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subdomain redirect works properly, but not other redirects

  1. I have a URL redirect problem and can't figure out how to solve it because I don't really understand CNAMEs, etc. I've tried reading about this but it's all a muddle, so I hope someone on the forums can help.

    Here's what I want to happen: Visitors to <blog.williamalba.com>, <www.williamalba.com>, or <williamalba.com> arrive at <wlva.wordpress.com> and see <blog.williamalba.com> in their browser.

    On my 1and1.com control panel for <williamalba.com>, after creating subdomains "blog" and "www", last night I created a CNAME alias in the <blog.williamalba.com> entry: <wlva.wordpress.com>. I also paid $13 (per year) to WordPress.com for the subdomain redirect. In other words, I followed the directions for subdomain redirect as provided by WordPress.com, and everything works exactly as it should for the blog.williamalba.com redirect. (Yay!)

    I also created CNAME aliases for <www.williamalba.com> and <williamalba.com> to point to: <blog.williamalba.com>. However, visitors to those to URLs don't arrive at <blog.williamalba.com>. Mysteriously, those redirects do work properly for me on the computer where I performed the above operations. But if I use a different device, the visitor arrives at a generic landing page (?!).

    At first I thought the problem is that it takes time for names to propagate. When I check the CNAME on <www.whatsmydns.net> for <www.williamalba.com>, it does mostly return <blog.williamalba.com>, which looks fine. However, when I check the CNAME for <williamalba.com>, I get a bunch of errors.

    Do I need to change some entry in <blog.williamalba.com> to "accept" the redirects? After all, presumably some setting was changed at WordPress.com when I paid $13 even after I changed the CNAME for <blog.williamalba.com>. Or maybe I should be instead do a "Frame redirect" or "HTTP redirect" for <williamalba.com> and <www.williamalba.com>?

    Background motivation: Currently I want all three URLs to land at <wlva.wordpress.com> while displaying the >blog.williamalba.com> URL. For the future I'd like to reserve the possibility of building a separate landing page for the www subdomain and bare domain.

    If my situation is too complicated, it seems to me I could ask WordPress for a "do-over" before 48 hours have passed, and perform a domain redirect (instead of a subdomain redirect). If I understand correctly, that means any address of the form williamalba.com or *.williamalba.com would display the <williamalba.com> URL and the material on my WordPress.com blog. However, this seems I would completely yield the possibility of developing any other content on the domain outside of what I write on WordPress.com.

    The blog I need help with is blog.williamalba.com.

  2. Here's what I want to happen: Visitors to <blog.williamalba.com>, <www.williamalba.com>, or <williamalba.com> arrive at <wlva.wordpress.com> and see <blog.williamalba.com> in their browser.

    I've changed the domain mapping upgrade for you so that the primary domain is blog.williamabla.com . If you get a 'redirect loop' error when visiting that address, please try clearing out your cache.

    Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.

  3. Thank you very much! While I tried to fix this myself last night, you've made it happen exactly as I wished. (For a brief moment I was worried that about the typo "abla" vs. "alba" in my URL, but you got it right.) As a new WordPress.com user, I'm impressed with your level of attention to customer service.

    In the future I may need some hand-holding so that the www subdomain and bare domain go outside WordPress.com, and the blog subdomain redirects to WordPress.com. But this won't happen for a while, if ever. In the meantime, many thanks and Happy New Year!

  4. You're welcome, and thank you for your suggestion.

    Cheers!

  5. Something weird is going on.

    Yesterday {williamalba.com, http://www.williamalba.com, and blog.williamalba.com} each directed my browser to <blog.williamalba.com> with the information from <wlva.wordpress.com>.

    <blog.williamalba.com> still does that. But just moments ago, {williamalba.com, http://www.williamalba.com} didn't. Instead, they seemed to be attempting to redirect me to williamalba.wordpress.com, which unfortunately is unavailable.

    I cleared my cache and still had the same problem. Then I checked a third time in the middle of writing this message, and the problem seems to be resolved!

    I'm not sure what to make of this. Why would the redirect work sometimes, but not always?

  6. Hi!

    You currently have the domain williamalba.com DNS set to point to WordPress.com

    To achieve what you want, you'll need to keep the DNS of the domain with your registrar, and only point blog.williamalba.com with a cname to wlva.wordpress.com.

    Once you do that, you should use your registrar functionality to redirect williamalba.com (and http://www.williamalba.com) to blog.williamalba.com, so everything will work as you want it.

    I hope this helps, but let me know if you have any further questions about this.

  7. Thank you for your advice, yoavf. You write:

    To achieve what you want, you'll need to keep the DNS of the domain with your registrar, and only point blog.williamalba.com with a cname to wlva.wordpress.com.

    This is what I originally did. From paragraph 3 of my original post:

    On my 1and1.com control panel for <williamalba.com>, after creating subdomains "blog" and "www", last night I created a CNAME alias in the <blog.williamalba.com> entry: <wlva.wordpress.com>. I also paid $13 (per year) to WordPress.com for the subdomain redirect. In other words, I followed the directions for subdomain redirect as provided by WordPress.com, and everything works exactly as it should for the blog.williamalba.com redirect. (Yay!)

    You then advise me:

    Once you do that, you should use your registrar functionality to redirect williamalba.com (and http://www.williamalba.com) to blog.williamalba.com, so everything will work as you want it.

    Here's where I had trouble, almost certainly because of my lack of knowledge. In paragraph 4 of my original post I describe what I attempted:

    I also created CNAME aliases for <www.williamalba.com> and <williamalba.com> to point to: <blog.williamalba.com>. However, visitors to those to URLs don't arrive at <blog.williamalba.com>.

    On the night of January 3, uncertain whether someone would respond, I attempted to fix this myself by canceling the subdomain redirect and then installing a domain redirect. As you noted, this means that the entire domain williamalba.com DNS points to WordPress.com. Then on the morning of January 4, kardotim seems to have done something (I don't know what) so that all domains and subdomains of williamalba.com point to wlva.wordpress.com most of the time. I'm happy with that, for now, except for the most part.

    That said, I'd prefer your solution, if you could please describe how I should go about redirecting williamalba.com and http://www.williamalba.com to blog.williamalba.com. The CNAME solution didn't work for me previously, even after giving the information two days to propagate.

  8. Sorry for the confusion and thank you for your patience.

    1: You currently have a sub-domain mapping for blog.williamalba.com. This only works when you point the nameserver records to your orginal domain registrar, and then set up a CNAME record (blog.williamalbla.com) to point to your WordPress.com site. This way the WordPress.com site can use blog.williamalba.com as a primary domain.

    2: Because the full domain (williamalbla.com) and the 'www' sub-domain isn't mapped, you'll need to point it manually to blog.williamalbla.com. You can use your registrar functionality to redirect williamalba.com (and http://www.williamalba.com) to blog.williamalba.com, so everything will work as you want it.

    My suggestion: If you want to point the 'www' sub-domain and williamalba.com to blog.williamalba.com, why not set a full domain mapping for williamalba.com? because then all sub-domains will be pointed to williamalba.com.

    Looking forward to your reply.

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