A client wants to change their Wordpress theme and have created an addon domain to facilitate this. Their intention is to make the updates on the addon domain and then switch the old domain to the addon domain when ready. The client does not want any downtime so changing the theme on the live site is not an option.

I’ve copied the files across to the subdirectory where the addon domain has been created, copied the database and changed siteurl and home in wp-options to the addon domain url. My next step was going to be to change the guid to the new url so that attachments are handled correctly for the addon domain.

Because the new site is in an addon domain (and a subdirectory) I can’t simply update the DNS and point the existing domain to the addon domain. So when the site is switched I think I have 2 options:

  1. Redirect the old url (which is the url that is used in publications etc) then I would need to add a rewrite rule in the htaccess file like this. This would mean I wouldn’t need to update all the attachments again.

  2. Update the home directory of the existing site to point to the subdirectory of the addon domain. This seems like the simplest but will probably still require a rewrite.

Which option is preferable and what pitfalls have I not spotted?

NB: I find the concept of addon domains a bit weird and think it would be much simpler to put the updated site on a separate machine and just switch the DNS (if downtime is not an option)

  • To be honest I kind of not get the downtime problem, because if the new theme is fully compatible with content and structure of the site, then switching the theme - after you have developed it somewhere else - is a matter of seconds. Granted, I assume with this, the theme actually only fulfills presentational tasks. – Nicolai Dec 18 '14 at 22:29
  • Yes and then I could just ftp any other updated files across. There are minor css changes (like 3 lines) so it wouldn't need more than a few minutes to check everything is working as expected – br3w5 Dec 19 '14 at 7:31

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