It is very common for users to see the domain name (e.g., “localhost”, “wordpress”) when they visit a website. Especially for users in China, seeing the brand name or domain name of a well-known website can be dangerous, as it can lead them to believe that the site is endorsed by the brand or is affiliated with the brand.
There are several ways to hide your domain name on your website. In this article, we will discuss three different methods that you can use to hide or obfuscate your domain name. We will begin with the most straightforward method, followed by two other alternatives that you might find more convenient.
1. Hide Your Domain Name in the URL
The first step to hiding your domain name is to enter the URL of your website (e.g., “http://www.yoursite.com”) directly into the address bar of your browser. Instead of displaying your domain name (e.g., “yoursite.com”), you will see a bunch of cryptic characters (e.g., “5R7YZ?T”). To figure out what those strange characters mean, you will need to visit the website’s home page and click on the link to the Help section located near the top of the page.
If you see the brand name or domain name of a well-known website in the URL of a random website, it is very likely that that website is hiding something. Why? Think about it this way: if a random website can include the domain name of a well-known brand in its URL, then it stands to reason that that brand name could potentially be used to steal information or to confuse the viewer.
For instance, let’s say you are searching for the Metro UK website (http://metro.co.uk/) and click on a link that takes you to a random, unknown website. It could look like this:
Your site (from the address bar)
2. The Metro UK Website
You will then be taken to the Metro UK website (http://metro.co.uk/). To figure out what this website is, you will need to visit the site’s home page and click on the About section, which is located just below the site’s logo.
You will see a brief introduction to the brand followed by a table with three columns:
Brand (This is the Metro UK website’s official brand): the brand is used to identify the source of the product or service, namely Metro UK. If the brand doesn’t exist, then it is difficult for the reader to determine what product or service they are actually viewing. If the brand is known for something, like Ford, then the viewer knows exactly what they are getting into.
Logo (This is the trademark symbol, which is usually located to the right of the brand name): the logo is an easy way to identify the brand as Metro UK. It is usually a combination of the letters “MU” (for Metro UK) and/or the words “UK” (for United Kingdom)
Description (This is the product or service description): the product description is used to briefly introduce the product or service to the reader. It can also be used to differentiate the product from competitors. (e.g., “Metro London is the largest metropolitan area in Europe and the 4th largest in the world. With a population of 1.7 million, it is quite a bustling city. It is easily accessible by plane, rail, and road. If you’re visiting London, then there’s no reason to miss out on the fun – whether you’re a local or a tourist. Whether you want to know more about the city or want to see it for yourself, our guide will tell you all you need to know about London.”)
Category (This is a very useful category to identify the type of item that you are looking at. In the example above, you are looking at a “Travel” product) (e.g., a travel guide or itinerary): the category is often found toward the beginning of the description. It allows the viewer to quickly identify the product that they are viewing.
Manufacturer (This is the brand that produced the product): the manufacturer is responsible for creating and bringing the product to market. In the example above, you can see that the brand is Metro UK and the manufacturer is called “Travel Republic,” so if you click on the link, you will be taken to the website for Travel Republic, which is where you can find out more information about the product.
Shelf-Life (This is the estimated number of days that it will take for the product to go bad. This number can vary from a few months (for some food products) to nearly a decade (for some furniture items). You will always want to look for products with a shorter shelf life. (e.g., fresh produce and flowers): the shelf life of a product is the time that it will take for the product to go bad. You will always want to look for products with a shorter shelf life so that you don’t end up buying something that will go bad before you use it. (e.g., if you buy a two-year-old bottle of olive oil, you will be wasting a lot of your time waiting for the oil to become unusable. It is better to buy a bottle that is closer to its expiration date.)
Description (This is the detailed description of the product): the description is a very important part of the website. It provides the reader with all the necessary information about the product including the brand, category, and manufacturer. The description should be concise but also very informative. It is common for websites to forget to describe the product (especially the more complex or unique the product is).
Available Options (This is where you can choose additional items that are related to the product): in the above example, the product that you are viewing is an itinerary for London. As you can see, there are several different places that you can choose to stay in London, as well as a few different ways of getting around the city. You can click on the “Visit London” tab located on the left side of the page to see all the different places that you can visit in London.
Reviews (This is where you will find reviews for the product): in the example above, there are several reviews for the product that you are viewing. As you can see, several reviewers have praised the product and given it high marks. Also, many reviewers have commented on how useful the product is for those who are planning to travel to London or who are already living there. (If you click on the reviews, you will be taken to a page where you can find all the reviews for this product.)
2. The Metro UK Website
The second step to hiding your domain name is to enter the website’s URL (e.g., “http://metro.co.uk/”) directly into the address bar of your browser. Instead of displaying “metro.co.uk,” you will see a couple of random characters (* ):
3R (This is the URL decoder): the URL decoder is a tool that can be used to translate URLs (Uniform Resource Locators) into plain text. Why is this useful? Think about it this way: if you enter a URL into the decoder, you will see a list of all the words and phrases that are contained in the URL. So, let’s say that you enter the following URL:
https://shopping.google.com/ (This is a secure website) (It starts with a https://): the first step is to type or copy/paste the URL into the decoder.