It's possible to set up your WordPress site at DreamHost before pointing your DNS to DreamHost. This requires that you create a dreamhosters.com subdomain.
For example, if your site is named example.com, you can add a new domain in your panel named example.dreamhosters.com. This new site is used to access your official site before you point your DNS.
Upload your WordPress site to your DreamHost site
This step makes a copy of your current WordPress site (at another company) at DreamHost.
- Open your Manage Domains page.
- Make sure your domain is set up as Fully Hosted. If so, the panel will display your server type. The screenshot above shows a site on a Shared server, as well as another on a private server.
- Upload all website content from your old hosting company to your site at DreamHost (example.com). View the following articles that explain how to upload your website files, database, and email.
Add a dreamhosters.com subdomain
This step creates the dreamhosters.com subdomain. This is what you'll use to view your site at DreamHost.
- Navigate to the Manage Domains page.
- Click the Add Hosting to a Domain / Sub-Domain button found at the top of the page.
- The Manage Domains page opens where you can make various changes to your settings:
- Scroll down to the Mirrored section and fill in the two fields:
- Create the mirror at: Type in the dreamhosters.com address you wish to use. In this case, you’d type in "example.dreamhosters.com".
- Mirror this site: Select the name of your primary domain to be mirrored.
- Click the Mirror this domain button to complete the setup of the mirror domain.
Create a database hostname
This step allows your dreamhosters.com subdomain to view your site's database information at DreamHost, otherwise your site would point to your current hosting company.
- Next, create a mysql hostname for this new dreamhosters.com domain in the panel at MySQL Databases.
- Click the Add New Hostname button to create the hostname. It should be named something like mysql.example.dreamhosters.com.
- Click the button Create this MySQL hostname now! to save.
Editing your WordPress files
This step ensures your dreamhosters.com subdomain is pointing to your DreamHost database.
- Using FTP, upload the contents of your primary website to your DreamHost server. Visit the FTP article for further details on how to upload:
- Once uploaded, edit your wp-config.php file. You'll see this line within the file:
- This will cause your site not to load since it will be attempting to connect to an external database.
- Change the hostname to your dreamhosters.com URL:
Upload and edit your database
This step updates your database links so you can view the site on your dreamhosters.com subdomain.
- Upload your database to your DreamHost account in your panel at MySQL Databases. Visit the following article for more information on how to import your database:
- Once uploaded, you must now update the HOME and SITE URL in your database. Log into your phpMyAdmin interface on the same MySQL Database page.
- You must use the mysql.example.dreamhosters.com hostname you just created in order to log into your database.
- Once logged in, click your database name on the left.
- When you click on the database, a list of your database tables opens:
- Click on your database table named wp_options. You may notice you have a different table prefix. In this example, the table prefix is wp_bnkih8_.
- Click the Browse tab on the top left.
- When you click the browse tab, the 'siteurl' and 'home' fields display.
- Edit these fields and change them to your new dreamhosters.com URL.
You can now visit the mirrored example.dreamhosters.com site you created to view the contents of the primary site you have uploaded to the DreamHost server.