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Domain Forwarding, Cloaking, Masking And Redirection

Forwarding/redirecting or cloaking/masking enable you to point your domain name to a page hosted on another server; such as free server space provided by your ISP.  

Which method is best - and should you be using these options at all?

Let's first take a look at what these function do.

Domain Name Cloaking & Masking

Cloaking and masking mean the same thing. Using this method, your web pages will appear in a browser "frame" while the browser address bar will show your domain name. No matter which page is visited on your web site, the address won't change when using masking.

Cloaking/masking isn't an ideal use of your domain name as your visitors won't be able to bookmark specific pages and search engines are more likely to list your pages under the server on which they are hosted; rather than under your domain name.

URL Forwarding & Redirection

Again, forwarding and redirection are terms associated with the same function. The forward is usually carried out through a 301 redirect (permanent) or 302 redirect (temporary). When someone types your domain name into their browser, the browser is told "go to X"; with X being the location of your web pages. This means that the browser address bar will change from your domain name to the address of where your pages are actually hosted after the redirect is complete.

While a little better than cloaking/masking, forwarding/redirection is still less than ideal - particularly in the case of 302 redirects as this can be frowned upon by search engines

The Best Solution - Full Web Hosting

For a commercial or community group's web site, none of the above options are as good as having a proper web hosting account and setting your domain's nameservers to resolve to that location - something that usually isn't possible when hosted on free space.

Cloaking and forwarding are a little like a redirection service you put on your mail when moving to a new house; whereas using nameservers is the actual address of your new premises. It's solid, preferred by search engines and will likely be preferred by your potential customers too. With a full featured web hosting account, you'll also have far more control and features at your fingertips for building your online business into an online success story.

Available Domain Name Search & Register

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How to register a name: Enter your choice in the search tool and click 'GO'. If after the check the domain names search results show your choice is available, you will then have the option to proceed to purchase registration; which is a very quick and easy process - start a search and find your ideal website address now.