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Changing domain names - .com.au to .com

   
8:06 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My main site is a .com.au domain, but I own the .com name too. Long story as to why I went with .com.au. Anyway, the site is an information website that is not actually targeted towards an Australian audience specifically.

Do any of you who undoubtedly know more than me think it would be a good idea to switch back to .com? Will traffic take a hit? My site is run with Joomla, and I have absolutely no idea how I'd actually switch it to the .com. I would probably keep the forums on the .com.au domain, they're 11 years old now and I just worry shifting databases would be a nightmare (and expensive).

What about sites linking to mine? Would I have to contact each and every one and ask them to change their links? Do you think it would be worth it?
8:59 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



I would probably keep the forums on the .com.au domain, they're 11 years old now and I just worry shifting databases would be a nightmare (and expensive).

Why would you need to shift anything? Is your site hosted on a server that will only work with .au domains?

Unless you've done something ghastly like hard-coding your domain name on thousands of separate files, changing names should involve absolutely no internal work beyond one quick global replace in htaccess.

Yes, of course the links should get changed eventually. But in the short term just redirect them, page for page. Again, that's one line-- literally-- in htaccess.

All this is assuming you're currently not using the .com domain at all, so all you have to do is switch the DNS information. The physical location that used to be .com is now .com.au, and vice versa. They can even mirror each other, so long as the search engines understand it's a true mirror and not Duplicate Content.
9:07 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, I should have explained that I'm rather technically challenged.

Unless you've done something ghastly like hard-coding your domain name on thousands of separate files, changing names should involve absolutely no internal work beyond one quick global replace in htaccess.


Who would do that? Me or the host?

No, I'm not using the .com at all. I get a 403 Forbidden when I type in the URL. I own the name, but that's all.
9:09 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Okay, I just trawled through my old emails. This is what the host said to me about it...

Bear in mind, you will likely break your software installations by doing this and you will need to fix them (it's well outside of our support scope for such third party scripts).


I run Joomla and Invision Power Board. It's "breaking software installations" that worries me.
9:33 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



Why the bleep would changing a domain name break anything? Paradoxically renaming the whole domain should cause far less trouble than adding a subdomain or fiddling with an URL.

The bad news is that this is not the time to say "Change hosts!" ... because if you did that, you would have to physically move things :(
9:42 am on Jul 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The host is okay, he's a bit grumpy, but he's also quite tolerant of me and my absolute lack of knowledge when it comes to technical stuff, so I put up with his grumpiness.

So what you're saying is it's not going to be that hard to do with Joomla and IPB? It's just a back end thing in cpanel?

Changing links probably won't be so hard. I can spend a day or two just emailing people and asking them to change.
 

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