Dreamhost No Longer Allows WordPress MU on Shared Hosting Accounts

A client of mine who is on a Dreamhost shared hosting account wants to give Buddypress a test drive.  I was chagrined to learn that Dreamhost no longer allows WordPress MU to be installed on any shared hosting account (WordPress MU is the engine that runs Buddypress).  Dreamhost used to allow it to be installed, and some time in the last year or so stopped doing so.  Dreamhost claims that WordPress MU is too resource-intensive to be economical for them on a shared hosting account.  This sucks (even if it does make sense).

Lucky for us, HostGator allows WordPress MU on their shared hosting accounts!

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  1. JLeuze on October 21, 2009 at 5:21 am

    I’ve used Dreamhost in the past for the standard version of WordPress, and even Magento. Dreamhost was great for those, but I can understand why they’d hate on MU, it could really kill a server!

    Been hosting my sites on a Media Temple GS account for a while now, haven’t had any problems running it on there. But for testing I’d probably used a LAMP or WAMP stack on my local machine.

  2. Toby on October 21, 2009 at 7:13 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Josh!

    I’ve done some standard WordPress installs on Media Temple, and I love the design of their back-end interface! cPanel should take a cue from them! haha!

    I totally understand the merits of testing locally, and sometimes do it, myself. That said, I very much prefer to test in the remote environment. The biggest advantage is that I can easily switch computers when developing. I have both a Mac and a PC that I use for different purposes, and I am regularly switching back-and-forth between them.

    Here are some limitations with testing locally that I have experienced:
    – The customer/client can’t test it out
    – The local environment might be slightly different than the remote environment. OR setting up the local environment to mirror the remote environment takes time and research.
    – Transferring sites from the local to the remote environment is a P.I.T.A. and usually results in some problems to be solved.
    – Transferring sites from the local to the remote environment adds an extra (big) step to the development process.

    Questions for you: Do you do most of your pre-release development locally? What factors most influence you to develop locally?


  3. JLeuze on October 21, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Media Temple does have a slick control panel, the best part is that you can access some of the features on a mobile version! It’d be nice if cPanel and Plesk both learned a think or two them.

    Yeah I usually start locally, at least to develop the theme, I find it a lot faster to build themes on a local server. However it depends on the level of customization, if I’m using an off the shelf theme, adding a logo and tweaking the colors, I’ll do it all live.

    I do a lot of my development in Ubuntu, so I’m doing a lot of switching OSes too to test in IE and Safari. One thing I’d like to do is get my local web server setup so that my other computers can access local sites over the network. I think that would make testing a lot easier.

    Sometimes if I’ve just built the theme locally it’s easy enough to just start over with a fresh install on the live version, and just add the custom theme. Or if I’ve just added a bit of content, I’ll do an export/import right through WordPress.

    A lot of times though, I have quite a bit of content, and several plugins installed with a bunch of custom settings. I haven’t had too much trouble moving these kind of installs live either though. Biggest thing is URLs, I try to be careful not to hard code any URLs or file paths in my themes, and I use a plugin to change any URLs that may be in the content itself. Another thing I have had problems with is widgets, when you change the domain name of a WordPress site, it tends to reset your widgets, but I just grab these from the database backup.

    Usually when I am working locally and then moving to a live site, I try to make sure that my local site and the live site are really similar and stick with the same workflow so that it is reliable. I’ll use XAMPP on my desktop, and then move it to a standard Linux server. If I had to do a WordPress site on a non-standard setup, like a Windows server, then I would probably start right on that live Windows server to avoid any headaches.

  4. Toby on October 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing those workflow details, Josh!

    Ubuntu interests me, but it scares me, too (the kind of scared that happens when you don’t know what to expect). On a scale of 1-10, how easy is Ubuntu to set up and learn for a guy who doesn’t know much about operating systems and can’t command line his way out of a paper bag?

    Also, which plugin do you use to do track down and change urls in the content of posts?

  5. JLeuze on October 21, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    It did take me a few tries to get into Ubuntu, but the last few versions have become increasingly user friendly.

    I have found Ubuntu to be pretty easy to use so far. I have tried some other Linux distros that tend to be pretty technical, maybe a 4 or 5 out of 10. But Ubuntu has put a lot of effort into lowering those technical barriers, I’d place it at an 8 out of 10.

    Ubuntu is easy to install, and for daily use you can do everything through the GUI without any problems. There have been a few times where I have wanted to do something more advanced and needed to use command line. But there is good documentation and you can find info on how to do just about anything in the support forums.

    The best part is that the OS is also a live CD, so you can load it on your computer and try it out on your hardware right from a disk without having to install it.

    I use Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin to change URLs, it works great: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/velvet-blues-update-urls/

  6. Toby on October 22, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Wow! I can run it from a CD, eh? That’s pretty awesome. I think I will give it a try!

    Thanks, Josh!