Wordpress, site transfer to another domain: procedure, tips and advice from experts

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Wordpress, site transfer to another domain: procedure, tips and advice from experts
Wordpress, site transfer to another domain: procedure, tips and advice from experts

Moving a site to another address can be for various reasons. New resources are constantly appearing that offer better conditions. Therefore, transferring a site to another domain through Wordpress can initially cause many difficulties. The main thing is that the portal administrator outlines a plan for himself, according to the instructions in the article, which optimizes the entire process of moving to a new resource and at the same time significantly reduces the risk of errors.

Key milestones

With the help of Wordpress, transferring a site to another domain can be done in just a few steps. However, each portal differs in its scale and promotion. It is important to consider every nuance in this.

Staged integration
Staged integration

Before you start transferring the site, it is important to decide on all the stages of the work. To optimize the whole process, you need to make a plan.

It can be divided into the following three points:

  1. Reasons for switching to another domain. Evaluation of the performance of the new system and time totransfer of all information.
  2. Pre-launch, migration planning. Before you migrate, you need to define an exact plan. You should outline the process, understand what will change, and keep all actions under control during the main work.
  3. Launch with a new domain. All preparation work ends and the practical part begins. It is important to have a well-defined plan for each action, as any deviation can cause crashes and system errors in the future.

After each action, it is necessary to test the system and the portal for possible malfunctions.

Complete migration and testing

Once the new domain is up and running, users move on to the last step of the migration. We now need to perform a series of checks to make sure everything is working as expected and that visitors and search engines are getting the information they need from the installed properties.

If done correctly, visitors and search engines will understand that the owner of the resource has moved to a new address. In addition, the correct execution of the action will significantly reduce the drop in traffic and increase the rating of the resource. Through Wordpress, the transfer of a site to another domain can be carried out automatically. But, as users and experts note, translation actions are not always carried out correctly, which leads to errors and interruptions in work.

Domain migrations are known to be a common practice indeed. With a little organization, discipline and technical rules, you can move on to a newdomain in just a few days, while maintaining promotion in search networks and portal users.

When a change of location is required

There can be many reasons. Through Wordpress, you can transfer a site to another domain at any time. There are no systemic restrictions or established orders for this.

Choosing the Right Domain
Choosing the Right Domain

There are several main reasons why moving a portal to another location is mandatory. Many large resources change several domain names during their lives. This is quite normal practice.

Basic for changing location:

  1. Rebranding. One of the most common reasons for the need to migrate a domain is a general change in the look, design, and name of the business. Changing the domain to display a new brand can create problems for both search engines and site visitors. Therefore, it is important to notify regular customers, and place a notification on the old portal with a redirect to a new location.
  2. Go to a specific country or international domain. Another common time to migrate a domain is when moving from a generic domain (such as.net or.biz) to another. Using a generic country-specific address (officially called a TLD or country-specific top-level domain) is the preferred choice for many sites to reach the local market. Alternatively, you can use several different destinations tied to a top-level domain (TLD). The common motivation for this is to combine several sites, eachof which is intended for a particular country, into one universal portal.
  3. Moving from a hosted service to your own domain. Often websites start on shared hosting services like a blogging platform or website builder like WordPress.com, Squarespace or Tumblr. They are usually hosted on a subdomain (subdivisions of an address, each of which can act as a separate website). Upgrading to your own address is a great idea when you need to get more attention from your audience.

Moving your site to Wordpress may also be required due to local restrictions. If legally information cannot be placed on a resource in a certain state, changing the location of the main server will allow you to bypass such a restriction. It should be taken into account that the legislation in the field of information policy and the Internet differs in each country.

Preparing to launch the migration

Migrating a site to Wordpress begins with the compilation of all the necessary tasks. After the user has outlined a transition plan for himself and outlined all the conditions, it is necessary to move on to implementation. Performing a site migration should not be quick.

Transferring required data
Transferring required data

You need to understand that even if the integration happens in a few hours, global services and search engines will not quickly index the resource. Migration of a Wordpress site to another portal will take up to 48 hours to reduce the risk of outages.

Having a plan and gathering all the useful data you can get beforestartup, the resource owner has a greater chance of succeeding. The main thing is not to do the work randomly. It is important to save all the information to the maximum and transfer it to a new address.

