Don't know how to describe this anymore

Words (and DH support) fail me at this point. I just do not know the terms to use anymore.

I have a joomla website. It can be reached at

It can also be reached at which is what I want to use as an addressl. Not

But if you type in the you get shirson/joomla. They are the same sites and normally it would not make a bit of difference, but I need to send links out and I need to make it search engine friendly.

I want a user to type and get, not

DH support seems to be having a rough time of it lately (this past week). Any ideas?


When you added to your domains in DreamHost, did you set it up as a redirect or as a mirror?

Also, your Joomla install might be doing the redirect as well.

I mean, like, you could have the mirror all set up to show the site at the, but then the Joomla software sees the URL that’s it’s being displayed under and redirects.

As I cannot see your web panel, I can only “guess” at how you have set things up, but it appears you built the site at Is that correct?

Tell us “how” you have the panel set up so that “” displays; did you use a redirect, did you re-map a sub-dir, did you “mirror”?

From there we should be able to sort you fairly easily.


From looking at it from a WHOIS perspective, you host the with Dreamhost, and you are essentially “forwarding” the domain from GoDaddy (your registrar for to, correct?

Forwarding won’t accomplish what you are after since it is just a hand-off solution, in other words, a forward just transfers to your other domain.

You probably want to look into .htaccess files and mod-rewriting to get what you want done.


You can also consider adding a new domain to your Dreamhost account using the name, and “mirroring” everything on both domains. Dreamhost gives you plenty of space to do this.


I believe I set it up as a mirror, at least that is what I think it is now. I really don’t know any more what happened in the fog of new software, but at one point I did have the proper name ( but it came up as a frameset and I could not get the search engine friendly urls because of that. Always stayed frameset. It is when I went to correct it that things REALLY went south!

You are correct about the forwarding from GoDaddy. And it makes a lot of sense that I need to do something else. But what got me is whether it should be in the DH panel or the .htaccess files and/or the configuration.php

I’ve been burned! When I changed the .htaccess, my site went down and I had to go in with ftp and restore the file! Scared the hell out of me to actually lose the site! So now I have no idea of how to go about changing the .htaccess because that seems so much like a Joomla! thing particularly with the SEF components that have to be uncommented, etc. All over my head.


I built the site at, yes and then I redirected (?) the name over from the TypePad site where I was developing the Flash videos.

I would send you a screenshot of the panels if I could figure out how to send an attachment on this board. Right now it is set to mirror

This is a good example of what I was writinig about in the “beginners” post… I have become totally confused with the different terminology here.

I definitely did NOT re-map a subdirectory (at least on purpose), but I cannot guarantee that I did not use a redirect because I don’t know how to do it…

“From there we should be able to sort you fairly easily”

Would I love that!


That’s why I suggested the dual domain option instead, as .htaccess files can be tricky at best to work with for beginners. They get me even now as an intermediate user.

If not done correctly, .htaccess files can remove the ability to view your site.

Thanks for the clarifications(s); it helps a lot to understand the background.

I think with what you have provided here we can manage without the screenshots, though in the future a good way to do that is just to post the screenshot(s) somewhere in your accessable web space and provide the link(s) to the .jpg/.gif/whatever in the post (or in a PM, if you don’t want the “world” to see :wink: )

Regarding your issue, it does behave the way a “redirect” would behave, so that makes sense. The way the redirect works is that, upon a visitor going to (which is hosted elswhere), that server simply “forwards” the user to your space on DH as requested (shirson/joomla). From that point on , all the links are generated on the DH site, by joomla, and they point to the shirson/joomla space.

I think this adequately explains what is happening, but if not, let me know.

To correct this, you need to create a “fully hosted” domain named “” via the Dreamhost Control Panel. Do this before the next step. Next change the DNS (Domain Name Server) setting at the registrar for to the DH DNS servers (,, When both of these steps are done, and DNS has propagated (can take from a matter of hours to several days, and will vary depending upon where “on the net” you are) will display what is in the directory that is set up to be the “home” for that domain in the Dreamhost Control panel.

SInce you have already built the site at shirson/joomla, a couple of additional changes will have to be made to get “everything working”, and there is more than one way to accomplish the necessary changes.

