With the recent domain switch that took place on this website, I needed to have a dependable setup to forward my old domain URLs to the new one. While using something like "URL forwarding" through your domain provider could work, it doesn't natively support dynamic linking. Let me explain using a basic example:

  • A user clicks on a link that targets a post on your old domain:
  • You want that link to forward using the same permalink structure:
  • "URL forwarding" through your domain provider does not support this

Simple stuff. So, let's breakdown how to easily set this up on Netlify for free.

Setting Up Netlify

  • Create an account (or login to an existing one) and setup a new site1
  • Change your "old" domain name nameservers to match Netlify's (normally done through your domain register)
    • dns1.p03.nsone.net
    • dns2.p03.nsone.net
    • dns3.p03.nsone.net
    • dns4.p03.nsone.net
  • Back in Netlify: under Domain Settings you need to add your custom "old" domain under the Custom domains section under Domain management
  • Lastly, add the following content inside a _redirects file (no extension) to your website content/build (changing to your own domains, of course)

    https://olddomain.com/* https://newdomain.com/:splat 301!

That's it! Now Netlify will dynamically forward all your pre-existing URLs from your old domain to the new one. No pesky .htaccess files or running your own basic web server(s)!

Hopefully this helps others trying to dynamically redirect their domains without the headache.

  1. I normally set this up through Github / git hosting ↩