Change domain name WordPress, the SEO friendly way

Change domain name WordPress, the SEO friendly way

How to change domain name of your WordPress site the SEO friendly way, without losing PR and link juice

I recently changed domain for this blog from to There are two parts of changing your domain or moving your site to a new host and domain – the technical part, and the SEO part where you try to preserve your search engine rankings. Doing it the right way will save you a lot less trouble in the future, and make you keep most of your hard earned SEO work. On the other hand, doing it wrong can have fatal consequences on your rankings in the search engines.

I’ll narrow it down and describe how I did it, and how you should do it too.

In my case I wanted to change domain from to on a running WordPress site. I was not switching host/server, but just wanted to “rebrand” my site with a new domain. Whether you are in the same situation and want to rebrand your site, or want to switch host and domain, you can use these steps as a guideline.

I’m currently running this blog on IIS in a Windows Server environment, but the fundamentals are the same, and the following steps can be incorporated, should you run your site/blog on Apache, Nginx or on a LiteSpeed server in a *nix environment.


Before starting out, I want to stress that changing your domain from to will affect your search engine rankings in the beginning. After you do a switch Google will index both of your sites, where after will slowly dissapear from the search results. I’ve had pages indexed with meta titles and descriptions chosen by Google, instead of the meta-data I chose for the pages (yeah, Google can do that). After the switch these pages are currently indexed with my new domain, and yet again Google has chosen meta titles and descriptions, though different (and much worse) than before. I had top 1 placements in Google with feature images and snippets, which are now gone after I changed domain. It’s a part of the process, but I’m positive the rankings and feature snippets will come back up, when everything is rolled out completely. It’s inevitable for things like these not to happen, as Google needs to reindex your whole site again. Don’t put too much concern into this though, as things will smooth out, and if you play it right, you’ll be back up where you were before. That’s what this guide is about.

Table of content

1. Domain name
2. Site and bindings
3. Change WordPress address
4. 301 redirects
5. Rename SQL database
6. Add properties in Google Search Console
7. Change address in Google Search Console
8. Submit sitemaps in Google Search Console
9. Update Google Analytics account and tracking code
10. Fetch site and submit to index
11. The afterwork

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No data is available for the 2 most recent days

If you ever stumbled upon the info message “No data is available for the 2 most recent days” in Google Analytics when browsing the “Search Engine Optimization” section and wondered why this message appears, there’s a good explanation for that.

No data is available for the 2 most recent days
No data is available for the 2 most recent days

You will get this message after connecting your Google Analytics account to your website in Google Search Console (former Google Webmaster Tools).
The Search Engine Optimisation graphs in Google Analytics pulls data from Google Search Console, and this data is often several days delayed. People report it can be delayed by more than 2 days as originally stated.

Right after linking your accounts you won’t be able to see data until Google fetches initial data from Google Search Console – give it some days. After that, the message stays, and just tells you that Google Analytics is 2 days behind fetching data from Google Search Console. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal, and Google Analytics will eventually catch up.

It might be a good idea to re-check you linked the correct accounts though.
Log in to Google Search Console > click on your website > on the wheel in the top right corner click and chose “Google Analytics Property”, and you’ll see the Google Analytics account linked to your website.

Googel Search Console - Google Analytics Property