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How to Easily Migrate WordPress to a New Domain (without Losing SEO)

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Are you looking to transfer your WordPress website to a new domain name? It can have a significant impact on your SEO rankings. This is why it’s important to do this carefully.  migrate a website

Although you can’t avoid SEO fluctuations while moving your website to a different domain, you can minimize them and quickly recover your search traffic and rankings.

This guide will help you move WordPress to a new site without losing SEO.

Before you start

We want to highlight a few points before you begin.

Switching to a new domain is a process that will be explained.TemporarilyYour search engine rankings will change as Google and other search engines adapt to these changes.

This will temporarily impact your search traffic. This is normal and happens to all websites that switch to a new domain.

This guide will show you how to dramatically reduce your SEO impact. We’ll show you. The right way moving your WordPress site to a different domain, setting up proper redirects, and notifying search engines.

Please note that this guide is not for moving a WordPress site to a new web host. This guide is used to transfer a domain. Although the process is identical, there are additional steps involved.

Pre-Steps

This guide assumes that your WordPress site is already set up on oldsite.com and that you want to migrate it to newsite.com.

We are also assuming that you already have a web hosting account, and you are familiar with your web hosting control panel.

If you don’t have web hosting, Bluehost is a great choice for small sites and comes with a free domain. WP Engine is great for larger sites.

You are now ready to begin the process once you have both your domain name and web hosting account.

Step 1: Create a duplicate package for your WordPress site

First, you must create a backup of your WordPress website. While there are many WordPress backup plugins available, the one we’re going to show in this step does both backups and migrations.

It’s Duplicator, and it’s completely free.

Let’s start by installing and activating the Duplicator plugin on your old domain name. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

The plugin will automatically add a Duplicator menu option to your WordPress admin once activated. To create a new package, click on the Duplicator menu and then click the create button.

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You will then be asked to click the Next button to proceed.

Duplicator will run the website duplicate wizard. It will first run tests to verify everything is working. Click on the button to ‘Build’ if all items have been marked as ‘Good’.

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Now, the plugin will create a duplicate package of your WordPress website. This may take several minutes, depending on how large your website is.

After you are done, you will see the download options for Installer or Archive. To download both files, you will need to click the “One-click download” link.

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This archive file contains a complete website copy. It will be used to transfer WordPress to another domain. The installer script will automate the process by extracting the archive file.

Step 2. Create a Database for New Domain Name

Before you can move, you will need a database in order to unpack WordPress on the new domain.

You can skip this step if you already have a database.

You will need to go to your hosting account’s dashboard and scroll down to the “Databases” section. Click on the icon for the “MySQL Databases” option.

Database icon in CPanel

The next screen will display a field that allows you to create a new database. Just enter a name for the database and then click on the “Create Database” button.

Create database for switching to another domain name

cPanel will create a new database. You can scroll down to the MySQL Users section.

Next, enter a username/password for your new user. Click on the “Create user” button.

Adding a new MySQL user

You just created a new user, but he does not have permission to access the database. Let’s make that change.

Scroll down to the section ‘Add user to database’. Select the database user that you have created using the dropdown menu beside the ‘User Field’, then choose the database and click the add button.

Add user to database

Now your database can be used to move WordPress to the new domain. Note down the database name, username, and password. This information will be required in the next step.

Step 3. Unpacking WordPress on New Domain Name

You will now need to upload the Duplicator files that you downloaded earlier to your domain name.

First, connect to your domain name using an FTP client. After you have connected, ensure that your root directory is empty.

You can then upload the installer and archive files to the root directory.

Upload Duplicator files to new domain name

After both files are uploaded, you can now unpack WordPress.

Go to the following URL in a new tab.

http://example.com/installer.php

Do not forget to replace example.com with your new domain name This will launch Duplicator’s migration wizard.

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The archive file will be searched by the installer. To continue, you will need to review the terms and conditions and click the next button.

The installer will now ask you to enter the information for your WordPress database.

Localhost will be your host. Next, enter the details for the database that you have created for your domain name.

Connect to the database for your new domain name

Once you are done, click the next button to move on.

Duplicator will now extract your WordPress backup from the archive and place it into your new database.

It will then ask you to change your site URL or path. It will detect your domain name’s URL and path automatically so you don’t need to do anything.

If it does not, you can change its URL to point to your new domain. To continue, click the next button.

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Duplicator will finish the migration.

To access the WordPress admin area on your new domain, click the “Admin Login” button.

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Step 4. Setting up Permanent 301 Redirects

It is important to set up a permanent redirect 301 for SEO and user experience.

This will enable you to automatically redirect search engines and users to your domain name.

This means that if someone visits one of your pages or posts, they will automatically be redirected to the new site.

To set up a permanent 301 redirect, you need to connect to your old site using FTP and edit the .htaccess file.

This code will be in the same directory that your wp_includes and wp_admin folders. Copy the following code to the top of the .htaccess file:

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#Options +FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.newsite.com/$1 [R=301,L]

Notice: In the code above, replace newsite.com with your new domain.

After you’ve made these changes, go back to your old domain. The new domain should be automatically redirected to you.

If it does not, it is likely that the redirection has not been set up correctly and your server doesn’t support redirect rules. To turn on RewriteEngine, you will need to contact your web hosting support.

Step 5. Notifying Google about the Change

After you’ve moved WordPress to a new URL and set up redirects, it’s time to notify Google of the address change. This will allow Google to quickly find the new domain name and show it in search results.

You first need to add the new domain name to Google Search Console. See step 1 in our Google Search Console guide for instructions.

Once you have created your new website, you will need to switch back to the older version of Google Search Console.

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Next, switch to your old domain and click on the gear icon to launch the change of address tool.

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The next screen will display a step-by-step wizard that will guide you through the submission of your request for a change of address.

It will first ask you to choose your new website from the drop-down menu. Next, click the check button to verify verification and test 301 redirects.

Change of address for your old domain name

Click on the submit button to send an address change request.

Notify Users About the Move to New Domain Name

Although the 301 redirects are doing their job well, it is still a good idea to announce the migration.

This can be done by simply creating a blog post and sharing it via your social media accounts.

If you have an email marketing list, then you should send a newsletter to let all your subscribers know.

This can prove to be very helpful.

Your users will remember your new domain more easily if they have read about it.

You can also ask users to tell you if they spot any bugs. Your site cannot be tested in every browser and environment. It is always beneficial to have someone else look at your site.

This tutorial should have helped you to move your WordPress website to a new domain.

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