I am attempting to install CiviCRM 5.33.1 on a fresh WordPress 5.6 install. Installation and activation go fine, and I get to the installer page at /wp-admin/options-general.php?page=civicrm-install.

The reason for this new install is that we need to partition CiviCRM to a subdomain on the same shared server as our main site. So I edited the CiviCRM Database setting to use the same DSN as is in our current civicrm.settings.php file, which looks like this:

mysql://[DB user]:[password]]@[server]:[port]/[DB name]

(The CiviCRM database is separate from the main WordPress database on our main site.)

Then I click Apply. The page redirects to /wp-admin/admin.php?page-CiviCRM&q-cificrm&reset=1, which has the title CiviCRM Installed, but then immediately displays the message Sorry, you are not allowed to access this page. That sounds like a permissions problem, but CiviCRM, nor the civicrm folder in wp-content/uploads, isn't installed, contrary to the title of the page.

I can't imagine that it's a problem with the Civi DB DSN, since I copied it directly from the current installation. Or could it be? But how can I figure out what the problem is?


1 Answer 1


I think you need to add an extra step or two. See https://docs.civicrm.org/sysadmin/en/latest/misc/switch-servers/ for more details

  • Deactivate old version and backup a copy of the CiviCRM database from the old install

  • Do your install in the new location and then activate with a new (empty database)

  • Rename the old Civi database as temp, restore the old database, rename the restored database as the new Civi database (and set up user as it was before).

  • Rename temp back to old Civi Database and reactivate old install so that it continues to work.

  • If you have changed to a subdomain you may need to edit some other resource settings.

I think the reason you need to take this approach is because of the settings stored in the database. I did quite a lot of trial and error to work it out in my environment (some odd things happened with my hosted server and subdomains.

  • Well, something in here worked, but I'm not quite sure what. Thanks for the suggestions. Definitely not something that is easy or intuitive! May 26, 2021 at 0:36

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