Knowledgebase: Domains & DNS
Change Your Primary Domain Name
Posted by CTX Admin on 26 November 2014 02:00 PM

So you want to change you domain name or primary domain on your account, eh? Well, we can certainly help facilitate that. First, though, take a look at the pre-change checklist and useful information below to help prepare you for the domain change.

Pre-Domain Change Checklist

Before changing the primary domain on your account, there are some important steps to follow to safeguard your account and ensure a smooth transition.

There are a couple of common reasons people want to change their primary domain, which are listed below. You'll also see a checklist of steps to follow before pulling the trigger and making the change. In the following examples, 'olddomain.com' is your current domain and 'newdomain.com' is the domain you want to change yours to.

SCENARIO 1 'olddomain.com' and 'newdomain.com' are different sites

This example is for situations where 'olddomain.com' and 'newdomain.com' have different content (they are different websites). Follow these steps to get ready for the changeover:

  1. Create a full account backup in cPanel (this can take a few moments depending on the size of the account)

  2. Log into cPanel, and click File Manager or FTP

  3. Create a folder in /public_html folder called 'olddomain.com'

  4. Move all the files for the 'olddomain.com' website from the /public_html folder to the folder at public_html/olddomain.com

    Note: if you have added subdomains or add-on domains to your account, make sure you leave those folders where they are. Moving subdomain and add-on domain folders will cause those sites to stop working. In this step, only move the files and folders related to the 'olddomain.com' website.

  5. Move or upload 'newdomain.com':

    • If you previously added 'newdomain.com' as an add-on domain, you will then want to move all the files from /public_html/newdomain.com to be in the /public_html directory. Then from cPanel home, click Addon Domains and remove 'newdomain.com'.

    • If 'newdomain.com' was not previously uploaded as an add-on domain, upload the files for 'newdomain.com' into the /public_html folder instead. If you have a lot of files, FTP would be the best way to do this.

  6. Submit a ticket to us requesting the primary domain change, from 'olddomain.com' to 'newdomain.com'

  7. (Optional) Re-add 'olddomain.com' as an add-on domain if you still intend to use it

SCENARIO 2 'newdomain.com' will show the content previously displayed on 'olddomain.com'

This example applies to situations where you want the content from 'olddomain.com' to appear on 'newdomain.com'. You would want to follow these steps if you are changing the domain of an existing website and phasing out the use of the old domain name. Get going...

  1. Create a full account backup in cPanel (this can take a few moments depending on the size of the account)

  2. Remove 'newdomain.com' from add-on domains or parked domains if it's configured that way

  3. Submit a ticket to us requesting the primary domain change, from 'olddomain.com' to 'newdomain

    Note: if you simply want 'olddomain.com' and 'newdomain.com' to show the same content, changing your primary domain name is not necessary. You can create a parked domain with or without redirects and achieve the same effect.

  4. Add 'olddomain.com' as a parked domain if you want to continue using 'primarydomain.com'

  5. (Optional) Create a redirect from 'olddomain.com' to 'newdomain.com' if you want 'newdomain.com' to show up in the address bar instead of 'olddomain.com'; If you are phasing out use of 'olddomain.com', then setting up a redirect for awhile will help people find the new domain name

Important Notes

Previous Primary Domain Name

As mentioned in the checklist above you will need to re-add the previous primary domain as an add-on domain if you want it to be a separate site. Alternately, if you want the previous primary domain name and the new primary domain name to show the same site, you can set up the old primary domain name as a parked domain instead; this will cause both domains to show the same content (specifically, the content located in the /public_html folder).

Subdomains

When you change the primary domain on your account, the subdomain names will automatically update from 'sub.olddomain.com' to 'sub.newdomain.com'. If you want one or more of your subdomains to continue to use the previous primary domain name, you will need to re-add the subdomain and specify the existing subdomain folder as the document root.

Private Name Servers

Changing the primary domain on your account does not automatically create new private/custom nameservers. The private nameservers with the previous domain name will keep working, provided that domain is still active. If you would like to set up private nameservers using your new primary domain name, you should follow the same directions and use the same IP addresses you used for setting up your previous private nameservers.

Email Accounts and Email Forwarders

When you change the primary domain on your account, the email addresses will automatically update. For example, someone@olddomain.com will become someone@newdomain.com. If you want to continue using the old primary domain name for emails, you will need to re-setup those email addresses either as email accounts or email forwarders.

WHMCS

WHMCS must be updated to match any domain name changes. Please submit a ticket to our Billing department so your WHMCS license can be updated.

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