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December 2011 Newsletter


Indulge me as you sit there for just a minute. I'd like to regale you with a tale of how my life essentially flipped itself - turned upside down, you might say.

You may not know this about me, but I was born and raised in West Philadelphia. Most of my days were spent on the playground - playing basketball just outside my school.

One day a couple of street toughs were up to nothing good - they made real trouble for the neighborhood. After they dragged me into one minor physical altercation my mother grew frightened and sent me to live with my aunt and uncle in Bel Air, California.

I whistled for a cab and as it approached I noticed its license plate - it read "FRESH" and fuzzy dice adorned its mirror. At first I thought this cab peculiar but quickly thought nothing more of it as I directed my driver to "Bel Air".

My vehicle arrived at my aunt and uncle's house around seven or eight in the morning. I yelled to my cab driver "Sir, bathe more often and your scent will be less offensive when next we meet!"

As I surveyed the sprawling mansion before me, I could hardly believe I'd arrived. Indeed, I was ready to sit on my throne as the Prince of Bel Air.


Simon Says... (Written by CEO Simon Anderson!)

Holidays are awesome but stressful at the same time. Being an Aussie I've traveled - or gone walkabout - to a lot of strange and exotic places. But whenever I've traveled in December I see us all united in dealing with the same things: family or solo travel planning, end of year work commitments, religious, spiritual and secular celebrations of all kinds, and boy does it get tough to manage everything. With style. And an even temperament.

But one thing I've learned is that if you make December all about the people and things you care really deeply about, then it can be a great time of fun, focus, family - and getting ready for the potential and renewal of the year to come. Here at DreamHost we care about you, our customers, and so we deliberately narrow our focus in December to putting most of our resources onto making sure your DreamHost services are live and supported 24/7, like limiting our upgrades and software code roll-outs to essential maintenance only. And if any issues come up we make a super extra effort to help out and fix them fast. Because we know that you're all crazy busy at this time, and we want to be a part of giving you a great holidays.

We also really celebrate our DreamHost team during this time and give them as much flexibility as possible to visit family and friends over the holidays. We've got a pretty diverse group from all over the US and world, and it makes it a very cool place to work. Especially when DreamHost people bring back food, games and strange things from their home towns or regions!

So I'll end by saying have a great holiday season. And thanks for being part of the DreamHost family.


(Now back to Brett!)

WebFTP Improved AGAIN!

net2ftp, the web-based FTP client that we provide to our customers, hasn't seen an official update in over two years. In October we found ourselves needing to write our own security patch for net2ftp just to keep it around. It was crazy, but we got it done because we know how much you guys love your Web-based services!

I'm happy to report that in November we finally kicked net2ftp to the curb. AjaXplorer is younger, prettier, and takes much better care of itself. Sometimes the truth hurts, but the heart wants what it wants.

AjaXplorer is now the WebFTP client of record around these here parts, so you can point and click your files this way and that, to and fro, hither and thither, across this great land of ours.

AjaXplorer is pretty pretty with a rich GUI. It's part FTP client, part magic.

You can learn more about the AjaXplorer project at:


And you can begin USING AjaXplorer right now:


Orange County Love

For the second year in a row the Orange County Register has named us... well, actually let me back up a second.

The Orange County Register is what is commonly called a "newspaper".

The aptly-named "newspaper" is a folded stack of paper with news printed in it. People buy these things - every day in some cases - and read them to learn about what's going on in the world.

It's a cute system.

Anyhoo, the Orange County Register has named DreamHost to their list of Top Workplaces in Orange County, California, for the second year in a row!

DreamHost Blog: DreamHost is a Top Workplace - Again!

The employees of our Orange County office all participated in an anonymous survey to rate their job satisfaction on a variety of topics.

When the dust had settled DreamHost ranked #10 on the list of top 40 small companies to work for in Orange County!

I get a little tired of saying this, but it's never been more true: "We are still hiring." And we'd love to hear from you!

Check out our open positions at:


Make sure you check out the press release too...because if you won't, who will?

PR: DreamHost Named to OC Register's List of Top Workplaces for 2011

And, to be fair, the OC Register also has a website. I think the way it works is someone sits in front of a computer with a copy of the paper and types it all up every day for the Inter-net.

Happy Holiduptime!

For many of you e-commerce types, this right here is your golden hour.

