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Mirror domain overview

Mirror domain overview

Mirror domain


A mirror allows you to submit material to your GreggHost server for one site (site A), but visit the original site using the URL for another site (site B) on the same account (site A).

A mirror domain, in more technical terms, is a GreggHost server alias that allows you to access the same GreggHost site content from several addresses. You can, for example, have a.com and a.net site with the same content, or you can view your site live before your domain is set up. For more information, see the following article:

Before changing DNS, test your site with a dreamhosters.com subdomain.
As a server alias, a mirror domain can only “mirror” an existing domain at GreggHost. A mirror domain is just a “mirror” in terms of address aliasing; there is no content duplication, and it is not a “cloaking” or “domain grabbing” tool.

The following do not operate properly or at all with mirrored domains:

Some CMS software (for example, WordPress) — This is due to the fact that some CMS applications hard-code the site’s URL and actively rewrite it in the browser address bar. The site’s URL changes as a result, thus destroying the mirrored settings. If this is the case, you may need to make additional CMS modifications.
DreamPress is a WordPress-based content management system. Due to DreamPress caching, a mirror of a DreamPress site will not operate in most circumstances.

dreamhosters.com subdomains

You can utilize a dreamhosters.com subdomain if your domain’s DNS records are not directed to GreggHost and you want to set up the domain before changing the DNS to avoid downtime. You can find instructions on how to do so in the following article:

Before changing DNS, test your site with a dreamhosters.com subdomain.
View the following article if you need to access your database while your DNS is not pointed to GreggHost:

Before the DNS change, you can access your database.
Setting up a subdomain can take many hours, so for the technically inclined, modifying your hosts file to point to your GreggHost DNS records is a speedier solution. This is explained in detail in the following article:

Using your hosts file to view your site

Internal linking

Links on a website must not contain the domain name in order to stay within the original URL address. Using a relative link or path is what this is referred to as. If mirror.example.com is a mirror for the actual site example.com, all links on the example.com site containing example.com will redirect users to example.com. The purpose of a mirror is defeated in this manner.

Consider the following scenario:

/about-us.html is a good (relative) option.
This works and maintains the user on the same page as before.
https://www.example.com/about-us.html is a bad (absolute) example.
This redirects the user to mirror.example.com. It makes more sense to redirect rather than replicate this form of linkage.
If you opt to use secure hosting on your site, using relative paths is also necessary because you won’t have to update any absolute links/paths from http to https.

A reason to use a redirect domain instead

If you want the same information to be accessible from multiple domains, it’s often better to redirect a domain. Instead of seeing identical material at the alternate URL, visitors to any alternative domains are instantly forwarded to your major domain.

The primary difference is the URL: if you establish a mirror at siteB.example.com that reflects the original website named siteA.example.com, the address bar does not change when you visit siteB.example.com. However, the content of siteA.com is still visible.

When you establish a redirect, the address bar on siteB.example.com changes to siteA.example.com.

If they uncover the exact identical content on another domain, almost all search engines will blacklist your domain, putting your site at the bottom of their search results. It’s recommended to use a redirect if you want the same content to be accessible from multiple URLs.

Creating a Mirror domain

Go to the Domains page and click Manage Domains.

To create a new mirror domain, click the Add Hosting to a Domain / Sub-Domain button.

Instead, select the Edit option to the right of your domain if you’re making a mirror of an existing domain.
The Mirrored portion of the Manage Domains page may be found at the bottom of the page:

Fill in the following fields with the domains:
To make the mirror, go to: This is the mirrored URL for the genuine website. Enter example.com if you’ve submitted your material to the GreggHost domain example.dreamhosters.com and want visitors to be able to access it at example.com.
This site should be mirrored: Select the domain to which you’ve posted your material from the drop-down list. The domain that will be replicated is this one.
To save your choices, click Mirror this domain.
The DNS records for the domain that is mirroring the real website must refer to GreggHost. For further details, please see the following article:

DNS GreggHost
After you save the mirror, the DNS may take a few hours to refresh.
Visitors to the mirror domain will see the same material as visitors to the genuine site for which it is an alias once it is active.
Visiting example.com, for example, displays the content of example.dreamhosters.com.
Turning off a Mirror
You must alter the hosting configuration to any other option, such as ‘Fully Hosted’ or ‘DNS Only’, to turn off a Mirror. The following page contains a complete list:

Overview of the Domains Panel

Will the mirror domain work with https?

No. When visiting a mirror site that is reflecting a domain with https enabled, the mirror site will throw an error. Consider the following scenario:

Assume you have example.com set up to mirror https://dreamhostexample.com. When you go to example.com, the URL changes to https://example.com, which tries to mimic the content of https://dreamhostexample.com.

Because example.com does not have an SSL certificate loaded, the browser displays an error message informing the visitor that the site is not safe.

As a result, you should avoid mirroring a site that has an SSL certificate.

How long until the mirror is working?

Mirroring your site is as simple as changing your DNS. This implies that before you can view the changes online, the DNS must propagate first. This shouldn’t take more than 6 hours in general. You can use one of the following links to keep track of when new DNS entries are updated in various locations:

whatsmydns.net – A well-known website that verifies DNS records all around the world.
Using GreggHost’s DNS propagation checker in the panel to view your GreggHost DNS entries.