You likely have heard of domain forwarding where you purchase a domain and have it forward to a different domain. You might not have heard about domain forwarding with masking. What this means is when you forward someone to a different domain/URL, it continues to display the domain they typed into their URL address bar once they are on the site rather than the actual URL.
The need for this came about for Online Church when our Media Social channel URL is http://live.mediasocial.tv/cbc. It's not a bad URL, but it wasn't easy for people to remember so we purchased a domain (first http://mycbconline.com and now http://onlinechurch.com) and forwarded that domain to our Media Social channel URL. It worked for the most part, but I would hear from people that they thought they somehow went to the wrong site because the URL completely changed. That's when we found out about domain forwarding with masking.
Now, when people type in the URL http://OnlineChurch.com it forwards them to http://live.mediasocial.tv/cbc, but their URL address bar still displays OnlineChurch.com.
So, that's why we did it, but for those who have asked the questions about how we did it; here is the step by step process as to how we setup this functionality through GoDaddy:
- Purchase the domain at http://GoDaddy.com
- Click on My Account and then Launch the Domains tab
- Choose the domain you want to forward and then choose option "Manage" next to "Forwarding"
- Choose Advanced Options and "Forward with Masking"
- Fill in the information: URL to forward to, Title (will show up at top of browser window), Description (will display in search results), and Keywords (will help with SEO)
Save these results and you're all set and should be in effect immediately.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this functionality and how you are using it. I would also be interested to hear any reasons as to why someone shouldn't use this functionality as well. Please comment with any questions that you might have about domain forwarding with masking.