How to change the domain name
A domain name is a string that identifies the multiple private computers or hosts and represents Internet Protocol (IP) resources such as server computers, websites over the internet. Domain names are formed within rules of the Domain Name System (DNS). DNS provides a mapping between computer numerical addresses and human-friendly strings. If your business is online, then you might know what is a domain name and what does it do.
A person is identified and distinguished from others by his/her name. Like that your website is distinguished from other millions of websites over the internet because of your domain name. A domain name works as an address for your website. Domain name plays a vital role in the traffic, engagement, growth, and user base of a website and business. From Search engine optimization to easy branding and the rate of spread of your business name, domain name play a vital role.
Domain names are changed as you begin to take a new phase or take your business to next level and you think that the old domain name is not good for it. Many big companies have changed their domain name till now. For example, facebook.com was thefacebook.com, paypal.com was x.com, and so on. Changing domain name has many positive effects and drawbacks. Today we will learn how to change domain names properly and what are the things that we must know before we change the domain name.
Why you should consider changing your domain name?
There are several reasons for changing the domain name. You must have your own reasons for it. Here are some of the common reasons behind changing the domain names.
- Your business is improvising and the services you are providing are changing. Your old domain name might not be relevant to your new services.
- You might want to change the extension of your domain name to the new one.
- Your business name might have been changed.
Things to consider before changing domain name
Before changing your domain names, you must have the capacity to bear the risk and cope with them. There are certain risks in changing the domain name to a new one. Here are some of them.
- Losing the ranking in search engines.
- Loss of old backlinks.
- Noticeable decrease in organic traffic.
- More time and money consuming in establishing a new domain.
- Brand awareness and rebrand problems.
However, you can cope up with all of these issues if you properly follow our tutorial. Today we will discuss how to change the domain name of our business with risk management.
How to choose a new domain name
I hope you checked the points which are needed to be considered before changing your domain name. Now, the next thing you want to do is choose a proper domain name for your business website. How to choose a perfect domain name and also find if the domain name you want is taken or not? If you are sure about changing your domain name then there are things you must consider while choosing your domain name.
- Before choosing your domain name, you must at first fix the extension you want. If your website is about an educational institution then you might want a .edu extension. You should fix the extension as per your business type. From my point of view “.com” extensions are still the best domain name extension and one of the most used and easy remember extensions for all.
- Create a brandable domain name. It’s better to have the same domain name as your website title in most cases as it is an easy way to remember for most people. Make your domain name unique and easy to remember. Remember that a unique and easy-to-remember name always stands out from others. Example: Google, Facebook, Netflix, etc.
- Don’t make your domain name either too long or too short. Keep domain name between 6-14 characters.
- You should make your domain name easy to pronounce and avoid using hyphens or numbers in your domain name.
- Choosing niche-friendly words in your domain name can be beneficial from an SEO point of view. Your domain name should reflect your product and service. For example, Our website has tech in the domain name because we are a tech blog.
- You can search if the domain name you want is available for you or not from IONOS domain check and find if the domain name is available for registration or not.
- Now check if there are past registrations in that domain. Use websites such as ahrefs, moz, semrush for checking the backlinks and spam scores and find out if there is any penalty in that domain name or not. If there is a penalty by google then it’s better not to use that domain name.
How to change the domain name of a website
If you have found a proper domain name for your website then here is how you can change the domain name of your website or business.
- You need to register your domain name first. After you checked the availability of the domain name and it meets the standard I have mentioned then you can register your domain name. Just add the domain name in the cart and checkout.
- Now you need to backup your old website. Full backup of your website by checking the guidelines of your hosting provider. If you use WordPress then you can just add the plugin and back your site with it.
- Now you can process forward to changing the domain name. Domain and hosting service providers like IONOS allows you to change domain name in just a few clicks. You can contact your hosting provider and learn the process to minimize the long process of exporting site to the new domain name. After some time the changes will appear.
- Now create a proper 301 redirects of all old pages to new ones. It is easy to do if you use SEO tools such as Rankmaths. You can check the 301 redirect guide here.
- Check all the pages, alt text, metadata, internal links, and keywords, website, and page titles and make sure everything is okay.
- Now it’s time to make changes in webmaster tools and google analytics. Go to your google analytics then click on admin. Then select the property setting and change the default URL to your new URL. Add google analytics code to a new website if there is no code.
- Now add the new site to webmaster tools and verify ownership. Then submit the new sitemap in your webmaster tools.
- After that, you need to tell google that you are permanently moved through a change of address tool. Check the process from here for google. Check guidelines for bing from here.
- Congratulations, you have successfully changed your domain name to the new one.
How to protect your website traffic and SEO
After you change your domain name, it is obvious that there will be certain changes in traffic to your website and ranking. How to protect and improve the website ranking and traffic? Here are some of the things which you might want to do.
- Proper 301 redirect is the most important thing as I have said earlier. Make sure you have redirected all links properly and keep the redirections for 6 months or more.
- Export old backlinks from your previous domain name with help of tools like ahrefs. Then try to create similar backlinks in your new domain name and its pages.
- Inform your existing users by means of social media, email, or browser notifications that you have moved to a new domain name.
- Update your social media profiles with your new domain name.
- You should be ready for traffic fluctuations. Don’t worry if your traffic is decreasing. Just check the indexed pages and snippets.
- Besides website traffic, there is a need to protect the website and for that, there is always a need for a SSL certificate, it can be purchased at the lowest price available at different SSL providers. Whether it is a discounted single domain or a cheap wildcard SSL, you will find a cheaper price for your choice of SSL certificate. Just install on the server and secure transactions.
- Last but not least, hire an SEO expert for some time to do a full audit of your website if you have high traffic fluctuation problems.
FAQ’s regarding changing domain name
Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding changing the domain names.
1. Does changing the domain name affect my website SEO?
Yes, changing the domain name affects your website SEO up to a certain point. Not only the content of your website but various factors such as new domain name, age of domain name, backlinks, etc affects your ranking. So, changing domain name affect your previous ranking in some ways even though you follow safety measures and SEO tips. Rest assured, it will take time but your ranking will improve if you follow the SEO measures we have discussed in this article.
2.Do changing the domain name decrease my website traffic?
Yes changing the domain name decreases your website traffic as you might lose your old ranking. Even though with 301 redirects you can solve 40% of your problems regarding it.
3. Is 301 redirecting a must while changing the domain name?
Yes, 301 redirecting is a must while changing the domain name in order to prevent losing the traffic coming from the old domain name.
I hope this article solved your query regarding how to change the domain name. If you have any more queries the leave a common below or you can contact us through our email or contact page.