Moving a Site to Dreamhost Question

I want to move a site, whose domain and host are registered with two different companies.

I know how most of it is done, but my question is in regards to the mirror portion.

Once I add my domain to “Domain to Host” and then create the mirror, my domain will continue to point to my old host indefinitely, correct?

That is until, I switch my domain registration to point to Dreamhost?

The reason why I ask, is because I want to move the site over to Dreamhost months from now, however, I’d like to start building out the website on Dreamhost using the mirror, such as

Is that possible?

Thank you very much in advance!

You don’t need to change registrars unless you just want to have everything in one place. I generally have most of my domains registered elsewhere. Your domain name will continue to be pointed to whatever is listed in the name servers at your current registrar until you change it. Be advised it can take some time for dns changes to propagate over the intarwebs. Usually 24-48hours in most cases though. There will be no problem adding the domain to your dh account and making a mirror so you can make changes and what not until you actually decide to make the changes to the dns.

So to clarify, if I go to “Manage Domains”

click "Add New Domain / Sub-Domain"
Under “Fully Hosted” enter the domain URL that is hosted elsewhere
Then create the mirror to the new site on Dreamhost, make sure everything works and then update the DNS on my URL so it points to Dreamhost instead?

Is that right?

Thank you

Yes and also be sure that once you do eventually change the dns over to switch any references in your configuration files (if you are using something like wordpress or drupal etc any type of content management system) and make it use the other domain name before you deactivate the mirror.

What references specifically do you mean? I’m using a WordPress CMS, would that mean updating the config file only?

Thank you for your help!

You would need to update the config file to point to your new domain instead of the sub-domain and also you will need to update the site url stuff in general settings to point to the domain name instead of the sub-domain.

One more question Ryo-ohki and by the way, I greatly appreciate you helping me out.

If I were to start moving forward with moving my website over to Dreamhost, will it affect the site where it currently lives?

After clicking “Fully host this domain” will that do anything to the “old” host? Will people still be able to access the old website, only until I update the DNS on the domain? So technically, I can have Dreamhost host the domain indefinitely, only until I choose to update the DNS will people be redirect to the Dreamhost site.

Is that right? Thanks again

Your old site on the old host will not be affected at all and will still be accessible until you change the DNS to point to DH name servers yes.

So I just moved the site over, created the mirror, uploaded the WordPress documents to Dreamhost, exported the SQL, updated SQL, updated the config file and now when visiting the mirror site, only the homepage text comes through, all the links go to a 404 page, including the style.css and script files.

Is this normal for mirror sites? Thank you

Interesting, in the SQL file, I changed the URLs to the, however that doesn’t work, it only works when I change it to, so I guess when I’m going to make the switch I need to revert it back to

Seems odd to me, is that normal? Thanks

Yes that’s normal. Since you haven’t updated the DNS of your domain name to point to DH servers you would not be able to access the data stored on your account with it. That’s the whole point of the mirror so you will use the mirror url until you do switch the DNS over and THEN you update your files to point to your domain name instead of the mirror.


It should be noted that there is more than one way to test your site before a DNS change. Of the 3 most common methods I think the “mirror” method is the most confusing and requires the most work as the actual DNS change occurs, as noted here.

Calling attention to 2 other methods that I like much better, and why.

Refer to sections 6 and 9 of

Both of these methods involve telling your local computer to use differnt DNS.

Method 6 is probably the quickest “on the fly method” to use, and in most cases (99%) the one single entry suggested in the example is all you will need for testing your site. In the rare case that you have something more complicated, you will either need to figure out what additional entries you need or use the next method.

Method 9 overrides your normal DNS and uses Dreamhost as the “authority”. Normally when you boot up and log into your local computer, the addresses of the “Nameservers” are obtained from you Internet Service Provider that is supplying your local internet service. But if we override this and tell our local computer that we want to use dreamhost’s nameservers then we have every entry available to us that dreamhost has generated for the domain.

If you have multiple computers and use one as a development machine, set that one up to use Dreamhost DNS all the time, and leave your other computers DNS set to ‘Automatically obtain DNS servers’.

With either 6 or 9 there is no need for “mirrors”.

I accidently hit ‘DNS Only’ on the ‘manage domains’ panel. How can I undo?
So I’ve looked up the IP address assigned to my testing area: The file folder where all the HTML files reside is ‘’. How do I get the HTML files dished up using the IP address?

Also, I am ‘mirroring’ on (Wordpress). I’d like to do the same thing with (HTML). How do I set up a mirror for

Thanks for your help!