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I'm following more or less all the current buzz about changing the site name. I entirely agree with the proposal.

However, I haven't seen mentioned (maybe it was, but, well, there are a lot of answers and comments) anything about one particular technical aspect involved in the change of the site name: hyperlinks.

Imagine I have a link in my blog, pointing to a very popular, highly upvoted question with an excellent answer. What would happen after the site is renamed and—I imagine—moved to a different third-level domain name?

  • Would it be automatically redirected to the corresponding question on the new site?

  • Would it show a page telling that the website moved, inviting the user to figure out by herself how to find the new question?

  • Or would it simply result in a generic HTTP 404?

In my opinion, only the first solution is a valid approach. Anything else would be disastrous both for the overall internet community (there are enough dead links already on the internet), and specifically for the newly renamed website: an important number of new users come here from Google, and it would take some time for Google to reindex all the content on the new site.

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    Keep in mind the domain doesn't necessarily have to change. – enderland Jul 27 '16 at 14:10
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    @enderland That's true. However, it would help with communicating the URL. Plus, there's precedent for it, with the most recent being Beer (beer.SE.com) to Beer. Wine, & Spirits (alcohol.SE.com). – Thomas Owens Jul 27 '16 at 23:58
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"Automatically redirected to the corresponding question on the new site" is correct. This is what happened in the past when sites were renamed: for example, https://alcohol.stackexchange.com/q/1 redirects to What is a citra hop, and how does it differ from other hops?.

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