I've a website which is on two servers - the one it's on now malfunctioned. I have the site hosted on a second server, but have no access to the DNS Records to point the A Record to the new server IP.

Can I redirect the URL to the new server without access to the DNS records?

  • 1
    How malfunctioned is "malfunctioned"? – initall Oct 10 '12 at 20:05
  • The homepage takes 5 minutes to load. Seems to be something to do with FastCGI but it's wrecked. Had another site do it too and I just moved it to a different server and it worked fine. But I had access to those DNS records, I don't with these ones – Gary Armstrong Oct 10 '12 at 20:25
  • 2
    So, if I read the answer and your comment below, the answer to your question is: No. You can only redirect to the IP of your new server and configure the server to listen on that (if it's dedicated). As @msanford wrote, us a 302 redirect until you can change the DNS. – initall Oct 10 '12 at 21:02

A slightly elegant stop-gap solution, using Apache rewrites:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://newdomain.com/$1 [L,R=302]

Stick that into an .htaccess file in the web root of the site in question. This will take all requests to your server and rewrite them to http://newdomain.com/{whatever page was specified}.

But if you want a permanent solution to ensure that your old domain points to your new server, you will have to gain access to the DNS because by redirecting your visitors, they are leaving your old domain name (which is probably something you don't want in the long term).

  • Thank you, that is very helpful. But the domain name is going to remain the same. so where do I redirect the RewriteRule to point it to the same domain, on a different server? – Gary Armstrong Oct 10 '12 at 20:27

To point a domain name to another server you need to change the A record. No way around that. So work towards getting access to the DNS records.


If both servers are on the same network (same hosting provider for instance) then you could remap your servers' external IP addresses. This way you could just leave the DNS records pointing to X.X.X.X and have that IP mapped to your new server.


No, you can't really do that. You're essentially asking if you can change the A record of the domain name, without changing the A record of the domain name.

@msanford's solution could work temporarily, but you could redirect to your new IP instead of newdomain.com, assuming your site is the only one hosted on the new IP address.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.