What we have here is an interesting question. Most of you reading this article have come here for an answer on the doubt of what’s the difference between CNAME and redirect. The latter one is also known as URL redirect, so if you know it by this name, we made things a bit clearer before we go into details. But, before we reach the core of this text, let’s first say that both of these processes are unique in their purpose. It is because of this that’s important to learn to tell the difference. Once you know it, you’ll be able to determine when it’s the right time to use each of them. While we’re sure you’re eager to learn the essence of what differentiates them, we’re going to start by telling you a thing or two about CNAME records.
Here, we are talking about a standard DNS resource record. It finds support in all DNS servers compliant with RFC. You need to know that CNMA is short for the Canonical Name record. If you are into spy movies such as 007 James Bond, you’ll be glad to hear that it is used as an alias for any other domain. It points to a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) and has most of its information such as TTL and IP address. The part that makes it so undercover is the fact it doesn’t even need to be in the exact domain.
If you operate a business that requires the usage of multiple IP addresses you’ll find this resource quite handy. The interchanged between the domain name and everything else that leads to it is usefully more than you know. For one, it makes the change of an IP address really easy, and all that is needed is one edit. The second benefit it carries is seen in the fact you can move things practically at will later. What this means is that things such as domain name, or mail hostname can be moved from server to server without the need to make the changes in mail clients in individual places.
As we said, CNAME is above all else an alias, which means it is adept in masking things. The most common way to use this resource is with the DNS. With it, you can have complete control of any DNS making it super easy to change the IP address at will. All of it is done by masking the true address of the end-user who is looking to hide its existence. Now that we have given you this much about CNAME, it is time to move on and tell a thing or two about the Web Redirect.
What is a Web Redirect?
Web redirect is quite awesome on its own when you think about it. For example, it allows you to transform any URL on the web. It works on the principle of directing the user to the desired destination regardless of the web address they typed in the browser. All that needs to be done to achieve this is to have a certain domain redirected to another address. So, while the user types on the address he’s going to be directed to the one you intended to after using Web Redirect. This is what puts Web Direct one step ahead of the CNAME which is unable to operate by using directories or pages.
The thing you’re going to like even more is that by using this resource you can direct the user even to the domains that start with HTTPS. By your desire and instructions, you can make the URL contain various information such as query strings, directories, and similar things. The one thing you won’t receive with this option is the masking. So, no Web Redirect isn’t alias and it can not mask the original domain. In this sense, it can be considered a true redirect that has no intention of hiding anything.
As you can see the Web Redirect can’t be considered as a standard DNS record type. It is more of a trait that allows the end-users to reach their goal even after the address has been changed. It can’t be seen before you typed in the wanted address, and only afterward it works behind the scenes to help users reach the desired destination.
What to Have in Mind?
The first thing to know is that a CNMA is not able to achieve creation on the Apex. Furthermore the same is not possible at the root of your domain. You can’t make one thing into another with this resource as with CNAME. The reason is simple. It can never see sample.com as anything else. RFC does not make this option possible.
On the other hand, you have Web Redirect which can operate with HTTP but not with HTTPS. This is because DNS protocol is agnostic which is not something most redirects are. To be able to use the HTTPS domains, and matching SSL certificate is needed on the servers which are not something that’s usually supported by a Web Redirect. But, this shouldn’t worry you too much, as if your goal is the Google rankings, you should know that this company does not discriminate and that it ranks all websites the same. But if you are in the world of link building you should know that results may y vary on the fact where you are hosting your domains and subdomains. It could lead you to the spot where by redirecting from one place to another you lose valuable support where your root domain receives no support from the subdomains.
After all, that’s said, you can tell that this subject could benefit from a little more digging. So, if you are not sure in which direction to turn, CNAME or Web redirect, try visiting https://constellix.com/news/cname-or-redirect to get more answers to this question.