Canonical Name records, commonly called CNAME records, can be used to alias one name to another. They're often used to avoid maintaining two different records.
Let's say you have a server where you keep all of your documents online. It might normally be accessed through
docs.example.com, but you might also want to access it using
One way to do this is to add a CNAME record that points
docs.example.com. When someone visits
documents.example.com they'll see the exact same content as
Great question. Let's look at an example:
www.ilovetacos.com pointing to the same application and hosted by the same server. To avoid maintaining two different records, you can create an A record for
ilovetacos.com pointing to the server IP address, and a CNAME record for
www.ilovetacos.com pointing to
As a result,
ilovetacos.com points to the server IP address, and
www.ilovetacos.com points to the same address via
If the IP address changes, you only need to update the record in one place. Just edit the A record for
www.ilovetacos.com automatically changes, too.
For a more detailed description, including restrictions, we wrote this handy support article.
In DNSimple, URL redirects provide greater flexibility for websites, because you point a domain to a URL. URL redirects only work with the HTTP protocol.
Let's look at an example:
If you use a URL redirect to point
http://docs.example.com/, visitors to
will automatically be redirected to
The address in their browser will change to
You can also redirect to a subdirectory on your web site. For example:
could redirect to
The redirection will even keep subdirectories intact. If we use the previous example:
would redirect to
Between CNAME records and URL redirect records, DNSimple provides a powerful way to ensure visitors to your domain see the domain name you want them to see.
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Posted updated May 2020
I break things so Simone continues to have plenty to do. I occasionally have useful ideas, like building a domain and DNS provider that doesn't suck.
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