  1. You could reinstall Joomla! in the “default” directory created for by the control panel (/home/.something_or_other/yourusername/, and then re-install your template(s), data, content, etc. - I think this is a needlessly “hard way” to accomplish this and don’t recommend it unless you cannot understand or accomplish the methods I’ll describe next , or you dont yet have a lot of content up and just want to start “fresh” :wink:

  2. You could simply copy all the directories and files from /home/shirson/ to /home/shirson/ ( using a recursive cp command in the shell, or mv - help is available in the wiki, or on the web for these common *nix commands) and edit the configuration.php file to correct your url and path varables as needed. This will move all your content “intact”

3)If you are not using for anything else, and don’t mind having the Joomla install in a sub-directory, just go back to the Manage Domains panel page, and have “” use the shirson/joomla directory as its “home directory”.

There is, of course, more tweaking you could do (if you wanted to change the database used, etc.), but this will get a visitor to “” to your joomla! installation without further to do.

Now, I know that that is a lot to digest., but it is not really as difficult as it seems. You have got a lot of time invested in this already, so I suggest take a little more and explore a bit, as necessary, so you understand what is involved with each of the described methods before you pick one and and give it a go. Good luck with it, and let us know if you have a particular question or problem, and we will try to help some more.


Mirroring your domain name would be, quite possibly, the best way to do it. Other than just plain fully hosting the domain name on DH and then moving the content you want over to the new domain name. What you have set up now, unfortunately, is exactly as has been said here previously–godaddie just takes a request for one domain, and hands it off to the other, so the end user will always end up at the second domain name.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?

This seems like the easiest of all the options. But would I not have to do brain surgery on my configuration.php file? Got into big trouble with that already. Same with .htaccess. I’m just worried bout all the internal pointers and directories in Joomla!

I am going to take a break and do some thinking and research. I also have to get on a tractor and cut a field for a bit.

But thanks… these are good ideas and lead to some more understanding.

And, hey, if nothing else, I figured how to put quotes in this board!


I think the SEF components for joomla are considerably over-rated. They do make “pretty” urls, but google seems to have no problem in properly indexing/ranking sites with the standard urls. I have such sites that rank better than others that are fully SEF-ified.

There is also a performance/cpu hit with many SEF schemes for Joomla!.

Of course, YMMV, and all is only my opinion :wink:

You could edit the configuration.php file to “correct” a couple of entries (just changing a path here and a url there), but I wouldn’t call it brain surgery - very simple changes .

One of them can also be made right from within the Joomla! backend!

Enjoy plowing the field!


Have you tried OpenSEF? They drove me nuts on support… I got into all kinds of trouble following their advice. It’s one reason why I am so shy about editing .htaccess and configurationl.php!

One reason why I was interested in SEF was because of what I read about Google search results improving after it was installed. I would be fine dropping SEF.

And what is going to happen when 1.5 comes out!!!

We’re going out for dinner and I am going to re-ponder the 3 options you listed…

Thanks again,


Good morning! Back to…

I am not sure whether or not I should “mind” having the Joomla install in a sub-directory because, frankly, I thought that’s where it was anyway.

And would this step preclude me from using for anything else? The idea of going to the Control Panel and making that change seem quite easy and almost “safe”. I can see where a couple of changes in configuration.php would be needed, but I doubt that it would be a problem with the .htaccess.

By the way, it dawned on me that I should share the followiing information.

When I moved from TypePad to DH in GoDaddy, I changed the domain server to DH. Then, when all I got when I entered as a path in the browser was a list of files (I think I need and index file someplace to prevent that but I have no idea where or what, etc.) I restored it to PARK11.SECURESERVER.NET and PARK12.SECURESERVER.NET in GoDaddy. I wonder if at some point I need to change that back to a DH address.

Am I clarifying or muddying?


Good Morning, Shirson,

Actually, I don’t suppose using this option actually would keep you from using for “anything else”, it just (in my “simple” mind, at least) needlessly complicates the organization of your directories. I find it “awkward” to “mix” domains under one branch of the directory tree.

I really think the best approach is to “bite the bullet” now (it really isn’t all that difficult, and I have done it may times :wink: ) to get the Joomla! installation set-up under a “” directory directly below your user - as Dreamhost automagically does it when you “set up” a domain. I’m just convinced things will be “easier” for you down the road (especially if you need help from support, or from the forum members) if you keep your directory structure as “non-convoluted” as possible. Does that make any sense?

