A common problem that occurs when you set up a free website through sites like WordPress and Blogger is a less than ideal domain name. While having a domain like yoursite.wordpress.com could work well enough when you’re first starting out, you may want to show a more professional online presence later on. One of the easiest solutions for this issue is to set up a masked URL forward.
What is a masked URL forward?
Masked forwards are one of the best ways to employ a domain redirect on an existing website while keeping your URL front and center. Masked forwards are similar to a regular URL forward or redirect where a domain you own is sent to an existing website or landing page. Traditionally when a domain is forwarded, you can see the URL changing from your forward to the page it’s redirecting to if you keep your eye on the navigation bar. But masked URLs “cover” the existing URL so the visitor only ever sees the forwarded URL in the address bar.
For example, when you type name.rocks into your browser, it redirects to our Name.com Twitter page—you can see the address in the navigation bar change to Twitter once it lands on that page. However, if we changed the redirect type to a masked URL, the navigation bar would reflect name.rocks even once the destination page is reached.
How can I set up a masked forward?
Masked forwards may sound complicated, but setting one up in your account is fairly simple.
Start by logging into your Name.com account and heading to your domains page using the My Domains menu. Click on the domain that you would like to set up a masked forward for. Click the URL Forwarding tab on the left-hand side.
Here, you can enter information about where your URL is forwarding to and what type of redirect you’ll be setting up. Use the drop-down menu under the Type section to change it to “Masked.”
Once you change the forward type to Masked, the Title and Meta fields will appear. Enter those details if you wish, and press the Add Forwarding button once you’re done to complete the forward.
Check out this Knowledge Base article for more thorough instructions on how to set up a URL forward, and reach out to our Support team if you have any questions.
A note about partial masked forwarding: Customer often request a partial masked forward on their websites so that the masked URL only appears on certain sections of their site and not others. Unfortunately, Name.com does not support this functionality, and you must opt for either a simple redirect or fully masked forward.