How To Move Your WordPress Website To A New Domain (Without Affecting SEO)

How to optimize WordPress website using the Yoast SEO plugin
AMP WordPress – What It Is and How to Set It Right

How is the process to redirect WordPress to a new domain, what does this mean for your SEO ranking and how to make so that it is not damaged in the process?

It basically means creating a redirect and send all the old URL to a new URL traffic.

In essence, the traffic “rejects” your old site and directs you to your new site. For example, after the redirect, the search traffic to goes .

Over time, Google gives preference to your new domain instead of the old domain in terms of SEO ranking. Here’s a little flowchart draw.

Wordpress how to redirect to a new domain

Now, you should not take the redirect your domain anyway, especially when your SEO ranking is at stake.

If done right, you can maintain or even boost your SEO, but if done wrong, you can lose your rankings and thus suffer penalties.

While the prospect of redirect your old domain to a new seem a little daunting, you can make the transfer without losing or harm the content of your SEO.

It is important to note that you may experience a slight decrease in search traffic after moving your WordPress to a new domain, but this is usually for a short time. This is because:

  • Google takes a while to index your new URL;
  • If you have made significant changes in content or design before redirecting, this new change can affect negatively your SEO until you put all things in order. At the same time, Google takes a while to index your new content;
  • Some users may ignore your new domain due to domain bias.

Even so, this tutorial shows you how you can perform redirection successfully WordPress without harming your SEO. Are you ready? Great, we hoist the anchor and from this tutorial!

Because redirect your WordPress site to a new domain?

Before we move on to the process of migrating your WordPress site to a new domain, how about we take a look at the reasons why companies exchange URLs.

Brand changes – Rebranding

Rebranding is one of the main reasons why you would make a change in your domain name. As you work your business, at some point you may find that you need to completely change the direction and therefore you change your brand.

Change the brand involves starting from scratch with a new name for the company and website. If you have good content, however, you simply need a new domain, properly redirected and perhaps a new design for the site.

Fleeing the severe penalties Google

Recover from the Google algorithms and spam penalties not a task for the weak. Generally penalties comes with loss of search traffic, it means that Google left her hand, your SEO will have a very small value or even no value.

If you have little or no traffic, it would make sense to start from scratch? If you do not care less about search traffic, you can keep your old, penalties and spam site. We hope that is not the case.

Your new domain is attractive and strong

Maybe you had to be content in your domain .net, or .biz .club simply because the .com was not yet available.

While the name of your domain does not mean as much as SEO and the success of your business, a captivating domain name and easier to remember is the most recommended.

A strong hold in your niche will probably gain a lot of time and effort to achieve its goal of traffic.

HTTP to HTTPS migration

Today, Google has a penchant for HTTPS by the number of reportandocrescimento foot traffic after changing from HTTP to HTTPS.

In the past, the 301 redirect resulted in about 15% of traffic loss. Today, Google treats 301 redirects differently, as the redirect goes through all the content for the new URL.

HTTP to HTTPS migration  involves 301 redirect, as well as moving to a new domain. The only advantage that the latter has on the first, is the small boost in traffic that Google provides HTTPS.

That said, note that switching to HTTPS is no joke, if done wrong, you can become a disaster for SEO.

In addition, a 301 redirect means a permanent one URL to another. 302 redirects and 307 redirects are temporary. Of course you should only use 301 redirects to redirect to a new domain.

Combinations of sites

If you would like to consolidate your multiple websites within a single domain, creating a redirect site for each site WordPress is a novelty. The process is essentially the same regardless of whether one is redirecting or ten domains.

If done correctly, your new domain can easily to rank the keywords (keywords) on your other sites. Anyway, you must move the contents of the websites to your new website and drive properly.

Discontinued deals

You must create a redirect one domain to another if a product is discontinuing or would like to send traffic to a new product.

Think what would happen to your mail when you move house but forget to alert the post office. Of course you will lose many matches, right? In this case here, the missed connections represent lost sales.

Pro Tip: Changing fields is a risk, first you should take with your business goals in mind. The reasoning here is to focus on their business goals in the first instance, and SEO second .

How to keep the SEO content after moving to a new domain?

Now that you understand why you should not redirect your site on a whim, we go through the process to move WordPress to a new domain with mastery and survive the onslaught SEO. Combined? Amazing, so here is the overview of this section.  

  • Create a full backup of your old site.
  • Clean Your New Domain.
  • Move your site to the new domain.
  • Rewrite .htaccess.
  • Fix Broken Links.
  • Notify Google.
  • Submit New Sitemap.
  • Change in Google Analytics Domain.

Create a Full Backup of Your Old Site

It is always good to keep backups of your site, so if you are targeting your WordPress site or not. Now we will not go into detail so we did a mega guide on how to backup WordPress, you can check  here .

Before you get on with your site, create a full backup because you will need 1) a copy of your site to move to the new domain, and 2) if something wrong during the process, you will have a safe copy of your job.

Clean Your New Domain

Of course, we assume that you have already purchased a new domain. If you did not register a domain before, you can skip this step.

However, what happens if your new domain has already been registered in the past without your knowledge?

Maybe you bought a site you’d like to forward it to your new domain. But it would be healthy a new domain?

