Host a domain at DreamHost if it is registered at another company


This article assumes you've already purchased your domain registration at another company.

You can purchase your domain registration at another company, but still host your site at DreamHost. This article explains how to do this through the following steps:

What are the advantages of managing my domain registration at DreamHost?

You can purchase a domain registration at any company you like, however, it's recommended that you purchase it at or transfer it to DreamHost. This makes it easy to control your hosting and registration at the same location (through the DreamHost panel). View the following articles for further information on purchasing or transferring domain registration:

Adding a hosting plan

In order for your site to display online, it must be set up on a hosting plan. This puts it on a web server so anyone in the world can view it. View the following articles for information on how to add a hosting plan and add your site to it.

Adding your site to your hosting plan

Now that your hosting plan has been added, it's time to add your site to the plan. This adds the website to the DreamHost webserver so it can be seen on the Internet. View the following article for information on how to add a domain to your hosting plan.

This only tells the server to serve this domain name. You must still point your DNS to the server so it displays online.

Backing up your website files and uploading them to DreamHost

The following describes how to back up and upload your files from your old host to DreamHost:

  1. Back up 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 server using an FTP client. Once logged in, you’ll be able to upload your website files to the server.
  3. Use the information in the following articles to upload your MySQL database and email to your DreamHost servers:

Pointing your DNS to DreamHost

When you originally purchased your domain registration at another company, the DNS settings were most likely set to that specific company. In order for your site to be hosted on DreamHost's servers, you must change the DNS settings for your registration to point to DreamHost. 

Where is your site registered?

You can run a WHOIS query to determine where your site is registered. View the following article for further information.

Where do I update my DNS records?

You must update the DNS records at your third-party registrar (the place where you purchased the domain registration). You have two options to point your DNS to DreamHost.

  • Pointing Nameservers (recommended)
  • Pointing A records

Pointing Nameservers

Visit the following article for instructions on how to do this at your specific registrar:

At your third-party registrar, update your nameservers to the DreamHost nameservers shown below:


When updating your nameservers at your registrar, you should only have to add the nameserver URL, not the IP. The IPs are listed above just in case your registrar asks for them.

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 using either of the following links:

Pointing A records

If you only want to host the website with DreamHost and not email or any other service, you can just point the A records. View the following article for instructions on how to find your site's IP address.

Waiting for the DNS to update

After you change your DNS settings, you must wait until they update online.

If you changed your nameservers, this could take 24-72 hrs to fully update.

If you changed your A record, this should only take 4-6 hrs.

See also

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