If you are regular reader of my blog, you have noticed the new domain of this website. Earlier, it was hosted on webtips.in, but now I have changed it to quickwebresources.com. It was a tough decision and was pending for many days. I thought a lot before this decision. If you change domain name of your blog, you will lose all backlinks, social share counts and yes it also hurts your organic traffic. But you take care of things properly, you can easily change the domain name of your existing blog without hurting your organic traffic.
What you should Know before changing the domain name?
Actually there are few different cases of changing the domain name. You may either change the domain name of your existing website on the same host or your may move your website to different host and change the domain name. In both cases, you should take care of few things. These are:
- Never think to lose your old domain name. You will have to keep carrying your old domain name for few more years and add a 301 redirect to new domain name.
- Never change permalink along with changing domain name. It may have bad effects on SEO.
If you are ready, then star.
1. Backup your website
First step is to take backup of your original website. Take backup of database and files. You should always take backup to be ready for any unfortunate thing.
2. Move database and WordPress files to new location
This is the most tricky part. If you are going to move your WordPress website, you will have to move all files and database to the new domain’s location. But doing it manually makes it bit tough. You can easily move files. But in database, your old domain was mentioned various times in options and posts. You will have to change it manually. If you have knowledge, you can do this. But what if you do not have much knowledge of these things. You can do this easily by using duplicator plugin. This plugin easily creates a backup copy ready to go live on the new domain. And you only have to select options.
Install this plugin in the website which you want to move to the new domain. Once installed, this plugin will add a new menu option “Duplicator” in the menu. Here, visit packages. You will find no package. Simply, create new for your website.
Give new package a new and then select the options which suits you. You can select options for archive and installer. Archive will be the backup of your website and installer will be the file which will install this archive to the new domain.
Select options carefully. And specially in archive and installer. And then click on next button to start creating the archive and installer. It will also confirm before starting the process.
Download both archive package and installer files. Next step is to upload these files to the root of new domain. Upload both archive and installer. Don’t unzip the archive file. Once uploaded, open installer.php file in browser via new domain. FOr example if you uploaded file to the new domain newdomin.com, then you can access this installer via URL newdomin.com/installer.php. It will open the installer which will ask you few information to install your new website on new domain.
Select options properly and then start installation. It will upload extract zip and install database to new website with your theme and plugins.
Once the process is done, re-save your permalinks settings. For this login to Website’s wordpress account, go to settings and then permalinks. Your old login details will work fine on the new domain too.
Now delete installer.php, installer-data.sql and the installer-log.txt from the root of your new website.
Check your website for broken image and broken links issue. Check if it is working fine or now.
3. Redirecting new domain to this new domain
To keep preserving your SEO juice, you will have to redirect your old domain to this new domain. Set a permanent 301 redirect from your old domain to new domain. It will redirect both visitors and search engine bots to your new website.
To setup the redirect, add following code in the .htaccess file of older domain.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newsite.COM/$1 [R=301,L]
Now visit the older website and see if it is redirecting to the new domain or not.
4. Tell Google about your domain change
Now you will have to tell Google that you have changed the domain name of your existing website. For this, login to your Google webmaster tools account. Here, select your website and click on gear icon at top right side of the page. You will see an option to change address.
Now Google will ask you to pick the domain on which your are redirecting. You will have to verify the new domain before you can request to change the site address. This process is also simple and Google will guide your in all steps.
5. Create sitemap on new domain and submit to Google or bing
Now create the sitemap on new domain and submit to Google and Bing webmaster tools to tell those search engines about your new website.
6. Update feedburner or other email marketing tools with new feed URL
Now, you will have to update feed URLS. If you are using feedburner, update the new domain there. On other email marketing tools, update with new URL.
7. Tell the world about changes
Once you have notified the Google, now it is the time to tell users about the changes. Although, 301 redirect will move users to the new domain. But it is good to write a blog post on your website and tell that you have moved to the website with reason of this. And also ask your readers to notify if they find any issues in the website after the changes you have done.
I hope this article will help you in moving your WordPress website to new domain. If you have any confusion or problem, you can ask via comments. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends.