What to Know Before You Change Domains
Before you start, there are a few things you should know.
The process of transferring to a new domain will temporarily affect your search engine rankings, since Google and other search engines will need to adjust to the changes.
Yes, this will also temporarily affect your search traffic as well. Please keep in mind that this is normal, and it happens to all websites that switch to a new domain.
However, you can dramatically decrease the SEO impact by following this guide. We will show you the right way of moving your WordPress site to a new domain name, setting up proper 301 redirects, and notifying search engines.
Please note that this guide is not for moving WordPress site to a new host. This is for switching a domain name only. While the process is similar, there are a few extra steps involved in this process. These extra steps will help you to protect your SEO rankings and traffic.
Lastly, if your old website is on WordPress.com, then you need to follow the instructions in our guide on how to move from WordPress.com to WordPress.org instead.
Pre-Steps: What You Need to Get Started
In this guide, we are assuming that you have your WordPress website setup on oldsite.com, and you are trying to migrate it to newsite.com.
We are also assuming that you already have a WordPress hosting account, and you are familiar with your web hosting control panel.
You’ll also need to know how to use an FTP client like FileZilla, or how to edit files using the File Manager app available under your hosting account dashboard.
In case you don’t have a web hosting provider or are looking to switch to a new one, we recommend using Bluehost (great for small sites + comes with a free domain) and either SiteGround or WP Engine (great for larger sites or online stores).
Once you have those things in place, you’re ready to start the process!
Step 1: Create a Duplicator Package of Your WordPress Site
The first thing you need to do is create a full backup of your WordPress site. We’ll use this backup to create a duplicate of your website, so you can set up the redirects properly from your old domain to the new one.
Once activated, the plugin will add a Duplicator menu item in your WordPress admin. You need to click on the Duplicator menu, and then click on the ‘Create New’ button to create a new package, or copy of your WordPress site.