Domain Transfer... how to make my transfer smooth?


Greetings :slight_smile:

I just signed up for DH… I left my domain at my current webhost provider and set up a subdomain ( for now until I transfer my domain and email accounts over from my previous host.

Are there any suggestions on how I can make this transition smooth?

I’m mostly concerned about the email accounts from my current provider transferring over to DH.

Am I able to create the email accounts AND THEN change my subdomain ( into MY OWN domain?

If I create all the email accounts now, will they all be deleted because I’ll be getting rid of the subdomain? (I’m only using the subdomain temporarily as a stop-gap between my transition. Wanted to check out what DH had to offer before confirming the switch :slight_smile: Now I’m convinced :stuck_out_tongue:

any help would be great! :slight_smile: thanks!


If I’m reading that right, I think you skipped a step. Did you add your domain, then mirror it with a sub? That way, the domain work is done at the DH end, then you just change your nameservers.

This wiki article explains the process.

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To make it smooth, I’d have your old site do a redirect to the site. That way, any content changes (i.e. database driven site) aren’t lost.

Don’t forget to make sure you have already set up a at DreamHost first, then, as the other poster mentioned, mirror it as

For mail, once my domain transferred over, I went back to the old mail server, using its real name or IP address and fetch the last of the mail. I’d do this for up to a week after the change.



Well, currently I have with dreamhost:

my old website is with another provider at

Eventually I would like to move my old site at (at old provider) and use that same domain name and replace … (so in the future I won’t have this dreamhosters subdomain).

The website is actually not a big deal (I don’t really have anything important on it) so I don’t mind if that doesn’t go smoothly.

My question more revolves around:

should I set up my email accounts now on DH? even though I haven’t moved over yet (since currently I have

thanks for the help :slight_smile:


You can set everything up on DreamHost to be a duplicate of your old site if you wish. Nothing will happen until you change the nameservers of your domain name to make the switch.

Then if all is running smoothly you can delete your old site.

If things are not quite right on your new DreamHost site you can change the nameservers back and reactivate your old site.



Will the duplicate of the site be temporarily hosted on the dreamhosters subdomain?

Will changing the name servers switch over the emails too?

Where can I set up the site to be duplicated?

thanks for the help :stuck_out_tongue:


The Dreamhosters subdomain just mirrors the fully hosted domain you created at DreamHost. Mail will land in your DreamHost mailboxes as soon as the DNS records propagate. Until then it’ll land at your old hosting site.

Step 1) Create a Fully Hosted Domain.
Step 2) FTP your contents to this new location: (your Machine Name is listed in the Control Panel for your User.
Step 3) Create a new subdomain: yourdomain.dreamhosters as a Mirrored Domain.
Step 4) Create your mailboxes. They’ll have usernames in the mXXXXXX format, but the email address will be proper format for your domain.
Step 5) Update DNS.
Step 6) Keep checking your mail at your old ISP for the next week, as well as your DreamHost mailbox (mXXXXXX).



sdayman: When I opened my DH account, I had it just setup my (subdomain) … should I just set up everything under that? [instead of creating ANOTHER subdomain]?

I would like that subdomain to eventually contain my real domain once I propogate the DNS …

will that work?

:slight_smile: thanks for your help!


No, you should create a real domain (not a subdomain):
Your website directory probably looks like /home/username/
If this is the case:

  1. Create a fully hosted domain:
  2. Go to your home directory and rename to
  3. Rename to
  4. Create a Mirrored subdomain: test.dreamhosters to mirror



Should I create a “fully hosted domain” even though I haven’t propagated the DNS over to DH yet?

after I create that, is there a need to still create that subdomain?


Yes, create the fully hosted domain now. When DNS finally propagates, you’ll have a website ready to go.

You’d create the domain only to preview/testdrive the domain before it goes live. The catch is that if your webpages reference your real domain’s URL, you’ll have problems.

Once your fully hosted domain DNS propagates, you’ll no longer need the subdomain.



do i NEED to manage another domain?

Can I just enter all the email addresses that I want in the subdomain that I have from signing up?

After I close my webhosting at the current host, and redirect the DNS records … can I change the to the domain I had at my old host [ for example]?

I’m just not sure about why I should create the mirror hosting on the current DH account … :slight_smile:

thanks again for all of your help! :stuck_out_tongue:


You only need to manage one domain, your main one. test.dreamhosters will just mirror your main domain. Or do you not have a main domain? Are you planning on using as your one and only domain?



eventually there won’t be a … just the main domain once it gets pushed over to dreamhost …

I think I figured it out though :slight_smile: I could just have mirror my fully hosted [even though the DNS hasn’t been switched over yet] … that way I can start creating email accounts for the and once the switch is made, hopefully things will switch over smoothly to DH :slight_smile: ?


Yep, that’s the idea. You can mirror a domain that hasn’t gotten switched over yet. That’s probably the main point of having



thank a lot! you’ve been EXTREMELY helpful! :slight_smile:

Do you know of a way to have more than 2000 messages in your inbox? :slight_smile:

thanks again! :stuck_out_tongue:


I saw that message about 2000 messages in your inbox. That’s way too many to keep in your in box. It takes too long to process each time you take a peek at it.

I didn’t even know there was a limit like that. Nor had I even thought that I’d try something like that. I sort my mail into different mailboxes just for organization’s sake.