Changing your domain name: about 301 redirects

301 redirectsLast week’s post shared some issues I ran into when I suddenly changed my domain name from lifelinespublishing.NET to lifelinespublishing.COM. This was item #1:

1. Not everything will redirect.

Yes, if you type in lifelinespublishing.net, you will automatically arrive at lifelinespublishing.com. But if you have bookmarked lifelinespublishing.net/business-writing —a page within my site—that won’t automatically redirect to lifelinespublishing.com/business-writing. You have to set up 301s for those. (Google will walk you through that, but it takes some time. And I’m still not sure I did it right!)

About 301 redirects

I need to clarify this. I had thought that if you set up your new domain correctly with your website host, and if you notified Google correctly, these redirects could happen somewhat automatically. This, however, is not the case. The only way to automatically redirect people to interior pages and posts in your site is to set up a 301 redirect for each page. And Google does not walk you through this. (This is the kind of information I wanted to know before I embarked on this process, but what’s done is done. We’re making the most of it.) I ended up installing a plugin called Simple 301 Redirects. This plugin gives you a simple interface where you can copy and paste the URL your page used to be at, and the new URL it’s at now. It is very simple to use, but if you have hundreds of posts and pages on your site, it takes a while to copy and paste every single URL. It will take me a long time to set up all my 301s, so I used my site stats to prioritize them. I am starting with my most-visited posts and pages, and working my way down as I have time. If you have bookmarked a particular LifeLines post, let me know so I can prioritize that 301, too. That way, when you click on your bookmark, you’ll still arrive on the right page.

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