How To Change The Domain Name Of An Existing Site

Michael Gargiulo - CEO, VPN.com

By: Michael Gargiulo, CEO at VPN.com

Updated: 2:19 AM ET Tue, January 26th 2021

Change your domain name.

A relevant, memorable domain name can help improve your branding, SEO, memorability, and ultimately drive more users to your website.

Having common terms or a popular key phrase in your domain can improve your website’s ranking with search engines and legitimize your brand to Internet users.

But what if you didn’t use your best judgement at your site’s inception? How do you change the domain name of an existing site?

Thankfully, it’s not difficult. Here’s how you can easily change your site’s domain name — and why you should consider it.

Why Is Your Domain So Important?

Your domain is the foundation of your brand’s online presence. It’s the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they think about your site, and in many cases it’s the name of your business. If it’s not, it’s just as important.

A powerful domain name will clearly describe your website, stand out over the competition, and be easy to remember. When creating a website, choosing the domain is the most important factor affecting overall success.

A feature of domains that makes them inherently valuable is that they’re finite — there are no duplicates. So if you’re an apple salesman, having apples.com would give you a clear advantage over your competitors.

Creating a unique name that performs as well as the exact-match domains owned by multi-million dollar corporations can be difficult, and is another reason why it’s important to know how to change your domain name.

Is It Worth It To Change Domain Names?

When you change your domain name, you will lose the status your site has built with Google and other search engines. If you’ve spent years building up your website with high quality content, backlinks, endorsements, and steady organic search traffic, you may not want to put in the work to get back to where you were.

However websites change and evolve, and your domain name may need to reflect that growth. Perhaps you’ve overhauled your brand or invested into another sector. It may be necessary to change your domain to accurately depict your evolving site.

In other cases, your website may be new or simply not performing to expectation. Changing your domain can be the spark necessary to get your site traction.

Regardless of your situation, always give your site a full evaluation before considering a domain change. Ensure you aren’t being hurt in other areas, such as SEO, site structure, or your user interface.

How To Change Your Domain Name

Most web hosting sites give easy to follow instructions describing how to change your domain name yourself. As long as the name isn’t already registered to someone else, that is.

How To Change Domains In WordPress

  1. Sign in to your dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Settings -> General.
  3. Change the URL to your new domain name.
  4. Update the wp-config.php file.
  5. Save and upload the changes.
  6. Test your new domain on another device to ensure the change was successful.

Advice For A Smooth Domain Name Change

  • Make sure you have legal ownership of the new domain before attempting to make a change.
  • Fully back up your website before starting the conversion process.
  • Install a FTP client to ensure that all of your web files have copied over to your new domain.
  • To clean up site links that may direct users to your old domain, access your old site via FTP and look for the .htaccess file. Add the following code:
    1. #Options +FollowSymLinks
    2. RewriteEngine on
    3. RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.COM/$1 [R=301,L]
    4. Once completed, update your links using the Google Search Console.

Do I Need A Broker To Change My Domain Name?

You likely won’t need a broker to change your domain, but you may need one to secure your new domain name. It’s never a bad idea to enlist a professional to help negotiate a better-fitting domain for your site. If you have any questions about the transition process, they can answer those as well.

Our team of brokers specialize in getting people the best prices on high-end, exact-match domain names. We’ve spent years honing our skills on behalf of our clients and would be honored to help you improve your website.

Don’t underestimate the impact a powerful domain can have, evaluate your site to determine whether you should change your name.

Worldwide Premium Domain Brokers

Helping you acquire premium domain names in any country you desire. Inquire today about our Global Brand Protection Program if you want to register your brand in EVERY country.

North America Domains

Country

Bermuda

Canada
Greenland
Mexico
Saint Pierre
United States

Domain
.bm
.ca
.gl
.com.mx, .mx
.pm
.us, .com
Language
English
French, English
Greenlandic
Spanish
French
English
Capital
Hamilton
Ottawa
Nuuk
Mexico City
Saint-Pierre
Washington D.C.
Pop.
62,278
37,742,154
56,770
128,932,753
5,794
331,002,651

