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When you have a website and do a merger, or a re-branding to another site, do you find it more user-friendly to have a splash page on the old site saying "we've now moved to X, please visit us by clicking here" and have a bit of a description, or just a good old redirect?

Does it depend on the circumstances, a merger or a re-branding? Or is it always better to use one of the methods?

Personally I always just throw up a redirect if I move domains, but wondering if a splash page is a better method since you can explain it, and not surprise the user.

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I'd take the following into account:

User loyalty

Take into account whether or not you "owe your users an explanation". Are there a lot of frequent buyers, that will feel slighted because you didn't explain what happened here? It's sort of a "protect your brand" exercise.

Shock value

Did you change from expertsexchange into stackoverflow, from audi.com into mercedes.com or maybe from github.com into hubcabsales.com? Those are some vastly different scenarios, and some might need an explanation, while others don't really.

Brand marketing

You might need to educate your users about your change in name. If you feel really strongly about dropping that one letter from your name (if for example Pepsi dropped a P and went for Epsi) you might want to communicate it to your audience, over even "celebrate" the new name.

Future access

Perhaps you might even discontinue the other URL, or sell it, in which case you'd have to notify your users in advance.


Alternative solution to your issue

Redirect, and show a message saying "Hey, we see you entered -url- but we've moved" on the new site.

That way, you've done your due diligence in helping them get to the new url and educating them about the move, whilst minimizing the negative impact on the user experience.

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  • I'm really liking the alternative solution you added, I never thought of that. Great ideas here. I'll wait a little while before marking it as best answer just in case we get some other good answers, but +1 to you.
    – Mike
    Aug 7 '13 at 15:32
  • Piggybacking on the alternative method: Not sure how to do it but sometimes I see pages that say "We,ve moved and if you're not automatically redirected in 5 seconds, click here." 90% of the time I don't have to click so you get the best of both worlds. I also imagine you could redirect and use JavaScript to parse the referrer info and reveal an otherwise hidden message to those users.
    – adam-asdf
    Aug 10 '13 at 21:10

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