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    How to Transfer Domain without losing PR or Backlinks


    Hi,

    I have a domain [dot]com[dot]au/blog which runs word press. I want to transfer it to a new domain which I also own but have not used: It is the same name but is simply [dot]com

    I want to move the site to increase readership and affiliate traffic with those outside Australia.

    My host provider suggested this:

    "Just add the new domain under 'Parked Domains' in your cPanel. You then just need to change the site URL and home page in the WordPress back end, and then add this to the top of your .htaccess file.

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(URL)$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ (URL) [R,L]

    My questions are:

    1. Will I lose backlinks or PR doing this?
    2. Will I forever be redirecting everything I upload and post and will this lower my site in Googles estimation?
    3. Is it better SEO to (physically) transfer blog to new site or do as my host suggested?

    This is an important move and I want to do it right the first time. the idea of forever uploading to [dot]com[dot]au/blog and having to redirect everything seems like a bad idea.

    Would I be better transferring everything, redirecting for say a year and then letting those old links go?

    If I choose to redirect, does this mean keeping the old site "alive" in some sense in order to keep the redirect working?

    I look forward to any help.

    Thanks,

    David
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    Originally Posted by davidtrounce
    Just add the new domain under 'Parked Domains' in your cPanel. You then just need to change the site URL and home page in the WordPress back end, and then add this to the top of your .htaccess file.

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^(URL)$ [NC]
    RewriteRule ^(.*)$ (URL) [R,L]
    I would personally move to the new domain rather then do it this way, but yes that code looks correct, just make sure to test it before going live with the new domain.

    And you will also want to do a change of address in webmaster tools.

    Originally Posted by davidtrounce
    1. Will I lose backlinks or PR doing this?
    You always loss some link juice when doing a redirect, so yes its likely you will loss some juice, pr and possibly rankings for a while as google picks up on the changes.

    Originally Posted by davidtrounce
    2. Will I forever be redirecting everything I upload and post and will this lower my site in Googles estimation?
    Not quite sure what you mean by this? If you change to a new domain, install WP on that and move all the old content to the new install you will be using the new site not the old one!

    Originally Posted by davidtrounce
    3. Is it better SEO to (physically) transfer blog to new site or do as my host suggested?
    I would physically move to the new domain because that's the way I have always done it, but I should think doing as your host suggested would give the same results because search engines and people would not know as they would simply be using the .com domain, its only your WP database that would be using the .com.au

    Originally Posted by davidtrounce
    Would I be better transferring everything, redirecting for say a year and then letting those old links go?
    No you need to keep the redirects in place if you want to keep an backlinks pointing to the old domain, I take it you will be keeping the same urls etc, just a change in domain names?

    Originally Posted by davidtrounce
    If I choose to redirect, does this mean keeping the old site "alive" in some sense in order to keep the redirect working?
    As above, yes you need to keep the old domain registered, but you don't need to keep it hosted. You should be able to setup a full domain redirect from your domain register, but if not some free hosting will do the trick just to host a .htaccess file for the redirect code.

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    • davidtrounce agrees
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    Nathaniel,

    Thanks for the awesome reply. The Host changed their minds and suggested I "Add Domain" (.com) to current site (.com.au/blog), then change WP URL and site address to .com then edit .htaccess.

    I find it all a bit baffling but the result is my site and all links now point (or redirect) to .com

    However, I still access the Wp installation through the old file structure (.com.au/blog) in ftp. This is the part that baffles me the most. When I upload, say, an image, is it going to .com.au/blog and then redirecting or is it going to .com?

    One advantage of adding the Domain is that I didn't have to spend more money with my host (name was already mine and just sitting there in my host). Hopefully I won't be at a disadvantage with Google or in the future should I want to move my files over to .com or want to kill the .com.au domain.

    I would love to understand this better. And yes, I have added .com to Web master (can I therefore kill of the .com.au/blog account with them?)
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    Originally Posted by yoganath
    If attainable donít transfer directly all of your pages of your web site to the new location however instead strive moving smaller segments of it. as an example you may need to transfer initial a selected sub-domain and check whether or not the transition was winning. Then few weeks later when you validate that your rankings haven't been seriously affected you'll be able to proceed to moving the remainder of the web site. a similar applies once you need to merge many totally different websites into one new domain.
    Thanks Yogonath.
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    yoganath why would you mess around moving a site in parts? We know the out come of changing domains can mess with rankings a little so why would you need to test it and risk confusing your visitors and the bots by using two different sites for shows sections of one site on another?

    David, if you have moved to the new domain correctly you should now be login with newdoamin.com/wp-admin rather then olddomain.com.au/wp-admin correct? For the ftp, you should be able to login with either domains details as the .com is just an add-on domain to your main domains account, but this will not effect any thing.

    Just to confirm, when you upload via ftp, you are placing your photos etc in the new domains folder not the old one correct? For etc "public_html > domain.com > wordpress-install" not "public_html > domain.com.au > wordpress-install"

    I have added .com to Web master (can I therefore kill of the .com.au/blog account with them?)
    I would recommend leaving it up, you have no need to delete it anyway so why take the time to do it lol
    Last edited by NathanielB; Nov 23rd, 2012 at 06:06 AM.
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    Originally Posted by NathanielB
    yoganath why would you mess around moving a site in parts? We know the out come of changing domains can mess with rankings a little so why would you need to test it and risk confusing your visitors and the bots by using two different sites for shows sections of one site on another?

    David, if you have moved to the new domain correctly you should now be login with newdoamin.com/wp-admin rather then olddomain.com.au/wp-admin correct? For the ftp, you should be able to login with either domains details as the .com is just an add-on domain to your main domains account, but this will not effect any thing.

    Just to confirm, when you upload via ftp, you are placing your photos etc in the new domains folder not the old one correct? For etc "public_html > domain.com > wordpress-install" not "public_html > domain.com.au > wordpress-install"
    Nathaniel,

    Thanks for your help.
    ftp - yes, I have a new username and can log in via ftp.xxx.com but I can also access fto files with the other (old) username.
    WP - yes, I can log in via .com/wp-admin - same user and password as before.

    Uploading files. No I do not upload any differently. There was no new installation of WP nor any new directory created. I upload to public_html/blog as before - same folder.

    Hope that makes sense.

    I suspect part of my ignorance is not knowing what it means to "add a domain" and how that relates to my public_html/whatever.

    Is my Public_html synonymous with my.com.au or is it just a file structure and the domain names (.com.au and .com) are a different set of structures and are unrelated?

    David
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    Its hard to tell exactly what your saying without seeing it, but it should be fine.

    As long as your new site is working, and google is able to crawl and index it? It really don't matter what's going on in the back end of your site because google does not see your ftp location etc.

    Just check your redirects are all working and that your site is indexable, and all should be fine
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    Thanks Nathaniel.

    I know I have not been very clear. Partly because I don't know what words to use to describe this kind of web stuff. Hosts, Parked, Redirects, "Added Domains"...... I am yet to understand the architecture of these things. i think I need a diagram or drawing to see how it all fits together!

    The bottom line is that my files and WP installation have not moved. I have added the domain.com (not sure what I added it to? Perhaps .com.au/blog. My com.au site being the site that is actually "hosted").

    never-the-less, the site is working well and all redirects are sweet.

    Cheers!

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