Viewing a Site before DNS change (again)


#1

Hi

I’m new and trying to see what my site will look like before I swing around the domain itself.

Nominally the Getting Started Document at:
http://wiki.dreamhost.com/index.php/KB_/_Getting_Started

says what you need to do. Unfortunately it’s not very explicit. It says:

“If you’d like to view your uploaded site on our servers (to check that everything is working, or whatever!) before your domain is up, you can! Simply go to the Domain > Add Domain (https://panel.dreamhost.com/?tab=domain&subtab=add_domain) area of our web panel and add a free dreamhosters.com sub-domain (e.g. “yourdomain.dreamhosters.com”). Choose it to be a “mirror” domain and set it up to mirror your real domain that hasn’t gone live yet. When you’re done, within an hour you’ll be able to see your site at http://yourdomain.dreamhosters.com/ exactly as it will be when your domain is transferred!”

OK - so I go to the Domains tab (not the ‘Domain’ as stated - picky but it kind of hints at the lack of solid info from the start)) and there is no Add Domain option. Never mind I go into Manage Domains and there is an option, over in the body of the page, called “Add New Domain/Sub-Domain”. I guess that’s it.

When I go there I get a comprehensive set of boxes with these titles:
Fully Hosted
Redirected
Mirroring
Parked
Cloaked

The getting started doc doesn’t say which to use. So I’m thrashing around at the moment…

Assume the domain I have yet to swing around is called example.com

if I put ‘example.dreamhosters.com’ in the Mirror box it throws up an error: “Can’t add domain: already in our system.”

So I try filling in the Fully Hosted box with ‘example.dreamhosters.com’ that seems to set soemthing up but what it is I don’t know and how I might choose it to be a Mirror domain I don’t know either.

Has anybody done a decent set of blow-by-blow instructions for this - I can’t believe I’m the only person to thrash around on this. I have done a search of the forums and it comes up a few times but all roads seem to return to the Wiki and its poor description.

Thanks folks


#2

First off you probably picked the worse few days to do some updating what with DreamHost fighting network faults on 4 fronts.

The Wiki entries like most things can become slightly out of date as the Control Panel gets modified and updated over time, so tread wary when following Wiki instructions until you become more familiar with DreamHost.

Think of the add domain page as offering 5 distinct and separate functions rather than ‘Fully Hosted and Redirected’ think more of it as ‘Fully Hosted or Redirected’ and it starts to look a bit clearer.

So you would have installed your proper domain example.com and now waiting for the DNS to propagate you could go to the ‘Mirror’ section and make up any old subdomain like example.example.com and then select your domain to mirror from the drop down. Then click the ‘Mirror with this domain now’ button. Then within a few minutes you should be able to visit your proper domain using the mirror subdomain.

Of course if you enter a subdomain in the fully hosted box and then go to the mirror section you will get that ‘already in the system’ message because it uhm … is. :slight_smile:


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK!! :@

You act on my advice at your own risk!


#3

Thanks but… don’t want to be ungrateful but I still don’t really understand what I do where.

My starting points are my new web area on Dreamhost:
www.example.com

and triyng to setup some ‘free dreamhosters.com sub domain’ to point at this space so I can check it is right.

I believe the dreamhosters sub-domian to achieve this is supposed to look like:
example.dreamhosters.com

the question is what do I put in what boxes using the ‘real’ domains above.

I’m sure this is simple but an absolute crystal clear example is needed.

Please note I’m not waiting for anything to propogate anywhere - I’ve not initaited a transfer of ‘www.example.com’ yet and will only do that after I have checked teh site over using this dreamhosters.com facility to check the site is ready for a move.


#4

Sorry If I am not too clear (the Forum server error 500 is a bit painful at the moment!).

I am assuming that you have a domain called example.com.

So you add that as a fully hosted domain using the top section of the add a domain page here filling in the items such as PHP/web security FTP user/password as needed. Best to use the defaults.

You then click the fully hosted button which whisks you away to the Manage Domains page.

To set up the mirror you now go back to the page here but this time fill in the mirror section with your chosen subdomain. (You can only use a domain if it is not taken) This name will be a dreamhosterscom domain like abcdefgh.dreamhosters.com.

You then click the mirror this now! button.


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK!! :@

You act on my advice at your own risk!


#5

Hi

Afraid I still get the feeling of cross purposes here.

When I ordered the account I said the main domain I would use would be:
www.example.com

I said I owned it already and woudl move teh DNS over when I was ready.

When Dreamhost setup my account they have already put the domain example.com in the system. And I used ftp to put a simple test page in teh example.com space. I want to see that simple test page. The only way I can do this, given I don’t want to transfer teh DNS over yet is to use the dreamhosters.com facility mentioned in the wiki etc.

Hopefully thats another way of expressing where I am.

So when you say:
“So you add that as a fully hosted domain using the top section of the add a domain page here filling in the items such as PHP/web security FTP user/password as needed. Best to use the defaults.”

You dont say what I type in the fully hosted domain box. I suspect you might think I shoudl type example.com. Don’t know.

