If I change my domain name, will people still be able to find my website?

If you move your website to a new domain name, your site may lose some of its search engine ranking. If you simply abandon the old domain name, the website will be deactivated and search engines will no longer include it. Your new site will start from scratch in building its search engine ranking.

If your website is for personal use, this may not be a concern: you’ll probably be able to tell friends and family that the site has moved. However, if you have a business site or public site, you should take care to ensure that it can still be found. In particular, you should keep ownership of your old domain name and use it to “redirect” visitors (including search engines) to your new site. We don’t charge any extra fees for the redirection service — just the registration fee for a domain name only account.

301 vs 302 redirects

There are two common types of redirect: “301 permanent” and “302 temporary”.

In this case, you want a “301 permanent” redirect. It tells search engine spiders and Web browsers that your site has permanently moved and that they should forget about the old domain name. This causes many Web browsers to update their bookmarks to include the new domain name. It also causes many search engines to forget about the old name and transfer the old page’s “ranking” to the new page.

Both Google and Yahoo recommend using a 301 “permanent” redirect when you move your site and you want to preserve your search engine ranking.

To set up a 301 redirect for a “domain name only” account with us:

  • Login to the “My Account” control panel (having trouble?)
  • Click Domain Name Features
  • Choose the Domain Name Redirect option and follow the instructions.