How to: change your website domain without losing your search ranking, and your old links visitors

Hade Alahmad
By Hade Alahmad on Oct 02, 2016

You may sometime start a website on a free domain thinking that it won’t make it far, but then you see that it’s going popular really fast… the only problem is that you gained popularity by your old domain. The free one, will you risk the popularity of your website and start over from scratch all for the sake of a better domain? Well, not necessarily.

It’s really simple, you can change the domain, make all the old links take you to the new domain, all in a few minutes… so if you’re thinking of a domain change, now is the right time.

Preparation:

  •  Make sure you linked the new domain to your webhost, and all the files are uploaded and edited as needed to work with the new domain.
  • Make sure both domains work perfectly, and are completely identical, also make sure that the link structure is the same, and all pages in the new website are working correctly.
  • Verify the ownership of both domains in your google webmaster tools account, make sure that both domains exist in your account before moving on.

Redirection:

  • Edit the .httaccess file in your old domain root, replace everything with this:
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.old\.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://new.com/$1 [R=301,L]
  • Change “old” and “new” with your old and new domains

Keeping your place:

  • Again in your google webmaster tools account, click on your old domain from the list.
  • Click on the gear icon “settings”, and choose “change of address”
  • Follow the simple steps “just click the buttons”

You can’t change your domain unless you have full access to both new and old domains

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