How to Setup Godaddy Domain Forwarding (Step by Step)Tutorial

How to Setup Godaddy Domain Forwarding (Step by Step). Do you want your online visitors to input a URL into their net browser and automatically land at a different URL? You would need assistance with domain forwarding. GoDaddy domain forwarding makes the process easy for you, provided you are registered with the service provider.

This article will highlight the important things you need to know about domain forwarding and  how to setup GoDaddy Domain Forwarding.

What is Domain Forwarding?

Domain forwarding is a technique by which you can automatically reroute a domain visitor to a new web location.


Domain forwarding most often directs visitors from a shorter keyword web address to your real web address.


This technique is used for marketing purposes to express an element of your website that doesn’t appear in your actual domain name, mimic a competitor’s domain name, or create easier web address.


it could be that you have a better domain with better domain rating or have better keywords to rank on Google.  So you want to use the power of another website and redirect it to your own to improve your website ranking and authority.


It is also known as pointing, connecting, or redirecting. If you have a domain registered with GoDaddy, you can easily forward your GoDaddy domain to a website you have created with WordPress, Magento, Joomla or Shopify for example.

What's the difference between domain forwarding and masking?

Domain forwarding is a process that allows making multiple sites look like a single one. When Forwarding your domain the process is similar to a redirect, where a page takes the visitor to another website.


Instead of using a script or HTML to redirect, the domain name itself redirects the user.

When forwarding your domain, you could set your preferred forwarding type by choosing the way of forwarding.


Domain forwarding comes in two types: forwarding with masking and forwarding only. In both cases, your visitors will be redirected. However, forwarding with masking has additional features.

Domain Forwarding Only

When a domain is set to forward only, it takes the visitors to another website and the domain name does not remain in the address bar of the browser, but the URL of the new page is displayed.


In this type of  domain forwarding, the user sees the destination URL in the browser’s address bar once the redirect is completed.


In short summary: 


  • Redirects your visitors to an assigned URL of your choice.
  • Keeps the target URL in the address bar of the browser.

Domain Forwarding with Masking

If you wanting to display the domain name which the user typed in the browser’s address bar BUT not the new domain name where you forwarding customers then you use domain forwarding with masking.


The domain forwarding with masking process is when masking is active, the visitors don’t realize they are being redirected to some different website. 


In short summary:


  • Redirects your visitors to an assigned URL of your choice.
  • Retains the domain name in the URL bar of the browser.
  • You can enter meta tags for information on search engines.

Forwarding domain with masking your the target domain is hidden from the user and the original domain is displayed, where the user does not know that he is redirected to some other site.

Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Domain Forwarding?

Before we go into the setup process, it is essential to understand the difference between temporary domain forwarding and permanent domain forwarding.

You can forward a domain temporarily or permanently. While permanent domain forwarding is not exactly permanent as you can change or stop the process at any given time, there is a difference between the two.

With permanent domain forwarding, search engines erase any traffic and page ranking associated with the actual domain and transfer the information to the new domain. In a temporary domain forwarding, the information stays and you lose nothing.

Does it matter? Yes, it does. Say, for example, you are reconstructing an existing website, and you want your visitors to go to a “Coming Soon” page. With permanent domain forwarding, this would not be possible, because the search engines will delete all the traffic of the existing website, and you will have to restart with your new website when it goes live.

In this scenario, temporary domain forwarding is more effective if you want all the search rankings and domain authority you have built with your existing website to stay intact while you reconstruct a new website.

Choosing permanent forwarding is better solution, if  you have no plans to use the details of the existing web address. On the other hand, if you plan to use the new address temporarily, choose temporary domain forwarding as your best solution.

What is GoDaddy and what is it used for?

GoDaddy is a domain registrar responsible for handing the sale, registration and management of domain names. GoDaddy offers tools for building professional websites and it is one of the most popular domain registrar and web hosting company.


GoDaddy provides  a services such as: SSL certificates,  Web Hosting, WordPress Hosting, Domain Registration, Business Emails, Website builder tools and Microsoft 365. 

How to Setup GoDaddy Domain Forwarding? A Step By Step Tutorial

Setup GoDaddy Domain Forwarding is useful when you have already constructed a website or are interested in connecting your website to a social media page.

