One user per domain policy


Each domain you host at DreamHost can only be owned by a single FTP/SFTP/SHELL user. This article explains how this is configured on the server and also how to switch a user to use a different domain.

How users and domains are assigned to each other

You can create a website user in your panel and allow that single user to access multiple domains. The following image illustrates this:

1user 00.png

This configuration is beneficial for resellers and web developers that manage multiple domains.

However, the opposite is not possible as you cannot assign multiple users to a single domain:

1user 03.png

When you create a second website user, that new user is only able to view their own home directory and the files/folders within it. They will not be able to access the website files under a different user.

1user 01.png

Changing the website user to which a domain is assigned

You can change the user a domain is assigned to at any time.

  1. Navigate to the Manage Domains page.
  2. Click the ‘Edit’ link to the right of the domain under the ‘Web Hosting’ column.
  3. Scroll down in the page that follows and see the “Users, Files and Paths” section as shown in the following:
  4. Select another user from the dropdown menu.

    You have the option to moves all files to the new user at this time. If you wish to move all website files, check the box next to 'Move files to the new user?'.

  5. Scroll down and click the Change settings button to save your changes.

Migrating the data to the user takes more time depending on how much data the original user needs to copy to the new user.

If the new username is on a different server, the DNS must propagate before the site resolves online to the new user and servername.

Verify the domain is resolving from the new username

Follow these steps to confirm the site is responding from the new username.

  1. Load the website.
  2. Log into your server via SFTP or SSH.
  3. Navigate to the /home/<newuser>/logs/<domain>/http/access.log.
  4. Open this file and check for current entries.

Remapping a subdirectory

DreamHost offers another solution to allow other users to access specific folders under another user. Visit the Remap Sub-Dir article for further details.

The setup for this is illustrated in the following image:

1user 02.png

This configuration takes the folder in the domain you specify and creates a "symlink" to the home directory of the website user you specify. The only downside to this is that the website user will not be able to access the folder via FTP as it is in reality in the second user account’s home directory.

Naming your website user

When creating a new website user that is used by multiple people, it’s recommended to give it a general name such as ‘Domain_Admin’.


You wish to create a User for your companies website, and there will be multiple people using this FTP user login.

  • You wouldn't want to name the User Account after you, such as Bob_Smith
  • Instead, use a name that is more domain/company-centric, such as Domainname_Admin

See also

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Article last updated PST.