Relaunching a Website with a New Domain Name

By Jacqueline Sinex, Friday, March 1, 2013
Launch Image
Photo by WikiImages on Pixabay

It seems like lately, many companies and non-profit organizations are rebranding.  The rebranding effort often includes a completely new domain name.

When you say it out loud, changing a name seems simple.  But when it comes to websites, a domain name change could have a major impact on your website’s accessibility and search engine marketing (SEO).  It is important to have a cautious plan with your technology team, including your web developer.

Businessman Attaching Name Tag

Important steps to replacing your website’s domain name.

  1. Keep the former domain active, at least for a while.  Plan to keep the old domain registered and “pointed” to the website, so you will not lose traffic during the transition process.  After over a decade of changing our brand name, we still have customers who find us through our original incorporated domain presence.  It would be a shame to add confusion to your visitors by simply letting the old domain name go offline.
  2. Register and prepare the new domain settings.  The new domain name must have the appropriate DNS settings to be ready to direct to your new website.  This may be as simple as updating the nameservers in the domain registrar records, or it might be more complicated if you need to direct separate email services to other servers.  Consult your IT professionals for these settings, and remember any change to a domain name takes at least a few hours (sometimes 24 to 48 hours) to propagate through the Internet – it is not instant!
  3. Ask your web host to set up the 2 domains with your account.  Depending on how you updated your DNS settings in step 2, you may need to set up the former domain name as a “pointer” to the site while changing your primary account domain to the new domain name.  This usually involves a small bit of action from your web host to recognize the 2 names appropriate in their server network.
  4. Update the website links and coding to reflect the new domain.  This usually happens on launch day, but your developer might want to make backups of the site and prepare some steps beforehand.  If you have a WordPress website, this process is more than just clicking a few buttons or entering one setting; it involves making URL replacements in the database and finding any old links with the former domain still mentioned.  This can be a delicate process, and the developer must usually make backups of the database, files, and notations about widgets and other settings.  Some e-commerce programs also have a delicate procedure for this, while some software is less involved.  Be sympathetic that your web development team will need to have some manual involvement to get this done smoothly.
  5. Test.  When the website is relaunched, visit the site and test each page and as many links as possible.  Alert your web developer if anything is missing or formatted strangely. Sometimes a few items get lost in the shuffle and just need some more manual tweaks.
  6. Promote.  Now it is safe to announce the name change to all of your beautiful customers and supporters.

But wait… there’s more!

If you have an e-commerce website, you probably have a payment section that requires an SSL certificate.  If you are changing the primary domain name setup of your web hosting account, you will need to purchase and install a new SSL certificate with that domain name also.  This takes time (at least a day or two) so coordinate with your web host.

Posted in: Domain Registration, Small Business, Web Development, Web Hosting, Web Site Maintenance, WWW Learning Center

2 responses to “Relaunching a Website with a New Domain Name”

  1. Your domain name is the online or Internet address that people will use to acquire to your site. The first step is always to determine a website which reflects the goods and services which you happen to be about to sell. Communicate your brand through logic – Set up unique urls that doesn’t only reinforce your organization, but clearly communicate logical portions of the website. Creating a summary of SEO favorable keywords for website name lookup may be beneficial as you will find many businesses around the globe while using same name. orgs may soon come with a screeching halt, because Internet yet again rushes into new and wide-open territory by expanding and personalizing domain suffixes.

  2. The most critical part with the entire url of your website is the second element, which states the name of your individual, a business, or a company. If you don’t focus on this matter with levelheadedness you might need to face significant amount of trouble later on. Becuase, each company possesses its own steps plus it varies from other companies. To improve sales mobile devices for accessing Internet resources via Mobile Web. Domain name reselling business is often a great money maker requiring hardly any effort by you.