Joomla Install Question

I have installed a number of joomla sites once the URL is hosted by DH, but I have a client who wants to map his domain name after the joomla site is up and running. I could use a soon-to-expire domain that is hosted in my account (or subdirectory) to install the DB and software, and then when the client’s domain is pointing to the DH servers mirror that. But I am then using two domain names. Is there a better way?

Here’s what I do:

  1. Before the client’s domain is pointing to DH server’s, I create a subdomain in the panel (say"dev.some_domain_i_own.tld" or “”), filling in the website directory information with the domain name the client will be using to access the site. This creates a directory “clients_site_name.tld” in my machine user space.

  2. I build, test, and populate the site with initial content using the subdomain I created in step 1. I’m careful to only use *relative urls" when “hardcoding” links within content items to other locations within the site (not really ever needed, but thought I would mention it just in case :wink: )

  3. I create “clients_site_name.tld” domain in the Control panel, specifying the same directory I used for the “development” subdomain.

  4. When client is ready to “launch”, he point’s his DNS to DH’s nameservers, and I wait for it to “propagate”.

  5. While waiting for it to be accessible, I edit the configuration.pgp file and correct the variable $mosConfig_live_site to reflect the new url. Additionally, if I decide to, I’ll create a new MySQL host via the Control Panel with the “new domain name” and edit the $mosConfig_host variable after the new hostname has propagated - this step isn’t necessary, but sometimes I like to have the hostname match the domain name. :wink:

  6. Once the site’s is available via DNS, I open the site’s Administration panel at the new url, and check the Site Global Configuration screens to adjust things as needed; check Database–>Hostname (if I changed it), Cache–>Cache folder (if used), etc. to account for the new “home”. of course, I could have done this before “flipping the switch” on the DNS change (though the site wouldn’t work properly at the “dev” url at that point). Either way works depending upon which url you want to be “misconfigured” for the few minutes it takes to make the configuration.php/administrator changes.

  7. If I have used SEO, I tweak the .htaccess file to correct as needed.

This has worked really well for me. No re-directs involved, can develop “online” using a temp url, and “going live” takes about 5 minutes.

Of course, there are a lot of variations to this, such as just renaming directories and editing the configuration.php, or just using a separate subdirectory under machine user forsubdomain, and pointing the client’s domain name there, etc. - it’s all good!


Thanks for all these options, although it does sound daunting.

The question is changing as the client is willing to have a coming soon page while I work on the Joomla site. I think there may be a way to do that from within Joomla. I am looking to see how that would work. If that doesn’t, it is worth it in time for me to buy the .net which is available and build the site there, then map the .com to it.

No problem, and though I know it may sound daunting, it’s a lot easier to do than it is to explain. :wink:

The “coming soon” thing is exceptionally easy, and requires no additional domain or redirection:

Just place a “coming soon” page in an index.html file, and place it in the directory that contains the Joomla! install.

The server will find the index.html file and serve it when someone browses to the page. When you are ready to display your Joomla! site, just delete/rename index.html, and the Joomla! site will load from the index.php site that drives it. As index.html is found before index.php, this is an easy way to “mask” a developing site.


Hello Folks, I’m new around here. I just wanted to echo rlparker’s comments. It’s easier than it sounds…

I’d set up a dev site under and autocreated the folder and mysql. I then bought the domain for my client and left it “coming soon”. I’d set up the ftp as the client for both domains. I was about to start cloning when it dawned on me that if I renamed the prod domain folder to .bk and the dev folder to the prod domain name, the prod domain would be pointing at the dev site… Voila! Light dawns! I could have altered the live paths in configuration.php and left it like that, but I went the whole hog and switched the mysql host as well.

Best wishes

:wink: It really is easy, and is very flexible…I probably screwed up explaining it.