Copy Site


Hi, I’m a newbie. How can I copy the entirety of my existing WordPress site including all pages to a new sub-domain so that I can install a new theme and fiddle around with it before I make the site go live? I have WP installed on the new site and coped all files from WebFTP…


Hope this helps


Thank you Patrick. I already have dreamhost hosting my website, I need to create a new SQL database, but it suggests having the database and the hostname be the same. I can’t have two identically named copies of the database, so there will likely be a problem with my wp-config file. Please advise…


Assuming the databases are on the same mySQL server (for most users this would normally be the case, you can tell for sure on the MySQL page in the panel), the HOSTNAMES are interchangeable.

It would not however be possible to have two databases on the same server with the exact same database name. Dreamhost offers the following tip “Try putting your domain name in front of your database name if the name you want is already taken.”


I successfully made a new fully hosted sub-domain and copied over all ftp files as instructed in the wiki for how to move a Wordpress site. My main goal is to update the theme without affecting my current site. Is there a way to do this now? Do I need a new mySQL server for the test site? How would I update the wordpress admin to have a new password, etc?


You need a new mysql DATABASE yes. Simply create a new mysql datalbase go to the ‘live’ database via phpmyadmin and export all of the tables and then import them into the new database you created. Then edit the wp config file for your test domain and update the database name (you can choose to use the same user for the new database instead of creating a new user and also same hostmask as hostmasks are interchangeable anyway).


If I am not wrong, WordPress saves the name of the theme being used in database. If you want to test a different theme without affecting the live site, you will need to do it in a sub-domain (as you’ve created) with a separate database.

I’ll suggest you

  1. create a test sub-domain (already done)
  2. create a test mysql hostname via DH panel --> Goodies --> Manage MySQL
  3. create a test mysql database via DH panel --> Goodies --> Manage MySQL
  4. copy the live site to your sub-domain (you can do a simple file copy)
  5. update config to point to the test mysql database
  6. update config to point to new directory

Please let us know if you run into any problems.


I’m sure this thread is pretty much dead by now but I thought I would toss in my 2 cents anyways.

This is going to sound confusing because I’m not always incredible at explaining things succinctly, but as I said this process is well refined and it’s nice and seamless for your client(s)

The method I’ve come to through many refinements for external domains being transfered into dreamhost/wordpress is this:

  1. create the orginal/final domain in dreamhost domain management. For example client x wants moved into dreamhost and (optionally converted to a wordpress site), so I set up in dreamhost

  2. set up a mirror as a temporary subdomain on another domain that you currently have set up in dreamhost. (let’s call it so you would set up a mirror at as a mirror of

  3. one click install wordpress at, import your content or copy the old wordpress install over into dreamhost.

  4. Make changes/updates until customer is satisfied with the new version of the site

  5. update dns records so that is pointed to the dreamhost version. (I usually just get people to change the NS records to dreamhost)

The only tricky part is there are a few rows in the database that need to be changed around a couple of times. You can do this with relative ease in phpmysqladmin which you can get to through the dreamhost admin panel.