Joomla Development for Existing Site

I have an existing domain which is served by DH. I want to develop a new version of the site which will use Joomla! instead of static HTML pages. Some guidance would be appreciated - here is what I’m trying to accomplish:

  1. Install Joomla! on DH so that the site will not be visible to search engines until I want it to be.

  2. Access the site for development purposes using a url that can’t be discovered by search engines.

  3. After development is complete, switch the domain to serve up the Joomla! site.

I think domain mirroring might be involved, but I’m just not sure. I want to be able to develop the new site using Joomla! in parallel with the existing site so that the existing site continues as it is right now.

TIA for your help! Ernie

Well as far as search engines this may help you

You also can password protect your directories by going to your control panel under goodies->htaccess/webdav

Since your main concern is not having your content published to search engines I would just take steps listed in the wiki under blocking all bots. then when you are finished just alter your robots.txt file accordingly so they will crawl your site when you are ready.

So if I am understanding this correctly, here is the steps I would do:

  1. Install Joomla! to a folder on my existing site using the DH One-Click Install.

  2. Block access to that folder for search engines using the steps in the Wiki article.

  3. Access the site at during my development

  4. When I’m ready to make the switch, change my domain so that the root folder of now points to

You don’t have to install joomla to a subfolder. You can just install it to and use robots.txt as listed in the wiki article to block all bots from indexing your website. When you are ready for your site to be indexed simply change that one file. It will have no bearing on you (or the average joe stumbling across your site) as far as functionality and accessibility. It is simply to stop search engine bots and just a matter of using Disallow: / or just removing “/” in the file - which allows everything (or deleting robots.txt altogether after you are done really)

My thinking on using a subfolder is that I don’t want to disturb the existing site while I’m developing the new site. Joomla! will create an index.php file which may load first instead of index.shtml (I’m not sure where to find the hierarchy for index.* files). Also, blocking / would then block my existing site from search engines.[hr]
I just went back to review the DH wiki on Joomla! (!). They actually cover this situation in the “Prepare to use Joomla! for the first time” section. They recommend using a “staging site” on a subdomain. Where I’m having a problem is with understanding how you change to become after you want the staging site to become the main site.

That’s easy. You just FTP into your account and rename the folder to something like and then rename the folder to You will need to update your configuration files for your joomla install to reflect the change in url.