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How to redirect your custom domain to Google Drive PDF?

    Custom domain redirect for Google Drive PDF

    Google Drive is one of the easiest way to share your PDF, you just have to copy the URL and anyone can view the PDF by clicking on it. However, the Google Drive URL is always too long and gibberish – this makes sharing PDF via Google Drive looks unprofessional.

    This is why it may be a good idea to use your custom domain name as the main URL for sharing, and redirect it to your Google Drive PDF.

    In this article, we look at the benefits of custom domain redirect for your PDF, and how you can set it up easily.

    Table of Content

    • How custom domain redirect works?
    • Is custom domain for PDF a good idea?
    • How to redirect custom domain name to PDF?
      • 1. Upload a PDF file to file hosting platform
      • 2. Set up DNS settings
      • 3. Share the custom domain URL
    • Conclusion

    How custom domain redirect works?

    A custom domain, or domain name refers to the domain name you purchase and owned from sites like Namecheap.com and Godaddy.com. It could be something like ABC.com, ABC.co.uk, ABC.net etc.

    Once you have set up the custom domain redirect for your PDF, the sharing experience will look something like below:

    1. You send ABC.com to your recipient
    2. Recipient clicks on ABC.com
    3. ABC.com open in their web browser (like Google Chrome, Safari), and redirect to Google Drive PDF within seconds – sometimes almost unnoticeable
    4. Your recipient will now be accessing and reading the PDF from Google Drive

    Is custom domain for PDF a good idea?

    If your PDF file is an important asset (like a well written and researched ebook or paper) that can stand on itself, then it certainly deserves its own branded URL like a custom domain.

    There are a few benefits to this:

    • Custom domain name is much easier to remember, as compared to long and gibberish Google Drive URL.
    • Custom domain name is also much more likely to be shared.
    • With a custom domain redirect, you can always replace and update the PDF file without jeopardising the URL availability. People can still access the same ABC.com only to be directed at an updated version of PDF.

    How to redirect custom domain name to PDF?

    Before getting started, you need to have your own domain (you can buy at namecheap.com), and a Google Drive account.

    It is also recommended to update your PDF metadata and compress your PDF file for better reading experience before you start.

    1. Upload a PDF file to file hosting platform

    Upload your PDF file to the right folder in your Google Drive.

    Click on the “Share” button at top right to access the file sharing setting. Make sure it is set to “Anyone with the link can view“. This will ensure anyone – even without signing into their Google account – will be able to access and view your PDF files, just by clicking on the URL.

    2. Set up DNS settings

    Log in to your domain name provider dashboard, and go to the DNS settings of your domain name.

    The DNS setting is usually located within the domain name details page. If you are not sure where it is, do reach out to your domain provider support for help.

    Once you are in the DNS settings page, create a new DNS record with the following details:

    TypeA record
    Host@
    ValuePaste your Google Drive PDF sharing URL here

    If you want to use a sub-domain instead (eg. pdf.abc.com), then you can use the setting below:

    TypeA record
    Hostpdf
    ValuePaste your Google Drive PDF sharing URL here

    3. Share the custom domain URL

    Now, when you click on your custom domain (or sub-domain), it will immediately redirect you to the Google Drive PDF file.

    This means you can now share the PDF easily with your own custom domain or sub-domain; there is no need to copy and paste the long and gibberish Google Drive URL when you share your PDF.

    Conclusion

    Sharing PDF with your custom domain URL has immense benefits for any business that wants to establish professionalism and be taken seriously.

    Even if you are hosting it on your Google Drive, it is fairly simple to set up a custom domain redirect for your PDF file – and requires no coding knowledge.

    For more advanced use cases like monitoring PDF performance, you can also hack together a simple analytics solution with Google Drive and link shortener services like Bitly.