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Yolinux.com Tutorial

Apache Web Server Configuration for Web Site Redirection:

Web site redirects for entire domain or individual pages. This Apache forwarding tutorial covers multiple solutions and their nuances.

List of methods used to redirect a web site:

Web site forwarding and redirection methods:

  1. One can forward a web page URL or home page using the following web page with the "Refresh" directive:
    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" Content="0; URL=http://www.company.com/dir1/">
    This commands the browser to refresh the page with the new specified URL. This forwards a single page only and not the entire domain. It can forward the default home page for the domain giving the appearance of forwarding the domain..


    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh" Content="3; URL=http://www.company.com/dir1/">
    This page will forward to http://www.company.com/dir1/ in three seconds.
    Please update your links.

  2. Use a CGI script to forward a home page: (mod_cgi)

    File: httpd.conf
    ScriptAlias / /var/www/cgi-bin/redirect-script/
    File: /var/www/cgi-bin/redirect-script
    print "Status: 301 Moved\r\n" .
          "Location: http://www.new-domain.com/\r\n" .
    #!/usr/bin/perl -w
    use strict;
    use CGI qw/:standard/;
    print redirect('http://www.new-domain.com');

  3. Use a PHP script to redirect:
    header("Location: http://www.new-domain.com/");

  4. Use a Javascript to redirect:
    <script language="Javascript" type="text/javascript">
    <!-- Hide script
    //]]> End script hiding -->

  5. Use Apache module (mod_rewrite)

    File: httpd.conf
    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule /.* http://www.new-domain.com/ [R]
    Forwards all references in entire domain.

  6. Use Apache module (mod_alias )

    File: httpd.conf
    • Redirect Domain:
      Redirect / http://www.new-domain.com/
      Redirect permanent / http://www.new-domain.com/
    • Redirect Page:
      Redirect /web-page.html http://www.new-domain.com/destination-web-page.html
    • Redirect directives take precedence over Alias and ScriptAlias directives.
    • Other "Redirect" options include: temp (error 302) default - temporary redirect status, seeother (error 303) resource has been replaced and gone (error 410) resource has been permanently removed.

    Example httpd.conf with virtual hosts for multiple domains which all redirect:
    <VirtualHost XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX>
    ServerName directtolinux.com
    ServerAlias www.directtolinux.com
    ServerAlias direct-to-linux.com
    ServerAlias www.direct-to-linux.com
    ServerAlias digitalpenguins.com
    ServerAlias www.digitalpenguins.com
    Redirect permanent / http://www.yolinux.com/

  7. Apache 301 redirect using the .htaccess file:

    If one wants to permanently forward an entire web site to a new URL or forward a single page permanently and have the search engines update their database, one should use a 301 redirect. This may redirect to a new server or to itself but to a different domain. This tutorial shows how. This method is a variation of using the mod_alias redirection shown above except that it allows the customer to redirect themselves by providing a .htaccess file themselves.

    RewriteEngine on
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^yolinux.com
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.yolinux.com/$1 [R=permanent,L]
    This example forwards http://yolinux.com to http://www.yolinux.com/ to unify your site to a single URL. This can also simplify your web logs if they can not distinguish between the two.

(Method 5) Apache configuration for redirect using httpd.conf and .htaccess:

This configures Apache to command the web browser to redirect by performing a GET from the "redirected" web site the user is being forwarded to.

File: /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf (older systems used access.conf)

Default: This disables the processing of .htaccess files for the system.

<Directory />
AllowOverride None

or for a specified directory:

<Directory /home/domain/public_html>
AllowOverride None

Specify directory containing site or page to be redirected:

<Directory /root-directory-of-web-site-to-be-redirected>
AllowOverride All

AllowOverride parameters: AuthConfig FileInfo Indexes Limits Options

File: .htaccess Create a file /home/domain/public_html/.htaccess in that directory of the domain to be forwarded that looks something like this:
  • Redirect entire domain:
    Redirect 301 /  http://www.new-domain.com/
    Note: The use of the "/" at the end of the redirected domain. This is necessary so that http://www.old-domain.com/page1.html will be redirected to http://www.new-domain.com/page1.html.
  • Redirect specified pages:
    Redirect 301 /old-page-1.html  http://www.newdomain.com/new-page-1.html
    Redirect 301 /old-page-2.html  http://www.newdomain.com/new-page-2.html

You may use the following directives:

  • 301: permanent
  • 302: temp
  • 303: seeother
  • 410: gone
For example:
Redirect permanent /  http://www.newdomain.com/

If an incorrect directive is used in the httpd.conf or .htaccess file it will result in a server error. Check your log files: /var/log/httpd/error_log.

HTTP 1.1 Redirect codes:

HTTP Code Status Description
301 permanent The resource has permanently moved
302 temp The resource has temporarily moved
303 seeother The resource has been replaced and refer to new resource
305 UseProxy Use proxy to access site
307 Temp The resource has temporarily moved
410 Tegone The resource has permanently removed

See RFC 2616 HTTP/1.1 protocol - Chapter 10.3



"Apache Server Bible 2"
by Mohammed J. Kabir
ISBN # 0764548212, Hungry Minds

This book is very complete covering all aspects in detail. It is not your basic reprint of the apache.org documents like so many others.