Starting in late November and running all the way through the end of the year is the time when your business really kicks into high gear and your balance sheet finally jumps out of the red and into the black.

To ensure the absolute best experience for you and your customers during this crucial time we've made a conscious decision to pull back the reins on any major new code changes to our hosting platform.

While our developers and system administrators continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes on improving the DreamHost experience, any major code changes to our core network and codebase have been postponed until the new year.

Now get out there and do what you do best - those cat sweaters aren't going to sell themselves!

New Charity: Charity Navigator

September through November we solicited donations for Dream Foundation, whose mission of "helping adults find peace and closure with the realization of a final wish" made me realize that getting a banjo lesson from Steve Martin might not be out of the realm of possibility.



15 of our dreamiest customers raised $501.18 for Dream Foundation which we then matched three times over for a grand total of $2004.72!

Our next donation target is...


"Charity Navigator, America's premiere independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the Financial Health and Accountability and Transparency of America's largest charities."

Charity Navigator evaluates and ranks major American charities on a five-point scale (0-4) after reviewing their financials, their accountability, and overall transparency. They provide valuable metrics about non-profits in a logical way which helps to educate potential contributors and improve the organizations they survey.

Charity Navigator provides a truly valuable service to The Haves who rely on its assessments when they want to sprinkle some philanthropy on The Have-Nots - particularly at this time of year!

Much as I hate to say it - "This is so meta."

Charity Navigator is a site that WE use whenever we're looking to support a worthy cause. If you'd like to see your organization appear on our web panel for donations from your fellow DreamHosters, do your best to get highly-ranked by Charity Navigator!

You can submit donations to Charity Navigator (which we'll then quadruple, as always!) from the "Give to Charity" section of your account control panel:

DreamHost Web Panel: Give to Charity!

DreamHost WTF: Custom MX Records

What's That Feature? It's Custom MX Records!

You might use the web for FTP (thanks to AjaXplorer!) but how are you fixed for email? I'm not talking Hotmail here, friends. I'm talking about web-based email for *your* domains.

SquirrelMail, the open-source web-based email client that we provide is popular, but what if you're craving something a little prettier?

What if you wanted to check "yourdomain.com" emails from within, say, Gmail's comforting web interface? You can do that. Today. Right now.

"MX" stands for "Mail Exchanger", and when you set a custom MX record on any of your domains you're effectively taking DreamHost out of the picture for your email services.

Creating a custom MX record on your domain will keep the hosting of your website with DreamHost, but will offload all email services to whatever third-party you specify.

DreamHost Web Panel: Custom MX Records

As you can see we've made switching to Gmail a one-click affair, but you can use this tool to switch to any email provider of your choice - provided they've given you the proper setup information.

It's pretty neat to have this option, right? And to think - it's been sitting there on your web panel for YEARS and you likely had no idea.

"WTF" indeed!


The DreamHost Site Of The Month is a coveted title reserved for a select few DreamHost customers. Past winners have seen increases in both web traffic and senses of self-importance.

As voted by you, the winners from NOVEMBER are as follows...

The winner in the OVERALL, DESIGN, STRUCTURE, and ORIGINALITY categories is:
Portfolio of Daniel Hritzkiv
"Daniel Hritzkiv is a web-centric graphic designer always looking to create great new things."


Excellent work there, Daniel! You almost grabbed awards in all five categories! You were almost the first DHSOTM winner to sweep it all!

The winner in the CONTENT category is...
...a little too racy for general consumption, maybe!

It may be not super-safe for work...unless you work at a web hosting company. Which I do. In fact I have seen things that you people would not believe. Attack ships on fire off the shores of Orion, for example.

You can click through to the DreamHost Site Of The Month section of your account control panel at any time to submit your site, vote on candidates, and view all winners past and present. (Winners appear in bold.)

But really, you're all winners in my book.

DreamHost Web Panel: DHSOTM

Take Our Survey - Win a Kindle Fire!

Object storage.

Cloud computing.

Is it all just media hype, or are you actually keeping tabs?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Take our December survey and let us know your thoughts on all the hoopla. It'll be quick, painless, and hype-free!


TWO lucky survey respondents selected at random will receive an Amazon Kindle Fire for their efforts.

See ya next month!

See ya next month!
Brett D!

P.S. - All we are is dice in the mirror, man. You can unsubscribe here: