jdMorgan - 4:16 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)
That is my point entirely. It would be a big mistake -and completely unnecessary-- to use a redirect in this case. Having requests for your 'domain home page URL' invoke a redirect causes delays for users and for search engines, and to be blunt, looks quite amateurish to both.
The URLs that you publish on your pages need have absolutely no relationship to the filesystem paths used by your server to access stored pages. There is no reason that you cannot link to risingdead.com/ and serve a page from /Forums/ without a client redirect.
Go to Apache.org, select your server version, and read the documentation for the DirectoryIndex directive in Apache mod_dir. Then spend several hours reading the Apache mod_rewrite documentation and looking at the examples in the URL Rewriting Guide. No it's not easy reading and may be quite confusing at first, but it is absolutely one of the best investments you can make in the future success of your site.
To put it in the opposite way, using Apache configuration directives without fully understanding their effects on your server's operation and on the search engine rankings of your site is a mistake that can literally put you out of business -- and quite quickly. In many cases, a single typo can be absolutely fatal.
I liken this to posting on a forum asking, "Hey, can someone give me a quick run-down on how to land a fighter jet on the pitching deck of an aircraft carrier at night? -- I don't have time to read the manuals or take all that training." It is not my intention to give you a hard time here. In fact, I'm addressing everyone who's in a similar situation and reads this. But honestly, to attempt to tell you how do do either of these things (modify your server or land the fighter jet) would be irresponsible of me if you're not understanding anything that I write. I can't in good conscience tell you how to commit SEO suicide, even if it is just one line of code.