Wednesday, 10 February 2016

ISPConfig 3 Web Forwarding

My mail and web host provider is in the process of upgrading their control panel software along with putting in a new server.

I struggled to find documentation for what I wanted to do with the new software. There is a very limited amount of documentation on the following site:
http://docs.ispconfig.org/

It did not cover my requirement for very simple web forwarding.
The DNS server for my domain is hosted on this new server but my blog is hosted elsewhere.

The following screenshots show examples of the settings I needed to enter to get web forwarding to work to a Google Blogspot site. They may not be the only way, nor the best but they worked today:

Create the DNS zone first

Beware of web browsers caching and of DNS refresh times, particularly the Time To Live (TTL.)

Add a CNAME for the sub-domain you want to forward
Watch out for the final dot in the host names in the DNS records data column. Without the dot the host is treated as a sub-domain and appended to the root domain of the zone. You'd get 'isp1.refinitive.com.anewleaf.org.uk' instead of 'isp1.refinitive.com'

While testing, I set the TTL for the domain and the individual hosts to be 5 minutes (300 seconds) but despite that Chrome cached the incorrect web site. I needed to clear the browsing history before I could see the changes working.

Add a top level web site

Add an alias to redirect to any other URL

This was all trial and error, hence these instructions.

I believe, but I'm not confident that the abbreviation R, in the above, means redirect and the L means don't process any further rules on that host name. Anyway the example I based this on suggested always using the R,L type.

The following bit is only necessary if you want to redirect the root domain to a web site.
For example: http://anewleaf.org.uk to got to http://www.anewleaf.org.uk

Settings on the site Redirect tab
Like the alias forwarding you also need a CNAME record in the DNS for the host, in this case 'www'.


After a couple of days of use, with everything working as it should, I reverted the TTL's back to 3,600 seconds for the host names and 50,000 seconds for the domain.

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