Hosting a second domain

I currently have a site hosted at DreamHost and would like to transfer hosting of another site to my account. The second site is currently live at another provider and I don’t want to negatively affect the uptime of my current DreamHost site or my other site.

I want to know how I develop my new site at DreamHost before I transfer the hosting to DreamHost. I looked at the “mirror” a domain, but I’m nervous about taking down either one of my sites.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Just add a new fully hosted domain (the domain you want to transfer). Then add another fully hosted domain and make it point to the same directory as the real domain you created before. Then you can setup your site using your domain, check if everything works and so on.

As soon as everything works you either leave your domain with the current registrar, but add the DreamHost nameservers or you transfer the domain to Dreamhost completely and they will add their nameservers automatically.

Both ways your site wont be down, only your visitors might see the page at the old host or at Dreamhost during the first 48h since it takes some time until all DNS server in the world are updated.

Your site won’t be completely down.


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I guess that’s the part I’m unsure of. How do I add another fully hosted domain? Setting up the site using the “” is a bit confusing as well.

Easy. In the Web Panel click on “Manage Domains” then when that page comes up right at the top is a button to click on that says “Add New Domain / Sub-domain”

Not really if you stop and think about it. In order to download files from a web site, the computer running the web site has to know where the files are stored. All you want to do is tell the computer that you have two web sites and that you are going to use the same location for the files.

Think of it as a bucket with two labels on it, “mydomain” and “”. So what you are doing is asking for the bucket by one label, and then when you are ready you will ask for the bucket using the other label and you get the very same bucket both ways.

Here are the steps:

  1. Add “mydomain” using the panel. You might want to make a new user if you are concerned about affecting the site already at DreamHost.

  2. You get a to specify a “Web Directory” - this is the bucket - eg /home/username/mydomain

  3. Go back and add “” and this time for the “Web Directory” use the same user and type in “mydomain” instead of “

  4. When this is submitted, DreamHost is ready to host both sites from the same bucket! But “” goes live ASAP while “mydomain” won’t be live until you update the nameservers at your registrar.

:cool: -//-


Go to the panel. Then choose “Domains” -> “Manage Domains” and click on the “Add New Domain / Sub-Domain”. The top form of that page is for the fully hosted domain.

There you can add “Domain to host”. You can freely choose a sub-domain there. Just enter anything like “” and when you send the form and that sub-domain is already used by someone else DH will tell you that.

For “FTP user / CGI-runs-as user” you have to choose a user under which the domain will be hosted.

For “Specify your web directory:” you choose the directory in which your pages will be stored on the server. DH will auto suggest to use /home/YOURUSERNAME/ - just like the domain you added. Instead you could change this and use /home/YOURUSERNAME/

You don’t need to check the other boxes.

Then submit the form by pressing the “Fully host this domain now!”.

Now, if the (or whatever you have choosen before the is free it will be added, if it’s already used you have to choose a different one.

After successfully adding that domain you click on “Add New Domain / Sub-Domain” and now add the real domain. The important part here is to use the same user and the same path as for the domain above. This domain doesn’t need to be hosted with DH yet.

Now you can build your site using the “” domain or whatever you’ve chosen (it takes some hours for the" sub-domain to become alive).

When everything is set you can either change the DNS settings for the domain at the other provider an let them point to:

or you can go to the panel and to “Domains” -> “Reg. Transfer” and transfer the old domain away from you current host to dreamhost completely.

Hope this helps.


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Ok, so I’ve added my domain. Everything seems to have gone well with that.

If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re saying that I also need to add the same way? I need to make sure that the user name and folder structure for match that of the

When adding to the hosted domains, it won’t take my real hosted site down because I’ve not updated the domain name servers, is that correct?