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How To Forward Domain For Web


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Don't know where to post this. Also don't know if this is really a support call/email.

 

Background.

Our Church has their domain and hosting through TCH however my wife has been building web pages using Homestead for the past 2'ish years. We have a redirect setup on our domain so when someone types in our URL it changes to the homestead acct. For certain things that take a lot of disk space (sermons in MP3 format, pictures, etc) we link to our Church's web server on TCH. Our email server is our TCH domain server.

 

We're about to launch a 'new' layout. Started many months ago trying to do it in Dreamweaver but all the quirks, steep learning curve, and general weirdness made us look at Homestead to see if we could do the new site using their tools. Yep! Looks like what we want, easy to maintain, no major quirks.

 

The problem.

- We would like to keep our domain name and not have it change to say www.homestead.com/blah blah blah.

 

Writing to Homestead this was their response.

 

You can keep your existing domain registration and point your domain

directly to your Homestead site using CNAME pointing. You will need to

contact your domain provider or registrar with technical information in

order for them to update your domain settings. Please follow the two steps

below in order to complete the pointing of your domain name.

 

-------------

Step 1: Contact your current domain provider or registrar and request the

following record be added to the domain "zone file" associated with your

domain. (Please replace "exampledomain.com" with the exact spelling and

extension of your own domain name.)

 

www.exampledomain.com IN CNAME websites.homestead.com

 

Step 2: Send an e-mail message to: hostmaster@homesteadsupport.com. The

SUBJECT of the e-mail should state 'Use of Existing Domain without Transfer'

and the BODY must include:

 

*Homestead login name

*Your domain name

*Homestead site you want to associate with your domain name.

-------------

 

Once we receive your e-mail message, Homestead will make the necessary

changes to support the domain. Please note that this can take up to one

week.

 

Questions:

- Can someone explain this to me in layman terms (I'm a technical person, but not in web stuff).

- Will this actually work?

- Will our email get screwed up since now our domain would be pointing to Homestead?

 

TIA.

Dave

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Hi Dave, welcome to the forums :)

 

Basically they are asking that you have the DNS ( The thing that tells a browser where your website is ) edited to point part of it at homestead. IF you open a ticket at the help desk, we'll do it all for you.

 

You won't lose your email, we'll just change the info for browsers, leaving your email here.

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Basically they are asking that you have the DNS ( The thing that tells a browser where your website is ) edited to point part of it at homestead. IF you open a ticket at the help desk, we'll do it all for you.

 

Thanks! I didn't know that was possible -keeping the URL still showing as our domain on a person's browser, yet be actually looking at pages on Homestead.

 

What happens once someone navigates away from the front page? I'm guessing subsequent pages would have the full homestead URL in the address bar?

 

Dave

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Hi Dave, welcome to the forums :)

 

Basically they are asking that you have the DNS ( The thing that tells a browser where your website is ) edited to point part of it at homestead. IF you open a ticket at the help desk, we'll do it all for you.

 

You won't lose your email, we'll just change the info for browsers, leaving your email here.

 

Okay, I've been thinking about this and I'm still confused.

 

Say my domain name is www.wysiwyg.org, hosted by TCH and my Homestead main page is www.joe.homestead.com/index.html

 

Before this DNS change I already have a redirect on www.wysiwyg.org so that people that visit that page are redirected to www.joe.homestead.com/index.html.

 

At www.joe.homestead.com/index.html I have links that when clicked sends the person to www.wysiwyg.org/MP3, or www.wysiwyg.org/photoalbums/photos.html since I have much more disk space on TCH than on Homestead.

 

Now I go through this DNS change/domain forward to Homestead.

 

- When a person types in www.wysiwyg.org, what will they see in their URL bar?

- What happens when a person clicks on a link in the Homestead page that previously pointed to www.wysiwyg.org/MP3s or www.wysiwyg.org/photoalbums/photos.html.

 

In other words will I still be able to have web pages on both Homestead and TCH after this DNS change? (I understand mail won't change, but what about web pages?). Or am I now stuck with putting all my big files on Homestead?

 

Dave

 

 

It if helps at all, please view the existing web page

 

www.venturavineyard.org

From there click on 'past sermons' then pick a sermon or 'photo gallery" and then choose "russia trip video".

Notice how the source of the files bounces back and forth between TCH and Homestead.

 

Based on viewing these real pages, what will happen when the DNS changes?

 

TIA,

Dave

Edited by Probedude
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Hi Dave,

 

If you make the DNS change, so that it goes to homestead, then your hosting will be at homestead ( not with us).

 

If you want to have a mix at both places, then the best thing to do is have a redirect, as you do now.

 

Thanks, that's exactly what I needed to hear. I was going crazy trying to figure out how it could still be both ways.

 

Dave

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  • 2 months later...

Sorry to bring up this old thread but the subject was brought up today at a meeting.

 

Just so I can relay the information onward correctly, please tell me if this is correct (please read post #1 for background)

 

- Using CNAME pointing if I have www.venturavineyard.org point to http://dschmidt.homestead.com/, then if user types in www.venturavineyard.org they will be taken to http://dschmidt.homestead.com/ instead yet their URL box will still read www.venturavineyard.org (which is what I want).

