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Setting a default page for a parked domain using .htaccess on a server with multiple domains

There seem to be plenty of help articles that talk about ways you can set the default web page for a domain using .htaccess. Most of these articles assume that you are hosting a single domain on a single host. What I am going to tell you is how to do the same thing when you are hosting multiple parked domains on the same host and need one domain to point to a different default page than the others.

We will be using the .htaccess file for this purpose. If you don’t know where to find it, look in your public_html (“root”) html folder. If the file doesn’t exist, you’ll need to create it using plain text and name it .htaccess

In this .htaccess file you may already have a setting that looks similar to this:
DirectoryIndex index.php default.php

This setting controls the pages that your parked domains will all look for by default. For example, when visiting http://www.mypctechs.com, if the above setting was in my .htaccess file, the server would deliver index.php first and default.php if that didn’t exist.

Because you are trying to get a parked domain to visit a different page than the two shown above, you’ll need to add some additional commands in your .htaccess file ABOVE the DirectoryIndex page. Otherwise the server will process the DirectoryIndex directive and your commands later in the file will never be executed.

Start at the top of your .htaccess file and add the following lines:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www.)?thenameofyourdomain.com$
RewriteRule ^(/)?$ newdefaultpage.php [L]

Change thenameofyourdomain to the domain that you’d like to set a new default page for. Change newdefaultpage.php to the name of the page that you’d like as default.

Doing this will preserve your standard default.php and index.php for all other domains, while giving your new domain a different default landing page. Upload your new .htaccess file to the server and enjoy!

NOTE: Be very careful when editing your .htaccess file and always make a backup copy of the file before you change it. If you notice any problems with your site after the changes you can always revert back.


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