Support » Fixing WordPress » Moving WP from sub-domain to main domain in terms of SEO

  • Hi. I am still very confused whether to take this step or not.
    I have 3 blogs each on a subdomain, with the main domain empty. 4 years ago I opened the site which was on the main site, then 2 years ago I separated it into 3 blogs and put teach on a subdomain, and the main domain remained empty.
    Now, I am thinking of moving the primary blog from the subdomain to the main domain, by “giving wordpress its own directory” namely, I will set the Site address to the root directory and copy the htaccess and index.php to the root.

    In terms of SEO, is that fine? Will the subdomain still function, and will this not affect the SEO?

    The point I am doing this is that I read that subdomains do not rank well (compared to main domains), so I wanted to take advantage of the empty main domain and drive traffic into it (I am planning to turn it into a bigger site in the future, which aggregates posts from all other blogs on the subdomains).

    So, any info will be appreciated.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Sub domains are treated by search engines as completely separate websites. You certainly can move the site to the main URL, however focusing on other SEO related things like backlinks and content will produce a much better result than just moving the site.

    I would migrate the files and everything over to the main domain. If you try to have the same website on the subdomain and the main domain, in terms of SEO, this will hurt you. Google and other search engines will treat the main domain as duplicate content of the subdomain and penalize it since subdomains are treated like completely separate websites.

    I’d suggest moving the subdomain to the main domain, then setting up 301 re-directs for every page. there’s plugins to help you do this. This will also help you pass your current page rank on to the main URL.

    I hope this helps!

    Hi Tim. It certainly helps man! Thank you very much.
    Okay, not I am one step forward. I will move to the main domain. But do I really need to physically move the files to the root dir? I do not want that, it will not look good. So I will keep the files inside the /public_html/dir1/dir2 and change the SITE ADDRESS to be the main domain, and copy the index.php and htaccess according to that codex guide. Isnt that fine, and if I did that, do I still need to set 301 redirects?

    Yeah, you can do that. Keep in mind, that when the bots try and crawl the old subdomain, since you’ve moved the index page, it’ll provide them a 404 error. Without setting up 301 redirects for the page, when Google tries to find the existing site, it won’t be there and it’ll hurt your rankings. 301 re-directs tell the bots that the site has been permanently moved. If you don’t care about your current rankings than it’s fine.

    so you are saying that whatever ranking I currently have for the subdomain it will be transferred to the main domain? okay nice. So, please confirm that this is the correct procedure to follow:
    1- Install that 301 redirects plugin and make it redirect every to WITHOUT ACTIVATING IT NOW
    2- copy the “giving wordpress its own dir” guide, copying the files necessary.
    3- changing the site url from PHPmyadmin.
    4- activating the plugin.

    Is that correct?

    But something else, what about images and uploads paths? Do I have to update them too? ( I know there is a find and replace plugin that searches the DB and replaces values).
    Any other things to consider?

    Thank you again.. people like you make WordPress what it is.

    Yes, when you use 301 redirects it will pass on the old Page Rank to the new website. You’re telling Google that the old site no longer exists and each redirect points to a new page.

    Your steps seem on target, so it should work. I would create a backup before you start so if anything arises you can restore the site easily.

    Image and file paths in WordPress are built off the Site URL so when you update that, so should the images. Also, if you are using Permalinks you’ll need to reset those as well.



    Hi Tim. After thanking you again, I wanted to update you on this. I actually thought about it again and said to myself, why move the blog from the subdomain to the main domain and kill the subdomain that I worked hard to promote? Why not take advantage of the main domain that I was wasted anyway for linking back to my various blogs on its subdomains? I am now thinking to install some RSS aggregator on a new WP installation that I will put on the main domain and make the main domain be like a summary of the content of all subdomains, having links taking to the subdomains and that is SEO-good, or is it not ?

    Of course needless to say that your contribution above will certainly help me in other stuff, and definitely help others as well 🙂

    Tim S


    No worries, iceq. It’s really all about finding how your layout of your domains will best suit your visitors and business. I’ve never really used subdomains quite like that, so it’s hard to say what impact on SEO it will have.



    fair enough.. thank you again and happy new year shall it be for you and ur family

    Peter Wooster


    Your decision to leave the subdomain alone and set up a summary domain is a good one. 301 redirects are good but they only pass about 90% of the link juice on to the target. It’s always best to leave an established domain where it is.




    That is very assuring.. thank you Peter 🙂

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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