Changing your WordPress Domain Name

If you want to change your WordPress site’s primary domain name so that it loads on a new URL then there are a few steps you need to follow in order to make the change. With STORM we have added some useful tools which will help with this process but there are also a number of things you’ll need to watch out for when renaming your WordPress site.

There may be a few reasons you need to change the domain of your WordPress site which include:

  • Changing your sites URL from a staging URL to the live URL
  • Changing your domain suffix, for example you may have your site set up on a .com and want it’s primary URL to be on the .co.uk
  • Or changing the domain completely

Here are the steps

Firstly you will need to log into STORM.

From the STORM dashboard, click on Websites. 

In this example we are going to be renaming the site “wordpresstest.co.uk” so click the cog next to this site

Then click on configuration

Then click on Change Domain

Then enter the new domain you want to use into the Domain box. In this case I’m renaming the site to “wordpressrenamed.com”. 

There is also the option to add a redirect from the old domain to the new domain. If you would like to do this, simply click the box.

Lastly click the Change Domain box to rename the site.

That’s it, site is now set up on the new domain name. You will now need to update the DNS to make sure the new domain is pointing to the server. We have a guide for updating your DNS settings here.

Post rename checks

There’s a few things going on under the hood when you rename a WordPress site using STORM. Here are some things to check if you are having problems with the site loading after you have renamed it.

Checking the URL in the database

STORM actually takes care of changing the primary URL in your sites database so that your WordPress site is going to work on the new domain after you have renamed it. As WordPress is a database driven CMS, it has the domain name hard coded into a field in the database. If you are having problems with the site loading after you have renamed it then it’s often a good idea to check the database to make sure the new domain is set correctly. 

To do this, navigate to the website dashboard and click on Databases

Then click on the phpMyAdmin button next to the database to open phpMyAdmin

Once you are in phpMyAdmin click the + to expand the tables and then click on the options table

Then you just want to check the siteurl and home tables have the correct URL set in them. If they do not, then click the URL and update the table so that it shows the correct URL.

Checking the sites SSL certificate

Before you renamed the site you may have had an SSL certificate installed on it for the old domain name. In order to utilise HTTPS on the site once again you’ll need to make sure that you re-enable LetsEncrypt for the new domain. 

A handy tool you can use to check the current SSL status for the site is our own SSL checker which can be found here.

If you find that the site is missing an SSL then you can re-enable LetsEncrypt by following the steps listed here.

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