DNS aliases

On to the next question. I have registered 3 TLDs, a .com, .net, and .org. I want to have Dreamhost’s DNS servers return the IP address of my .com domain if folks try to access .net or .org. If I understand things correctly this is done with a CNAME entry in the BIND config, but in the realm of web hosting its not clear to me what the name is for accomplishing that; “domain forwarding” sounds right but the dialog stuff from the web-based control panel didn’t look quite right.

What’s the correct name for what I want to do?


The complication is that you’ve got apache virtual hosting in there as well. With virtual hosting, one IP address is used for multiple hostnames and the “host” header is used by the webserver (apache in our case) to distinguish between the different sites.

What this means to you is that even if you managed to get all three of your domains to resolve to the same IP address through CNAME entries, user browsers would still send three different “host” headers and you’d have three hostnames to deal with on the web hosting side.

For you, this means that you should just go with one of the following two solutions:

  1. Use domain forwarding to forward everyone to one domain. Using this method, everyone will end up with the same url (the .com one for example).
  2. Use DreamHost domain mirroring to mirror one of the domains to the other two. Using this method your users would preserve the original domain they typed in.

Unless you have some special reason for doing so, I’d recommend method #1 and just use domain forwarding to forward everyone to your one “main” domain. This is what most people do.

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the wiki pages are kinda hosed. It appears what I needed to do is “Add a domain” then scroll down to the section with the form needed to re-direct a domain.

That did it. Browsing to my .net and .org domains got redirected to my .com domain.

If any Dreamhost employees are tuned in, the UI design for the control panel could use a little work…

You should feel free to jump right in and edit the wiki when you find something that could use fixing or improvement! We appreciate all the help we can get! :wink: