Move a wordpress website to Dreamhost

3 minute read

I’ve been putting off a big job to consolidate two Dreamhost accounts, domains, websites and email.

This was going to cost me a lot of money and time, but Dreamhost have worked with BlogVault to create a Wordpress Migration plugin.

Here’s the steps I’m using to shift the wordpress sites across.

Skill level: website intermediate

That means you’ve got an understanding of the following concepts:

  • Domain Name registration, Hosting, Subdomain, Website and name servers
  • Domain registrar and Domain registration account
  • Domain hosting account
  • What SFTP means
  • Understanding what Wordpress is, and what it requires to work

Before you start

  • Find your domain registration details and login to your account.
  • Get a Dreamhost account

Part One: migrate from old wordpress to mysite.dreamhosters.com

These steps will take you through:

  • Creating a temporary Wordpress site on Dreamhost.com
  • Updating your existing wordpress site
  • Creating a new temporary domain at mysite.dreamhosters.com (substitute an appropriate name for “mysite”)
  • Migrate your Wordpress files to the new mysite.dreamhosters.com

Create temporary Wordpress site on Dreamhosters

  • Login to your Dreamhost Account
  • Create a subdomain - mysite.dreamhosters.com
  • Record the SFTP address, the user and password IN A SAFE PLACE (you’ll get an email with the details which DOES NOT INCLUDE the password)
  • Install wordpress to the subdomain
  • Click the link in the confirmation email, then record the address, user and password IN A SAFE PLACE

Install migration tool on your EXISTING wordpress website

In this case, DESTINATION is your mysite.dreamhosters.com wordpress installation and SFTP details

  • login and run all updates. THIS IS IMPORTANT!

  • install the Dreamhost Automated Migration plugin
  • Open the plugin and click Manually Input Host Details to enter the DESTINATION details:
    • First two fields are the Wordpress email and address.
    • Last three fields are SFTP address, username and password.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions
  • Click Migrate

Test temporary site

  • Login to mysite.dreamhosters.com/wp-admin with your ORIGINAL Wordpress username and password.

If all looks well, we can move to the next stage.

Part Two: Change Domain Hosting and complete migration

You may choose to change your domain registrar to Dreamhost. This incurs a one year registration fee, regardless of whether you’ve already paid this elsewhere. The fee is credited to your domain registration which means payment is in an additional year.

These steps take you through:

  • Adding hosting for your domain name
  • Changing domain nameservers to point at Dreamhost rather than your old hosting
  • Installing wordpress website on new hosting
  • Changing nameservers
  • Final migration
  • Cleanup

Add hosting and change domain nameservers

If moving BETWEEN Dreamhost accounts, you’ll need to Delete the hosting from the original account.

  • Create hosting for your domain name (e.g., mysite.com) with Dreamhost.

Change Nameserver settings

Ignore these steps if Dreamhost is your current Domain Registrar.

  • Login to your Domain Registration account.
  • Find the Name Server settings for your domain name
  • Change the settings to:
    • Nameserver 1: ns1.dreamhost.com
    • Nameserver 2: ns2.dreamhost.com
    • Nameserver 3: ns3.dreamhost.com
  • Save the settings.

Install Wordpress

  • Back in Dreamhost, install Wordpress on your mysite.com hosting
  • Record URL, username and password IN A SAFE PLACE

Install migration tool and migrate from temporary site

In this case, DESTINATION is your mysite.com wordpress installation and SFTP details

  • Login to temporary website: mysite.dreamhosters.com/wp-admin.
  • install the Dreamhost Automated Migration plugin
  • Open the plugin and click Manually Input Host Details to enter the DESTINATION details:
    • First two fields are the Wordpress email and address.
    • Last three fields are SFTP address, username and password.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions
  • Click Migrate

Test newly hosted site

It may take a short while for the Domain nameservers to catch up.

  • Login to mysite.com/wp-admin with your original Wordpress username and password.
  • Check everything is in order.

Part Three: Cleanup

BAD THINGS will occur if you delete the wrong thing!

  • Login to your NEW Dreamhost account.
  • Uninstall Wordpress from mysite.dreamhosters.com
  • Optional, skip if not sure:
    • Delete the database for mysite.dreamhosters.com
  • Delete the user for mysite.dreamhosters.com

All systems go!

Now you can continue as you did before…