I am trying to configure my domain to forward to my app engine application.

For the forwarding I can choose from "forward only" and "forward with masking". Assume my domain is called "myDomain.com" and my app is located at myApp.appspot.com. If I choose "forward only" and I go to myDomain.com, I get redirect to myApp.appspot.com (myApp.appspot.com also showing in the address bar -> But I want to show myDomain.com of course).

If I choose "forward with masking", "myDomain.com" is always shown in the address bar, even if I navigate to some subpage. The URL then should look like e.g.: "myDomain.com#!page:xyz", but still shows "myDomain.com".

Is there some way in the middle?

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4 Answers 4

  • Forward only -- Use 301 redirects to redirect from myDomain.com to myApp.appspot.com
  • Forward with Masking -- Use frames to keep the URL as myDomain.com while instructing the browser to fetch the content from myApp.appspot.com. The URL then doesn't change as you navigate the site.

Forwarding (of any type) is not what you want. You actually want your content to be served from your custom domain name.

Many hosting providers offer custom domain names as part of their service, and they have their own proprietary control panels to configure this.

For example, the Google App Engine (for appspot.com) supports this and has a help document with instructions for setting up a custom domain. Follow those instructions to have the app engine serve the content from your own domain name.

  • Why do you say forwarding is not what you want? Any support for this opinion?
    – J. Tate
    Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 15:36
  • 2
    @J.Tate They want to show their domain in the address bar. If you want to show your address in the address bar, you don't want to use forwarding. Forwarding with masking sort of does that, but the URL won't change as you navigate pages within the site and search engines will index the other "real" URL and send visitors there. Commented Jan 17, 2018 at 17:55

The "masking" capability uses an IFRAME. That's indeed probably not what you want.

The easiest is to have your own Apache settings, maybe with a VPS since those are pretty cheap ($20/mo. these days). That way you do not have to bother with such forwarding features. You can do all your setup directly in your Apache, DNS, etc.


I've just had a call with the GoDaddy support team and the solution took about 5 minutes. I have a Linux with cPanel, so the process migth vary with yours.

You go to "My Account", search for the Domains section and then click on Addon Domains.

Here you will fill a three fields form:

  1. New Domain Name
  2. Subdomain
  3. Document Root

As long as you fill out the first and press TAB or focus out the field, it will automatically fill the other two, so just type in "yourdomain.com" (without the quotes) and finally click on Add Domain.

  • Note that this process uses the cPanel - web hosting - control panel, not the GoDaddy ("Forwarding and Masking") interface as mentioned in the question. cPanel is only available if you have purchased additional web hosting, which probably does not apply to the scenario described in the question. The OP is using "Google App Engine" to host their site.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 11:06

In Simple words forward only, means your old domain to redirect new domain home page and Forward with masking means visitors only see the url or domain they type or visit they don't know about in which domain they are accessing.


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