Redirect The Former Domain
It’s time to ensure your old website is redirected to the new website, as audiences might still stumble upon your old URL or forget that you’ve changed to a new domain. By redirecting, they can type in the old domain and still end up on your new domain.
To set up these 301 redirects, as they are called, go to your hosting control panel and choose the file manager. Go to the .htaccess folder, and right-click to edit. Add the following code, changing newdomain’ to your new domain, to the top of the page:
#Options +FollowSymLinksRewriteRule ^$ http://www.newdomain.com/$1
What You Should Know Before Renaming Your Account
When do I need to change my primary domain?
Changing your primary domain is generally only necessary if you:
- Would like your users to log in to their accounts using a new primary domain name.
- Lose ownership of your old domain and would like to remove it from your account.
- Use Google App Engine, which authenticates via user accounts on the primary domain.
- Would like consistent branding in Drive shares and Calendar invites, which always show the user’s primary email address.
General considerations when changing your primary domain for customers with Google Workspace
- When you change the domain name, it may take some time for the changes to be seen in your Apps.
- Changing your domain name doesn’t automatically change the users’ primary email addresses and groups that were provisioned under that domain. You can rename your users to your new primary domain, but first, make sure that you understand the impact of changing a username before you proceed. You can also change a group’s email address.
- In order to start receiving mail on the new email addresses, MX records must be set up pointing to G Suite. We strongly recommend that you do this prior to performing the rename.
A Few Words of Caution
If You Need To Change Web Hosts
Your web host is the provider of the server where your website’s files reside. If you get a new domain name that’s completely tied to a different web host, you’re going to need to move all your site’s files to your account on the new host’s server space.
Not all web hosts work the same way, so in this case, you’ll need to turn to your new web host for detailed instructions. Thankfully, services exist to help you migrate your website.
This basically works like copying your entire website over to the new host and domain. If this is the route you need to take, there will be 2 copies of your site available at once, for a short while. Eventually, you’ll take the old one down. But first, check to make sure the new copy is exactly the same as the original. Or at least, as close as possible!
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Scenario : Newdomaincom Will Show The Content Previously Displayed On Primarydomaincom
This example applies to situations where you want the content from primarydomain.com to appear on newdomain.com. You will want to follow these steps if you are changing the domain of an existing website and phasing out the use of the old domain name.
Before changing your primary domain, be sure you know what to expect by reading:
How To Make A Backup Of A Website
To ensure a smooth process when you switch domain names, its sensible to make a backup of your website, in case anything should happen.
If you use our Stellar Plus and Stellar Business Shared Hosting Plans, you can take advantage of our exclusive tool AutoBackup, where your website data is automatically backed up. This means that you can download your backups locally, which means that youll be ready when it comes to switching domain names.
Depending on which service you used to make your website, there may be alternative ways to make a backup. Here are some articles that you may find useful:
Consider setting up automatic website backups. This will save you time and effort, should you need to restore your website in the future.
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Domaincom: Setting Up A 301 Redirect
Start by logging into your account and clicking the Hosting button at the top of the page. Then, click on the .htaccess Editor link in the menu on the left.
Its like a user-friendly version of a websites .htaccess file.
Then, click the Add URL Redirect button.
You can redirect your site to your new domain using the .htaccess editor.
In the first field that comes up, add the old domain for your site. Then in the field under it, type in your new domain name.
Double-check that the information you entered is correct, then click Add Redirect.
Fill out the form to create a 301 redirect for your site.
How To Choose A New Domain Name
Other considerations you should take into account when choosing a domain are:
- Who is your target audience and what will they likely relate to and remember?
- Do you want your domain to have a keyword in it for Search Engine Optimization purposes?
- Is the name youre thinking of catchy and memorable?
- If you speak to a lot of people in person, you may want a domain that has an obvious spelling.
- A .coms still preferred, but other domain extensions are starting to gain popularity.
- Be sure the name you choose isnt trademarked or that another company in your industry isnt using a similar one.
Beyond that, choosing the right domain depends on your specific use case.
For example, hyphens or numbers in domains are easily forgotten so theyre not desirable.
On the other hand, if youre a law firm or a local business with these included in your business name, it would make sense to also choose to have them in your site address.
The same idea applies to using your business area code.
Keep in mind that a domain is a long-term investment so be sure to choose one wisely.
While you can get a new one at any time, if you switch URLs, youll lose out on the credibility you earned for your domain. This, however, negatively impacts your SEO.
Asking for feedback on names youre considering may also help you make the right choice.
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The Difference Between A Domain Change And A Domain Transfer
A domain change refers to replacing a websites internet address, which primarily just affects the domain name. A domain change thus differs substantially from a domain transfer.
When a domain transfer occurs, users change the internet provider, which means the entire website is transferred to a new server. Here, changing or registering a new domain is simply an additional option . However, domain changes are simply about altering the website address, meaning the provider generally remains the same as before. Here is a short summary of the differences:
- Domain transfer: the internet provider is changed a domain transfer is therefore frequently regarded as a change in providers. The web presence and the domain consequently move to a new web server. Find out how this works in more detail here.
