How do I view WordPress before pointing my DNS to DreamHost?

When you migrate a site from your old host to DreamHost, it's best to have everything set up and running before pointing your DNS. This is so there is no downtime when updating the DNS.

However, the problem is that until you change your DNS, you can only view your site as it resolves at the old host. The solution is to edit your computer's 'hosts' file. If you edit the 'hosts' file, you can change where your computer searches for a website.

  1. Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page. Add your site to the DreamHost panel and set it as FULLY HOSTED:
  2. Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Goodies’ > ‘MySQL Databases’) page and create a new database.
  3. Upload the contents of your website to your DreamHost server. Visit the FTP article for further details on how to upload:
  4. Upload your database to your DreamHost account. Visit the following article for details on how to import your database:
  5. Now you can edit your computer's 'hosts' file so you can see your site at DreamHost. The following article walks you through how to find and edit this 'hosts' file on different operating systems.

Whenever you wish to see your site as it appears at your old host, just remove the line from your hosts file. In this way, your host files controls where your computer searches for a website.

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