I have a client that wants (or needs, not sure) to use the MS Exchange Autodiscover service on their naked domain https://example.com.

Their IT person has asked me to place (move) their new in-development WordPress marketing website on the www subdomain, thinking that these two cannot both share the naked domain.

If this is truly necessary (is it?) then I would be ok with that (not hard to point it to wherever)

HOWEVER they have also told me that we won't be able to redirect requests for the pages/URLs on naked domain to the new www subdomain. I told the client that not redirecting would be committing Google suicide, not to mention a bad user experience for people using links on other websites, bookmarks, links in old email signatures, etc.

Here is their (redacted) message:

Beginning with Outlook 2007, through to Outlook 365, it goes through a specific search order to connect to a Microsoft Exchange Server.

  1. SCP (Service Connection Point) in Active Directory. (This is for users connecting to Exchange Server from inside the office.)

  2. Root Domain check. (If the above fails, it will then check for example, https://redacted.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml, which will be for people using Outlook outside the office.)

a. As you can see, if the website is on the root domain, the website will get a request from Outlook.

  1. Autodiscover DNS check.

By using www.redacted.com, you can avoid the website being contacting by an Outlook client and potentially causing issues.

It also means that we cannot use redirects for the website to redirect it from for example, redacted.com to www.redacted.com, as this will still confuse autodiscover in Outlook.

If having the website on the root domain is needed, then there is some work you can do on the website to specifically redirect autodiscover queries in point 2 above.

Specifically, an SSL certificate is needed, which is now standard on websites. And a redirect is needed to redirect all requests from for example, redacted.com/Autodiscover to autodiscover.redacted.com.


Which option you use is up to you.

I feel like I'm being janked around a bit on this so I'm trying to find out the truth. Also this is totally outside of the scope of the marketing website proposal I am building for the client, so I don't appreciate him putting this back on me to "decide" on.

Basically these are two different projects here (the MS Exchange service and the marketing website), that aren't really related at all. I was just providing some free advice saying that they really should employ redirects (ie, if the website needs to be "moved" to another (sub)domain... which I'm not convinced it does).

I am skeptical that this "can't be done", as I'm sure a lot of people are using this technology alongside their marketing websites.

So to boil it down:

  • Can they both share the same root domain?
  • And if not, can we somehow employ 301 page-to-page redirects from the old website to the new www subdomain?

PS - Anecdotally, the website is small in terms of number of pages (say 10 pages).

  • 1
    I was thinking that the redirect could be written in .htaccess so that it redirected everything but the autodiscovery directory,,, has that been considered? Would require someone with more knowledge of rewrite engine syntax than I currently command... – tsc_chazz Mar 18 at 23:56
  • This is what I was thinking too... – Drewdavid Mar 19 at 21:20

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