How do I transfer my live site to DreamHost?

This page 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

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  1. Sign up for any DreamHost plan [here]. View the following article for details:
  2. During the signup process, select an option to add your current domain to your new account and then add your domain. 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, which you can always transfer later.

Step two: Backup your website files and upload them to DreamHost

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  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 FTP account. Once logged in to your DreamHost server, you’ll be able to upload your website files to the server.
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  3. Use the information in the following articles to upload your MySQL database and email to your DreamHost servers.

Step three: Point your DNS to DreamHost

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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.

Return to your old host and set the 'nameservers' for your domain registration to point to DreamHost using these nameservers:

  • ns1.dreamhost.com
  • ns2.dreamhost.com
  • ns3.dreamhost.com

This modification takes about 3–72 hours to propagate across the Internet, after which your new nameservers will direct visitors to your account with DreamHost.

You can track the progress of your DNS update here.

Once the DNS is resolving to DreamHost, your site will resolve to the data you’ve uploaded to your DreamHost servers.

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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