A Guide to Switching Domains

In this blog Kelan from our product team takes you though the important process of switching domains and explores how you can mitigate data loss. 

Published by Hamish Kerry

A common theme of questions that pop up from time to time for our product team is "what actually happens when I switch domains? And how do I go about it?" To answer this question, our newest member of the product team, Kelan has prepared a handy guide to switch your domain. Over to you Kelan!

Before considering the switch between an old and new domain, you will have to consider whether it is necessary or not. It can introduce risks and knock-on effects to your business such as the loss of traffic, rankings and revenue. There are four key stages which you should follow if you are considering the switch:

When do you need a domain switch?

The most common circumstances are rebranding, changing to a country-specific or moving from a hosted service to your own domain. If so, a Migration Plan should be constructed to ensure everything goes smoothly and results in success!

Pre Launch: Planning a migration 

Having a site migration can be made easy and less stressful by having a plan and gathering all the useful data before the launch. A few factors of the plan could include,

  • Check the history of the domain

  • Put a holding page up on the new domain 

  • Compile a list of all URLs on your site and map your redirects

  • Gather all external links pointing to your domain

  • Create 404 pages (page not found) for the current domain 

Launch: Going live with your new domain 

On average, switching your domains lasts between 24-72 hours. This stage is when all the hard work of your planning comes together. During the launch, there are a few important elements to implement. Doing these in a correct manner will help spot anything that goes wrong and keep you in control.

  • Launch the new domain and open it for business 

  • Implement the 301 (moved permanently) redirects 

  • Encourage google to check out the new domain and use their change of address tool

  • Check, rename and annotate Google Analytics

  • Update external links 

Post Launch: Monitoring your migration

After the new domain is live and your migration is complete, it is not done yet! There are still a few tasks to consider after the launch. This is very important because it allows you to improve on the process and track traffic etc. 

  • Create fresh links to your new domain

  • Monitor indexation numbers, along with your rankings and visibility 

  • Check to find any errors in the new site

  • Maintain your redirects 

  • Monitor traffic and sales 

As a part of our approach, our product team will always guide you through the best approach to switching domains, depending on your requirements. If you want to learn more about how we can assist you, check out our services page here

We'd love to chat about your project!

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