I just got finished with moving my site from one domain name to another. All old links on social media and search engines are broken. If I click on a link from reddit or Facebook it still points to olddomain.com. Even though if I type olddomain.com into a browser, newdomain.com does pop up. Is there anyway I can resolve this issue? All I did was export the old site data, switched to the new site, and imported the new site back. What am I missing now?

Google is coming with weird results when I search for this topic. I am using godaddy and wordpress with over 500 posts if it matters and I set up 301 redirect on the main olddomain.com to the newdomain.com so that works.

As requested by the community my .htaccess file is below:

#I have 500 of these for each link: 
redirect 301 people-of-earth-unrenewed-at-tbs/ http://channelactivist.com/people-of-earth-unrenewed-at-tbs/

#Then I have this at the end:
# Redirect the site 
RewriteEngine On 
# Take care of www.johnjfalco.com 
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.johnjfalco.com$ [NC] 
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://channelactivist.com/$1 [L,R=301]

# BEGIN WordPress 
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c> 
RewriteEngine On 
RewriteBase / 
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L] 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f 
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d 
RewriteRule . /index.php [L] 
# END WordPress

2 Answers 2


All the existing links won't automatically change to the new domain. They never will, except on some websites that take the time or have that automated.

But as long as you keep olddomain.com with the 301 redirect, clicking on those old links should bring the people to the new site just fine.

However, it is not unlikely that Facebook and Twitter will lose the image/preview, whatever you'd want to call that one. In Facebook, it's possible to edit the post and replace the default image from the website with an image that you directly upload on Facebook. It takes more time to do that, but from what I understand, those pictures will stick around.

As Pasakgroup mentioned, telling Google through the Google Console will help with SEO on Google by transferring the old juice to the new domain as you make it official there.

Update from links:

I tested with wget which allows me to see the reply header:

$ wget -S http://johnjfalco.com/people-of-earth-unrenewed-at-tbs/
--2018-06-28 18:39:15--  http://johnjfalco.com/people-of-earth-unrenewed-at-tbs/
Resolving johnjfalco.com (johnjfalco.com)...
Connecting to johnjfalco.com (johnjfalco.com)||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 
  HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found
  Server: nginx/1.12.2
  Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2018 01:39:15 GMT
  Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
  Transfer-Encoding: chunked
  Connection: close
2018-06-28 18:39:15 ERROR 404: Not Found.

As we can see, we get a 404, not a 301. So I'm not too sure how you think you implemented the 301, but it doesn't see to work right for all pages.

I also tested the home page and that one has a 301 as expected:

$ wget -S http://johnjfalco.com/
--2018-06-28 18:41:17--  http://johnjfalco.com/
Resolving johnjfalco.com (johnjfalco.com)...
Connecting to johnjfalco.com (johnjfalco.com)||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 
  HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
  Server: nginx/1.12.2
  Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2018 01:41:17 GMT
  Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
  Transfer-Encoding: chunked
  Connection: close
  Location: http://channelactivist.com
Location: http://channelactivist.com [following]
--2018-06-28 18:41:17--  http://channelactivist.com/

As we can see here, we get an HTTP/1.1 code of 301 and a Location: with the new domain name. So the home page is working, but not the other pages.

So now the next question is: how did you implement the redirects? If you asked GoDaddy to do it, it's not going to work right. You should keep the website on your account and add an .htaccess file with the code as shown in the other answer.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^/(.*)$ http://channelactivist.com/$1 [R=301,L]

What this does is take any path from the existing request (^/(.*)$) and stick it at the end of the new URL (the $1). That way a URL such as:


can become:


However, showing us your existing .htaccess code may help us more resolving your redirect problem. (please put in your question)

Update about the .htaccess file.

Here you have a condition, which makes sense, only you very specifically test for www...

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.johnjfalco.com$ [NC]

I would not test the www part and you probably don't really need the ^ and $ because you probably won't get hits with names that don't match a domain you own (not much and very unlikely would it match your old domain.)

I would change that condition to this:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} johnjfalco.com [NC]

This being said, if GoDaddy is in the middle (which would explain why we get a GoDaddy 404 page) then just changing the .htaccess file won't be sufficient.

I tested the latest and see a 302 instead of a 301.

Not only that, the redirect does not include a domain name. That's not correct. You must include a protocol and domain name in the Location: ... field.

Just in case, I tested with my browser which has Firebug and clicked the Network tab. This shows you the Location header field.

enter image description here

So... the .htaccess you shown us is not what is generating the redirect at the moment. It could still be GoDaddy being in control. You should cut them out completely. Your old domain is good until September, so that's not the problem.

  • OK so the weird thing is. I am getting traffic on the old pages. GA is registering them and my ads work too. However, if I search for oldomain.com/somepage and click on the link there it shows destination unknown. and a Url short link splash page from godaddy. Is there anyway to fix that?
    – jjf3
    Jun 28, 2018 at 23:27
  • I have this link that I searched in google: I googled my website name johnjfalco.com. I clicked on this link: johnjfalco.com/people-of-earth-unrenewed-at-tbs. It should go to channelactivist.com/people-of-earth-unrenewed-at-tbs
    – jjf3
    Jun 29, 2018 at 0:54
  • I already set all links to redirect 301 on my .htaccess page.
    – jjf3
    Jun 29, 2018 at 0:55
  • OMG. Thank you for testing that for me. What I did was I told Godaddy to forward johnjfalco.com to channelactivist.com using a permanent 301 forward only option and told them to update the nameservers and DNS settings. Should I disable that feature if I have a .htaccess page already set up? I will add that to my question in two seconds.
    – jjf3
    Jun 29, 2018 at 3:18
  • Thank you @AlexisWilke, I added my .htaccess page in the question, if you want to check it out to make sure it will work after I tell godaddy to switch off theirs. That shouldn't effect anything right?
    – jjf3
    Jun 29, 2018 at 3:27

First of all, you should change domain name in Google Search Console, from property setting, by Change of Address.
After that, you should redirect your old domain to your new domain by

Options -Indexes

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://newdomain.com/$1 [R=301,L]
  • when I search google for my site johnjfalco.com. It seems that it does redirect to channelactivist.com on google, but none of my other links have yet updated. So I wonder if it's the Google still updating my site?? I did the change address about 12-24 hours ago.
    – jjf3
    Jun 29, 2018 at 0:57
  • Clear the content of the .htaccess file and fill it with the suggested code in answer. About links in google, after you changed the address in Google console, you need to wait one to two weeks for Google to update your old links. However, during this time users that search you and click on your old links in google, will be forward to your pages on your new domain.
    – Pasakgroup
    Jun 29, 2018 at 6:48
  • Thank you for that. It seems to work, however. I added newdomain.com by accident and now the htaccess isn't updating anymore. anyway to fix that? It's going directly to newdomain.com where it should have been listed as channelactivist.com.
    – jjf3
    Jun 29, 2018 at 12:44
  • I think it's OK now. I'm going to ask a new question about my current problem with my broken links on the site after the htaccess redirect.
    – jjf3
    Jun 29, 2018 at 14:04
  • You need to clear your browser's cache.
    – Pasakgroup
    Jun 29, 2018 at 17:47

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