When hosting a website on azure websites I have two options:

  1. Be a cheapskate and go for the free option without a domain. I would then setup web forwarding with my domain registrar from my domain to the domain.azurewebsites.net address

  2. Go for the paid option the and setup a CNAME and A record so that traffic to my domain (with or without the www prefix) is routed directly to the site

Could anyone please advise what impact going for option 1 will have on Google/Bing ranking performance compared with option 2?


In both cases, you're going to present to search engines a new site (a new URL). That's why you have the same chance for SEO with option 1 or option 2.

For example, there is no advantage to get a subdomain or a new domain name for SEO; for search engines, a new site is a new site.

However, it's always a good idea to buy your own domain name, it's cleaner (especially if your run a business) for visitors and you don't have ads on it (contrary to a lot of free web hosting services).

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