Some notes on Multi-site WordPress and Add-on Domains

In my posting One approach to creating a landing page, I talk about using a web hosting server (i.e. Gator, or GoDaddy etc..) to house multiple domains, which works fine.  But there are some gotcha’s when setting it up or moving a WordPress site from one location to another.

Here’s the sequence that I think works best for minimizing rework.

  • In all cases, I recommend writing down the steps as you do them, so you can retrace your steps if something goes of kilter.
  • Purchase your new domain(s)
  • Login to your web host account using cPanel (if you don’t have cPanel, its unlikely you have sufficient control over your web server to install multiple domains
  • Navigate to “add-on” domain and add your new domains. Note: When you enter your “NewDomainName.com” the Subdomain and Directory will auto-populate.  You could adjust these values but its likely not needed.

  • You can add multiple add-on domains. Check with your hosting provider recommendations on the size of your host and how many and and what web activity your server supports.
  • Next install WordPress into the directory (or directories if you installing multiple and separate WordPress instances) See Installing WordPress.
  • Login and validate the new WordPress works; and add All-In-One WP Migration from ServMask.
  • To create your site, I recommend using DesktopServer from ServerPress to setup your site on a local computer first.
  • Go ahead and use DesktopServer and build your site; when your ready also install All-in-One WP Migration in your local machine.
  • Follow the  All-In-One WP Migration video instructions (that is part of the plugin) and Export from your Local and Import to your Host.
  • Validate it works (and if it doesn’t be calm and think through the process.)

As for the gotchas, you can just change the name of a directory. In my case I’d installed “labelreviewq.com” and got everything working. I then purchase “checkmyfoodlabel.com” which I wanted as the main entry point to the site. I added my new domain via add-on domain. I then renamed my directories and setup a redirect to point “labelreviewq.com” to “checkmyfoodlabel.com”…What I forgot to do was change the wordpress homename and site_url (see WordPress Changing the SiteURL)

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