How to Change Domain Name on WordPress

how to change domain name in wordpress


Changing your WordPress domain can become necessary at times. There can be various reasons why you need to change your business domain. However, changing the WordPress domain can seem complicated, especially if you need to know the correct method. Changing domain refers to migrating from one domain to another; it involves guiding traffic from your old domain to your new domain. With the change, you can get various WordPress themes to enhance your options for customization.

While changing the WordPress domain, most businesses worry about losing the SEO benefits during the migration. This is also valid as losing SEO benefits like traffic, backlinks, and SRP rankings can significantly affect your business. We understand your concern completely. And here, we have developed a step-by-step guide to help you change your WordPress domain without losing your SEO advantages.

In addition, we will also highlight some other essential details like reasons to change domains and answer some frequently asked questions about the process. So, without any further ado, let's begin.

Reasons for Changing Domain Name

There can be various reasons why a business may require a WordPress domain change. Here are a few reasons why you might opt for the WordPress domain change-

  • You want to merge properties or assets into one domain, and your current domain may need compatibility.
  • You want more WordPress themes and personalized experiences you may have yet to have in your current domain.
  • You may use a lesser-known top-level domain or TDL like .in, net, etc. And finally, want to shift to the all-new and widely popular domain com. (Lesser known domains cannot obtain massive traffic as the domain .com does, so when you make a shift, you also upscale your business)
  • Your older domain is suffering from a side-wide compensation. And you want to start fresh.
  • You are rebranding your business and already have a new domain name to go along with.  

Steps for Changing Your Domain On WordPress

No matter your reason for changing your business WordPress domain, you will surely want to obtain all your SEO benefits during the migration and ensure your business will not get affected by this shift.

However, many businesses find it tricky to migrate effectively from one domain to another because they need proper knowledge and method. But do not worry; we will discuss some simple steps to easily change your WordPress domain without losing your SEO benefits and getting more attractive WordPress themes-

Buying a New Domain

The first step to changing your WordPress domain is purchasing a new one. Whenever you upgrade your domain, you can get more WordPress themes you enhance your business website and make it more interesting for the users. Also, you must select a reliable site to make the purchase.

Visit the site from where you want to buy your new domain and type the name and alternative names of the domain on the search engine or domain lookup tab. Now see whether your required domain is available or already taken. Depending on this, you will decide your next move.

If the domain you are looking for is available, all you need to do is to add it to your cart and move to checkout. Also, you must select a registration option. Various options are available from one month to one year, and most domain purchase offers a one-year registration fee mode.

In case, the domain you are looking for is taken, use the look-up tool to identify the owner of the domain with their email ID and contact number. Bargain with the owner and arrange a suitable purchase price.

Update DNS

Once you have purchased your new WordPress domain address and saved it in your business server, your next step will be updating the DNS. DNS update is a vital yet complex process in domain changing. And most people find it challenging to update DNS.

Once you save your domain, you will get an alert to update your DNS. And if you choose a leading site to purchase your domain, they will provide all the essential assistance to update DNS. You may get an alert in a dialogue box written Domain DNS configuration. Click on that button it will redirect you to your domain guidelines. If needed, update your DNS record/zone and then click on the check again DNS propagation record.

However, DNS configuration may take a while, and you must be patient. DNS update adds your new domain to all existing devices on the internet, so it is natural to take some time to configure with all the devices spread across the globe. A DNS configuration may take up to 2 to 3 days to configure; if your domain DNS is taking time, do not hurry, as it is natural. And once you are updated with the new domain, you can access various WordPress themes.

Change Domain and Uploading Backup

Now it is time to add the new domain name to your existing host server and do the backup. And here are the ways you can do that with hPanel and cPanel.

With cPanel:

  • Login to your cPanel website account, click on the domain, and then add on domains.
  • Here you will get the add-on domain. There, fill out your new domain address. Write the subdomain name, and the document root will be automatically filled.
  • Some sites offer an auto-creation facility if you want to create an FTP account for your new domain. And all you need to do is to tick the create FTP account while filling in the address.
  • Once you finish writing the subdomain, click the add domain to finish the process.

