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What is a site move?

Transfer, change, or migrate your site

As a site owner or webmaster, it is possible that at some point you'll want to move your site to a different URL or different infrastructure. This section covers the different scenarios of site moves and gives you tips about how to prepare, implement, and monitor the move.

A site move (or site transfer, rename, change, or migration) falls into two general categories:

  1. Site moves without URL changes.
    Only the underlying infrastructure serving the website is changed without any visible changes to the URL structure. Here, you might move www.example.com to a different hosting provider while keeping www.example.com as the same URL structure for your site.
  2. Site moves with URL changes.
    Here, the URLs on the website change in any number of ways:
    • The protocol—http://www.example.com to https://www.example.com
    • The domain name—example.com to example.net
    • The URL paths—example.com/page.php?id=1 to example.com/widget

To change the configuration of how your site serves mobile and desktop users, see Smartphone Site Move Guidelines on our developer's site.

Changing the website’s look and feel...

For our purposes, a site redesign is not considered a site move.

General recommendations for site moves

  • Split your move into smaller steps.
    If you simultaneously change your hosting provider and URL, it is challenging to diagnose issues that might come up. We recommend separating these steps, while doing them for all URLs at the same time if possible.
  • Time your move to coincide with lower traffic, if possible.
    If your traffic is seasonal or dips on certain weekdays, it makes sense to move your site during traffic lulls. This lowers the impact of anything that breaks, and also dedicates more of your server’s power to helping Googlebot update our index.
Move your site
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