What to Know About Changing Your Site’s Domain Name

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Changing Your Site’s Domain Name - A photo of a laptop computer highlighting the http in the URL.

Changing the domain name of your website is a fairly straight-forward process on most web hosting platforms.

You register the new Universal Resource Locator (URL) that you want, and then you update your domain name with your web host per their instructions. However, the complicated part about changing your website’s URL has to do with your visitors, as well as how it impacts your site’s search engine optimization (SEO).


Your website’s domain name plays a big role in the branding of your online business. For example, your URL is how search engines and visitors find your site. It’s also what your customers associate with your brand. For example, let’s say that your name is Amy and you are an expert in Bitcoin. You decide to launch a blog related to your expertise using bitcoinamy.com as your blog’s domain name. Whenever users from your target audience see “Bitcoin Amy”, they will associate the name with you and your blog. Let’s say that after launching your blog, you decide to change your domain name to bitcoinexpert.com. Unfortunately, by changing your URL, you have just lost all of your brand value related to your former domain name. That’s because your audience won’t be familiar with your new URL. Therefore, changing your domain name can negatively impact branding without a major promotional campaign to educate your audience about the upcoming change.


As mentioned, changing your URL means that your target audience won’t associate your new domain name with your brand – at least for a while. That means your visitors will likely still try to access your site using links from your old URL. Unfortunately, since your domain name has changed, all of your old links will be broken – which means your visitors won’t be taken to your site after they click on them. Instead, they will see an error message alerting them to the broken link. Therefore, if you do change your website’s URL, make sure that you set up 301 redirects – so that when a visitor clicks on an old link, they will be redirected to the correct web page. You can learn more about 301 redirects here, also check out some online SEO guides, talk with an SEO savvy web design company, or watch video tutorials on YouTube.


One of the biggest concerns that webmasters and internet marketers have when it comes to changing their site’s domain name is how it impacts their SEO. One major aspect of SEO is link value: The value of inbound links to your website. Well, when you change your domain name, those inbound links become irrelevant which means that your site loses all of its “SEO value” derived from those links. That’s why you need to consider whether changing your domain name is really worth potentially dropping in search engine rankings. It will likely take a while for your site’s SEO to recover.

In short, before changing your website’s domain name, you need to seriously consider the potentially negative implications of doing so. For example, you could lose brand value associated with your old URL. More importantly, your site could lose visitors who aren’t familiar with your new URL. Furthermore, you will likely see impacts to your site’s SEO and search engine rankings.

Picture of the Cleveland Seo Guy - Danny ToddThe Cleveland SEO Guy, Danny Todd says 'It’s not what you sell; it’s how you sell it. He understands that sometimes the best brands get left behind because their web design and SEO has become outdated. The Internet is always changing! Google and the other search engines are always adapting! Keep your brand current and reach Google’s #1 spot.

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