How to Change a Domain Name of an Existing Website?

How to change a domain name of an existing website 1

This is something that very rarely happens, changing the domain name. In many cases, people have the name they selected to the end. This is because the domain name is central to the branding, but there are certainties.

We know of people who wish to change the domain name on account of a few compelling reasons. We strongly believe that, at times, change is good. 

For instance, down the line, you may come across a name for your domain that fits your website very well. Or suddenly, you realize that you need to change the suffixes for a certain reason.

No matter the reason, if you have decided to change the domain name, all you need to do is simply follow a couple of instructions.

The domain name can be changed easily without impacting your entire website.

Today, we will discuss a couple of reasons one would consider changing the domain name. We will also discuss the process required to do so. So let’s begin!

When Must you Change the Domain Name? 

To register a domain is straightforward. In many cases, the web hosting provider can assist you with the same.

The home address and the domain name functions similarly. Every site is accessible only through an IP address that is unique. The moment you register the domain, all records are created on the DNS.

This informs people, “if they are visiting this particular domain, they will be connecting to a specific IP address”.

This may sound complex; however, it is a very easy and simple system. Domain names are not changed often by people.

This is because they worry that their customers will be unable to identify their website. But we know of a few instances that have benefited from this change.


Some businesses find the need for a total makeover, a change in the name and the image. To do so, you will require a domain that’s brand new to fulfill the purpose.

Improved Communication for the Website’s Focus 

There are a couple of things that might have happened. It could be that you chose a domain that you are not satisfied with at the moment.

Or it could be that you had selected a TLD like .net, .com, or any other Identifier to follow the domain name.

Luckily the entire process to change the name of the domain is uncomplicated. In this process, you can keep the content through the process, and it will not confuse your frequent visitors.

All you need to do is follow the directions. Make sure you follow them correctly in order to avoid any problems.

The Correct Way to Change the Domain Name 

As I mentioned earlier, the entire process is extremely straightforward. The correct way involves not just buying a new domain.

Still, at all times, you need to make sure that the entire process is seamless, giving your visitors a good experience. Let’s learn how to achieve it.

1. Selecting a Domain Name and Assigning it to the Website

Although there are plenty of options in terms of domain names, hence selecting the correct one can get tricky.

It is a personal decision when it comes to picking a good domain name. However, there are certain aspects that you must have in mind to ensure that you select a clever domain name. In the past, we have had an article that spoke about the entire process, and you can always refer to it.

Presuming you know the entire process, let’s move onto registering for a new domain. Most of our websites are hosted with A2 Hosting.

If you happen to be a client of theirs, you can easily assign that specific name to the existing website.

But if you are utilizing the services of another provider, then you will have to get more knowledge on the right process.

The best thing that you can do is connect with your customer support for more information.

2. Rebranding the Design of the Website 

Your visitors are able to identify your website because of your logo. This is why your logo is a very important element.

Depending on the domain, you may have to update certain aspects of the website design in order to reflect it. The logo, for instance, will require an update.

However, it is the same with other elements as well because it refers to the former domain, for instance:

  • The About page of your website. 
  • The footer of the website may include certain copyright information.
  • Your website’s tagline, as it’s the text which appears on the tab of the browser as soon as your visitor opens it. 
  • Other miscellaneous references that are within your site content. 

Luckily, making these adjustments is simple. However, you may need to ensure that any and all references pertaining to the old domain of your website are removed before proceeding.

You will need to also inform your visitors of these changes; this will avoid confusion. We will talk about this soon; however, let’s first look at redirects.

3. Redirecting Traffic to the New Domain 

This is one of the most common steps when you plan to change the domain name. You must redirect your visitors from the former name to the latest one.

This will avoid the loss of visitors that have bookmarked your former address and tend to visit your webpage regularly.

Many web hosts, which includes A2 Hosting, allow their users to get this done from the cPanel. All you need to do is go to the icon that’s labeled as Redirects.

You will find it below the Domains segment of the cPanel; select it.

You will reach the page that Redirects, then click on Permanent 301, along with the domain you wish to redirect.

Now enter the URL of your latest domain registered and allow the setting Redirect without or with www.

As you select the Add button, you are all set to begin! Now whenever a visitor visits your former domain, they will be redirected to the new one.

In the meanwhile, we suggest that you keep both the domains active till the traffic to the old domain stops.

4. Informing your Visitors about the Rebranding of your Domain Name 

By this time, you will have your fresh domain name all set up and functional. Now all you need to do is update your visitors of the latest changes that include new URL, rebranding, and any other changes.

This is a very important step. This is because if you don’t update your visitors, you will end up having plenty of confused visitors.

We feel that following these three steps will be a good way to give them the news:

  1. Include an explanation post to the website the moment you rebrand. 
  2. Utilize the website’s social media accounts in order to update the followers and connect them to the aforementioned post.
  3. An email campaign is also an effective way to announce the changes.

Remember to always keep sending out various updates through email and social media. This is a very effective method.

They will help you to maximize the chances of reaching out to plenty of your subscribers and followers.

Final Thoughts 

Making a change to the domain name is not a decision that one should be taking very lightly. It is the primary identifier and core element of any website.

But the moment you feel that it needs to be done and that it would benefit your business in more than one way. Then I don’t see a reason to hold you back.

You can do so without causing harm to the website’s identity or traffic. You can also check our article on How to Change PHP Memory Limit in cPanel?

Let’s take a quick recap of the 4 steps that we discussed earlier for safely changing the domain name: 

  1. Select a Domain Name, assign the name to the website 
  2. Rebranding the design of the website 
  3. Redirecting traffic to the new domain 
  4. Inform your visitors about the rebranding of your domain name 

That’s all for now, guys. We do hope that this write-up has given you clarity on how to change your domain name on your current website.

The entire process can be extremely simple and seamless if you follow the instructions mentioned above.

I must say that we have done it a couple of times in the past and it has been extremely successful. We were also able to direct all the traffic.

I would also want to stress that you must inform your visitors about the change. Also, keep both the sites active, especially if you do not want to lose out on your regulars.

It has taken a lot of hard work to build up this user base. You would not want to lose out on them.

Do let us know your thoughts. Also, share with us your experience and whether or not it was a straightforward process for you. All the best, guys!

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