Domain Forwarding vs DNS Redirection

Mandy Blyss
Mandy Blyss used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi EEs,

My client has purchased a secondary domain name which is supposed to capture more traffic based on the very name of the domain. I know how to do both Domain Forwarding and changing the DNS to point to the primary hosting servers. However, my quandary is what is best for the search engines and the users to ensure they don't think the site has been hijacked.

So, is it better to enable domain forwarding or point DNS servers to primary hosting servers?

I'd really appreciate some expert insight on the best method forward to capture as much leads as possible for my client.

Regards,
Mandy
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changing the dns is better in many ways including but not limiting to : keeping a mostly working site if one dns provider is down, better referencing ( do not do this with dozens of domains ), lesser complexity, easier future transitions...

if you use virtual hosts, do not forget to make sure both hosts work properly on the server side.

i'd also recommend you code the site so minor changes appear depending on the domain you used. that would include the site's name, the title in the header, possibly a few h1-4 tags... you can also have different skins which will change the user's first impression. but that would have no incidence on bots. and you can use different keywords depending on the host name as well. few keywords usually work better so split them evenly making sure to keep together the keywords that go together in google searches.
David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
1) My client has purchased a secondary domain name which is supposed to capture more traffic based on the very name of the domain. I know how to do both Domain Forwarding and changing the DNS to point to the primary hosting servers. However, my quandary is what is best for the search engines and the users to ensure they don't think the site has been hijacked.

If you do a 302 (never a 301, as this blocks any change ever of the target link), search engines will understand your intent.

This will be treated as a redirect, rather than a domain hijack... whatever that might mean...

It's unclear why you might think search engines might treat this as a hijack.

If you have additional information about why you think this might be treated as a hijack, provide this information for additional answers.

2) So, is it better to enable domain forwarding or point DNS servers to primary hosting servers?

Unsure what you mean by DNS domain forwarding, as there is no such thing.

There is HTTP/HTTPS forwarding, accomplished using 30X Web server redirect requests.

To accomplish a "redirect", you'll use an HTTP/HTTPS 30X redirect.

3) Some Registrars use fake/hokey/broken redirects they call domain redirects.

You should never use these as they are always (at least to date) done via HTTP not HTTPS requests. This means when browsers eventually move to treating all HTTP content as suspect, all these broken HTTP redirect (no SSL cert to upgrade the connection to HTTPS) will all show a malicious site message.

So if 100% traffic is important, the correct way to do this is to wrap the original site in HTTPS (using a cert, like a free LetsEncrypt cert), then forward to some other HTTPS site (likely also using a cert).
if you need help regarding the SSL setup, feel free to ask inline here. you either need SNI so your web server can issue different certificates based on what the client asked, or multiple external IPs. make it external ips if you do have more than a single IP available as this is both easier to setup and compatible with older clients.
Mandy BlyssDeveloper & CEO

Author

Commented:
Great information - thank you.

The client already has a SSL on the primary domain name.
I have a good hosting provider that can assist with multiple SSL.
But I will definitely ask more questions if they cannot assist me.

Thank you :)

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