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I want to change my web site domain name but still want to use the same IP address of the website. I want to make the change that both old name and new name are accessible for 6 months. After 6 months, the web page is only accessible to the new name. The old name holds an A record.

What process can I use to change the name of the server on the domain's DNS without any gap? And suggest the timeline for this change to make it a seamless transition

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I think it goes like this:

  1. Purchase the new domain name.
  2. Point the new domain name (A record) to your IP address / web server.
  3. Configure your web server (host headers) to accept both domain names to your IP address.
  4. You now have two domain names pointing to the same IP address / web server. The website can be accessed from a browser using either domain name.
  5. Redirect your old domain name to the new one using a rewrite rule / 301 redirect.
  6. Cancel the old domain name / registration renewal when it has 6 months remaining on the registration. See note below.

I've used this method to point 3 domain names to the same IP address / web server / website.

Note: Domains do not expire immediately. A domain will expire when the registration period ends and it does not get renewed. That is when traffic stops flowing to the associated IP address. The domain now enters a renewal grace period of about 30 days (depending on tld) where you may be able to get it back, but after the renewal grace period the domain enters a redemption grace period for another ~30 days where ownership transfers back to the registrar and you'll have a tougher time getting it back. After the redemption grace period the domain enters a pending delete period of 5 days and after that, the domain is released to public where anyone may register it again.

References:

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    You need a #4.5 "redirect old domain to new domain". Both domains will be "accessible". Without the redirection the search engines are likely to see duplicate content and stand little chance of the new domain being indexed (so you would never be able to disable the old domain without suffering an SEO penalty). – MrWhite Oct 23 '14 at 16:55
  • True, I'll update the answer. – perry Oct 23 '14 at 17:02
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You would first create the new site and make sure your content is available via that domain name. You may need to use a host file to test this. Your new domain name would use the same IP address as the old site. Apache and IIS, as well as others, examine the request packet to know which site a request is addressed for so this should work okay.

Here is where I differ from your thought.

I would redirect your old site to the new site immediately using a blanket 301 redirect. Your content will be available from both domains without having a duplicate content penalty from the search engines.

Here is what I warn you.

If there are any links to your old domain, the 301 redirect will retain the value of the link only as long as you maintain the old domain and the redirect. Otherwise, it will be lost. If there are valuable links to the old domain, make sure that you replicate the old link profile for the new domain where you can and seek new links. This way, whatever link value you had, you can retain at least some of it and add new link value prior to deleting the old domain.

  • Just to simplify it a bit... The OP didn't say they were creating a new site, just changing the site's domain name. – MrWhite Oct 23 '14 at 10:27
  • @w3d Yes. But with overlap- where both domains are available. – closetnoc Oct 23 '14 at 16:42

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