How do I transfer my live site to DreamHost?


If you are having trouble migrating your website from another host, or just don't have the time, DreamHost currently offers a service that takes care of that for you. You can find more information in the DreamHost Website migration services article.

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

  1. Sign up for any DreamHost plan [here]. View the following article for details:
  2. During the signup process, select the option to add your current domain to your new account. This does NOT affect your current live website.
  3. Finish the signup process.

    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

  1. 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.
  2. Log in to your DreamHost server using an FTP client. Once logged in, you’ll be able to upload your website files to the server.
  3. 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. View the following article for instructions on how to do this:

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:

See also

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Article last updated PST.