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Redirect URL to External Server keep domain name in Address Bar

Posted on 2005-05-13
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
I am currently moving a website from one host to another and have a problem.  The website is physically not relocating from the 3rd party where it resides.  I need to redirect the www.bluemoutainhonda.com to www.hondadealers.ca\bluemountainhonda without the users seeing the redirect.  I am doing it now with a .htaccess file which works but I want the original domain (www.bluemountainhonda.com) to show in the address bar after the redirect occurs.  I have been talking to "technical support reps" at the new hosting company, who are no help at all.  What exactly should I tell them to do to fix this?
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Question by:ClassyLinks
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by:humeniuk
ID: 13998666
As far as I know, this is the first post I've seen on E-E from Collingwood :)

One way to accomplish this is with some form of domain masking.  However, this is often not a good idea as it can cause problems with search engines.  Are you required to use the www.hondadealers.ca hosting?  If not, I'd recommend you use your own hosting company.
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by:ClassyLinks
ID: 13999049
I am required to keep the hosting as it is done by Honda Canada not the individual dealers.  The dealership controls their own email and internet connections which are both working fine.  Any other ideas?
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by:humeniuk
ID: 13999939
If you're required to use their hosting, are you required to use their URL, ie. for branding purposes?
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by:humeniuk
ID: 14045003
Classylinks,

Many apologies for the delay.  Perhaps you can clarify a few things so that we can help you determine the best course of action.

First,  if you're required to use their hosting, are you required to use their URL, ie. for branding purposes?  (if this is not a requirement and you can get some co-operation from the destination site, there may be a way to do what you want to do)
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by:ClassyLinks
ID: 14046854
Have you guys heard of Honda?  The car manufacturer?  I have no control over these 2 URLs. I have to use their hosting.  Honda does not have anything to do with the dealers email and therefor I am forced to host it elsewhere.  Let me further explain, the email is hosted wt Bluemountianhonda.com with Sympatico.  The webpage must redirect invisibly to hondadealers.ca/bluemountianhonda.  The only question is how do I redirect invisibly so that the address bar remains www.bluemountainhonda.com??
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by:humeniuk
ID: 14046955
" Have you guys heard of Honda?  The car manufacturer?"
What's a car?

"I have no control over these 2 URLs."
If you have no control over www.bluemountainhonda.com, how would you be able to configure a redirect?

"I have to use their hosting."
If you agreement with Honda requires you to use their URL as well as their hosting (which is often the case in such situation), then we are not allowed under the terms of the E-E guidelines to help you circumvent that agreement.

"The webpage must redirect invisibly to hondadealers.ca/bluemountianhonda.  The only question is how do I redirect invisibly so that the address bar remains www.bluemountainhonda.com??"
Unfortunately, that's not the only question.  The methods used to do this are very likely to result in a penalty from Google and other search engines as they regard domain cloaking (which is often used to try to 'trick' search engines into giving higher rankings) as potentially deceptive.  Likewise, search engines tend to penalize 'duplicate content', so if your website is available at both hondadealers.ca/bluemountainhonda and bluemountainhonda.com, you risk additional penalties.
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by:ClassyLinks
ID: 14085845
Please delete the question.  Obviously, I have not been able to explain what needs to be done adequately.
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by:ClassyLinks
ID: 14087589
There is no curcumventing any agreements.  What I have explained is exactly what Honda says we have to do.  We have to have our own server for the email and they host/supply the website.  Honda is the one telling us to have the bluemountainhonda domain redirected to their template page.....they just don't tell us how to accomplish it with the bluemountainhonda.com domain remaining in the address bar.
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Accepted Solution

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humeniuk earned 1600 total points
ID: 14087807
Perfect.  Thank you for the clarification.

There was another question about this recently, so I'm going to borrow my own comment from there:

"If you regsitrar offers DNS services, you will be able to use their configuration to forward your domain.  Some, but not all, registrars that offer DNS services also offer some form of domain masking or cloaking along with their forwarding service.  This would accomplish what you are looking for.  Precisely how to do the configuration itself depends on what registrar you end up with.

If you haven't selected a registrar yet, take a look at www.godaddy.com.  I have a number of domains registered there and can confirm that they offer this service.  Their prices are competitive (.info names are $6.95/year) and I have always found them to be reliable and easy to deal with.  Also, if you register your domain there, I can walk you through the steps when you are ready to configure this.

If you end up with a different registrar, ie. one that does not offer these sorts of services, you can use a third-party DNS service that does, like www.zoneedit.com, for example.

However, there is one very important side-note to all of this.  Search engines are not fond of cloaking.  If you use this method on a long-term basis, you will likely end up with some sort of penalty or even having your site banned from any (relevant) search engine listing."

(source - www.experts-exchange.com/Q_21435415.html )

The warning about search engines is something you should consider.  One important way to deal with this is to make sure that the destination website (in this case www.hondadealers.ca/bluemountainhonda) is not accessible to the search engines.  In this case, the destination site is already listed on Google.  Therefore, setting this up will mean the site as seen with your new domain will be considered duplicate content by Google and will either be penalized or simply not listed.

The masking/cloaking itself is unlikely to be relevant provided that you don't use it to include hidden pages intended to be seen by the search engines and not your users.
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