Don't clean the slate
I consume hundreds of articles a day for hundreds of different websites through my feed reader of choice. Today, I saw two posts that irked me. They both went something like this:
“We’re moving so please make sure you update your bookmarks and feed subscriptions!”
And these sites promptly ceased to work for me. In one case, the old site was down but the new site wasn’t even up.
Like a store moving locations, these sites are competing for my attention. They work hard to earn it in the first place – so why not take a couple of extra minutes to make sure I’m not accidentally lost in the move? When Sofa Select moved locations, I knew because they advertised the move and launched with a grand re-opening. And I’ve never even been to Sofa Select.
On the web, it’s easy – set up redirects. Your web host can do this (DNS), your domain name registrar can do this (for a couple of bucks), or you can do it yourself (.htaccess). You’ll keep your traffic and if you do it right, you’ll keep all your search engine mojo.
It might take five minutes for you to set this up… or it can take me five minutes tracking down your new address. I’m just going to let those feeds expire from my reader and move on.