Many SwimTopia customers purchase custom domain names for their teams from GoDaddy, one of the largest domain name registrars. However, if these customers try to use GoDaddy's Domain Forwarding feature, they may find it does not work with their SwimTopia site.
SwimTopia provides terrific support for custom domain names but does not support GoDaddy's Domain “Forward with masking” feature. This article explains why.
Covered in this Article:
Redirection vs. Domain Masking
GoDaddy's Domain Forwarding feature provides two options:
- “Forward only” – this option redirects from the custom domain like www.example.com to example.swimtopia.com. Because the user ends up always seeing and interacting with the example.swimtopia.com subdomain and not the custom www.example.com domain the team paid for, this is not a very attractive option. (This option is compatible with SwimTopia.)
- “Forward with masking” – this option sounds better, it loads the site at the subdomain (example.swimtopia.com) and wraps in a page with the custom domain (e.g. www.example.com) so that the user always sees the custom domain name. However, the way this feature works is very problematic. At a fundamental level, this feature tries to “fake” making a website appear to load using the custom domain without actually loading the site using the custom domain. To modern web browsers that “masking” looks very suspicious and most browsers will either refuse to load the “masked” site or will display a scary-looking warning message saying the site cannot be trusted. This feature is inherently insecure and has numerous other negative side-effects, including poor search engine rankings. (There is no way to use the “Forward with masking” option without these severe negative effects, therefore this option is not supported by SwimTopia.)
Secure Custom Domains
If you want to use a custom domain name in a secure and reliable way, we have you covered! Instead of using the flawed GoDaddy Domain Forwarding feature, use a free Cloudflare account to provide a secure customer domain name, plus other benefits. We walk through setting that up in Custom Domains: Cloudflare Setup Guide.