I’m sure you will have no problem with minor configuration.php edits, and you should not have to touch your .htaccess (or your re-write rules, which can “break stuff” very easily).

[quote]When I moved from TypePad to DH in GoDaddy, I changed the domain server to DH. Then, when all I got when I entered as a path in the browser was a list of files (I think I need and index file someplace to prevent that but I have no idea where or what, etc.) I restored it to PARK11.SECURESERVER.NET and PARK12.SECURESERVER.NET in GoDaddy. I wonder if at some point I need to change that back to a DH address.

Am I clarifying or muddying?[/quote]
Actually, both! You are certainnly “clarifying” what the current situation is, but have somwhat “muddled” the change you want to make :slight_smile: .

Think of it this way: What you set the DNS records to at your registrar (godaddy), determines which DNS servers do the translation from “” to an IP address, and the information in those namervers (Now “”) determines how the “webspace” on that system is related to the IP address. What you are really doing when you “create a domain” from the Dreamhost Panel is setting up that information so that the Dreamhost nameserver know “where” that domain lives in the Dreamhost files system (hence the association with a directory). That’s a llittle “simplified”, but it is the gist of it. What you are ultimately trying to accomplish is to have “” pointed, by DH nameservers, to a directory on Dreamhost, under your control, where you have your Joomla! installation, and make sure that installation properly “knows” where it lives (hence the configuration.php changes for path and url). Obviously, in order to do that, one of the steps you have to complete is to have the DNS (configured at the registrar, GoDaddy) point to the Dreamhost DNS servers, and another step is to have those Dreamhost nameseerver know where your Jommla! “lives”, etc.

Once you understand all that, the problem becomes much easier to digest, hence my statement that there are several ways to accomplish it. All this is considerably complicated by the fact the your site is “up”, though not the way you want, and available to the public, so you want to be careful to avoid having it “inaccessable” during the changes as much as possible, right?

That is why I suggested getting the directory stuff straightened out before changing the DNS settings at the registrar - that way once the DNS change propagates, you will be “good to go”.

All that said, you are back “how to accomplish that”. The “easiest” way is to:

  1. change the directory that “” uses (by “editing” the “fully hosted” domain settings)
    2)modify the Joomla! configuration.php file to reflect the new url/path settings, and
    3)change the DNS records at GoDaddy to use the Dreamhost DNS servers.

The “best” way to do it, is to:

  1. copy your complete exsisting Joomla! installation into a directory named “” in your space (path will be /home/shirson/
    2)modify the Joomla! configuration.php file to reflect the new url/path settings, and
    3)change the DNS records at GoDaddy to use the Dreamhost DNS servers.

notes: You will not have to change your database settings, and once this is all done and working well, you can then delete the old Joomla! directory from

Both ways are really very similar. In the first instance you are pointing to an existing dir (though it currently “lives” under another domain’s directory). It will work, but could get confusng down the road depending upon what you install in . The way *nix permissions and .htaccess works, settings you later make to’s “home” directory could potentially interfere with the Joomla! installation. In the second instance, your Joomla! installation will be in’s “home” space, be easy to keep organized, and eliminate any potential issues with’s future use.

Whew! I know it is a lot to digest, but you said you wanted to understand it :wink: . If this makes sense to you, you probably just need to review the use of the “cp” command (with the “recursive” option) from the shell (in order to do the copying, should you decide to go with the second version) and let 'er rip. You could also do this via ftp, but it will not be as reliable or as quick.

Hopefully, this info is useful. Just post back if you need any other clarification or help. Good Luck!


Hi, thanks for all this.

I agree that the best way is to bite the bullet and do it “right”.

For just the sake of getting support and being able to do the eventual updates, I should do it “right”.

If I understand what you are saying, I have the further option of testing the change before I change the DNS at GoDaddy. That would make me feel ever so much better.

I can look up the use of the cp recursive command, but first I have to figure out how to get into the shell. I am sure the wiki will lead me there.

So to review:

  1. I figure out how to make the new directory, so I will have a I think I will do that in my FTP program because I am familiar with it and I have already made directories to deal with my media.

  2. Get into the shell. That through the Wiki. But I have been trying to figure out how to get in for about a 1/2 hour and cannot! Any hints? This is an illustration of what I was ranting about before. Once you get in to the shell, you never forget. But for the first timer it is hard to figure out how to get in.

