My Goal

My main website is being hosted by a 3rd party server (Netfirms to be precise). I want most of my content hosted there. However, I am running an employee portal on a local server. The portal relies on Python scripts which are not supported on Netfirms. The local server is reachable using a DDNS URL (localserver.dyndns.com, for example). I have setup a subdomain with my webserver host (portal.example.com, for example).

When employees browse to portal.example.com, I want the content served from localserver.dyndns.com. While Netfirms allowed me to create the redirect, their system simply generates an index.hml with the target url (localserver.dyndns.com) in a frameset. This, of course, destroys the responsiveness of the site.

What I've Tried

The easiest not frame-reliant solution was to create a .htaccess file containing the following:

Redirect /index.html http://localserver.dyndns.com

While that does redirect traffic to localserver.dyndns.com, the URL changes, so employees see that they are not at portal.example.com anymore. I have tried a few different rewrite condtions/rules to no success.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^portal.example.com$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://localserver.dyndns.com/$1 [L,R=301]


RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^portal.example.com$ http://localserver.dydns.com/$1

I've even tried with(out) quotes and/or leading \ for "special" characters (\:, \/,\., for example), in seemingly endless variations. I either get 500 - Internal Server Error, Access Restricted, 401 - Not Found

Nothing seems to work. What am I missing/doing wrong?


You don't need to redirect, if you only serve content from localserver.dyndns.com under portal.example.com, and want to use portal.example.com as URL.

Create a DNS record for portal.example.com, as CNAME with value localserver.dyndns.com.

It will point portal.domain.com to whatever is the current IP of localserver.dyndns.com, and will not rewrite URL.

  • When I do this, I get a Server Not Found error. I verified that I can access localserver.dyndns.com directly, just fine. When I try from portal.example.com, I get the error saying, Server Not Found - Firefox cannot find the server at portal.example.com – Sirach Matthews Jan 4 '17 at 1:31
  • 1
    did you add portal.example.com CNAME record properly, you might be caching DNS on your side also? Visit mxtoolbox.com/CNAMELookup.aspx and check portal.example.com, and see what t returns. – rAlen Jan 4 '17 at 1:35
  • Thanks for that. I checked and confirmed the TTL is another 60 minutes yet, so patients is required, then we shall see. – Sirach Matthews Jan 4 '17 at 2:07

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