Category: Blog

How to easily replace a URL with another domain

How to easily replace a site URL with another domain

Running a business is not a fault-free process. You must consider several factors to ensure your idea is proficiently brought to life. So, you might need to modify the initial thoughts to make sure your business is running optimally online.

Changing the URL is one of the most common digital challenges for businesses that have recently rebranded or just want a facelift on the Internet. While it isn’t difficult, it’s a good idea to first understand the skills and resources needed to ensure your website’s ranking and indexing are not affected by this change. Remember, your website’s indexing depends on the keywords, metadata, and other content indicators marked by the search engine. And a change in the URL can temporarily affect all of these factors, ultimately upsetting your SERP rankings.

If you’re thinking about changing your domain name, here’s how you can make it happen and why taking this initiative can be the right thing for your business.

3 reasons changing a domain name is a good idea

Your business may need to change domain names for several reasons.

Some organizations take this initiative as part of their rebranding strategy, while others may want to move to a subdomain or create a personal domain as part of their branding. Similarly, some businesses migrate their websites to achieve different goals.

Here are three instances when changing a domain name is the right choice.

Chicken painting website

1. Rebranding

The fast-paced nature of the digital world requires businesses to adapt to the necessary changes. Rebranding is one of the most common initiatives for brands that want to reorganize their audiences, appeal to a new segment of buyers, or just distance themselves from older versions.

Using an entirely new name, a swanky new identity, and setting new goals are all hallmarks of rebranding done right. And you also need a new website to show all that off.

But many organizations choose not to create a new website from scratch since many of their promises, products, and processes are essentially the same. That’s when they decide to change the URL of the old website to their name.

The chances are that this will impact your business’s online presence, including your Google Reviews, so you need to handle the process strategically.

2. Switching to a better domain name

Entrepreneurs are strapped for cash in the initial days of a business and are likely to buy any domain name as long as it’s cheap and help them build an online presence. They may compromise on the quality by adding hyphens or using a weird spelling of their brand name.

While their vision is not fulfilled at that moment, they do get a chance to rectify the situation later on when there are enough funds. So when businesses find that their original idea for the domain name is available, they usually change their domain to fulfill their brand’s objectives.

3. Merging websites

If your business owns multiple websites, you can merge more than one website by replacing the website’s URL. You would have to modify the URL for at least one of them to complete the merger.

You will have to decide which website’s domain you want to keep and which domain you want to replace. It’s best to keep the URL that already has an SSL certificate, relevant backlinks, and an established digital presence.

Chicken lowering new website with crane

Giving your website a new domain name – a quick guide

The first thing you will have to do is come up with a new domain name that you want to keep for your business. After that, just follow these steps:

Research available domain names

If you are changing domains, researching your options can place you at an advantage. You can visit archived websites to conduct comprehensive research on available domains to assess their history. You can check the linking domains and organic traffic to these linking pages, a potential domain’s SEO metrics, domain ratings (DR), and broken or outbound links. You can also find domain names with a high Domain Authority, as it can deem your website as established.

Steps to follow before changing your domain

Once you have selected and registered the domain for your business, you need to carefully understand and take the following steps to ensure that the domain name is successfully changed for your website.

  • Create a backup of all the DNS records from the previous domain name and make sure they are copied precisely for the new website. In this case, you can ignore the MX records if the email addresses are not being migrated to the new domain.
  • Make sure to recreate all of the subdomains that your old website URL used. For instance, if your website has a page called cats.petsandmore.com, you can create a similar subdomain, such as cats.petsverse.com.
  • Be sure to update the record for the new domain to point it in the same direction as the old domain. You must also make sure that all the subdomains are updated as well.
  • Create a 301 redirect on the old domain to divert the traffic from the old domain to the new one. This will update your customers about the domain change and redirect them to your new URL.
  • Make sure your SSL certificates are operating.
  • Analyze the influx of traffic to make sure there are no additional issues.
checklist graphic

What not to do during URL changes

It would be best to avoid certain things when changing your domain. For example, the changes in the domain can provoke you to make other modifications. However, it is best to avoid this until the migration process is complete.

