Warhammer39999.com Goes Live!

Well the dust is now settled on the move from my old domain name to the shiny new www.Warhammer39999.com website, so I thought I’d take a moment to follow-up on the process: what worked and what didn’t…

First I’ll start with the process of changing the domain name.  I use Godaddy as a hosting account, and have multiple domain names.  I was originally using a basic hosting account, which gave me more than enough free space and traffic to handle this little blog,  but in the process I had to upgrade to a deluxe hosting account and I’ll tell you why. 

I wasn’t planning on changing or moving my hosting provider, so I needed to have my new domain name (www.warhammer39999.com) point to a subdirectory of my other domain (www.rbarnett.com/hobbies/blog).  There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • Host Headers, Unique IP Address, etc.  There are a bunch of methods of handling this if you’re able to make server side changes; however, as a hosting client, I can’t really make these from my end.  Perhaps there’s a way to work with GoDaddy to help you with this, but not with their basic hosting accounts.
  • Domain forwarding (with or without masking).  I could’ve gone through and just told my DNS servers that anyone going to www.warhammer39999.com really meant to go to www.rbarnett.com/hobbies/blog, but their address bar wouldn’t show the new domain.  Alternately, if I turned on domain masking, the address bar would’ve ALWAYS showed www.warhammer39999.com.  The problem with that is that nobody would be able to see what sub-page they were on, and would only be able to bookmark my home page.
  • Upgrade to their premium service.  For roughly $20 more per year, you can have your cake and eat it too.  $20 for a year’s worth of cake doesn’t seem that bad either, so I went ahead and did it.

After creating the domain, I had to make the appropriate change through Godaddy’s hosting account.

  1. Login to Godaddy’s site
  2. Go to your hosting account
  3. Choose the appropriate account and click “Manage”
  4. Click “Manage site domains”
  5. Add your new domain name, and point it to the folder in your hosting account.

Really, it’s a fairly intuitive change and I managed to get through it without help, but since it took a while to take effect, I called Godaddy to ensure I set it up properly.  I’ve got to give it to the folks there: they’re friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, and not at all pushy.  If you’re looking for a domain name or a hosting account, I highly recommend them.  They’re great.

Ok, back on track.  Once the domain forwarding was in place, I had to make the changes to wordpress.  Since it had a database back-end, I thought this would be problematic.  Actually, it turns out this was the simplest part.  Within WordPress, all you have to do is open your WordPress Admin site, go to “Settings” and change the option for “Wordpress Address (URL).”  Really—that’s all that I had to do, and everything else automatically changed for me!  God, I love my WordPress.org account.

Originally, I expected to have problems with outages, feeds, links, and bookmarks.  In the end, none of those were really negatively impacted. 

  • Outages:  Since the location for all of my files within the blog didn’t change, and you can still access it through either the old domain or the new one, there were zero outages to deal with.
  • Feeds:  Again, since the hosting location didn’t change, the feeds didn’t change either; however, I’d want to ensure that people weren’t linking to my old domain for aesthetic reasons.  Luckily, I’d stumbled upon the wordpress feedburner plugin earlier, and someone recommended that I install it.  From the onset, I’ve decided to “do things right” on this blog, and if established bloggers recommend something, I should probably do it—even if I don’t know why.  I’m glad I made the feedburner change, because this way, I made a couple of tweaks to my feedburner feeds, and voila!  All of my subscribers automatically pointed to the right domain.
  • Bookmarks & Links.  Again, everything worked, but I wanted to point people at the new domain.  It doesn’t seem like there’s an automated way to accomplish this, so I just have to get the word  out.  Again, if you’ve bookmarking or linking to my domain, please update them. J

Now that all of the dust has settled, really there’s very little effort or damage involved in the process.  I’m really surprised at how easy it all was.  If anyone out there is thinking about making the leap, hopefully this post has been of some help.

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