  3. In the shell, use the cp recursive to copy all the files under to (by the way, does it need the .com? couldn’t it just be

  4. Then go into configuration.php and change all the instances of to shirson/

  5. Test the result by enterning
    and J! should come up?

  6. Change the GoDaddy to whatever DH needs for DNS.

Lots to research first…

But do I have it fairly right?

Thanks again…


It looks lilke you are “getting there” but a few clarifications appear to be in order, so please bear (patiently) with me:

I agree, but one note of clarification re “updates”. From looking at your space (in the past while you were testing, you exposed a directory listing at one time) I noticed a “.old” directory. This indicates you originally installed Joomla! via the Control Panel’s “One Clilck” mechanism. Wthout confusing things even further, if you want to preserve the ability to “upgrade” via “One-click”, you cannot (if at all - the “one-click” back-end is not public, so I can’t tell exactly how it works when executing an upgrade!) use the method we are discussing - the “One-Click” installer will not recognize your “moved” Joomla! as being one of its “progeny”.

This leaves two alternatives: you can preceed as we are discussing, but will have to upgrade “manually”, using Joomla! provided upgrade precedures (, or abandon this approach and just create a new “One-Click” install in the new directory where you want to host the site. If you choose this second approach, you will not need to worry about modifying any configuration.php or .htaccess file(s), but you will have to re-install your chosen templates and components into Joomla!, and move your exisiting data into the new installation. That could be problematic, given your understanding of the issues involved (it is complicated by the fact that your compnents affect the data base, as well as your contents) and you can easily end up with a databse that has “parts” of each of the Joomla! installs in it, which is a "Bad Thing"tm - and the site will break.

The process of “manually” upgrading Joomla! (at least in the present 1.0.xx series) is not hard, but will involve more work in the shell/ftp (which you will have to learn how to do eventually if you take this approach, and should learn anyway to make your life easier!).

Actually, no. What it does allow you to do is to keep your existing site “visible” via the old " DNS" until you have gotten everything ready to go. I must not have been clear about how the DNS works - if you take this approach you will not be able to see the results in place at until the DNS propagates and allows your new directory contents to be displayed - there will be no way to “see” that directory from the web unless you connect it via DNS.

There is a “workaround” for this, which is well detailed in this wiki article describing how to view a site before DNS changes, but that process adds an additional series of steps to your project. Again, we are shooting at a “moving target” here - “testing” the site “live” beore making it public entails a different approach.

One way to do that would be to follow the process I’ve described, but doing it using a sub-domain described in the wiki. Another is to modify your process slightly and “copy” the existing Joomla! installation (directories, files, everything!) to a newly created (via the panel) subdomain of a site that already has DNS in place (such as,,, etc. - same thing really, but maybe easier to understand). Modify your configuration.php. then “test” your new installation (using the url of the “testing” sub-domain) till you have it right.

Once you are sure it is ready to “go public”, just rename the “testing domain” directory (it will be in your user space, just like the existing “” directory) to “”, correct the configuration.php appropriately, the go to the Control Panel Manage Domains screen and “edit” as needed to make sure that “” points to the (newly renamed to!) directory that now exists in your “shirson” user space.

Notes on the “To Review” section of your last post:

Not quite, but close. Make a directory so that you will have a and a directory in your “base” user space (/home/shirson/ and /home/shirson/ Doing what you described would just duplicate the issues of having living “beneath” the directory in the tree, which is what you have now with the “” directory; tyring to avoid this is the whole reason we are “doint it right”, instead of just using the existing Joonla! directory and pointing to it :wink: .

I’m not sure what Wiki articles you are reading, but you need to use an “ssh” client program to “get into” the shell. Which client program you use will depend upon what operating system you are using. The main Dreamhost Wiki article on the shell includes links to the sections on obtaininng the appropriate ssh client, connecting, and using the shell as well as links to using commands in the shell and other related resources. Once you connect, you should feel right at home, as the shell operates (with different commands, of course, and a lot more power) much like the command line you used in the CP/M :wink: .

