Tutor Tanith

Redirecting the Customer

A common question:

I have my own domain name. I want people to be able to get to my shop using that domain name. How can I do that?

There are a couple different ways to redirect an outside website to your POD shop. Which one is best depends on (1) whether you are using the domain ONLY for your shop and (2) the kind of access you have to the web server file system.

  1. The easiest solution, and the one the search engines like the best, is to have the domain forwarded (or redirected) by your domain registry. Usually there is a control panel where you can enter a web address for forwarding. You would just enter your shop URL e.g. http://www.cafepress.com/dogplay

    • Do not use cloaked forwarding. Cloaked forwarding loads the page in a "frame" so that the address that shows in the browser address bar is still the original domain name. First, that interferes with search engines indexing. Second, it breaks the CafePress shopping basket in some browsers.

    • This method is only suitable if you aren't using the domain for anything else.

  2. Check with your web site provider about whether you can install an .htaccess file. This is a simple text file that is placed in the "root" of your web folder. It contains a redirect command.
    There are 3 parts. These parts are separated by a single space and should be on one line.
    (a) the Redirect command,
    (b) the location of the file/directory you want redirected, and
    (c) the full URL of the location you want that request sent to.

    It looks like this:

    redirect /shop.html http://www.cafepress.com/dogplay

    In this example I'm only redirecting one page (one URL) and I can use the rest of my site for other things. In this example when someone tries to access the address for the page http://www.tutortanith.com/shop.html they will end up at my shop. Try it.

    To create this open a plain text editor, like Notepad. Do not use "WORD" or similar word processors. Word processors use curly quotes that will make your html not work. You must use "straight quotes". If it can do underlining and bold it is not a plain text editor.

    Type your redirect command. Then save the file to the name .htaccess

    Don't forget the period at the beginning of the name. You may need to use quotes around the file name when you are saving it. Then upload the file to the root folder of your web site.

    The page shop.html doesn't even have to exist for this to work.
    If you want all addresses using your domain name to go to your shop just use a slash to represent your entire site. Like this:
    redirect / http://www.cafepress.com/dogplay

  3. This article covers the issue in more detail http://www.tamingthebeast.net/articles3/spiders-301-redirect.htm

  4. You can also use any of the methods available for redirecting within your shop.


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