How do I set up my site at DreamHost before changing my DNS?

This article details how to upload your site to DreamHost before changing your DNS. In this way, you can see how the site will look at DreamHost before you make the final DNS change.

  1. Sign up for any DreamHost plan. View the following article for details:
  2. During the signup process you can select to add your current domain to your account.
    After you sign up, you will have a hosting plan with a domain set with no registration pointing to it yet. You won't be able see it through a browser, but you can access it via FTP. Please review the FTP article for directions on how to log into your FTP account with DreamHost.
  3. Log into your account in the Panel.
  4. Go to the (Panel > 'Domains' > 'Manage Domains') section.
  5. Click the Add Hosting to a Domain / Sub-Domain button.
  6. Create a free subdomain under the ‘’ domain. Example:
    This subdomain is free of charge.

Mirroring a domain

See also: Mirror Domain

When you create a mirror domain, you are creating a server alias that allows you to access the content of your DreamHost site before the domain itself has become accessible from DreamHost's servers. Follow these steps to set it to mirror your existing domain that you already have in your account.

  1. Open the ‘Manage Domains’ page on your Panel at (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’).
  2. Click the Edit button under the ‘Web Hosting’ column for the subdomain you just created using your ‘’ domain.
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Mirrored’ section of that page to set up the mirror to your main domain.
  4. Enter the domain name you’re going to use to mirror your primary domain in the ‘Create the mirror at’ section.
    The ‘Mirror this site’ section is where you enter your main domain.
    03 DNS viewing site.fw.png
  5. Click Mirror this domain.
    It usually takes between 4 and 8 hours for the subdomain to start working. After that, the site you created above allows you to view your main domain in the interim period before the DNS is pointed to DreamHost.
  6. Once you upload and configure your website, return to your old host and change the 'nameservers' for your registration to point to DreamHost using the following:
    Note: This modification takes anywhere from 4-72 hours to propagate across the Internet, after which your new nameservers will direct visitors to your account here with DreamHost. Your mirror will no longer be needed at that time.

See also

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