No. :frowning: See item #1 above. you want to recursively cp everything from /shirson/ to shirson/ your “directory tree” should look something lilke this:

---- : /home/shirson/ ---- ---- Joomla/ When you have the recursive copy done correctly, all the files and directoryies that are now in “joomla” will be in

I suppose you could omit the .com, but I advise against it, as this structure makes it clear that a “site” lives in this directory, since you can have many site hosted (at no additional charge for the hosting!) at Dreamhost and you may want to build others.

Pretty much correct - though I’ll qualify that a bit. You should only have to change the “$mosConfig_live_site =”, the “$mosConfig_absolute_path =”, and the “$mosConfig_cachepath = " settings. Two of these are “paths” and one is a “url”, so you statement is a little over simplified, but you have the right idea. Change the paths to reflect your new setup, and the url to reflect your new url. You will probably also want to change (either through the Joomla back-end”, or in the configuration.php file the email address to use for you admin functions (as you are now using a “new” domain - but that is minor, and is up to you depending upon how you want to handle it.)

[quote]5. Test the result by enterning
and J! should come up?[/quote]
Again, re-reading this, and the previous, post should help you realize that there are several problems with this - both in the “testing” methodology and the paths/urls involved. When I wrote that you could make sure everything was properly configured before changing the DNS, I meant you could make the cp and configuration edits first - not that you could “browse” via http and see the changes immediately. However, if that is what you want to do, I’ve discussed ways to do that earlier in this post.


All in all, you have it “pretty close to right”, with the exception of grasping the *nix directory structure, how that is related to how the domain is set-up as “fully-hosted” at Dreamhost, and the need to use DNS to “browse” those directories. You’ve almost “got it”, I hope. :slight_smile:


I’ll take my answer step by step, here, because there seems to be a lot you’re missing first of all that will quite possibly cause you problems.

First, make sure your user has the ability to actually log into the shell–you can do that from here. Then, after you’ve double checked that, look at this WIKI article for a list of Windows-based SSH clients, and an explanation of what SSH is. It also links you to an article explaining how to enable shell access for your user–not that it’s difficult to do.

Incorrect. When you opt to fully host the domain with DH, it will ask you where you want it to create the directory wherein you’ll be putting your files associated with that domain. For ease of use, I’d recommend you leave the default setting in place, unless you absolutely without a doubt want to put it inside the domain name. In doing that, however, as has already been said, it could make things difficult if, for whatever reason, you want to find another use for that domain or, worse yet, if you cancel that domain name. The default setting will put a directory at the top level of your directory tree, so the actual system path would be /home/username/, rather than /home/username/

See the linked WIKI article, and the linked section of the control panel above.

It could be whatever you want, so long as the server knows where it is. You could name the directory fubar for all the server really cares. DH suggests, though, by default because it makes it easier for beginners, and some advanced users, to know what directory belongs to what website.

If you want to run it on a separate domain name and not have any problems, that won’t work, no. However, if you do it the way I suggest, you 1: won’t need the /joomla because everything will be in the top level directory underneath the or whatever, and it will be out of If you want to test your changes, you could set up a subdomain on either or on the DH-provided domain that will mirror until the nameserver changes take effect, then delete it.

I guess, the major question you have to ask yourself here, though, is do you want to host the one domain as a kind of subset of the other? Under the system you’re thinking of implementing, people could go to either domain name–well, once the second one catches up with your changes on DH–and end up at the same place. Would it not just be easier to pick a domain to host the site from? A lot less configuration on your part, and then if you decide to cancel for whatever reason, you won’t be doing a panic dance trying to figure out how to save your other material. I think, once we know what it is you’re trying to do, we can all better assist you.

Yes, I have an opinion.

Get a minimum 50% off with the “haveadreamyday” promo code, and… have a dreamy day. Original, no?

Well, I’m back to zero again!

I’ve just spent about 3 hours waffling around on DH wiki, DH forum, google, etc. trying to find out how to get the shell prompt from Apache. When I enabled myself through the panel to get shell access, after a while all I was able to do was get another panel, an ftp which had no shell command access.

Again, the language problem. If you don’t know the very beginning, you ain’t going to get in.

I remember clearly that years ago I got into unix (that is another ancient history story, but I was a consultant for the Bell System and had an account on the research computer at Bell Labs when the first UNIX ran on a DEC machine) through a terminal program. I get into DH through my ftp program, but I could not get any kind of prompt through ssh stuff I tried. Just don’t have the key…