Redirect a Website URL from One Server to Different Server in Apache

As promised in our previous two articles (Perform Internal Redirection with mod_rewrite and Show Custom Content Based on Browser), in this post we will explain how to perform a redirection to a resource that has been moved from one server to a different server in Apache using mod_rewrite module.

Suppose you are redesigning your company’s Intranet site. You have decided to store the content and styling (HTML files, JavaScript, and CSS) on one server and the documentation on another – perhaps a more robust one.

Suggested Read: 5 Tips to Boost the Performance of Your Apache Web Server

However, you want this change to be transparent to your users so that they are still able to access the docs at the usual URL.

In the following example, a file named assets.pdf has been moved from /var/www/html in (hostname: web) to the same location in (hostname: web2).

In order for users to access this file when they browse to, open Apache’s configuration file on and add the following rewrite rule (or you can also add the following rule to your .htaccess file):

RewriteRule "^(/assets\.pdf$)" "$1"  [R,L]

where $1 is a placeholder for anything that matches the regular expression inside parentheses.

Now save changes, don’t forget to restart Apache, and let’s see what happens when we attempt to access assets.pdf by browsing to

Suggested Read: 25 Useful ‘.htaccess’ Tricks for Websites

In the above below we can see that the request that was made for assets.pdf on was actually handled by

# tail -n 1 /var/log/apache2/access.log
Check Apache Logs
Check Apache Logs

In this article we have discussed how to perform a redirection to a resource that has been moved to a different server. To wrap up, I’d strongly suggest you take a look at the mod_rewrite guide and Apache redirect guide for future reference.

As always, feel free to use the comment form below if you have any concerns about this article. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Gabriel Cánepa
Gabriel Cánepa is a GNU/Linux sysadmin and web developer from Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina. He works for a worldwide leading consumer product company and takes great pleasure in using FOSS tools to increase productivity in all areas of his daily work.

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