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Learn how to change your domain name and 301 redirect your site correctly.

Do you need to change your sites' domain name for some reason? It's not that difficult, but make sure you don't frustrate visitors visiting your site with broken links. A secondary but important consideration is to ensure you don't losing search engine (Google, Bing etc.) rankings and traffic.

I must admit that initially you may very well lose some traffic as the search engines acclimitise to your changes, this is to be expected. But if done right your traffic should recover nicely.

As a practical illustration I'll refer to an in-house example of changing a domain name, when with Red Hippo's recent site re-design, we changed a part of our domain name.

It went like this: With the Red Hippo re-design I also wanted to move the Help Centre from Red Hippo to it's own sub-domain.

Previously the Help Centre was located at https://webassist.africa/helpcentre/. I wanted to move the Help Centre to it's own sub-domain https://help.redhippo.co.za. The question arose, why not change the domain name and move it as part of the entire site re-design.

Keep in mind, this is in essence a change of domain name, but only for Help Centre and not the entire site. The same procedure and workflow can be applied to an entire domain name change.

Considerations when you Change your Domain Name

1) Website visitors must be able to find your content, and not get broken links when changing your domain name.

Let's continue with our example mentioned above:

We moved the Help Centre to a sub-domain. This means the URL or address for the article has changed from:

  1. https://webassist.africa/helpcentre/south-african-smtp-settings/ to
  2. https://help.redhippo.co.za/articles/south-african-smtp-settings/
Change Domain Name & 301 Redirect - Old Address
1. Old URL
Change Domain Name & 301 Redirect - New Address
2. New URL

So, when a visitor visits the old URL they will get a 404 page or error page. Because the visitor can't find the page, they'll most likely bounce (leave your site). That's the last thing we want having worked so hard to get traffic to our site in the first place.

The way to deal with changing your domain name is to 301 redirect that page to the new page.

2) Avoid losing your search engine rankings when changing your domain name.

Search engines like Google and Bing will have the same problems as outlined in point 1 above. They'll not be able to find and index your articles and will get 404 errors. This in-turn will cause your traffic to drop possibly very drastically as your rankings reduce. After all, search engines will not send visitors to pages it thinks do not exist.

Let's get started with how we changed our domain name and 301 redirected our website:

Step 1) Before Changing - Preparation

Before changing your domain name you'll need to have done a little preparation, to make sure you're ready for a seamless transition.

A) Have your domain name ready. That means you would have already chosen a domain and registered your new domain name.

B) Make sure our domain has propagated. Use this tool to check if your domain has finished propagating worldwide.

C) Make a backup of your website. If you're using WordPress there are plugins to help you do this:

D) Migrate your website backup to your new domain's hosting account. Here again you can use one of the above methods:

Step 2) Change your Domain Name

Once you've prepared the items in Step 1 above, you should be ready to change the domain name.

For the purposes of this step I'm assuming you are changing your domain name, remember we changed only our Help Centre in our example.

Let's Recap:

  1. Your domain is ready and propagated.
  2. You've backed up and migrated your website to the new hosting account, and tested it, it looks just like the original.
  3. Currently both sites are displaying and they are exact duplicates.

If your old website is established and you've been posting articles and other content, you likely have some search engine juice. Your domain may too have some decent authority with search engines. Your new domain has none as it's brand new and for all intents and purposes it's invisible to search engines (Google and Bing etc.).

Step 3) After Changing - 301 Redirect

For this step we're assuming you are changing your websites domain.

Now we want to redirect your old website to your new website, this will accomplish the following:

  1. Help clients who visit the old website address to be redirected to the new one.
  2. Notify search engines of the change with a 301 redirect and help transfer some of your domain and page authority from the old site to the new site.

301 Redirect your Old Website to your New Website

The easiest way to redirect your old website to your new website is to use your control panel. In this example I'll use cPanel to demontrate.

