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How to Redirect a Website to Another Domain

How to Redirect a Website to Another Domain

Switching a website to a new domain can be necessary for various reasons – you may have outgrown your old domain name, purchased an existing site and domain, or just want to rebrand with a new name. While it may seem daunting, redirecting a website to a new domain is a straightforward process if done properly.

Set Up Hosting and Register a New Domain

The first steps are to choose your new domain name, register it, and set up hosting.

Considerations when selecting your new domain:

  • Availability – Make sure the exact name you want is available
  • Branding – Pick something memorable that aligns with your brand
  • Extensions – .com and .net are most common

Once you’ve settled on a domain, register it with a registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap. Next, set up hosting on a web host like Bluehost or SiteGround. This will allow you to start building your site on the new domain.

Install WordPress on New Domain

With hosting set up, install WordPress on the new domain to start constructing your new site. The version should match what your old site was running.

To install WordPress:

  • Log into cPanel on your host
  • Navigate to the WordPress installer tool
  • Create a database and user account
  • Run the installer – choose basic default settings to start
  • Log in to WordPress admin and take a first look around!

Set Up Theme and Begin Content Migration

With WordPress installed, it’s time to migrate your content over.

First, set up your WordPress theme:

  • Ideally, install the same theme as your old site
  • If that theme is outdated, choose a modern alternative
  • Configure theme settings like menus, widgets, etc.

Now, start migrating content:

  • Use a plugin like All-in-One WP Migration to transfer over posts, pages, images, etc.
  • Manually move any content that didn’t transfer cleanly
  • Create new content to fill any gaps
  • Take your time during this step to ensure no content gets lost.

301 Redirect Old URLs to New Domain

Now your shiny new WordPress site is up and running on the new domain! The next vital step is to set up 301 redirects from your old URLs to the new site.

This passes link equity and traffic from the old URLs to matching pages on the new domain.

To properly 301 redirects:

  • In the old site’s hosting, install a redirect plugin like Redirection
  • OR, use .htaccess rules to manually create the redirects
  • Redirect old site pages, posts, and key sections to relevant new pages
  • Check redirects are working by visiting old URLs

Change DNS Settings to Point to New Domain

Your old site is now redirecting traffic to the new domain. The final step is updating your domain’s DNS settings to point to the new hosting server.

Until the DNS changes propagate, visitors may still reach the outdated old site.

To switch the DNS pointing:

  • In your domain registrar, access the DNS settings
  • Change the Nameserver records to your new host’s servers
  • This may take 24-48 hours to take effect across the internet
  • Confirm the domain is now directing to the new host IP address

You can keep the old domain redirecting as long as you wish to preserve incoming links and traffic. With the DNS switched over, visiting your actual domain will now display the new WordPress site!

Common Redirect Issues and Troubleshooting

Throughout the migration and redirect process, issues can come up:

  • Redirect chains – where URLs redirect multiple times. Verify there is just one redirect path in place.
  • Redirect loops – where pages endlessly redirect to each other. Double-check redirect logic to prevent endless loops.
  • Incorrect redirects – test all key redirects to ensure pages/sections redirect to relevant equivalents.
  • Site down after DNS change – DNS propagation delays can lead to the site being unreachable temporarily. This will self-resolve within 48 hours.

Carefully test all redirects and site functionality. With attention to detail during migration, your site can live on under a sparkly new domain!


With some diligent effort put into the migration and redirect process – as outlined in the steps above – you can seamlessly move your online presence to a new home that better suits the current goals and growth of your brand. 

Just be sure to check all redirects and site functionality once complete! By carefully redirecting your web property to a new domain name, you can set your website up for continued success into the future.


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