People often say the only constant in life is change, and sometimes you might need to change the domain name of your Divi site as it evolves or grows. This can be pretty intimidating because what if it all goes south and now your community or customers have an ugly blank page staring at them when they visit your new interwebs home.
This tutorial will cover some common reasons why you might need or want to update your domain as well as some important steps to ensure that when you Change your Divi Website’s Domain Name, that you do not run into any train smashes that impact your user base.
Table of Contents
Reasons for Changing your Divi Website Domain Name
Before we take a look at some of the reasons why it might make sense to change the Domain Name of your Divi website, let’s just talk about a big thing you need to consider before taking the plunge. SEO.
When you get ready to make a big change like this it is worth considering the effect it might have on your SEO. This is so important because you’ve already worked so hard to rank on search engines, you don’t want to erase all that progress by not planning correctly. Changing the URL structure, in essence, removes the direct link relationship the user has to your site and could also break URLs used in marketing materials, etc.
To avoid this, it is important that you set up effective 301 redirects on your site. We won’t be covering this in this tutorial, but check out this post on What 301 Redirects are and When You Should Use Them.
You are Pivoting or Re-Branding
Whether you are running an online store or a blog, you will inevitably stumble upon your niche which in turn could mean that your URL is now maybe a little less relevant.
For example, let’s say you’re running yourtravelblog.com where you were busy documenting all your travels over the last couple of years, but you realize that people are really drawn to your culinary adventures and reviews. Now it might make more sense to start focussing on that as you create content, so something like yourfoodblog.com is more relevant.
You need a Shorter URL
This happens a lot, when we launch a site, we come up with an awesome name that makes perfect sense to us, but folks could have a hard time remembering that long URL for The Divi Engine Steak Spice Company (not a real thing…or is it…) which is divienginesteakspice.com, so you want to update it to something easier to remember like divienginessc.com.
It is very important that your URL is short and easy to remember so that it can easily travel by word-of-mouth.
The reasons for migrating your site without the ability to keep your domain name could vary, but often this is related to either a developer actually owning the domain, or maybe you got a domain for free when signing up with a hosting provider and the terms stated that you need to keep the hosting with them.
While this is an unlikely scenario, it does unfortunately happen. Read the fine print folks!
Update your Domain Name in WordPress
Log in to your WordPress Dashboard then head to Settings > General.
Update the WordPress and Site Address URLs to your new domain.
NOTE: Alternatively, you can edit the WP-CONFIG.PHP file to update your site URL.
Update your Domain DNS Records
This one can get a bit tricky because domain registrars vary a ton, so the steps might not look the exact same. Be sure to check with your registrar if you have any issues following these steps.
To make sure our sites have short load times and run smoothly, we use Cloudflare. This not only speeds up our sites, but also manages our DNS settings, so this is where we will make our DNS changes for this tutorial.
Head over to Cloudflare and log in.
Select the new domain that you just entered into your Divi site.
Click on the DNS settings in the navigation bar.
Add or change the A Record to point to where your existing Divi install is hosted.
Perform Search & Replace on your WordPress Database
Now that we have our Divi site URL updated in the WordPress settings and our DNS point the new URL to that install, we need to make sure that all the references to the old URL are updated in the Database. Now, many hosts like Cloudways will automatically make those database changes for you, but it does not hurt to exercise some due diligence here and double-check.
To do this, we like to use a free script by Interconnect that is easy to use and sorts out any old references in a flash.
Installing the Search & Replace Script
Go to the Interconnect site and Download the Search & Replace Script.
Follow the Install instructions on that page. You basically download the script, extract the archive, then upload it to an obscure folder in the root of your Divi website.
Running the Search & Replace Script
Point your browser to yourdomain.com/obscurefolder which should greet you with the script interface.
In the first section you will replace your old URL with the new URL, so type those in.
Enter your database details which can usually be found in your wp-config.php file or on your hosting provider dashboard. Once that is in there, make sure to “Test Connection” which makes sure all the database details were correct and that we can communicate with it.
Make sure “all tables” are selected.
You are first going to “Do a safe test run” to see if there even are records that need to be updated. If that is the case, you can click on “Search and Replace“.
With that completed successfully, you just need to make sure you click the “delete me” button to make sure no hackers stumble upon and potentially exploit this script.
Bye bye stale old domain, hellooooOOOoo new domain!
This wasn’t so bad, was it? Maybe a little scary when talking about registrars and DNS changes, but if you followed our steps here closely, you’ve already rebranded your old domain into something that first your brand and vision better.
We hope this tutorial on How To Change Your Divi Website’s Domain Name was helpful to you. We always strive to bring you top-quality content that benefits all you Divi warriors out there.