This article describes how to transfer your website and email hosting from your old provider to DreamHost. When you update your DNS, your site is then live on DreamHost's servers.
This article does not explain how to transfer the domain registration – only the hosting of your domain's files. View the following article if you also would like to transfer your registration:
Step one: Create a DreamHost account
- Sign up for any DreamHost plan [here]. View the following article for details:
DreamHost sends you a 'request to transfer the registration' after you complete the sign up, as well as information on how to access your FTP account. You do NOT need to transfer your registration. It can remain at your current registrar for now. You can always transfer it at a later date.
Step two: Backup your website files and upload them to DreamHost
- Backup all of your website files, databases, and emails from your old host via FTP or Wget. Contact your old host for their instructions on how to back up this content at their company.
- Log in to your DreamHost FTP account. Once logged in to your DreamHost server, you’ll be able to upload your website files to the server.
- Use the information in the following articles to upload your MySQL database and email to your DreamHost servers.
Step three: Viewing your site at DreamHost before updating DNS
Now that your website has been migrated to DreamHost's servers, it's time to check the site to confirm it looks and functions as intended. View the following article for information on how to create a 'Mirror' domain. This allows you to see your site as it appears on DreamHost's servers before updating your DNS at your current host:
If you do not want to create a 'Mirror' domain, you can also view your site using the 'hosts' file on your home computer.
Step four: Point your DNS to DreamHost
At this point your website and all its files are on DreamHost's servers, but your site is still 'hosted' at your old hosting company. You must now update your DNS to point to DreamHost. You have two options:
Option #1 — Pointing your nameservers
This options points all of your DNS records to DreamHost including email. Only use this option if you want all of your website's services hosted at DreamHost.
Return to your old host and set the 'nameservers' for your domain registration to point to DreamHost using these nameservers:
- ns1.dreamhost.com 188.8.131.52
- ns2.dreamhost.com 184.108.40.206
- ns3.dreamhost.com 220.127.116.11
When updating your nameservers at your registrar, you should only have to add the namserver URL, not the IP. The IPs are listed above just in case your registrar asks for them.
Option #2 — Pointing your A records
This option allows you to only point your site's A records (IP addresses) to DreamHost. Use this option if you are hosting email at another company and only want your website hosted at DreamHost. View the following article for instructions on how to find your site's IP addresses:
Once the DNS is resolving to DreamHost, visiting your site displays the site as it appears on your DreamHost server.
Transferring your registration to DreamHost
You can review the following article on how to transfer your domain registration to DreamHost: