WPM1: WordPress migration service (beta)

Do not use these instructions unless explicitly instructed to by the DreamHost WordPress Migrations Team. The following information is only to be used in a particular phase of a WP migration being done for you by that team; otherwise, the steps will be out of context and can lead to errors if implemented.


This article provides additional important information to what DreamHost already sent you in response to your request to have the WordPress Migrations team perform a migration for you.

General details

How many sites can I migrate?

For sites being migrated to DreamPress (DreamHost's managed WordPress hosting service), it is three per DreamHost account.

For WordPress sites being migrated to any of the other hosting plans (i.e., non-DreamPress plans such as Shared hosting, Virtual Private Server (VPS), or a Dedicated server), it is one.

However, if you are having one or more sites migrated to DreamPress, then that is all that the migration team can migrate.

Specifically, this means that during any three-month period, for every DreamHost account that has a non-discounted, non-DreamPress hosting plan on it, the team will migrate one WordPress site, and that is only when you are not having a migration to DreamPress for another site on the same DreamHost account.

Once this becomes a paid service, there will likely be no limit to the number of WordPress sites that DreamHost can migrate for you.

Private site viewing

Your current site will not go down during the migration. DreamHost provides a private way to view the migrated site(s) until you have approved the migration and are ready to point your Nameservers from your current host to DreamHost It's extremely important that you do not change your Domain Name System (DNS) settings to route traffic to DreamHost until after the migration is complete and you have approved it in writing.

Turnaround time

Because of the overwhelming response to DreamHost's WordPress Migrations Beta program, the realistic turnaround time for a fully completed and tested WordPress migration is up to 7 business days. This time is from the day the login credentials at your current host are verified.

This verification is two-fold, where DreamHost checks that:

  1. The team has the complete login types needed, and
  2. DreamHost is able to log in with those credentials.

DreamHost will then email you and begin the process.

Can I continue to post to my website?

Yes. While the migration team requires the 7-business day turnaround time, upon request DreamHost is willing to re-migrate your database only at the completion of the migration. That means any posts you add or change after the initial export of your database will update the migrated posts on this second database import.

This is designed to support sites which are actively updated with posts. Unfortunately, DreamHost cannot re-migrate any files, as that can create additional levels of difficulty. If you make any changes that affect files after the initial file export, you should document those in order to re-implement the changes on the migrated site.


The migration service only covers the contents of the site. Any emails you want to keep must be handled separately by you. DO NOT change your email DNS to route emails to DreamHost servers (if that is even your preference) until the migration is complete and approved in writing. For additional information, please visit the following article:

Disk usage

The storage on the DreamHost web servers is designed specifically for hosting websites. It is not efficient as a backup or other storage solution. With this in mind, please ensure that the data DreamHost migrates over for you meets those requirements. If any large backups exist in your site, please notify DreamHost.

DreamHost filters out some backup files when it can identify them as the transfer programs run, but it may not exclude all of them. It is recommended that you move any backup files to the folder above the directory where WordPress is installed in the folder structure. You must do this at your current host. If this is done first, DreamHost can easily exclude them. DreamHost offers storage solutions as well and is happy to help you set that up and get you going. In fact, the DreamPress hosting service includes plugins that allow you to use DreamHost's efficient object storage to backup your WordPress website.

For additional information, please visit the following article:


If you have HTTPS enabled on your site, DreamHost can only guarantee getting the HTTP option running. Once you're set up, DreamHost can then guide you through enabling HTTPS for your domain.

Mobile site

DreamHost is only able to guarantee the migration of the desktop version of your site. However, the mobile version usually continues to run fine anyway. If it doesn't, please let DreamHost know. The team is more than happy to offer some limited troubleshooting to get the mobile site running as well.

Beta period requirements

  • DreamHost strongly prefers that the site is live and stay that way at the current host until the completed migration is approved by you. DreamHost needs the old site to compare to the migrated one for sign-off. If that is not the case, DreamHost is unable to know if it's migrating errors that already exist.
  • If it's migrating to DreamPress, you must ensure you are using the latest WordPress version before the migration. If needed, please upgrade at your current host, making sure there are no upgrade errors. The goal is to separate any upgrade errors from any potential migration errors.
  • If it's a version older than WordPress 3.7.2, it must be upgraded to at least that version at your old host. This is to ensure critical security issues are handled first.
  • If you suspect your current site is hacked, it must be cleaned up at the current host. If DreamHost installs/imports a migrated site and then finds hacked files, DreamHost may decide to stop the migration and notify you.
  • DreamHost migrates the site and ensures HTTP access works, but HTTPS is not necessarily within scope for the WordPress Migration team. HTTPS can usually be handled afterwards by general Tech Support.
  • At this time, WordPress Multi-Site migrations are not supported.

Best effort

The WordPress Migration service is free during the beta phase—there are no charges for the service. Because the team is continuing to work out migration issues, DreamHost does not yet have a defined service level agreement in place where it can promise a firm completion time. That said, DreamHost will do its best to accommodate any requested time lines.

Once DreamHost has your information and verifies the login credentials work, the team is able to get started and periodically update you on progress, or request various things along the way if necessary.


There is always the potential for unforeseen issues in this type of process. If you run in to a hard deadline that is unattainable by the migration team, DreamHost can stand aside and let you take control of the migration (or postpone everything until there’s a better time to execute it).

See also


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