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Lost domain name, need to change the URL (5 posts)

  1. timidjester
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    I handle hosting for a small ISP, and one of my customers has a pretty unique problem.

    We hosted the site, but the name was registered through another company. The person that used to manage the site on the customer's end dropped the ball and the registration expired. It has since been picked up by a squatter and they don't feel like paying $600 to get it back. The old URL is gone.

    They registered a new domain name, through my company, and they'd like to move the site to the new name.

    While I'm at it, I'd like to migrate the site to our newer hosting platform, because the older one can't handle newer versions of PHP and can only update WP to 3.1.4. This part can wait till after the site is fixed though.

    The problem is, we can't browse to the site, so we can't do anything in the wp-admin interface. I can get at the DB through the hosting platform, but I'm not sure how many places the URL is stored in there. I can get at the site files through FTP, but don't know how many places have the URL there either. And of course I can do whatever I want with the DNS.

    Anybody have any ideas that don't involve many hours of labor on my part, or rebuilding the site from scratch on the customer's part?

  2. WPyogi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 years ago #

  3. timidjester
    Member
    Posted 2 years ago #

    Already tried most of those. Unfortunately, a lot of them require that you browse to the site. Again; no domain name, so use of a browser is out.

    Another fun quirk I just noticed; the hosting platform won't allow me to change the name of a domain that's already set up on it, so browsing to the new name wouldn't work either.

    The more I look at this, the more I think it's a lost cause.

  4. catacaustic
    very awesome
    Posted 2 years ago #

    The use of browser isn't out. It's actually quite easy to access the site from your local PC.

    All you need to do is modify the hosts file so that the expired domain name points to your hosting servers IP address. When you do that it will over-ride any DNS settings and your PC will look for the iste directly at your server. I've done this for a few testing sites, and it's a very easy thing to do. Once you get that going you can do whatever updates you need to to get the site set up how it needs to be.

    Of course if you don't want to do that, you can transfer the site to the new server, set up the new domain to point there, and when it's all resolved, you can make the changes on the new site.

    Both of those are very easy things ot do, especailly when you're the one that's looking after the servers.

  5. I can get at the DB through the hosting platform, but I'm not sure how many places the URL is stored in there. I can get at the site files through FTP, but don't know how many places have the URL there either.

    @timidjester: See Moving WordPress « WordPress Codex and WordPress Serialized PHP Search Replace Tool

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