Migrating a WordPress site to a temporary domain


This article explains how to migrate a WordPress site using a temporary domain name to DreamHost. These instructions use the DreamHost Automated Migration plugin and a migration key found in the panel.

Temporary domains only

These instructions are ONLY used when migrating to a temporary domain name such as:

If you are migrating to the same domain name as your current site, view the following article instead:


The following steps must be configured before using the DreamHost Automated Migration Plugin.


Step 1 — Add your temporary domain to a hosting plan

Make sure you have already signed up for a DreamHost account, added a hosting plan, and added your temporary domain to that hosting plan.

Step 2 — Install WordPress

Confirm that WordPress has been installed into your temporary domain at DreamHost. If so, you will see the WordPress icon next to your domain on the Manage Websites page.

If WordPress is not installed, view the following article to install it before proceeding.

The WordPress directory

This plugin will only function if your WordPress installation is located in the primary website directory of your website. For example:

  • example.com

It will not function if WordPress is installed into a subdirectory:

  • example.com/blog

If you need to install into a subdirectory, view the following article:

Step 3 — Update WordPress (in the old host website)

Make sure your WordPress site (at your old hosting company) is running on the most current version.

Then, install all available updates for your themes and plugins.

Migrating your site to DreamHost

These steps use Migration Key in the panel to migrate your site to DreamHost.


Step 1 — Obtain the Migration Key

  1. Log into the DreamHost panel.
  2. Navigate to the Manage Websites page.
  3. Click the Manage button to open the Domain Settings page, which allows you to adjust various settings for your site.
    • If in Grid view, click the Manage button at the bottom of the website box.
    • If in List view, click the Manage button at the far right of your domain name.
  4. Click the Website tab.
  5. Scroll down to the WordPress section and click the Get Key button.

    If you had previously clicked this in the past, you will see the text Your Migration Key and the key already generated.

  6. Copy the migration key to a local file on your computer.
    This will be used in the following steps.

Step 2 — Install the plugin (in the old host website)

  1. Log into your live WordPress site at the old hosting company.
  2. Select Plugins > Add New in the left menu.
  3. Type DreamHost Automated Migration in the search field box at the upper right.
  4. Click the Install Now button in the box when it appears.
  5. Click the Activate button.

Step 3 — Configure the plugin (in the old host website)

  1. Click DreamHost in the left menu.
    The plugin page opens.
  2. Enter your email address where you want to receive notifications about the migration status.
  3. Review and agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.
  4. Click the Migrate button to open the settings page with the following fields:
    • Migration Key — The Migration Key in your DreamHost panel.
    • Source Website Password Protected: If the source website is password protected, enter your credentials.
    • Destination Website Password Protected: If the destination website is password protected, enter your credentials.
    • Advanced Options: Leave these fields blank.
    • Add Folders:  This option allows you to select non-WordPress core-specific files in the event you have a custom setup.
    • Add Tables: Your WordPress database is selected by default. You can also select additional database tables if needed.
  5. Click the Migrate button.
    A progress report displays. When the migration is complete, a success message displays and you'll receive a confirmation email.

Most migrations take under an hour to complete, but if your site is several GBs of data, it could take more than an hour. Once it completes, you will receive a notification email to the address you entered during the step above. 

See also

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