Domain forwarding

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Definition

Domain forwarding is a technique that allows a domain name to be redirected to another web address. This means that a domain name can be used instead of another web address to point to a website.

Set up domain forwarding

Setting up domain forwarding is usually not too complicated. But how exactly it works depends on your hosting provider and your domain registrar. I'll give you a rough overview with a few examples:

About the domain registrar

  1. Registrar login: Log in to your account at your domain registrar (e.g. GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc.)
  2. Domain Management: Go to the administration page of your domain.
  3. Forwarding settings: Search for the option for URL- or domain forwarding. At GoDaddy, for example, it is under the item "Domain Settings", then "Forwarding".
  4. Enter forwarding destination: Give the URL of the target domain to which your old domain should be redirected.
  5. Forwarding type: Choose between a 301-forwarding (permanent) and a 302-Forwarding (temporary) off. Usually 301 is the better choice because it has SEO advantages.
  6. Save & TestSave the settings and test if the forwarding works.

About the webhost

If you want to have a bit more control or define additional rules for forwarding, you can also set up forwarding directly on your web server, for example in the .htaccess-file if you are using an Apache server. It might look like this:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^old-domain.com$ [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.alte-domain.com$
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.neue-domain.com/$1 [R=301,L]

WordPress plugin

If you are using WordPress, there are also plugins like "Redirection" that allow you to easily create redirections in the WordPressBackend can set up.

Cloudflare

If you use Cloudflare, you can also set up redirects there under the menu item "Page Rules".

No matter which method you choose: Always test thoroughly if everything works as desired and keep an eye on the SEO aspects. For example, Google doesn't like it when a redirect ends in an infinite loop.

Advantages

So, if you use domain forwarding correctly, it can be a real game changer for your online business. I'll explain it to you with a few concrete examples.

  1. RebrandingImagine your company has launched a new brand. You previously had the domain "MyOldBusiness.com" and now you have "MyNewBusiness.com". You certainly don't want all the hard work you put into the old domain to be lost. By redirecting it, you make sure that anyone who has used the old domain URL is automatically redirected to the new one. This is great for your customers and also for your SEO.
  2. Backlinks: You have been working on the old domain for years and have some really strong Backlinks collected. This Backlinks to lose them just like that would be a real pity. By redirecting, these links remain and point to the new domain. This helps to preserve your SEO authority.
  3. Error prevention: You might have bought several similar domains to catch typos. For example, "MeinShop.de" and "MeinShopp.de". With domain forwarding, you can make sure that anyone who makes a small typing error will still end up on the correct website.
  4. SEO boost for special campaignsLet's say you've created a special marketing campaign and a landing page for it. With a clever domain redirect, for example from "UnserSonderangebot.de" to "MeinShop.de/Sonderangebot", you make it easier for people to find the right page and give your campaign additional momentum.
  5. Domain transferSometimes a complete domain change is necessary, for example because the old domain had bad rankings or was linked to a penalized website. In such cases, it is important to set up clean 301 redirects to make the transition as smooth as possible.

So, these were just a few examples. The most important thing is always to set up the forwarding carefully in order to SEO Error to avoid. If you do it right, the benefits are huge. You preserve your hard SEO work, improve user experience, and make your life easier overall.

Disadvantages

Of course, domain redirects are not always the best thing in the world and can also bring a few stumbling blocks with them. I'll give you a few examples, so you know what you should look out for:

  1. SEO-Ranking-lossIf you forward your domain and the new domain is not yet well listed in Google-Ranking you could lose a few places in the short term. This is especially critical if you have very competitive keywords.
  2. Duplicate Content: Be careful if you present the same content under different URLs! Google does not like duplicate content and may penalize your pages in the rankings. This is especially true if the redirect is not properly configured as 301 (permanent redirect).
  3. Backlink loss: Even though 301 redirects usually pass on link power, it is not always 100% efficient. Some of your old Backlinks could lose value.
  4. Loading timesEach redirect adds a bit of extra loading time. This is mostly negligible, but if you have several redirects in a row (which you should avoid), it can affect the user experience and have a negative impact on SEO.
  5. User confusionIf the domain change is not well communicated, users may be irritated. This may not directly affect the SEO, but indirectly it does, because if the users are not satisfied, your dwell time decreases, the bounce rate increases and Google could interpret this negatively.
  6. Technical errorsWhen setting up domain forwarding, something can always go wrong. Maybe you accidentally forward to a wrong or non-existent page or the server is not configured correctly. Such errors can be fatal, so double and triple check is mandatory!

