Domain name change process and steps to be followed


We recently changed the domain name of this website. In this article, I am sharing various steps we followed to make the domain name change a seamless process. Learn what we did to change domain name, how it worked and what went wrong.

If you are planning to change the domain name of your website, I strongly recommend you do not act in a hurry. Take several days and do proper homework before you get in to action. If you do not follow the guidelines correctly, you may end up losing your reputation, brand name and all organic traffic you earned through hard work.

Domain name change is a several day long process. The process involve preparing your site for domain name change, setting up 301 redirect to new site and then following up with various process next few days.

I suggest your read our Domain name change case study for large sites before you proceed with changing your website name.



What did we do before we changed our domain name change?


Here is a list of things we did before we changed our domain name for this website. We missed an important step, which I will explain at the end.

1. We setup 301 redirect from old site to new site, on page by page basis. Each page in old site would redirect to the corresponding page in the new domain. Our site uses custom platform and so we had to make some code level changes to support 301 redirect from page to page.

2. Added the new domain to Google Webmaster Tools and verified. Made sure the old domain remains verified in GWT. Then configured Google Webmaster Tools to let Google know we are moving from old domain name to new domain name.

3. Made sure the new site is crawlable by Google. Google quickly indexed a significant number of posts in the new domain.

4. The directory structure remained the same to avoid adding any confusion to Google.

5. Google advises that we should avoid adding massive amount of new content. So, we paused adding too many new articles for few days.

6. We created sitemaps for new site and added to Google.



Even though we followed all the above steps, we missed an important step. That was filing DMCA complaints against the sites which copied our content and get them removed from Google Index before we moved to the new domain name. You can read more about the impact of this in our Domain name change case study for large sites.


Article by Tony John
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.

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