Wordpress Parallel Install

I’ve come to my senses and decided to abandon my custom CMS in favor of WordPress.

I’d like to get WordPress running and customized while the live site continues to function as normal.

I’d like to maintain the permalink structure we currently have. And ultimately not be forced to have wp in a sub-directory.

I am not concerned about data import/export. It is only a couple months of post and I can do it manually.

Any advice on how to install WordPress without affecting the live site and then switching to it later would be appreciated.

maybe you can set up wordpress in a temp subdir, set it up, import all the entries of your current site, tweak it and then back up the database. Then remove the install of wordpress and your current site and install wordpress in the rootdir of you site. Then restore the backup to the new database of wordpress.

I don’t know how it will go for the permalinks.

just a thought

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It seems to me the best way to approach this would be to use a sub-domain (something like “dev.yourdomain.tld”?) and install your WordPress installation in that directory.

That way, it will run from the “base” directory of the domain, so you can tweak you permalink structure until you are happy with it, and not have to worry about twiddling about with re-write rules that may have to change when the site goes live.

When all is the way you like it, just rename the “yourdomain.tld” directory to something else, then rename the dev.yourdomain.tld to “yourdomain.tld” and you are "good to go; in the meantime, both sites are fully available from a browser.

I’ve done this many times when “staging” sites, and since you are hosting both domains as the same user, it’s really easy and convenient.

edit: This paragraph is not accurate - thanks to Raz2133 for pointing it out :blush: . Bear in mind, you will need to install WordPress yourself, rather than a “one-click”, as “one-click” installation requires a completely empty directory to work (and your new “dev.subdomain.tld” will have some stuff, like Maildir, logs, some hidden files, etc in it). This, however, is really easy (wordpress.org) and should not present any problems for you (I mean, after all, you are using your “own” CMS now!).

You will have to make a small “tweak or two” in your WordPress config file after the renaming to account for the url change. If you consider this to be a minor issue, you should like this approach as you have the advantage of being able to develop the sites completely in parallel :slight_smile:


Excellent post and good advice rl (as usual :slight_smile: ).

The sub-domain approach is exactly what I would use and have used in the past.

I do have one query regarding your post though;

Wouldn’t these directories/files be one level up, in the user’s home directory? In my experience, a newly created yourdomain.tld directory is completely empty.


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Yikes! Thanks, Mark for the nice comment on my post AND for catching my “screw-up”. You are absolutely correct; I must have had a “5 AM (PST) Brain Fart” on that one. :open_mouth:

The one click should work fine in the new sub-domain as those files I referred to are going to be “up a level”. Thanks for setting me straight on that one (and making life easier for the original poster!) :slight_smile:


Thanks guys. I am going to try this out the with the sub-domain. I’ll let you know how it goes.

hehe, I experience the same thing on some mornings, well most mornings actually, at least until I have my caffeine fix :slight_smile:


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