I think this was close to my question, but not quite the answers I needed: Smart domain-masking, redirection or forwarding

I have a 1&1 hosted site/domain. I'd like to use the subdomains to do things like hosting message forums for a friend's game server, or to run my own political blog, but I don't want people to be able to connect these subdomains to each other or to my main domain.

Is this a job for DDNS, Domain Masking, or something else entirely?

  • Welcome to Super User! What do you mean by 'connect the subdomains' ?
    – bertieb
    Mar 29, 2018 at 19:48
  • Sorry if it was poorly worded. I'm on the edge of my own competence in this area. Let's say I have a hosted site with www.abc.com. I can upload a phpbb3 forum for a friend and assign a subdomain gameserver.abc.com. I don't want anyone to be able to tell that gameserver is a subdomain of abc.com. In fact, I don't anyone connected with that forum to be aware of abc.com. Mar 29, 2018 at 19:53
  • 2
    Just buy multiple domain names Mar 29, 2018 at 20:27
  • I certainly considered it, and they aren't expensive, but I'm already underutilizing my existing domain. I thought I'd get more bang for my buck. Mar 29, 2018 at 20:29
  • There's no way to easily 'hide' the fact you're using the same domain. Mar 29, 2018 at 20:32

1 Answer 1


tl;dr: (1) a subdomain is part of a domain, (2) other domains can point to the same server, (3) people could see through that if they wanted to

By definition, a subdomain is part of a parent domain

If you have a subdomain abc.example.com, that is necessarily part of example.com relationally speaking.

Separate sites can be hosted by the same server

As explained in the QA you linked, you can have DNS point a site at another. Say you set up the domains/subdomains:

  • example.com
  • forum.example.com
  • blog.example.com

You and your friend could then get other domains, eg joebloggsgameserverforum.com and user9570789spoliticalblog.com and point them at those subdomains.

With a bit of configuration (eg if using Wordpress, set the site URL as user9570789spoliticalblog.com, not blog.example.com) things should Just Work™. Configuration is way beyond the scope of this article*, however.

If you want to truly separate them, this way of doing things is only 'skin deep'

If set up as above, then at a quick glance all parts will be completely unconnected.

However, if you absolutely need to keep them separate -- let's say your blog has unpopular political views, or your friends gaming community is controversial for whatever reason -- then you should take steps to keep them so.

Depending on how it is set up, a DNS query (not normally seen by end users but trivial for someone to do) may say something akin to "The record for joebloggsgameserverforum.com points to forum.example.com". Or it may just say "The IP for joebloggsgameserverforum.com is". There are ways to find out what else is being served from a particular IP, and someone may find out " hosts joebloggsgameserverforum.com, user9570789spoliticalblog.com and example.com"; and that might not be something that you want.

This would almost certainly be a problem if you are a political dissident hosting (or even writing!) a blog criticising a repressive regime -- people have literally been imprisoned for that -- or if your friend's 'gaming community' is Anonymous or something equally controversial. Or you may be happy keeping them superficially separate because one just doesn't have much to do with the other!

The security and separation aspects are also beyond the scope of this question- the above will keep them 'separate'; but you have to pay attention to how separate "separate" is to you.

*:Configuration problems may be on-topic here or another SE, or may have already been asked! There's lots of help around and on offer.

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