In our last post we discussed moving content to a new host. This post will focus on moving content to a new domain. Before you take this significant step we encourage readers to evaluate this step carefully and plan the transfer. Regardless of what you do, your traffic stats may suffer and you may lose some revenue as a result. Once you have decided to change domains, plan it around a low traffic period or time frame to minimize the impact of the overall move. There are steps that can be taken to minimize the overall impact, although often the reason to move content to new domains is usually that the content is old and not generating the kind of traffic you are looking for.
The first step is to set up the new domain. Point it to a hosting address which you have configured with a content management system such as WordPress. You will have added the appropriate theme you want to use. Also, configure the widgets that you plan to use on the new site. Test your new site to ensure that it is working in the manner you wish. Create one or two posts and pages before submitting to google and others for indexing.
Next evaluate your old content. Anything that is out of date or poor quality you should either rewrite or eliminate before the transfer. You may also want to eliminate content that is not generating the amount of traffic that you are looking for. Once this step is completed, it is time to export all of your content into a file. Import the material into the new content management system attached to the new domain. Make sure you include all images and videos as well as part of the export or via a separate manual transfer.
Once the content is imported, test every link, every page, and every post. You may have to implement 301,302 or 404 redirects to make sure that the search engines can find the new location for the content.
Alternately submit your sitemaps to Google etc and patiently wait until the content is fully indexed in its new home.