Let’s look at a few things you need to avoid during domain changes.

Moving multiple websites to a single location

If you move all your websites to a single location, you can confuse your customers and the search engines. It is best to take smaller steps and only make the necessary moves.

Back-to-back modifications

Making numerous changes can also be detrimental to your business. If you create a complete redesign of the URL structure and the move, you can create confusion for your customers, resulting in a loss of traffic. Moreover, you will have to index the pages again to allow the search engines to relearn the content.

The bottom line

You may have a legitimate reason to modify your website’s URL as a business owner. Whether you want to rebrand, merge websites, or use a domain name that best captures your brand’s essence, it is essential to change your domain strategically.

You can follow the preceding steps to change your domain name. But make sure you do not make numerous modifications until the website has migrated. This way, you can change the domain name without affecting your rankings.


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wpadmin May 17, 2022 0 Comments

How a well-designed website is loved by Google

Chances are if you’ve made a website, you want it to be found in search engines – especially Google. Since its creation in 1997, Google has dominated the search engine market, accounting for an 85.55 percent market share as of December 2021. As a result, if your website isn’t clicking with the Google algorithm, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of organic visitors.

Google’s search engine ranking systems are made up of a series of algorithms, and the company has often used vague language to describe how they work. However, there has always been a consistent emphasis on websites that cater to users. According to Google,

“To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources.”

So how can you apply that information practically to make sure Google likes your website? In the end, it all comes down to design. Good design.

Design isn’t just about a website’s aesthetic (although it’s certainly part of it), but also how it’s organized, how easy it is to use, and the quality of the content. If you want to rank well in Google, you need to put thought into all aspects of your site, optimizing it on every level, from what users can see on the surface to what’s going on in the back end.

Here are five critical areas of site design you need to plan for if you want your site to be loved by Google.

1. Create high-quality content

Creating quality content is common advice, but how exactly can you define quality content? Especially when something like content quality can seem pretty subjective. Let’s start with Google’s definition. Google’s search quality raters, whose job is to give Google feedback on their search algorithms, judge content quality by assessing its expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – EAT for short. Ensure your content is hitting each of these descriptors by doing the following:

Aligning content with user intent

The content on your site needs to be relevant to the goal of your site and audience expectations. This becomes far easier when you know your niche market inside out. Good content isn’t just about promoting your product or offering, it’s about solving your users’ problems, providing what they want, and anticipating what they need. To do this, you’ll need to define your audience and research what they want, from studying the performance of competitor content to surveying users directly. For tips on doing this, check out these articles on creating a content strategy and market research 101.

Presenting good research and expertise

Once you’ve figured out the kind of content your ideal user wants, you’ll need to create it. The first step in creating valuable content is doing your research. You need to know what you’re talking about if you want users (and Google!) To trust in your expertise. Don’t just rehash the same content as other sites in your niche; see how you can bring a unique spin on it. Present yourself as an expert in your field and consult other experts where possible.

Writing well

It doesn’t matter how well-researched or perfect your content topic is if it’s unreadable. Good copy doesn’t mean flowery prose. In fact, for online content, it’s more important that copy is clear and concise, with short sentences free of grammar and spelling mistakes. If writing’s not your strong suit, here’s a list of 5 free tools that will help improve it.

Perform keyword research

Including a few relevant keywords and phrases in your content will improve its chances of ranking well for certain search engine queries. Learn how to perform keyword research.

According to Google, quality content is also more than just how well-written and researched a piece of content is. In an interview, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller said that quality content can encompass “the quality of your overall website. And that includes everything from the layout to the design. Like, how you have things presented on your pages, how you integrate images, how you work with speed. ”

Much like how good design is more than how a website looks, quality content is impacted by how it’s presented on your site. So let’s move on to the next points to see how you can get it right.

illustration of well-designed website

2. Page quality = good UX

Every website should be designed with user experience (UX) in mind. Not only is this good for Google, but it’s also good for, well, your users. Have you ever visited a website and gotten annoyed by an unclear layout? There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to find basic information. That’s why you need to structure the content on your site in such a way that it’s intuitive to users and effortless to use. To do this, you’ll need to give strong consideration to your site’s information architecture. Creating a wireframe before constructing your website can also be helpful.

