In October 2018, Fandom began the process of migrating wikia.com domains to fandom.com. This process is expected to be completed in early 2019. This page outlines the reasoning behind the change, the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results of the initial migrations, and the schedule for the remaining migrations.
Why are the domains changing?
Wikia rebranded to Fandom in October 2016. The domain migration will complete that process. When it comes to SEO—that's a term that refers to how well your website ranks in search engine results—having the brand name and the domain name be the same ensures stronger SEO across the platform. Google search favors sites that clearly define themselves as something specific. In this case that’s Fandom, a community site based largely around pop culture topics.
How will the change impact my community?
The only visible differences you will notice is the new URL and the fact that, whether logged in or logged out, the domain will have HTTPS support. The existing wikia.com domains will all redirect to fandom.com, so any bookmarks or links across the web will continue to work as they do now.
Beyond that, there will be an initial traffic decrease as Google ingests and adapts to the change. Luckily, in our initial migration of 3,200 communities in October 2018, we found that on average the new fandom.com domains ultimately performed better than the wikia.com domains and overall traffic increased. These results are illustrated this chart showing data from pre- and post-migration.
Although we can’t share page views with you, this chart represents traffic to wikia.com (the blue line) and fandom.com (the orange line). The blue line for wikia.com accounts for September 28th to October 4th, about a month before the migration and far enough away from Labor Day (early September in the United States) so as to not skew the data with holiday traffic. The orange line for fandom.com accounts for December 14th through December 20th, about a month after the migrations were completed and still before the typical traffic upswing that comes over holiday break.
As you can see with these data points, the domains that were migrated to fandom.com are, on average, performing higher than they were on wikia.com. Google favors the fandom.com domain due to its consistency with the brand name, so on average you can expect more readers on your community as a result of the domain migration.
There are some domains that, unfortunately, are not ranking as high as they once did. This is the result of content quality or content architecture issues that are very much resolvable. If you’ve noticed a longer-term decrease in traffic on a migrated community, please feel free to contact us for assistance.
We expect this outcome to hold true in the remaining migrations.
Final migration schedule
On January 16, we performed a “smoke test” with another small set of domains, this time lower traffic ones, to ensure that the technical process we used for the migration in October continued to work as it should. Once that assumption was confirmed, we moved onto the final migrations beginning on January 21st. This migration is being conducted in batches and will complete the rebranding process.
As of February 4th, 90% of all Fandom traffic has been migrated to the fandom.com domain. Traffic is continuing to reflect the trend we saw in the October test, but we ran into an issue with the display of Google advertisements. This has no impact on your communities or your traffic, but on the advice of Google we are going to roll out the migration of the remaining 10% of traffic slower to ensure that the advertisement issue is resolved.
Assuming there are no additional roadblocks, we expect to complete the migration by the end of February.
Are all communities moving to Fandom?
No. We will announce this more broadly and in more detail soon, but some communities that don’t quite fit under the definition of fandom.com will have a new domain at wikia.org. The communities moving to wikia.org are ones that focus on medical subjects, advocacy, history, politics, and religion. Examples of future wikia.org domains would include cancer.wikia.org, lgbt.wikia.org, world-war-2.wikia.org, and bible.wikia.org.
This new domain reflects the fact that not every community is about a pop culture, hobby, or fandom-related subject, with many based around creating awareness of or spreading knowledge about important historical or social topics. Fandom staff is currently compiling a list of communities that will be migrated to wikia.org, a process that will be continued throughout January and February. The wikia.org migration will occur after the fandom.com migration is completed, and is expected to happen at the end of March.
We don’t have any plans to open up wiki creation on wikia.org, but new wikis created in the future that qualify for wikia.org can be migrated by Fandom upon request.
I have a question that wasn’t answered here
If you have any questions or concerns about this process that were not addressed on this page, please feel free to send staff a message at Special:Contact or directly via email at email@example.com. We will do our best to answer those for you!
Further help and feedback
- Browse and search other help pages at Help:Contents
- Check Fandom Community Central for sources of further help and support
- Check Contacting Fandom for how to report any errors or unclear steps in this article
- Learn how to use Fandom in Fandom University: short how-to videos for all levels of experience