Africa Domains

Country

Algeria

Angola
Antarctica
Benin
Botswana
Burkina
Burundi
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
Cote D'Ivoire
Dem. Congo
Djibouti
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Gabon
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
Kenya
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mayotte
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Niger
Nigeria
Congo
Reunion Island
Rwanda
Sao Tome
Senegal
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
St. Helena
Sudan
Tanzania
The Gambia
Togo
Tunisia
Uganda
Zambia
Zimbabwe
South Sudan
Domain Extension
.dz
.co.ao
.aq
.bj
.bw
.bf
.bi
.cm
.cv
.cf
.td
.ci
.cd
.dj
.com.eg, .eg
.gq
.ga
.com.gh
.com.gn
.gw
.ke
.co.ls, .ls
.com.lr
.ly
.mg
.mw
.ml
.mr
.mu
.yt
.co.ma, .ma
.co.mz
.na
.ne
.ng
.cg
.re
.rw
.st
.sn
.sc
.sl
.so
.co.za
.sh
.sd
.co.tz
.gm
.tg
.com.tn, .tn
.com.ug, .ug
.com.zm
.co.zw
.com.ss
Language
Arabic
Portuguese
Russian, English
French
English
French
French, English, Kirundi
French, English
Portuguese, Creole
Sango, French
French, Arabic
French
French
Arabic, French
Arabic
Spanish, French, Portuguese
French
English
French
Portuguese
Swahili, English
Southern Sotho, English
English
Arabic
Malagasy, French
English
French
Arabic
Mauritian Creole
French
Arabic
Portuguese
English
French
English
French
Reunion French Creole
Kinyarwanda, English, French
Portuguese
French
English, Seselwa, French
English
Somali
Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English
English
Arabic, English
Swahili, English
English
French
Arabic
Swahili, English
English
Shona, Ndebele, English
English
Capital
Algiers
Luanda
N/A
Porto-Novo
Gaborone
Ouagadougou
Gitega
Yaoundé
Praia
Bangui
N'Djamena
Yamoussoukro
Kinshasa
Djibouti
Cairo
Malabo
Libreville
Accra
Conakry
Bissau
Nairobi
Maseru
Monrovia
Tripoli
Antananarivo
Lilongwe
Bamako
Nouakchott
Port Louis
Mamoudzou
Rabat
Maputo
Windhoek
Niamey
Abuja
Brazzaville
Saint-Denis
Kigali
São Tomé
Dakar
Victoria
Freetown
Mogadishu
Cape Town
Jamestown
Khartoum
Dodoma
Banjul
Lomé
Tunis
Kampala
Lusaka
Harare
Juba
Pop.
43,851,044
32,866,272
4,490
12,123,200
2,351,627
20,903,273
11,890,784
26,545,863
561,198
4,829,767
16,425,864
26,378,274
89,561,403
988,000
102,334,404
1,402,985
2,225,734
31,072,940
13,132,795
1,968,001
53,771,296
2,142,249
5,057,681
6,871,292
27,691,018
19,129,952
20,250,833
4,649,658
1,271,768
272,815
36,910,560
31,255,435
2,540,905
24,206,644
206,139,589
5,518,087
895,312
12,952,218
219,159
16,743,927
98,347
7,976,983
15,893,222
59,308,690
6,077
43,849,260
59,734,218
2,416,668
8,278,724
11,818,619
45,741,007
18,383,955
14,862,924
11,193,725

Asia Domains

Country

Afghanistan

Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
British Indian Ocean Territory
Brunei
Cambodia
China
Christmas Island
Georgia
Guam
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Macao
Malaysia
Maldives
Mongolia
Myanmar
Nepal
Niue
Pakistan
Palestine
Philippines
Singapore
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Taiwan
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor Leste
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vietnam
Domain
.af
.am
.az
.com.bd
.bt
.io
.com.bn
.com.kh
.cn, .com.cn
.cx
.com.ge, .ge
.com.gu
.com.hk, .hk
.co.in, .in
.co.id, .id
.jp
.kz
.kg
.la
.mo
.com.my, .my
.mv
.mn
.com.mm
.com.np
.nu
.pk
.com.ps, .ps
.ph
.com.sg, .sg
.com.kr, .kr
.lk
.com.tw, .tw
.com.tj, .tj
.co.th
.tl
.tm
.uz
.com.vn
Language
Pashto, Dari
Armenian
Azerbaijani
Bengali
Dzongkha
English
Malay
Khmer
Mandarin
English
Georgian
Chamorro, English
Cantonese, Mandarin, English
Hindi, English
Indonesian
Japanese
Kazakh, Russian
Kyrgyz, Russian
Lao
Cantonese, Portuguese
Malay
Dhivehi
Mongolian
Burmese
Nepali
Niue, English
Urdu, English
Arabic
Filipino, English
Malay, Tamil, English, Mandarin
Korean
Sinhala, Tamil
Mandarin
Tajiki
Thai
Portuguese, Tetun
Turkmen
Uzbek
Vietnamese
Capital
Kabul
Yerevan
Baku
Dhaka
Thimphu
Camp Justice
Bandar Seri Begawan
Phnom Penh
Beijing
Flying Fish Cove
Tbilisi
Hagåtña
City of Victoria
New Delhi
Jakarta
Tokyo
Nur-Sultan
Bishkek
Vientiane
Macao
Kuala Lumpur
Malé
Ulaanbaatar
Naypyitaw
Kathmandu
Alofi
Islamabad
Ramallah, East Jerusalem
Manila
Pulau Ujong
Seoul
Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte
Taipei
Dushanbe
Bangkok
Dili
Ashgabat
Tashkent
Hanoi
Pop.
38,928,346
2,963,243
10,139,177
164,689,383
771,608
3,000
437,479
16,718,965
1,439,323,776
1,843
3,989,167
168,775
7,496,981
1,380,004,385
273,523,615
126,476,461
18,776,707
6,524,195
7,275,560
649,335
32,365,999
540,544
3,278,290
54,409,800
29,136,808
1,626
220,892,340
5,101,414
109,581,078
5,850,342
51,269,185
21,413,249
23,816,775
9,537,645
69,799,978
1,318,445
6,031,200
33,469,203
97,338,579

