Map a Different Domain Name to a WordPress Page or Post

I had a client who wanted to map a domain name (different than the site’s root) directly to a WordPress Page, and not show the WordPress URL.

For example, let’s say you had a WordPress blog with this Page:
http://myblog.com/my-first-post/

But let’s say you want the URL of that post to be http://airplanesarecool.com.

Of course, you could do a simple redirect, but that would result in http://myblog.com/my-first-post being shown as the URL in your browser, not the original domain name.

In this article, I’ll show you how to mask a WordPress page or post with a separate URL with a completely different domain name.  

Pointing Your Domains

I am assuming in this article that you own the domain name that you want to use (i.e., “airplanesarecool.com”), and that it is pointing to the root of your WordPress site, but here’s a quick overview of what that entails.

First, you’ll need to go to your DNS records (often, but not always, found at your domain name host), and point the A-record of your naked domain at your server’s IP address (which can be found at your web host). Some DNS providers give you the ability to point your naked domain using a CNAME to a domain name instead of an IP address. That is pretty cool because it means you don’t need to change this again if you change servers and your IP address changes. The Namecheap DNS will let you do this. Sadly, GoDaddy’s DNS doesn’t allow this.

Now the domain is pointing at your server’s IP address, but not at a specific directory. If you’re on cPanel, go to Addon Domains to assign the domain to a directory. On Gridpane, go to the site -> domains in the control panel and create an Alias domain.

Next is the actual domain mapping.

Update: The WordPress Plugin Way

Since I first wrote this blog post, several WordPress plugins have come out that do domain mapping without the need for writing code!

One such plugin is Multiple Domain Mapping on Single Site. I tried this and it works great! The only caveat is that it won’t map a domain with a subdirectory.

Another domain mapping plugin that works well is Domain Mapping System. It has a paid version that will map subdirectories. I’m using the paid version with subdirectory mapping on about.build.

Yet another plugin that does this is Page as a Subdomain, but I have not tried that one yet.

If you want to do the whole thing “by hand” (i.e., in .htaccess code), AND you’re on an Apache server, then keep reading. But even if you’re using a plugin, you should skip down to the SEO section below for more things you need to do.

My First Try Using .htaccess (Apache only)

Note, this technique will only work on Apache servers. It won’t work on NGINX. There might be a way to get it to work on OLS, but I was unable to. The technique below worked on GoDaddy Apache servers for me.

I a not a mod_rewrite expert, but I knew the answer lay there. After a lot of reading and tinkering, I came up with this code for my .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^airplanesarecool\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://myblog.com/my-first-post/ [NC,L]

This did do the redirect, but it did not mask the URL. That is, the WordPress URL was still showing up in the browser, not the desired domain name.

I Am The One That Masks

After more tinkering, I discovered that the original domain name was preserved only if I redirected to a file at the root level. It wouldn’t work for subdirectories (maybe one of you knows why?)

Armed with that knowledge, I changed my approach to redirect the URL to the raw “non-pretty” WordPress URL, which is basically index.html at the root level with a query string. Thus, I came up with this:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^airplanesarecool\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?page_id=180 [NC,QSA]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.airplanesarecool\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?page_id=2218 [NC,QSA]

This works! If you type in “airplanesarecool.com” in the browser, it will display the page at myblog.com/my-first-post, but keep your original URL! Great!!!

If you also need to map subdirectories, use this variation:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^about\.build$ [NC]
RewriteRule !^. index.php?page_id=2 [NC,QSA]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www\.about\.build$ [NC]
RewriteRule !^. index.php?page_id=2 [NC,QSA]

As I mentioned, you’ll need to point your domain name at your WordPress root directory. That is, point airplanesarecool.com to myblog.com.

Next, place the code above the WordPress code in your .htaccess file at the WordPress root. That is, put it above the line that says:

#BEGIN WordPress

In the fourth line, specify the ID of your WordPress Page or Post. You can find the ID by viewing your Page or Post in edit mode and looking at the URL. It’s in there.

How it Works

The first line simply turns on the redirecting engine, and the second sets the base directory.

The third line is where the magic starts to happen. It says, “look at the ‘HTTP_HOST’ variable and see if it matches ‘airplanesarecool.com’. The “[NC]” means the test is case-insensitive.

If this condition is met, the fourth line redirects the user to index.php?p=180, where 180 is the ID of the WordPress Page or Post. The “QSA” is needed to preserve query strings.

SEO Implications

Domain mapping does present a dilemma for SEO. You probably want the canonical URL of your mapped pages to be the mapped domain, not the original WordPress domain. But, WordPress doesn’t know you mapped the page, so most SEO plugins will just use the original WordPress domain by default.

Luckily most SEO plugins give you the option of overriding the canonical URL with one that you specify. I wasn’t able to get this working properly with Yoast, even though it has the setting. It did work using The SEO Framework plugin for me.

Bottom line, remember to set the canonical URL of your mapped pages in your SEO plugin.

Conclusion

That’s it! Let me know how this worked for you, or if you have any questions, or if you have any corrections or improvements. – Brian

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Ronan
Ronan
4 months ago

Hi there,

I have tried this but the fonts weren’t loading in. Anyway to get them to work?

Thanks,
Ronan

Ronan
Ronan
4 months ago
Reply to  Brian Shim

Thanks for the reply. I am using your code to map a single page from armagh.space website on to the subdomain, test.armagh.space.

