Friday, August 17, 2007

Renaming Your Blog? Plan Carefully!

One of the neatest features of Blogger One Button Publishing is the "one button" aspect. Don't like the layout of the blog? Change the template! Don't like the colour of the background (the post area, the sidebar, ...)? Change the colour! Don't like the Title, don't like the URL, ...

Whoa. Slow down.

The URL, that is the Universal Resource Locator, is known all over the Internet. Or should be, if you're publicising the blog properly. That's your public name - don't be changing that on the spur of the moment.

To change the Name (the "xxxxxxx" in "xxxxxxx.BlogSpot.Com"), all that you have to do is go to Settings - Basic, and Edit the Blog Address. If the new address is available, the blog will be republished on the spot, under that address. All of the comments, the posts, and the template (and all customisations and widgets) move transparently.

If the new name isn't available, you'll learn the sad news right there. If you're renaming the blog because you misspelled the name originally, chances are you won't get the precise spelling that you thought that you got. You may need to be flexible.

You won't learn anything from pinging the prospective new, Blog*Spot, address. You have to take a step into nothingness, and see if there's an invisible net waiting to catch you.

The name, which is part of the URL, must be unique, for all blogs published to BlogSpot. The title, on the other hand, is yours to change as you see fit. Go to Settings - Basic, and change "Title" and "Description" any time you wish.

To change to a non-Blog*Spot URL, the process will vary just a bit. The end result, if done correctly, will be the same.

In either case, kiss your old address goodbye. You're done.

Maybe not. Do you just write for yourself? How about the rest of the Blogosphere?
  1. Your readers. They are your family. If you move to a new house, do you not let your family know?
    1. Before the move, setup a Welcome post
      This blog will move, on nn/nn, to a new URL xxxxxxx.com.
    2. After the move, setup a stub blog at the old URL (retaining any old content as desired), and change the Welcome post to
      This blog has moved to http://xxxxxxx.com.
      Make that a click able link. A non click able link, as in
      This blog has moved to a new URL, xxxxxxx.com.
      won't be as easy for your readers, nor for the search engines, to digest and use. And an automated redirect, as in "301 Redirect" or "302 Redirect", won't teach your readers anything, and not all search engines will accept it.
    3. After the move, if you retain any content at the old URL, setup a Welcome post at the new URL too
      This blog has moved from http://xxxxxxx.blogspot.com.
      Make that, too, a click able link.
    4. Alternately, you could use variations of including one blog / web site within the other blog / web site, and dynamically move traffic from the old URL to the new.
  2. Your Followers and subscribers are similar to your readers, but will deserve extra care, in this case.
  3. The search engines. They are like the government, or maybe the businesses that you correspond with. You'll have to let them know after the move, and you'll start over with them. There's no form to transfer search engine rank.
    This blog has moved - the new URL is xxxxxxxx.com.
    Until they finish indexing the blog under its new address, they will serve cached content that try to take your readers to the old, and now, non existent, address.

    If you can have your readers update their references, the search engines will pick up their changes, and your new URL will have some weight. Plus, a stub blog, at the old URL, will help, if only slightly. You won't start over from zero - though you will have some lean time.
  4. The spammers (sploggers). If the blog, at the current address, has any weight right now, and if you don't setup a stub blog after you move, you can bet that the sploggers will move in.

The bottom line? Changing the URL is a simple task, but do some basic planning before you start the change. Rename the blog - in four steps.

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16 comments:

Pythia3 said...

Thanks for this info - unfortunately, I wish I would have found it earlier. I changed my secondary blog's URL because it was too close to my primary blog's address.
i.e. my primary/first created blog is www.the-cave-of-pythia.blogspot.com and the secondary blog defaulted to the URL: cave-of-pythia.blogspot.com. So, I changed my secondary blog's URL to the name I gave that blog: sacred-footing.blogspot.com. (no "www" in front)
Then, while showing a friend my blogs last night, I typed in www.cave-of-pythia.blogspot.com (forgetting the "the" in the address) and up came a different layout, minus photos, etc. of my old blog. I cannot access it with my password in order to delete it as the name linked to the account reads: Mby3hTCd.
Is there any way I can delete those postings, etc?
It is not a huge problem, but I just wanted to know if there is anything I can do to delete it so it does not confuse the search engines and such.
Thanks so much for any advice you have.
Lindy Lenk

Chuck said...

Lindy,

Unfortunately, your only recourse now is to contact Blogger Support, and be patient and persistent.

Only Blogger Support can correct splog hijacks.

Pythia3 said...

Thanks Chuck, I'll do that.
Sincerely, Lindy

shaun said...

thank you for your time,and info. shaun m roll

the daily screenwriter said...

Thanks for the tips. I've maybe done things in the wrong order - I put a stub at the new address I want to move my blog to - so basically I now need to swap my sites' urls over so the blog moves to the stub site and vice versa. I tried just typing in the url I want to change my blog to, but blogger told me that address was unavailable (because I've got it). Any idea on how I can do the switcheroo? Thanks.

Chuck said...

Screenwriter,

To swap 2 blog / URLs, you'll have to use a third (throwaway) URL.
1) Publish Blog A to URL C.
2) Publish Blog B to URL A.
3) Publish Blog A to URL B.
URL C is the throwaway - you use it for 30 seconds for Blog A, then never again.

the daily screenwriter said...

Thanks! I never would've figured that out.

Kaili said...

Thankyou this has been helpful! I have already changed my blogspot URL address, and everything has remained the same (even my followers widget) however Im not sure they are receiving my updates in their dashboard anymore. Do I need to start over with this and ask everyone (111 followers) to refollow?

Cheers Kaili!

Lindy klk said...

Once again thank you for such valuable information...you have put it into such easy terms that even a newbie blogger like myself can apply this info.!!!

Mr. Phong said...

Hi Friend,

I have one issue that I have change my Blog*Spot Address, it done. But I can not search it in google or yahoo. Even though I copy a link and paste it to google search. This link is not available.

Please give your advise.

Thanks,

Chan Phong

Chuck said...

Phong,

Until the blog is re indexed, the search engines will have old cached content, under the old URL. When you click on links to an old URL, you should expect to see "This link is not available.".

This is why you have to plan the name change.

Married In Chicago said...

Thank you for providing such helpful information! I want to move to a new url and I have one question that I'm hoping you will be able to answer -

In my blog I like to link back to previous posts I have written so that readers can easily access other material they might find interesting. I understand I can bring over all of my blog to the new url, but will all of the links that I've embedded in my posts (that link to my old blog and my old url) no longer work?

Thanks so much!

Chuck said...

Married,

If you have links between your posts, and you change the BlogSpot URL, those links will indeed cease to work. I don't know of a solution here, either.

Holly Ruggiero said...

Thanks! I have followed you instructions and things went well.

Hannah said...

I changed my blog address recently and all the posts and gadgets I posted are still under my old blogspot name - and since I changed my blogspot name, you can't see the post and the gadgets won't work (such as the search bar). As far as I know, I did nothing wrong when changing my blogspot URL! Please help!

Chuck Croll said...

Hannah,

You need to start with a stub blog published to the old URL - with the Post Feed Redirect pointing to the new blog feed. That will let your readers, and subscribers - and the search engines - find the blog and start indexing the new URL.