Define Your Preferred Domain with Laravel Middleware

Define Your Preferred Domain with Laravel Middleware

In this post, I am going to cover the advanced way of doing it with some configuration available with certain options.

Why is defining preferred domain necessary?

Defining a Google preferred domain is a way of instructing Google to use a final version of your domain to be used forever. Your web pages link should be permanent and never be changing frequently so that Google can start indexing, which is a process of adding pages of your website into Google search. The indexed pages will appear in Google searches around the world with matching keywords.

The important part is if your web pages URL are not same when a google crawler runs on your site or the pages start to redirect to 404, Google will start removing them from indexing and they will not appear in search results.

The example of what I wanted to describe above is, your domain should always be like, either www or non-www (i.e. https://www.tjd-studio.com or https://tjd-studio.com ).

The primary concern of setting up a google preferred domain is to improve the SEO of your website, that instructs Google to always recognize the final version of your URL to appear in search results.

I would like to recommend you to read this Google support article to understand in detail about the benefits of setting google preferred domain for your website.

Note: Below with the code, it will only focus on forcing your URL to be the preferred version you have selected on Google Search Console. The code will depend on the configuration and will instruct to redirect on the preferred version.

Setup

The first step of the setup is verifying your preferred domain on google end. Read the Google support article carefully and define your preferred version of your domain.

Let's start by adding new config file under config/domain.php

<?php

return [
    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Preferred Domain / Canonical Domain
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | Example: https://www.example.com (www), https://example.com (non-www)
    |
    | Available Mode: "//www.", "//"
     */

    'preferred' => '//',

    /*
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    | HTTP Protocol
    |--------------------------------------------------------------------------
    |
    | Available Mode: "http://", "https://"
     */

    'protocol' => 'https://',
];

The above configuration file has two settings available, one is preferred domain, and another is for SSL mode. I highly recommend you to install SSL certificate for your website. If an SSL certificate is not installed, beginning in July 2018 your site visitors will see a “Not Secure” warning, recently Google Security Blog announced with the release of Chrome 68, it will mark all web pages with HTTP as "not secure" version.

Adding new middleware class PreferredDomain.php under app/Http/Middleware directory.

<?php

namespace App\Http\Middleware;

use App\Domain;
use Closure;

/**
 * Class PreferredDomain
 * @package App\Http\Middleware
 */
class PreferredDomain
{
    /**
     * Handle an incoming request.
     *
     * @param  \Illuminate\Http\Request  $request
     * @param  \Closure  $next
     * @return mixed
     */
    public function handle($request, Closure $next)
    {
        $domain = new Domain($request);

        if ($domain->diff()) {
            return redirect()->to($domain->translated(), 301);
        }

        return $next($request);
    }
}

 

This middleware should monitor every HTTP request on your website. So, register it like below under app/Http/Kernal.php

Again, adding new class Domain.php under app directory to apply a way of translating your non-preferred domain to preferred version automatically, it will be translated to the domain version you have defined in the configuration file. It will monitor each request to verify that each request URL is consistent with your preferred version on Google Search Console.Let's say my preferred version is - https://tjd-studio.com  but user tries to go to https://www.tjd-studio.com now the middleware will monitor and redirect the non-preferred to preferred version. The job of the middleware is to translate the non-preferred to preferred version and issue a 301 redirect to correct version.

 

<?php

namespace App;

use Illuminate\Http\Request;

/**
 * Class Domain
 * @package App
 */
class Domain
{
    const FORCE_HTTP = 'http://';
    const FORCE_HTTPS = 'https://';

    const FORCE_WWW = '//www.';
    const FORCE_NOWWW = '//';

    const REGEX_FILTER_WWW = '/(\/\/www\.|\/\/)/';
    const REGEX_FILTER_HTTPS = '/^(http:\/\/|https:\/\/)/';

    /**
     * @var \Illuminate\Http\Request
     */
    protected $request;

    /**
     * @var string
     */
    protected $translated;

    /**
     * @param \Illuminate\Http\Request $request
     */
    public function __construct(Request $request)
    {
        $this->request = $request;
    }

    /**
     * @return bool
     */
    public function isEqual(): bool
    {
        return $this->request->fullUrl() !== $this->translated();
    }

    /**
     * Determines if the original url differs with translated.
     *
     * @return bool
     */
    public function diff(): bool
    {
        $this->translated = $this->translate();

        return $this->isEqual();
    }

    /**
     * @return string
     */
    public function translated(): string
    {
        if (!$this->translated) {
            $this->translated = $this->translate();
        }

        return $this->translated;
    }

    /**
     * @return string
     */
    public function translate(): string
    {
        $url = $this->request->fullUrl();

        $protocol = $this->getProtocol();

        $filtered = preg_replace(self::REGEX_FILTER_HTTPS, $protocol, $url);

        $preferred = $this->getPreferred();

        return preg_replace(self::REGEX_FILTER_WWW, $preferred, $filtered);
    }

    /**
     * Determines if the request supports the https,
     * otherwise, fallback to default (http) protocol.
     *
     * @return string
     */
    public function getProtocol(): string
    {
        if (!$this->request->secure()) {
            return self::FORCE_HTTP;
        }

        return config('domain.protocol') ?? self::FORCE_HTTP;
    }

    /**
     * Determines the preferred domain from config.
     *
     * @return string
     */
    public function getPreferred(): string
    {
        return config('domain.preferred') ?? self::FORCE_NOWWW;
    }
}

 

This is an implicit process that executes before the HTTP request enters into the application.

I have used the above middleware Laravel v5.8, but it is still compatible with the lower versions as well.

 

by: sujipthapa

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