Moving Wordpress site to different domain within same DH acccount

wordpress

#1

We have a client who has theirsite.com set up. They decided they would rather have theirsite.org. Both domains are registered to a single Dreamhost account. Is there a way to “move” the Wordpress site from theirsite.com to theirsite.org without having the site be down for any length of time?

We are referring to the Wordpress Codex instructions for moving a site and would plan to create a theirsite.org folder to move the site into. Our concern is that an earlier effort resulted in both addresses being down.

In addition, we are in the process of mirroring the site. It’s finally beginning to show up but when you click to go to another page, it’s sending you back to .com. If the mirroring settles down, might that be all we really need to do? Or should we also update the Wordpress database? Or none of the above?

Apologies, I know this is similar to several posts within the forum and though many sort of pointed us in the right direction, none really gave us an answer we were completely comfortable with. Any insights would be greatly appreciated.


#2

This is really pretty straight forward. The basic areas that need to be addressed is where the files are served from, there’s more than one way to address this but the fastest is a simple rename on the server. Second, is as you mention, the need to update the links in the database.

Now the 3rd piece, making both links active. The correct way to do this is with a 301 redirect and not mirrors. Use of mirrors will result in an SEO penalty, meaning google will penalize you for this in search rankings. A 301 redirect will get all your visitors to the site, display the preferred URL in the address bar, and not earn duplicate content penalties.


#3

I agree on the redirect/mirror. We initially had a redirect from .org (their new preference) to .com (where the site files are) until they decided they really wanted to be .org. So once we solve the switch, we’ll redirect from .com to .org.

Not to sound as green as I am, but is “a simple rename on the server” renaming the folder the files live in (plus the database update)? And will that not result in waiting hours for propagation since we will be switching the hosting from .com to .org?

Thanks.


#4

You can actually leave the files in the same folder and your redirect as is.

Domain.org is pointing to /home/yourname/domain.com, right?

The easiest thing would be a database search and replace: domain.com -> domain.org

That will tell WP that it’s new name is domain.org, and really that’s all you need to do.

If you wanted to move it, you could be really lazy and just rename the domain.com folder to domain.org, and update your panel to point there instead. You’d still need to search/replace the db to tell it to stop thinking it’s name is .com of course, but there wouldn’t be any DNS propagation issues involved, since you’re not really moving anything nameserver wise or even serverwise, you’re just renaming folders.


#5

Done correctly it shouldn’t at all, but yes most likely there will be some interruption depending on how it’s DNS’d going into it. you have to get .org fully hosted to start with. So hard to give specific advice when there is more than one way to do everything, so speaking generically it’s pretty hard to cover all the basis without knowing exactly how it is now.


#6

Domain.org is mirrored at the moment. This sounds like the right path but to be sure, by updating the panel, you mean in Manage Domains, under Users, Files, and Paths, make the address at “Web directory:” domain.org? Plus change the database, of course.
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Since the DNS is identical for both domains, DNS shouldn’t factor into it, should it? Right now, both domains are in the same Dreamhost account with domain.com fully hosted.


#7

Precisely :slight_smile:

As long as you’re not changing the server IP (like moving to another server), I don’t think there would be any DNS downtime.


#8

We’ll give this a shot and I’ll let you know how it comes out. Thank you so much!


#9

We did the database search and replace, renamed the .com folder to .org., and removed the mirroring. The .com site comes up fine but now we are getting the Dreamhost error id: “bad_httpd_conf” site unavailable message at the .org address. Update: now we are coming up with can’t find the server intermittently although that page hangs onto the favicon!


#10

That sounds like DNS population blarrghness.

You may want to edit that site’s DNS and just hit the refresh to push the change out.

You can also check at http://www.whatsmydns.net/ to see if the IP is right.


#11

I tried refreshing the DNS almost immediately and two days later, it hasn’t helped. I’ll try it again. I also went to whatsmydns.net. The .org DNS (the one we want to work) comes up with red Xs while the .com (where the site is fully hosted) comes up with green checkmarks.

I think I’m going to submit a ticket to support because this looks like it’s beyond me. We are still seeing either the bad http page or the server not found page when we go to .org. Thanks for your help.


#12

Is the .org set up as Fully Hosted?


#13

The red-x’s are why it’s not showing up.

Before opening a ticket, go in to the DNS settings for the bad (.org) domain and see what it’s set up to. You may need to force-refresh it.