Caribbean Domains

Country

Anguilla

Antigua
Aruba
Bahamas
Barbados
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Curacao
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Haiti
Jamaica
Martinique
Montserrat
Puerto Rico
Saint Lucia
Sint Maarten
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos
U.S. Virgin Islands
Domain Extension
.ai
.ag
.aw
.bs
.bb
.vg
.com.ky, .ky
.com.cw, .cw
.dm
.do
.gd
.gp
.ht
.com.jm
.mq
.ms
.com.pr, .pr
.lc
.sx
.kn
.com.vc, .vc
.tt
.tc
.com.vi, .vi
Language
English
English
Dutch, Papiamento
English
English
English
English
Dutch, English, Papiamento
English
Spanish
English
French
Haitian Creole, French
English
French
English
Spanish, English
English
Dutch, English
English
English
English
English
English
Capital
The Valley
Saint John's
Oranjestad
Nassau
Bridgetown
Road Town
George Town
Willemstad
Roseau
Santo Domingo
Saint George's
Basse-Terre
Port-au-Prince
Kingston
Fort-de-France
Plymouth, Brades
San Juan
Castries
Philipsburg
Basseterre, Charlestown
Kingstown
Port of Spain
Cockburn Town
Charlotte Amalie
Pop.
15,003
97,929
106,766
393,244
287,375
30,231
65,722
164,093
71,986
10,847,910
112,523
400,124
11,402,528
2,961,167
375,265
4,992
2,860,853
183,627
42,876
53,199
110,940
1,399,488
38,717
104,425

Central America Domains

Country

Belize

Costa Rica
El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Nicaragua
Panama
Domain
.bz
.cr
.com.sv, .sv
.com.gt, .gt
.hn
.com.ni, .ni
.pa
Language
English
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
Capital
Belmopan
San José
San Salvador
Guatemala City
Tegucigalpa
Managua
Panama City
Pop.
397,628
5,094,118
6,486,205
17,915,568
9,904,607
6,624,554
4,314,767

Europe Domains

Country

Aland Islands

Albania
Ascension Island
Austria
Belarus
Belgium
Bosnia
Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Faroe Island
Finland
France
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Guernsey
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Isle of Man
Italy
Jersey
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malta
Moldova
Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
San Marino
Serbia
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Ukraine
United Kingdom
Domain Extension
.ax
.al
.ac
.at
.by
.be
.ba
.bg
.hr
.cy
.co.cz, .cz
.dk
.ee
.fo
.fi
.fr
.de
.gi
.com.gr, .gr
.gg
.hu
.is
.ie
.im
.it
.je
.lv
.li
.lt
.lu
.mk
.com.mt, .mt
.md
.mc
.me
.nl
.no
.com.pl, .pl
.pt
.ro
.com.ru, .ru
.sm
.co.rs, .rs
.sk
.si
.com.es, .es
.se
.ch
.com.ua, .ua
.co.uk, .uk
Language
Swedish
Albanian
English
German
Belarusian, Russian
Dutch, German, French
Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Greek, Turkish
Czech
Danish
Estonian
Faroese, Danish
Finnish, Swedish
French
German
English
Greek
English
Hungarian
Icelandic
Irish, English
Manx, English
Italian
French, English
Latvian
German
Lithuanian
Luxembourgish, German, French
Macedonian, Albanian
Maltese, English
Romanian
French
Montenegrin
Dutch
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Italian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Spanish
Swedish
German, Romansh, French, Italian
Ukrainian
English
Capital
Mariehamn
Tirana
Georgetown
Vienna
Minsk
Brussels
Sarajevo
Sofia
Zagreb
Nicosia
Prague
Copenhagen
Tallinn
Tórshavn
Helsinki
Paris
Berlin
Gibraltar
Athens
Saint Peter Port
Budapest
Reykjavík
Dublin
Douglas
Rome
Saint Hellier
Riga
Vaduz
Vilnius
Luxembourg
Skopje
Valletta
Chișinău
Monaco
Podgorica
Amsterdam
Oslo
Warsaw
Lisbon
Bucharest
Moscow
San Marino
Belgrade
Bratislava
Ljubljana
Madrid
Stockholm
Bern
Kyiv
London
Pop.
29,900
2,877,797
7,915
9,006,398
9,449,323
11,589,623
3,280,819
6,948,445
4,105,267
1,207,359
10,708,981
5,792,202
1,326,535
52,934
5,540,720
65,273,511
83,783,942
33,691
10,423,054
63,000
9,660,351
341,243
4,937,786
85,033
60,461,826
173,863
1,886,198
38,128
2,722,289
625,978
2,083,374
441,543
4,033,963
39,242
628,066
17,134,872
5,421,241
37,846,611
10,196,709
19,237,691
145,934,462
33,931
8,737,371
5,459,642
2,078,938
46,754,778
10,099,265
8,654,622
43,733,762
67,886,011

