Pros and Cons of Changing Domains
Pros and Cons of Changing Domains
Pros and Cons of Changing Domains

Pros and Cons of Changing Domains

Remember the chaos and mixed opinions of millions of people when Twitter became X overnight?

This is the reaction you can expect from your audience when you change your domain name! However, in the long run, this move has been substantially profitable for the social media platform, which has won Elon Musk accolades across the globe.

A domain name change can be important at times, especially when businesses want to reflect their expanded services or improve their search engine optimization (SEO). The decision to change a domain can be quite challenging, but a smart step towards this change can offer better visibility and improve brand reach. 

Let us understand the pros and cons of taking this bold step of changing domain names. Of course, there are risks, but following some expert best practices, you can maneuver initial setbacks and eradicate temporary disruptions.

What Is a Domain Name?


A domain name is an alphanumeric IP address which helps your audience to access your website. Just like your house has a physical address, your website has its online address in the form of a domain name. For example, a domain name could be

Why Consider Changing Domain Names?

In 2024, changing your domain is more than just updating your web address; it is crucial for staying relevant and enhancing your brand. A domain change involves taking your current website address and transitioning to a new one. While this can be a positive move, there are also potential challenges.

Changing your domain is important for adapting to consumer preferences, embracing new technology trends, and ensuring your brand remains prominent. A new domain can improve user experience, making it easier for customers to find and interact with your site.

Domain Pricing

The cost of a domain varies significantly based on its suffix. On average, registering a new domain can cost $10-$15 annually. It is influenced by factors such as auto-renewal fees, privacy protection, and domain transfer costs.

Let’s begin by discussing the pros and cons of changing domains!

Pros of Changing Domain Names


Marketing experts understand that a quality domain name is a worthwhile investment. A well-chosen domain can enhance website rankings for specific keywords and reduce expenses on paid marketing. It can contribute immensely towards customer retention. Here are some of the advantages of changing domains:

1. Penalization

The primary reason to consider a new domain is penalization. If your current domain has been flagged due to issues like purchased links, duplicated content, significant downtime, or other violations, it might be more efficient to start fresh with a new domain rather than attempting to recover the penalized one.

Penalties can lower your SERP rankings and result in the absence of your site in searches. Changing your domain name in such a scenario is a wise choice, as you can start afresh and give your business another chance to rule the world of SEO

2. Rebranding

Launching a new business direction requires a new domain. For example, if your business name changes from Everyday Apparel to Exclusive Apparel, changing your domain name from to becomes necessary.

Keeping an old domain can lead to high bounce rates if the website no longer serves what customers expect. If your previous domain didn’t attract much traffic, a new domain could be advantageous.

3. Acquiring a Stronger Domain Name


One of the biggest advantages of changing domain names is to move to a new address as the previous one was not effective enough to attract audience attention. Securing a more authoritative domain in your niche can boost traffic. Domain names are highly competitive, so you must conduct legal screenings to ensure trademark eligibility. 

Research shows that over 52.1% of internet domains are .com, making it the preferred choice, followed by .net and .org. Search engines often favor well-established domain suffixes. You must make sure that the new domain complements your business’s social media handles. 

4. Incorporating Keywords

Including keywords in your domain can enhance your search engine ranking for those terms, although it’s just one of over 200 factors that Google considers. Google has reduced the significance of keyword domains over the years. For instance, a domain like might perform well for Indian-wear-related searches.

5. Mitigation of Legal Issues

If your current domain has potential trademark conflicts, changing it can help avoid legal problems, protect your brand’s reputation, and maintain a healthy online presence.

6. Enhanced International Appeal

Switching to a new domain can also broaden international appeal and improve SEO, particularly if your current domain has a country-specific extension like or A more universally recognized domain can attract a wider audience and enhance search engine effectiveness.

7. Improves SEO Capabilities

Transitioning to a domain with a higher authority score can significantly boost SEO performance and overall search visibility. Achieving this involves:

  • Optimizing the website’s structure and content
  • Reevaluating the content strategy for better alignment with SEO goals

8. Creating a Unified Domain

For companies managing multiple sites, consolidating them under a single, new domain can be advantageous. If none of the existing domains are suitable for this purpose, a fresh domain might be the best solution. This approach can streamline the brand’s online presence and improve user experience.

Cons of Changing Domains


Changing a domain name also involves various risks. Let us consider the example of the Canadian company Looka. It suffered from a massive SEO disaster after changing its domain name, which resulted in the laying off of 80% of its workforce. 

