A dreamhosters.com subdomain is a free subdomain DreamHost offers all customers. You can add this to your account as a free domain to host your website without having to purchase a domain registration.
You can also use it to test an existing website before making any live changes on your actual domain.
dreamhosters.com subdomains do not work with DreamPress plans. If you're using DreamPress and need a staging site, view the following article.
- Staging a DreamPress site
How does a dreamhosters.com subdomain work?
Normally, you would register a domain such as example.com and add hosting to it. Then, anyone on the Internet can visit your website. This requires you to purchase the registration first.
If you have an active hosting plan (Shared, VPS, Dedicated), you can also add a free dreamhosters.com subdomain. It looks something like:
You get to decide what goes in front of .dreamhosters.com. This site can then be used to host a website, or test an existing website.
How do I create a dreamhosters.com subdomain?
You create this the same way as any other domain. Just add it to your panel as a new 'Fully Hosted' site. View the following article for further instructions:
- How do I add a domain?
The only difference is that when you add the domain, you must type in your dreamhosters.com subdomain. For example:
When should I host a website on a dreamhosters.com subdomain?
If you don't need a specific domain name, a dreamhosters.com subdomain is a simple solution. You can create it to host your site content; it's also a good option since it's free. However, this is only an option for small, informational websites. It should never be used for a business site since the .dreamhosters.com part of the URL may not be suitable for professional websites.
When should I purchase a custom domain name?
If you want to create a site to promote a business or service, you should always purchase a unique domain name. This provides a more professional appearance and allows you to create custom email addresses and DNS entries for your site which are not possible using a dreamhosters.com subdomain.
How can I use a dreamhosters.com subdomain to test my actual website?
Most often, a dreamhosters.com subdomain is added to test your actual website. For example, if you have a site called example.com with public content, anyone on the Internet can view your site.
But, if you'd like to make changes to the site without disrupting its functionality, you can create a copy of the site at example.dreamhosters.com. You can then test out any changes there first, and then add those changes to your live website when you're ready.
How can I use a dreamhosters.com subdomain to view my site before pointing my DNS to DreamHost?
Another common use for a dreamhosters.com subdomain is to set up your site at DreamHost before migrating your content to DreamHost's server. This assumes you're currently hosting your site at another company and want to migrate your hosting services to DreamHost.
There are two ways to do this:
- Option #1 — Upload your site to DreamHost, then use the dreamhosters.com subdomain to 'Mirror' your actual site.
- Option #2 — Uploading your site directly to the dreamhosters.com subdomain.
View the following article for details on how to configure this:
- Previewing your site with a dreamhosters.com subdomain before changing DNS
Can I enable SSL on my dreamhosters.com subdomain?
SSL certificates for dreamhosters.com subdomains cannot use a secondary subdomain such as 'www'. For example, this will not resolve.
If you wish to use an SSL certificate with a dreamhosters.com subdomain, it must remove the 'www' portion. For example:
Other ways to use a dreamhosters.com subdomain
A dreamhosters.com subdomain can also be used in other ways. View the following articles for more examples:
- How do I install WordPress before my DNS is pointed to DreamHost?
- Viewing your site before pointing DNS to DreamHost overview
- How do I access my database before a DNS change?
- How do I log into my VPS before pointing DNS to DreamHost?