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Understanding Domain Forwarding, Redirection, and Aliasing (host headers)

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Folks often confuse the terms domain forwarding, domain redirecting, and domain aliasing (host headers) because people in the industry use the terms interchangably and incorrectly sometimes. Although there is some variation in the terminology, the following are 3Essential's definition for these terms, and the pros and cons of both scenarios:


- This is done at the registrar level... check to see if your registrar offers free or low cost domain forwarding. When you register a domain with 3Essentials, we do provide free domain forwarding.
- MAIL: In this scenario, cannot receive mail (i.e, no
- HOSTING: In your hosting plan, this only counts as 1 domain, as "" is the only domain we actually create a hosting space for.


- This is done at the hosting level... i.e., in your hosting plan, we actually set up BOTH domains for hosting, and you can configure your default page in with an html redirect (or an ASP redirect), that will direct users to
- MAIL: In this scenario, each domain has a separate mail namespace... both domains have unique email accounts: i.e., and are two separate mail accounts. HOSTING: In your hosting plan(s), this counts as 2 domains. If you have a multi-domain plan, you'll use 2 domains from your domain limits. If you have a single domain plan, you'll need to have 2 single domain plans (or upgrade to a multi-domain plan) in order to accomodate hosting for both domains.

DOMAIN ALIASING (host headers) (with an alias of This is 1 site, known by 2 names.

- This is done at the hosting level... i.e., in your hosting plan, we set up the first domain, then add the second as an ALIAS of the first (in Windows IIS web server, this is done by adding HOST HEADERS for the second domain to the website). Then, you're one website is known by either name.
- A given file on the site can be accessed by either name: or
- MAIL: In this scenario, there is only one mail namespace... a given mail user is aliased in both domains as well: i.e., and point to the same exact mailbox/mail user.
HOSTING: In your hosting plan, this counts as 1 domain, and 1 alias. For most of our plans, we include 1 alias for each 1 domain in your hosting plan. You can purchase additional domain aliases, simply submit a request to the billing team for details).
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