- Domain change: this is where the web address changes. With a domain change, an existing website is linked to a new domain.
Loss Of Money And Time
Want to know a really good way to waste your time and money? Go through the process of changing your domain name simply because you dont like it or feel a need for a change.
While primary domain name registrations arent expensive, some premium domain names are a bigger investment. Either way, if youre changing your domain for the sake of change, thats money that doesnt need to be spent and can be invested in your business in other ways.
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What Does It Mean To Transfer A Domain Name
Transferring a domain name means changing the registrar with which your domain name is registered. If you have already tracked down and purchased that perfect domain name for your business or project, but find yourself displeased with the level of service provided by your current registrar, dont worry. Transferring your domain to a registrar that better suits your needs is a relatively simple process.
How Do You Change Your Domain Name
As we said, changing your WordPress websites domain name is not something you should do lightly. However, when you do find yourself in this situation, the process involves just a few steps:
The process itself is relatively simple, although there are some aspects that require a little technical knowledge. Well cover those in the next few sections, but dont worry well walk you through each step.
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Download Your Backup File To Your Computer
It is always a smart idea to download all the files you backed up before changing your domain. This way, you can host them yourself or just have a copy if anything goes wrong, and you need to revert to the old version of your website.
Pro tip: Saving your backup to multiple places might be a good idea.
For example, saving it to your computer, and to a cloud storage provider gives you two fail safes just in case the unthinkable happens. While rare, Ive heard horror stories of people losing years of work because they didnt have redundancies in place before transitioning to a new domain.
While some hosting and domain providers will keep a copy for you on your behalf, it never hurts to have a backup for yourself.
Once youve gotten through these steps, now we need to address how to complete the move without as little damage to your SEO efforts as possible.
Buy Your New Domain Early
This one is fairly obvious because how would you change your domain name without having a new one to change it to? Besides this necessary reason, there is another reason why you will want to get your new domain well in advance: SEO.
The longer you have your new domain up and running, the more of a chance you will be giving search engines to crawl your new site. Once youve acquired your new domain, give it a coming soon page telling search engines that a new site will be there shortly. This will give search engines something more substantial to crawl, and will also tell them that it is not a parked domain so they should pay closer attention to it.
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Your Current Domain Name Is No Longer Suitable
If you made a syntax error in your previous domain name, or simply want to change it, itâs a good idea to find a new one. It is also possible that the top-level domain originally chosen is not the most relevant for your customers. If the one you wanted was not available when you bought it, you can take the main component and simply change its extension. For example, you can change your domain name from âmycompany.orgâ to âmycompany.comâ.
Content Backlinks And Mentions
Do a content audit and identify top-performing content pages on your website. Identify what backlinks are pointing to those pages. The 301 redirects you set up earlier will help you retain most of the authority of the backlinks, but if youre able to reach out to any webmasters, you can ask them to link to the new URL, which would give you 100% link equity from the backlink.
There are many SEO tools you can use to discover these backlinks. The Link Explorer by Moz.com is a popular tool that will give you all the backlink data you can handle.
Brand mentions can also help with authority. Brand mentions are online references to your brand, company, or product. Take the time to find brand mentions as well as backlinks, as being properly referred to will ensure your new domain name doesnt lose all the SEO.
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How To Change Domain Name On WordPress
If one has a website hosted by WordPress.com, then there are some fairly straightforward steps to changing the domain on an existing site. Here are the steps to make the domain change. However, it is worth mentioning that these are the steps to change your WordPress domain to another WordPress domain. For example, the site might be aplestuff.wordpress.com, and you want it to read bestapplepie.wordpress.com. These are the instructions to make this change.
If you are looking for instructions to change to a custom domain for a wordpress.com hosted site, then you will need to register, transfer, map the DNS, and this sort of thing is best suited for a tech support agent. Contact WordPress support if you wish to use a custom domain.
How To Change Domain Name On Godaddy
When working with GoDaddy, it is possible to change the domain name when using the Online Stores standalone version. The following instructions are for sites using this version.
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Check The Seo Performance And Status Of Your Current Site
Once you move your website, you’ll want to be sure you can tell how it affects its performance. So, take stock of the situation before you move it.
You can get a ton of information on your current site by using . Take careful notes of all the results you see here. Remember that moving your site to a new domain is supposed to be an improvement. So, you’ll want to compare your old results to the new one.
Google Search Console provides several reports that can give you all the vital information you need. The Performance report tells you how your site is performing in search results. Index Coverage and Sitemaps tell you how Google is indexing your website’s pages. The Mobile Usability report shows which pages are hard to use on mobile devices . Lastly, the Links report shows backlinks to your site from other sites.
Remember to keep careful track of the results you see during this step. Once you move your site to the new domain, you want results equally as good, and hopefully better. Remember that it may take time for your site to catch back up to its old status, though. This is normal and nothing to be concerned about unless your site never seems to recover its old SEO rankings.