Understanding domain pointing and domain parking

Websites can be considered electronic real estate, each with its own address. And like any property, they can be under construction for renovation or before the grand opening. When a physical business moves, they often leave a sign with their new address to ensure customers can continue to benefit from their services. Again, websites can do the same seamlessly. These real-world concepts are represented online by domain pointing and domain parking.

Domain pointing

Domain pointing is used to “direct” users to the right website.

Suppose a blogger used a free site, and as his popularity increased, he decided to buy a domain name to look more professional. In that case, he might get a domain as part of a hosting package. So, he moves his blog to the new host, and when users type in his new domain, his blog’s home page displays as it would on the original site.

However, sometimes the domain needs to be told what page should load in response to the URL. This is usually the result of specific directory configurations. For example, should the page be in another directory, it must be configured to “point” the URL to the correct directory.

Domain pointing is a good choice when there may be too much configuration, and when significant time and money has been spent on the original site. In addition, it minimises the risk of moving everything to discover the hosting is incompatible with the existing blog configuration.

It is a good idea to add a notice on your site for visitors before you establish domain pointing. The main reason for this is to accommodate DNS propagation time. This process can take up to 48 hours, and during this time, users may see either the new or old version of your site. The notice you post will let them know that you’re making changes to your site.

While it sounds complicated, providers like Hosting24 can set up domain pointing for you in no time.

Domain parking

Again, like in real life, property that is not in use may attract “squatters”. In terms of websites, this refers to people who take over a domain name. They might do this to sell the domain to the rightful owner. Or they may have wanted to use the domain but never got around to it and could be willing to hand it over without fuss. Unfortunately, the latter scenario is unlikely.

Despite many countries worldwide creating laws that make it illegal to squat on a domain name for financial gain, some squatters might use the hijacked sites to spread negative messages.

The easiest way to avoid squatters is to buy the domain you want, even if you’re not ready to use it yet. Once the domain is yours, you can put up a temporary page with an “under construction” message and “park” the domain. This informs visitors that they should come back at a later stage to view your content.

Using both domain pointing and domain parking

Squatters can make money from buying up domain names with different top-level domains (TLDs). This refers to the website extensions like .org, .net, .io, etc. For this reason, it’s a good idea to buy as many TLDs as you can of the same domain as your official .com TLD. Web providers like Hosting24 can then help you park the additional TLDs and point them to the right URL with the principal TLD. People may often type in the wrong TLD. When you’ve bought and parked that domain name, they will automatically be redirected to your actual website.

Contact Hosting24 for details

The answer to whether you need to park or point a domain can sometimes be both. It often comes down to the size of your organisation in terms of traffic. A celebrity might choose to do both, while a blogger starting to show growth might opt for domain pointing only. A start-up getting ready to launch its site will park the domain while everything is being built. For assistance with either domain pointing or domain parking, even if it’s just to get clarity about their differences, get in touch with Hosting24 today.

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