Updating Domains with Cloudways • 301 Redirects

Table of Contents

So you’re updating domains, but what about your search rankings? I just did this myself and it wasn’t as hard as I expected.

Disclaimer, if you need help, read .htaccess file and SSH setup.

1. HTACCESS File

If you’re running a Content Delivery Network (CDN), turn off caching. For example, Cloudflare Dashboard > turn on development mode.

Next, connect to your server via SSH.

  1. ssh <username>@<ip>
  2. nano .htaccess
  3. Copy the text below, replace the placeholder text.
  4. Exit nano and save file, CTRL + X > Y > ENTER

<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
  RewriteEngine On
  RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^olddomain.com$
  RewriteRule (.*)$ <https://newdomain.com/$1> [R=301,L]
</IfModule>

Done, you’ve added code to force the redirect of your new domain on all web pages.

2. WordPress

Now reflect the new domain in WordPress.

Go to, Settings > General > WordPress Address (URL), Site Address (URL) and add your new domain to either both fields or site address.

https://i0.wp.com/p146.p4.n0.cdn.getcloudapp.com/items/qGu7vGmO/515fb4f4-b80f-4701-bef6-1085aead738e.jpeg?w=800&ssl=1

Easy as, that’s it for WordPress.

3. Cloudways

Now the server and WordPress application know about the changes, it’s over to your web host.

  1. Cloudways > Application Management > Domain Management
  2. Update Primary Domain to New Domain
https://i0.wp.com/p146.p4.n0.cdn.getcloudapp.com/items/E0ugrv1E/b92d1c56-3a6c-4e8c-ba9a-b2ee86879a68.jpeg?w=800&ssl=1

If you’re stuck, reach out to the Cloudways support team, they’re super helpful. If you host with another provider, check their documentation for these steps.

4. Search Engines

Lastly, to ensure your precious Search Rankings stay as they are, update your desired Search Engine Consoles.

  1. For Google, Search Console > select your old domain.
  2. Go to Settings > Change of address

For more see How do I safely move or migrate my website to a new domain name?

Now repeat this for the other search engines such as Bing… or don’t. Hope this was helpful.

About The Author
Ashley Ball

Ashley Ball

“Learn, create, share, repeat.” • IT teacher, former web designer, learning CyberSec • Road to #100DaysOfHacking on Hackers Learning Path.
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