The Soap Boxers, as well as other domains within the realm of Kosmo, is hosted by Dreamhost.  I stumbled across Dreamhost quite by accident.  When I began blogging, my friend Lazy Man took me under his wing and provided my with free hosting under his own Dreamhost account.

So, what do you get with Dreamhost?

Domain Registration – First, you get one free domain registration with each hosting account.  This is something that a lot of web hosts charge extra for.  As a bonus, you can opt for anonymous registration for no additional cost (which, again, many hosts charge extra for).  Additional domains can be registered for $9.95 per year with no strings attached.

Unlimited everything (well, most things, anyway) –

  • You get unlimited space for your web site’s files.  Additionally, you get an additional 50 GB of backup space for non-site files.
  • You can host as many domains on one account as you wish.  For example, I host The Soap Boxers, Hyrax Publications, and a personal web site – and it’s the same fixed cos for hosting (although there is a registration fee for each domain).
  • You can created unlimited MySql databases.
  • Unlimited bandwidth

Essentially, this means that you won’t be charged overage fees for exceeding space or bandwidth limitations – since there are no limitations.

Email – You can set up email in a variety of different ways.  I have mine configured to use Google as the email provider.  I have my own custom email address (, but use Google’s POP server to check mail through my desktop email client.  I can also choose to go to Google’s web site to check my mail.  The web-based mail through Google is just gMail customized to use your own domain name.

One-click installs – Dreamhost has “one click” installs for a variety of software packages.  I have used the one-click install for WordPress a number of times, and also have used it for Zen Cart on the Hyrax Publication site.  That’s the tip of the iceberg, though – the option also exist for these software packages: Gallery, PhpGedView, Pligg, dotProject, Moodle, Joomla, phpBB, MediaWiki, WebCalendar, Advanced Poll, and Trac (note: I don’t use any of these other software packages, so I can’t vouch for how well they are integrated).  You still have to configure the software, of course – so you may need more than one click to get started.  It’s a good feeling knowing that you’re not going to run into a weird installation error when you try to install a software package.

Overall ease of use – I’ve used a lot of web hosting services over the years.  Most of them tend to use CPanel.  I’m really not overly fond of CPanel and was happy to see that Dreamhost doesn’t use it.  You can use the Dreamhost panel to use FTP and MySql, but you can also access these functions natively.  It’s also a cinch to do things like add sub-domains (,,, etc).

Social responsibility – Dreamhost offers free hosting to non-profits (501(c)(3) organizations) and also touts being a green organization.  Some of the environmental friendliness they claims is a result of purchasing renewable energy credits or offsets.  Of course, this doesn’t really reduce the energy a company uses (which Dreamhost admits), but does provide funding for green projects.  Beyond the purchasing of credits, Dreamhost does make an effort to use power-efficient processors and take other steps to reduce energy usage.

Upgrades – In addition to the base plan (which costs $9.95 per month if you sign up for one year, or as little as $5.95 monthly if you sign up for ten years), you can purchase upgrades such as private servers and static IP addresses.

Surely there are some problems with Dreamhost, right?  A few months ago, there were some issues with a few outages.  They weren’t particularly long (an hour or so), but could be frustrating when they occurred.  This is something that every hosting company is going to experience at some level, of course – nobody has 100.00% uptime.  On the bright side, there hasn’t been an outage in quite a while.

Interested in signing up with Dreamhost?  Sign up using this link (or by clicking the ads), and you’ll get the first year of service for just $3 per month ($36 for the first year).  Yep, I do get an affiliate commission if you sign up.  If you’ve been waiting to jump in the water and create your own blog (or other site), take this opportunity and take the first step toward success!