Consider these drawbacks before you decide on changing the domain name of your website:

1. Additional Expenses

Changing a domain name involves a redirection from the old domain to the new one to retain your current audience, which can incur extra costs. You would also need to invest in marketing efforts to promote the new domain.

2. Risk of Lower SERPs

Switching to a new domain can sometimes adversely impact your search engine rankings initially. Search engines need time to recognize the new domain’s value. Even with redirects, the full value of backlinks from your old domain may not transfer completely to the new one. A new domain means starting over with search rankings; necessitating increased SEO efforts and the rebuilding of backlinks.

3. Customer Confusion

A new domain might confuse existing customers, especially if the previous domain was well-established. Customers may have trouble finding your website. You would need to put in extra effort to maintain clear communication with your audience and launch effective marketing campaigns to promote the new domain.

4. Technical Complexities

Migrating a website’s content from one domain to another can be technically challenging. This includes setting up redirects, updating links, and addressing other technical issues. Professional guidance can help manage these complexities and improve the website’s functionality during the transition.

How to Change Your Website Domain Name


When building a new website for clients, you can use WordPress, a popular and user-friendly platform. You must follow these steps to change your website domain name:

Here are the steps involved:

Step 1. Backup Your Website: Ensure you have a complete backup before making any changes.

Step 2. Update Domain Settings: In WordPress, go to “Settings” and then “General.” Update the new domain address in the WordPress Address and Site Address fields.

Step 3. List Referring Pages: Identify pages that link to your site.

Step 4. Export URLs: Export your website’s current URLs.

Step 5. Map New URLs: Plan the new URLs for existing web pages.

Step 6. Update Configuration: Modify the wp-config.php file to reflect the new domain changes.

Step 7. Set Up New Domain: Configure the new domain settings.

Step 8. Migrate Content: Transfer all website content to the new domain.

Step 9. Implement 301 Redirects: Set up 301 redirects to ensure traffic from the old domain is directed to the new one.

Step 10. Update on Google Search Console: Update your domain address in Google Search Console.

Step 11. Update Internal Links: Ensure all internal links point to the new domain.

Step 12. Notify Referring Brands: Reach out to sites that link to you to update their backlinks.

Step 13. Monitor SEO Performance: Track SEO performance post-switch to address any issues.

Best Practices for Changing Your Website Domain


Here are some tips and best practices that will help you with a successful domain transition:

Tip 1: Announce the Change 

Inform users about your domain change. Use banners on your current site and social media posts to reduce confusion.

Tip 2: Update the Business Email Domain 

This often-overlooked step is crucial. Update all contact records to the new domain before completing the transition to ensure seamless communication between the business and its visitors.

Tip 3: Convert to HTTPS 

With Google Chrome’s emphasis on HTTPS, it’s vital to ensure your site is secure. This enhances customer trust and is an excellent time to make this change if not already done.

Tip 4: Start Early 

Before the official switch, create a landing page on the new domain to start earning backlinks. Even a simple “coming soon” page can improve authority before the full transition.

Tip 5: Update Tracking Utilities 

Also, update directory and domain links, including Google My Business and social media profiles.

Tip 6: Plan for Off-Season 

Schedule the domain transition during a period of lower business activity to minimize the impact on valuable prospects.

Tip 7: Inform Stakeholders 

Communicate the change to your entire team, including digital marketing, staff, clients, and suppliers, to ensure everyone is aware and prepared.

Tip 8: Choose an Evergreen Domain Name 

Select a domain that aligns with your long-term brand values, marketing goals, and business direction to avoid future changes. Here are some tips:

  • Aim for .com: These domains are 33% more memorable and are used 3.8 times more frequently than other gTLDs.
  • Think Long-Term: Avoid names tied to specific products, trends, or geographic areas you might outgrow.
  • Avoid Hyphens and Numbers: They are harder to remember and less professional. Opt for simple, memorable names.


Changing your website’s domain can be a wise move if it reflects your brand better and enhances your SEO efforts. However, if not managed correctly, it can result in a drop in search rankings and a loss of sales.

Effectively weigh the pros and cons and assess how the change will impact your website traffic. Review this guide to gain insights into the essential considerations and actions needed for a successful domain change.

Refer to professional experts at Free Parking to help you with queries, concerns, and actions related to domain name changes to improve organic traffic on your website.

Sign up today for more details.


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