Install WordPress before DNS is pointed to DreamHost


It's possible to set up your WordPress site at DreamHost before pointing your DNS to DreamHost. This requires that you create a subdomain.

For example, if your site is named, you can add a new domain in your panel named 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.

  1. Open your Manage Websites page.
  2. Make sure your domain is set up as Fully Hosted. If so, the specific hosting plan is listed under the Hosting Plan column.
  3. Upload all website content from your old hosting company to your site at DreamHost ( View the following articles that explain how to upload your website files, database, and email:

Add a subdomain

For more information about adding a subdomain, visit the following article:

Create a database hostname

This step allows your subdomain to view your site's database information at DreamHost. Otherwise, your site would point to your current hosting company.

  1. Create a mysql hostname for this new domain in the panel at MySQL Databases.
  2. Click the Add New Hostname button to create the hostname. It should be named something like
  3. Click the button Create this MySQL hostname now! to save.

Editing your WordPress files

This step ensures your subdomain is pointing to your DreamHost database.

  1. Using FTP, upload the contents of your primary website to your DreamHost server. Visit the FTP article for further details on how to upload:
  2. Once uploaded, edit your wp-config.php file. You'll see this line within the file:
    define('DB_HOST', '');
    • This will cause your site not to load since it will be attempting to connect to an external database.
  3. Change the hostname to your URL:
    define('DB_HOST', '');

Upload and edit your database

This step updates your database links so you can view the site on your subdomain.

  1. 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:
  2. Once uploaded, update the HOME and SITE URL in your database. Log into your phpMyAdmin interface on the same MySQL Database page.
    • You must use the hostname you just created in order to log into your database.
  3. Once logged in, click your database name on the left.
    When you click on the database, a list of your database tables opens.
  4. 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_.
  5. Click the Browse tab on the top left.
    When you click the browse tab, the 'siteurl' and 'home' fields display:
    Wordpress HOMESITE URL.png
  6. Edit these fields and change them to your new URL.

You can now visit the mirrored site you created to view the contents of the primary site you have uploaded to the DreamHost server.

See also

Did this article answer your questions?

Article last updated PST.

Still not finding what you're looking for?