There are lots of reasons why you might want to move your website to a new domain name. Perhaps you have had a revamp, rebrand or a change of focus in your business and the domain name is no longer relevant.
An acronym may have seemed like a good idea in the past, but they are generally hard to remember and slower to type (yes, this factor!) You might have bought a domain name with a hyphen and now know that that are not favoured by Google or anyone else. It may also be that an old provider owns your domain name and you want a new one which is totally under your control.
At Dmac Media we regularly assist clients wishing to move to a niftier domain name. Our digital marketing department conduct extensive research and we take every precaution to make the transition as smooth as possible. The most important thing to remember in this process is that you don’t totally abandon the old name, but merely redirect to the new one! This means that you will not lose clients who have your website address saved in browsers and in their brilliant memories but will merely arrive quickly to the exciting new domain name.
How do I do it
Your domain name is separate to the hosting of your website. Rather, it points to your hosting, like a phone number or address. There are two options when it comes to purchasing domains. You can buy from a re-seller or directly from a Registrar. There are lots of reasons why you might want to move your website to a new domain name. The new domain, once in your possession now needs to be added to your hosting.
If you buy from the same company that hosts your website (recommended), they can add it to your hosting package. If you can buy separately and point the DNS (Domain Name System) records for your domain at your hosting. It is advisable to use a professional as this can be a little tricky. At Dmac Media we have helped countless people who bought great new domain names but lost traffic when it was not properly pointed to their website hosting.
What is the best domain name to choose?
Choosing your new domain name is entirely your decision although many domain names are already grabbed. In fairness, if you didn’t purchase tombrown.com some eons ago, it is unlikely to be available now. A domain name is unique to one person or business. Obviously, acronyms only work for large companies with commonly used branding, such as BBC or RTE. It is generally best to link your domain name choice to the content of your website. Sometimes this is done in an obvious way, e.g. yogaforseniors.ie and sometimes in a less obvious manner, for example – www.bestforbaby.ie.
Thankfully, there is online help if you are feeling uninspired. Head off to namemesh.com and pop in some words that are relevant to your business to get some nifty suggestions. Remember when choosing, to put your identity first, and what you do, For example – www.kunekunepigsireland.ie where it does exactly what it says on the tin! If you are unsure if the domain name you fancy is available, try a quick search on www.whois.net and it will soon let you know.
Redirecting traffic from your existing domain name
It is vital that the traffic going to the old domain is sent to the new one. It is the equivalent of not telling the post office that you have moved and wondering where your post is, as letter pile up on the old mat. 301 redirects tell Google that you used to be call one thing and are now called this new thing. Again, your hosting or web design company will advise you on 301 redirects. After all, the purpose of your new domain name will be entirely lost if you don’t manage to detour the searches from your old one. If your website on the new domain uses exactly the same URL paths, you can do a domain-wide redirect rule – one rule to capture all uses of the old domain. Or you may need to configure individual redirects for different pages on your site. A useful guide to this is at Blacknight .com
But if the idea of tackling this is too much for you any other good hosting or website provider can assist (Dmac Media, cough cough…)
Whether you are going for something Uber-chic hipster-trendy name like wazoos.ie or going for a say what you see domain, painterdublin.ie you can use the above advice to keep the fuss to a minimum. With some thought and inspiration, you can reflect your business in a more real way.