For a long time now I've been wanting to move my domains from hostmonster.com to bluehost.com. Various reasons. So since bluehost offers a 30 day money back guarantee, I bought a 3 year, shared domain hosting package, and with a little help from tech support used their CPANEL to create some add on domains.
So I told them I wanted a way to test websites before moving going to my registrar and moving my DNS. So they gave me a test string, which I don't mind sharing.
http://box5915.temp.domains/~pixyland/ (Put back-ticks around it so
"~" shows up -- MOD)
Although it seemed to work at first, I soon realized that all references to the root "/" in any mages, CSS files, JS files, etc, were failing. So I created a very simple test. A folder called "Images" containing one image called "a8.jpg"), and a simple INDEX.HTML file that looked like this...
<body bgcolor="PINK" >
<h1> test image..., src="/Images/a8.jpg"</h1>
<img src="/Images/a8.jpg" width ="200" height="200" border="2" alt="">
<h1> same test image..., src="./Images/a8.jpg"</h1>
<img src="./Images/a8.jpg" width ="200" height="200" border="2" alt="">
Well if you look at this file using the test link (see above) what you'll see is that the top image instance fails to load, while the second instance works. The difference? The top instance references the root "/", while the lower instance references the relative path "./".
Unfortunately this means testing any of my real sites will be impossible. that is, unless I want to change dozens of references on hundreds of pages for everything from style sheets to JS files to calls to PHP scripts... everything except maybe some explicit references in my meta tags is done with root references. And the test strings with my "add on domains" tacked on have the same trouble.
I think the worst thing about this is that it has revealed that bluhost tech support is just as bad as hostmonster. It took 6 calls to tech support just to find someone to give me the "boxxxxx.temp.domains" string, and 4 more to tell me they won't help because its a "code" problem, which they won't help with. But I believe there's nothing wrong with my simple test code, and that it is a server configuration problem, which leads me to some questions I WISH tech support would answer for me...
1) What is the point of the "temp" test url if root "/" references don't point to the domain's root? Shouldn't there have been HTACCESS entries way below my "public_html" folder, to ensure that "/" references start at the designated domain folder?
2) it is POSSIBLE that the root "/" will NEVER point to the directory root until I move the DNS servers?, in which case (again) what's the point of a test access url?
3) If I need to be able to test my REAL site on your server before moving the DNS at my registrar, shouldn't there be a simple way I can configure a local .HTACESS file so that all references to the "/" root are redirected to reference the relative path "./" instead? Again, whats the point of a test access if this can't be done?
4) Finally, and perhaps the biggest question, should I bolt and take my money back? if I'm not understanding, shame on BLUEHOST tech support for not explaining my incorrect understanding. On the other hand, if BLUEHOST has obviously done something wrong here, shouldn't there be way to get tech support to fix it?
Of course I could just take one of my less used domains, move the DNS over, and see if things are better. But I'll call that a last resort. I have 30 days to decide, and my current existing account at hostmonster doesn't expire till late august. I'd really like to save hundreds of dollars with BLUEHOST's lower prices, but what's the point if I end up having to put in 1000 hours of re-work to make a website work on their system, not to mention downtime of the site until its all done!
Thanks for any help!