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How do I assign two or more domain names to my shop?

Filed in Domain

Please note that Aarcade custom domain and email services are only available with an Aarcade Domain & Email Plan.

I currently have no domain names

As explained in the following section, we strongly recommend that you register only one custom domain name for your shop. Aarcade offers a Domain & Email For Big Cartel service in the Aarcade Theme Shop for this purpose.

I currently have only one domain name

Purchasing multiple domains for your web site is like owning a shop on Pine Street and then buying a vacant block at the same address on Pine Road, just so you can put up a sign that says “we’re located at Pine Street”. This highlights the single question at the core of a multiple domain set up: who exactly would try to find your shop at Pine Road?

We do not recommend purchasing more than one domain for any location on the web, i.e. site, shop, blog, etc., for the following reasons:

  1. There is no SEO benefit and, in some cases, your second domain name may actually be penalised for duplicating content at your original domain.
  2. There is negligible accessibility benefit. Many domain registrars attempt to sell multiple domain variations to prevent lost visitors that have entered your domain name with incorrect spelling or TLD (Top-Level Domain, e.g. .com, .net, .org, etc.). As you know from your own web browsing, new web sites are discovered via online searching, link sharing (via social networks, email, direct message, links in blog posts, etc.), business cards (real and virtual) and so on. Furthermore, once a visitor arrives at your site, your correct address is saved in their browser history and, if they intend to visit your site again in the future, they may even bookmark your site. Not one of these most common methods of site access requires a visitor to type your domain name, and therefore not one allows the possibility for errors in spelling or TLD.

    In the rare case where a visitor is typing out your domain name from memory, on a device that has never been used to visit your site before, they know what they expect to find. If, through error, they arrive at a different or non-existent site, with an online search or reference to their original source, such an error would be easily corrected by the visitor.

  3. There is no security benefit. Many domain registrars attempt to sell multiple domain variations as part of securing your brand and identity. Regardless of the domain name variations you acquire for this purpose, it is impossible to acquire all of them (especially considering that over 1000 new domain extensions will be available in 2013) and if a party wants to register a domain name that closely resembles yours, with the intent of syphoning from your business, they can do so. In reality this is an extremely rare occurrence and the only legitimate precaution and protection is obtained by officially registering your business name, copyright and/or trademark. There are also governing bodies that provide you with dispute resolution services, e.g. UDRP for cybersquatting.
  4. It dilutes your brand. If you are actively sharing more than one domain name that links to the same content you are dividing a reach that would otherwise be consolidated under a single identifying domain.
  5. It adds extra cost and complication to your custom domain maintenance.

I currently have more than one domain name

You can not have more than one custom domain name directly assigned to your Big Cartel, so the only way to use more than one domain with your shop is to:

  1. Identify which domain you wish to use as your primary custom domain and assign it to your shop using one of the options detailed in How do I set up a custom domain for my Big Cartel shop?
  2. Create a simple redirect – do not use a frame, do not use masking and do not use an ANAME record – from each of your additional domains to your primary custom domain:
    1. Your domain registrar should provide you with tools that will allow you to create a simple redirect for no additional cost. This should be part of your domain registration and does not require a hosting plan or any other services. If you are unsure, contact your current domain registrar.
    2. Aarcade can host and manage the domain records and email accounts for each of your custom domains, however this may not be the most cost effective option considering that you should already have redirect tools available for free (see item A) while with Aarcade management you will need to purchase an Aarcade Domain & Email For Big Cartel service for each additional domain.

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