Good UX isn’t just about layout and navigation but also how well your site functions at every level. Broken links and slow page loading times are not a good look for any site, so be sure to address any such issues. If your website is slow, here are some tips for speeding it up.

3. Prioritize accessibility

An often overlooked aspect of web design is accessibility. By neglecting accessibility, your website may be difficult or impossible to use by people with certain disabilities. Some aspects of accessibility you should keep in mind while designing your site include:

People with visual impairments often use screen readers to consume content online. Screen readers translate visual content to a medium that someone with a visual impairment can understand, such as Braille or text-to-speech. For this reason, structuring your content so that it is easy to navigate and understandable to screen readers is very important. Header tags, such as

,

, and

, play a key role in this. Break up and organize your content with these headers and keep heading levels in mind, as going from h1 to h3 may confuse the screen reader.

Including alt text for images

Alt text is a vital way for screen readers to understand images. Alt text is basically a description of what is displayed in an image included on your web page. Describe everything you can about the image, including any text, if there is any.

Being mindful of color

Many people experience color vision deficiency, which can make it difficult to distinguish certain colors. To help such users access your site, you should try to limit the use of specific colors. Red-green color blindness is the most common form of color vision deficiency, followed by blue-yellow. So make sure your site isn’t made up of only these colors! Check out this tool for evaluating the color contrast of your website.

Find out more about making your site as accessible as possible in this article.

Illustration of SEO tips

4. Don’t sleep on technical SEO

People often forget that SEO is more than just keyword research, which is a huge mistake that could cost you search engine rankings. Technical SEO refers to how you can optimize your site so that search engine crawlers can more effectively crawl and index your site.

But what does any of that mean? Indexing is how your site makes it to Google’s search results pages. Crawling is performed by crawlers, special bots that travel the World Wide Web to find new pages to add to their search engine. Beyond accessibility, this is another reason why having a good layout and proper internal linking is crucial. If your site doesn’t make sense, crawlers may not index all the pages on your site.

To make the crawlers’ job easier and ensure your site is indexed the way you want it, you should create an XML sitemap and add a robots.txt file to your site.

An XML sitemap, as the name might lead you to believe, isn’t an illustrated map of your site but a list of links. By creating one, you have a little more control over where the crawlers go, prioritizing and including what you think are the most essential pages on your site and leaving out pages you consider irrelevant. You can submit this sitemap directly to Google to speed up the process of getting crawlers on your page.

Robots.txt is a file that you can add to your site’s root directory that gives more specific instructions to search engine crawlers about how you want your site to be crawled. For example, you can instruct them to avoid certain pages or even tell them not to crawl your site at all. You can also add your XML sitemap to the file.

There are a few ways you can create an XML sitemap and robots.txt. One of the easiest ways to do it is using a plugin like Yoast SEO or a free sitemap generator. This article from Google explains how to create and add a robots.txt file to your site.

For more information, this article from Ahrefs is an excellent introduction to technical SEO.

illustration of mobile design

5. Put mobile first

Neglecting mobile design is potentially neglecting a large portion of your audience. According to Statcounter, 50.72% of US internet users browse the web via mobile. If you design your site with desktop primarily in mind, it may not function properly on phones. Furthermore, Google predominantly uses the mobile version of websites for ranking and indexing (and is likely to do this for all sites by July 2022), so not having a mobile site could impact your SEO.

Here are some mobile-first best practices from Google to ensure your site ticks all the mobile boxes.

Designing a site that Google loves

Now that you know what Google looks for in a website’s design, it’s time to put what you’ve learned here into action. By creating quality content, implementing good UX, prioritizing accessibility, taking technical SEO considerations, and building a mobile version of your site, you should improve your Google search engine ranking. If you have a WordPress site, this article on blocks, themes, and plugins should prove helpful in designing your site well.

