So I have a online portfolio that is available at mervin-ux-portfolio.com but I am planning to change hosts since the current host I am hosting it with is hitting me with a very high yearly renewal rate. When I was inquiring about domain transfers ,,they told me that since I had not initiated the domain transfer within 14 days of the expiry of the domain ,they cannot do it immediately and it would take about two weeks to to release the domain name.

Since I dont like the idea of my site being down for like 2 weeks ,I was wondering if I should start afresh with a new domain on a new host and what were the potential dangers of that ( I have the entire site backup,so creating a replica of the site on the new host wont be hard)

I also wont be losing any business or work since I work full time currently but I was just wondering about the challenges in terms of getting my domain name back to the top of search results and basically getting it out there assuming I go the new domain name approach.

I know this is strictly not an UX question but I was hoping people could give some suggestions on what I should do

  • I would think being down for up to two weeks would be better than a domain change. And this does not belong under UX.
    – MikeNereson
    Dec 4 '11 at 17:09

Being down for two weeks would be better then having to optimize a brand new site for SEM & SEO.


Changing your domain will essentially reset your SEO as well as downgrade it as (at least for a time) Google will likely mark your websites content as duplicate (as both old & new domains have shown new content) - also any existing links will die (see #2 below for how to resolve that)

If you want to use a new domain

You can either:

  1. Setup a robots.txt on the new domain that tells google to ignore the entire site - this will avoid the duplicate content issue

  2. Allow google to index your new domain, but when your old domain comes live again, setup a 301 redirect to tell google (and old urls) to redirect to your new domain (as is explained here https://stackoverflow.com/questions/1945568/htaccess-redirect-all-pages-to-new-domain/7578810#7578810)

On another note

Google uses domain age in SEO rankings and it's a relatively good ranking factor as it's one that cannot be "hacked" or gamed - so an older domain will rank better for you overall ;)

s'my 2 cents.

If I were you, I'd go for option #1 and keep my incoming links & existing seo score(s)

  • I don't think this is a good approach. Put simply, if moving to a new domain, he needs to 301 redirect the entire site to new location. Apart from other problems, blocking one with robots.txt will stop it from being crawled, but not from being indexed.
    – GDVS
    Sep 25 '12 at 10:23

If you're not dependent on your site for work and income, then being down for a couple of weeks might not be so bad, although that depends to some extent on what HTTP status code is served during that time. I'd check into that.

Migrating to a new site is actually not too big of a deal. I'd recommend getting crawling software (Xenu, Screaming Frog) to get a list of all your site's pages. Write 301 redirects that will redirect each page to its new location. Thus there's no duplication issue, existing backlinks are preserved, most PageRank is transferred, etc.

The only problem is whether your arrangement with your host will leave you with control of the old domain for long enough to make this effective. Anyway, it's a bit long winded, but this article is a decent overview of an effective migration process: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/web-site-migration-guide-tips-for-seos

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