Installing Multiple Versions of WordPress on the Same Account, But Masking Them to Appear as Different Domains
If you have a web host, like Blue Host, you can have different domains (called add-on domains) that point to different subdirectories within your host account. In this post I explain how to set this up. It's a bit confusing and I've never seen instructions on configuring this.
Let's say I want to have two sites, one called johndoe.com and the other janedoe.com, and I only want to have one web host. The root domain of the web host could be anything, such as www.idratherbewriting.com (my domain). To set this up, here's the basic procedure:
- Call up your web host and register two add-on domains, such as johndoe.com and janedoe.com. It may cost $10 or so to register them. Then it takes a day to kick in. Of course these add-on domains need to be available domains. I'm using johndoe and janedoe as generic examples.
- Tell them to point johndoe.com to subdirectory idratherbewriting.com/johndoe. Point janedoe.com to subdirectory idratherbewriting.com/janedoe.
- Now go into your host's cPanel, and use Fantastico to install WordPress in the two add-on domains. In the Install in Domain drop-down box, select johndoe.com. Leave the Install in Directory field blank. The fields should appear as follows:
When WordPress installs, the add-on domain folder will appear in the public_html folder in your file directory. So if you access your file directory via FileZilla (or some other FTP program), and then go to /public_html, you'll see a folder called johndoe. That's where your WordPress files are installed.
Within the WordPress admin dashboard, go to the Options tab and you will see that your add-on domain appears in both the WordPress URL and the Blog address (URL) fields.
You can log into your add-on domain blog by going to johndoe.com/wp-admin.
Users will be able to go to johndoe.com and janedoe.com and navigate them without realizing that they are really subdirectories under idratherbewriting.com.
Special thanks to Ryan at BlueHost tech support for walking me through this. Support at BlueHost is excellent, which is probably why they're at the top of the recommended hosts list at WordPress.
About Tom Johnson
I'm a technical writer / API doc specialist based in the Seattle area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.