Deleting the old site and 301 redirect migration to preserve page rank

So I am looking to completely redesign a site, keep the domain name, but change the host. Every damn article / tutorial for successful website migration I was looking at is assuming that the old site/domain will still be live - to host the .htaccess file.

In my case, the client has a site with some company (one of those cheap site-builder companies for beginners). I need to completely redesign the layout and content of the site, move it to a new host and keep the domain and SEO juice - surprisingly, the site has a very good ranking.

What is the best way to go about this ?
Thank you.

If you’re keeping the domain name, that’s fine. Any incoming links to the home page will still be there.

For pages which no longer exist, you should use the .htaccess file to redirect to the nearest equivalent page on the new site. Where there is no equivalent, I’d let them go to a custom 404 page which explains that the site has been redesigned and gives clear options for navigating to different areas. In other words, make it as easy as possible for visitors following old links to find relevant content. Don’t just dump them all on the home page.

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Ok. What I am worried about mostly is the SEO, as the current site (although crap from the design and outdated content perspective) ranks on the 1st page of Google. I need to preserve this.
First of all, is it possible to change hosts, with the same domain name? I thought I’d have to cancel the old one, wait for them to ‘release’ the domain name and then ‘get’ it with another hosting company.

That depends on who owns the domain name. If you own it then you can simply redirect it to the new host via the control panel at the domain registrar where you bought the domain. If the host owns the domain name (which can be the case with some hosts wo offer a ‘free’ domain) then it is theirs and you will lose it when you change hosts.

If you own the domain and are using the host as the domain registrar then prior to moving to a new hosting provider you should switch the domains to a different domain registrar. When doing this you will usually be asked to renew the domain with the new registrar but they should still credit you with the time you arlready paid for with the prior registrar.


nice #felgall

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