Migrating from GoDaddy to DreamHost overview


This article details how to transfer your website and email hosting from GoDaddy to DreamHost. The process will bring all of your data onto your new DreamHost server, and then update the DNS once everything is ready to go live. Transferring the domain registration is optional but also discussed within this guide.

The following steps are described in detail:

Migration service

If you are having trouble migrating your website from another host, or just don't have the time, DreamHost currently offers a service that takes care of that for you. You can find more information in the DreamHost Website migration services article.

WordPress migration options

View the following article for a list of alternative options available to migrate WordPress.


Step 1 — Create a DreamHost account

  1. Sign up for any DreamHost plan. View the following article for details:
  2. During the signup process, select the I already have a domain option to add your current domain to your new account. This does NOT affect your current live website.
  3. Complete the signup process.
  4. Once your account is created, make sure that your domain is set up as Fully Hosted. You may also need to create a MySQL database for your site if it depends on a database.

DreamHost sends you a 'request to transfer the registration' email after you complete the signup process, as well as information on how to access your FTP account. You do NOT need to transfer your registration. It can remain at your current registrar for now. You can always transfer it at a later date.

Step 2 — Back up your data

If you're trying to migrate a WordPress site to DreamHost, you have the option to use the DreamHost Automated Migration WordPress plugin instead of the process below. Please see the following article for more information on the plugin:

Back up files

Migrating the Site Files

Downloading your files from GoDaddy

  1. Log in to your GoDaddy account.
  2. Once logged in, select the link for the My Products page.
  3. Under the Web Hosting section, find your domain and click the Manage button next to it.
  4. In GoDaddy’s panel, on the top menu bar, select File Manager.

    The cPanel file manager launches, which shows you a directory list on the left.

  5. Click the 'public_html' folder. All of your site’s files will be visible on the right.
  6. Check the 'Select All' box to select of your site files, and then click the Compress button on the top left menu bar.
  7. Select the Zip Archive option and click Compress Now.
  8. Once the compression completes and the zip file is created, click it and select the Download button.

Step 3 — Upload your site files to DreamHost

Upload site data
  1. After the zip file is downloaded, navigate to the Manage Websites page of the DreamHost panel.
  2. Under your domain, click the My Files button. This automatically logs you into the file manager server.
  3. Double-click your site's directory from the list of files and folders to enter it.
  4. Once you're in the site's directory, select the upload icon. From the menu that appears, select Upload Zip from the menu. Select the zip archive of your public_html folder that you downloaded previously.

    A window pops up asking you what you want to do with the archive.
  5. Click the Upload and Unzip button on that menu to upload the site data and complete the process.

Migrating site databases

Exporting your site's database at GoDaddy

  1. Log in to your GoDaddy account.
  2. Once logged in, select the link for the My Products page.
  3. Under the Web Hosting section, find your domain and click the Manage button next to it.
  4. In GoDaddy’s panel, on the top menu bar, select phpMyAdmin.
  5. When phpMyAdmin launches, find your database(s) on the left-side menu. Select your site’s database.
  6. Go to the top menu and click the Export button.
  7. Select Quick as your export method and SQL as your Format. Press the Go button, and the database will then download to your computer.

Uploading your database at DreamHost

  1. Log into your DreamHost account and navigate to the MySQL Databases page.
  2. Log into phpMyAdmin.
  3. Select the destination database in the left pane.
  4. Click on the Import tab in the top center pane.
  5. Under the File to import section, click Browse and locate the file with the .sql extension you wish to import.
  6. Check or uncheck the boxes for 'Partial import' and 'Other options'.
  7. From the Format dropdown menu choose 'SQL'.
  8. Click the Go button at the bottom to import the database.

All tables will show when selecting the database in the left panel of phpMyAdmin.

Once the database is uploaded, you will likely need to update your site's config file to connect to the new database. Please review the following article for a list of popular software and their config files:


You may be accustomed to seeing references to "secureserver" on GoDaddy, which reference your mail servers. If you are using DreamHost email services, your new email server information can be found here, and webmail login is here.

You can import your email messages from your GoDaddy-hosted email addresses to your new DreamHost mail services. View the following article for instructions on this process:

Google Workspace addresses don't need to be migrated between hosts. You should only need to update your DreamHost-provided MX records to ensure that your domain points to Google Workspace after the migration. View the following article for more details on this process.

Step 4 — View your site at DreamHost before updating DNS

Point the hosts file

Now that your website has been migrated to DreamHost's servers, it's time to check the site to confirm it looks and functions as intended. View the following article for information on how to create a 'Mirror' domain. This allows you to see your site as it appears on DreamHost's servers before updating your DNS at your current host:

If you do not want to create a 'Mirror' domain, you can also view your site using the hosts file on your home computer.

Step 5 — Point your DNS to DreamHost

Point DNS

At this point, your website and all its files are on DreamHost's servers, but your site is still 'hosted' at GoDaddy. You must now update your DNS to point to DreamHost. View the following article for instructions on how to do this:

Once the DNS is resolving to DreamHost, visiting your site displays the site as it appears on your DreamHost server.

Transfer your registration to DreamHost

Once the site's hosting and DNS have been moved over to DreamHost, you may want to move the domain's registration over as well. You can review the following article for instructions on how to transfer your domain registration to DreamHost:

See also

Internal links

External links

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