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May 2012 Newsletter

Introduction

DreamHost services all brands of hosting. From GlueHost to HostTater, from HostCrime to GrowMaddy, there's no problem we can't fix with a simple DNS switcheroo, a fresh infusion of open source software, experienced service technicians, and a commitment to olde worlde qualitye.

You see these bolts holding your website together right here? You see how there's no stress fractures anywhere near 'em? That's the sign of true craftsmanship - a sign of a builder who takes pride in their work. Nowadays most web hosts hold things together with plastic fasteners, a little glue, a little hype, and a lot of hope.

Not DreamHost.

We start with a solid chunk of steel, then we carve away everything that isn't a server. Then we fill that chassis with premium components, sourced from the farthest reaches of "probably Taiwan."

Next, we pump those servers full of highly conditioned alternating current - just the thing to lubricate your bits and keep them sliding in and out of the Internet quickly, yet consistently, in a way that keeps everyone satisfied.

We then run your server through a series of comprehensive tests to ensure that no hard drive or memory stick will die before its time.

Finally, when the foundation is solid, we insert high-grade, redundant networking through a shielded, twisted pair of copper wiring. This copper is truly virgin, never having known the gentle caresses of another man's data, and is therefore untainted by foreign influences and unencumbered by performance expectations.

We don't *need* to insert those hand-carved mahogany inlays in the faceplates of all our servers. We technically don't *have* to kiss each of our servers as they're powered on for the first time. Our competitors probably don't even realize that periodically massaging power supply cables results in cleaner, longer-lasting electricity. (So please don't tell them.)

We do all of these things because we've found that when you take care of hardware in just the right way, it tends to last a lot longer than it might otherwise. We also do these things because we've found that when you treat PEOPLE right, they also tend to stick around.

See, we believe that DreamHost customers are the most intelligent and sophisticated in the hosting industry! You have high expectations and you deserve the best experience possible. You need hosting that goes above and beyond - even behind the scenes - to deliver reliability and consistent quality that will stand the test of time.

Thanks for letting us handle it for you.

-Brett

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

It's getting hot in Southern California, where most of the DreamHost team resides, but you may not know that we've been expanding into other hot geo-regions over the last 6 months. Yes, we can now boast team members in the Deep South (Atlanta), the Frigid North (Minnesota), and even the Continent (hello, Portugal!). We're a diverse and open group, much in keeping with our views on keeping the Internet open and free, so if you're looking for your next gig and haven't checked out our jobs page...

DreamHost Careers

...do it! The listings typically specify our three major offices in San Francisco, Downtown LA, or Brea (Orange County), but for the right people we'll hire pretty much anywhere and make it work.

Speaking of the Internet and openness, there's a storm brewing in Washington and at the United Nations that we all should keep our eyes on. At DreamHost, we believe the Internet is still in its infancy, and therefore needs to be nurtured and allowed room to grow. Just look at the way it's allowed all of us to start ventures and grow small businesses that we could have never conceived of before, given the low cost and ease of putting up a site or blog. But there are strong forces arrayed against the current level of openness and flexibility that the Internet system as a whole allows.

SOPA and regulations like it are one good example, where understandable goals (to limit piracy on the net) overreached in proposed legislation in ways that would significantly impede innovation.

(A good summary of the SOPA debate is here:)

Wikipedia: Stop Online Piracy Act

The next potential threat comes from the discussions to come up this year at the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union (ITU), where there are proposals to diversify control over the domain name system. As these proposals take shape and get debated, we'll all have to stay alive to the potential for countries to seek more control so they can limit Internet freedoms, not empower them. Let's speak or blog out when we see those negative trends.

Lots of good stuff in this here newsletter about Inktank, WordPress, and more, so read on!

Best,
Simon
@DreamHostSimon

(Now back to Brett!)

Inktank and Ceph!

Really good television shows sometimes spinoff their more popular characters into new series that are just as good if not better than the source material from whence they came.

In much the same way that Carl and Harriette Winslow were used to bridge the gap between Perfect Strangers and Family Matters, so too have we used Ceph to bridge the gap between DreamHost and...INKTANK.

Launched on May 3rd, Inktank is DreamHost's first spinoff company!

http://inktank.com/

Inktank has its own budget, a completely separate staff, and eventually its own office! Our baby's all grown up! I cried a little just now.

Inktank provides enterprise-level consulting support to anyone interested in using Ceph, the open source file system that we've been cranking away at for the last few years. We're just as excited about Ceph as ever and believe strongly that Inktank will be key to Ceph's adoption and success in the world of Big Data. A world which, by the way, has green sunsets and two moons.

Speaking of Ceph... Since we had the paint buckets out anyway we decided to just go ahead and completely re-brand that slimy beast while we were at it! Ceph.com is all new!

http://ceph.com/

Ceph can handle all of your object storage, block storage, and climate- controlled wine storage needs. One of those is wrong, but you're just going to have to visit the new website to find out which!

DreamHost Reppin' WordPress

You'd be Word-Pressed to find another web host that cares as much about WordPress as we do. Yup, that happened.

Aside from being an incredibly powerful piece of software, it's also an incredibly popular piece of software - when you need a blogging tool or even a full-fledged content management system, you need look no further than WordPress.

There are over 600,000 WordPress installations (that we know of!) at DreamHost. We have a hair over 300,000 customers. I did not switch those numbers.

WP (or as I like to call it, Dubs-Pee) is kind of a big deal around these parts - so much so that we've got a guy on the DreamHost payroll actively contributing code to the core of WordPress.

That guy, our very own Mike Schroder, was recently recognized for his tireless efforts and named to a very short and very exclusive list of WordPress' core contributors!

