How to Change Your Domain Name Without Affecting Website Traffic

Last Updated: 19 October, 2016
How to change your domain name without affecting website traffic

Is it possible to change the domain name without losing the site’s traffic? Probably, yes. If you want to rebrand your website or found a catchy URL, switching to new domain name requires proper planning.

How to Change Your Domain Name Without Affecting Website Traffic

Will it impact on SEO?

You may afraid that migrating to a new domain would affect the organic traffic and would have SEO impact. There’s no need to worry about all these stuff. Switching to new domain won’t affect your site’s traffic as well as SEO unless you implement proper procedures to switch your old domain to new domain.

Will it affect search engine SEO ranking?

Definitely not. When you migrate your old domain to a new domain name, the 301 redirect is a permanent redirect, so it will notify search engines that the site has been moved permanently that will send your organic traffic to the new site. And, the search engines will redirect to the new site as well.


You can switch to a new domain by setting up proper 301 redirects, and intimating the change to search engines. Before you start, you should have a valid new URL and a web hosting account. This is not like renaming your file name, though.

Before you start, the first step is to make a complete backup of your old site. If you have a WordPress site, there are a lot of plugins out there that helps you to make a backup. Some of them are -VaultPress, BackupBuddy, BackWPup, or WordPress backup to Dropbox.

Check this tutorial for backing up your wordpress website files.

Implementing 301 redirects:

Setting up 301 redirects is easy and simple. You’ve to add some codes to the .htaccess file of your old domain and it can be done by creating a ‘Wild Card’ redirect on a domain level. You may use this code to implement 301 redirect.

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^ [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTPS_HOST} ^ [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$$1 [L,R=301,NC]

This code will push traffic to the new domain.  After applying this setting, visit your old site and it will automatically redirect you to your new site. If it didn’t happen, there’s something wrong with the redirection setup. You can use a 301 checker to make sure it’s being transferred properly.

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Inform Google about the change:

Once you have completed with 301 redirect process, login into your Google Webmaster Tools account and click on the link “Change of Address”. This is where you inform Google that you’ve changed your domain name and the transfer.

Change of AddressPost change:

Once you’ve done all the changes accordingly, then it’s time to inform your readers that you have moved to a new site. Of course, visiting the old site will automatically get the user to the new site. It’s a good practice to inform your readers about the change so that your readers won’t end up with confusions. You can write a blog post and send to your mailing list or roll out a marketing email to your users. There are many ways to do that.

I hope that this tutorial has helped you in some way. If this tutorial helped you, you may share it to friends, as it may reach the needy. Share your experiences in the comments section below!

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