Moving Site to Another DH Account and Server: What Next?



I have a site that is hosted on a VPS on my Dreamhost account. The domain name is registered to my Dreamhost account too. I want to move the site and domain name to someone else’s Dreamhost account on their dedicated server. So far I have coped the site’s files to their server and so the site now appears from their server at

What do I need to do to make that site on their server appear at instead of mine? (I would like as little downtime as possible during the changeover).




Hi there. Read the info here. There are some restrictions you’ll want to read about. But, it’s not hard.



Thanks for that. Yes, I saw that before actually but must admit I found it rather hard to follow - I wasn’t sure which of the options apply to our situation. And if I read it correctly each option involves some downtime while the site is moved between accounts. That’s why I was asking here actually - to see if anyone could offer any specific advice for our circumstance (when the site is already copied over to the new server and running fine, just the web address is wrong - I was hoping it mainly only needed DNS changes, but I’m no expert on this. Thanks again.



Re-reading that wiki again, it definitely implies moving a domain from one DH account to another involves significant downtime! Steps quoted there in “Moving a Domain to an existing account” are basically to:

(1) Backup old server
(2) Delete domain from old account
(3) Initiate a domain transfer to new DH account
(4) Once domain is transferred, upload all the files to the new DH account’s server.

There must surely be a way to do this without any real downtime, i.e. by serving the site from old and new servers during the transition, then deleting the old server a couple days later when all users should be being directed to the new server. The site files (200GB) are already in place on the new server, ready to go live. But I don’t know how to complete this transfer? Any help welcome, thank you.



Yes, no easy way on Dreamhost side.


Hmm well I’m really hoping there is a way. I mean, if I was moving the site to a different hosting company (which I’m not - I’m very happy with DH), I would simply get the site setup on a server with the new company, then get the DNS records changed. No downtime, just a few hours of changeover where both old and new servers are running the site simultaneously. Surely DH can move it to another of their own servers and accounts without downtime? I’ve already done the “heavy lifting”, copying all the files.



Just in case anyone else is in the same boat wanting to move a site to another server within DH without downtime, I’ll post progress on this thread; once the new server is fully ready to take over I’m going to contact support - I got info from them before the new server was signed up which implied this can be done without downtime, and that’s why we started out down this route.

But there really should be a document on this somewhere to set out the process! That wiki article is simply incomplete, unless it doesn’t matter your site being inaccessible for a day or more while you move the files, and then wait for the DNS changes to propagate.


Not that this helps you at the moment, but I generally get my clients to register their domains under their own name from the outset - even if it means I assist them in doing it. That way, there is no delay transferring it to them later or issues moving it between DH accounts.


Thanks Artgeek. Yes that sounds a good approach, and I’ll try to do that in the future where possible. In this case the client wasn’t sure they wanted their own DH account till after the site went live on my server unfortunately.