404 Not found when trying to add subdomain

I have a simple domain and want to add a subdomain to it for staging purposes. I have a droplet where I installed Apache and the regular domain "" works perfectly fine. Now I want to add a subdomain "" but it returns a 404 Not found. What am I doing wrong?

First, these are my DNS records. I added * with the right IP-address (See below)

I went on the server and added within /etc/apache2/sites-available with the following:

<VirtualHost *:80>
	ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
	DocumentRoot /var/www/website_staging

	ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
	CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME} [OR]
RewriteCond %{SERVER_NAME}
RewriteRule ^ https://%{SERVER_NAME}%{REQUEST_URI} [END,NE,R=permanent]

I’ve followed this tutorial to add a SSL certificate to that domain

And that all went fine but it said something already exists. I also followed this tutorial to add the domain.

I restarted apache using sudo systemctl restart apache but whenever I try to reach that domain it says 404 not found.

When I ping the domain it returns the right IP address and error.log return the following:


[Sat Jan 30 22:17:13.320880 2021] [mpm_prefork:notice] [pid 83354] AH00169: caught SIGTERM, shutting down
[Sat Jan 30 22:17:13.512393 2021] [mpm_prefork:notice] [pid 83632] AH00163: Apache/2.4.41 (Ubuntu) OpenSSL/1.1.1f configured -- resuming normal operations
[Sat Jan 30 22:17:13.512501 2021] [core:notice] [pid 83632] AH00094: Command line: '/usr/sbin/apache2'

What am I doing wrong? Am I missing something?

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Accepted Answer

Sure @bobbyiliev I didn’t know my question went through. The actual solution had something to do with the SSL document root path not being synchronised with the regular path. The path in sites-available/staging.rainierlaan.conf was /var/www/website_staging while in sites-available/staging.rainierlaan-le.ssl.conf the path was still /var/www/html. I changed the path and did sudo service restart apache2 and it worked again. Hopefully this answers your question!

Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
Site Moderator badge
February 1, 2021

Hi there @Rainierlaan,

I can see that your staging website is already working as expected. Would you mind sharing with the community how you got this working?

Usually, this could be due to file permissions. If Apache does not have read access to the document root of your website it might fail to load the files from there.

Regards, Bobby

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