1. Setting up a new portal

Migrating a Wordpress site to the server begins with the development of a template. To do this, you need to use a new resource and integrate into it all the graphic elements necessary for work. Administrative control panels are also connected here.

Working with the administrative panel
Working with the administrative panel

At this stage, the following actions are carried out:

  1. Checking information. Before making the transition, it is important to know the history of the new portal. It could have tools for indexing or additional resources connected. It is important to first disable all plugins and modules, as they may disrupt the new site. Google Search Console provides detailed information and is completely free. Statistics will show all the activity of the resource and help prepare for the transfer of information to the server at the new address.
  2. Placement of an advertising page on a new domain. The page will introduce a new brand or talk about the imminent opening of the resource. Search engines recognize when a new domain becomes active, so presence recognition eliminates the potential delay in passing existing rankings.
  3. Compiling a complete list of all URLs on the site. You should collect all the addresses that can be found on request. To do this, you need to crawl the website to find all the URLs thatwill see Google. The CMS function is then used to list all addresses (if any), collect data from Google Analytics and even external tools that show all pages linked to by other web portals.

Migrating a Wordpress site to a local server allows you to keep a working copy of all data. Do not neglect the backup save, as this will allow you to return to the original version of the resource in case of errors.

2. Audit of the current site

In addition to developing a plan and testing all systems, the new address must also be tested.

Testing and debugging modules
Testing and debugging modules

Moving a site to a new Wordpress domain should only be done after a full audit of the source, as it may be under restrictions. Development control makes it possible to calculate possible errors and problems with the system.

To do this, the user must do the following:

  1. Computing problems. Using scanning and tools such as Search Console, you need to identify any errors that need to be fixed before the migration.
  2. Corrections of inaccuracies. It then looks for any existing redirects, links to non-existent pages (known as 404 errors), and programming errors that the console might report. You will need them later for matching.
  3. Collect all external links pointing to the domain. This will not only help identify all URLs, but also identify the most important external links.
  4. Integration on a new network name. To do this, ISP Manager and Duplicator plugins are used, which allow you to automatically copy all codes and settings to a new resource.

Modules can significantly speed up the transition to a new resource.

3. Systems testing

Testing is required to verify integration.

It consists of the following:

  1. Estimation of the current rating. To know how successful the migration was, you need to know how well the site is currently performing. If you are using ranking tracking software, target keywords, you should carefully study them, noting which URLs rank for the most important phrases.
  2. Estimation of current traffic. To do this, a spreadsheet is created using the analytics package data to record visits, sessions, conversions, bounce rates, and everything else that matters to the site.
  3. Indexing score. In the Webmaster Tools search console, you need to pay attention to how many URLs are indexed. Next, an XML sitemap is compiled to match all specified links and addresses.
  4. Preparing advertisements for the most important keywords. If the migration takes time, you should make sure that there is a backup plan that will be available for those terms that are important to the site to make up for any shortcoming.

There are different tools for resource migration. Transferring a site from Wordpress Duplicator is possible. But experts recommend using the tool only forsmall portals that do not contain plugins and extensions, since automatic transfer can disrupt the operation of all algorithms.

4. Creating locations on a new resource

Moving a Wordpress theme to another site is done after full information integration. First, a general template is created, similar to the old portal. After downloading the information, you can completely transfer the design.

Create a Service Redirect
Create a Service Redirect

XML sitemap is a file that allows you to define all the important addresses related to a new resource. When the portal is launched, this file is provided to search engines so that all links are available on the global web.

After that, you need to do the following:

  1. Create a custom 404 (page not found) page for the current domain. This message should prompt you to visit the new domain and be ready to start the migration.
  2. Match all redirects. Connecting all existing URLs to new ones.
  3. Prohibition of indexing a new site before it is ready. In addition to the landing page, you should prohibit adding information to search engines. This can be done by using a robots.txt file (used to provide instructions to web robots or crawlers) and using meta=noindex tags that ask search engines not to include the page in their web index.

Blocking will prevent full indexing of the resource. This is necessary so as not to lower the rating of the transferred site.

