The panel Redirect service requires that you have an active hosting plan for the domain, or that the domain is registered with DreamHost.
A "redirect" domain acts as a pointer to another domain. When accessing a web page on the redirected domain, the browser's URL is changed to the domain to which it is being redirected. When setting this up through the DreamHost panel, a 301 redirect is created automatically.
This article explains how to redirect a domain or subdomain at DreamHost.
The examples in this article use the HTTPS protocol. For this to work, the domain you're redirecting to must already have an SSL certificate configured. If not, just use HTTP instead.
How does the redirect work?
Setting a redirect does not delete your current website or any of its files. You can add hosting back to the domain in the future at any time, which then displays your original content.
Any page you visit on your current site (the one being redirected) is forwarded to the page on the redirected site. For example, let's say you're redirecting example.com to dreamhost.com. If you visit example.com/contact.html, the URL changes to dreamhost.com/contact.html.
Does redirecting work for the www and non-www versions of the site?
Yes. If you set up a redirect on example.com, it also will work for www.example.com.
Does the redirect change MX records?
No. The redirect only changes where the website is hosted. Your MX (mail) records will not be changed in any way.
Does redirecting work with https (SSL certificate)?
The following describes a few different ways this could be configured.
Option 1 — Redirecting to the secure version of a different site
You can only redirect to another site that's already configured with an SSL certificate. For example:
http://example.com to https://dreamhostexample.com
You must first add an SSL certificate to the domain you are redirecting TO (https://dreamhostexample.com). If an SSL certificate is not configured, you will see a Site Not Found error when viewing the redirect.
Option 2 — Redirecting to the secure version of the same site
It's not possible to use the panel's Redirect option (described below) to redirect to HTTPS as this removes hosting from the domain. For example:
http://example.com to https://example.com
This is also not necessary since after you have added an SSL certificate to your domain, DreamHost automatically redirects the URL visitors use to view your site from HTTP to HTTPS. The S ensures that your connection is encrypted. For example:
There's nothing on your end you must do in order to force your site to use the secure URL. However, in some special cases, it may be necessary for you to create your own custom configuration file to force the redirect from HTTP to HTTPS.
Adding custom code is only necessary if your website requires specific code to force the redirect. If so, you will need to first disable the automatic redirect in your panel.
Once disabled, you can then proceed with adding your custom redirect file.
Redirecting a new domain or subdomain (legacy)
- Navigate to the Hosted Domains page.
- The Hosted Domains page opens.
- Click the Add Hosting to a Domain / Sub-Domain button.
- Scroll down to the Redirect section.
- Enter the information in the following fields:
- Domain to redirect – enter the new domain or subdomain you'd like to redirect elsewhere.
- Redirect to URL – enter the URL to which you wish this new domain or subdomain to redirect.
- Click the Redirect this domain button to complete the set up.
Changing an existing domain or subdomain to redirect
- Navigate to the Manage Websites page.
- Click the Manage button to open the Manage Websites page, which allows you to adjust various settings for your site.
- Click the Hosting tab.
- Scroll down to the Redirect Domain box and click the down arrow on the right.
- Enter the URL in the 'Destination URL:' field where you'd like this domain to redirect.
- Click the Redirect Domain button to complete the setup.
Creating a redirect to a subdirectory
If you need to create a redirect to a subdirectory of another site, make sure to add a trailing forward slash to the redirected URL. If you do not, the URL will not redirect correctly.
For example, if your site is example.com and you want to redirect to a subdirectory of another site called dreamhostexample.com/blog, make sure the redirect you create adds the trailing forward slash like this:
If you do not add the forward slash, any files accessed within that subdirectory will not load since the URL will be incorrect.
You cannot redirect to a subdirectory of the same website.
Turning off a Redirect
To turn off a Redirect, you must change the hosting configuration to any other option such as 'Fully Hosted' or 'DNS Only'. View the following articles for instructions:
How long until the redirect is working?
Redirecting your site is the same as any other DNS change. This means the DNS must propagate first before you can see the changes online. In general, this shouldn't take any longer than 6 hours. You can keep track of when the new DNS records update in different locations using either of the following links:
- whatsmydns.net — A popular site that checks DNS records around the world.
- Viewing your DreamHost DNS records — Use DreamHost's DNS propagation checker in the panel.