I recently had a past customer in a dilemma with their domain names. They had re-done their website and had switched over to a new platform. Of course, there is absolutely no issue with that but seeing what they went through to get traffic to their new site got me thinking that I should write a blog post on what to do and not to do with your domain names when switching over your website.
When switching over your website it is SO important to either keep your current domain name or forward your current domain name to your new site.
I highly recommend keeping your domain name unless you have to change it (for example a new business name or if you had something like a .net and want to switch to a .com) because there is already search engines directing traffic to that domain name as well as people already know that domain name.
A few ways to keep your domain name while still changing your website:
- You don’t connect your domain name until you are ready to launch your site. So you can still have your old website live until you are ready to launch your new website and you can easily switch the domain name over.
- If you don’t want to keep your current website live while designing your new website, I highly recommend publishing a “Coming Soon” page with your current domain name so that you don’t loose traffic (plus people won’t think you are out of business if they go to your website).
If you have to switch your domain name then I recommend keeping your current domain name active for a year and set it up to forward to your new website. That way you are not losing your audience that already knows your domain name and search engines will start to recognize that it’s forwarding to your new site.
I don’t recommend launching a whole new website and domain name before closing your old website. It’s going to confuse your audience and your SEO to make it harder for people to find you online.
So the cliff notes:
- Launch your new site with your current domain name when ready.
- Publish a “Coming Soon” page with your current domain name where your new site will be hosted until your new site is ready.
- Keep your current domain name and forward to your new domain name when your new site is live.
Have you ever had domain name issues?