Migrating a single website to a different server

This article explains how to move a domain between any web servers at DreamHost. The domain can be running a One-Click Install such as WordPress since only the web server files are migrated. The database remains on the same MySQL server.

Moving a single domain to a different server

You can move a single domain to a different server simply by switching the user that the domain runs under. You can do this by editing the domain in your panel:

  1. Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page.
    01 Domains Control Panel.fw.png
  2. Click the Edit button to the right of the domain under the ‘Web Hosting’ column.
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Users, Files, and Paths’ section.

    The screenshots below show how it would look when moving to a Shared or private server.


    Migrating to a Shared server
    Migrating to a VPS
  4. To the right of ‘Run this domain under the user:’, enter the following:
    • Click the dropdown menu and select ‘Create a New User' (recommended).
    • Enter the new user name
    • Make sure the correct server is selected.
    • Leave the checkbox ‘Move files to the new user?’ checked.
  5. Scroll down and click the Change Settings button to save your changes.
    A confirmation page opens indicating that the changes were successfully saved.
    • Within 15 minutes the new user is ready to use.
    • Depending on how much data is moved, It can take several hours to complete the migration to the new user.
    • To check the status of a single domain migration, check the (Panel > ‘Domains’ > ‘Manage Domains’) page. To the right of your domain you may see a clock icon and text stating data is being moved to the new user. Once complete, the icon and text no longer appear.

DNS propagation after migrating

There is no downtime during the move as the data is copied while the former server continues to serve the website. However, you should not work on your site during this 4-6 hrs time period. This is because it's possible your changes will be made to the old site, not the new. You should wait until the DNS has fully updated being continuing to work on your website.

When you migrate your domain to a different server, the IP of your site changes. If your domain is using DreamHost’s nameservers, then the domain’s IP is updated automatically.

If your domain is not using DreamHost’s nameservers, you’ll need to update your DNS records manually at the company where your nameservers are hosted.

You can see all of the DNS records that are set up for any site you host at DreamHost in your panel. Please note that after any DNS change, the records must propagate online.

Visit the following articles for more information:

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Article last updated PST.