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How and Why to Re-Direct (Point) Your Domain Name to Another Website URL

What happens when you redirect a website?  It's really simple.  When someone types one website address (URL) into a browser - say, http://www.PetlaneProducts.com - they GO to the actual link, which in this case is http://www.mypetlane.com/petbiz.aspx). 

In other words, forwarding (redirecting) a domain name enables you to direct incoming traffic from a parked domain to an already existing Web site. When someone attempts to access your domain, their Web browser automatically redirects them to your main Web site.

When should you consider re-directing a domain name?  (Also called forwarding a domain, or employing a domain name pointer.)

  • When the actual specific URL is long and awkward or otherwise difficult to remember (which is the case with many affiliate websites, or websites given to you when you sign up as a representative for a particular company.)  It's MUCH easier to put a short, easy to spell domain name on a business card - plus a well-chosen domain name can be an effective marketing tool as well.

  • When the correct, specific URL for your website is NOT the one you want to promote. 

  • When you want a domain name that fits a specific promotional strategy. In the example above, Petlane offers both pet products and a pet home business opportunity.  You could easily buy TWO domain names - one focused on the products and one focused on the business opportunity - and have BOTH redirect to your Petlane representative site.  You would just promote the different URLs depending on which aspect of the business your prospect is most interested in.  (Also useful for Google Adwords campaigns.)

So... you need a buy a domain name (that's your ONLY cost, you do NOT need to pay for website hosting if all you're doing is a domain redirect) and then set up the actual redirect.

See "Choosing a Domain Name", then come back to this page...

Most companies who sell domain names (domain name registrars) also sell website hosting, and in my experience, if there's the slightest chance that you're going to actually develop the domain name you're buying (in other words, stop pointing it to another site and build a stand-alone website there), it's much easier to stick with one company for both.

My favorite is Dayana Host; domain name prices are VERY low and hosting prices are RIDICULOUSLY low, so you might as well start out where you mean to end up!  I've been very pleased with their service over the years.

So... you bought a domain name that you want to re-direct.  How do you do it?

The domain name registrar will probably have instructions or a tutorial on their site (Dayana Host has a great video tutorial), but in general, after you've bought your new domain, the process will be something like this:

  1. Log into Dayana Host (or wherever you bought the domain name)

  2. Choose Manage Domains

  3. Choose the name you want to redirect

  4. Choose "Modify Forwarding"

  5. Type in the URL you want to forward your domain name to

  6. That's it!  Save the changes.

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