CNAME stands for Canonical Name. CNAME records can be used to alias one name to another. For example, if you have a server where you keep all of your documents online, it might normally be accessed through docs.example.com. You may also want to access it through documents.example.com. One way to make this possible is to add a CNAME record that points documents.example.com to docs.example.com. When someone visits documents.example.com they will see the exact same content as docs.example.com.

Another way that you can alias domains is through URL redirects. In DNSimple, URL redirects provide greater flexibility for web sites because you point a domain to a URL. URL redirects only work with the HTTP protocol, so for example you can use a URL redirect to point documents.example.com to http://docs.example.com/ and visitors to http://documents.example.com/ will automatically be redirected to http://docs.example.com/. The address in their web browser will actually be changed to http://docs.example.com/.ith URL redirects you can even redirect to a subdirectory on your web site. For example, you could redirect customers.docs.example.com to http://docs.example.com/customers/. The redirection will even keep subdirectories intact, so for example, in the previous situation http://customers.docs.example.com/mystuff would redirect to http://docs.example.com/customers/mystuff.

Between CNAME records and URL redirect records, DNSimple provides a powerful way to ensure that visitors to your domain are seeing the domain name you want them to see.