There are a bunch of errors in relation to the fonts but they are like the following:
Access to font at ‘https://www.armagh.space/site/wp-content/themes/websiteni-joints/assets/fonts/GillSans-Medium.woff2’ from origin ‘https://test.armagh.space’ has been blocked by CORS policy: No ‘Access-Control-Allow-Origin’ header is present on the requested resource.

I’ve Googled the CORS Policy No Access-Control-Allow-Origin and found many people posting code to put in to the .htaccess file, which I tried but wasn’t able to get working.

Any ideas?

Ronan
Ronan
4 months ago
Reply to  Ronan

I have this working now actually, thanks for the help!

Ronan
Ronan
4 months ago
Reply to  Ronan

I have this working now actually, thank you!

MOHAMMED SAHEER K
11 months ago

I want this http://airplanesarecool.com. to show in the browser. not the default domain

MOHAMMED SAHEER K
11 months ago
Reply to  Brian Shim

How

Pouria
11 months ago

Hi there,
Greetings,

I’m using the “Multiple Domain Mapping on single-site” plug-in, and it works fine.
But I have a problem, I have multiple domains and I wanted them all to map to one single page, and it’s not possible I mean this plug-in and other plug-ins allow you to have only one domain for each page!
How can I solve this problem?
I think you may understand better if I say the issue in this way
I want “Domain A”, “Domain B” and “Domain C”, all of them map to “Page A”
Thanks in advance

Andra Dunn
Andra Dunn
2 years ago

Thank you! Found the plugin you mentioned in the comments and it was easy to set-up and does the job perfectly. Thanks for the tip!

Faris Jamil
3 years ago

i tried but the domain yes go to the page i need but when i click to any post still doing this please help

http://ibtech.ca/

i used:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ibtech\.ca$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?page_id=230 [NC,QSA]

Abdul Rauf
3 years ago

I tried https://wordpress.org/plugins/multiple-domain-mapping-on-single-site/ today and its working perfectly.
index.php?page_id approach didn’t worked for me.

fedor
fedor
3 years ago

nginx way:

server {
listen 80;
server_name sub.example.net;
location / {
proxy_pass http://example.net/thePost/;
}
}

you may need to explicitly allow CORS on proxied server:
server {
listen 80;
server_name example.net;

location … {
# for all locations add header as follows
add_header ‘Access-Control-Allow-Origin’ ‘http://sub.example.net’;
}
}

VK
VK
3 years ago

This was really useful. A simple and elegant solution to a problem I have been trying to wrap my head around for a while

Brian Shim
3 years ago
Reply to  VK

Hi VK,

Thanks for sharing, glad it worked!!

Best,
Brian

Solo Jay (@Off_solojay)

Is there a plugin that does this? I want to setup a marketplace where users create their store and could use their own domain

Dzikri Aditya Darmawan
Reply to  Brian Shim

“Page as subdomain” does the basic

sunshine G
sunshine G
4 years ago

Hello,
I tried it but not working
2 questions:
you said paste before # BEGIN WordPress, so I delete the standard code ( looks like I should, but still asking): standard code is
# BEGIN WordPress

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

# END WordPress

2. I added a page: test and got its page id , which shows as /wp-admin/post.php?post=1061
so what should I put?
I added this code:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^subdoain\.otherdomain\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?p=1061 [NC,QSA]
SOrry if the questions are naive, but they were not directly clear from the post :)
Thanks in advance

Yury
4 years ago

Hi Brian,
Great code, it worked for my http://soeks.store
What should I change to link https://soeks.store

forrestq
forrestq
5 years ago

IT worked well for me for one subdomain but when i add another one ie wp_page_id and map to subdomain, it then doesn’t work. Can you please help me?

Biagio Arobba
5 years ago

Hi, just curious… you didn’t have to edit your WordPress configuration for this to work? Like site_url?

Trideep Kumar
Trideep Kumar
5 years ago

This is not working for me, I have created a subdomain for a specific page, this redirects but unable to mask the page url with the subdomain. How can I do that?

pedalsafari
pedalsafari
5 years ago

I know this has been up for awhile and I understand the concepts. Seems pretty easy to implement for a single redirect. Is it possible to do this for more than one redirect? We had 4 different domain names for 4 different divisions and now we would prefer to have them all under one wordpress template each with their own page displaying their original domain. Hoping you are still willing to offer your input. Thanks

pedalsafari
pedalsafari
5 years ago
Reply to  pedalsafari

I think I just found a plugin that will do this. Going to check it out and see if it works

Brian Shim
5 years ago
Reply to  pedalsafari

Hi Pedalsafari,

Oh, which plugin is that? Let me know if it works!!

Best,
Brian

zey
zey
5 years ago

Hello, I am triying this method on one of my wordpress sites, but it’s not working somehow..

I have a subpage which I want to redirect to a another subdomain:
Maindomain where the WordPress is installed and the subpage > subdomain.example.de/page/supage.
And I want to redirect this subpage to a specific domain > subdomain2.example.de.

I tried your method ..but somehow not working. The second domain (subdomain2.example.de) is an alias which redirect to the first domain(subdomain.example.de) with the wordpress site.

Do I have to consider something else befor doing this..I am not sure what I’m doing wrong :/

Thanks zey

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