CNAME stands for Canonical Name. It is a record kept by a domain registrar to re-direct domain names to other URLs while still preserving the domain name in the re-directed URL.
The CNAME record does not need to be set; in fact, most domain names leave this record blank. It is only used when re-directing the domain name, and is similar to an A record which redirects domain names to a specific IP address.
- User purchases superman.com
- User tells registrar to set the CNAME record for superman.com to “dccomics.com”
- When a user accesses http://superman.com they will see the content that they would also see if visiting http://dccomics.com
For instance, even though a visitor is seeing the same webpage, clicking on a link marked “comics” brings the visitor to either http://superman.com/comics or http://dccomics.com/comics, depending on which URL the user started with.