I changed domain name for this blog recently (about one month ago); from blogwithiyke.com to blogerian.com. Did you notice? It was a change I decided to make for personal reasons which I’m glad I did. I’m hosting this blog – BlogwithIyke – on Hostgator, a hosting company that has earned my trust after working with them to make the complete change of domain name. I remember reading out every response I got from the Hostgator customers rep, to a friend, telling him this is how I’m going to run my company when I start one. The customer support and technicians were really helpful from the process of changing domain name to fixing the problems that occurred. Through the process which took about 32hours (due to my off and on activity), I had no cause for worries as the Hostgator team was quite reassuring all the way.
There are several reasons one may want to change domain name for their blog, but I don’t intent to go that way on this post – I think that will make a different post altogether.
How to change domain name on Hostgator
Most hosting services should allow you to change primary domain name for your hosting account. For Hostgator, you no longer need to ask the support team to change the primary domain name associated with your account. You can make the change yourself in the Hostgator billing tool. Follow the Pre-change Checklist here to create a full backup in your cpanel before changing your primary domain name. From my experience, some problem may arise after following this step. I’m not sure if this is certain or that I did something wrong for the error that occurred (more on that below).
Follow these steps below to change primary domain name for your blog on Hostgator. Be sure to go through the checklist from the link above before proceeding with these steps.
Step 1: Register your new domain
Step 2: Log-in into Hostgator Billing Tool.
Step 3: On left-hand side click on “Hosting Packages ‘, then ‘View Hosting Packages”
Step 4: On new window click on “Change My Domain”
Step 5: Enter your new domain name in the box and click on “Update Domain” button to change the domain name.
Congratulations, you have successfully changed the Primary Domain Name.
Problems encountered while Changing domain Name for my blog
After following the pre-change checklist on the Hostgator page above, and changing domain name, things got screwed up with my blog. The easy path is where you change the primary domain name. If that was all it takes, it would have been easy and straight forward. But from the Hostgator page above, it is recommended that you follow some necessary precautions before going ahead to make the change. After changing my domain name, all my posts still bore the old domain and returned a “401 not found” message.
The major mistake on my path was not upgrading to a Baby plan before changing my domain. My Hostgator account was on a Hatchling plan. And as you may know, hatchling plans on Hostgator only comes with one domain option. Which means you can only associate your account with one domain; you can’t redirect a second domain to your primary domain name. Ordinarily you will want your old domain to redirect to the new domain after changing and still maintain your traffic, but the hatchling plan does not allow this function. The right thing to do is to upgrade to a Baby plan which allows multiple domain. That was something I didn’t realize until I had made the change and corrected every other problems (with the help of the Hostgator team). Unfortunately I didn’t have enough funds on my Payoneer Debit card to pay for the upgrade. I practically lost everything that has to do with the old domain name (backlinks from comments, visitors etc), and had to start all over. But I’m glad I took the step to make the change when I did.
Fixing internal links, Images and blog name mentions
Soon after contacting the Hostgator team, the post links on my blog started working, but again, the images were not showing. And as I often inter-link posts on my blog; it would have been a lot of work updating every single post to replace the new links. I also frequently mention my blog name (like, here on BlogwithIyke.com) within posts which also needed updating every single post. I needed to replace all this with the new domain name which will take a lot of manual work and time to get done. However, one of the Hostgator technicians helped fix all of it with a little tweak. I had to disclose my wordpress log-in details for him to log-in to my wordpress account and fix things. In about 30minutes the whole problem has been fixed (what would have taken me days of changing manually).
- Everywhere I mentioned the old domain name is replaced with the new domain,
- All the images are now showing
- All internal links in post changed to the new domain and are working fine.
Here is what he did in his words (for those who may understand). For me it’s all like speaking Chinese.
I attempted to give you a call however I was unable to reach you.
I found that many of the images and links on your website were contained in the contents of your posts and not controlled by the WordPress site url. I created a backup of your database then ran a mysql query to replace every instance of blogwithiyke.com with blogerian.com . This change appeared to correct all of the images and links that were not previously working.
If you want to change domain name for your blog, it’s not that difficult. If I could do it without much technical knowledge (of course with the help of the Hostgator team), so can you.
Have you made some serious changes on your blog that resulted into some problem? Have you change domain name for your blog before? I’ll love to hear about it on the comment section below.