Domain Taken Alert

If you’ve ever changed your website’s domain name from .com to .blog you might want to read this.

Do you recall when WordPress introduced a new .blog TLD to customize your website name and identify it as blog? Previously, the only TLDs (Top Level Domains) were com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov, .mil. Most of us with personalized names used the .com option. Some of us, chose to switch to .blog and take up WordPress’ offer to migrate our existing site.

I just uncovered a major hack where scammers (scum of the internet) bought my old .com domain and attached it to an unsavory website. Fool for them, my domain name TheSandyChronicles.com was not well known and they couldn’t have gotten a lot of clicks for the money.

However, I did have old posts with links and pingbacks to the old name. Today I was searching my archives and I found one of those pingbacks and clicked through. What a surprise!

Kudo’s to WordPress Support for quickly identifying the problem. Working together we figured a quick(-ish) way to fix it.

If you have ever changed your domain name from .com to .blog I suggest that you check if your old .com name has been repurposed. If it has (and even if it hasn’t yet) you might want to take the following steps to update your links.

I recommend using the older WPAdmin interface as it is quicker, particularly for bulk editing comments.

To correct links in your POSTs and PAGEs

  • Go to Post -> All Posts.
  • Use the Search box to find all posts with your old domain name. (in my case: TheSandyChronicles.com)
  • Edit the post, check the links and correct to the new name (in my case: TheSandyChronicles.blog)
  • Repeat with Pages -> All Pages

To correct pingbacks & links in COMMENTS

  • Go to Comments
  • Use the Search box to find all comments with your old domain name.
  • Edit the Comment by updating the link to the new name

I hope this Alert was helpful. I had a panic attack when I first discovered the issue. Thankfully it’s relatively harmless and simple to fix.

It’s all perfectly legal by the way. Any surrendered domain name can be purchased and re-purposed at will. It’s up to you to transfer all the links. It’s too bad that when WordPress migrated my old website to the new domain name, they didn’t think to migrate the links as well.

Ah well. It’s snowing outside with another 15cm expected. Fixing bad links is a good way to while away a winter storm.

23 Comments

  1. An interesting post. It sounds like you have kept up with things and with help got it fixed. My site is a wordpress.com blog but I’ve paid for a dot.com but have yet to switch it over. Just dealing with the new block editor was enough of a challenge for a while. 😊

    Like

    1. So the good news is that you’re unikely to have the issue when you switch to your dot.com domain. WordPress will take care of you there. As for the new editor … once you bite the bullet, there are lots of neat new features to enjoy πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can feel the panic attack. You took it quite gracefully! Good that you managed to get help, I’ve never gotten a response from WP staff to any questions. (Happiness engineers?) I’ve sometimes wondered what if someone snatched my blog’s .com site since my site is wordpress.com… hmm… 🧐

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Useful advice πŸ™‚ I’ve had .blog right from the start so should hopefully be OK! But if ever I wanted to change I would need to bear this in mind – and would probably decide to stay put to avoid this hassle πŸ˜†

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, Sandy – I am so sorry to hear this and am super glad that you were on it instantly. I have a paid domain name for my blog. The only change that I did (2 years ago) was to switch from WP.org to WP.com. I was able to keep the same domain name. Fingers crossed all remains well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The hackers took advantage of people changing names when the .blog TLD became available. They anticipated behaviour and took advantage of it. It’s quite clever in a devious sort of way.

      Like

  5. Gosh Sandy that is awful. Thanks for the alert. I am glad that you’re onto the problem. I actually considered changing to a.blog domain name, so now I am not so sure about doing that. I have never had a paid domain name as I can’t see any benefit atm. I assume if zi changed the wordpress.com would still be safe, or not? Are they repurposed too?
    Rug up with a nice warm cuppa and stay safe in the storm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would think that the wordpress.com name would be safe and nothing to worry about. I’m not sure but I suspect wordpress owns and manages the entire wordpress.com domain space.
      I definitely will be staying in and staying warm. Thanks Amanda.

      Like

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