View Full Version : Basic Domain/Subdomain Questions

10-26-2007, 01:55 PM
So I've got some questions that may be rather elementary from what I'm seeing being discussed in the forums, but I want to make sure I'm doing stuff right.

I'm in the process of transferring over multiple websites and subdomains from another host and am looking for the least amount of downtime possible.

* Is there a specific folder that I need to put the directories in?
I've gleaned from other threads that var/www/'uniquefolder' is the placement of choice. Is that absolutely necessary or can I (for organizational purposes) put the folders anywhere as long as the root directory reflects this in the site manager?

* Also, I've never transfered subdomains before, so once I transfer over the DNS info to westhost for the parent website will all the subdomains follow as long as they have the same name here as they did before?

* In regards to mailservers, this may be juvenile, but is there anything I need to do to transfer that stuff? I've created new users here on westhost that reflect everything set up currently. When I transfer the domains will the email traffic automatically be re-routed as well?

* Finally, I've heard comments of an easier way to copy over files, something about creating tar files? If anyone has ideas they'd like to explain to a semi-laymen about that it would be appreciated.

I think I've got a handle on this stuff but I want to make sure nothings going to hit the fan when I transfer over the nameservers.

Thanks for helping me with my first big transferring,

10-26-2007, 06:10 PM
Your questions are not as basic as you may think. :) Multiple domains on a WestHost account can take a bit of work depending on what you need.

To answer your first question, you can put your secondary domain files anywhere you want to on your account as long as the root for that domain is pointed to the same place. One thing to remember that because of some default settings in httpd.conf some things that work in your main domain directory of /var/www/html well not work in other places. One example of this are .htaccess files. You have to make some manual changes to your httpd.conf to activate that ability. There are some other things that may not work as you expect but can also be "activated" by editing your httpd.conf. Guidance can be given to you on this if you let use know what you might need.

Your subdomains should transfer, in answer to your second question, if you have added them to your main domain via the Site Manager.

Third question can get a bit complicated. :) Mail for multiple domains can require manual editing of things depending on what you need. Have a look at this thread to give you an idea of what I mean. http://forums.westhost.com/showthread.php?t=6674

To tar files you normally need SSH access to both your old account and your new account. West Host provides this ability, do you know if your old account does? If you have all the files on your computer you can actually even zip them and transfer them to your West Host account and then use a command in SSH to unzip them. If you have access to both via SSH there are even ways you can log into one site and have it grab the files from the other account without ever downloading them to your local computer.

If you have the ability you may want to change your DNS for the main domain first then do the secondary domains one at a time after that. It would take more time but would allow you to check each change for any problems and fix them before moving on to the next.

10-29-2007, 05:17 PM

That's all very helpful info.

I may run into problems with .htaccess files and the like down the line, but I think I'm ok for now on placement of the additional directories. Thanks for letting me know about this though.

Good news on the subdomains, thanks for confirming that.

Yeah, I've read that thread about the emails, helpful indeed. I've gone through all my users and email addresses currently set up and I think it's all lined up and ready to go, most of the addresses are specific to a single domain but I don't see much harm in if the username is universal for the different domains, I think a couple of my coworkers will probably think its really cool and I did that on purpose :)

As for the tar thing, I've been trying to avoid the whole SSH thing for a while but I think this might finally mean I need to sit down, do some research and get my hands dirty in it. Thanks for the starting place, now I at least know where I need to go.

Finally, yeah, I'm going to transfer them over one at a time, I think that's very wise advise.

Thanks for your comments Shawn,