Web sites on bare domain names

The DNS does not allow CNAME records to exist at the same name as other records. This restriction causes some friction for bare domains which you want to use for both mail and web. The IP Register database does not make it particularly easy to work around this restriction in the DNS, but here are some tips for how to set up a web site that uses the same name as a mail domain, without affecting mail delivery.

Web server within your own mzone

If you host your own web site, there are a few ways you can set it up on your bare domain:

  • Register the web server as a box on the bare domain, and set up www.[domain] as a CNAME pointing at the bare domain.

  • Register the web server as www.[domain], and set up the bare domain as a vbox with an additional virtual IP address. Configure your web server with retro 1990s style IP-based virtual hosting.

  • Or you can ask us to set things up with one of the "elsewhere" options described below.

You should configure your web server to return HTTP redirects from the bare domain to www.[domain] to avoid problems with search engines and caches.

Web servers hosted elsewhere

If your web site is hosted by the UIS (e.g. Falcon, Drupal, or MWS) or off-site, then we will need to help with the setup, since it requires privileged access to the database.

In these cases, www.[domain] will be a CNAME pointing at the web server.

We will set up the bare domain as an aname. There are two options:

  • If the web server is on the CUDN and able to do its own HTTP redirects (which is the case for the MWS), then we can point the aname at the server itself.

  • Otherwise, we point the aname at our web redirect service which can handle the redirection from the bare domain to www.[domain] wherever that might be hosted.

For the MWS, the bare domain must be set up in the control panel as a "special" domain. UIS-hosted Drupal sites are behind our web traffic managers which also implement our web redirect service, so the two options above are the same in this case.

Please let us know if you would like us to make the DNS change at a particular time. This must be during normal office hours.