Learn how you can quickly and easily migrate your existing WordPress website to DreamHost’s hosting service using the free do it yourself plugin option with next to zero downtime.
You could pay someone else to move your website for you. But you’re going to learn how you can do it quickly and easily, all on your own, saving time, money, and downtime. All the techie stuff is automatically done for you with the easy-to-use plugin.
Note: This website contains sponsored links and advertisements. Full disclosure.
There are just a few simple steps to follow so follow these instructions to take them one at a time.
- Create your DreamHost account using this link: marionblackonline.com/dreamhost
- Add your website to your DreamHost account
- Get the Migration Key
- Install and use the DreamHost Automated Migration plugin on your original website
- Check the preview
- Change the DNS
- Get a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate
Before You Start the Migration
Make sure that your WordPress installation, all your plugins, and all your themes are up to date and working properly. Run a security plugin such as Wordfence or Sucuri and fix any issues. Do not attempt to migrate a hacked website. And don’t change the DNS until instructed to do so.
Create your DreamHost account
Use this link when you create your DreamHost account to tell ‘em I sent you. You may be offered a nice discount on your hosting package and I may get a small commission from their affiliate marketing budget.
Hosting discounts are usually for your first purchase so it’s a good idea to sign up for as long as you can manage. You’ll save the most with a 36-month package.
Then log into your DreamHost account and follow the prompts to set up your website.
What you need to migrate your website
The three things you need to migrate your website are the migration plugin, migration key, and the Domain Name Servers (DNS) info.
Log in to your DreamHost account and navigate to Domains > Websites. Select your website and click on Manage. Then use the Get Key button to get your Migration Key. Copy the Migration Key and save it in a Notepad.
Now let’s log into your website and make this migration thingy happen.
Use the DreamHost Migration Plugin
Go to Plugins > Add New > and search for DreamHost. The plugin you’re looking for is called DreamHost Automated Migration.
Install and Activate.
Enter your migration key and fill out the rest of the details.
Follow the prompts.
Wait while the plugin does its thing. Depending on the size of your website this could take several minutes.
The plugin takes a snapshot of your site as it is in this moment of time. So don’t make any changes to your website for the next 48 hours as any changes could be lost.
When you get the Success notification you can check what your site is going to look like after the migration.
You’ll also get an email from DreamHost with the link to preview your website.
Please note, this is a preview of what your website will look like after the migration. It doesn’t mean that your website has been migrated yet.
Change the DNS (Domain Name Servers)
Make sure that everything looks OK on the preview then go to your domain name registrar and change the Domain Name Servers. This process will vary depending on where you’ve registered your domain name. If you have any problems the registrar is sure to have full instructions.
Your DreamHost Domain Name Servers are:
Use copy and paste when you set the nameservers to avoid errors. And make sure you don’t include any spaces before or after the nameservers info.
It can take up to 48 hours (usually a lot less) for the DNS changes to propagate throughout the internet. So don’t make any changes to your website until you’re sure that the migration is complete.
Get a free SSL Certificate
While you’re waiting you can install a free SSL certificate. Let’s Encrypt is a free SSL certificate that is used by many hosting companies including DreamHost. I use it and it works just fine and DreamHost provides automatic renewals. There’s no need to pay for an SSL certificate when you have your website hosted with DreamHost.
Log into your DreamHost account. Go to Domains > SSL/TLS Certificates and click on the Add button for your website.
Next, select the free Let’s Encrypt certificate and follow any prompts.
Are we there yet?
When your site has been successfully migrated it’s going to look exactly the same as it did before…
…on the outside.
But when you log into your WordPress dashboard you may notice an extra plugin or two. You can choose whether or not you want to keep them.
That’s it! Congratulations. You’ve successfully migrated your website to DreamHost. Happy blogging!
Please scroll down to ask any questions and to share your experiences with migrating your website to DreamHost. I read all comments personally.