Do you need to change the domain name of your website? Are you wondering if that will have an effect on SEO?
If yes, then you have landed on the right page. In this article, we will talk about How To Move WordPress Site To New Domain and how to transfer the link juice to the new domain name so that there is no effect on the SEO.
But why do you want to change the domain name?
The reason could be re-branding, acquisition of a professional domain name or could be anything.
Changing the domain name is just a five minutes job. But if you don’t do it properly, it can affect your SEO badly.
Affect Of Domain Name Change
Before we change the domain name, it is important to check if there are any severe consequences or issues. It is always better to get informed than to get a surprise.
Loosing Of Search Ranking For A Brief Time
Yes, it’s normal. When you move your site to a new domain, you can expect to lose your search ranking for a brief period of time.
Just assume that your new domain is like your new house address. Don’t you take time to get things settled in your new home?
Just like how we take time to organize everything in our new house, Google also takes time to understand the new domain name and its contents.
In this period of time, you may see a drop in your ranking. But, Relux, you will be back where you were before.
If you follow proper redirect practice then your new site will regain its search ranking position within a very short period of time.
Duplicate Content Issue If The Redirect Is Not Done Correctly
There is always a chance of a “Duplicate Content” issue if you have not set up redirects correctly. ”
Google and other search engines should be informed about this change in the domain name. There should be a proper redirect set in the old domain to redirect to the new domain name.
If you don’t do that, you are at risk of getting a penalty from Google for duplicate content.
Things To Do Before You Change The Domain Name
The only prerequisite of moving a WordPress site to another domain is to take backups. Yes, You heard it right. Backup-Backup- Backup.
Try every possible way to take backups of your complete website. This is to ensure that if something goes wrong, you have something to rebuild your website.
For taking a backup of your existing site, You can use FTP to download website contents to your local storage. You can use FileZilla to download files from your web server through FTP.
You can use free plugins like WPVivid to take the backup of your website.
In fact, nowadays, most web hosts offer a free backup feature. So you can ask your web host to take a backup.
How To Move WordPress Site To New Domain
Below is the step-by-step process that you can follow to move a WordPress site to a new domain.
Use WPVivid Plugin To Take A Complete Backup
WPVivid is a free plugin to take backups of your WordPress sites. You can take local backups as well as remote backups using this plugin.
WPVivid also has a premium version with advanced features. If you want, you can try that also.
To take a backup using the WPVivid plugin, please go to WPVivid settings and click on “Backup Now“. Depending on the settings, it will be a local backup or a remote backup.
Please make sure to select the “Database + Files” option
Download the backup file on your computer.
Change The Nameserver For The New Domain Name
Please change the nameserver for the new domain name. You can get the nameserver details from your hosting provider where you want to host your website with the new domain name.
Here are two guides for GoDaddy and Namecheap that explain how to change the nameserver.
Install WordPress On The New Domain Name
Once you change the nameserver, you need to install WordPress on the new domain name. It will be a default installation.
If you don’t know how to install WordPress, then you can refer to this article. Most shared hosting offers a Softaculous auto-installer through which you can install WordPress easily. If not, refer to the host-specific guide for installing WordPress.
Here is a video explaining how to install WordPress using Softaculous.
Install WPDivid Plugin On The New Domain Name
You need to install the WPVivid plugin on the new domain name so that we can restore the backup from the old domain name. The free version is enough for the backup and restore.
Restore The Backup
To restore the backup, go to WPVivid settings and click on upload as shown below. Select the backup file that you have downloaded in the first step and upload it.
Once uploaded, it will be shown in the backups list. Select the backup and click on “Restore“
The restoration is an automated process. Wait for the process to complete and the content of your new domain name will be replaced by the content of the old domain name.
That’s it. You have moved your WordPress site to a new domain.
The whole process of moving a WordPress site to a new domain is explained in this video.
Set Up Permanent Redirect
If you want to transfer the link juice from your old domain name to the new domain name, you need to set up a 301 redirect.
With 301 redirects, all visitors to your old domain name will be redirected to the new domain name. Backlinks will also get transferred.
To set up 301 redirects, your old domain hosting files should be still available. This means, once you move your old domain content to a new domain, you can not simply delete the contents of the old domain name.
Please go to your old domain name .htaccess file and add the following piece of code. Replace example.com with your new domain URL.
#Options +FollowSymLinks RewriteEngine on RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
Please keep your old domain name and content active for at least a year so that Google can finish indexing links to your new domain. If you remove the old domain content, then all contents of your old domain will show a 404 error which is not good for SEO
Inform Google About The Domain Name Change
Domain name changes should be informed to Google and other search engines to let them know that you have moved to a new domain.
Although it is not mandatory, it is always better to inform so that you are safe from any duplicate content issues.
To inform Google about the domain name change, you first need to add the new domain name in the Google Search Console.
Once you add the new domain name in the Google Seach Console, Go To Setting-> Change Of Address.
Now select the new domain name that you have added just now and then Click Validate and Update.
Conclusion: Move WordPress Site To New Domain
Moving a WordPress site to a new domain is no longer a painful task. With plugins like WPVivid, you can complete the whole process in less than 30 minutes depending on your website size.
If you follow all the processes correctly, there is no risk to SEO too.
I hope after reading this article, you can easily move your WordPress site to new domain without any issues. If you still find it tough, you can ask your doubts in the comment section and I will help you out.
FAQ | Migrate WordPress Site
How Long Should I Keep My Old Domain Active After The Transfer?
Minimum 6 months. But on the safe side better to keep it active for at least a year.
Will It Affect Search Ranking If I Change The Domain Name?
Yes, temporarily it will affect the search engine ranking.
What is the best way to add 301 permanent redirects?
Editing the .htaccess file to add the redirect rule is the best option. Below is the redirect code. Replace example.com with your new domain URL.
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.com/$1 [R=301,L]
What Is Wildcard Redirect?
Wildcard redirect means all URL suffixes starting with the specified URL will be redirected.
If you add a wildcard redirect for example.com, then all links starting with example.com/ will be redirected.
How To Migrate WordPress Site To New Domain?
You can use the WPVivid plugin to migrate WordPress site to new domain.