How we got our webapp hosted on a separate server to show up as a subdirectory

How we got our webapp hosted on a separate server to show up as a subdirectory

We get it, marketing wants easy control of the website on the root domain. And because it’s so easy to setup a CMS there to publish marketing content, that is why most web apps are setup on subdomains instead of the root domain. This is alright if all of the app content is under a login. If that’s not the case — it’s so much better to get users to share the url instead of the domain. Easy to remember and share.

Most SEO professionals agree that subdirectories are better than subdomains for ranking on search engines.

Search engines keep different metrics for domains than they do for subdomains, so even though Google itself has stated that — from a ranking perspective — content in subdomains and subdirectories is treated roughly equally, it’s still recommended that webmasters place link-worthy content like blogs in subfolders rather than subdomains (i.e. rather than

Moz SEO Experts, Domain Setup Guide

Sadly, it’s not easy to setup a redirect from a subdomain to a subfolder. While this is possible to do by setting up a reverse proxy. The maintenance of this complex engineering would have been a nightmare — attached to a client’s frontend. Something that should never go down.

We’ve been telling our clients that this cannot be done, until I found this very pretty article by

Fly describes itself as a global JavaScript platform that gives you the power to build your own CDN.

The fly sites interface

We started by using fly sites. The fly site did not play well with the hosting that we were using — to server side render our angular app. Had a major issue with fly sites that we were not able to decode. While fly “sites” has a great UI to setup redirects, we found through support that they’re not actively supporting this functionality.

We then decided to build a Fly Edge Application using the github repo which was easy enough.

This is what we ended up doing. — the root domain , redirects to our squarespace site with marketing controls directly. — our angular app, shows the server side rendered angular application from

An added benefit by involving is they give free automatic SSL.

The one more layer in the stack to handle part of this exercise, does increase debugging efforts and needs a lot of technical know how — but I’m sticking to till we get similar results for such a small investment of time.

pro-tip —Get on the slack channel for quick support
Also read their articles to get more value out of They do a lot more than just let you manage hostnames.

Sanat Hegde @Sanat