Sometimes you may find that your business outgrows your website or there may be another reason to move like a change of business name or just a rebranding.
If you are moving your website to a new domain then there are some important steps that you should follow to ensure the switchover is as painless as possible for you, your customers, and the search engines.
You’ll need to keep your old website up and running for some time after the switchover so don’t just turn it off as this will cause problems if the pages suddenly no longer exist.
You’ll need to perform a 301 redirect (permanent redirect) from your old webpages to your new ones.
Your old webpages will still exist on the old website but nobody will be able to visit them as they’ll be automtically redirected to your new site and it’s new pages.
If the pages on your new website cover the same areas as the old site then you should redirect each of the old pages individualy to the new pages (this is why the old website and all of the old pages must remain active) otherwise when people follow old links to your site or old page info in the search engines they will not go to a 404 not found page on your new website.
Redirecting will make the indexing of your new site by the search engines much more efficient. If you do not redirect then all of your old website pages must wait to fall out of the searche engines (can take months) and then for your new ones to be indexed and then ranked.
With a 301 redirect they just supersede the old pages naturally and you still get the link power from the original pages.
After this you should log into your Google webmaster tools account and verify the new website and then request a redirect through the control panel. This isn’t absolutely necessary but Google recommend it and its easy to do.
Then you just wait for the new website to take over from the old one. After 6 months you can then remove the old website.