5. Checking redirects

It is important to check related links. At the time of the transfer of the resource, they make it possible not to lose traffic and ranking in the search engine.

To do this, do the following:

  1. Create and test redirects. It is important to note that 301 redirects should be used, which is an instruction added to the server that tells the user or system the page that has been moved and its new address. In the case of search engines, the function also instructs to transfer all authority associated with the old URL to the new one.
  2. Checking Google Analytics tags. To retain data, users must ensure that their Google Analytics tags (or their chosen analytics package) are permanently and completely preserved on the new domain. The development version of the site is checked before launch.

Despite the fact that this is the same website, you need to make sure that important elements, such as analytic application codes, have been saved.

6. Test runs with new address

In the launch process, there are several important elements to implement. It is important to follow every point of the plan and continue to integrate services to the new address.

The following actions are performed during the first launches:

  1. Launch of the portal on the new domain. Publishing the rendered site to a new domain (which will likely be very similar to the current site, but with updated internal links).
  2. Launch all internal applications. Disable password protection, meta robots, noindex tags, and the line denying access in the robots.txt file. Now all search enginescan crawl the site and see the content it contains.
  3. Implementation of 301 redirects. Return to the original domain, transferring 301 redirects to the new version of the portal. It is preferable to do this for every source URL, including those that have already been redirected. This way, any old links now point directly to the new resource instead of via a second URL on the old one.

If a 404 error occurs in Wordpress after the site transfer, you need to check whether everything was done correctly in the third paragraph. Redirect errors cause failures in displaying a particular resource transceiver.

7. Using Google tools to change address

There is a handy feature in the search console called the change address tool. She tells Google that this domain has now been moved to another one. To do this, both addresses must be verified.

To set up the system and integrate all search tools, you need:

  1. Activation of Google services to test the new domain. The search console uses the "Get as Googlebot" tool for the home page and most important URLs. It is worth making sure that the page is displayed correctly (Google sees the page the way visitors do). Then use the "Submit to Index" parameter for this URL so that after the request, Google will index the page.
  2. Sending the XML sitemap. Send the site's XML file to Search Console and Yandex Webmaster Tools again. This will encourage Google and Yandex to crawl all URLs in it. This will allow you to see how many of thesepages indexed and this number should increase within the first few days after migration, possibly to a number similar to what was achieved on the old domain.
  3. Checking redirects. Using the scanning tool in the testing phase, list all the URLs from the old domain and crawl them. Using the crawler, verify that each address successfully redirects to the new domain.
  4. Check, rename and annotate Google Analytics. Go to your Google Analytics profile and use the live report to make sure your analytics are working correctly. You then need to add an annotation to mark when the migration was run (so admins can see how it affects traffic) and rename profiles and views as appropriate.

8. Actions after full integration

After the site has been completely transferred, it is necessary to control every action that takes place in it.

Website tracking
Website tracking

Besides this, there are a number of other actions that must be performed as soon as possible after the first launch on the new domain.

These include:

  1. Creating new links to a new domain. To force search engines to crawl a new domain and increase its recognition, you need to create a promotion for the site. This way new links will appear and they will be found and crawled by Google and other search engines. PR around a new portal is a great way to promote it in the rankingssearch queries.
  2. Monitoring number indexing. Using the Sitemaps and Index Status tools in Search Console, you need to regularly check how many URLs are indexed by Google. If administrators have configured Yandex Webmaster Tools, it will also show how many pages this search engine has added to its index.
  3. Scanning the new site for errors. You should check your new domain regularly for errors or problems that visitors or search engines might find. The best way to do this is to use one of the many tools available to actively crawl your site. This allows you to simulate how a search engine might run into problems.
  4. Checking your ranking and visibility. Using the tests that were taken during the planning phase, you should track how well the new domain ranks for your target keywords. If all goes well, admins will see the crossover in their charts as the new address replaces the old one.

If you use a plugin to transfer a Wordpress site, then you need to specify all redirect paths in its settings. Only the external shell and information from the portal can be automatically copied, but not the settings and all additional modules.


This process may seem complicated at first glance, and the plan is large, but it should not be neglected. Just eight steps and a few days are enough for the site on the new domain to work with the same rating, and its users do not notice that the resource has changed its address andlocation.

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