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June 4, 2008, 11:24 am
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activities are local to each country, while others are common. Now we want a
website to inform the members and public. We plan to register one domain for
The idea is that you'd get the same page regardless of which domain you're
visiting. The pages could exist in different languages, and the user could be
served his preferred language according to the browser settings. But it's not
acceptable to refer all visitors to one of the domains. So Danes should not have
to read their Danish material on ourdomain.se, but on ourdomain.dk.
This sounds like having a separate website in each country, but I hope we can
put it all on one server for all three domains. Is that possible? I know how to
refer to another page using HTTP-EQUIV, but that would expose the domain name
for the common server. How do you avoid that? Is separate servers and live
mirroring the only way? What do I need from the web host to do live mirroring?
Also, does anyone know what rules apply to register domain names in Norway and
Re: One site, three domains
It's easy. Just do it in the DNS so that each domain resolves to the
same IP, and then the server config so that each hostname serves
content from the same server and filesystem. It's probably best to
clearly split the overall super-site by language too, then support
this language selection independently of the domain name (default it
from the request header prefs, or the domain name to start with). That
way example.dk/se/... will still serve Swedish language content,
just as for example.se/se/... and example.no/se/...
Use a subdirectory visible in the URL to separate multilingual
content, because it's simple and robust. You can do it with query
parameters, session state, checking HTTP headers for each page
request, checking cookies for each page request, and probably others
too. However this is simple, obvious and robust.
The defining characteristic of the site is the hostname, therefore
these are still "separate" "sites", they just all happen to be the
same, and to (easily) run from one set of content on one server.
The usual advice here is to use 301 redirects, thus merging all
content into one site - which really is just one "site", as there's
redirection to one single hostname. If you make the language selection
separate to that, then there's no problem in doing the multi-lingual
support here either. The reason why a single site is usually favoured
is so that all of your Googlejuice is given to one site, not shared.
In your particular case, where nationalism want to keep the
appropriate country's TLD in the hostname, then keep them separate.