If you’re transforming your business, you might be wondering about changing domain names. After all, with a new direction and a new brand, it makes sense you might want a new moniker too!
Whatever the reason, shifting your online address can be an exciting opportunity for your business—but it’s important to ensure it’s done quickly and smoothly. With over 60 million domains registered each year, you want to make sure yours stands out and the investment is worth the effort!
As you make the switch, you’ll need to understand why the right domain is important, the right time for change, and the steps to take to ensure the change happens efficiently.
There’s no need to worry, though! With these steps and tips, you can easily and confidently transition to a new address for your website. Follow our guide and tips to change the domain name quickly, thoughtfully, and with minimal disruption to your business.
The Importance of Your Domain Name
Your domain name is a unique combination of words and numbers your visitors type in to get to your site—like the street address your customers use to locate your store.
The right domain can make it significantly easier for people to find your website online, so it’s worth taking the time to pick one that reflects your business and goals. You’ll want to ensure it’s:
- Memorable and easy to type
- Relevant to your brand
And remember: every time you make a change it takes awhile for your customers to catch on. It should be an improvement, not a lateral move!
How do I Know When It’s Time to Change?
There are many reasons it might be time to change your domain name. Here are a few solid examples of when to take the plunge:
- Rebranding: If you’ve recently experienced a major shift within your business, changing your domain name can be an effective way to better reflect your new identity.
- Driving Traffic: If you’re aiming to increase the visibility of your website and drive traffic, replacing your existing domain name with something more recognizable can be beneficial.
- Memorable and Easy: If your website is complex, a simple, memorable domain name can help customers find you easily so you can guide them from there.
- Reduce Advertising Costs: If you already have variants of the same domain name, you can reduce advertising costs by merging them into one easily identifiable title.
- Umbrella Domain: If you have multiple websites that are connected under your umbrella brand, consider combining them into one domain name for easier accessibility.
- SEO Benefits: A new domain name with the ideal keywords can boost your website’s visibility in the digital landscape. A higher ranking in search engine results should result in more traffic and revenue.
- Set Yourself Apart From the Competition: If your domain name is similar to another business, you can differentiate yourself by analyzing your competitor’s ranking and perception and tweaking your name to better perform.
6 Steps to Change Domain Names
Changing your domain name for your website can feel overwhelming, but it’s a breeze once you know the steps to take. Here’s how to change your domain name without disrupting your business:
- Think about your new domain name: Do your research and choose a domain that accurately represents your brand.
- Get the domain name: Make sure the domain name you want is available and purchase the domain from a domain hosting service.
- Configure DNS settings: Configure your DNS settings in your new hosting account and switch them from the old domain to the new one. You can do this by updating the nameservers in your host or by specifying an IP address.
- Create redirects: Set up 301 redirects so that search engines and web visitors are sent to your new website.
- Update all content: Make sure you update all your content, including meta tags and SEO settings such as alt tags, page titles, and meta descriptions on each page.
- Announce the change: Let your customers know about the new domain name through an email newsletter, blog, and social media.
Overall, changing your domain name doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you follow these steps, you can switch your domain name quickly and smoothly.
What are the Risks?
Any time you change domain names there are possible downsides. Let’s look at some of the risks and how to alleviate them:
- SEO Impact: With the right 301 redirects, any loss of SEO standing should be minimal, but probably not zero.
- Traffic Loss: Ensure you’re prepared for a temporary drop in website traffic.
- Brand Confusion: If the change isn’t well publicized, customers may not understand where they’re going or why.
- Cost: Expenses like domain acquisition, potential redesign, and marketing efforts aren’t often huge, but they do add up.
- Technical Issues: Outline the technical steps to set up the new domain to minimize errors.
- Backlinks: Reach out to external sites linking to your old domain and ask them to update their links.
- Email: Switch business email addresses to the new domain and be prepared in case some emails are lost.
- Legal Issues: Ensure the new domain name does not infringe on existing trademarks or intellectual property.
- Loss of Customer Trust: Make sure the transition is smooth and without hiccups to build customer trust.
- Rebranding Risk: Research and prepare to help ensure the new brand resonates.
- Vendor and Partners: Make sure anyone relying on the old domain knows to update their records.
- Update Overhead: Take the time to update all marketing materials, online profiles, and business documents.
- Social Media Impact: Update all existing links on social media, but be prepared for potential confusion and a reduction in engagement.
Is It Time for a Change?
Changing domain names doesn’t have to be complicated or stressful. With the right partner, it can be a smooth and wonderful experience that can bring a whole new life to your business.
At Buddy Web Design & Development, we specialize in crafting stunning and functional websites using the latest and most reliable tech tools. Our expertise has led to accolades like “Best Web Developer of 2023” from Expertise.com.
With one-stop services from web and mobile design and development, to branding and e-commerce, we can ensure that when you change domain names it will be effortless and hassle free. Let’s work together to unlock new business opportunities, engage new customers, and create an optimized website and a domain name that truly reflects your unique brand!