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301 Redirects on Parallels Plesk Control Panels?

Posted on 2009-04-06
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I am using Parallels Plesk Control Panel 8.6.  This system allows you to set up domain aliases or new domain with hosting, http forwarding, or frame forwarding. None of these are 301 redirects, so all have SEO problems.

domain.com (website)
domain.net -> domain.com (301, with no physical hosting)
domain.org -> domain.com (301, with no physical hosting)

I can set up a new domain, with physical hosting and install .htaccess in that hosting folder that will do proper 301 redirects, but this seems like huge overhead to just forward a domain.

I have full control over the server including DNS for all domains if CNAME or A Records are a possibility.

So, is there an alternative on Parallels Plesk Control Panel 8.6 that I can use to forward my domains using a 301 redirect WITHOUT creating a new hosting account for each domain?
Question by:sitecreations
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Accepted Solution

crm911 earned 250 total points
ID: 24177515
I'd say that if you can't see it in the control panel, it ain't there. :)

A CNAME is a bad idea because that allows both domain names to show duplicate content. It also increases the DNS lookups and HTTP GETs in some situations.

A ServerAlias won't present a proper 301 and is not a true redirect. It will look like a 302.

In the DNS you would place an A record for .net and .org to point to the .com's IP address. It is better to host .com on a different IP. (If you think there are any pre-HTTP/1/1 clients in use today - I don't worry about this personally.)

Apache is assumed here.

In httpd.conf you would have:

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} domain.net$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} domain.org$
RewriteRule ^/(.*) http://www.domain.com/$1  [R=301,L]

The slash is needed after ^ in httpd.conf. I haven't tested the above but it should work.

Expert Comment

ID: 24215578
I'm in the same boat as sitecreations here but I'm a little unclear on the solution suggested.

Are the .net  and .org domains added to plesk as normal but without physical hosting? Or do I add them with physical hosting and then create the .htaccess files for each? (It was my understanding that sitecreations wanted to avoid this).

I think you are proposing that once the A record of the "child" domains point to the .com IP address it is enough to update the httpd.conf as outlined. Am I right?

I'd appreciate any detail you could provide for the solution you are proposing crm911 or even if sitecreations could verify if this worked.

Many thanks.

Expert Comment

ID: 24221879
Adam_Eterno, I use cPanel and not Plesk, so I can't be sure but adding the domains via Plesk will effectively host them, which the OP is trying to avoid. It isn't a hardship, but I think he wants the elegance of not needing to host just a .htaccess file.

You would buy the spare domains and point the A record to the IP address of the canonical domain. You don't touch Plesk (again I don't have it, but am trying to imagine it like cPanel). If you bought the domain at GoDaddy, then you can set the A record there. Or if you have a dedicated server at a host like like Planet, you get an interface that lets you add a domain and change its A record.

Expert Comment

ID: 24223507
Thanks for the response crm911. I understand the A record changes for my child domains but once the A records are changed would I update the httpd.conf on the parent server as you outline?

(My server uses a shared IP for 20 domains of which the parent domain is just one so I would need tell plesk about these child domains in some way.)

Thanks again.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31567285
it is difficult to justify new IP addresses for this purpose with our host.  Plesk should provide a method for dealing with 301s.

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