So, those were a few things that can go wrong. As with everything in SEO, if you know what you're doing and test everything thoroughly, the risks are usually manageable. But a little caution is always in order!

Use cases

  1. RebrandingYou have relaunched your brand and want a new domain that fits better? No problem, you can simply forward your old domain to the new one. For example, "TheFacebook" has changed to "Facebook" and forwarded the old domain.
  2. Secure domain variantsSometimes companies secure several variants of their domain, e.g. with different endings like .de, .com, .net and so on. They then forward all these variants to the main domain so that no competitor grabs one of the names.
  3. Error prevention: Sometimes domain names are complicated or hard to spell. So, what do people do? They secure simpler, similar-sounding domains and redirect them to the main domain. For example, a website like "phoenix-automobile.com" might also save "fenix-auto.com" to catch typos.
  4. Marketing campaigns: You have a special promotion or event and want a simple, memorable URL? Then you can buy a special domain for it and redirect the visitors to the corresponding landing page of your main website.
  5. Geographical forwardingDo you have different versions of your website for different countries? With a domain redirect you can automatically direct visitors to the relevant page for them, e.g. from "deine-website.com" to "deine-website.de" for German visitors.
  6. Product or service forwardingIf you have multiple products or services under different domains, you can redirect them all to one main page to strengthen the brand image. Let's say you have a main page for your fitness classes and separate pages for yoga, pilates and strength training. All of them could be redirected to the main fitness page.
  7. SEOSometimes you buy a domain just for its SEO value. Maybe the domain has good Backlinks or is relevant for certain keywords. By redirecting you can transfer some of this "juice" to your main domain.

So, I hope that brings a little light into the darkness! In principle, there's a lot of reasons for ne domain forwarding, but no matter what you do, always remember: clean set up and test, so that nothing goes wrong.

Conclusion

Domain forwarding is a useful technique that allows companies to point multiple domains to a single website. It can offer some advantages, like attracting more visitors and increasing the Search engine optimization to improve. However, it can also have disadvantages, such as longer loading times and increased costs. Therefore, companies should carefully consider before using redirects.

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FAQ

What is domain forwarding? arrow icon in accordion
Domain forwarding is a service that allows visitors to a website registered under a certain domain to be redirected to another website. This redirection is achieved by making changes to the domain's DNS (Domain Name System) settings.
How does domain forwarding work? arrow icon in accordion
Domain forwarding works by setting it up through the Domain Name System (DNS). DNS is a worldwide system that associates IP addresses with domain names. When a forwarding is set up, changes are made to the DNS settings to redirect requests to the original domain to another domain.
Why should you use domain forwarding? arrow icon in accordion
Domain redirects have many use cases. They are often used to redirect visitors from an old domain to a new one when the name or URL of a website changes. Redirects can also be used to point multiple domains to one page to attract more visitors.
Is it possible to redirect multiple domains to one page? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, it is possible to redirect multiple domains to one page. This is often used to drive more visitors to a page. It involves making changes to the DNS settings of each domain that is to be associated with the page.
Is it possible to undo a domain forwarding? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, a domain forwarding can be undone. To do this, you need to change the DNS settings of the domain in question to cancel the forwarding.
Can domain redirects affect page load times? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, page load times can be affected by the use of domain redirects. The more domains that are redirected to a page, the slower the page will load. Therefore, it is important that redirects are limited to an optimal number to improve page load times.
Can domain redirects be used to protect a website? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, domain forwarding can be used to protect a website from unauthorized access. If a website has multiple domains, it can be configured to redirect so that only those who enter the correct domain can access the website.
Can domain redirects also be used for SEO? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, domain redirects can also be used for SEO. When multiple domains are redirected to one website, search engines can crawl and index the links between the domains as a single page. This allows multiple domains to gain more visibility in search engine rankings.
Can domain redirects point to different destinations? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, domain redirects can point to different destinations. For example, they can point to another website, a subpage of a website, or even to a specific file.
Is there any way to monitor the domain redirects? arrow icon in accordion
Yes, there are several tools that you can use to monitor domain redirects. With these tools, you can measure the accessibility and speed of the redirects. Also, you can check if the redirects are working correctly.

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