How to redirect your naked subdomain to a landing page in Unbounce

You’re using Unbounce to quickly create a landing page to sign up users to your email mailing list, or to test or sell a product.

Because you want to look pro (and not weird and dodgy), you’ve added your own domain to Unbounce.

They told you not to use your root domain (e.g. clarence.app), but instead, use a subdomain like ‘get’ or ‘try’ (e.g. get.clarence.app or try.clarence.app). That sounds like a good idea even if you haven’t got a website set up on your main domain yet because presumably you one day will.

Unbounce's recommendation to use a subdomain like 'get' or 'try' for custom landing page URLs.

You’re planning on having more than one landing page as time goes on. So you want to give each page it’s own URL path. And you want to use the URL to explain a bit more of what that page is about.

So you don’t put your page on the plain, naked subdomain. You put it at something like:

https://get.clarence.app/free-month/

That’s a good idea and it makes a lot of sense.

But what happens when someone tries to get to the naked subdomain (e.g. https://get.clarence.app)? They get this error message from Unbounce on a blank white screen:

The requested URL was not found on this server.

Not that great, huh? Especially because someone who’s navigating to that page it probably trying to check you out and make sure that you’re a real company that’s worth trusting.

So how can you solve this?

Normally you’d be able to set up a redirect on your server via your hosting provider to handle this. But you’ve already asked your hosting provider to point that entire subdomain to Unbounce. So you need to solve this in Unbounce itself. Here’s how you do it:

1. Create a new blank page

First, open the pages section:

Unbounce menu showing where the Pages section is located

And create a new page:

Create new page button

You’re not going to show the contents of this page, so don’t worry about picking a template. From Landing pages, pick the blank page, then Start with this template:

How to redirect your naked subdomain to a landing page in Unbounce 1

The edit page screen will open. But you don’t need to edit anything. Go straight back to the Overview screen:

Overview button

2. Rename your page

Edit the page name using the pencil icon next to the page name at the top of the overview screen:

Edit page name icon

Choose a descriptive name that explains why this page exists:

Example page name

3. Set the page URL

Click on the Change URL button:

How to redirect your naked subdomain to a landing page in Unbounce 2

Delete the page path so that the URL is just the naked subdomain – with nothing after it:

How to edit the page URL in the edit window on Unbounce

That page now lives at the naked subdomain (e.g. get.clarence.app).

4. Publish the page

Without any further ado, simply publish the page from the overview screen:

Unbounce page publish button

5. Redirect your new page

Now that you’ve published, you’ll be able to set up the redirect. In the top right of the screen:

  • Fill in the URL you want to redirect to (probably your landing page), complete with the https://
  • Select a Temporary (302) or Permanent (301) redirect. You should use Temporary (302) if you ever plan to change or remove this redirect. Using Permanent (301) will send signals to search engines and browsers that the naked subdomain will never be used and they’ll store this fact, often automatically sending users to the redirect destination even if you’ve changed the redirect settings.
  • Click Apply.
How to set up a redirect in Unbounce

6. Check it’s working

Return to the main Pages screen. You should see your page and redirect set up as planned:

Page redirect confirmation on the pages screen in Unbounce

Go to the naked subdomain in your browser and check that you get redirected to the page you want users to see instead.

And there you have it, a professional response even if users visit your naked subdomain address.

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