Is there a Check List to move servers to DreamHost?


Do you guys have a list of the exact steps to take to switch a website to your servers without experiencing any downtime?

If so, please let me know… the last thing I need is for search engines to discard my sites due to them being down when their robot comes by and sees the site is no longer there…


I have different checklists for different kinds of sites, but the main idea is to copy the site as exact as possible and resolve the domain locally (meaning, update your local hosts file to resolve your domain at the new server IP), and then update your DNS.

You will have this short window where, depending on the DNS cache, visitors will direct to one of the two copies, eventually all of them going to the new server.

You don’t need to worry about that, unless your site is down for many days. A few hours won’t change much. :slight_smile:


If the google robot comes by and your site is down… that will cause google to de-list your site since they think it’s down, cause it is down!

So, somebody help me out here… do I first setup the account on Dream host servers without SSL and upload the data… and then go to my registrar and put in the Dream host DNS info?

If that’s not the first few steps, what is?

And once I know the DNS info is resolved to where the domain name is actually pointing to Dream host servers… how long do I wait before trying to add SSL?


Also, does anyone know about how long it takes to get a reply when submitting a help desk ticket?


In very general terms:

  1. Reduce TTL of the DNS record
  2. Wait for old TTL to pass to make sure that all DNS servers have the new TTL
  3. Put the site in read-only mode and copy the content from the old site to the new server
  4. Test that the content is working correctly (with local hosts record modification)
  5. Change the DNS records to point to the new server
  6. Re-enable read-write mode on the site
  7. Done

During this process, the old server will never go down for Google or any spider: the worst that will happen is that a spider will access the old server until the updated DNS records propagate.


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