Change Domain Name - 301 Redirect with cPanel - Step 1
Redirect using cPanel - Step 1

1) Login to your hosting control panel and find the domains section and click the "Redirects" icon as demonstrated above.

Change Domain Name - 301 Redirect with cPanel - Step 2
Redirect using cPanel - Step 2

2) Ensure the following:

2.1) Choose the type of redirect as Permanent (301).
2.2) Select the old domain in the drop-down box.
2.3) In the "Redirects to" box, type in your new domain.
2.4) Now select the redirect as "Redirect with or without www." (this ensures whether or not visitors type in www in front of your domain, it will redirect correctly).
2.5) Click the "Add"button. And that should do it.

If you're using a web hosting control panel other than cPanel, I recommend contacting your web hosting who will be glad to assist with this.


When looking to change your domain name, make sure you do it correctly, or you're likely to:

Need help with changing your domain name or your website? It's what we do, let's talk.

You already know we've got the widest selection of new domains in South Africa. We've just added 37 more domains to our vast list to make it even more awesome! Included are new domains for accountants and fitness professionals.

There are some lesser know domains in there and then some of the new TLD's like .FAITH .ACCOUNTANTS .DOWNLOAD and a whole lot more. Here's a list of domains just added:

Choosing a new domain name can be tricky which is why I've written an article with useful advice to help you choose the right domain.

And if any of these don't tickle your fancy use our domain checker tool to find that perfect domain.

No it's not a typo, you read that correctly. Get the new .XYZ domain for only R1 about $0.08c USD until the 31st of December!

How To Qualify

Sign up for a Home Pro or Business Pro hosting account and get your .XYZ domain for only R1 about $0.08c! Any billing cycle qualifies, monthly, annual biennial or triennial.

XYZ Domain Name Is Hot

.XYZ is the most popular of the new domain extensions with over 700 000 already sold. Don't wait too long as they're selling fast.

When looking for a domain name, shorter is always better as it's more memorable. For help with choosing a domain name read this article.

What Can .XYZ Be Used For?

.XYZ domain name is a generic domain which can be registered by anyone and for almost any purpose.

Knowledge Sharing Websites

.XYZ is well suited to help and advice or knowledge sharing type websites. Clubs and community organisations are also finding .XYZ a good fit.

Generic Names

There are still many  generic domain names available in the .XYZ space. If you're a fan of generic names e.g. plumbingsupplies.xyz then hurry and get yours registered while they're still available.

Company Portals & Product Launch Sites

Your company can get a portal going that may be used to launch a new product or some type or temporary website for a special occasion. .XYZ will be a cost effective way to achieve this.

Great Value

At just R1 for the year you can start just about any website at a great price. Add to that our 1-click install software to install over 70+ free apps like WordPress, you new website will not break the bank.

How It Works

We've supplied a discount code to apply during checkout.

Your code is XYZR1

To view a simple step by step walk through follow the guide below.

1) Visit our domain name page to search for your .XYZ domain extension of choice.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 1

2) Once you've found an available domain name click 'Order Selected Items' to continue.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 2

3) Now it's time to add the hosting package as indicated below, click the 'Order Now' link.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 3

4) To qualify for the XYZ domain name promo select either the 'Home Pro' or 'Business Pro' hosting account.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 4

5) Click the 'Order Now' button to continue.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 5

6) Click the 'Continue' button to proceed.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 6

7) Now to we enter our Discount Code, in this case it's XYZR1 and click the apply discount code icon as indicated below.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 7

8) Congratulations! Your discount code is now applied.XYZ Domain Names - Step 8

9) You can now order any addons like ID Protection and continue by clicking 'Update Cart'.

XYZ Domain Names - Step 90

10) Now you can review your order and click 'Checkout' to finalise your order.XYZ Domain Names - Step 10

You will now be taking the the payments page where you can select your preferred payment gateway.

You are now done! You now have the brand new .XYZ domain name at a never to be repeated price, and our premium web hosting.

