How to Transition to a New Website Address

How to Transition to a New Website Address

Migration Best Practices

It’s easy to upgrade your existing website address and move to a new address ending in any one of our memorable and defining domain names. With a little planning and preparation we’ll arm you with the information and the tools you’ll need to make the move while keeping your existing traffic and search engine rankings.

Site Migration Overview

The best place to start is to follow the detailed, step by step instructions, published by Google. These instructions take you through each scenario and show you how to point your existing website to your new address ensuring Google is properly notified and aware of it. This is really important for many reasons. You want to make sure your customers can still find you and you don’t want to lose any of your traffic or search rankings you’ve worked so hard to get. It will take a little time for Google Search to process, but when it is done your new domain name will work just like your old name.

If you have any questions while following the Google site migration instructions, please visit: Google’s Webmaster Help Forum.

The steps below are a high level overview of what to expect when moving your existing website to a new domain name.

Step 1:  Preparation

  • Ensure you have a Google account (it is free) so you can use Google Webmaster tools.
  • Gather all your website login information for the services you use to run your website.
  • Registrar – this is where your domain name was purchased and registered
  • Hosting – The hosting company is the place your website files and data is stored.
  • Website Builder – Some of you may also use a website builder like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, or WordPress.

Step 2:  URL Mapping

  • Prepare a URL map of your current site and all the URLs and map them to their new format, with your new domain name URLs.
  • Note any digital advertising and links you may need to update

Step 3:  Begin the Website Move

In this step, you’ll configure your website server to redirect and point your old domain name to your new trusted domain name.  You will also alert any external sites linking to you and update them on the new links.

Step 4:  Monitor

Make sure to monitor the traffic on both your old and your new site URLs.  You’ll be able to identify any issues such as missing links, errors, and ensure Googlebot is crawling your site. You should see a drop in traffic on the old site and increasing traffic to your new site.