URL redirection

URL redirection or URL forwarding is a system that directs one domain name to another. For example, when you search wikipedia.com or wikipedia.net, it is automatically redirected to wikipedia.org.

Redirection is useful for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • if you have several domains but only one website, redirect them all to it
  • send your customers to your social media account while you're building your website
  • shortening your URL
  • to prevent broken links when web pages are moved

Below are instructions on how you can redirect your domain, or specific pages within your website, to another URL. There are several different methods you can use to achieve this based on what kind of hosting you have.

If you do not have Domain Manager or a web-hosting service (like cPanel or Cloud) you will not be able to set up URL redirection from inside your account.

URL redirection for Domain Manager and Cloud Hosting

Our Domain Manager and Cloud Hosting (no longer sold) plans include a service called URL Redirection. This allows users to point their domain to another URL. To set up URL redirection, follow these instructions:

Log in to your account
Click Manage next to the domain you want to make changes to
On the next page, look for Domain Name, if your domain has a product that supports redirection there will be a Domain Redirector menu option beneath it
In the Redirecting URL field type the URL you wish to redirect your domain name to, and then select [Update redirection] We recommend turning cloaking Off

Please note, for our redirection service to work either your Name Servers need to be pointing to us or you need to have the A record ( added to your DNS host (the company your Name Servers are pointing to).

Enable 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, 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
  • Some sites will not load if cloaking is enabled

Disable cloaking

We recommend users 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 documentation 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 a web hosting space for your domain name, there is a number of different methods of URL redirection that you can use.

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 PHP

Create a .htaccess file (example: index.htaccess) and add 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 .htaccess

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

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

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