Domain Masking: Redirect Your Website WITHOUT Changing the URL
“What are the methods to perform a domain redirection without changing the displayed URL?”
Here comes our topic related to Domain Masking. Let’s dive into the details without further ado!
What is Domain Masking?
Domain masking, also generally known as URL masking or domain cloaking. This is a technique used to hide the actual URL of a website and display a different URL in the address bar of a web browser.
This is done by creating a frame or an iframe that loads the content of one website within another website’s domain.
What is The Purpose of Domain Masking?
The primary purpose of domain masking is to make it appear as if the content being displayed is hosted on a different domain than it actually is. For example, if you have a website with a long and complicated URL, you might want to mask it with a shorter and more user-friendly domain name for branding or marketing purposes.
How Does It Appear?
Domain masking involves displaying the content of one website while keeping the original domain name in the address bar of the web browser. The visitor sees the content from one domain but perceives it as being hosted on another domain.
For example, if you have two websites, website1.com and website2.com, and you want to mask website2.com with website1.com, visitors who access website1.com will see the content of website2.com, but the URL in the address bar will remain as website1.com.
Domain masking is usually achieved through techniques like frame or iframe embedding, where the content of the masked domain is loaded within a frame on the masking domain.
Why & When Do You Need Domain Masking?
Domain masking is used for various reasons, and it serves specific purposes for website owners. Some of the common reasons why domain masking is employed.
Domain masking allows website owners to use a shorter, more memorable, or brandable domain name for their website, even if the website’s actual URL is longer or less user-friendly.
For businesses or organizations with multiple websites or subdomains, domain masking can create a consistent user experience by displaying the same domain name across all sites, even if the content is hosted on different servers.
Domain masking can help maintain privacy by hiding the actual server or hosting location of a website, making it less obvious to users or competitors where the website is hosted.
Marketing and Campaigns
In marketing campaigns or promotions, domain masking can be used to create custom, temporary URLs that are easy to remember and share, without changing the underlying content or website structure.
Affiliates may use domain masking to create a custom URL that redirects to an affiliate link. This can make the link appear more trustworthy and relevant to the audience.
Mergers and Acquisitions
When it comes to mergers or acquisitions, domain masking can be utilized to seamlessly redirect traffic from one domain to another without causing disruption to users.
The Cons of Domain / URL Masking That You Should Take Note!
Using URL/domain masking may not be the most optimal practice, as it can pose various issues and potentially harm your website in the long run. Here are some potential drawbacks and considerations in different aspects.
Domain masking can confuse users, as they might think they are on a different website when, in fact, they are still on the original website.
Some websites use domain masking to create phishing attacks or deceive users, leading to security risks.
Links and Bookmarks
If users bookmark or share the masked URL, it may lead to confusion or broken links if the masking is later removed.
Domain masking can present technical challenges, such as handling relative links and cookies between the original and masked domains.
For these reasons, domain masking is generally not recommended for most situations. If you want to use a different domain for your website, it’s better to set up a proper domain redirection or use a domain forwarding service.
One of the clear examples you can consider is setting up a permanent 301 redirection. These methods preserve the integrity of the URL and avoid the potential issues associated with domain masking.