“Rules” and things to know about a new domain or changing an existing domain

The typical naming convention for Site Resources website subdomains is branchname-stateabbreviation.aauw.net. Most branch websites with shorter branch names do not have an issue with the naming convention as they can use the full name of their branch in their URL. Some branch names are quite lengthy, though, and members may be confused about whether to use a full branch name, a portion of a branch name, or just an abbreviation in their URLs.  Several branches who launched their websites using one subdomain later changed it for marketing or other reasons. It is typically recommended to finalize your domain name during your initial set up and not change it whenever possible.

There are two ways to change a domain name:

  1. Set up a brand new subdomain with a new name and redirect the older website to the new one.
    This means creating a duplicate website including all your content and maintaining the same content in two places. Search engines frown upon this practice and might penalize your site.
  1. Within the existing site, update the subdomain name with a new name.
    When a domain name is modified, there may be several repercussions:
  1. Your old URL will appear as a broken link when someone types an old URL to your browser. It will not redirect to a new URL automatically.
  2. For several days after the domain name is changed, it will still display an old link in search. When the link is opened, it will direct the user to the Site Resource site at https://site-resources.aauw.org/ and not your old branch website.
  3. A new site will not appear in search engines immediately because they have not indexed the site yet. It might take a week or more for search engines to show up your new domain. This is valid whether you are changing an existing domain or you have just launched your brand new website.
  4. You can submit a request to search engines to index your new URL by using their Webmaster Tools, but even if you don’t the search index will eventually catch up.
    1. Google : https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
    2. Bing : http://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
  5. You can also request removal of the older site from search engines by using their Webmaster Tools.
    1. Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals
    2. Bing: https://www.bing.com/webmaster/tools/content-removal
    3. If the site is removed from the Bing search, it should take care of yahoo search as the Bing provides the actual search engine for Yahoo searches.

NOTE: If you have used your old URL in print or other promotional purposes, you should inform your members about the URL change and update print pieces when possible.