- However in doing the step above, I have now lost the ability to host files on TCH since Homestead is now hosting www.venturavineyard.org (for example I couldn't have a file stored under a TCH acct and have it sourced from www.venturavineyard.org/sermons/july-2007.mp3)

- Also in doing the firest step above, I have now lost having email accounts hosted on TCH using "@venturavineyard.org" since this now resolves to Homestead.

 

 

Is all three items above true if I have CNAME pointing done to have www.venturavineyard.org go to http://dschmidt.homestead.com/ ??

 

Dave

confused again.

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One and Two are true - Three is not.

 

Making the changes will not affect where your email goes.

 

One other option .... you could create a subdomain say sermons.venturavineyard.org which is hosted with us. Then if you linked to sermons.venturavineyard.org/july-2007.mp3 for example, it could still be hosted on our server .... if that makes sense ?

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One and Two are true - Three is not.

 

Making the changes will not affect where your email goes.

 

One other option .... you could create a subdomain say sermons.venturavineyard.org which is hosted with us. Then if you linked to sermons.venturavineyard.org/july-2007.mp3 for example, it could still be hosted on our server .... if that makes sense ?

 

Oh, that would be fantastic! I really want to keep TCH because of the storage and unlimited emails but I also don't want to have cryptic domains.

 

Just to reiterate to make sure I have this straight in my head, I can have www.venturavineyard.org go to Homestead and be masked so it remains www.venturavineyard.org in the URL box, and I can have a subdomain of sermons.venturavineyard.org that would automatically resolve to TCH?

 

If so, I'm off to figure out how to do a subdomain!

 

Dave

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I think I finally have this figure out!

 

I thought that doing the CNAME pointing to Homestead would mean that if someone type in www.venturavineyard.org, then they would go directly to Homestead instead of going to TCH first.

 

But what really happens is that www.venturavineyard.org still resolves to TCH, but that TCH then redirects to www.dschmidt.homestead.com. This is why mail.venturavineyard.org would still work as would sub-domains from venturavineyard.org.

 

Do I have this right?

 

If so, this is the key part that I kept missing and couldn't understand how this all works.

 

Dave

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Okay, I did it! But I have a small problem I don't understand.

 

 

www.venturavineyard.org now goes to Homestead and our website looks fine and our domain name stays in the toolbar.

 

To get to Cpanel and Webmail, I tell my users to leave off the www. part so that it goes to TCH.

On the website, sermons (MP3 files) I have linked to 'venturavineyard.org/sermons/blah.mp3' and that works fine.

Even Word doc files on TCH can be linked as long as I leave off the www. part of the link.

 

 

However, this link doesn't work and I don't know why. I have photo albums in venturavineyard.org/images and they won't come up.

 

For example, this link doesn't work

venturavineyard.org/images/VRoom_2006

 

This gets redirected to Homestead!

 

Why would this be?

 

TIA,

Dave

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That looks to be because you have a rewrite rule in your .htaccess to force adding the www to the URL.

 

Andy, I took a look inside my .htaccess file and the only thing I saw in there was a rewrite/redirect for the .COM domain to the .ORG domain. I should not have put WWW. in front of the URL if it was coming in as venturavineyard.org

 

Also if the www was getting added to the URL, it wasn't getting added to all the other files I'm accessing on TCH in the other directories, like printed forms, sermons (MP3's), word docs. They all come up fine. I'd think that the .htaccess would have put www. in front of all the links.

 

That said, I removed the rewrite/redirect from my .htaccess file, cleared the cache in Firefox and IE6.

 

Now when I try to get the webpage http://venturavineyard.org/images/VRoom_2006/ if I copy it into freshly opened IE or Firefox, I get the page fine, but if I try to click on the link from the website, it comes up with an error.

 

Go here http://www.venturavineyard.org/Vroom.html and click on the picture above the text "Vroom March 2006".

 

Doing that I get an error.

Very confusing.

 

Dave

Edited by Probedude
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Add a trailing "/" to your link on the Vroom.html page and it will probably load.

 

That was it! Thanks!

 

I don't understand why but I see on other links the wife gave an actual destination file like index.html whereas for this problematic link only the folder name was given.

 

Dave

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That was it! Thanks!

 

I don't understand why but I see on other links the wife gave an actual destination file like index.html whereas for this problematic link only the folder name was given.

 

Dave

If you specify an actual destination file, the server serves that file. If you specify just a folder name, the server goes to the folder and looks, in order, for file names that can be the default page to be served for that folder. That page is called the "index page" for the folder. I don't know the order used on TCH servers, but as an example, common index page names are:

 

index.html -- If the server find that, it serves it. If not, it looks for...

index.htm -- If the server find that, it serves it. If not, it looks for...

index.php -- etc...

 

If the folder contains no file in the server's search list, then, depending on whether the server is configured to do it, it might serve an automatically generated index page that shows the names of the files in that folder. It's just a list of files.

 

If it can't do that, I don't know what it does! It might serve a blank page?

 

 

As a side note, you're using a mixture of upper and lower case letters in your file names. It is best to use all lower case. Page names are case sensitive. For example, if your page or folder is called VRoom, you must be careful to always use exactly that capitalization in your links. A request for vroom or Vroom would fail. Upper/lower might be easy for you to remember, but if someone is typing a URL in their address bar, they're likely to get it wrong.

Edited by SteveW
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