How To Change Primary Domain In Hostgator

Last Updated on October 29, 2021

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A common question asked by Hostgator customers is how do I change my Hostgator primary domain name? In this post, we go through the steps on how to change primary domain in Hostgator.

Hostgator has made the process quick and easy allowing you to change your primary domain in Hostgator’s cPanel so you will have your primary domain changed in your Hostgator account within minutes.


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What Is A Primary Domain Name

Before we get into the steps on how to change primary domain in Hostgator let’s go over what a primary domain name is.

A primary domain name is the primary domain name that you choose and register with your domain provider which in this case would be Hostgator.

When you purchased your Hostgator hosting, you did one of three things. You registered a new domain name with Hostgator, transferred it from another domain registrar like Godaddy or Namecheap, or changed the nameservers of your domain name.

Related: how to point Namecheap domain to Hostgator hosting

Related: how to point Godaddy domain to Hostgator hosting

Hostgator Primary Domain Tips Before You Get Started

Some things to keep in mind regarding the Hostgator primary domain change:

  • When you update the primary domain from the Hostgator billing customer portal, it will change the primary domain on both the server and in the billing.
  • When adding a new primary domain to your Hostgator account make sure you have the domain name purchased.
  • If you have subdomains that are set up with your current primary domain or your primary domain is ran on a CMS like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal then changing your domain name can cause issues with accessing your site. Make sure you are aware and take your time through the steps below in our how to change primary domain on Hostgator.

Video Tutorial: How To Change Primary Domain In Hostgator

How To Change Primary Domain Name In Hostgator | Quick & Easy

How To Change Primary Domain In Hostgator Cpanel

The first step in our how to change primary domain in Hostgator guide is to log in to the Hostgator Cpanel.


Once logged in scroll down to the files section. You will see backups listed. Click this to continue changing your primary domain in your Hostgator account.


You will now be on the backup page.


Before we change the primary domain in Hostgator’s cPanel, we need to download a full website backup just in case any trouble happens. Better safe than sorry. Hostgator does provide a full site backup, but it’s done randomly once a week.

If something happens and you rely on Hostgator to backup your site just be aware more than likely you will be put in a support ticket queue to get your site back up and running.

You will see under the full backup section the button that says download a full website backup. Click this to continue in changing your primary domain in Hostgator.


Next, just select the generate backup button, and then your backup will begin downloading.


Next, from the Hostgator cPanel scroll down to the files section. Click on file manager to continue in changing your primary domain in your Hostgator account.


You want to create a new folder that is named after the old domain. Click the folder tab towards the top left menu to do this.


Next, move the root files from the old domain name. I’ll call the old domain Make sure it’s not the files from the other sub-domain or addon domain folders.

You’re moving the root files of the old domain in which I’m calling from /public_html to ?public_html/

Now, you will have two scenarios. You can assign an addon domain as the primary domain, or you can add the new domain to the account as an addon domain and making that the primary domain.

For example, if you had the domain previously added as an addon domain, then you would move the files from /public_html/ folder to /public_html.

If the domain name you want to use for the primary domain in your Hostgator account was recently bought or transferred from another domain registrar, you just need to upload the files directly in the ?public_html directory.

Next, in our how to change primary domain in Hostgator guide you will want to login to the Hostgator billing client area.

Click on the packages tab found towards the top left of the page.


Click the settings icon on the right side of the page. Click change my domain.


Make sure you put in the new domain that you want to be the primary domain and click the update domain button. You will receive a notification shortly after letting you know the domain change was a success.


You have successfully changed your primary domain in your Hostgator account.

Check out our step-by-step guide on how to start a WordPress blog on Hostgator.

Check out our guide on how to sign up with Hostgator.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed our step-by-step guide on how to change primary domain in Hostgator.

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