Recently we migrated “Internet Techies” from Add-on domain to Primary domain because we wanted clickonf5.org as primary domain on our webs hosting account. Here are the learning and points taken at the time of migration which will definitely help in doing so with your blog.
There are different types of ways to host a domain on a web hosting account, for example you can host it as an add-on domain, parked domain or as a primary domain. Based on that the domain will work for you. For those who are new to these terms, here is an overview for these domains,
Parked Domain: A separate domain which is hosted on the same web hosting account and it just points to another existing domain on the hosting account.
Parked Domain ————————–>>>>>>>> Existing Domain
Add-On Domain: Totally new website can be hosted on Add-on Domain. If you have purchased the web hosting account with domain name as www.example.com and now wants to host a new domain named as www.abc.com then you can host the new domain as add-on domain which will have different contents all together. It may have a blog or another website where you don’t have to pay extra for web hosting. To host an add-on domain, you will have to create a folder under public_html folder say public_html/abc and then assign the add-on domain to that folder. Now the new folder [abc] will have each and every thing related to www.abc.com
Sub-domain: Create a new domain as blog.example.com which is nothing but a sub-domain of example.com, where you can host whatever you want. You can opt to start a blog on blog.example.com by installing WordPress or other platform over there. Problem with sub-domain is that, your Alexa rank will be shown for main domain only i.e. Alexa will show the report for example.com because Alexa doesn’t follow sub-domains.
Primary Domain: This is the main domain of the web hosting account. whenever you purchase or transfer a domain on new web hosting account, it creates a root folder as public_html for you. You need to host all your data over there, even you can directly install WordPress on single click on that folder itself. That folder will point to the Primary domain on your web hosting account.
Now back to the main point, how to migrate wordpress blog from add-on domain to the primary domain and why we are doing so,
Primary domain and Add-on domains does not face any differences in page loading speed but other than that If are going thru any of the below scenario then go ahead and migrate the hosting or WordPress blog without loosing any search engine juice:
1. Don’t want to maintain or keep your older primary domain on hosting account
2. Need to change the Host
In both the cases, if you want to change the domain type from add-on domain to primary domain, you will have to follow the full migration process of WordPress blog,
1. Take full backup of your Web Hosting Account and Save it on your local machine
2. Export the WordPress Blog content by using Export option available on WordPress Dashboard/ Tools/ Export
3. Purchase a Web Hosting account on a good web hosting account for blogs, You can go for DreamHost, HostMonster, BlueHost etc. They are really good and all of them are having one click install feature for WordPress and other software. If you want the change of domain type on same web hosting account then request the same to your web hosting service provider. They will delete everything from your hosting account and then will provide you a clean, new web hosting account as your blog’s domain as primary domain.
4. If you are buying a new web hosting account, then at the time of purchase, Go for Domain Transfer. Take the EPP code / Security Code / Transfer Code of your domain from older host and provide it here. Before doing that, You will have to un-assign the domain from older host.
5. Once the domain will get transferred successfully on a new hosting account, use the option of one click install to install WordPress on your domain.
6. Import the “Saved File” taken into step 2 of this process by using Import feature provided in WordPress Dashboard/ Tool section.
7. Check wp-content / uploads folder to see whether all your images got copied to the latest host account
8. If any other folder which is having some images related to CSS or any other purposes then move that manually from backup folder taken in Step 1
9. Change the Permalink to make it same as the older one
10. Now Copy wp-content/themes/your_theme to the same folder wp-content/themes of new hosting account. Activate the new theme from Appearance/Themes option on Dashboard.
11. Copy the plugins from wp-content/plugins of backup folder, and paste them into the plugins folder of new account
12. Activate the plugins from Dashboard/Plugins window
13. Cross check sitemap.xml, robots.txt, verification files for Google Webmaster (if any), Yahoo Siteexplorer, Bing Webmaster Central are also available on new host root folder. If not, then copy them from your backup older.
Now open your blog’s domain on a browser and check whether your blog is opening properly. You can delete the cache from your browser to get the latest page. You are done with the WordPress blog migration for your blog and now your blog is hosted as Primary Domain on your web hosting account.
Now you don’t have to pay for your older primary domain which you don’t need now, and you can add as many add-on domains as you want on your new account. You can go for dedicated IP for your wordpress blog at any point of time as it is hosted as Primary domain.
Go ahead and check your older Google Webmaster panel and see if that is showing your blog as verified. If not then verify your blog over there. You can do that by moving verification file from backup folder (step 13) or you can request a new verification file from Google Webmaster. Do the same with other webmaster panels.
Your blog’s migration is done. Now you blog domain is primary domain on your web hosting account.
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