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What are the pros and cons to changing the domain for my website?

There are a number of reasons why you would want to change the domain for your website – and it's important to consider all the nuances and implications.

Pros: Why it might be a good idea to change your website domain?

  • Better brand recognition to clients 
  • Less confusion when on search pages - SEO
  • Better word-of-mouth
  • Looks more trustworthy on the search results pages - SEO

Cons: What are the risks? 

  • Reindexing time can take 2 weeks for medium-sized sites
  •  Requires a robust plan to execute the transfer (cost and time associated with this) which should include?
    • Report on current positioning for high value keywords
    • Ensure all sitewide URLs are updated
    • Update search console settings (i.e. crawl rate, disavowed backlinks)
    • Submission request to search console
    • Generation of new sitemap and sending it through Search Console
    • Updating Google Analytics
    • Updating all directories 
    • Updating any external links (Link backs)
    • Adding a 301
    • Monitor search console and analytics for any fluctuations in data
  • New domain may have some negative history i.e. blacklisted by Google. (Run a scan and submit a request to Google if required)
  • Updating Google Ads if any campaigns are running


To do a clean migration to a new domain there is roughly a day's worth of work to setup the migration and execute it. After the domain is transferred monitoring is required, first to measure the impact of the change and second how the SERP(search engine results page) listings are recovering.   

The largest risk is the reindexing time for all the listings. The worst case is 2+ weeks of recovery, best case is 2-3 days. Another risk is not being able to change all backlinks built up over the site's lifetime.

Although there are some SEO benefits the major benefits in the migration are to the brand, primarily on the recognition side. Below are the reasons why a domain change might be recommended / relevant:

  • Rebrand
  • Legal issues
  • Better Suitability
  • Memorability 
  • Merger or buyout
  • Negative publicity

Interested in learning more?

If our pragmatic, strategic approach to designing digital marketing and communications tools interests you, we'd love to talk. 


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