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I am maintaining a website for an organization, and the website setup I inherited is incredibly confusing. Recently, the organization decided to migrate their site from Google Sites to a normal web server. I would like all URLs to point to the new website, and remove access to the old Google Site. At the same time, our mail server through Google must remain in use. This prevents me from deleting the connection between the website and my Gmail account.

As it stands, different subdomains and methods of accessing the website will direct the user to either the old or new site. I wish for the user to always be directed to the new site.

Leads to the OLD Google Site:

  • organization.com (HTTP)
  • *.organization.com (HTTP) with the exception of the web2 prefix

Leads to the NEW site:

  • organization.com (HTTPS)
  • web2.organization.com (HTTP or HTTPS)

Causes an error:

  • *.organization.com (HTTPS)

Note: web2.organization.com is probably the only URL working correctly because in my Google Admin settings, the naked domain organization.com is being redirected to web2.organization.com. Since I'm (attempting to) use DigitalOcean for DNS, I'm not sure why this matters.

The domain was registered through Gandi, and the server is rented through DigitalOcean. On my Gandi account, it says I am using external nameservers ns1.digitalocean.com, ns2.digitalocean.com, and ns3.digitalocean.com, which is expected.

On my DigitalOcean account, I have an A record pointing organization.com to the correct IP of my DigitalOcean server, several MX records mapping organization.com to various Google mail servers, a CNAME record declaring *.organization.com an alias of organization.com, and three NS records mapping organization.com to ns1.digitalocean.com, ns2.digitalocean.com, and ns3.digitalocean.com. There are no visible A records mapping the nameservers to their IP addresses, but I suspect DigitalOcean handles this internally because they don't reveal those IP addresses anywhere.

Furthermore, the dig command-line utility reveals that the three nameservers are being correctly used, and claims that organization.com is correctly resolving to the IP of my DigitalOcean droplet. Why, then, is the user being redirected to the old Google Site? Where does Google at any point come into play regarding my current DNS configuration? I am obviously missing something major, but what? Am I not understanding record configuration properly?

  • A quick read of this article suggests you create a standard A record with Digital Ocean. I'd remove the wildcard unless you really need it. How long ago did you set this up? I wonder if there's a DNS cache somewhere - PC, router, ISP, etc. – Tim Nov 14 '17 at 3:54
  • Give the true names involved without obfuscation, and if you have errors provide the specific error message – Patrick Mevzek Nov 14 '17 at 5:03
  • if "A" records are pointing properly then most probably its DNS cache or browser cache issue. Try to ping the domain from your local machine and see where it is getting resolved. Wait for few hours if you recently updated DNS and check again. – Sunil Bhoi Nov 14 '17 at 6:02
  • Thanks for the article link @Tim! Unfortunately, according to the article, I have done everything correct. An "A record" was already created, and it has been at least a month since any changes were made. Any ideas? I removed the wildcard as you suggested. – TimD1 Nov 14 '17 at 16:35
  • If you want help diagnosing this I think you're going to have to give us the IP address, domain name, and share the web server configuration and relevant parts of logs - logs from a curl to http and https sites showing the problem. I consider this all public information, as if your server is set up correctly it doesn't give any information that people can't find easily anyway. If you're not comfortable sharing this information you'll need to hire someone to help solve the problem - see my profile. Best option is to share the information publicly though so many people can try to help. – Tim Nov 14 '17 at 18:28

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