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I'm considering starting a website that allows customers to map a domain they own and control, to their page or subdomain in my site. Do I need to have an IP address for each customer domain? Is this something that webhosts will commonly allow me to do?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

What you're talking about, at least on Apache web server, are called Virtual Hosts. Your customers/clients would simply need to point the A record for their domain at your server's IP address where you have the Virtual Hosts setup.

In your Apache configuration, you'll need to setup a new Virtual Host for each new domain you have coming in, which you can then send to whatever location on your server you desire.

This isn't the place for a full Virtual Hosts tutorial, but there are some good questions here, and there's always the Apache Virtual Host Documentation or the Apache Virtual Host Examples.

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Thanks Nathan. I'm only exploring possibilities now and this one certainly looks promising. I can't confirm yet that this one works for me, so I wanted to upvote it instead of checking it, however I don't have enough karma to do an upvote. For now, accept my gratitude :) and a promise to either upvote when I earn enough karma or check it once I get it working! –  undetected May 9 '13 at 6:57
The more I look into it, the more I find that confirmation on what you've shared, so I've put in the check. Thanks again! –  undetected May 11 '13 at 4:23

There's lots of ways to skin a cat here. Just use an .htaccess redirect in the root of their domain:

## 301 Redirect Old File
Redirect 301 / yourdomain.com/somepage.html

Or make a simple index page with a redirect in the header:

<?php header('Location: http://www.example.com/'); ?>

Then place it in the root of their domain.

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So this means a customer will still need a separate host, they can't just update their registration information similar to an A record? Is this something I could host for multiple customers? Multiple domains pointed to my IP, and use .htaccess or something similar to then send a request to the right page? –  undetected Apr 30 '13 at 14:11
Sorry I didn't fully understand the question. Nathangiesbrecht's answer is more spot on. I should also mention most major registrars have free domain forwarding that's probably the easiest was to accomplish the forwarding. –  Dan Hutter May 1 '13 at 1:15
Thanks Dan. It does seem like Nathan's answer is closer to what I'm looking for. Thanks for coming back in to say so, that's very helpful. –  undetected May 9 '13 at 6:58

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