With hPanel:

  • Suppose you have an hPanel account login and navigate the website. Then click on the add website on the left sidebar of your hPanel.
  • Now click on the skip and create an open website from the bottom of the page.
  • Go to the drop-down menu, select the domain name you brought, and then click the select button.
  • Fill out the domain owner’s details. If you do not have the domain profile, click on add a new profile and follow the instructions to add the profile.
  • Suppose you still need to update your DNS; return to the central Manu. Here you will get the DNS configuration alert. Click on the DNS configuration button for the update.

Once you have updated your domain name, select the backup button to transfer your existing website content to your new domain and gain access to new WordPress themes.

Copy Core Files From the Old Domain

Once you have finished your DNS configuration and added a new domain to your server, moving all your old documents and files from the old website to your new site or domain is time. This transfer becomes easier when you have the backup option. Also, backup works excellently when you do not switch your host provider. Here are the details of moving your core files from the old domain to the new one-

  • Go to your hPanel account dashboard, then go to the files section, then select file manager and click on the access all files button.
  • See whether you have both domain (new and old) folders in your file manager.
  • Select the domain folder you want to move, then open the public_html directory or click the move button.
  • A pop-up window will open, navigate and move the files directly to the new domain.

However, if you are switching the server, you must do the additional backup with cPanel’s file manager.  

Alter URL & Website Address

Now your next step is to change the URL and website address. This step is necessary to access the latest WordPress themes. To change the URL and website address, follow the below steps-

Use the WordPress admin dashboard.

This is the most common method, open your WordPress admin dashboard -> settings->general. Now replace your current site address URL and WordPress address URL with the new domain URLs. Now save the change to end this step.

You can also use other methods depending on your convenience. You can do it through wp-config.php File or Using phpMyAdmin.

Update URL Structure

Once you are changed your URLs, you need to update your URL structure. Because if you do not update your URL structures your posts and website will show a 404 error whenever anyone tries to access them. Here are the steps to restructure your URLs –

There are several ways to update the structure –

Reset Permalinks with WordPress Dashboard

Login to your WordPress Dashboard -> settings-> Permalinks. WordPress offers default Plain links and but they could be more SEO-compatible. 

You can do it in other ways, like find and replace, search and replace, and many others.

Redirect The Previous Domain

This is the final step of your WordPress domain change. Redirecting your old domain to your new domain with a redirection URL to obtain SEO benefits. To do this 301 redirect –

Go to hPanel-> files-> file manager->

Now select your old domain folder-> file manager.

Go to the public_html directory and find .htaccess. -> right click-> edit. Now replace with new domain address-> save button.

Inform Search Engines

Once you have finished changing your WordPress domain and ported all files from the old domain to the new domain, ensure to inform the Search engines. It is crucial for your business because you can avoid a dip in the rankings and website traffic if search engines are updated with the news.


Changing your WordPress domain can help you upscale your business website, access the latest WordPress themes and improve the overall online appearance of your business. It can play an essential role in rebranding your business. However, you can only get the full benefit of the WordPress domain if you can do it quickly and without losing your SEO benefits. And above, we have covered the detailed steps to change your WordPress domain quickly and efficiently.

FAQs on Changing Domain Name in WordPress

What are Prerequisites before Changing Your Domain Name on WordPress?

Here are the prerequisites before you change your domain name in WordPress

  • Create a Backup For Your Existing Site: Your first step is to create a backup for your existing site so you do not lose your crucial data.
  • Use an FTP Client Or Access Your Hosting Dashboard: You must also use an FTP client or access your hosting dashboard to quickly transfer your data from the old domain to the new one.
  • Find A New Domain : Before changing your domain, ensure you have identified a new and suitable domain to move to.

Will changing the domain name affect SEO?

Changing the domain name will not affect your website SEO if you properly transfer the files from the old domain to the new one. And use the backup to ensure you do not miss anything.

Do I need to update the SSL certificate after changing the domain name?

If your DNS does not change while you change your WordPress domain, you do not need to change or update your SSL certificate. But if the DNS changes during the process, you may need to update your SSL certificate.

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