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Bluehost domains and sub-domains
Ken Piper
Forum Posts: 6
Member Since:
December 1, 2012
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November 29, 2014 - 2:51 pm
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Yesterday, I created a development sub-domain following Rick's video seminar.  I was doing it for my primary domain.  I had apparently done so previously with another domain on Bluehost, but I did not see the existing development directory.  The development domain that I created is empty, even though I went through the file and database copy steps in the video.  I don't know why Bluehost arranges their directories as they do.  I have two "add-on" domains, and which points to  I have a "parked" domain that points to the primary website (  I don't remember why that one is "parked."  It seems to function the same as the others.  The kenpiper add-on and the parked site do not have directories, as they just point to the other sites.

The Bluehost directory structure is very confusing. Bluehost places the add-on site directories as sub-directories under the public_html directory of the primary site, rather than having all the sites (including the primary) at that directory level, which would make more intuitive sense.  The development directory looks just like the first add-on directory, so it is not obvious what site it is a development for.  I think I know why they have this structure, which is that it was an easy way to add functionality to an existing structure.  But I have been programming for 45 years and I would not have taken that short-cut.

Today, I looked through several of the Bluehost cpanel sections.  If I look at the sub-domains, I see that there are four, and that the add-on domains are considered sub-domains.  The "parked" domain is not listed.  Subdomains include the add-ons, and  Then there is a development sub-domain that is and a development sub-domain that is  However, both of the development directories have the same document root (public_html/development), which is clearly a problem as they are supposed to be development for different sites.  I think I probably caused this problem when I previously created a development sub-domain for the add-on  I never finished the process, so that would explain why my site is empty.  However, there was nothing in the process I did yesterday that indicated it was having a problem copying files and database to that existing directory.

I think my next step is to remove the development.kennethpiper sub-domain and re-create it as a sub-sub-domain under kennethpiper (if that is possible).  Then I guess I need to re-copy everything to the development.kineticpotentialenergy sub-domain and hope that works.

I just tried using the file manager to move the development directory to under kennethpiper to avoid removing the existing development sub-domain.  It seems not to work, as I then get an internal server error when going to the site.  I moved it back and got it to work again. I will go back to removing the development sub-domain for kennethpiper and start over.

Any advice?

Rick Anderson
Desert Hot Springs, CA
Forum Posts: 13637
Member Since:
November 8, 2009
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November 30, 2014 - 11:18 am
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Your observation about their file system is correct.  They automatically place all files related to the main domain under public_html and then create a directory for each subdomain and addon domain also in public_html.

This is the "traditional" C-Panel arrangement.

I would simply create a different directory under public_html - something like dev-kinetic - and point your subdomain to that folder.  This is an easy thing to do under Manage Subdomains.

In the future you need to make sure that any new subdomains do not have the same name as an existing directory under public_html

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