Non-profit needs ASAP domain transfer - howto?

Here is our scenario:

  • Our domain registrar is Network Solutions. (call our domain “”)
  • Our current hosting provider (call them “oldHSP”) has been providing hosting services to us for free. Our domain’s authoritative name servers are also at oldHSP. We recently received notification from oldHSP that they will be terminating our service as of midnight 10/31.
  • We have setup an account on Dreamhost, and we have a configured web server ready to take over as the new host for
  • To setup & test the replacement web site on dreamhost we first registered a new domain for it (call it “”).

I have looked at the DH wiki pages for transferring domain registration here:
and here:

Q1: Do I have to transfer the domain registration from network solutions to DH to accomplish this?
Q2: Assuming the answer to Q1 is no, then what do I need to do to accomplish this switch? (ie. what steps are required so that a DNS lookup for will point to the IP address that DH hosted is running on now?) I assume that we’ll have to login on networksolutions and switch our authoritative nameservers for the domain from oldHSP to DH. But is that all that we have to do to accomplish this? Or am I missing something?

Currently on DH the webroot for is like this:

Ideally I’d like to set up running in a webroot directory under a new user account $HOME that I create using my existing DH account:

What DH DNS management tools can I use to accomplish this?

You only need to change the nameservers at Network Solutions to be the ones Dreamhost uses: (and ns2 and ns3).

Add in the control panel, and let it mirror Both domain names will then show the same pages.

Erik - thanks for your helpful response. At some point later how do we break the mirroring relationship, so that “” and “faith_org” are separate servers?

Once we get past this quick switchover we want to use as a separate development/staging server, with as our primary site.

Never mirror domains :wink:

  • Set DreamHost nameservers at netsol right away.

  • Add to your DreamHost panel immediately to the user you already have setup.

  • Create a new user for the faith_new dev site

  • Set this new user as the controlling account for the dev site, electing to copy files in the process. You do this via the Manage Domains page in Panel. It’s a breeze!

  • After the files are copied over (a few minutes, but go in and check) SFTP in to your current user and delete or rename the all-but-empty freshly created directory then rename to

As soon as DNS propagation has taken effect will be serving your current content and you’ll be free to develop on the other user account. No mirroring to tie you in knots and both domains remaining completely separate entities to the search engines.

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“- Create a new user for the faith_new dev site”

Is this absolutely necessary? If yes, where do I do this? Is it here on the Fully Hosted page?

“Run this domain under the user:
This affects which FTP account will have access to the domain, as well as what user PHP and CGI scripts will run as.”

I think it is easier to add the two domains with full hosting for the same user, AND the same directory. Then you can later change one of them to something different.

Well, nothing is absolutely necessary, but if you want exactly what you asked for in your previous post then that’s the simplest way to do it. And yep, it’s all there on the Fully Hosted page (Manage Domains) :wink:

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