How can I forward a 'non-existant' subdomain to a 'physical' subdomain?

I.e.: api.website.com -> api.company.com

Where the first is just a CNAME pointer and the last is a real subdomain with a root.

At website.com I have:

api CNAME api.company.com.

At company.com I have:

api.website.com CNAME api.company.com (also tried this with just API)
api.company.com A

1 Answer 1


It appears that you want to create a subdomain to a root IP address, and then forward a subdomain from a different domain to this subdomain.

First you would create an A record for the api.company.com subdomain as demonstrated here under "Example 1" (ignoring the FTP part; also note that www is considered a subdomain as well, just like api).

So in the DNS tables for company.com you'd create an A record for:

api.company.com A

This establishes an alias record for host api.company.com at IP address

Next you'd create a CNAME to this external host as demonstrated here under "Example 3". So in the DNS tables for website.com you'd create a CNAME record for:

api CNAME api.company.com.

This points api.website.com -> api.company.com

Then you'd need to wait 24-48 hours for these DNS changes to propagate to DNS servers throughout the Internet in order for these subdomains to resolve properly, so don't make any other changes during that time.

  • The first part is already there, because I created a legit subdomain for api.company.com. I had already added the CNAME record on website.com, so I guess I still have to wait for the changes to propogate? The weird part is.. when I go to api.website.com, it's white for a considerate amount of time before Chrome throws an error.. Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 17:08
  • As indicated in your question, you didn't need to create a CNAME on company.com for api.website.com since that host should be managed in the DNS for the website.com domain. Also, this question and my answer are only addressing the DNS setup - you'll still have to make sure api.company.com is serving the content correctly, which api.website.com will also serve. Yes, you'll have to wait for the DNS to propagate once everything is setup correctly.
    – dan
    Commented Jul 9, 2013 at 19:52
  • Nah, it doesn't work. You suggested: CNAME at original server and A at new server. I've done those both. But it seems like the new server should somehow know that it can accept the first domain, right? Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 7:55
  • That isn't necessary since you can forward a subdomain to any other subdomain, as demonstrated in the example links. However, as I wrote in my comment above, you'll have to do some configurations in your server to make sure the api.company.com subdomain is serving the content, and also not preventing api.website.com as a host.
    – dan
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 8:03
  • BTW, is it necessary to have api.website.com -> api.company.com or can you just have api.website.com -> since that's what api.company.com is pointed to anyway? In that case, you can just create an A record in the DNS for website.com for: api.website.com A
    – dan
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 8:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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