Picture this: You start a blog, write a few posts, and then realize you want to change the name and/or topic.
You already have a URL with posts linked to it, and have marketed these posts on Pinterest. How exactly do you change your URL and make everything work? Is it possible?
I did it for my blog, and today I am going to explain how you can do it for your blog too!
In order to change your blog URL, there are 3 things you will want to do. Buy a new domain name, have your hosting site transfer your primary domain name, and change the URLs on your Pinterest pins.
Buy a New Domain Name
Your first step is to decide what you want your new domain name to be. Think long and hard about this. You don’t want to be changing your domain name very often if you can help it. The longer you have the current domain name, the harder it is to change it.
Once you decide what you want your new domain name to be, you need to purchase it. You can buy it from a number of sources. I used my hosting platform, Bluehost, to purchase my new domain name. It cost more than the first time, because the first time I got it free when I purchased hosting.
You can choose whether or not you want to purchase the privacy option. I always recommend it so that your personal information isn’t available for anyone to look at.
In the image below, you can see how to purchase a new domain name on Bluehost. Just use the box to search the availability, and once you find one, click buy. Easy as that!
Transfer Your Primary Domain
Once you have purchased your new domain, you need to have your new domain transferred to your primary one, and your old one put as secondary. This is assuming that you are not going to be keeping your old URL active.
Your hosting should be able to do this process for you pretty easily. I use Bluehost, and they did a great job transferring it! I didn’t even have to talk to them on the phone. I used the chat option, and they told me everything I needed to know, and directed me to additional reading I may want about the transfer. Once I was ready, I let them know, and they completed the process for me. That was it! Easy peasy! If you aren’t sure who you want to use for hosting, or if you aren’t happy with who you use, I highly recommend Bluehost! I have never had any issues with them, and they have always been friendly and helpful when I used the chat option.
Keep in mind that you should backup your blog before transferring the domains. Everything should transfer fine, but they can’t guarantee that you won’t lose stuff. And to be honest, you should be backing up your blog periodically anyway. I use a plugin called BackWPup to backup my blog. I also have all of my posts on google docs.
In the picture below, you can see my 2 domain names. One is primary, and one is parked. On the left you can see the chat box that says walk me through it. This is what I used to have them walk me through changing my domain!
Updating Pinterest Pins
Pinterest is unique in that your pins could be viewed months and even years after you pin them. For that reason, you should go through your pins and change your URL. That way when they are repinned, they click through correctly. You don’t need to delete them and repin everything, updating the URL works just fine.
Ideally, you have a board called “Best of ___” that you have each of your pins on. You can then go to this board and work through all of the pins until each one is updated. This does take some time, so space it out so you don’t get overwhelmed. Set a certain amount you would like to complete each day, and take it day by day.
The pins that are already floating around out there won’t be affected by this change. You will want to set a redirects if you have a lot of pins and posts already. If they are minimal, it might not be a problem.
When I switched domain names, I only had about a dozen posts, so I chose not to worry about the redirect. I was changing from a blog with many topics, to one specific topic (finances), so I didn’t feel the need to redirect all of the unrelated posts.
Be sure you change everything on Pinterest, such as your name, URL, description, board names, etc. This can get very overwhelming, especially for someone who isn’t savvy with Pinterest. If this is the case for you, you may benefit from taking my Pinterest course that walks you through it all. Use this unique link to get $10 off the course!
In the image below, you can see the screen on Pinterest that you would use to update the URL on your pins. Just click edit pin, and you will get to this screen. Put the new URL in the box and click save. Done!
Those are the 3 steps I took when I changed my blog domain name. Some people may need to take different steps depending on the length they have had the current domain, and the marketing plans they have in place.
Have you changed your domain name? Did you follow any of these steps to do it?