Forwarding or masking your domain name are tasks that can come in handy when directing traffic from your visitors. While both are slightly different in their form, both are very easy to set up on GoDaddy.
Forwarding a domain will direct a visitor who types your domain name into the address bar to a different website. As an example, let's say that you have forwarding enabled for your website www.johnsmith.com to forward to www.johnsmith.net. If a visitor types www.johnsmith.com into their address bar and hits Enter, they will see the www.johnsmith.net website. If you did not have forwarding enabled, typing in www.johnsmith.com would lead them to see www.johnsmith.com, as usual.
Masking is related to forwarding. It simply keeps the domain name you typed in the address bar. The visitor still gets forwarded to the website of choice, but the domain name they typed in will remain there, masking the fact that forwarding occurred. For example, if forwarding with masking is enabled, typing in www.johnsmith.com will lead the visitor to see www.johnsmith.net. Unlike in the case of basic forwarding, however, the person will see www.johnsmith.com in the address bar, even while they are viewing www.johnsmith.net.
Take a look at the following for a simplified explanation of the forwarding and masking:
No forwarding at all: visitor types www.johnsmith.com >>> visitor sees www.johnsmith.com >>> www.johnsmith.com shows in the address bar.
Forwarding only: visitor types www.johnsmith.com >>> visitor sees www.johnsmith.net >>> www.johnsmith.net shows in the address bar.
Forwarding with masking: visitor types www.johnsmith.com >>> visitor sees www.johnsmith.net >>> www.johnsmith.com shows in the address bar.
If you want to forward or mask a GoDaddy domain name, you will have to use GoDaddy's nameservers. Do that first using available tutorials on setting nameservers for domain names located in the GoDaddy.com Help Center.
Once your nameservers are set, you will have to update your domain name's IP address for forwarding. To do so, log in to your GoDaddy Account Manager. Go to the My Products section and select Domain Manager. Look for the Tools tab and select DNS Manager. You should now see the DNS Dashboard. From the Domain list, select the domain to update, and click on Edit Zone. The Zone File Editor will show up. Next, go into the A Host section and click on the @ record. In the Points to section, type 126.96.36.199. Finally, click on Save Zone File and OK.
It's now time to forward or mask your domain. Keep in mind that once you finish making all the necessary changes, it could take up to 24-48 hours for the forwarding to take place. Go to your GoDaddy Account Manager, find the My Products section, and click Domain Manager. Find the domain you want to forward, click Forward, and click Forward Domain.
Next, select http:// or https:// according to your server settings. Scroll to the Forward to section, and type in the URL to which you wish to forward your domain. Select Update my DNS setting to support this change. This will update your nameservers automatically to support the forwarding changes you are making.
You can now access additional options by clicking on Advanced Options. The first option you will see is to Forward Only. Under this option, you can select whether or not the forwarding is permanent or temporary.
The second option is Forward with Masking. Choosing this option will do more than just prevent the forwarded domain's URL from showing in the address bar. It also allows you enter Meta Tags into the Title, Description, and Keyword fields for search engine crawlers.
Once you are done with all of your settings, click OK. Wait the necessary aforementioned 24-48 hours, and your changes should now be in order. You can check earlier, however, since GoDaddy sometimes makes the changes in a much quicker fashion.
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