Support » Fixing WordPress » staging site 404 error and security warning

  • Hello there,
    I am trying to make a copy of the website and copy it to a development subdomain so that I can work on a staging site rather than the live site.

    I have gone through all the steps that I normally do. I have copied the files, exported the database from the production site, and imported it to a new database, which I have linked to in wp-config, and before all that I created a subdomain on the new domain.

    When I go to the new subdomain – as you can probably tell, I get a security warning about the SSL certificate. I am not sure why that would be, because the production domain has SSL.

    Then (as you can see) when you click through to view the site, you will get a domain webmaster 404 page and not the development site.

    Could anyone please help me to solve both of these issues?


    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by Jan Dembowski. Reason: Moved to Fixing WordPress, this is not an Everything else WordPress topic

    The page I need help with: [log in to see the link]

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
  • That isn’t a 404 page you are seeing…

    That is the default server page from your cPanel trying to tell you the subdomain is installed. There is probably an index.html file in that directory keeping WordPress’ index.php from running. If you remove that file then your WordPress will try to run if it’s there or else you will get a 404 error.

    If you get the 404 actual error then you’ll be able to determine if the 404 is from Apache or WordPress… or else we can help you further with that.

    Since it’s a staging site for your use only you don’t really need the SSL unless you want it. I’d just drop a maintenance plugin in there to show everyone else the maintenance page except for logged in Admins.

    Or you can then get the SSL to work if you wish…

    Hope this helps!

    Hi @jnashhawkins

    Thanks so much for your reply. I appreciate it!

    I have searched high and low in the development91 directory and can’t find an index.html file.

    Also when I try to load I get a 404 page.

    Could you possibly help to work out whether this is Apache or WordPress? I don’t know how to do this.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    That’s a cPanel default page so that’s Apache giving you that instead of running the WordPress so you either have some index page other than WordPress’ index.php there or the directory is totally empty and Apache served up the default cPanel index page.

    Maybe you have installed your WordPress into the wrong directory or a subdirectory under that subdomain’s webroot.

    Your web host should be able to help you sort this out also.

    Thank you!
    I think your logic is sound, and I haven’t uploaded the files to a subdirectory within the subdomain.
    I really appreciate your help @jnashhawkins and yes, I have written to the web host for advice.
    Cheers for now,

    Well, when I looked at the URL for the admin I see the 404 which makes me wonder about the files a bit but if a default index is running instead of WordPress’ index.php then that is what I’d expect also…

    Make very sure you installed the files in that subdomain’s directory. That subdomain’s directory would have to have some kind of index file and that’s the key to what I think we are seeing.

    It’s sometimes a real challenge to get things in the right places to get them ‘off the ground’.

Viewing 5 replies - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)
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