Changing the domain name of a website is something that should be done with a lot of consideration. However, the following steps can be useful once one is positive of the need for change.
The first step in changing the domain name entails backing up the site. This is effective in preventing any pitfalls that may arise during the process. In this case, equipping yourself with a working backup is important since it ensures that is working properly under the new domain name as they were in the older one. On that note, some web hosting companies such as Hostgator offer daily automatic backups from as little as less than $2 a month. This helps their clients in preventing catastrophes in case a domain name is being changed.
It is necessary to have the new name before moving from your old one. Otherwise, there would be no changing of a domain name. While choosing a new domain name, it is important to pay attention to the domain penalties. When choosing a domain name, you can register a new domain name of your choice. However, some people may prefer to buy existing domain names. The danger associated with this is that the name could have been penalized by the time of purchase. It is also possible to buy domain names that have low-quality backlinks pointing at them. This imposes a serious danger because it may comprise the image of your brand. It is therefore important to crosscheck and remove such links before moving the domain name. After you are satisfied with the name you have to register it.
Once a new domain has been established, the content of the older domain name can be migrated to the new one. In this case, a tool such as All-in-One-WP-Migration can be effective. An All-in-One-WP-Migration is a plug-in that can be used to simplify the process of migrating to the new domain name and reducing associated risks. It will help move all the contents of old domain to a new one all at once.
This is the stage where you add all the URL redirects of the old site to the new site. You can use a 301 redirect tool which will all pass the SEO onto the new site. To prevent 404 error page, you can create a relevant page for pages that are no longer on your new site. In this way, you will be able to keep loyal users who visit your page regularly or those that bookmarked your past pages.
It is important to update your users about the changes and re-branding process. This can be achieved by adding an explanatory post in the new site once branding process is complete. You can also exploit the use of site's social media accounts to inform the users of the changes. Finally, an email campaign can be launched to explain the changes further.
In conclusion, Whereas it is possible to change a domain name of a website, the process can be very scary. The risks involved in changing a domain name include losing all the efforts that have been made to build brand awareness. It could also be possible that there are backlinks that point to the site and changing the name sacrifices such directives. This may comprise rankings and other authorities that have been built over a period. However, since the contemporary business environment is highly dynamic in nature, there is a time in the life of a website when the change in the domain name is inevitable. In some cases, the registered domain may be perceived as not so good at some point and one is at liberty to choose another name.