In one of the first posts in my blogging tips series I talked about how important it is to pick a name for your blog and to have a domain to match. Your blog name and domain name are crucial to your blog. It is how people learn what you are about, what your blog is about, and they determine this in about 3 seconds.
So when you start a blog, you have an idea and a vision for it. There are people out there who do a great job of coming up with a name and that name works through the life of their blog. Other people, like me for example, are not so good at coming up with names, then one day it hits them. That is why I moved from All Out Blog (a very general name and not a good name for a blog) to Mommy, RN (a name that shows what my blog is about and who is writing it).
Changing domain names is not hard, but there are also important steps you need to take to make sure everything is pointing to the right domain.
The first thing you have to do is to get all your content on the new domain. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. You can export all your content and import it back up to the site, but you will not transfer your settings, plugins, or theme.
There is a plugin you can use that will duplicate all your content, guess what it’s called, duplicator. How obvious! The only thing is you have to know a little bit about FTP. I found a great video tutorial on using the plugin. I am sure there are other plugins you can use, but from what I understand this is the most user friendly, but it still took several attempts for me to get it right, and several hours of waiting. Uploading a large file takes several hours, mine took around 4-5 hours.
Once you have this finished, you need to think about if you want to re-brand your blog. Do you now have a whole new name like I did, or can you use your headers and logos for your new domain. In my case I had to have new headers and logos and wanted a more professional looking blog. As I said before, your readers determine if they want to read your blog within the first few seconds of coming to your site. Once you have decided what route you are going here, you can either skip this, or you can start trying to find a designer for your blog.
Last, but not least you have to change your links on any other site you may be on. You can do this before getting your new design, whichever is more time effective for you. For me, I did this step while I was communicating with my blog designer and setting that up with her. The only thing is, you want to have the new domain live before you start setting up your redirects.
You can also do this in a couple of different ways. The quick way would be to just set up a redirect for your old domain to your new domain. The only issue with this is if anyone has bookmarked a particular page, they will be redirected to the homepage of the new blog and not that post on the new domain. The best way to set up your redirects to not loose readers is to set up a redirect for each page. It can be a time consuming process, but it is a very important step and you will be grateful for it in the end.
I have decided to offer my services to anyone who needs help with any of this. I am willing to transfer all your content and settings or set up your redirects if you want me to. If you want more information on pricing, please contact me or see the hire me page.
Have you ever decided to change your domain name? Or are you considering it now?