I got an active social networking site right now with about 530 members and I would like to change my site's domain name to another one.My question is how can you do this efficiently without losing my members?Do I need to create a redirect page for the old members?
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I would have a redirect page that indicates the new site and after a certain amount of time redirects them. Also give them a button to transfer before the timer has elapsed.
By the time your old domain expires (or an arbitrary time period, say 90 days) everybody should be aware of your new site.
The annoyance of either having to wait for 30 seconds or having to perform an action usually makes me update my link.
Usually, one would order the new domain and map it to the existing site, running both domain names parallelly for a transition period.
I think the most user and SEO friendly thing to do would be making a
People entering the site directly through the old domain would get a prominent notice that the site's URL has changed.
That way, any previously stored links - they could be scattered all over the web for all you know - remain valid, but the browser will redirect to the new address.
Depending on what kind of content your site serves, there could also be image and other links that shouldn't break straight away. If there's the likelihood of external image links pointing to your server, a global redirect of all old addresses to an information page is not a good idea.
With popular communities, it is probably a good idea to have a really long transition period until traffic coming through the old domain begins to phase out.