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Google Rank Issue - Must Move to New Domain
mkingsle

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 9:44 pm on Jul 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was wondering if it is better to start a new domain on a different hosting account and then do the 301 redirects to the new site from the old site, or to use an answer I saw which I have pasted below?

*********

Why make a new website?

These are the only steps you need.

1. Buy the new domain name.

2. Point the new domain name at the exact same server where the existing site is hosted.

3. Set up the .htaccess file to redirect requests for the old domain name to point to the new domain name, retaining the same folder and file paths throughout.

Use this version to ensure that all non-canonical names are correctly redirected:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.new\.com$ [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) [example.new.com...] [R=301,L]

OR this one (Important: the conditions below are NOT to be end-anchored):

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(www\.)?example\.old\.com [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) [example.new.com...] [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^example\.new\.com [NC]
RewriteRule (.*) [example.new.com...] [R=301,L]

4. Change the site logo to reflect the new name.

5. Edit the content pages, contact page, etc, to reflect the new name.


**********************************************

I was just wondering what is meant by step #2 and how to do that?

2. Point the new domain name at the exact same server where the existing site is hosted.

Do you mean to start a new hosting account for the new domain, or something else?

Thanks.

 

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 10:03 pm on Jul 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I believe this question refers to a discussion you started in 2008 - and a post from g1smd [webmasterworld.com]. He's talking about the DNS settings, making sure that the new domain name resolves to the same IP Address as the oder site. So it's a registrar thing, not a hosting thing - even though some people do let their web host serve as a registrar.

After that, you can deal with the file path in the server's .htaccess file as indicated (if you are on Apache).

levo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 11:40 pm on Jul 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I think it refers to domain parking

Parked Domains (Domain pointers) allow you to "point" or "park" additional domain names to your existing hosting account. This will allow users to also reach your website when entering the "parked" or "pointed" domain into their browsers.


Once you park it to the same account, you can just redirect the old domain to new one.

BTW, instead of specifying every domain, with and without www, I've started using

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.com
RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.com$1 [R=301,L]

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 1:25 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Domain parking as generally implemented is not the way to do this. But it's also not necessary to set up a second hosting account, as the opening post suggests.

You want to set the A-records of the new domain so they point to the IP address that's hosting the old domain, and then use mod_rewrite to rewrite requests for the old domain to the new one. This way you've used just one hosting account.

All of the above assumes, btw, that you're hosted on an Apache server and that you're able to use mod_rewrite in .htaccess. If you can't, and many cheap accounts won't let you do this, then it's best to move to a host that has the proper Apache modules enabled and will allow it, and to hire someone who knows how to handle mod_rewrite to set this up for you. Either that, or do a lot of reading and learn how to do it yourself.

levo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 9:12 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

You want to set the A-records of the new domain so they point to the IP address that's hosting the old domain, and then use mod_rewrite to rewrite requests for the old domain to the new one. This way you've used just one hosting account.


AFAIK A-record won't be enough, you should add the domain to virtual host entries in httpd.conf. Parking/pointing domain takes care of that.

CNAME + mod_rewrite would work, but using CNAME is not generally recommended.

mkingsle

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 2:07 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks everyone for the input on this.

So basically I set the new domains Nameservers to be the same as the old domain? Then I also change the total dns a record as well? I am speaking of Godaddy modifications, which is where I have my domains and hosting accounts.

I guess where I get confused is what to do next. I understand that I change the .htacess file to redirect requests, but what do I do after this point.

For example, if I want to make a change to a page, i.e. change logo, do I edit the file in the old site file in Dreamweaver and put it?

I'm sorry for possibly asking dumb questions, I've just never done this before and trying to understand it completely before making the big jump.

I am torn between doing it the way listed above, or just setting up a new hosting account with the new domain and transferring all the files to the new site, keeping same file names and structure, and placing only an .htaccess file on the old site which redirects to the new site.

This would seem much easier mentally, so that I can make changes when need be.

Again, I appreciate any comments and appreciate the help.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 6:50 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's not necessary to have two hosting accounts. Two servers are initially easier to conceptualize until you understand what mod_rewrite does. Last I remember, GoDaddy web hosting doesn't let you use mod_rewrite, but I am not sure of that.

I would build the site on a new hosting account that has mod_rewrite enabled, create your .htaccess file with the necessary redirects, and then, with both sites up and running, make your necessary DNS changes to point both sets of A-records to the new IP... and, again, then use mod_rewrite to rewrite requests for the old domain to the new one. Since both the old site and the new site are up and running at once, the propogation should be seamless.

Keep the new IP account blocked so it can't be spidered until you're ready to throw the switch.

If you also need to change registrars, the migration might be glitchy for a day or so, but in my experience it's not nearly as bad now as it was years ago.

...you should add the domain to virtual host entries in httpd.conf

This gets into levels above my expertise. Many hosting companies won't let you touch httpd.conf if you have a shared server. Some hosts will make such changes for you, and some charge for that. And with some kinds of hosting accounts, particularly I think if you have a unique IP for your domain and make the changes the way I suggest, it's not necessary to go into httpd.conf. We need someone more familiar with Apache servers, though, to discuss that.

There are other issues related to moving to a new domain that are touched on in this current discussion... [webmasterworld.com...]

While not about changing domains, the thread touches on many of the issues you'll need to pay attention to.

mkingsle

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 9:02 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi Robert.

Thanks for your insight. GoDaddy web hosting does let you use mod_rewrite with a website using php. I use it on all my websites.

I think my brain is starting to understand what I need to do:

1.) Point the nameservers of the new domain name to the same as that of the old website.

2.) Also make sure the a record under total dns is the same on both domains.

3.) Update .htaccess file with redirects (301).

4.) Update logo

5.) I think I'll create a new xml sitemap with new domain urls and submit it, and add to robots.txt, unless I read or am told otherwise.

6.) Check my backlinks to old site and get as many as possible changed to new domain.

7.) Get some new high quality backlinks into new domain.


If I understand correctly, I don't need to worry about two sets of files just yet. I just need to do the list above and wait for Google and others to come and see that I am moving. My understanding is that this process can take from one month up to six months.

I am assuming that at that point, all will be fine.

If I missing anything, please let me know.

Thanks everyone.

g1smd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4176928 posted 7:36 pm on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

The example code in the first post is misquoted.

In every case, the line with [example.new.com...] in, should read:

RewriteRule (.*) http://www.example.new.com/$1 [R=301,L]


...then use mod_rewrite to rewrite requests for the old domain to the new one.

Careful with the terminology! You need a redirect from old domain to new domain.

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