To ensure that you are not transmitting any penalty and other problems that could harm your SEO efforts, you should check your new domain using the Google Webmasters Tool (GWT).

As? Add your new domain to GWT and check the Actions Manual page . If there are no problems, you have the green light to move forward.

Manual actions

If there are manual actions, you must make the necessary changes and submit a reconsideration request .

Moving your WordPress site to a new domain

If you have a domain and already associated with a hosting server, you are kilometers in front of the person who just bought a domain. This is because moving a site for a is not just a matter of copying.

As long as you can point your domain to your hosting server, move your site is a matter of transferring your static files WordPress as well as databases. Check out this tutorial on how to appoint a new domain .

If you had no idea that WordPress site does not have a database, you better use plugins like Duplicator or multifunctional WP Migration . We also recommend checking our migration tutorial WordPress. It shows how to properly migrate to a different WordPress Host.

Add redirection rules to the .htaccess

The best part of this guide, the improvement of a redirect that saves your SEO is as easy as putting a code in your file .htaccess .

While you are kept the structure of the URL of your WordPress site (as directs to redirect traffic is a matter of editing the file .htaccess found inside your server.

In the WordPress directory of your old site, locate the file .htaccess and add the following code at the bottom.

#options + FollowSymLinks

RewriteEngine on

RewriteRule (. *) Http://$1 [R = 301, G]

Imbued with this code on your site, either to go to any URL on your old site will be redirected to the corresponding URL into your new site. If not, your redirects are not configured correctly. Replace the top code with your new domain. This is known as a 301 redirect which tells Google and all its users that your site has been moved to to

If you want to redirect any page individually, add the following code to your file .htaccess :

Redirect 301 /

Repair QuebradosSubstitua Links and with its old and new pages respectively.

After moving your site to the new domain you will probably break some links within your content. Links to internal pages for example, still have the old domain, which return the 404 that are bad user experiences.

You can also inherit broken links from the old site, especially if you have never corrected before any redirection.

And still talking about links, you must also update all possible links and change the URL in social networking profiles you have, and this is just too easy. Contact  the website owners who have connections links to their website, and ask politely to update their links to your new URL:

how to redirect wordpress without harming the seo

You can use the W3C Link Checker to sniff broken links and Plugin Velvet Blues Updater URLs to replace all instances of your old domain in your content.

Notifying Google

To reduce the time it takes Google to index your new domain, Google offers a change of address tool directly in Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tool).

Use this tool. Click your old site in the GSC and then click the gear icon in the upper right corner:

How to redirect wordpress seo without harming

Select the option Change of Address from the dropdown menu to access this page:

Sitemap tool

Follow the procedure in 4 steps, and finally click the submit button.

Send new Sitemap

If you did not know, a successful redirection to a new domain also involves sending a new sitemap to Google.

A sitemap is exactly what you should find it. It’s a map of your website detailing various URLs for your content. Search engines use sitemaps to get a screenshot of your site for indexing purposes.

You can easily generate a sitemap using various WordPress plugins . Add a sitemap to Google search is easy.

Just go to your new site in GSC and navigate to Crawl -> Sitemaps:

Google Webmaster Tools

Modify Domain in Google Analytics

As this can directly affect my SEO Ranking? You may wonder. Well, if the SEO is all about generating traffic, and the more you know about your traffic, the better you will be able to realign their efforts for greater impact.

If you are not yet using Google Analytics to track your WordPress website, you should consider using it now! Google Analytics provides many useful information you can use to improve your SEO at any time.

If you already have Google Analytics set up on your WordPress Blog, all you need to do is change your URL properly.

The process is easy. Just log into Google Analytics and click on the tab Administrator and choose Property Settings . Now enter your new domain in the site URL field and click Save.

Google analytics exchange domain

Final conclusion

Moving your WordPress site to a new domain without harming your SEO on the road is not easy. Still, it’s possible with a little patience and attention.

Note that if you have a low ranking SEO due to a non-optimized content or low-quality site without redirecting the fix the problem will not improve your ranking!

Just plan ahead, always create backups and be 100% sure that the redirect is really needed.

It is also important to notify your visitors in advance of your redirect. You can write a blog post, use a pop-up or implement a logo / transition byline to maintain the recognition of their identity, especially if you modify the design of your site.

If you make changes to your new site, it is better to redirect each page individually, but this can be a problem when it comes to too big a site, it would become a gigantic task. It is best to keep the same URL structure on the old site and the new so you can make the transition easily using .htaccess.

Also, keep an eye on your previous redirects old website that can CIRAR several redirects on your new site and even a redirect loop error . For example, page A to page B that directs the old site will cause a three – step redirect the new site, or pay A -> B pag -> B pay on the new site.

Keep in mind that it takes time to retrieve the SEO ranking of your website after a change. Switch to HTTPS results in an increase in the SEO rankings in traffic, as seen in several studies of these cases. Since you do everything as described, you should be able to achieve the proper SEO rankings in no time.

Finally, take care of your content and your site as if your life depended on it to generate inbound links to boost your SEO ranking.

Have you ever switched domains? How you managed all the redirection process? Did you have any problems during the procedure? Please share with us in the comments!