Managing DNS Records – Part II – Using email forwarding and website forwarding
The second part of our series on managing DNS records will be focusing on email forwarding and website forwarding.
These can usually be done by setting your nameservers to the registrars “own nameservers” and are provided for free at many registrars. Both website forwarding and email forwarding allow you to use your domain name with existing content or email addresses you already maintain.
You may be asking the question – “Are these processes important for most users?”
Whilst some domain owners and domain traders may not need to forward emails or websites, these processes are increasingly important for those wanting to ensure customers get the very best experience. This is because they offer a way to minimise downtime, maximise SEO by ensuring traffic and search engines access an active page and allow owners of multiple domains/emails to manage everything more efficiently.
So, we have established that there are some fundamental benefits to understanding and utilising both email forwarding and website forwarding. Let’s now explore each topic in detail, starting with email forwarding.
What is email forwarding and when should you use it?
When you purchase a domain or rent one on a platform like Cloudname, you will often set up at least one mailbox. No matter whether you wish to run it as an e-commerce site, informational site or community platform, you will want people to be able to get in touch.
This often causes complications because the number of emails to manage increases. This is where email forwarding comes in.
So what is it?
Email forwarding results in emails sent to a specific email address being automatically redirected to another email address. This is done at the domain level and either can be a permanent setting or a temporary one depending on your requirements.
This feature requires MX records, which are the mail exchange records for a domain specifying the mail server that is responsible for accepting emails. These MX records often include two different parts, the priority and the name of the mail server. The lower the priority, the higher preference for the system to use it.
You can find out more about MX records here and we will cover it more in our third article, found within the Cloudname blog section.
When should you use it?
There are three situations when you will most likely want to use email forwarding and these are as follows:
- – Changing a domain: If you decide to change a domain for any reason, such as branding or cost-saving then there may be a delay in customers switching over to the new domain details when trying to contact you. By setting up email forwarding from your old domain email, to your new domain email, you can ensure you won’t miss any emails and suffer from customer service problems.
- – Forwarding an account: If you want to maintain an old email address, or perhaps manage a colleague’s email via your own then a redirect is a great way to deal with this and not risk missing any important emails.
- – Creating an email hub: It is common for businesses, consultants and domain traders to manage a wide range of emails. A great way to manage all of the different emails is to forward them all to a single hub email.
What are the benefits of email forwarding?
Some of the benefits of utilising email forwarding include:
- – Manage multiple emails from a single email address.
- – Maintain customer service levels when changing domains, reducing the chances of losing customers.
- – Utilise your preferred email software without facing additional problems.
- – Save time and money when managing your email accounts.
What is website forwarding and why is it so important?
The second type of forwarding we are covering in this article is website forwarding, sometimes referred to as domain forwarding.
An essential feature for those domain owners concerned with both search engine optimisation (SEO) and the user experience of visitors to the domain in question. Let’s get started with an explanation of what it is!
What is it?
A fairly simple concept, website forwarding is a process of automatically redirecting traffic to a different URL when they try to access your domain name. This can be redirecting users to another URL within your domain (such as sending all visitors from domain.com to www.domain.com) or to a completely different domain (such as domain.com to domain2.com).
Some of the reasons why domain owners choose to implement this feature include:
- – You have a business with multiple domains but you wish to send all traffic to a single, primary website.
- – You have issues with a particular domain and don’t want to risk visitors landing on a broken page or experiencing an error
- – You’re moving a website to a new domain name
- – You want to merge multiple websites or migrate from HTTP to HTTPS
As you can see, website forwarding offers an array of benefits but the importance of this feature goes above simply solving a technical problem.
Why is it so important?
We can understand the importance of using website forwarding properly by looking at two key topics: user experience and SEO.
Imagine visiting a website and it doesn’t load correctly! Or perhaps it doesn’t load at all and you simply see an error. This will not only affect your trust in their brand, but it will also likely cause you to go to a competitor.
In an age of instant information and huge competition, when we click on a website link we expect to go to the page we want to visit. If this page has moved or has a fault then by setting up website forwarding you can make sure the user gets through to the right URL without experiencing a drop in the user experience.
No matter whether you have a portfolio of domains or you operate e-commerce sites, you will want to maximise each domain’s SEO. This is because it will add value to the site when you wish to sell it or generate more traffic, in turn generating more sales.
If a page returns an error, such as a 404 or 410 error code then search engine indexes will drop it quickly, losing any ranking that it previously held. Furthermore, backlinks that point to a page with an error end up offering no value to your SEO.
Website forwarding, both as a temporary tool or a permanent one help mitigate these problems and protect your rankings in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
What are the common issues with forwarding/redirecting that you should avoid?
You should always be aware of potential issues when setting up website forwarding, so take the time to understand what the problem is that you’re trying to resolve with forwarding and follow the correct guidance. Some of the most common issues include:
- – Make sure that a redirect from one page to another offers as closely matched content as possible. If a person is clicking on a link to buy a certain product, make sure the redirect takes them to the same product.
- – You can have problems with redirect chains, where you don’t simply redirect from A to B, but then B to C. This can increase the chances of problems occurring and reduce the efficiency of the user experience.
- – Make sure that you remember to change any internal links to avoid unnecessary redirecting.
Email forwarding and website forwarding are a fantastic part of the DNS environment and are vital to understanding how to effectively manage website domains. With more of us now managing multiple emails and websites for both personal projects and business opportunities they not only make life easier but help protect investments.
If you’ve joined the Cloudname community or are currently considering investing in domains, then make sure to set up the relevant domain forwarding features for all your new domains.
Cloudname is the innovative platform for online domain trading. Discover the world of cloudname and everything you didn’t know about domain trading.
Most valuable Domain extensions: is .eth the next .com? What are Web domain extensions? In the beginning, domains were created as an alternative to the