin the DH end of things, but your client can have access to his files (and no one elses.) Notable is that for a setup like this: if your client asks you to look at say a file on their site, you’d have to login under their user, not your own.

Hope that helps some…


  • Alar

Firstly, as you are probably already aware, DreamHost does not use cPanel, they use their own custom admin panel, that (in my opinion) is superior to cPanel and provides far greater functionality. However, it is different, and this difference can be the source of much frustration for those moving from a cPanel based host.

Each domain or sub-domain can be placed under the control of a different user and each of these users has a separate home directory that contains (amongst other things) the web accessable directories for any domains they control. When a particular user logs-in via FTP, they will see only the files for the domains they control. You can set disk space quotas for each user, but as far as i am aware, you can not set traffic quotas on a per user basis.

You can also create new WEBIDs (panel log-ins) and grant these WEBIDs panel ‘privileges’, which control what they can do in the panel. One thing you can not do is ‘brand’ the panel, your clients will always be aware that they are hosted at DreamHost.

Overall, DreamHost is a damn fine host and offers more than most people need in a host, but it may not be the best choice for a re-seller.


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Thanks Ala and Mark!

That’s exactly what I needed to know – “WEBIDs”. I knew Dreamhost was not with cPanel, so I wondered how I could work this out.

So! If I wanted my client to create their own database would they need a WEBID or would that come with what Mark described as, “Each domain or sub-domain can be placed under the control of a different user and each of these users has a separate home directory that contains (amongst other things) the web accessable directories for any domains they control.”? Or is he just describing FTP users?


Yes, database creation is done through a section of the admin panel and for that they would need a WEBID.

Sorry about that, I should have explained it a little better.

DreamHost refers to the users as ‘machine users’ and they are basically *nix users that have FTP/Shell access. However, for admin panel access you will need those WEBIDs.

Edit: On the subject of WEBIDs and privileges, the wiki article below details what privileges can be set, it might be of interest to you.



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You can also create one account for each client with your webid being the owner of each account. then for each client you give them a webid and give them access to the account with their plan and website on it. They will be able to manage their account fully and you will still be able to manage all of the accounts fully.

I guess this means I can do everything I want! Yay then, I think Dreamhost has a new customer. =) Thanks so much for answering my questions!

One thing you should be aware of is that you can’t really give users a subset of the resources you receive.

You can limit the amount of disk space they can use, and you can give them ownership of something you create, but you can’t give them “5 domains, 10 email addresses, and 2 mysql databases” and let them use those resources however they want. You’d have to either give them admin access over all your stuff (with the trust issues that causes) or create the specific domains and databases they want and then give them control over them. E-mail control comes with control over a domain, and again you can’t place any limits on the number of accounts they can create.

Also, if you give somebody control of a domain you create, then they can easily change the bandwidth limit (or even remove it), and if you give them control over their user (which I believe they need to change the password used for ftp or ssh) then they can change their disk space limits as well.

In other words, DH is fine to host multiple users, but you still have to trust them quite a bit and it’s not nearly as reseller friendly as DirectAdmin or cPanel in that sense.