We are committed to making your website a roaring success

If you have any questions or need assistance please contact us and it will be our absolute pleasure to assist you.

More awesome new domains available today for registration on Red Hippo.

New Domains Available

We've already added them and from today the following domains are locked and loaded for you to register:


It's a diverse selection of new domains available, but an excellent selection if I may say so myself. 🙂

Some Ideas

Let's take a quick look at what you could use these new domains for:

.GLOBAL - This is a generic new TLD which can be registered by anyone used for almost anything, business, fun, sport, news etc.

.CLICK - This generic new TLD can be registered by anyone and used for a wide variety of applications. Anything internet or technology related would be perfect.

.DIET - A very specific nice new TLD which can be registered by anyone. Anything with health, diet and nutrition would be the best fit. Perhaps nutritionists, diet and food advice business etc.

.AUCTION - Also a very industry specific new TLD which can be registered by anyone. Start your own auction site or anything to do with auctions. This provides a laser sharp focus for your website when using this awesome new domain.

.HELP - A generic new TLD which can be registered by anyone. The spectrum of possibilities here is vast. Start a tips or advice website about absolutely anything under the sun and the .HELP domain would fit like a glove.

.HOSTING - An industry specific new TLD which can be registered by anyone. If you're in the hosting industry this domain is for you. Set yourself apart and clearly delineate your business.

.PROPERTY - An industry specific new TLD which can be registered by anyone. For a website or business that has anything to do with property or related services. Become a property tycoon with your .PROPERTY domain today.

.QUEBEC - A city specific new TLD which can be registered by anyone. If you do business in the Canadian city of Quebec then this new domain is just what will set your business apart and help build a solid following.

For help on choosing an awesome domain name read this article.

Search for your perfect new domain and get the name you want, today!

Search For New Domains

We're extremely excited to announce Dot Cities domains are now live!

The long awaited .joburg .durban and .capetown South African city domain names are now ready to order. Use our domain name registration tool to check for your domain name.

ICANN are in the process of releasing hundreds of new domain names. The South African Dot Cities domain names are the most exciting will prove to be the most exciting development in the ZA space to date.

Dot Cities Will Identify Your Business

If your business is associated with a particular city e.g. Cape Town, this means an instant association. Let's say your business is a guest house in Cape Town. The connection in visitors minds will be instant and indelible. Visitors to your Dot Cities website will know exactly where you are and what you do.

It's an exciting time for business. New opportunities have been opened with these awesome new Dot Cities domains.

As I've written about many times before, the .com .net .co.za, .co.uk and other name spaces are oversold. Short concise names are no longer available. All the good names have been taken a long time ago. No more of that, jump in now and register your brand spankng new Dot Cities domain name and claim your digital real estate.

How To Find A Good Domain Name

The best domain names are short and memorable. For help, read my How To Choose A Good Domain Name article.

Once you have your perfect domain name you can get your website and email accounts setup and ready in a matter of minutes. Red Hippo hosting accounts are feature packed and all come with unlimited bandwidth. Add to that our easy to use but power control panel and you have everything to make your website a success.

Looking For A New Domain?

Search for the perfect domain name using our Domain Name Registration tool.

Search For Your Domain

Calling all restaurant owners! Web hosting for restaurants has just been smashed wide open. ICANN has just released the .RESTAURANT domain along with many more new TLD's.


It's Like An Online Food Court

Big malls across the world almost always group the restaurants into an a single area. This is because it's convenient to customers, and thus ultimately improves the bottom line. Now restaurants can have specific targeted web hosting to the food service industry.

Visit a business with a .RESTAURANT domain there's no doubt about what that business does. Your customers will identify you from your domain name BEFORE they even visit your website. That's powerful.

The Clock Has Been Reset

The .COM, .NET, .CO.ZA, .UK and other traditional name spaces are over sold and over crowded. Anyone today looking for restaurant web hosting is forced to choose extremely long domain names. Try getting web hosting for your restaurant and registering a short domain name? It's impossible, everything domain name is already registered.

