How to set up a domain redirect using cPanel

By | February 22, 2015

Why do a domain redirect from your cPanel?

If you have a hosting account that uses cPanel, you can do domain name redirects yourself, for free. Some companies actually charge for this service. For instance, Hostnet.nl, which I only use as a to buy cheap .nl TLD domains, charges €0,50 per domain name per month to redirect them.

Now, that might not seem like much, but it could really add up if you have multiple domain names you want to redirect, for a very long period of time.

For example, redirecting 10 domains for a year would cost you €60 extra. It’s completely unnecessary to spend money on this, so I’m using the method described in this article as a workaround.

Also, if you buy domain names from your webhost directly, using your cPanel is probably the only way to set up domain redirects.

Apart from that, using the cPanel will give you the flexibility to change your redirects any time; some of the services the registrars offer, don’t.

Full video instructions:

Adding the domain names as an addon domain

First, you’ll have to transfer the domains to your hosting account. It doesn’t matter where you buy your domains names, just make sure you transfer their DNS to your webhost, and add them as an addon domain. For a full instruction on how to do that (using Namecheap and Hostgator) see this article. Once you have the domain added as an addon domain, there are some additional steps in setting up the domain redirect in your cPanel.

Setting up the redirect

Log into the cPanel of your webhost. Scroll down until you see the ‘Domain section’. Here, click on ‘Redirects’.

Cpanel-domain-tools

This will bring you to a page where you can set your domain redirects. In this example I’m going to forward internetmarketingstartpage.com to IMstartpage.com.

On this page you’ll have to set the type of redirect, select the domain you want to redirect from the dropdown menu, add the domain you want it to redirect to, select whether you want to redirect ‘www.’, and if you want to use wildcard redirect.

domain-name-redirection-hostgator-cpanel

When you’ve filled out everything, click ‘Add’ to add the domain redirect. You’ll now see a message confirming the redirection has been added.

domain-name-redirection-hostgator-cpanel-done

Note: it might take a while for your domain redirect to start functioning. If you have followed all the steps in this article, it will work, so just be patient.

Type: 301 or 302 redirect?

A 301 redirect means a website is moved permanently (for instance, from the old domain to the new domain), and a 302 redirect means it has been moved temporarily. In most cases a 301 redirect is what you need. Especially if you’re moving an existing site to a new location, as a 301 redirect passes over off-page SEO value from your old domain. The fact they’re ‘permanent redirects’, doesn’t mean you can’t delete or change them later.

Only if you are, for instance, doing maintenance on your site, and want traffic to your site to be redirected to another page during this time, it’s best to use a 302 redirect.

Domain to redirect

Select the domain you want to redirect from the drop-down menu. For a domain redirect, leave the box on the right empty, as this will specify a subfolder to redirect. This means that when visiting the root domain, you won’t be redirected.

Redirect www?

I can’t really think of a situation where you wouldn’t want to both redirect the domain with the www., or only without www. So, use ‘Redirect with or without www’.

Use a wild card redirect?

Using a wildcard redirect means you’re also redirecting your subfolders. This is especially useful if you used moved your site to another root domain, but kept the same structure intact.

For instance, if you had a blog at oldcompanyname.com/blog, and moved the entire site to your new domain, newcompanyname.com, typing in oldcompanyname.com/blog will redirect to newcompanyname.com/blog, the new location of your company blog.

In most cases, I recommend using a wildcard redirect, because even if the newcompanyname.com site got rid of the blog, visiting oldcompanyname.com/blog will at least get the visitor to your new website, even if it’s to a 404-page.

For example, when visiting internetmarketingstartpage.com/asdf, this is what you would see:

Using a wildcard redirect: Without a wildcard redirect:
Example-404-page

Example 404 page from my website. From here, people will hopefully be able tonavigate to the info they’re looking for on my website.

Example-404-page-without-wildcard

Without the wildcard redirect, the visitor will see a 404 page from your webhost, and won’t reach your website.

Links

Moz on redirection types
Add a addon domain using cPanel

 

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