Solo Accounts Now Use Non-Random Subdomains By Default

October 22nd, 2012

When we launched, all Forward URLs had a two-part subdomain: the first part being random characters, and the second part being your company’s suffix (e.g.

This is different from how subdomains behaved when using Showoff (Forward’s predecessor). With Showoff, an unlimited plan allowed you to choose a subdomain (e.g. And whenever you started a Showoff tunnel, you got that same subdomain every time, without having to pass in any extra parameters.

While building Forward, we switched to the two-part subdomains so that all users in a Business or Small business account could share a company name suffix. Initially, we decided to make Solo accounts also work this way so that everything would be consistent. However, this meant that for Solo account users, there was no way to get a simple subdomain like you could get with Showoff.

Well, our customers have spoken (enough of you to make us rethink our decision), and today we rolled out a change to Forward that makes Solo accounts work the way Showoff used to: when a Solo account user starts Forward, they’ll get the simple subdomain (e.g. by default—no random prefix, and no need to specify a custom prefix.

This change does not apply Business and Small Business accounts. These account types have multiple people using them at once, so it could become a nightmare for people trying to “claim” the simple subdomain, or trying to figure out who is using it at any given moment. We’re considering a few ways to handle this situation in the future, but for now we’ve intentionally omitted this feature in the interest of avoiding all the headaches.