Middle East Domains

Country

Arab Emirates

Bahrain
Iraq
Israel
Jordan
Kuwait
Lebanon
Oman
Qatar
Saudi Arabia
Yemen
Turkey
Domain
.ae
.bh
.iq
.co.il
.jo
.com.kw
.com.lb
.com.com, .om
.qa
.com.sa, .sa
.com.ye
.com.tr
Language
Arabic
Arabic
Kurdish, Arabic
Hebrew
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Turkish
Capital
Abu Dhabi
Manama
Baghdad
Jerusalem
Amman
Kuwait City
Beirut
Muscat
Doha
Riyadh
Sana'a
Ankara
Pop.
9,890,402
1,701,575
40,222,493
8,655,535
10,203,134
4,270,571
6,825,445
5,106,626
2,881,053
34,813,871
29,825,964
84,339,067

Oceania Domains

Country

American Samoa

Australia
Cocos Islands
Cook Islands
Fiji
French Polynesia
Heard and McDonald Islands
Kiribati
Mariana
Micronesia
Nauru
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Norfolk
Palau
Pitcairn
Samoa
Solomon Islands
Tokelau
Tonga
Tuvalu
Vanuatu
Wallis and Futuna
Domain Extension
.as
.com.au
.cc
.co.ck
.com.fj
.com.pf, pf
.hm
.com.ki
.mp
.fm
.nr
.nc
.co.nz, .nz
.nf
.pw
.pn
.ws
.sb
.tk
.to
.tv
.vu
.wf
Language
Samoan, English
English
English
Rarotongan, English
Fijian, English, Fiji Hindi
French
English
Kiribati, English
Chamorro, Carolinian, English
English
Nauruan, English
French
Maori, English
English, Norfuk
Palauan, English
English
Samoan, English
English
Tokelauan, English
Tongan, English
Tuvaluan, English
French, English, Bislama
French
Capital
Pago Pago
Canberra
West Island
Avarua District
Suva
Pape'ete
N/A
Tarawa
Saipan
Palikir
Nauru
Nouméa
Wellington
Kingston
Ngerulmud
Adamstown
Apia
Honiara
Nukunonu
Nuku'alofa
Funafuti
Port Vila
Matā'utu
Pop.
55,191
25,499,884
544
17,564
896,445
280,908
0
119,449
57,559
548,914
10,824
285,498
4,822,233
1,748
18,094
50
198,414
686,884
1,357
105,695
11,792
307,145
11,239

South America Domains

Country

Argentina

Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Colombia
Ecuador
Falkland Islands
French Guiana
Guyana
Paraguay
Peru
S.Georgia and S.Sandwich Islands
Suriname
Uruguay
Venezuela
Domain Extension
.ar, .com.ar
.bo
.com.br
.cl
.com.br
.ec
.co.fk
.gf
.gy
.com.py
.pe
.gs
.sr
.com.uy, .uy
.com.ve
Language
Spanish
Spanish
Portuguese
Spanish
Spanish
Spanish
English
French
English
Paraguayan Guarani, Spanish
Spanish, Aymara
English
Dutch
Spanish
Spanish
Capital
Buenos Aires
La Paz, Sucre
Brasilia
Santiago
Bogotá
Quito
Stanley
Cayenne
Georgetown
Asunción
Lima
King Edward Point
Paramaribo
Montevideo
Caracas
Pop.
45,195,774
11,673,021
212,559,417
19,116,201
50,882,891
17,643,054
3,480
298,682
786,552
7,132,538
32,971,854
0
586,632
3,473,730
28,435,940
en_USEnglish
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