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I'm looking into moving my WordPress blog from an old domain to another domain that I own. The old domain is getting expensive at $25/year and I have to renew in a month. I had the old domain for 15 years but it no longer serves it's purpose as a standalone blog.

I have several options for handling this:

  1. Leave it as is and keep paying the renewal registration.

  2. I can do the move right now and let the registration expire next month.

  3. Make the move and renew for another year before letting the registration expire.

How long do I need to keep the old domain up for the 301 redirects to be effective before I let the registration expire?

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That's not a WordPress question, is it? Webmasters would be a better place to ask SEO questions. –  toscho Apr 17 '12 at 0:51
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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I found my answer on Google's Moving Your Site page.

To prevent confusion, it's best to retain control of your old site domain for at least 180 days.

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=83105

Due to circumstances beyond my control, my WordPress installation broke down. I did a fresh install at the other domain, imported my WordPress database and files, and set up the 301 redirect. Everything is working smoothly. I'll be keeping the old domain for another year before letting it expire.

Thanks for the other answers!

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Yes, from experience, I can confirm this. :) –  its_me Jul 8 '12 at 1:03
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There's two considerations.

If you have lots of links to your site that you want to continue honoring then you keep 301s for as long as those links matter.

Otherwise, the other deciding factor is when your new pages are indexed by search engines. As soon as they pick up all your new URLs and drop the old ones you can get rid of your 301s. An inactive, big site might take a while for that to happen.

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Your choice. Google search for "site:mydomain.com" to see how many pages are still indexed.

And use WordPress › Redirection « WordPress Plugins for 301s to log how many times they get hits.

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