Cloaking a domain


When you cloak a domain, the domain name continues to appear in your browser's address bar. However, the contents you are viewing are from a completely different website. View this article from Wikipedia for further information:

'Masking' is another term for 'Cloaking'.

Using an SSL certificate with a Cloaked domain

You can only add an SSL certificate to a domain that is FULLY HOSTED. For this reason, you cannot add an SSL certificate to the Cloaked domain.

However, you can point your Cloaked domain to the secure URL of the site you are cloaking. For example:

When visiting the Cloaked domain, your will then see the secure version of the site it's cloaking.

Cloaking a domain

  1. Navigate to the Manage Domains page.
  2. Click the Edit button to the right of the domain under the 'Web Hosting' column.
  3. Scroll down to the 'Cloaked' section.

    The following example shows the domain ''. Your domain appears instead when making this configuration.

  4. Enter the two required fields:
    • Site to display: The site URL you enter here is the site the visitor sees when typing in your URL. For example, if you entered, any visitor to your site at '' would see the contents of ''.

      NOTE: This can also be a specific page such as

    • Title in browser: The site URL you enter here is what shows in the browser's URL tab.

      NOTE: This only changes the name on the browser tag. The URL continues to show as your original site that's being cloaked (

  5. Click Cloak this domain to save.

It may take several hours for the new DNS configuration to resolve online due to DNS propagation.


It's possible that after you create the cloak and it has propagated online, the following error appears:

Domain Cloaking Error
We're sorry, we had a problem with our web panel when you set up cloaking for your domain!
Please go to the DreamHost Web Panel's Domains > Manage Domains area and click the [Edit] link next to to re-configure cloaking.
Error: no domain -- if you recently set this up, please wait up to one hour.

If you are still seeing the error after a few hours, contact DreamHost on the support Contact Support page.

Turning off a Cloak

To turn off a Cloak, you must change the hosting configuration to any other option such as 'Fully Hosted' or 'DNS Only'. A full list can be found on the following page:

How long until the cloak is working?

Cloaking your site is the same as any other DNS change. This means the DNS must propagate first before you can see the changes online. In general, this shouldn't take any longer than 6 hours. You can keep track of when the new DNS records update in different locations at this site.

See also

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Article last updated PST.