What Are the Difficulties in Changing Domain Names?

Previously, I talked about the 4 different reasons why websites undergo a name change. This time, I will discuss the challenges you will face when you decide to change domain names.

How does a mere name change affect business?

  • For beginners, changing the domain name could be difficult because it would mean that you will give up on the links that you have built over time. Without links, it hard to prove your authority as a website. So, expect that traffic will greatly drop!
  • Aside from that, you will lose more traffic if you did NOT properly implement page redirects. Web visitors won’t be able to seamlessly jump from your old domain to your new domain. Once they will access your old domain, visitors will only see a 404 page.
  • Another major obstacle is content duplication. The old and new sites will have identical content, and plagiarism issues would ensue.
  • Hence, it is utterly important to adhere with Google’s guidelines on URL changes. Remember to monitor the even the slightest change because it can trigger unwanted effects in the future.

Lego showing a 404 error

How to properly transfer from one domain to another?

Remember, the main goal here is to be able to successfully redirect all of the old web pages to the new domain name. Here are some tips for you to follow in order to preserve your hard-earned rankings at best:

  • First, you will need a sitemap of your old domain name.
  • If you don’t have one, then you can create using the free (or paid) tools online. Whenever you feel confused, refer to Google’s guide on building a sitemap.
  • Next, you will need to fill the space of your new domain. This includes adding a company profile, creating an about us or contact us page, and more.
  • If you need more ideas, you can add a contact form, add testimonials, and feature reputable clients.
  • Once you have the new domain ready with all its contents, you can now publish your new site.
  • Don’t forget to claim your new domain and old domain on the Google Webmasters page.
  • Also, you need put up a sign and redirect your web visitors to your new home. To achieve this, have a 404 page on your old domain so all the web visitors will know that you have moved to another name.
  • After this, you need to test the redirects if one can successfully jump from the old one to the new name.
  • Next, you should make it easier for search engine crawlers to scan your site.
  • Then, submit the old sitemap to Google, Bing, or whatever search engine you want.
  • For Google, go to the Google Webmasters page, and open the “Change Address.”
  • To make sure that your new site is included in Google’s list, submit a new sitemap. For Bing, go to the Bing Webmaster Center.
  • Meanwhile, Google users will go to the Google Webmasters page.
  • diagnostics for the sitemap and fix any errors found

Now, you are all good. To make sure everything is up and running, perform a diagnostics test for your new sitemap and see if there are errors on your new domain name. Remember to continuously monitor the search results for any changes!