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How to easily replace a URL with another domain

How to easily replace a site URL with another domain

Running a business is not a fault-free process. You must consider several factors to ensure your idea is proficiently brought to life. So, you might need to modify the initial thoughts to make sure your business is running optimally online. 

Changing the URL is one of the most common digital challenges for businesses that recently rebranded or just want a facelift on the Internet. While it isn’t difficult, it’s a good idea to first understand the skills and resources needed to ensure your website’s ranking and indexing are not affected by this change. Remember, your website’s indexing depends on the keywords, metadata, and other content indicators marked by the search engine. And a change in the URL can temporarily affect all of these factors, ultimately upsetting your SERP rankings. 

If you’re thinking about changing your domain name, here’s how you can make it happen and why taking this initiative can be the right thing for your business. 

3 reasons changing a domain name is a good idea

Your business may need to change domain names for several reasons. 

Some organizations take this initiative as part of their rebranding strategy, while others may want to move to a subdomain or create a personal domain as part of their branding. Similarly, some businesses migrate their websites to achieve different goals. 

Here are three instances when changing a domain name is the right choice.

Chicken painting website

1. Rebranding 

The fast-paced nature of the digital world requires businesses to adapt to the necessary changes. Rebranding is one of the most common initiatives for brands that want to reorganize their audiences, appeal to a new segment of buyers, or just distance themselves from the older versions. 

Using an entirely new name, a swanky new identity, and setting new goals are all hallmarks of rebranding done right. And you also need a new website to show all that off. 

But many organizations choose not to create a new website from scratch since many of their promises, products, and processes are essentially the same. That’s when they decide to change the URL of the old website to their name.

The chances are that this will impact your business’s online presence, including your Google Reviews, so you need to handle the process strategically. 

2. Switching to a better domain name

Entrepreneurs are strapped for cash in the initial days of a business and are likely to buy any domain name as long as it’s cheap and helps them build an online presence. They may compromise on the quality by adding hyphens or using a weird spelling of their brand name. 

While their vision is not fulfilled at that moment, they do get a chance to rectify the situation later on when there are enough funds. So when businesses find that their original idea for the domain name is available, they usually change their domain to fulfill their brand’s objectives. 

3. Merging websites 

If your business owns multiple websites, you can merge more than one website by replacing the website’s URL. You would have to modify the URL for at least one of them to complete the merger. 

You will have to decide which website’s domain you want to keep and which domain you want to replace. It’s best to keep the URL that already has an SSL certificate, relevant backlinks, and an established digital presence. 

Chicken lowering new website with crane

Giving your website a new domain name — a quick guide

The first thing you will have to do is come up with a new domain name that you want to keep for your business. After that, just follow these steps:

Research available domain names 

If you are changing domains, researching your options can place you at an advantage. You can visit archived websites to conduct comprehensive research on available domains to assess their history. You can check the linking domains and organic traffic to these linking pages, a potential domain’s SEO metrics, domain ratings (DR), and broken or outbound links. You can also find domain names with a high Domain Authority, as it can deem your website as established. 

Steps to follow before changing your domain

After you have selected and registered the domain for your business, you need to carefully understand and take the following steps to ensure that the domain name is successfully changed for your website. 

  • Create a backup of all the DNS records from the previous domain name and make sure they are copied precisely for the new website. In this case, you can ignore the MX records if the email addresses are not being migrated to the new domain.
  • Make sure to recreate all of the subdomains that your old website URL used. For instance, if your website has a page called cats.petsandmore.com, you can create a similar subdomain, such as cats.petsverse.com.
  • Be sure to update the record for the new domain to point it in the same direction as the old domain. You must also make sure that all the subdomains are updated as well.
  • Create a 301 redirect on the old domain to divert the traffic from the old domain to the new one. This will update your customers about the domain change and redirect them to your new URL.
  • Make sure your SSL certificates are operating.
  • Analyze the influx of traffic to make sure there are no additional issues.
checklist graphic

What not to do during URL changes 

It would be best to avoid certain things when changing your domain. For example, the changes in the domain can provoke you to make other modifications. However, it is best to avoid this until the migration process is complete. 

Let’s look at a few things you need to avoid during domain changes.

Moving multiple websites to a single location 

If you move all your websites to a single location, you can confuse your customers and the search engines. It is best to take smaller steps and only make the necessary moves. 

Back-to-back modifications 

Making numerous changes can also be detrimental to your business. If you create a complete redesign of the URL structure and the move, you can create confusion for your customers, resulting in a loss of traffic. Moreover, you will have to index the pages again to allow the search engines to relearn the content. 

The bottom line 

You may have a legitimate reason to modify your website’s URL as a business owner. Whether you want to rebrand, merge websites, or use a domain name that best captures your brand’s essence, it is essential to change your domain strategically. 

You can follow the preceding steps to change your domain name. But make sure you do not make numerous modifications until the website has migrated. This way, you can change the domain name without it affecting your rankings. 

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Gary Stevens avatar

Gary Stevens

Gary Stevens is a web developer and technology writer. He's a part-time blockchain geek and a volunteer working for the Ethereum foundation as well as an active Github contributor. More articles written by Gary.

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