URL Redirect Methods, Forwarders

There are several ways to redirect or forward a URL:


301 Redirect

Search engines like Google prefer 301 (permanent) redirects. These redirects can be changed and erased as desired. The 302 (temporary) redirects behave similar to 301 redirects; however, they are less favored since they redirect visitors and search engines without updating the bookmark.

For help creating a 301 redirect, please see the following article:


Masked Forward and HTML Forward

While it is possible to create a masked forward that would display another website's content under your domain, this would require custom coding that is not supported. In addition to this, it is recommended that you do not use these methods to display content from an external server on your domain for the following reasons:

  • Mobile Site Incompatible: Frames and masked forwarding cannot properly resize on mobile devices, preventing CSS and JavaScript from correctly displaying when your site is visited via a mobile browser.
  • No Search Engine Optimization: While viewers may see your domain when they visit the site, search engines will still identify the content as being served by the original domain. This will prevent your links from being indexed or gaining search engine ranking. In addition to this, the masked forward will not provide any tags to serve data for your site, preventing search engines from providing helpful information from your site.
  • Poor Social Media Sharing: When you share links from your page via social media pages, they extract images and descriptions from the metadata of your page, which they will not be able to retrieve through a masked forward.
  • Site Links: Links from the page will not work correctly through a masked forward, causing unexpected browser issues, failing to display URL changes, and even continuing to display your domain as viewers click links to pages that are not part of your site. In addition to this, these links can compromise the security of your links, and services like PayPal will potentially block transactions from your page.

If you are developing your page with a third-party service, rather than using masked forwarding to display it, the service will likely have a more effective solution for displaying your content.


Custom .htaccess Redirects

You can add coding to your .htaccess file to customize rewrite and redirect rules. This is an advanced method which is not supported by HostGator.


Advanced Questions

1. How do I redirect my website to another IP but still keep my email here?

You must customize your A record. This record controls where you domain's website is hosted.

2. How do I redirect my subdomains to another site at the DNS level?

This is done with a CNAME record. This record controls each subdomain name like www and mail.domain.com.

3. How do I redirect my emails to another server?

You must customize your MX record. This record controls which host your emails will be delivered to.