Last week I opened a hosting account and now I've created/deleted WP about a dozen times without getting what I want so I thought I'd ask before trying again and hitting another issue.
I used WordPress MU Domain Mapping plugin.
I have a A.com hosted in WP.com. I have a spare domain, A.org that want to redirect to A.com once done. A.org is unused right now.
I want to move A.com to self hosted. I can use A.org to test. Eventually I will also move other sites from WP.com to self hosted.
Stuffups I did (just to remind me not to do them again)
Hosted A.com. Couldn't install/test WP until I pointed NS to new host. Not acceptable since site is live and has visitors. Couldn't use this at all until support hacked the install to use the ip/~user/.
Put A.org addon/parked domain on above host, installed WP single/multi. A.org works fine, but couldn't transfer it to A.com once done.
Got another host that gave me a sub.craphost.com. Setup multisite. Got everything working. Parked
A.com and set to site 2. It was fine except all images had sub.craphost.com/..../site/2/... Didn't like either parts of that URL. Also that host was down 33% of the time. If I ever move hosts I can't copy DB over since it has sub.craphost.com coded into it.
For some reason at WP.com images are site.files.wp.com/... and doesn't look like that at all.
Hosted A.org at yet another host. Setup multisite. Got everything working.
Then realized site 1 had the /blog/ slug. Hacked that away (not sure of side effects).
Then realized cannot map domains on site 1. So the best I could do was redirect A.com to A.org. That's the wrong way around.
Put A.com addon domain on above host. Tried to install WP single site there. Couldn't get it to work due to WPMU at base dir.
Deleted all that and tried to install single WP on A.org and A.com subdir. Realized that again doesn't give me anything to test with before going live.
Here's what I think I should do now:
Hosted at A.org. Create subdomain in cpanel wp.A.org which is in /wp/ subdir. Script install WPMU to wp.A.org. That part should work.
Park domain A.com and redirect to /wp/ subdir. (Not sure cpanel allows this)
Redirect A.org to /wp/ subdir. (Don't know how to do this or whether it works at all)
At wp.A.org turn off site 1 somehow. (WP.com can make site private, but couldn't see the option in WP.org)
At wp.A.org install site 2, say site.wp.A.org. Use WordPress MU Domain Mapping to map both A.org and A.com to this. Import old site and get it all working. I can test using both wp.A.org and A.org.
Once it's done I can set A.com as primary, point NS to this host, and have A.com working.
The files will still be suboptimal wp.A.org/..../site/2/... and it can't be fixed. This will be a problem in future if I need to move hosts, I have to guarantee the order of sites are same.
But I can continue to create more sites and map new domains in future. Eg make site 3, map B.org and test, then map B.com to it.
Alternative which I don't think will work:
Hosted at A.org. Park domain A.com. Install WP single on A.org. Get it working.
Hack DB etc to point to A.com once it's done. Seems very fiddly but advantage is that file urls will be A.com/file once done right?
When I need a new site I addon domain B.com. Install WP single on it. Can't test it though. It has to be live WHILE I'm testing. I can't put multiple addons in the same subdir.