So I decided to upgrade my domain to after much deliberation. Originally I purchased on GoDaddy for under $1.10 including tax! was around $11 for the entire year, and I think it’s worth the purchase – let me explain.

Google started indexing pretty quickly once I started my blog. In 2-3 weeks I was showing up in search results, which was sooner than I expected. But it’s been tough to rank for my name with so many other Chris Thompsons out there. Especially this Chris Thompson who’s a performer over in Europe.

Obey the laws of 301 re-direct and your traffic won't get lost

Do you know where your traffic is heading?

Simply put: to Google, dot COM is king – it’s the most relevant source for all their indexing. If you want to rank, you need to have a .com domain. I’ll post follow up information about what kind of organic search traffic I get after making this switch.

Since I use WordPress for my blog, it was pretty straightforward making the necessary changes by following the directions listed here. There were some things I would have done differently though. Buying the domain on GoDaddy was the same process, and I directed everything to DreamHost. However, WordPress uses an SQL database, and there isn’t any way to copy this using the DreamHost domain management tools. I guess I could have tried a WordPress export and import if I really wanted to copy the database. At any rate, after copying the contents of directory to a new directory called, I continued to use the original database. Well with 1 database, redirecting in WordPress doesn’t work well. The plugin Redirect didn’t work, so I couldn’t 301 redirect all my .info links over to the .com site. I’ll probably just have Go Daddy redirect my entire .info domain over to for the remainder of ownership (Jan 2011). That should be enough time to transfer most of my .info Google rank, but again using 301 redirect is really the best solution.

One database also means I can only track 1 site at a time using Google Analytics. Most likely there’s a hard work around for this, but if you use a WordPress plugin for Google Analytics like I do, that would be a pain to implement. I can always check’s search ranking on Google here anyway.

Yield to 301 redirects

Yield to 301 redirects

Key take aways here: Always 301 re-direct all your indexed page URLs to your new site domain. If using WordPress, make sure to use a copy of the database instead of the original so you can use plugins like Redirect and can continue using Google Analytics to make sure any traffic flowing into your old site, goes right to the new one. Also, if cost isn’t a factor, just keep renewing that old .info domain so you can keep re-directing. You never know when an old Facebook link or burried email will get just one more visitor to your site. For me, renewing would have jumped in price to about $11 a year, pretty much the same cost as a .com domain. If you want to buy a domain, but might not commit to building a site, try buying a cheap .info domain first like I did.

Oh, and do a blog post like this so anyone following you knows you have a new domain!