Swap Domains


Is it possible to swap (change) domain names between two sites?

I had a hosted blog at wordpress.com and decided to move it to DH so I could add plug-ins, edit templates, etc.

So I used a temporary domain name and started to build the blog here. I used the XML export/import to move everything over here, and when I have it built out in the new and improved form I want to use the domain name I was had at wordpress.com (using domain mapping) here.

It may be obvious, but I have myself so confused looking at two identical blogs and trying to configure things my mind can’t get itself around what I need to do to replace the xyz.com domain name currently assigned to my new blog with the old abc.com that I was using.

Can anyone point me in the right direction?


Sounds like you want a 301 Redirect at your old site pointing to your new one.

It involves editing the .htaccess file at your old site.

Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://
newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]


Sounds like a possibility, thanks for taking the time to respond.

Oh, wait, no it’s not. I moved from a hosted blog at wordpress.com to DH where I can manage it myself because you can’t edit such things as the .htaccess file (or anything else). Besides, I don’t want to have a this site daisy-chained to the old one for reliability reasons.

I guess the real question is, "Can DH simply swap my old URL to the new site here?

Hmmm, here’s a thought . . . my old blog used domain mapping. The domain name is actually registered at godaddy.com and mapped to my wordpress.com blog. Seems like if I simply unmap it then the domain name is available.

So the question is, can a site/blog change domain names, and if so how do I ask DH host to do it. Seems like changing the name should be possible. What’s not obvious is how to have DH make the change.


Did you use a one-click install?

If you didn’t, it is straightforward to reconfigure your wordpress installation here to have a different domain name and then to switch the DNS mappings to reflect that too.

Even if you used the one-click install of wordpress, you can do the switch. You’ll just lose the one-click install “status” and will have to do upgrades manually (which isn’t that hard at all either).

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Yes, I used the advanced one-click install. The site seems to be all there. I still have some tweaking to do before we take it live, and so the old hosted site remains the one who is knows about and to which the DNS points.

So once I’m ready to out this new one on the air I guess I just change the DNS and wait for it to propagate, eh? Long as they’re mirror copies of each other there should be know apparent downtime, although I may have to snag a comment or two from the old one and wait to create any new posts until the transfer is done.

Sound right?


Well, it depends. Do you want the original domain name in the browser address bar when users are perusing your blog or do you want the new domain name (the one you said was “temporary”)?

My understanding of what your current plan is leads me to believe that you’re going to redirect users from the old domain to the new domain. That’s fine, but I just want to make sure you’re getting the exact behavior that you want.

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I created a new domain here at DH with the same name as the one that’s live at worpress.com. (In a fog, I’d created another one with a different name here, and that somehow contributed to my confusion.)

So, to be specific, undress4success.com users are currently being sent by whois and DNS to undress4success.wordpress.com (where, thanks to domain mapping, they see undress4success.com.)

When I have the domain built out here, I’ll go to godaddy (the current registrar) and change the DNS from wordpress.com to dreamhost, specifically to the undress4success.com domain I’ve set up here.

Sound right?

Only problem is I can’t work on the site here with the Wordpress dashboard using the domain name (because it’s mapped to wordpress.com).


Aha! That clears everything up for me!

[quote]When I have the domain built out here, I’ll go to godaddy (the current registrar) and change the DNS from wordpress.com to dreamhost, specifically to the undress4success.com domain I’ve set up here.

Sound right?[/quote]
Yup, that will work exactly as you think.

You can edit your /etc/hosts file on your local machine to add an entry for undress4success.com that will “override” the official DNS entry. That way, when you go to undress4success.com in your browser, you’ll go to your dreamhost site instead of your wordpress.com site. Under windows it’s c:\windows\system32\etc\hosts. You can get the IP address to use by inspecting the DNS entry for your domain under “Domains>Manage Domains” in your Dreamhost panel.

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A huge help all the way around.

I sure appreciate your knowledge, patience, and time.


Glad to help out!

BTW, don’t forget to remove the entry once you make the change permanent. It’s embarrassing to have found that you’ve submitted a ticket about how your site isn’t working when what’s really happened is that you have the stale override in your hosts file. :slight_smile:

What are [color=#CC0000]50DISK50[/color], [color=#CC0000]3DOM50[/color], and [color=#CC0000]1IP1DOM50[/color]?
They’re Dreamhost coupons!