University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I had made a request to our system admin to enter an "A" record in the DNS to allow our domain name without the www. Our Domain Controllers are constantly checking (every 10 mins) that the domain name (ESU.EDU) maps to all 3 of them via DNS. If we manually change the mapping of esu.edu to our website via DNS, the Domain Controllers automatically change it back so they get priority over ESU.EDU. This is a requirement so PC clients are able to find logon services four our students. In an attempt to provide domain-only http access to our website (http://esu.edu), we created an apache Virtual Host that points esu.edu to our web server.

A side effect to this was entering an absolute path (www.esu.edu/~abc) in the browser redirected to esu.edu/~abc which caused the web page not to function properly.

What needs to be done to correct this? I am not a netowork guy.

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Seems like you're on a good path so far, except that side effect, which could be worked around with mod_rewrite on the Apache server. You can use it to make a generic redirect that will take http://esu.edu/anythingyoucanthinkof and redirect it to http://www.esu.edu/anythingyoucanthinkof.

Off the top of my head, I believe this is how it would look in an .htaccess file, or similarly in httpd.conf:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.esu.edu/$1 [R=301,L]

The full documentation of this feature is on the Apache website: http://httpd.apache.org/docs/2.2/mod/mod_rewrite.html
Thanks Guys, I will pass this on to my system admin.
Thanks for the heads-up Mitch
A bit off topic, but most people recommend sticking to one version of your TLD (e.g. either http://www.esu.edu or http://esu.edu) to avoid URL canonicalization issues with search engines. After you identify your preferred domain, you'd want to setup a 301 Redirect from the non-preferred domain to the preferred version (e.g. from http://esu.edu to http://www.esu.edu) . If you search on Google there will be many references for doing this in Apache and IIS
Thanks for that info, I was unaware of the canonicalization issues.
I totally agree with Nathan, URL canonicalisation is a very important issue that so many times is left behind. Search Engines can easily flag your websites as duplicate content and simply removed one of them from the search engine results pages. Not only you lose all the inbound links to your pages but also your website lose authority on the web. I am working on similar problems with 2 other websites East Anglian Saab Dealers and Invoice Factoring.
another thing...Google recently introduced the canonical element tag. It's in fact a simple piece of HTML code () that you insert into the section of a duplicate page, letting the search engines know that they are on a duplicate page and they need to find the original content elsewhere, and guide them there. This is very cool, i ve tried using the canonical tag instead of the 301-redirect on one of my website ( East Anglian Saab Dealers ) and it works perfectly. :)
just read that google new algorithm is now more intelligent and can pick out a URL and make it the canonical one on a website. Anyone know more about this? cause i doubt about that. I had some trouble re-directing links on this webpage, Email Hosting, so any info would be moast welcomed. Cheers

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