use your domain name not theirs

There are times when you want to use a service provider like Gmail, WordPress, Firebase, Heroku or OpenShift but you don’t necessarily want to keep advertising their domain name with your business, blog or website.

Converting me@gmail.com to me@MyDomain.com

This one is easy enough, assuming that you know your way around your domain registrar’s configuration.  I usually park things at GoDaddy these days so I’ll use them as an example. Likewise, I’ll assume that you have a free mailbox at Google’s Gmail.

Assumptions:

  • Mailbox: me@gmail.com
  • Domain: MyDomain.com
  • Registrar: GoDaddy

Instructions:

  1. Write down the collection of email entities that you would like to forward to your mailbox
  2. Log into GoDaddy, visit the Manage My Domains page
  3. Choose the Manage Email link associated with your domain
  4. If you haven’t already, setup email forward for your domain
  5. Choose the Create Forward link
  6. Type in the first email entity from step one above, for example, support
  7. When you type the @ symbol you next get to select MyDomain.com
  8. In the next field, enter your mailbox name of me@gmail.com
  9. In the next field, choose the Free email forwarding with domain: MyDomain.com
  10. Click the Create button
  11. Repeat for each of the entities you’d like to be:  support@MyDomain.com, info@MyDomain.com, MyName@MyDomain.com, etc

It’s best at this point to wait a couple of minutes and then send a test email out to one of these entities to see if it arrives into your mailbox.  Once you’ve verified that it works you may begin to use it confidently.

I routinely create multiple mailboxes for notification apps so that they can have their own email queue.  Again, email forwarding hides the Gmail mailbox name.

Converting wordpress.com/Me to blog.MyDomain.com

Again, this is easy enough using a feature called forwarding with masking.

Assumptions:

  • Blog: wordpress.com/me
  • Domain: MyDomain.com
  • Registrar: GoDaddy

Instructions:

  1. Log into GoDaddy, visit the Manage My Domains page
  2. Choose the gear icon associated with your domain and then choose thee Manage DNS link
  3. Choose the Settings tab
  4. Under Forward -> Subdomain choose the Manage link
  5. Click the Add Subdomain Forwarding button
  6. Enter blog as the subdomain
  7. Select http as the protocol
  8. Enter wordpress.com/me in the next field
  9. Select 301 as the Redirect Type
  10. Under forward settings choose Forward with Masking
  11. Click the Add button

Give it a couple of minutes before giving this a try to see if it works.

The same technique works for your website.  For example, I’m hosting a website at Firebase.com, another at Heroku, yet another at OpenShift.com, etc.  Each of these hosting providers would probably love it if I allowed the world to see their domain name in the URL.  But I’d rather not since that’s free advertising to them.  Don’t these examples look better?

happy-pretty-8464.firebase.com -> MyDomain.com

myphpapp-mydomain.rhcloud.com -> MyCoolApp.MyDomain.com

myappmydomain.herokuapp.com -> MyApp.MyDomain.com

Honestly, domain names cost you year after year.  You might as well take advantage of the many free services which are included with your domain registration.

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