Secrets of Using Domain Masking with Free Web Hosting

When you register a domain name, several domain registrars give you an option of domain name forwarding and domain name masking. If used correctly, they are powerful tools to control your domain names.

Domain name forwarding

Domain name forwarding simply redirects you to a site you define i.e. if you have a previously hosted site, it redirects users who typed your domain name (www.yourname.com) to your hosted site (lets say www.geocities.com/yourname). So you just pay for the domain. But it shows clearly that the url redirected from www.yourname.com to www.geocities.com/yourname.

Domain name masking

Here comes in domain masking. Once you are redirected to your already hosted site, the domain name still keeps on showing www.yourname.com in the url bar inspite of whichever url you are on. So you can show your professional looking domain name while free web hosting elsewhere. So domain masking is really useful. So look for a registrar who provides free domain masking along with your domain name.

Now telling you how it is done. A look at the source code of the domain name page will show –

<html>
<head>
<title>yourname</title>
<meta name="description" content="your description">
<meta name="keywords" content="keyword1, keyword2">
</head>
<frameset rows="100%,0" border="0">
<frame src="http://yourforwardingurl" frameborder="0">
<frame frameborder="0">
</frameset>
</html>

When you register for domain masking , you will be asked to fill in data for 3 tags which show in the source code i.e. title of site. description of site and revelvant keywords.

<title>yourname</title>
<meta name="description" content="your description">
<meta name="keywords" content="keyword1, keyword2">

This shows as your sites details when indexed by search engines, when someone bookmarks it and of course in the browsers title.

The basic principle here is frames!
A quick look at the souce code will reveal

<frameset rows="100%,0" border="0">
<frame src="http://yourforwardingurl" frameborder="0">
<frame frameborder="0">
</frameset>

This means that the domain name registrar creates a html page with 2 frames. The top frame is 100% of the window i.e. it will fill the whole screen with your site. Since the frameborder is 0 – you see no border between these frames. Noresize means even if you try, you cannot try to expand the lower frame. So you can mask any page in this way!

NOTE: Misuse of domain masking is a bad SEO practice and can get your site penalized in search engine results. So use it only when genuinely needed.

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colin
colin

couldn’t you do this yourself, without paying extra for a domain masking feature?

lucas
lucas

just gettin my head around this. i am using the forwarding/masking you talk about (see http://www.bbc.com) but it annoys me because no matter what page you are in within the website, it always just displays that generic url, and not http://www.bbc.com/somepage for instance. surely this is not very useful if a visitor to the site wants to send a link to a specific page, and not just to the site index page? any tips? (i’m not using frames in my site).

userbob23
userbob23

I set-up a folder using my domain (“bob.net”) with a mask of “bill.net,and searched google and it sent me to the page but the address bar showed bob.net/bill/index.html
What am I doing wrong here!

Nikki Rose Ty
Nikki Rose Ty

Why, thank you. I’m doing that now.

Maurice
Maurice

sounds like a good idea. then again, package deals with hosting can sometimes be even cheaper than the domain by itself. i just discovered a site that offers hosting, no ads, ftp, & a domain with 10 subdomains for $12 a year. i think that’s less than or equal to the average price of a domain by itself. it’s also sooo much simpler. the method i found most effective: google search for something like “$1 web hosting.”

Jon
Jon

This is great, worked like a charm! Kind of curious about whether or not you can add a pop up to a masked domain.

dhanjit
dhanjit

Really Great..I m trying it now.got good response from Search engines.

DJ
DJ

But i have heard that it makes some negative impact from the Search engines point of view.

Dubey
Dubey

I think these are the same thing “domain masking” and “domain forwarding”

giysi
giysi

But i know that search engenes doesn’t like frames.

Teo Graca
Teo Graca

Google is recently blacklisting masked websites. It is a shame because the thing that made Google was being able to actually find relevant content in a search anywhere on the web – Google was the first to accomplish this. But since the advent of social media, people are finding what they want directly, without having to search for it – they find it directly through the social media and social networking sites. Google is feeling the pinch and is changing their business model. Craigslist recently changed their business model from free ads to paid ads and they have imploded. Now… Read more »