Let's say your Restaurant is called Jack's Diner. Do a domain name search for Jacks Diner to find if it's available? There's about a 1 in 10,000 chance if you'r lucky. There are hundreds of millions of domain names already registered registered, with millions more added each year. The short domain names are always registered first, the shorter the better. Restaurant owners have to resort to long domain names. Long = easy to forget and easy to misspell! You want a short memorable easy to spell domain name. My how to choose a good domain name article contain useful tips on choosing a domain name.

Make It Easy To Find Your Website

Make it as easy as possible for the potential visitor to find your website. This leads to increased traffic to your website, and increased traffic leads to increased business.

It's a simple concept. I don't mean to sound patronizing, and if I sound so forgive me. I see too many businesses with long hard to spell, hard to remember domain names. I can't stress this point enough.

Web Hosting For Restaurants That's Specific

Along comes .RESTAURANT. to the rescue. Now your restaurant can have a website with domain that's industry specific. And it's instantly recognizable to your visitors.

To illustrate my point, let's look at the previously mentioned example of Jack's Diner. What is more recognizable and descriptive to a potential website visitor? JacksDiner.COM or JacksDiner.RESTAURANT or even Jacks.RESTAURANT. It's smack you in the face descriptive. Every restaurant owner should snatch the potential opportunity that's presented itself.

Secure your .RESTAURANT Domain Today

View our web hosting to get Started!

I've written about how to register a domain name, now let's look at how to choose a good domain to register. With good being the operative word.

What Makes A Good Domain Name

There are no rules when it comes to choosing domain names but there are things to avoid and things which are preferable. I'll cram them all into a single list of best practices when it comes to choosing domain names. There's no rocket science here, just common sense. Keeping these items in mind will benefit your brand and maximize your site traffic.

How To Choose A Good Domain Name

1) Keep it short - or as short as possible

Short domain names are easier to remember. Short domain names are easier to NOT misspell. Imagine trying to spell or remember something like www.FriendlyPlumberCapeTown.co.za. Or imagine sending an email to sales@FriendlyPlumberCapeTown.co.za.co.za. It's so easy to make a spelling error or typo which means loss of sales and frustration on the part of your visitors and potential clients.

Let's say your business name was Friendly Plumber and you were based in Cape Town. I would first search for a domain name like friendlyplumber.co.za and keep it as close to the exact business name as possible. If that name was taken I'd consider a different domain extension, definitely one of the brand new domains released by ICANN e.g. .PLUMBER, .COMPANY, PLUMBING etc. I would also consider one of the new city extensions like .CAPETOWN, JOBURG, .DURBAN OR .AFRICA. For international cities there are .LONDON, . NYC, .TOKYO, .BERLIN etc. In total there will be close to 2,000 new domain names released in the next few months.

Another alternative is inititalise, to break Friendly Plumber down to FP. So it will be something like fp.co.za or fp.capetown or fpplumbing.capetown. Granted, most letters have long ago been taken in most of the domain name spaces like .com, .net, .co.za, .co.uk, .uk etc. But it's still worth checking, and... with the host of new domain names already released and being released, you can definitely find the name you want, no matter how short. Just don't waste time and register your name as soon as possible.

2) Avoid if possible numbers in a domain name

Numbers can cause confusion when it comes to typing in the website address or email address. Let's take a domian name with a number e.g. 7plumbingcompany.co.za. When verbalising your email address or website address to potential clients, you'll have to make sure you specify the 7 as the number 7 and not the word seven. This may seem like a big deal but it can be. Personally I recommend you completely avoid numbers in domain names as it can be misconstrued either way. Typos invariably lead to loss of business, the potential visitor can't find your site and simply looks elsewhere.

3) Try to avoid dashes and dots etc. in the domain name

By dashes and dots I mean - and . . This can also cause confusion errors when visitors are typing in your website address or email addresses.

