Help changing existing InMotion-hosted site to a new IM-hosted domain
We are planning a rebrand that will include a new name and domain for our website. Our existing site is hosted by InMotion, and the new one will be as well. The challenge is that we run a local news site that has thousands of articles on the existing site. If possible, I'd like them to all migrate to the new domain. So, https://olddomain.com/category/article_name would become https://newdomain.com/category/article_name and so on.
Is this as simple as setting up a 301 redirect in cPanel? I've worked with redirects before but never with a domain that had nearly as many pages and articles. Is there anything else we need to make sure everything switches over smoothly, and also to lessen the impact on our SEO as much as possible?
We have a dedicated VPS through InMotion and our CMS is WordPress if that matters.
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So, on WordPress sites in particular, changing domains is a bit trickier than you may expect. On top of that, because cPanel's primary domain is a factor, it's not a good idea to simply rename the primary domain and update the home and site URL of WordPress.
If you go about this manually, you'll need to do a search and replace on the database to change all instances of one URL to another.
A 301 will only send people who visit a new URL to the old site at the old URL.
Honestly, the easiest way to do this in my experience is to just clone the site using Softaculous or a similar cloning tool.
If this is a one off, I'd suggest just asking our 24/7 Support Team via ticket to clone or move the site to the new URL, depending on if you want to keep the old version up and running as well. This is any easy procedure once you get the hang of it, but for the first time it can be a lot to keep track of.
As always, please take a backup of your site and database before continuing. WordPress can easily move from server to server, but changing the URL can be more difficult than expected so it's good to be careful. Hope that helps!