A lot of websites undergo metamorphosis over the course of time and changing your URL is one of them.
I’ll be frank, I’ve been considering changing my blog url for quite some time, mainly because I don’t really like the ring of wordpress in my url-name. It’s a good starting point, but after some time you move on. Nonetheless do I consider these questions wise before starting such an endeavor.
Ask yourself if it’s really necessary to change your url? Why did the thought come up? Some names are indeed difficult to remember and therefore difficult to type directly. Names trying to standout can work against you and might need rethinking. My online nickname is Ninetybeats and this is my blog, so I combined those two into ninetysblog. It could’ve been many other things, but this felt just right.
I think losing your ranking in Google is the biggest fear of most website owners and with good reason. Google is most of the times the biggest referrer of relevant traffic to your site, although Facebook is also making a good effort to knock Google of the thrown. Nonetheless, being indexed by Google is very important.
One way to signal Google you’ve changed your domain and moved your site is using 301 redirects. This gives a sign to Google ‘Hey, I’m still making great content, I’ve just moved to another place.” It’s just like moving to another town. You register yourself at your new residence and sign out at your old place. Now everybody will know you’ve moved and not much will change. You’ll have to alert some people and businesses, but you’ve countered the biggest change, namely you’ve got a new home!
WordPress offers a service for changing your URL and redirecting your website to your new name. There is also no real consensus whether a certain really impacts search results. Search engines have become more sophisticated over the course of time and therefore less depend on keywords alone. If you still want change your URL, the amounts aren’t high, but I personally don’t want to go through the hassle of changing everything just yet.
While redirecting is well and good, I believe there’s still a human side to it all. For regular readers, viewers, visitors or relations, its good to make a separate announcement. They’ll feel engaged and won’t subscribe to the wrong account in the future. This is especially the case if you haven’t installed the 301 redirects. Write a post or make a video about it that will give a date of the url-change or a notification that website is moved.