4) Keep is specific

If you're targeting a specific country then it's good practice to use a country specific domain e.g. .CO.ZA for South Africa or .UK for the United Kingdom. As mentioned previously the new city specific domains are even more targetted e.g. .JOBURG, .CAPETOWN, .CAPETOWN, etc. Now I'm going to change my tune a bit and say that having a .COM is also not a bad thing, it's just easier for search engines and visitors to associate a business or website to a specific country or city when using country or city domain names.

Looking at registering a domain name for your website? Consider our extensive list of domain names by visiting our domain checker.

How To Choose A Good Domain Name

I've received various queries asking how to register a domain name. this may seem straightforward to someone who has gone through this process, but to someone new to hosting, it can be daunting. So here's the lowdown.

What Is A Domain Name

A domain name is your address on the internet e.g. this websites domain name is www.redhippo.dev. You can't do much with just a domain, it requires a web hosting account. It's the web hosting account that will enable things like email, web space for a website.

A Good Domain Name Is Important

The shorter your domain name the better. When registering a new domain for your business or organisation always try keep it as short as possible. One of the most important reasons is simplicity, people will remember shorter names easier. And spelling mistakes while sending emails to you or visiting your website will also be far fewer. This translates into more website visits and if you are a business, will ultimately improve your bottom line.

Let's get started...

How To Register A Domain Name

1) Visit our domain name checker page.

2) Type your desired domain name into the domain checker box and click "Search" or hit enter.

This will enable searching multiple domain extensions e.g. .co.za, .com, .net, .plumbing, .dentist, .construction etc. We currently have close to 200 over 400 domain name extensions to register, and are adding more each month as ICANN releases new domain names.

3) Once you have the domain you like, click the "Add to Cart" button, and then "Checkout".

4) If you DO already have a hosting account, click "Continue" to checkout and follow the prompts to place your order.

5) If you DON'T have a hosting account click "No Hosting! Click to Add" to order a hosting account for your awesome new domain name.

6) Select your hosting account and click "Order Now" to proceed and follow the prompts to checkout.

Please note: you may have to do multiple searches to find a domain name that's not taken or else choose another extension e.g. if the .co.za or .com version of your domain name is taken consider one of the others. There are now hundreds of awesome new domain name extensions available to register.

And voila! You now have your very own brand spanking new domain name registered with hosting account and emails.

We have the Largest Selection of Domain Names available in Africa.

Register your new domain today!

Get Your South African Domain Names Today

A quick news flash. You can now register the full compliment of South African domain names .ORG.ZA .NET.ZA and .WEB.ZA on Red Hippo. We added them today and just like the .CO.ZA are all charged at only R79 per year.

Thanks to the ZA Central Registry South African's now have more domain name choices than ever. The .org.za is usually for religious and non-profit organisations and other institutions of the kind. The .net.za and .web.za can be used for just about anything you like. And then there's good old .co.za which can be used for anything you can imagine related to South Africa.

You can visit our domain checker to search for the perfect domain name. Once you have found it you can register your domain right on that same page.

Search for your South African domain names today.

South African Domain Names

Calling all your military buffs out there! Get your military domain names while they're hot.

Along with our slew of new domain names released this year, the latest batch include military domain names!

The Three New Military Domain Names Released Are:

Alongside those are two that snuck in and are valuable for web hosting and many other organisations, they are:

If your'e a regular reader of this blog you will know that ICANN is in the process of releasing about 1,900 new domain names. Red Hippo has added support for just about every one of them. You can view more by visiting these articles:

We are working hard to add support for each one as it is released so keep visiting and subscribe to our blog on any page. And don't forget, there are hundreds more new domain names coming in the next few months. Your choices are better than ever when it comes to securing and registering the perfect domain name for your organisation.

Register Your Military Domain Name

View our extensive list of new domain names and register your military domain names today!

View Military Domain Names

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