Domain Name Redirection Help
January 26, 2010 11:58 AM   Subscribe

How can I get our old domain name to redirect to our new one?

I recently did up a website for the small nonprofit I work for. Keeping in mind that my knowledge of all of this is that of an extreme n00b who got coerced into building a website, here goes:

Our old website was hosted at

The new website is hosted at

Old domain is registered through our old webhost. New domain is registered and hosted elsewhere and uses Cpanel. Old domain host does not use Cpanel.

So I asked our old host to take down the old website and redirect the .com URL to the .ca one. They did so and this is what I'm seeing instead of our new website. I called old host and asked them to fix it, but they said that I had to do something on my end to allow it to work.

How do I make this work? I don't want to post the real URLs here, but will gladly message them to anybody who wants to have a look. Thanks!
posted by futureisunwritten to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Were they specific in what that something you had to do on your end was?

My suggestion is to call them back and ask for step by step directions.
posted by royalsong at 12:02 PM on January 26, 2010

Sounds like they changed your DNS so that your old domain resolves to your new IP. The issue here is that your new server is not configured to display webpages for your old domain. Your new web server needs to have a virtual directory entry for

I also recommend moving your DNS away from the old web host and to your new one.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2010

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that your new webhost needs to add to their records, and point it to your account.

It appears that your .ca domain is pointing to your new account in some sense, because you're seeing a cPanel page (which would only be with your new webhost). But I can think of a few different DNS scenarios which would require your new webhost to have to specifically add the .ca domain to point to your .com domain.

tl;dr: call your new webhost and explain the situation. They'll either take it from there, or tell you what to ask your old webhost to do.
posted by ErikaB at 12:06 PM on January 26, 2010

I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that your new webhost needs to add to their records, and point it to your account.

It appears that your .ca domain
Did you mix up .com and .ca? .com was the old one and .ca was the new one. What you said would work if you reversed the domains.

Also, "" ar the standard "example" domain names, which don't point to anything. doesn't seem to point to anything either.
posted by delmoi at 12:19 PM on January 26, 2010

You can run a free DNS check from multiple sites. My fav went subscription-only but this one is fine too.

Run it, and see what it says. You'll have a lot more to go on and that will make getting help easier.
posted by anti social order at 12:22 PM on January 26, 2010

That's just an Apache default page, probably for the same server. In Apache terms you just need to add a ServerAlias with the old name(s, such as with and without the www) into either the server config or the virtual host, then restart. I'm not sure if cpanel will let you do this.
posted by rhizome at 12:24 PM on January 26, 2010

Seconding what rhizone says. If you're not sure how to set up the ServerAlias (or don't have the means to do so), ask your new host to sort it out for you.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:32 PM on January 26, 2010

Delmoi is right, I mixed up .com and .ca. I should have just stuck with saying "new domain" and "old domain," and obviously I need more coffee, sorry!

To reword and reiterate, it looks to me like your new webhost will be the ones to help you point your old domain to your new domain and account.

Most likely this will simply involve adding a ServerAlias like rhizome says. But the new webhost may also need to do a bit of DNS to point the old (incoming) domain name correctly.
posted by ErikaB at 12:42 PM on January 26, 2010

(I did understand that wasn't his real domain name though - I'm uncaffeinated, not dumb, tee hee!

I was going by the screenshot futureisunwritten included, which was of a cPanel page. Which leads me to concur that the old webhost is pointing the old domain name to the right IP address, since the old webhost wasn't running cPanel but the new webhost is.)
posted by ErikaB at 12:44 PM on January 26, 2010

Yep. The domain handoff is a two-part deal:

1. The place where your old domain is hosted has to redirect that domain to your new server. This has been done.

2. Your new server has to be configured to accept traffic on that old domain and redirect it to your new domain on the same server. This needs to be done.
posted by davejay at 1:09 PM on January 26, 2010

as an alternative, many domain registrars offer free domain forwarding. this is a fairly painless process, so try calling the folks you registered the old name through, explain the situation, and see if they can help.

just don't pay for forwarding, that's silly.
posted by phredgreen at 5:10 PM on January 26, 2010

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