Migrating sites between Dreamhost shared/PS causes unwanted downtime

Has anyone experienced this as a result of upgrading from shared to private server hosting?

Here’s the situation:

  • Buy into a private server and decide I want to move my sites one by one by hand.
  • I manually copy the files to the new server.
  • I update the Panel / Manage Domains to change hosting from shared to PS account and uncheck the box “Move my files”, and submit.

Within minutes, the Manage Domains screen reflects my changes. However, the site instantly goes down with an error:

It takes a period of time before the site is back up and running on the PS. It seems to me that DNS still points to the old shared server, which was instantly disabled. This is unfortunate, because in a typical production scenario you really need to keep both sites up for a period of time to allow DNS to propagate.

Is there a better way to handle this to avoid downtime?

This behavior is intentional — we’ve found that, in many cases, leaving both sites up causes undesirable behavior during the transition (for instance, if you’re running something like Wordpress, media uploaded to the old server during the transfer may turn up missing on the new server).

In many scenarios, I think you’re right. But, most Panel functionality is geared to users who know what they’re doing. If not providing an optional overlap, I suggest at least warning the user of how much downtime to expect.