Sometimes you just need a fresh start.  When it comes to websites hosted with WordPress there may come a time when you want to re-purpose the domain name to some completely different content.  So how do you redirect a domain to a new site?

Getting Started

I am going to make a few assumptions.  This way we’ll all be starting from the same page.

Assumption #1: You want a clean slate.  You are not interested in preserving any of the old content from the existing site on the new site.

Assumption #2: You want the new site to replace the old site, domain and all.  You aren’t going to have a new domain for the new site.

Assumption #3: You don’t have any search engine reputation built up for the old site that needs to transfer to the new site.  This is a clean break from the old site.  You’ll be starting from scratch building reputation for the new site.

Assumption #4: Both sites are hosted with WordPress.com

Prerequisite

In order to redirect a domain to a new site you must have the new site built.  If you haven’t done that yet take a look at my “How to Build a Website with WordPress” tutorial first.  Once your site is up and running, you’re ready for the next step.

Remove Domain Mapping for Existing Site

There is not a self-serve option to remove mapping for an existing site.  You will need to contact WordPress support directly and request that they remove the mapping.  Here’s an example message to use.

“Hello, I need to have the domain [INSERT YOUR DOMAIN HERE] mapping removed from the site it is currently mapped to.  I am creating a new site and will be mapping this domain to it soon.

Thank you for your help.  Please confirm when this is complete.”

Once you’ve been notified that the mapping has been removed you can proceed to the next step.

Redirect a Domain to a New Site

  1. In the WordPress.com control panel select the new site you wish to map the domain to.
  2. Click the Plan option in the Left Navigation panel.
  3. Click the Domains tab
  4. Click the Add Domain button
  5. If you’ve purchased the domain through WordPress.com it should be listed for you to select.  Otherwise, click the “Use a domain I own” link.
  6. Step through the configuration wizard.

Your domain should now point to the new site.

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