Transitioning to Manage Websites


The following provides a general overview of commonly-used features on the newer Manage Websites page, which were previously listed on the older Hosted Domains (Manage Domains) page in the DreamHost panel.

See the following article to learn more about the Manage Websites page:

Adding a new website

  • Old process: All options and configurations for your site were immediately visible after clicking the option to add a new site.
  • New process: Clicking the + Add Website button walks you through the fastest steps to add your website to your DreamHost account. You can make configuration changes to the domain using the Manage button after the website has been added.

The old process you may have been familiar with on Hosted Domains was overwhelming to first time users. To simplify the process, the + Add Website button does exactly as described: it simply adds your website. Additional configuration options are made available once the website has been added to your DreamHost account.

Adding or removing 'www' in your URL

  • Old process: Select the preferred option from Do you want the www in your URL? prompt in the panel.
  • New process: Allow your website software or .htaccess file to control how your domain behaves (Manage Websites will not make any changes as to how the 'www' in your URL is handled).

Manage Websites defaults to Leave it alone, which allows you to handle this more directly in your .htaccess file. If you are new to this, you can find more information in the following article:

If you are using WordPress, use your default URL setting to determine how the 'www' in your URL is handled. See the following article for more information:

If you had previously selected Add www or remove www in Hosted Domains, then contact support to clear out the old configuration. This will ensure that the web server does not try to force the domain in either direction (i.e., your domain with or without the 'www' still works), and you will then be able to control this configuration more directly.

Selecting your website's SFTP/SSH user

  • Old process: On the list of settings when adding a website for the first time or on the page to edit an existing site, the Run this domain under the user setting was used to select the user for the site.
  • New process: If a website needs to run under an existing user after adding the website for the first time, then use the following process to move your website to a different user:

Changing your site's web directory

  • Old process: On the list of settings when adding or editing a website on the Hosted Domains page, the web directory setting could be modified as needed.
  • New process: After adding your site, you can modify your site's web directory using the following instructions:

Web Application Firewall, and Passenger

  • Old process: Extra Web Security and Passenger were previously located under Web Options when adding or managing an existing website.
  • New process: Extra Web Security has been more accurately renamed to Web Application Firewall, and this option (along with Passenger) is now located under Additional Settings on the Website tab when managing your website. You can find more information in the following articles:

Reloading Apache

  • Old process: Previously, it had been recommended that you schedule a reload of the Apache (web server) config by clicking the Save button on your domain's Hosted Domains management page.
  • New process: Since there have been a variety of architectural changes since the original Hosted Domains panel page was first created, it has become unlikely that you will ever need to reload Apache. In the event that a change is not working as expected and you suspect that reloading the server's Apache configuration may be required, please contact support.

Instances when reloading Apache may have been necessary in the past

See the following links for more information:

In most cases, reloading your Apache configuration should not be required. If you are running into an issue where you believe it has become necessary, please contact support. If you find that you need to reload Apache configurations frequently, you may want to consider upgrading to a VPS. See the following article for more information:

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