View Full Version : Pointing multiple domains to my site
08-26-2009, 07:17 PM
I became a Bluehost customer today and successfully moved my WordPress site here. I own 5 more domains that I want to redirect to this site. They're all registered elsewhere. I've pointed them all to Bluehost nameservers, but haven't been able to figure out a way to get them to redirect to my site here. I tried the Redirect tool on cPanel, but it apparently can only work with domains that have been associated with cPanel. I can't figure out how to do that. I don't want to transfer the registrations here; just put redirects in place.
Can anyone help?
You should be able to do that at the registrar's website. I use GoDaddy to register my domains (but never host there!). Within the domain control area/panel, access the domains in question and redirect from there.
Domain Fowarding, if I recall correctly, also allows masking, whether temporary or permanent (not sure, it's been a while).
08-26-2009, 07:40 PM
Or, if you've already pointed the nameservers at bh, all you would need to do is assign those domains.
Go to Domain Manager
Click 'Assign a Domain'
Follow the steps :).
After that the domain will be associated with your account.
08-26-2009, 08:38 PM
Thanks, guys. Yes, the second alternative is preferable to me because I'd already pointed them to BH nameservers, and because I want to be able to track their traffic separately. I got hung up on a step in the cPanel Assign sequence before, but I just redid it and got all my domains to point to my primary site.
A test shows they're all working, but I notice the browser address bar shows the referring domain, not my primary domain that I pointed them all to. Does anyone know if it's possible to get it to show the primary domain instead (if arriving from a redirect)?
That's called domain masking, and because I'm unsure if it can be enabled here at BlueHost, I directed you to the registrar's website.
If you find something in cPanel called Domain Masking, enable it and enter the domain name you wish.
08-26-2009, 08:57 PM
Thanks, JND. I checked but don't see any masking options in Domain Manager, and a search in Help didn't turn up anything. Looks like I have to choose between masking & being able to do separate analytics on them! In which case I choose the latter.
Although to be honest, I have yet to confirm that BH will track their traffic individually. I just enabled analytics on them all, but it'll take a while to kick in. It's possible it'll just pool them all and produce one report on the pool. I'll find out soon enough...
I know *nothing* about using Google Analytics. So I surely can't help you out there. But for those interested in the former (and since I was in the midst of preparing this), here are the GoDaddy details to forward your domain names using masking:
My Account --> My Products --> Domain Manager -->
Click Desired Domain -->
Forward --> Forward Domain --> Advanced Options --> Forward with Masking
Enter desired details (Title/Description/Keywords)
How convoluted! But that gets the job done quite nicely, although I don't believe the statistics are anything near what you are interested in. For myself, it was just a matter of redirecting one domain to another.
08-26-2009, 09:48 PM
Just to clarify, I was referring to Bluehost’s analytics, configurable from their cPanel. I too know nothing about Google Analytics, but I’m gonna check that out, too. Anyway, thanks for the GoDaddy masking instructions, JND – I may end up using them!
Why not submit a support ticket or phone BlueHost and ask if they have a mechanism to enable domain masking? It can't hurt any; they may have something similar.
You didn't say whether or not you actually registered through GoDaddy. You said, "[...]end up using them" rather than "go back to them". If you did originally register with GD, it's just a matter of entering the parked Name Servers again. If you didn't, I don't know if your registrar supports this. You might want to first investigte that avenue. Propogating can take as much as 24 hours or more, depending on stuff.
Anyway, I think EricJ's response is probably the easiest way to go, but going that way might mean losing domain masking.
And regarding statistics, I really only use the raw access logs and monitor them frequently. I do have the other cPanel statistics programs enabled, but rarely use them. My wife likes them though. So with respect to analytics programs (BlueHost, Google or what have you), I'm out of the loop.
08-26-2009, 11:36 PM
Thanks again, JND. On your suggestion, I just entered a support ticket and will see what BH says. Of the 5 domains I'm redirecting, 3 are registered on GoDaddy and the other two on ICANNWholesale. The latter's interface looks exactly the same as GoDaddy's, so I'm guessing both have the same redirect options.
As for analytics, now that I've got 6 domain names pointing to the same site, I'd like to know what proportion of my traffic comes from those 6 pipes. That's all. I'll be pointing all my SEO at my primary address; I'd just like to know what, if anything, the feeder domains are contributing. Hopefully I'll be able to find that out though whatever analytics are available.
08-27-2009, 07:51 PM
Just as an interim update -- I got a reply soon after filing my support ticket, but they said to use "Add-on" domains instead of "Parked" domains. But that doesn't make sense -- Add-on domains are for "a domain name that points to a different subdirectory on your account." That's not what I want; I just need my other domains to redirect to my primary domain at its root (and be masked).
I replied to them but haven't heard anything back yet. Will update the thread when I do.
08-27-2009, 08:05 PM
Erm... Just so you know, Bluehost doesn't support domain masking..
If you want your domains to Redirect, you'll need to assign them as an addon, and then create a redirect.
Parked domains just point to your public_html folder..
08-27-2009, 08:27 PM
OK; then maybe ďmaskingĒ isnít the name for what Iím looking to do. As described above, I just want to point a bunch of domains to my primary domain so that when someone types in one of the forwarding domains, it redirects to my primary domain and leaves the latter in the browserís address bar. Parking was doing that except for the part after the and.
Are you saying this will happen if I do Add-ons and then redirect to my blogís root? And it doesnít matter which of my subdirectories I initially point them to because itíll be countermanded by the redirect?
08-27-2009, 10:29 PM
OK, I heard back from BH Support, and I finally have put in place what I was looking for, though it was a bit of overkill to get it. I had to create 5 empty subfolders for the 5 domains I wanted to point to my site, associate them with the 5 domains, and then enter redirects both for the 5 domains and for the 5 empty subfolders. There's likely an easier way to do this, but this is what I did based on the info I was given, and it works (redirects leave my target domain in the address window, not the redirecting domain), so I'm done!
08-27-2009, 10:36 PM
You ought to be able to do it using parked domains and then setting up the redirects manually in the .htaccess file. You just need to make sure that the redirects are specific so as to not set up a loop. Presumably support suggested the "empty" folder method since the .htaccess files in those folders can do the redirects without having to be as specific in the way they are coded so that you can just use the general redirects that cPanel can generate instead of having to hand code.
08-27-2009, 10:58 PM
Thanks for the suggestion, Stephen. Now that Iíve got a solution in place that does what I want but is less than optimal, Iíll look into simplifying it as you suggest. Agreed that simple & efficient solutions are best!
08-29-2009, 06:11 AM
While it is true that there is no tool in the cPanel for Domain Masking, it is still possible, it just requires that the code be entered manually. This article provides the code: http://www.quickonlinetips.com/archives/2005/02/secrets-of-domain-masking-how-it-works-for-you/
Parked v.s. Addon matters primarily upon where you want your domains to end up at. A parked domain will always share the same site as the primary domain on your account, but an addon domain can have its own site or share the same site as another addon domain. Either one can be made to redirect to a different location if wanted, but you shouldn't need the redirects tool at all if it is just sharing a site with another domain on your account and the domain is properly assigned.
When it comes to parking WordPress is a little different because it has its own idea of what the URL should be and it is set and solid in the database. Anything else doesn't make it happy. Personally I masked my domain when I wanted it to share the same site but keep its own URL. Again, the code in the link above describes that.
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