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WordPress Address vs. Site Address: A Complete Guide and Comparison

If you ever look at general settings in the WordPress dashboard, you may have seen there are two fields. One is your WordPress address, and the other is your site address. Both addresses contain the same data, which creates a lot of confusion for beginners.

To clear out your confusion, we will discuss the difference between WordPress and a site address and even show you how to make changes to these fields.

What is a WordPress address (URL)?

The WordPress address location is simply where your WordPress installation is. All your WordPress files are stored in this location, from plugins and themes to media files.

Generally, it should be installed in the root folder of your primary domain name. So if you have a domain name “mydomain.com/,” then WordPress installation should be installed following the forward slash. Your core files like index and PHP files should be installed in the same folder.

With AEserver UAE-based hosting, you will be facilitated with a one-click installation option through Cpanel or Plesk to install WordPress easily, so you don’t have to mess with it. In addition, you’ll get a pre-installed WordPress if you choose Managed WordPress hosting. In other cases, don’t worry; installing WordPress by yourself is not difficult; it is just a matter of having FTP access and database access.

What Is the Site Address (URL)?

The site address is the primary address your visitors must type into the browser search to visit your website. All your WordPress files will link to this address.

You can change your site address, but it is not common because all of your links will no longer work. Essentially changing a site address is like starting over again. It will erase your website ranking in SERP. Thus it is not recommended unless you plan to start over.

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What Is the Difference?

To sum up, the WordPress address is where your admin pages and other parts of WordPress are stored. In contrast, a site address is the actual address of your site. The URL that users visit and a URL you can put on your business card.

Both of the addresses can be changed but only after understanding what the output can be.

When to change the WordPress URL?

Changing a URL can affect your business. It can ruin your ranking, but that doesn’t mean you should not change it. There are situations where it is recommended to do so.

Following are a few reasons you should change your URL.

Change of Business Name

For small businesses, it is ubiquitous to undergo business name changes over time. Typically your website name is your businessname.com. Most customers assume that your URL is your business name. And if that’s not the case, it can be a disaster for your website. Therefore, if you change your business name, you should consider changing your URL.

Bad Reputation

It is easy to get a bad reputation in this digital age. This can come from a series of honest mistakes or exploitative actions of others. Nevertheless, a website with a bad reputation won’t get traffic.

In this case, it is recommended to change your URL and website design so that you won’t be recognizable and can start again. It gives you a chance to make a positive impression.

Change of Content

A website often starts with a concept in mind which might change over time. If you have a blog and change your focus and get a significant traffic increase, your website’s URL doesn’t make any sense for this new direction. In this case, changing your WordPress URL makes perfect sense.

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How to change the WordPress URL?

Fortunately, changing your WordPress URL is very easy. There are a few ways available to do this. In this section, we will discuss the two easy methods to change WordPress URLs.

General Setting

This one is the easiest way to change your URL. In general settings, you can see both WordPress address and site address.

From the WordPress dashboard, select Settings and click on the General option. You’ll see something like this:

wp-general-setting

You can see four items: site title, tagline, WordPress address, and site address. All you need to do is change both the addresses to the new one and save the changes.

WP-config.php

This is another method to change your URL. you need to add your new address to your WordPress file called WP-config.php. You can find this file in your root folder. It contains all the essential WordPress settings. But for this, you’ll need FTP access which you’ll get in our Managed WordPress hosting.

Go to the File Manager, Right-click on your wp-config file, and click edit. You will enter it inside the file.
After that, paste the following code above the line that says, ‘That’s all, stop editing! Happy publishing’.

define( 'WP_HOME', 'https://example.com' );
define( 'WP_SITEURL', 'https://example.com' );

WP_HOME refers to the WordPress address.
WP_SITEURL refers to the site address

Note: Replace “example” with your domain name.

Now save changes when you’re done.

Things To Do After Changing WordPress URL

While changing the WordPress URL is very easy, it includes a lot of work after the change. Your links will break, which could cripple your traffic if the changes are not made immediately. It is highly recommended to make the changes with a clear plan.

Let’s look at a few things you need to be aware of after changing the URL.

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Set Up 301 Redirect

For a seamless transition, Google recommends setting up 301 redirects for changing the URL. This will redirect the visitors to your website if they try to access your old URL.

It not only just helps your visitors but also search engines. It takes a lot of time for search engines to index your new URL, but redirects will help to speed up the process.

Update Email Subscriptions

If you send newsletters to your audience, you need to update the links in them. Otherwise, your emails will end up in the spam box containing dead links that sometimes lead to your subscribers’ unsubscriptions.

Simply go to the tool you use to manage emails and update the templates you use with the new URL.

Update Marketing Links

Suppose you’re running ads on Google, Facebook, or other places. Make sure to update those ads with a new URL. Otherwise, if you don’t set up redirects, all those clicks will mean nothing.

It can make people avoid your brand in the future. And the worst, you’re paying for the service and cannot reap the benefits.

Create a New XML Sitemap

You should already have a sitemap if you were optimizing your website for SEO. Essentially a sitemap contains all the links to posts and pages. Search engines use this to find all the pages they need to index.

But if you change your URL, the sitemap will become obsolete. You need to create a new one. A simple and easy-to-use plugin Yoast can help. Once you’re done, you need to submit it to Google to speed up the process.

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Final Words

As you all know, WordPress is a very popular CMS today for several reasons. But the main reason is its customization. You can customize anything in WordPress, even including your WordPress URL. Actually not just the URL; you can change the entire permalink structure.

Changing a URL is a big deal. So ask yourself first why you need to change your WordPress address or site address? There must be a valid reason for doing that. And also, what steps did you take for a smooth transition between URLs?

All of the changes you make in WordPress are always easy. It is possible because of the vast library of plugins. But always make sure to do a proper backup of your WordPress site, including database files and site files, before making any changes.

With AEserver Managed WordPress hosting Dubai, you don’t need to worry about backups before changing your URL. We are always here to help you with this because backups are an essential part of your website.

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