As we wind down at the end of the year, I moved my blog to jenxi.com at the close of the 20th anniversary of this blog. My Chinese blog has also moved to the new domain, while my visual journal remains on the old domain. I’m undecided whether to move it to the new domain
I got my first personal domain iamjenxi.com back in 2002.
When blogging became popular at the start of the 2000s and I dived into it as it became popular among my friends. Coming from building sites on GeoCities and AngelFire, it was easy for me to get the hang of it.
I started off on Blogspot like most of my friends before I dabbled with WordPress.com and Tumblr. After that, I started to self-host my blog, first with Movable Type before adopting WordPress. Movable Type is by Six Apart, who also runs TypePad, Vox, and LiveJournal. WordPress celebrated its nineteenth birthday earlier this year.
When I self-hosted my blog, I needed a domain. I wanted to get jenxi.com but it wasn’t available, so I went with iamjenxi.com. Then in 2012, I discovered jenxi.com was available. I jumped on it immediately and it has been with me for 10 years.
Even though jenxi.com is the better domain since it is shorter, iamjenxi.com is relatively easy to remember as well. I stuck to using iamjenxi.com for my blog and jenxi.com for my photography portfolio.
I didn’t want to shift my blog because the older domain has been with me for a decade.
Looking back, it would have been the smarter thing to do to move all my digital assets to jenxi.com as soon as I got the domain. It is the logical thing to do to consolidate my online presence from a personal branding perspective.
Making the move
2022 marked the 20th anniversary of my blog and when the idea of moving the site appeared in my mind once again, it felt that the time was ripe to make the move.
Moving domains can be a tricky and disastrous in terms of SEO if not handled well. It was not as daunting as expected. I referred to Kinsta’s article for this process.
My sites are hosted on Linode servers via Cloudways.
Sign up via my Linode link for a 60-day $100 credit. (Offer expired.) Sign up via my Cloudways link for $25 free hosting credit. I’ll get some credit to my account if you sign up via my links.
I love Linode servers but I’m not a fan of managing them. Cloudways provides a great server managing service while allowing me to use my preferred server host without having to go for Linode’s more expensive managed option.
Kinsta’s article worked great for Cloudways, and it should be easy to follow on other services that work similarly.
- Clone the Cloudways application. I decided to keep the old domain on the old application.
- Add the new domain to the new application and Cloudways automatically applies a search and replace for the domain.
- I used the Better Search Replace plugin to check if there were any hardcoded links with old domains left in the database. You really shouldn’t be using hardcoded links. There were none because Cloudways did a great job with the search and replace.
- Added 301 redirects to the old domain to the .htaccess file of the old application. Cloudways uses NGINX but still lets you use Apache configurations.
- Let the search engines know that my domain has changed. It is very straightforward via Google Search Console. However, Bing Webmaster Tools seems to be missing the Site Move tool. I’ve submitted a ticket to support.
- Submit the new sitemap to Google and Bing.
- I repeated the steps for the Chinese blog.
There were small hiccups with things like the Bing Site Move. However, that is a problem with Bing Webmaster Tools itself so that can’t be helped.
It was a very simple process and I look forward to seeing you here more often next year.