Want to know how you can change your domain name within WordPress? Read on as we have listed down a step-by-step process and will also touch on some important points for doing it successfully. Let’s get started!
How to Change Your Domain Name in WordPress?
Before you go all-in on altering the domain name of your website, there are a few things to think about. To ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible, some planning is required.
One blunder could bring your entire website down, but getting your resources and expertise in order before you start will help you avoid this.
For example, before you do anything, you should make sure you have a complete backup of your website. That way, if the worst happens, you can undo your changes and start over with a clean setup.
Some of these processes will also require the use of a File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client. This is a way to connect to your server from your desktop, and while it’s simple to use, it does have a learning curve. As a result, you’ll need to get a compatible client (FileZilla is recommended) and brush up on your FTP skills.
In order to log in using FTP, you’ll also need your server credentials. These are normally available in the admin interface of your hosting provider.
Finally, we’ll assume you’ve already acquired a domain name and have set it up by pointing it to the relevant nameservers. If not, you’ll want to make sure this is resolved before moving on to the next step.
How to Change Your Domain Name
Let’s get right to the point now that the basic work has been completed. Here are the two actions you’ll need to take to alter the domain name of your WordPress site.
Step 1: Change Your URL in WordPress
The first step is to physically alter the URL of your site within WordPress. This phase, however, comes with a word of caution. Your site’s back end won’t be available until you finish the rest of this procedure after you save your modifications.
To get started, log in to WordPress and go to the General > Settings page:
This screen displays your WordPress site’s global settings. WordPress Address (URL) and Site Address (URL) are the fields we’re interested in:
Simply type the new address into both of these sections and click Save Changes to update your URL. As previously said, this will render your site unreachable for a period of time.
Step 2: Set Up Permanent Redirects
This last phase is more of a ‘clean-up’ operation. Even if your domain is successfully changed, you’ll still have a lot of links pointing back to your old address across your content and on the internet. Fortunately, you can redirect those links to your new site indefinitely.
To do so, log in to your site via FTP and seek the .htaccess file. This is another WordPress configuration file (which you should save to your desktop as a backup before making any changes). You’ll want to add the following code to it:
#Options +FollowSymLinks RewriteEngine on RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://www.example.COM/$1 [R=301,L]
The placeholder URL should be updated to match your new domain once more.
Once you’ve completed that, the final step is to notify Google that your domain has been updated. Within Google Search Console, the process is simple and takes only a few minutes.
There could be a variety of reasons for changing your WordPress domain name. Fortunately, WordPress has built-in URL address options and allows you to modify your domain by manually tweaking the PHP code using a file manager or an FTP client.
Give it a shot and best of luck!