So when I say I’m being think I mean it - what seems to be lacking is a go here, type this, go here, type that but making it clear what teh user needs to modify for their circumstances etc. Sorry for being teh dunce here…

Another example:
“To set up the mirror you now go back to the page here but this time fill in the mirror section with your chosen subdomain.”

So what do I type then?!

As I say I’m being think I’m sure.


#6

If you already have your domain on the system just go to the page at here
scroll down to the mirror section and in the box “Domain that mirrors” type in a dreamhosters.com subdomain e.g. stephentyler.dreamhosters.com

Now in the drop down box next to “domain to mirror” select or make sure it is selected, your domain name.

Now click the button that says “Mirror with this domain now!”

That is it really. Just make sure the subdomain you have chosen is not already taken.

Now when you go to http://stephentyler.dreamhosters.com/ you will see your new web page. (Takes a few minutes for the subdomain to set up).

Please, if you still do not understand (I have probably misunderstood the question) just say so and we can go through it again. Honestly I do not mind. I appreciate it is a bit daunting at first.


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK!! :@

You act on my advice at your own risk!


#7

Follow up question -

I have set up my dreamhosters subdomain and have the mirror and my Wordpress site is ready to be switched. I have gone into my old host and changed the DNS to switch it to DH.

  1. My wordpress is pointing to the dreamhosters subdomain, when do I modify this to my actual domain ?

I just tried doing this even though the propagation was not done yet and it really screwed up my site.


#8

I am not sure I can answer you. I think when you install WP to a subdomain then it is installed to that subdomain.
You would normally install your WP to a subdomain of your proper domain on DreamHost and then use the mirror facility to do just that, mirror it. Rather than the other way round. You can set up WP and many other installs to your proper domain even if you have not switched the DNS nameserver details over.

It may just be a case of waiting for the propagation to occur and then see what has happened.
Hopefully someone else may have some ideas.


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK!! :@

You act on my advice at your own risk!


#9

Thanks Norm,

I’m hoping that if I installed it incorrectly that it’s correctable without having to trash WP and re-install it.


#10

Ok - now sorted and in two ways…

The above instructions worked. To use my own created example I put ‘example.dreamhosters.com’ inthe mirror box with example.com selected in the drop down box. And after 90 mins or so going to http://example.dreamhosters.com brings up my test site.

Strangely I tried this before posting here and reported that it didn’t work in my first entry. Finger problem perhaps?

Anyway thanks for working up teh solution in such a clear form.

Solution 2
I also came across this page in the wiki:
http://www.wiki.dreamhost.com/index.php/DNS_-_Viewing_site_before_DNS_change

It includes the normal rather poor text about how to do this, but right down the bottom of the page, after the graphics, somebody has tucked in this:

"Shouldn’t this read something like:

Domain to host: mysite.dreamhosters.com
Web Directory: /home/username/mysite.org

  • Wait a few hours for Dreamhost to update the DNS records.
  • Go to http://mysite.dreamhosters.com. This will be what users will see after you move your DNS over to Dreamhost.

And that works too. You need to apply with care becuse the Web Directory text box auto fills in and you need to modify the text by hand for this method to work. These instructions ought to be at the top of the page and are a model of what’s reguired really - clear concise etc - bravo!


#11

Let the domain in question be “yourdomain.com”.

1. First you need to add “yourdomain.com” to the system as a fully hosted domain. Go to Domains > Manage Domains > Add New Domain / Sub-Domain. In the “Fully Hosted” section (the first one), enter “yourdomain.com” in the “Domain to host” field. Choose the settings you want, and then click “Fully host this domain now!”.

2. Upload all your files (or just a test page) to the new domain folder you just added.

3. Now you have to add a dreamhosters.com subdomain. This can be anything, as long as it doesn’t already exist on the system; it doesn’t necessarily have to be “yourdomain.dreamhosters.com”. It could be “xyz.dreamhosters.com” or “anyname.dreamhosters.com”, or anything else, as long is the name isn’t already taken.

Go to Domains > Manage Domains > Add New Domain / Sub-Domain, and scroll down to the “Mirroring” section. Enter the subdomain you want in the “Domain that mirrors” field – remember, it be can anything as long as it doesn’t already exist. In the “Domain to mirror” drop down box, choose “yourdomain.com”. Click “Mirror this domain now!” and you should be set after propagation.


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#12

That is why I say be careful with using the Wiki since things change so rapidly.
Maybe if the page needs modernising a Wiki admistrato-moderatum will have a look if we say this incantation backwards three time. :slight_smile:

Wiki, Wiki, Wiki …


Norm

Opinions are my own views, not DreamHosts’.
I am NOT a DreamHost employee OK!! :@

You act on my advice at your own risk!


#13

It ended up being a non issue.

Waited for dns propagation to complete and then changed the URIs and it’s working just fine.


#14

I’m about to do all this and I find the wiki really hard to get info out of…this explanation made it seem doable :slight_smile: thanks!