1. Log in to your personalized GoDaddy Domain Control Center with your username and password.

2. Select your domains and click on the Manage.

setting up GoDaddy domain forwarding

3. Now select Manage DNS under Additional Settings.

GoDaddy manage DNS settings

4. Under Additional Settings, go to Forwarding.

5. Select Forwarding and then select Add Domain, which is next to Domain or Subdomain. (Subdomains are an extension of your domain names to help you navigate to various sections of your web page.)

6. If you select Subdomain, enter the Subdomain name (limited to 63 characters) in the Subdomain field.

7. Select http:// or https://* for the Destination URL your domain will forward to from the dropdown menu.

Note: This field is only for the destination URL. The domain forwarding will not be SSL enabled or forwarded over https. This function is currently not supported by GoDaddy. You can set up https enabled Forwarding via your hosting platform.

8. Input the forwarding address in the Destination URL field. (This is where all the visitors are sent when they type your domain in their browser address bar.)

  • The first and last characters should be a letter or a number.
  • The maximum character length supported is 1000.
  • Periods (.) are not supported.
  • Underscores (_) are not supported.
  • Successive periods (…) are not supported.

9. Now, select your Forward type. It should be either Temporary (302) or Permanent (301)

10. This is an optional step. Select Forward with masking and input your masking details.

  • Title: A minimal phrase, not more than 80 characters, displayed in the search results and on the browser tab.
  • Keywords: A list of keywords, not more than 500 characters, that explain the purpose and content of your website.
  • Description: A minimal description, not more than 150 characters, of your website that would be displayed in search engine results.

11. Select Save. If they are not linked to the service provider, GoDaddy will automatically update your domain to nameservers.

Note: Most DNS updates happen within an hour. However, it could take a maximum of 48 hours to update globally.

If you also need the www version of your domain name to forward, ensure your www CNAME is pointing to @.


This was a summary how to Setup Godaddy Domain Forwarding.

How to Edit GoDaddy Domain Forwarding?

You will have to edit your GoDaddy Forwarded Domain if you want to change the destination URL or add Forwarding Masking.

1. Login with your GoDaddy user ID and password. Go to Domain Control Center.

2. Select your domain to access the Domain Settings page.

3. Under Additional Settings, select Manage DNS.

4. Select Edit next to Domain or Subdomain under the Forwarding option.

5. Add a new setting or edit your existing domain forwarding settings.

6. Select Save.

Note: Most DNS updates happen within an hour. However, it could take a maximum of 48 hours to update globally.

If you also need the www version of your domain name to forward, ensure your www CNAME is pointing to @.

GoDaddy Forwarding tips

1. Adding a forward will include a template in your DNS and lock your @ A record. If you want to change the A record, you will have to delete Forwarding first.

2. It is essential to remember that not all websites can be masked. They may display a blank white screen or show an error. Contact your host about masking permissions if your masked domain is not functioning as per expectation. You can also switch to the Forward only option.

3. It is suggested to keep your domain active and avoid expiration. You can turn on the auto renew function if willing.

Reasons to Use Domain Forwarding?

You could use the Domain Forwarding for a variety of reasons. Mentioned below are a few of the most routine reasons for the same.

Moving To A New Domain

You might have decided to change your business name, realized that your website is too long or you were threatened with legal action because your domain name infringed on someone else’s copyright you choose to move to a new domain name. 

Changing Pages or Structure off Your Website

When your business evolves you may want to reorganize your website or move to a new platform.  You have your search engine placement, which you dont want to loose so you will want to be sure to map the old URLs to the new ones. This is a time to use 301 redirects and let search engines, such as Google, know that your old pages have not disappeared.

Change of Business Name

If the name of your business changes, your business website also changes. It means you will have to forward the old domain into the new domain.

Forwarding Multiple Domains

If you have many domain names and want to make sure they all lead to the same location, that is another reason why you would use domain forwarding to direct them to your primary domain.

Simplifying and Tracking Display Ads

With a simple redirect, you can send the traffic from that specific URL to the home page or the chosen page on your site. By using “special” URL, you will be able to track the traffic to that URL in your analytics program.

Setup Godaddy Domain Forwarding (Step by Step)-Conclusion

There could be multiple reasons for forwarding your GoDaddy domain to other websites. Whatever be your reason, GoDaddy makes it very simple to forward your domain. Refer to our step by step guide to make your Domain redirects simple. 

Avatar for Hitesh Jethva
Hitesh Jethva

I am a fan of open source technology and have more than 10 years of experience working with Linux and Open Source technologies. I am one of the Linux technical writers for Cloud Infrastructure Services.

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