Two websites become one?
October 3, 2013 1:13 PM   Subscribe

I've spent the last six months building a new website for my workplace. I'm building it in Wordpress (through Bluehost) in a separate addon domain so the current site isn't affected. What are my steps for bringing this all together? Details inside.

I'm new to this, so hopefully I'll explain myself clearly.

The current website is hosted with GoDaddy. I have all the info needed to switch to Bluehost, so that is not a problem. What I want to do is wipe everything from the current website and have the new website URL redirect to the current URL. I don't need to keep anything from the current site at all. What's the process in bringing these two sites together?
posted by altopower to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
If it doesn't matter what URL the people that attempt to visit the current site ultimately see it's real easy. Just find domain forwarding in your control panel at GoDaddy and point the old URL to the new one.
posted by COD at 1:19 PM on October 3, 2013

You're just replacing one site with another, right? Not merging them at all?

Unless I'm misunderstanding that, all you need to do is switch the DNS for the domain name to point to the new site on bluehost. Traffic will start going to that site instead of the old godaddy site, at which point you can shut down the old one.
posted by ook at 1:21 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Correct, no need to forward. Go into your domain settings and update the DNS to the Bluehost nameservers.
posted by humboldt32 at 1:54 PM on October 3, 2013

Oh, and update the Bluehost account settings to the live domain instead of the "add on".
posted by humboldt32 at 1:58 PM on October 3, 2013

If you're keeping your domain name, you need to go where the domain's DNS is managed, which is probably whoever you registered your domain with. I'm guessing it's Godaddy based on what you said in your post.

Change the IP address of the @ record and the WWW record from the Goddaddy server's IP address to the Bluehost server's IP address. See Godaddy help here.

Edit - unless you have a complex domain setup, I don't see any reason to decouple the DNS management from the domain management. In other words, if your domain is registered with Godaddy, I'd just leave and adjust the DNS there rather than switching DNS management to Bluehost. Godaddy doesn't charge for DNS and it's simpler to manage it with the domain name.

You'd be switching your web hosting to point to Bluehost, but not your DNS management.
posted by cnc at 2:00 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, I'm just replacing one site with the other, where both URLs go to the same place.

If I point the nameservers to Bluehost from GoDaddy, does that effectively wipe the old site's files/etc? Or doesn't it matter since that site won't get traffic anymore? The person who originally registered the domain with GoDaddy sent me an authorization code...I'm assuming I need this to change the DNS info?
posted by altopower at 2:06 PM on October 3, 2013

Are you keeping the same page URLs on the domain or creating completely new ones? If you're creating all new ones, make sure to do 301 redirects so you don't have any 404s and you minimize the impact on your Google ranking.
posted by radioamy at 2:09 PM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

@Altopower If you point the name servers to Bluehost, you're going to have to setup DNS address records on Bluehost to point to your web servers. This is why I said you should leave the name servers at Goddady (or wherever your domain is registered) and just point the address records to Bluehost.

Your files won't be wiped by any of this. You'll just access them on the old server via your hosting control panel or FTP rather than via the URL.

(For clarity, name servers = DNS management).
posted by cnc at 2:16 PM on October 3, 2013

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