24 hour domain migration

31 July 2009

In just over 24 hours time the domain name bellatromba.co.uk expires.

For reasons I won't go in to here (except to say that nobody's to blame), the domain is not under my control and it doesn't look like it's going to be renewed. Meaning the website and email accounts that rely on it will effectively cease to exist. Meaning the people that rely on them are up a certain creek.

I do however, have bellatromba.com; and the plan is to move over to that, albeit at this absurdly late stage. With a few months notice, it's perfectly possible to transition a domain like this fairly smoothly. You may get the odd bouncing email, but in general it's not the end of the world, particularly if you still have control of the old domain to continue redirecting from.

However, as I mentioned, we've got 24 hours. And we don't have the old domain.

About 20 minutes ago I set up a new virtual host on the server for bellatromba.com, and added some redirect rules to 301 redirect requests to bellatromba.co.uk on to bellatromba.com. So that's all fine, except that in 24 hours all those links will break. Including Google's, where the site is the number one result for the search phrase trumpet quartet.

It would be great if Googlebot popped along in the next day or so and indexed the whole site under the new domain, without any loss to search engine rankings. I wonder what the chances of that are?

Incidentally, if you're wondering why we don't just go and re-register the domain tomorrow once it expires, it's because owners that let their domains expire have a grace period of anything up to 75 days to get their act together. Which is great if you happen to have forgotten to renew your domain (which we haven't), but less great in the circumstance that we are in (which we are).

So that's the story. Come back next week to see if the site is still number one in Google (unlikely).