One-Click Mystery


I was recently digging into our database collecting some information on PHP usage by looking at how many people were using our One-Click Web App Installs.  Nearly all of our One-Clicks are PHP so it was a quick way to estimate total PHP usage by our customers.  While looking at the data I noticed something strange, though.  Our users are using our One-Clicks less and less!  ”Weird”, I thought.

I collected this data by looking at every currently active account of ours and counting up the ones that have installed at least one One-Click (not the total number of One-Clicks in use!).  I also tracked the year each account was first made active in our system.  It doesn’t count people using PHP apps they installed themselves, and it does count people who may have set up a One-Click and then abandoned it. This is not a scientific analysis by any means, but any clear trends should still be pretty reliable.

The clear trend we see is a mostly upward trend with a spike in usage by accounts signed up in 2006, and then a pretty quick drop-off over the last couple of years.  I was expecting to see a continuous upward trend over the entire time and was surprised to see that drop-off there.  The graph shows percentages so the number of actual accounts isn’t a major factor.

I have a few theories about the slowing of One-Click Install Usage…

  • Our users signing up over the last two years are more tech-savvy than those in earlier years and more of them are choosing software other than what we provide and installing it themselves.
  • More people are going back to the days of static HTML.  (Seems unlikely.)
  • Increased interest and awareness in more ‘hot’ tech like Ruby on Rails has resulted in users moving away from PHP itself, and our One-Click Installs along with it.
  • More people are finding their Web App needs met by ‘Web 2.0′ websites like Flickr and Facebook.  (But then, what are they doing with their websites instead?)

The number of new users coming on board has not slowed at all so people are definitely still finding a need for tried and true, full power web hosting.

So… Tell us why you do or do not use DreamHost One-Click Installs for your website, and WHY!