What to do if you wish to change your area identify (however hold your content material)

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New identify, similar recreation

Should you’re considering of fixing your area to one thing new, you may be nervous about shedding all the content material and onerous work you set into the earlier area. Switching a web site’s area identify could be a battle for a lot of bloggers and enterprise homeowners, particularly when you have no concept the place to begin.

Earlier than we get to the precise activity of a change in area, it’s a good suggestion to know:

  • The place your domains are hosted
  • What platform your web site is constructed on
  • And maybe most significantly, your ability degree

Beginning right here will make it easier to determine if you are able to do this by yourself, or for those who ought to herald a web site developer/designer to handle the transition for you. As soon as that’s sorted, let’s have a look at the other ways to modify your area with out shedding your content material.

Steps to take earlier than you alter your area identify

Change Domain Name Man Going Up Stairs

A change of area could be a large deal. That is very true for established web sites which have been round some time! Here’s a listing of the steps you must take earlier than switching:

1. Contemplate why you need to change your area identify

It’s necessary to know why you need to change your present area identify. Are you transferring up on the earth and have a brand new, snazzier area in your model? Maybe you are attempting to simplify issues by altering from an extended deal with to a shorter one. Or perhaps you’re altering from a .com to a .biz or a .membership to a .com.

Regardless of the causes you’re contemplating a change of area identify, work out all of them forward of time so that you simply gained’t have any doubts when it comes time to do it. In any case, this would possibly take a while, and there’s no assure it will likely be swift and painless.

Associated: What’s a website identify? All the pieces you want to learn about domains.

2. Again up your web site’s content material

Earlier than altering your area, it’s best to again up your web site content material as a security precaution. This manner, if something goes mistaken in transit, you’ll have a replica of all of your previous work and may proceed from the place you left off or restart this course of fully.

The way you go about doing this can be depending on: your web site platform of alternative, whether or not you’re self-hosted or managed, and your area supplier. So remember to take your time and know what you’re doing when backing up the content material.

3. Analysis your area host’s options

Discover out for those who can change your area identify via your present internet hosting supplier or web site builder earlier than reserving a brand new supplier. In case your present area host doesn’t supply straightforward migration choices, you possibly can all the time join a brand new host and e book/buy their providers forward of time.

4. Obtain your backup file to your laptop

It’s all the time a sensible concept to obtain all of the recordsdata you backed up earlier than altering your area. This manner, you possibly can host them your self or simply have a replica if something goes mistaken, and you want to revert to the outdated model of your web site.

Professional tip: Saving your backup to a number of locations may be a good suggestion.

For instance, saving it to your laptop, and to a cloud storage supplier offers you two fail safes simply in case the unthinkable occurs. Whereas uncommon, I’ve heard horror tales of individuals shedding years of labor as a result of they didn’t have redundancies in place earlier than transitioning to a brand new area.

Whereas some internet hosting and area suppliers will make a copy for you in your behalf, it by no means hurts to have a backup (or two!) for your self.

When you’ve gotten via these steps, now we have to deal with find out how to full the transfer with out as little injury to your search engine optimization efforts as doable.

Begin the migration from one area to the opposite

Should you’re coming to WordPress from one other platform or already utilizing WordPress, transferring your whole weblog and web site content material may very well be so simple as utilizing a migration plugin. For instance, the All-In-One WP Migration plugin was created to assist customers migrate a web site to WordPress with little technical information and little to no downtime.

Comparable plugins embrace Duplicator and UpdraftPlus (paid and free choices obtainable), Migrate Guru, and Tremendous Backup & Clone (solely has a paid possibility).

Reality be advised, if you’re making an attempt to switch your whole web site information from one area to a different, issues can get technical. How a lot management you need will decide how sophisticated the method will probably be.

And, in case your web site is self-hosted, or on a platform like Wix, Squarespace, Blogger, or the like, it may not be as straightforward as transferring to WordPress or from one WordPress web site to a different.

I’d advocate wanting into the information base articles of your internet hosting platform and watching YouTube tutorials for greatest outcomes. The extra you possibly can be taught forward of time, the higher. This additional step may very well be all you want to provide the confidence to proceed or to persuade your self to convey a professional on board for assist with the change in area.

Professional tip: Preserve each domains and internet hosting paid up for the whole time you’re migrating.

 

The very last thing you need is your content material being misplaced endlessly since you let the internet hosting or area expire! Many articles I learn and YouTube tutorials I watched stated you must hold your outdated area and your outdated internet hosting account for no less than three months. Whereas this will likely appear excessive, it’s higher to be secure than sorry – particularly when you have a well-visited and extremely ranked web site that you simply’re altering the area of.

After migrating, the following step, and maybe essentially the most vital to keep away from shedding visitors or all of your search engine optimization work, is utilizing 301 redirects in your outdated content material.

Associated: What are nTLDs and the way do they impression search engine optimization?

Utilizing a 301 redirect

A 301 redirect is a means of getting guests searching for your outdated area’s content material onto your new one with out shedding something within the course of. Your outdated guests and new guests searching for earlier content material will effortlessly be despatched to the brand new location with out having to kind in something completely different.

Whereas the steps that observe are for WordPress, there needs to be 301 redirect choices for many, if not all, web site internet hosting platforms.

Step 1: Go to your outdated area

Earlier than altering your domains, just be sure you are within the settings for the outdated one. It might sound apparent, however you need to be certain that you’ll not by chance redirect your new area to itself or attempt to redirect to your new one out of your new area’s settings. Easy “clerical errors” can happen and you might price your self your visitors for those who’re not cautious.

Step 2: Go to the admin part of your internet hosting account

That is the place you’ll put in your redirect settings. Will probably be completely different from system to system, however it may be present in your area settings for many.

Step 3: Choose 301 redirect

Whenever you get to the web page along with your area settings, choose “add redirect” or “handle redirects.” It might be labeled one thing completely different relying in your internet hosting account.

Step 4: Enter your area identify and redirect location

Sort your new area identify and paste in your outdated one for “redirect location” on this space.

Step 5: Save

After getting put in your settings, save them. You will notice that it creates a redirect code on the backside of the web page. You’ll need to get arrange in your new web site.

Don’t neglect to inform Google!

Change Domain Name Google On Laptop Screen

One other step you’d be clever to not neglect is to make Google conscious of your area change. Whatever the web site platform you’re utilizing or altering to, telling the king of search engines like google and yahoo about what’s occurring can go a good distance in preserving your search engine optimization efforts.

The simplest technique of doing that is to make use of Google Search Console. Learn the complete step-by-step directions for doing this on the Google Search Console Assist web page.

Conclusion and subsequent steps

Altering your area identify could be a painless course of for those who observe the suitable steps. Should you’re utilizing a platform reminiscent of Wix or Squarespace, you might need to analysis their greatest suggestions for migration. It definitely turns into a lot simpler if you’re transferring to WordPress or migrating one WordPress web site to a different.

The next step is to determine for those who actually need to make this modification. Should you do, start the method of migrating, organising your 301 redirects, and telling Google. Then, check, check, and check once more to ensure every part is working the best way it needs to be.

Do your analysis to see what could be the best possibility for you earlier than dashing into something. You probably have put plenty of time into your search engine optimization, you’ll be glad you went via the method slowly to keep away from seeing minimal adjustments in your search engine rankings. As soon as every part is alleged and executed, you may get to work updating your social profiles and all public references to your web site. You probably have plenty of backlinks, this will likely imply reaching out to a number of web site homeowners letting them know in regards to the change.

It gained’t be fast, however if you wish to make a change to your area identify, the hassle will probably be value it.

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