Many website owners dream of having multiple domain names pointing to their single site.
You may want a
.net version of your brand, or domains that reflect different products or regions your company serves.
But is it technically possible to use two different domain names for the same website?
The short answer is yes, you can configure multiple domains to route to a single website through methods like domain forwarding or domain masking.
However, it requires more technical expertise to set up and involves more time and money to manage multiple domains.
In this post, we’ll explore when and how to use two domains for one site, along with key considerations.
Forward One Domain to Another
The simplest approach is domain forwarding – where one of your domain names transparently redirects visitors to your “main” domain that hosts the live website.
For example, you may own BrandName.net but actually host your site at BrandName.com.
You can forward BrandName.net to BrandName.com so anyone typing in the .net address will automatically land at the .com site.
To implement domain forwarding:
- Purchase both domain names you want to use
- Point both domains to the same hosting provider
- Set up a 301 redirect on the domain you want to forward traffic from
- Ensure the domain you are forwarding to is the one attached to your site content
This allows you to maintain brand consistency across different domain extensions.
Visitors experience no interruption or change when redirected from one domain to the other.
Domain forwarding is commonly used to:
- Shorten a domain name
- Unify international domains
- Retire old domains
- Expand brand reach
One well-known example is facebook.com forwarding to their newer fb.com domain.
Mask Two Domains on One Site
Alternatively, you can use domain masking to configure two domains to display the exact same website.
Visitors can access the identical site from either domain name seamlessly.
For example, your website files and hosting account could be set up on YourSite.com. But you also own YourSite.net and want visitors to be able to use both domains interchangeably.
To set up domain masking in the Philippines:
- Purchase both domain names
- Point both domains to the same hosting provider and site files
- Ensure the server is configured to display the same site for both domains
This allows you to create localized domains, microsites, or simply brand the same site with different names. Visitors are unaware the domains share one site.
Domain masking is commonly used for:
- International sites (YourSite.de, YourSite.fr, etc)
- Brand diversification
- Vanity domains
One example is how Unilever uses domains like Dove.us, Dove.fr, Dove.co.uk to create localization despite hosting on one global site.
Before routing two domains to one site, note these key considerations:
- Pick one domain as the canonical domain for search engines and tracking. Google will likely index one domain for SEO over the other. Ensure page titles, metadata, etc are consistent on both domains.
- Renewing and managing multiple domains takes more time, money, and effort. Be prepared to track renewal dates, manage DNS settings, etc.
- Technical configuration must be air-tight for a seamless user experience across both domains. Work with your hosting provider to ensure optimal setup.
- Redirects and masking can confuse analytics data. Use subdomain tracking and filters to get accurate site metrics.
While using two domains for one site takes more know-how, the added flexibility and branding opportunities are often worth the effort for larger websites and companies.
|Wider brand recognition
|More domains to manage
|Extra configuration required
|Potential for SEO complications
|Own niche extensions
|Can split analytics data
It is possible to use two domain names for the same website by forwarding one domain or masking both to point to the same hosting account and files.
For individuals, using one domain name is often best to avoid unnecessary complexity.
However, larger businesses can benefit from the brand control and localization enabled by multiple domains.
With careful configuration by experienced web developers, two domains can function seamlessly as one website.
But branding flexibility comes with the tradeoff of more time, money, and technical management.