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My client wanted his website republished under a new domain that was shorter. So we pointed the new domain to the website server and "forwarded" by 301 redirect from the old domain hosted on GoDaddy to the new domain (HTTPS).

Now, all of the old links on Google bring up the warning that it is not secure even though the final domain is secure. An SSL certificate is done for the website (new domain) and not the old domain with no website attached as it is only being used for the redirect.

Please advise! Do I duplicate the site under the old domain, add SSL, and then redirect each page to the new domain to avoid any duplication issues with SEO?

*I am very new to this and not too technically savvy.

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  • Is your website fully hosted by GoDaddy using one of their cPanel accounts? As opposed to just using Godaddy to redirect a domain which you registered there. Mar 10 at 18:10
  • You don't need to "duplicate the site under the old domain", you just need to make sure the old domain is covered by an SSL cert.
    – MrWhite
    Mar 10 at 18:15
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One of your core assumptions is wrong - " the old domain with no website attached " You may not be paying for it, and it may be minimal, but for any web page redirect to occur the domain needs to be attached to a website. That website may simply be redirecting requests in its config and not have any web pages associated with it, but it does exist.

The issue you are facing is that that old website does not have an https certificate associated with the old domain name & and this is what needs to be fixed (I do not know if godaddy will do that for you.).

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The method you have to redirect the domain doesn't support HTTPS. Godaddy has easy to use redirect options for domains with the DNS settings. However those redirects don't have SSL certificates and won't work the way you need.

Godaddy has instructions for getting an SSL certificate to support HTTPS for your redirecting domain: https://www.godaddy.com/help/install-a-ucc-certificate-for-addon-domains-in-my-linux-hosting-account-9089 The basic steps are:

  1. Add it as an "alternate domain" to your Godaddy Linux cPanel hosting account
  2. Use .htaccess to redirect it to your new domain (see GoDaddy's htaccess cheat sheet: https://www.godaddy.com/garage/htaccess-tutorial-and-cheat-sheet/)
  3. Add its domain name as a subject alternative name (SAN) to your site's unified communications certificate (UCC).
  4. Configure the alternate domain to use that certificate.

Alternatively you can host the redirecting domain elsewhere. I use Cloudflare to host my alternate redirecting domains. Every domain you add to Cloudflare comes with a "free service tier" that can do redirects. Cloudflare automatically gives every domain it hosts its own SSL certificate and keeps it up to date. In other words, using Cloudflare to host alternate redirecting domains is both free and reliable. The downside is that it is quite a few steps to set it up, although it probably isn't harder than the steps to set it up at Godaddy that I outlined above. I have made the complete instructions for setting up Cloudflare redirects available here.

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