Do you feel like the domain you are using isn’t working well for you? That’s normal and in fact, this is my first post on awah.net. Sometimes moving on to a new domain can be the best thing you can do for your brand to help scale it up and move it faster.
I started writing about online marketing, blogging and growth hacking on bloggingtribe.com and then realized converting the brand to a personal brand was a good choice because of many reasons.
- Blogging Tribe was too vague and to be honest everyone seems to be starting a website with the term “blogging” on it, even if they don’t know what it takes to go from 0 to 100 fast.
- The brand simply didn’t allow me to directly interact with people. No matter how I tried making it a personal brand to build a deeper connection with my tribe, it always seemed too big for that.
- People simply relate better to humans than they do with brands.
So I made the decision to make the switch from blogging tribe, to awah.net and I thought I should share the experience with you!
Before we continue, kindly note what I did is strictly for people running their websites off of VPSs or dedicated servers. For people running websites through shared hosting, watch this video:
Now let’s get into how I moved my website from one domain to another in the same VPS.
Pre-Requisites to the migration:
There are a few things you need before you make the move.
1. You need a VPS. The reason for this is simply the access to the database needs to be the same to make the process much faster.
2. A backup plugin. I use UpdraftPlus to backup my website every day or so, so if something happens the website can be recovered very easily and very fast.
PS: I am giving away this plugin for free. No email registration required because you are awesome for checking out my website 😀
Your plugin should be able to integrate with external services like Amazon S3 or Google Drive. I use both, but S3 mainly for safe keeping while Google Drive for when I want a better user experience for myself!
Here’s how to connect Updraft Plus to Amazon S3:
and here’s how to connect it to Google Drive:
3. The new domain! haha this is a joke, but seriously, you can’t migrate if you don’t have a domain… you know that right? :p
Ok, now that you have the pre-requisites to migrating your website to a new domain, here are the steps I did:
Step 1: Make a full backup of your old WordPress website
Making the full backup is easy. Once you have UpdraftPlus Installed on your old domain, you’ll see “UpdraftPlus” on your admin top menu. Hover over it, and you’ll see “Current Status / Backup Now”.
Once the page loads, you’ll see something like this:
Click on “Backup Now” and you’ll see a popup that looks something close to this:
Simply enter a label for the backup so you can remember it when you are importing it to your new domain.
This will make a full backup of all your uploads, your themes, plugins, and database giving you instant access to everything that website had till the backup was made!
At this point, you can move your backup to Amazon S3, Google Drive, Dropbox, or simply download the whole website to your laptop or pc.
Once that’s done, you will then have to move to the new domain.
Step 2: Import the website backup to the new domain
Simply install UpdraftPlus on the new domain, connect it to whatever service you used (S3, or Google Drive) and this time, go to the dashboard and should still look like the dashboard above, but this time simply click on “Restore”.
Once you restore the previous domain’s backup, your new domain will go down and simply because WordPress is configured to use the previous domain name, not the new one and we did that deliberately.
We will fix it at this moment.
Step 3: Change settings on the old domain
Now that the website is completely restored on the new website, we will make changes to the old one to stop it from harming our new domain.
Changing the general settings
Head over to your admin dashboard on the old website, and then click on Settings>General
You should now see the general settings of your WordPress installation like site title, tagline and “WordPress Address (URL)” and “Site Address (URL)”.
We will change all of those to fit the new domain. Remember, we are making those changes on the OLD domain, not the new one. The new one won’t let you log in to the admin panel because it shares the same database with the old, therefore, becomming unaccessable.
Here is how this went for me:
I logged in to blogging tribe’s admin panel and saw the following information:
I simply changed the information to the following:
And that’s it!!
Now the old domain will not work and the new domain will!
Step 4: Implement 302 redirects to the new domain
Now at the final step, we will delete our old .htaccess from the old domain, and replace it with a new one that does a “302 redirect” to all our links.
302 redirects are basically helpful for your existing users, and also helps pass most the SEO link juice to the new domain by telling Google the content permanently moved to the new link/domain.
To implement the 302 redirects on your site like I said delete or rename your old .htaccess file and replace it with a new one.
Note: To access your old domains files, you can use FTP or cPanel’s file manager.
Put the following code in your new .htaccess file:
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://www.newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
Replace “newdomain.com” with your own new domain URL, and that’s it!!!
You should now have every single link directing to the new domain!
That’s literally all it takes to move from one domain to another!