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Company Name Change

1:44 pm on Jul 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Our Company is going through a name change and as a result so will our website. What do I need to know about changing the domain name in order to keep the site as optimal as possible?

I was thinking about something like a 401 redirect with mass e-mails going out to all of our current customers about the name change.

Also it will involve the merger of 2 websites into one. Could this be a problem?

2:22 pm on July 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

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This question is more of an SEO question that one of domain names - but to answer your question a 301 'Permanent Redirect' is the best solution. (Personally I would try to do this at the page level rather than at the site level - so if someone has bookmarked the page on your old site about blue widgets they land on a page on the new site about blue widgets rather than landing on a the home page.)

Merging two domains into one is not an issue.

4:38 pm on July 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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What you are looking to do is a 301 redirect of the old domain to the new domain.

A 301 HTTP status code means 'Permanent Redirect'.

A 401 HTTP error code means 'Unauthorized access'.

This is very simple to do. With Apache this will work great:

Redirect 301 / [new-domain...]

With a 301 redirect, everyone will be redirected to the new domain. I suggest when you 1st do this, you do not change any site titles, content, or URLs. You do not want Google [or the other SEs] to think this is a new site, want you want is to transfer all page rank/weight to the new domain. After a couple of weeks, you can update the new site.

[edited by: TowerOfPower at 5:20 pm (utc) on July 31, 2008]


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