How to Change a Domain Name of an Existing Website?

How to change a domain name of an existing website 1

One thing that happens very rarely is the changing of domain names. Most of the time, people stick with the domain name they chose till the end.

The name is important. Everything gets linked to the domain name. It plays a vital role in branding. But sometimes, certain circumstances make people change their domain name. And change is beneficial, at times.

For example, say after some time, you find a name for your domain that will do much justice to your site, or you realize all of a sudden that the suffixes need to be changed by you for some reason.

Irrespective of the reason, if you wish to change the name of your domain, you just need to follow few instructions. By following these instructions, your domain name will be easily changed. And, this will not impact the entire website of your customer.

In this article, we will mention a few reasons because of which people opt to change their domain names. Also, we will mention the process needed for changing the name.

When Should you Get your Domain Name Changed? 

It is very easy to get the domain registered. In most cases, your hosting provider will be able to assist you.

All websites can be accessed using an Internet Protocol (IP) address that is unique to that site. All records on the DNS are created after the domain is registered.

This informs the site visitors or users, “they’ll be connected to a particular IP address if they visit this specific domain.”

Though it appears to be complex, it is really simple and easy. People do not change their domain names that easily.

This is because they fear that their website users may find it difficult in identifying the website. However, we are aware of few instances to which this change has proved to be beneficial.

Rebranding 

Few businesses feel the need to have a full makeover done, like having a different image and name. This is possible by getting a completely new domain.

Better Communication for Better Website’s Focus 

Sometimes the occurrence of a few things may lead you to choose a domain name that you will not be satisfied with after that moment passes.

Or, you may have chosen a TLD – .com, .net, or some other Identifier for following the domain name.

Fortunately, the complete process for changing a domain name is not difficult. You just need to follow the required steps and follow them properly. This will help you avoid problems if any.

The Right Way for Changing the Domain Name 

We mentioned previously that the entire procedure for changing the domain name is pretty straightforward. The proper way of doing this is not necessarily only by purchasing a new domain.

But, you have to ensure that the whole process is done correctly. This will give a nice experience to your site visitors. We have explained below how you could achieve this.

1. Select the Domain Name and Allot it to your WordPress site

There are many options when it comes to domain names, and hence, selecting a particular one that will be apt for your website could be tricky.

Though you are the one who will select the right domain name based on what you have planned, you still need to take a look at certain aspects that will help you choose a smart domain name.

We explained the whole process in detail in one of our previous articles. You could go back to it to get a proper understanding.

Assuming you are aware of the whole process, let’s dive further into getting a new domain registered. The hosting of many of our sites is done by A2 Hosting.

If you are one of their clients, you could assign a particular name to your current website. However, if you have another hosting provider, then more information on the correct process will be needed for you.

The right thing to do here is to contact your customer service team. They’ll be able to provide you with more details.

2. Rebranding the Website’s Design

Your logo plays an important role in helping people identify your site.

Based on the domain you have, you may need to get your website design’s certain aspects updated.

Say, for example, you may need to update your logo. But this applies to other elements also because it suggests the previous domain. An example of this would be:

  • Your website’s About page.
  • Some copyright information may be included in your website’s footer.
  • The tagline of your site, because this text is displayed on the browser tab the minute your site user opens it.
  • Other various references within the content of your site.

Fortunately, it is not difficult to get these changes done. But you will have to make sure that all and any references are removed that are related to your site’s former domain. You need to do this before taking the next step.

Also, you will have to notify your site users about these changes. There will be no confusion if you keep them in the loop. We will explain this in detail later. For now, let’s talk about redirects.

3. Getting Traffic Redirected to your New Domain 

This step is amongst the common steps that you have to take when you decide to change your existing domain name. You have to get your visitors redirected to the desired domain from the old domain.

By doing this, you will prevent any loss of users that have your previous site address bookmarked and who tend to regularly visit your personal website.

Most web hosts let their users do this by using the cPanel. This is the same even when it comes to A2 Hosting.

You just need to find the icon named Redirects. This will be found below the cPanel‘s Domains segment. You then need to select it.

After selecting it, you’ll be taken to the Redirects page, permanent 301, together with the domain that you want to redirect.

Enter your latest registered domain’s URL and permit the setting Redirect.  You can do this without the www:

After the Add icon is selected by you, you can start. So now, whenever your old domain is visited by a visitor, they’ll be automatically redirected to your new one.

We recommend you let both your domains remain active till your old domain’s traffic stops.

4. Let your Website Visitors Know About this Rebranding 

Once you have passed through the above 3 steps, the new domain name of your website will be all up and operational.

You now need to inform your site visitors of all these changes, including new URL, rebranding, and all other modifications.

This step is very important because if you fail to keep your visitors updated, you will confuse them. The following 3 ways are the best ways according to us to pass on this news to them:

  1. The minute you rebrand, have an explanation post on the website.
  2. Make use of the social media handles/accounts of the website for updating your followers. Direct them to the abovementioned post.
  3. Another effective way of announcing these changes is through an email campaign.

Always remember to keep your customers/visitors/users informed about various updates from time to time by sending them emails and via various social media accounts.

This is a great and effective method. It’ll help you reach more followers and subscribers.

Conclusion 

Changing the primary domain name cannot be considered as a light decision. Your domain name is the core element and primary identifier of your website.

However, if you think that it is required to be changed and that it would help your business in many ways by doing so, then you can just go ahead.

You can change it without harming the traffic or identity of your website. You can also check our article on How to Make Money with Servers?

Let’s go through the 4 steps mentioned above for changing your domain name safely:

  1. Choose the new Domain Name, and assign this name to your site.
  2. Rebranding your website’s design.
  3. Getting traffic redirected to your new domain.
  4. Notifying visitors of your website about the rebranding.

Hope all this information given in this article helps you make the right decision if you think about changing your domain name.

And that you follow the steps correctly, so you do not lose on your website traffic. The change in domain name should benefit you and your business, or else it would make no sense.

And, most importantly, do not forget to update the visitors of your website about the same. You wouldn’t want them to get confused and lost.

We’ve done these changes in the past by following the steps that we mentioned here. This has helped us a lot, and all our traffic has been redirected to the new domain name.

We would like to hear from you about your experience. Till then, take care.

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