The domain alias function in Plesk is a powerful tool – it lets you add additional domains without ever increasing the limit or number of domains in your hosting account. This is great if you are limited to one or two domains, but wanted to secure all of the top level domain names for your brand or business. For example, if you run yourbusiness.com and you wanted to register and use yourbuisness.net, yourbuiness.org, yourbusiness.biz, etc. you could set them all up as domain aliases. Here’s a quick demo video on using Plesk 10.2 to setup domain aliases.
Benefits of using domain aliases
There are a couple great things about using domain aliases. Firstly, you can enable them to serve the same web content as the original domain. That is, when you go to yourbusiness.biz, you will find the same content as your main website. Another benefit is email addresses. By adding a domain alias, all of the existing email accounts you have setup on the main domain will also work for the domain alias. So regardless of whether someone sends an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, it will always reach you.
When should you not use domain aliases
Although domain aliases are great, there is one situation in which they shouldn’t be used. If you are rebranding or renaming a website or business and switching domain names entirely. For example, if you have yourbusiness.com and you want to rebrand and rename your company to coolbusiness.com you will not want to use a domain alias.
In this case, you should create a new domain in Plesk called coolbusiness.com and setup your new website. Once this is complete, instead of adding the old domain as an alias, you will need to redirect it to the new site using a Permanent (301) redirect. What this does is it tells Google and other search engines that your old website, yourbusiness.com is now located at coolbusiness.com. Google will then forward the benefit of any links you have pointing to the old site to the new website, and update its index accordingly.
There are some things to watch out for when using a 301 redirect, however. We will be explaining 301 redirects in more detail in an upcoming post and demo video. In the meantime, feel free to connect with us on twitter if you have any questions.