Top 5 Steps to Redirect Traffic from Your Old Site to a New One

redirect

Almost 8 months ago, I shifted away from my old blogspot account, and got my own hosting.  Trying to move all your traffic from one domain to another is no mean feat, but if you ever plan on doing the same thing, here are some critical steps you can take to ensure this process is as smooth as possible.

1. Setup a proper redirect solution

The first thing you need to do is to set up a smooth redirection of traffic for the visitors that arrive on your site.  What I did was modify my blogspot template so that instead of showing my content, it displayed a custom error page with links to my top posts.  Almost all my search traffic would land on one of these posts, which is why this solution made sense to me, but you can try out a few other alternatives if you are a more technical person.

2. Change your Feedburner URL

What I love about Feedburner is not just its ability to track my subscribers, but its ability to point them somewhere else seamlessly.  Go to your Feedburner options and change your feed URL right after you migrate so that your feed readers and email subscribers are carried along to the new site. 

3. Tell your friends to change their blogrolls

Next, inform your peers who linked to you that you have moved so they can make the necessary changes to their linkroll to point potential visitors, and search engine spiders in the right direction.

4. Change all your signatures which contain your URL

Over time, we tend to leave our URLs everywhere in the form of forum and email signatures.  Fortunately, most forums have a sitewide signature, meaning that if you change it in your user profile, all the posts with your signature would change at once.  

5. Tell Search Engines to stop indexing your old site

I do this only after my new site has been indexed properly by Google.  What I noticed was that my old site was consistently being ranked higher than my new one in search results, so I modified my old site’s template to remove it from search engines.

To prevent all robots from indexing a page on your site, you’d place the following meta tag into the <HEAD> section of your page:

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”>

Bonus tip:  If you plan to blog, get your own domain from the very beginning – It really saves you a lot of hassle.

This post is part of the Problogger Group Writing Project

What has your experience been redirecting traffic to your new site?  Tell us in the comments!

[tags] traffic, domain, redirect, url, hosting [/tags]

871 Replies to “Top 5 Steps to Redirect Traffic from Your Old Site to a New One”

  1. I recently did this with 5 of my blogs. Moved from blogspot to my own subdomain off one of my sites. I lost some pagerank that I hope returns! Is there anything I can do to notify google that I switched, or do they take care of that pretty well on their own? Thanks for your tips – good timing for me.

  2. Let Google reindex you on it’s own, but unfortunately you may not get the old pagerank for some of the pages. I’ve heard stories of varying success with different methods of redirection

  3. Hi Joe,

    2 quick reasons…

    I believe there is a general (mis)conception that blogs hosted on free sites are less reliable… an assumption perhaps made because if you’re paying for a domain and hosting, you are possibly investing more into it.

    Next, you generally have much more control over your own domain in terms of content, and flexibility when it comes to modifying it.

  4. I have a friend who had a blog once, he wanted to switch to another platform but was worried about the redirection of the traffic. He only left a link from the old site in hopes of redirecting his visitors to his new site. Unfortunately, he found out that having a link wont be enough if he wants all of them to be redirected. ^_^

    I just hoped he shouldve read this post first before trasnferring his blog.

    Thanks for the tips! ^_^

    If you have time, why don’t you drop by my post:
    http://mobileko.blogspot.com/2007/05/snatch-top-5-tips-on-how-to-be.html

    It’s also an entry for the problogger top 5- group writing project. ^^ Goodluck to us all!

  5. The bonus tips is definitely the best one, getting your own domain from the outset is the best way to handle it. Just be prepared to handle digg traffic if you make a good posts often.

    Have a look at my group project on my blog.

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  7. I did the switch about two month ago, and still waiting for the google traffic to be the same again. My search traffic went down below half of what it was before, and it’s only slowly recovering.

    I definitely should have read your advice before on choosing the right domain from the beginning on.

  8. I am about to do this. I am completely changing the name of the blog. I am relatively new, and am just beginning to get subscribers. Thanks for your tips. I actually have help with the whole redirecting. I can only pray that it will be seamless to those who do read me.

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