Want a free website makeover? Enter our Reboot My Site competition, where you could win a full pro website redesign and more.


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wpadmin May 16, 2022 0 Comments

Why You Should Test It

The WordPress 6.0 release candidate (RC) has been launched – getting us closer to the final version. Although the release candidate version is arguably a stable version of the new release, we still recommend testing it.

Let’s look at some of the reasons why you should test the release candidate and how to safely install and test this development version.

Why You Should Test This WordPress Release Candidate

The WordPress team uses release candidates as a final review before the release. As a WordPress user, testing the release candidate on a copy of your WordPress site helps you see how it works with your theme and plugins on a regular website operation.

The WordPress environment comprises themes, plugins, and website customization that testers might not include in the beta testing. So, you may identify issues or bugs that the testers and developers missed during the development phase.

For example, developers and testers might not have noticed a plugin compatibility issue as they didn’t test it with that specific plugin. As a result, it may lead to errors like the white screen of death on the release candidate.

Discovering and reporting these flaws will help developers fix them before the final release, preventing other users from experiencing the same problem.

Testing the release candidate is also important for theme and plugin developers. They need to verify if their themes and plugins will work seamlessly with the new major release. Once verified, developers can update the readme files and safely confirm that their products have been tested up to WordPress 6.0.

How to Install and Test the Release Candidate

First and foremost, don’t install the release candidate on a live website to prevent errors that may negatively impact your website.

Create a WordPress staging environment with a copy of your site to safely check how the WordPress 6.0 release candidate works with your content, theme, and plugins.

Use hPanel’s WordPress staging feature or a WordPress staging plugin to create a copy of your site. Follow these steps once the website’s copy is ready:

  1. From your WordPress dashboard, go to Plugins -> Add New.
  2. Search for the WordPress Beta Tester plugin. Then, install and activate it.
  3. Go to Tools -> Beta Testing. Select the Bleeding edge channel and the Beta / RC Only stream. Save the changes.
The Bleeding Edge and Beta / RC Only options on the WordPress Beta Tester plugin settings page.

Once your website’s copy is running the release candidate version, we recommend taking the following steps:

  • Test all the new features on WordPress 6.0 and make sure everything works as intended. Read the WordPress testing guideline to see the full list of features to test.
  • Use the WordPress admin to do regular back-end tasks like creating a new post or editing a page. Ensure that the editor and other WordPress admin interfaces have no issues.
  • Check your theme and plugins to ensure that they work fine and there are no compatibility issues with WordPress 6.0.
  • Test all the front-end website features such as form submission, shopping cart, checkout process, or event booking.

If you find any issues, report them to the Alpha / Beta / RC forum or create a WordPress Trac ticket before the final release, scheduled on May 24, 2022.

Overview of the New Features in WordPress 6.0

We have in-depth coverage of the new features in our WordPress 6.0 Beta post. To recap, here are some of the new features and improvements planned for the next major release:

  • Style switcher for easily changing the site’s appearance via the global styles settings panel.
  • Multi-block text selection to edit text without the boundaries of the paragraph block.
  • Webfonts API allows theme developers to register custom web fonts in the theme.json file.
  • Block locking UI makes locking a block easier by clicking an icon on the block toolbar.
  • New comment blocks like Comments Query Loop, Comments Author, and Comment Title blocks replace the previous Post Comments block.
  • List view improvements, including the collapsed view and the ability to delete or rearrange multiple blocks in bulk.
  • New template optionsincluding author, date, categories, taxonomyand tag.
  • Block theme export to download the modified theme, including the updated templates and styles.

WordPress 6.0 Release

WordPress 6.0 will be released on May 24, 2022, and we recommend updating your website as soon as possible. Otherwise, it may be vulnerable to security threats.

Read our tutorials on how to update WordPress if you need guides and tips on how to do it safely. You can also do a similar test on a staging site once the final version is released to ensure it won’t cause any issues on your live site.


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wpadmin May 12, 2022 0 Comments