How to change the domain name of a website correctly

como cambiar el dominio de tu web correctamente
Table of Contents
In this article, we're going to talk about some of the reasons why you might need to change your domain name. Below, I'll walk you through the process in five easy steps. Let's get to it!

Changing your domain name is a rare occurrence. In most cases, you will stick with your domain forever, as it is most likely fundamental to your brand. However, this is not always the case, and there are some compelling reasons why making a domain change can be a good thing.

For example, you may find a domain name that is a much better fit for your website, or you may simply decide to change it because it has been heavily penalized by search engines. However, as long as you follow a few simple steps, changing your domain name should not have a noticeable impact on your website’s ranking or that of your customers.

Your domain name is basically the address of your website and should therefore be very similar to your company name. Each website is accessible through a unique IP address. When you register a domain, you are actually creating a record in a Domain Name System (DNS) that tells people, “If you visit this domain, you are connecting to this particular IP address”.

It sounds complex, but it’s a simple yet delicate system. People don’t usually change domain names for fear that their users won’t be able to find their new site or that it will negatively impact their ranking. However, there are some cases in which doing so can be beneficial.

For a rebranding.

In some cases, you may want to change your entire brand image and therefore need a new domain name to match your new branding.

Depending on your choices, you may have chosen a domain name that you are no longer happy with, or you may have chosen an inappropriate top-level domain (TLD), i.e. .com, .net or another identifier.

The good news is that the process of switching to a new domain name is fairly straightforward. Not only will you keep your content in the process, but you won’t confuse your regular visitors.

You will simply need to follow a simple step-by-step process to ensure that you don’t run into any problems.

For a domain change as a result of the installation of an SSL security certificate.

When an SSL certificate is installed, the main domain is changed from “” to “” and that is why all the URLs of your website will be affected.

The process explained below is exactly the same for changing your domain completely as it is for changing to a secure domain with an SSL certificate. In this case, you can go directly to step 3.

How to change the domain name of a website correctly (in 5 steps)

The process of changing a domain name is simple, although the “right way” involves more than just buying a new domain. It is also important to make the process as simple as possible for your visitors, so let’s take a look at how to do it.

Step 1: Choosing a new domain name and assigning it to your website

Choosing a new domain name is a very personal decision, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

When you are ready, you can register your new domain name through any domain and hosting platform. However, you will have to search each provider’s knowledge base to find the correct process.

Step 2: Work on rebranding and web design

Depending on your choice of domain, you may need to update aspects of your site design to reflect this. For example, your logo is likely to need an update, but the same goes for any other elements that allude to your previous domain name.

For example:

  • The About page if you have one.
  • The footer, which often includes copyright information.
  • The website tagline, which is the text that normally appears in a browser tab when you open it.
  • Any references within your content.

Fortunately, making these changes is relatively straightforward, although you will need to make sure that you have removed all references to your previous domain on your website before moving forward.

You’ll also need to inform visitors about these changes so that they’re not left in the dark. We’ll talk about that shortly, but before that, let’s talk about redirects.

Step 3: Redirect traffic to your new domain name

When changing domains, it is important to do it in an SEO-friendly way in order to maintain the positioning of our website. It is possible that we may lose something, as these processes are usually delicate, but by following some steps the possibilities decrease considerably.

You should also bear in mind that the domain change process is not immediate. We can change the domain in a short period of time, but the results in Google will take a little longer. You have to be patient and check that everything goes as it should.

Finally, before you start, I recommend that you make a backup copy of your website. This way, if any problem arises, you will be able to recover it.

This is arguably the most significant step when changing domains and if you do it right you will not lose any visitors who have tried to find your website with the old domain, or who visit you regularly.

  • The first thing we must do is to configure the new domain, so that when a user accesses it, it takes them directly to the hosting where we have the website. That is, we must point our new domain to the corresponding hosting.
  • If you have contracted the new domain with a different provider to the server, you will have to change the DNS servers so that they point to the same hosting as the old domain.
  • On the other hand, if you have contracted the new domain in the same place as the hosting, it is usually possible to change the domain from the control panel of the server.
  • Keep in mind that the DNS propagation could take between 24 and 48h, although it often goes faster.
  • Now we will move on to the most important step to maintain our SEO positioning, setting the 301 redirects in the .htaccess file.
  • This can normally be done from the cPanel, in the “Domains/Redirections” section or by modifying the .htaccess file, in case it does not exist we will have to create it.
  • Once you are on the redirections page, choose the option that says Permanent (301) and the domain you want to redirect.
  • Once you click the Add button, you’re ready to go! Now, every time someone visits your old domain, they will be forwarded to the new one.

It is very critical to consider that if we have changed the URL structure of the website to try to make it more SEO friendly, we must add a 301 redirect for each URL we have changed as follows.

  • Old URL
  • New URL
  • redirect 301 /blog/21-change-domain-2018
  • I recommend that you keep them active until all traffic from your old domain is lost.

Step 4: Requesting a change of address in Search Console

Once the redirections have been completed, we will have to access Google Search Console and add 4 properties of the new domain, in order to request the domain change from Google.

Then we will have to go to the old version of Search Console and choose the property of the old domain, and then we will have to request the change of address.

Basically, we have to choose the new domain and then submit the domain change request.

Step 5: Inform your users about your domain change

At this point, you should already have a new domain name up and running. All that is left now is to notify your users about the changes to your website, such as your new URL, and the rebranding process when necessary. This step is important because without it, you will have many confused repeat customers.

Here are the three best ways to break the news to your user base:

  • Add an explanatory post on your website as soon as you rebrand.
  • Use social media to inform your followers by sharing the post.
  • Send an email marketing campaign explaining the changes on your website.

Conclusions on how to change your domain name

Changing your domain name is not a decision to be taken lightly. After all, it is one of the central elements and primary identifiers of any website.

However, if you are confident about it, there is no reason why you can’t do it without damaging your traffic or brand identity.

If you have any questions about how to change your domain name effectively, don’t hesitate to contact us, so we can help you.

What should I do now?

If you have more questions and want to know how we work, contact us and one of our consultants will contact you for advice.

For further information on this and many other topics you can check out other articles in our blog where you will find references on this, and many more topics.

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