How to Redirect Localhost to a WordPress Blog with a Custom Domain
You might be wondering how to redirect localhost to a WordPress blog with a custom domain. If so, then this article is for you. Here, we will discuss three popular ways to do so.
Use Apache’s Virtual Hosts
Perhaps the most common and simplest way to redirect localhost to a WordPress blog is with Apache’s Virtual Hosts. Essentially, Virtual Hosts allow you to host more than one website on a single IP address. For example, if you have an IP address of 192.168.1.1 and you want to host two WordPress blogs – one at 192.168.1.2 and the other at 192.168.1.3 – then you could use Virtual Hosts to accomplish this.
To do this, simply activate the Virtual Hosts option from within the Apache Server control panel. After doing so, you will be presented with a screen requesting you to add a name for your new Virtual Host. The next step is to enter the IP address for one of your hosts – say, 192.168.1.2 – and then click Submit. Apache will then take you to a new page where you can enter information about your new Virtual Host.
Here, you can enter a unique name for your Virtual Host (e.g., blog.dev) and a description of what the blog is for (e.g., My awesome blog). You can also enter an optional URL that will be displayed instead of your local IP address when users click on the Visit button.
As a best practice, you should always use a subdomain for your Virtual Hosts. Doing so makes your life a little easier when it comes to administering multiple sites from a single location – i.e., if you ever need to update the IP address or credentials for your Virtual Hosts.
Use Apache’s Proxy Server
Another way to redirect localhost to a WordPress blog with a custom domain is with Apache’s Proxy Server. Like the Virtual Hosts option, the Proxy Server allows you to host multiple websites on a single IP address. However, instead of using a Virtual Host, you are connecting to a third party – in this case, the Proxy Server itself – and telling it to display content from a particular site.
You can do this by entering the IP address or domain name for the site in question into the Proxy Server control panel. When you do so, you will see a screen requesting you to choose the site you would like to have accessed through the Proxy Server. You can then click the Add Host button and fill out the form with the details for your new host.
Now, let’s say you have chosen blog.dev as the name of your Virtual Host. In this case, you would enter 192.168.1.1 into the Proxy Server’s IP address field. If you are running WordPress on the blog, then you can use the RewriteRule function to accomplish the same result as before. You simply need to add the following code to your wp-config.php file:
You can then visit blog.dev in a web browser to see how it works. When you do so, you will be presented with a screen asking you to choose a language before being taken to the WordPress dashboard.
Use Cloudflare’s Free IP
Cloudflare is a popular option when it comes to hosting solutions. One of its biggest selling points is that it is a free service that provides security, performance, and reliability. While all of this may be true, what Cloudflare really does best is free web hosting for any projects, even if you have a custom domain.
As a result, we have a new option for our devops and IT teams: free web hosting for any project that is available to them. We can give them access to our 1&1 VPS for free, which has an abundance of features, including root access, a private IP address, and 1TB of storage. This way, they can launch any project – no matter what platform – with performance and security that is unparalleled by any other free option out there.
Of course, this is all dependent on your IT or devops team existing in the first place. If they don’t, then you will have to find a solution for their issue first. But, at least you can give them a place to host their project until they can find a more permanent solution.
Use 301 Redirects
Last but not least, let’s say you have a working solution using one of the above three options and you want to make sure that all of your old posts, pages, and resources are redirected to the new location. You can do this easily with 301 redirects. A 301 redirect is a special HTTP response code that tells the browser to redirect the request to a different URL. It is widely used by webmasters to redirect their old posts, pages, and resources to the new location. Here’s an example of a 301 redirect in action:
As you can see, any request for http://example.com is redirected to https://subdomain.example.com.
Any old posts, pages, or resources that you have can be redirected to the new location with a single 301 redirect. But, you should do this only when you are sure that your working solution is stable and won’t break down under any circumstances. If you feel more comfortable using an application like Redirection, which is specifically designed to handle redirects for you, then you don’t need to manually implement the redirects. Just install the application, feed it with your domain’s data, and let it do its thing. In most cases, it will achieve the desired result without any intervention on your part.
As we mentioned above, old posts, pages, and resources can be redirected to the new location with a single 301 redirect. However, this doesn’t mean that all resources will be available. In most cases, only the most recently uploaded files will be accessible through a 301 redirect. So, if you want to retain all of your resources, then you will need to implement more than one 301 redirect. In addition to being able to redirect posts, pages, and resources with a single 301 redirect, Redirection also supports wildcard subdomains and domain-wide redirects. The second kind are particularly useful if you are migrating a site to a new domain. With a wildcard subdomain, you can easily redirect all of the subdomains of your domain to the new location. And with a domain-wide redirect, you can redirect all of the domains that are hosted on your server to the new location. In this case, you would use the RewriteRule function in your wp-config.php file. Let’s take a look at an example:
First, you would need to set up a new Virtual Host for your domain using one of the three options discussed above. Then, you would need to use the RewriteRule function to add a 301 redirect for all subdomains of your domain to the new location. Finally, you would need to set up a new Virtual Host for your domain, using the same method as before. As soon as you do this, all of your old posts, pages, and resources will be redirected to the new location. Because of the way that the RewriteRule function works, you don’t even need to specify which type of resource you are redirecting (e.g., /blog/post-title). It will figure it out for you based on the URL.
If you are using Redirection on your own server, then it’s highly recommended that you hire a professional webmaster to set up the redirects for you. Doing so can be a challenging task, and it’s better to have someone who knows what they are doing. Plus, if you ever need to update or change the redirects, then this is someone you can ask for help. Otherwise, you will be scrambling to figure it out yourself which, as we all know, can be quite the taxing activity.