URL redirection

Categories Domain NamesDomain Administration Tags htaccessredirectdomain namesdomains

URL redirection or URL forwarding is a system that directs one domain name to another. For example, when a visitor types in wikipedia.com or wikipedia.net, they are automatically redirected to wikipedia.org.

URL redirection can be used for URL shortening, to prevent broken links when web pages are moved to allow multiple domain names belonging to the same owner to refer to a single web site.

Below are instructions on how users can redirect their domain name or specific pages within their website to another URL. There are several different methods you can use to achieve this  based on what kind of hosting you have. Please select the kind of hosting you have:

URL redirection service for domain name holders and cloud email hosting

Our Domain Manager and Business Email Hosting plans include a service called URL Redirection. This allows users to point their domain another URL using an application available within the Console. To activate URL redirection, follow these instructions:

  1. Log into your Account
  2. Manage the domain you want to make changes to
  3. Click Redirection under Settings
    If the Redirection icon does not appear within the Console, you may be subscribed to a plan that does not include this service, please call customer service for further assistance
  4. In the Pointing URL field type the URL you wish to redirect your domain name to
  5. Click [Change Redirector]

You can also enable or disable cloaking from this page. The pros and cons of enabling and disabling cloaking when performing a redirection are explained below.

Enabling cloaking

Cloaked redirection hides the fact that the user is being redirected. For example, if a visitor goes to www.example.com and that domain name is using cloaked redirection to redirect the visitor to www.my-free-website-with-a-long-domain-name.com/user1234/profile0.html, they won't know. When they look at their browser, the title of the page they are on will continue to show www.example.com.

Although this type of redirection is useful if used for branding purposes, we don't recommend it. The downside of using cloaked redirection are:

  • Users will not be able to bookmark specific pages on your website
  • Your ranking on search engines may suffer
  • If your website uses an SSL certificate, you may not be able to redirect to it properly

Disabling cloaking

We recommend users to disable cloaking. When cloaking is disabled, a 301 redirect will be performed. This means when a visitor goes to www.example.com, the URL in their browser will simply update to the URL they are being redirected to. The visitor will know they're being redirected and will usually start using the new URL when they want to visit again. This method of redirecting is more search engine friendly and allows visitors to bookmark specific pages within your website.

URL redirection for cPanel hosting

For more information on how to use the redirection options within cPanel, refer to the video tutorial available on the Redirection page within cPanel. To get to this page in cPanel, as well as how to add in a redirection, follow these instructions:

  1. Log into cPanel
  2. Click on the Redirects icon
  3. Select the domain as well as file or path you wish to redirect from
  4. Type in the URL that you wish to redirect to
  5. Select from the available parameters
  6. Click [Add]

URL redirection using website code for Cloud hosting services

If you have web hosting space for your domain name, there is a number of different methods of URL redirection that you can use.. 

Note: If you have a cloud hosting service with NR and wish to redirect to another domain name you will need to use website code to achieve this

Using website code, website developers are able to redirect specific pages or entire websites from one URL to another. Below are examples of code that can be used to perform 301 redirections from one URL to another.

301 redirect using ASP.NET

Create a .aspx file (example: index.aspx) and add in the code below. When this is added to your website, any visitors to that file will be redirected to the URL that is entered into the code below.

<script runat="server">
private void Page_Load(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
{
Response.Status = "301 Moved Permanently";
Response.AddHeader("Location","http://www.new-url.com");
}
</script>

301 redirect using PHP

Create a .htaccess file (example: index.htaccess) and add in the code below. When this is added to your website, any visitors to that file will be redirected to the URL that is entered into the code below.

<?
Header( "HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently" );
Header( "Location: http://www.new-url.com" );
?>

301 redirect using .htaccess

Create a .htaccess file with the below code.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Place the .htaccess file into your root directory. The above code will redirect all visitors to the site where the .htaccess exists to the new URL you enter into the .htaccess file.

Redirect non-www to www via .htacess

Create a .htaccess file with the below code and change yourdomain.com to your domain name

  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yourdomain.com [NC]
  RewriteRule ^(.*) http://www.yourdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L] 

Place the .htaccess file into your root directory. The above code will redirect your domain to its www record.

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