Can I redirect my “domain name only” URL to another website?
If you have registered a domain name with us as a domain name only account, we can redirect (forward) your domain name to another Web page, anywhere on the Internet, at no extra charge.
For example, if your domain name is example.com and someone types www.example.com in a Web browser, we can redirect that to a completely different address, such as http://www.example.org/.
On this page:
- 301 "permanent" vs. 302 "temporary" redirection
- Setting up redirection
- Domain name redirects and email
- Masked redirection
- Compare with domain name aliases
301 "permanent" vs. 302 "temporary" redirection
When our Web servers tell a visitor's browser to redirect to another URL, they include a "redirect code", which is either "301 permanent" or "302 temporary".
In either case, the visitor will be redirected. However, a "301 permanent" redirect tells the visitor to always use the new URL in the future, which may mean updating browser bookmarks or changing search engine listings. In contrast, a "302 temporary" redirect means "redirect this time, but try the original URL again next time you visit this page".
As a general rule of thumb:
- Use a "301 permanent" redirect if you're trying to stop people from visiting the original URL and you want search engines to completely "forget about" it.
- Use a "302 temporary" redirect if you might want visitors to use the original URL in the future, or if you want search engines to continue indexing the original URL.
Setting up redirection
To set up 301 or 302 redirection for a "domain name only" account with us:
- Login to the “My Account” control panel (having trouble?)
- Click Domain Name Features
- Choose the Domain Name Redirect option and follow the instructions.
If you don't see "Domain Name Features", you're probably looking at the settings for a different domain name that has Web hosting service, instead of a "domain name only" account you want to redirect. Make sure you're viewing the settings for the domain name you want to redirect.
Domain name redirects and email
Keep in mind that a redirect does not forward email for the domain name. If you want to receive email as well, we recommend either a domain name alias or a Web hosting plan. For a low monthly price, our Web hosting service gives you a free domain name, comprehensive email support, and a website with no annoying advertising.
With normal 301 or 302 redirection described above, the website address in the visitor's Web browser will change to display the new address.
Another option is "masked" redirection, in which case the address bar will still show "www.example.com". This was popular in the past, but relied on a quirky feature of old HTML versions (framesets) that has several major drawbacks:
- Most importantly, it is no longer a supported part of the HTML web page standard. It produces errors in many web browsers for several reasons.
- Most search engines will not be able to match "www.example.com" with the content of the target website. If people search for content on your site, the search engine will send them directly to the other address.
- The browser will not correctly show the “title” of the destination page in the window or tab name.
- The address bar will still show “http://www.example.com/” even when your visitor clicks to go to a new page, making it impossible for a visitor to properly bookmark an individual page on your site. What's worse, in most cases the address bar won't even change if the visitor follows a link from your site to another site, which can make visitors think that other people's pages belong to your domain name.
- Many sites prevent their pages from being embedded in a frameset using the X-Frame-Options header because they don’t want it to appear under other domain names. For example, Google does this.
For these reasons, we strongly recommend against masked redirects, and most people choose normal 301 or 302 redirection, even though it means the address bar changes.
If you really want to set up masked redirection for a website, contact us and we can do it for you anyway, but it won’t work reliably.
Compare with domain name aliases
You may also want to compare these redirect options to our domain name alias service, which keeps the address bar intact without any of these drawbacks (and which offers email forwarding, too). However, a domain name alias can only be used if Tiger Technologies also hosts the "real" website.
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