Sometimes it can be useful to know how to set up a redirect to your website using another domain. Clients or even yourself may be interested in doing this.
Here are a few reasons why redirects can be useful.
1. Marketing campaigns
When running a marketing campaign, you might want to link to a certain page on your website, but don’t want to use the long URL in your marketing material. For example https://wealthytourist.com/the-best-hosting-ever. Can you imagine writing that and telling people to type that in to get to your landing page? It would be much better to buy a domain like besthostingever.com and having that domain send you directly to that page. Much simpler and easier. Prospects don’t always trust long URLs as they can sometimes look like spam or viruses. They don’t look trustworthy sometimes. Especially when we start using variables in a URL to track visits and more. So using a domain to redirect to the specific tracked landing page works great in making sure you don’t lose potential sales or traffic.
2. Moving your website to another domain.
Your business is going through a branding change. You’ll want to make sure all of your clients who might not be aware of this still end up at your new website/domain name. So you can always have brandA.com redirect to brandB.com or a page on brandB.com explaining the change in a brand for clients to feel comfortable when they see the new page and understand that you’re the same people under a new name.
3. Emergency traffic fixes.
Imagine sending a bulk email to dozens of clients (or hundreds) and the URL you typed to go to in the email had a typo in it and you’re now sending all clients to a 404 error page that does not exist. You can easily fix this by redirecting the wrong URL to the right URL.
4. Fixing your site to either use only www or no www.
Your site in some cases might be available at both www.wealthytourist.com or wealthytourist.com (substitute for your domain). In other cases it might only be available via one of the two. Both of these instances are terrible.
The former is bad for SEO (search engine optimization) because your website is essentially two websites which are copies of each other and google can penalize for this reason because Google (search engines in general) does not like plagiarism. Although it can understand these are the same website (possibly), it still considers two copies of content as bad, whether they are almost the same or exactly the same. So it’s important to force redirect one of the two to the other.
The latter is bad because many people might be trying to access your website via the www version or without the www, which now makes you lose traffic. It can also make people think your website isn’t working, when in fact they aren’t going to the right place to access the website.
It’s then recommended to use one of the two and redirect the other.
Now that we’ve gone through a few reasons amongst numerous others. Let me show you how to do it.
Time to redirect some domains.
First off, as usual, you’ll need to login to your Godaddy account and select the domain name you want to edit (click on the “DNS” button). Scroll down until you find the forwarding section in the DNS page.
You’ll need to click Add to start adding your redirect. It’s the same process whether you are adding a subdomain redirect or just the domain redirect. The only difference is that you’ll need to pick which subdomain to redirect while doing it with the subdomain.
A subdomain is, for example, the www in www.povertytourist.com.
You will need to pick where you want your domain to forward to, so, first of all, is that domain http:// or https://? If you don’t know, just go to the site itself you want to redirect to and see which is it in your browser. Then copy paste the domain into the field.
Now you need to pick whether it’s a 301 or 302 redirect. A 301 redirect is a redirect that is permanent and a 302 is temporary. So you need to ask yourself, are you doing this redirect only temporary or permanent? Set the one you like.
Next is whether you want to forward only or forward with masking. This is an interesting feature. Forwarding as you know if making the domain forward to another domain, but masking will mask the domain you forwarded to, which is interesting because, in your web browser the user will not see the domain you forwarded to, it will continue showing the domain that they tried to access. Test this feature and see what you like best.
You’ll need to check the checkbox for “Update my nameservers and DNS settings to support this change.”, that will make everything work and then click save.
Now moments after saving, you should be good to go and able to test.
If you have questions, feel free to get in touch in the comments. Head over to GoDaddy and get your first domain name for $0.99 until 2019.
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