WordPress Development Updates: Team Reps

We're so super proud of Mike and so glad that he's on our team! He is the cog in the Dubs-Pee engine with the DreamHost logo on it, without which you'd have a few Dubs and plenty of Pee, but not a whole lot of rotational movement.

To show him how much we care, I would consider it a personal favor if we could get Mike's Twitter followers up above the 1000 mark.

@GetSource on Twitter

WordPress 3.3.2!

See, what you've got right here is an old WordPress install. Rather than upgrade what you've got, some people would just rip this out, start from scratch, and try to recapture some of the charm and personality of their blog by recreating everything from the ground-up in a modern style.

Not me.

See, I'm a strong believer in working with original materials.

Thing is, they just don't make blogs like yours anymore. You'd be crazy to just throw it all away and let the landfills have it.

If you've installed an older version of WordPress via our incredibly easy-to-use one-click installer AND have enabled automatic upgrades, this will be old news to you. In fact, just stop reading right now.

I said stop.

We fed WordPress 3.3.2 into our one-click installer earlier this month. That means that any older WordPress installations that you may have on your account can now be upgraded with a single click of your mouse!

DreamHost Web Panel: One-Click Installer

In fact...I bet if you got close enough and tried hard enough, you could probably click your mouse just by blowing on it. That would open up an entirely new universe of bad puns for me! I can see it now: The DreamHost "Hands-Free, One-Blow Installer"!

On second thought, I'd probably need to write even more apology emails than I usually do each month, and that...would blow.

Let's just stick with "One Click Installer". For now.

The DreamHost Reach Out & Touch You Tour Rolls On!

Speaking of bad puns, that reminds me - do you have any idea how hard it is to think of new jokes that imply we're touching customers in ways that are physically inappropriate without actually coming out and saying that we are?

Oops.

Over the past few weeks, DreamHosters in Los Angeles, Portland, Chicago, Seattle, and New York have all felt DreamHost's tender embrace for three intense but meaningful hours.

Trust me, there's been plenty of eye contact involved and deep, meaningful conversations throughout, so it never really gets too weird.

San Francisco - you're the last stop on our tour. We've given you MONTHS of advance notice. If you don't have your ticket by now, what can I say? How about "Have fun sitting at home getting your cat sweater business off the ground."

Also, "Recycle!", "Meat is Murder!", and "There should be a law for that!"

I hope these messages resonate with you, San Francisco. The Internet tells me there is a good chance that they may.

Tickets for SF are still available, but going fast!

DreamHost's Reach Out & Touch You Tour

This is your opportunity to meet a pretty special chunk of the DreamHost team face-to-face. I'll be there too, but I'm nobody.

DreamHost WTF: Non-Profit Hosting

If you work at a non-profit organization, you're our kind of people.

You know that doing good things for the sake of doing good things is its own reward. Sometimes that's its only reward.

We salute you! And we really, really hope you're already taking advantage of the completely FREE shared web hosting that we provide to non-profit groups.

If not, please to be picking your jaw up off the ground and read on!

DreamHost Wiki: Non-Profit Discount

Any documented US-based 501(c)(3) organizations need only send us a copy of their IRS determination letter, and pip pip, Bob's your uncle, free hosting. Just like that!

We've been running this program for *years* and have extended this offer to over 8,000 non-profits across the country. It's made our wallets a little smaller, sure, but it has enlarged our hearts to a size that modern medicine has never seen - at least in anyone still living.

We wish we could extend this offer beyond the borders of America, but every government has differing definitions of the terms "charity" and "non profit." While we're certain that good things are being done around the world, we're just not qualified to research and pass judgment on the merits of "The Caffeine Awareness Society of Uganda".

Good people of the world, keep doing what you're doing. Profits are overrated.

Please don't quote me on that.

DHSOTMs

The DreamHost Site Of The Month is a coveted title reserved for a select few DreamHost customers. Past winners have gone on to do wonderful things. We think. They generally don't return our calls. Fame goes to their heads.

As voted by you, the winners from APRIL are...

The winner in the ORIGINALITY category is:
Shockjoy
"Shockjoy is a design studio specializing in print and graphical design."

http://shockjoy.com/

I experienced two distinct emotions when viewing this site.

The winner in the OVERALL, CONTENT, DESIGN, and STRUCTURE categories is:
EcoNest
"Your home can be a soulful and nurturing expression of your commitment. An EcoNest home is a hand crafted sanctuary of timber-frame and light clay construction that invites owner and community participation into the building process through our natural building workshops. It will then serve for generations as a legacy of deep health and deep ecology."

http://www.econesthomes.com/

Dirt: Not just for floors anymore!

Remember, you can always 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.)

DreamHost Web Panel: DHSOTM

Take Our Survey - Win a Kindle Keyboard!

Amazon can dangle that $79 carrot in front of people all they want, but anyone who's ever used a Kindle, Kindle Touch, or Kindle Fire knows that when it comes to reading books, the Kindle Keyboard is "the good one".

We're giving away two Kindle Keyboards to anyone who takes a quick li'l survey for us. This month we've got some questions about how you use WordPress. Pretty straightforward stuff - you'll be done in no time.

Customer Survey: May 2012

Two lucky survey respondents will receive Kindle Keyboards for their troubles and NO THANK YOU. (We're saving those for everyone else.)

See ya next month!

See ya next month!
Brett D!

P.S. - Has this newsletter soiled your expectations of what a VIP hosting experience should be? A thousand apologies. Unsubscribe:

https://panel.dreamhost.com/id/?tab=contact