- Make a backup and copy of your current website.
- Move a copy of the website to the new web hosting account.
- Crawl your website, saving URLs and other data in a spreadsheet. Make a URL list for 301 Permanent Redirects.
- Review current site for references to the old domain, update copy, and make-ready for the new domain name.
- Perform due diligence on the domain name you’re moving to.
- Check links to your current website, making note of most powerful links from other websites.
- Verify site in Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, other search engines. Include both the current and new domain you’re moving to.
- Submit URLs of the new website to Baidu, other search engines that accept submitted URLs.
- Write a press release about your brand moving to the new domain name.
- Set up HTTPs for the new domain name.
- Consider using Canonical Tags to point from old to new domain. Make content live on the new domain for 3 months, then redirect later.
- Plan a date and time to move to the new domain.
- Detail the process for moving. Who is responsible for what (in your organization)?
On Moving Day
- Add 301 Permanent Redirects to the new domain name
- Test redirects using server header check. Ask a friend in another location (using another ISP) to check the redirects to make sure they are working properly.
- Crawl new website, checking for internal errors, any references to the old domain name. Fix all errors found.
- Notify Google of change of URL address.
- Update Google Analytics with the new domain.
- Check Google Analytics for referring URLs (sites sending traffic), notify those sites about the change of domain.
- Update social media profiles with the new domain name.
- Update email signatures, email addresses with the new domain name.
- Update business cards with the new email address, new domain name.
- Update company internal themes/documents with the new domain name.
- Update company newsletter with the new domain name (send out a newsletter?).
- Distribute a press release about moving to the new domain name.
- Update PPC campaigns with the new domain, run new PPC campaigns to compensate for any traffic loss.
- Notify your customers, clients, and business partners about moving to the new domain name.
- Contact link owners of most powerful links to the old site. Tell them about the new domain name.
After Moving Day
- Watch Google Analytics for changes in traffic.
- Watch the current site for any search engine ranking changes.
- Work on getting new links to the new domain name.
- Start a new marketing campaign(s) to help awareness of new domain name in the marketplace.
Note: Thanks to the DNA and Globerunner for providing this checklist.