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Snappy’s ProTips, pt. I

Written by Sean Valant

Friday, February 15th, 2013

We’ve been doing some audits and running some numbers on our ticket queues lately.  What we’ve found is that there are a lot of recurring issues that are actually very basic in nature, but that our Customers either aren’t able to find the answers to themselves or they don’t realize that the answers are actually just a quick KnowledgeBase search away.

So, we’re introducing our “Snappy’s ProTips” blog series.  The issues we will be discussing herein account for literally hundreds of support requests each week.  Our hope is that, via this series, we can raise awareness as to the resolution of common issues and facilitate not only a higher level of learning for our Customers, but also a faster response time on more involved issues by clearing out some of these more basic requests.

We’re always happy to assist with anything, however it stands to reason that for these more basic issues that you’d just assume not have to wait for a response via ticket from us when you can truly (and much more efficiently) handle it yourself in real time.

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One of the most fundamental issues that we most often encounter requests for via ticket is how to change the primary domain on a hosting account.  For VPS or Dedicated Servers we actually will need to have a ticket generated in order for us to complete this request on your behalf.  However, any Shared or Reseller account can have its primary domain changed very easily from within the billing tool.

This process is covered quite thoroughly at the following URL, from our KnowledgeBase:
https://support.hostgator.com/articles/how-do-i-change-my-domain-name

It cannot be stressed enough that you should always create a full backup before making any changes of this nature, and keep in mind that the full information is in the KB article above; this blog post is not intended to be a definitive guide to this process.

It’s very important to understand that, due to the nature of cPanel, the contents of the public_html folder will always be displayed as the web site of the Primary Domain on the account. Let’s illustrate this point by using the following example:

Your Primary Domain is pirates-are-awesome.com and you have an addon domain called ninjas-are-awesome.com that you would prefer be your Primary Domain.  You can easily log into your billing account and follow the directions as stated in the KB page linked above in order to change your Primary Domain to ninjas-are-awesome.com.  If you stop there and take no further action, then what will happen is that anyone who browses to ninjas-are-awesome.com will actually see the content of pirates-are-awesome.com, because it’s the content of the pirate site that actually resides in the public_html directory and, as we now know, cPanel will display the contents of public_html as the website of the Primary Domain.

Any time you change your Primary Domain, you must then ensure that the files for the relative sites are also then relocated appropriately.

In keeping with our above example, you would now need to move some files around.  First, you would need to add the old Primary Domain as an Addon Domain within cPanel, which would then result in the creation of a subfolder within public_html that would then need to house the files for pirates-are-awesome.com.  Conversely, it is also necessary to relocate the contents of the subfolder for ninjas-are-awesome.com (since it was formerly an Addon Domain, there will be a subfolder within public_html that contains the files for that website) directly into public_html.  In order to not mix up any files, you will want to perform these moves in the same order we’ve presented them: create the Addon Domain, move the filed from public_html into that folder, then move the contents from the subfolder for the former Addon Domain directly into public_html, thereby causing the files of the Primary Domain be exist directly within public_html while the files for the new Addon Domain are now located within the appropriate subfolder of public_html.

As you see this is a two-part process: change the Primary Domain logically from within the billing account, and then physically move the files of the website to (and/or from) the appropriate folder(s).

It sounds more complicated than it actually is, but keep in mind that there can be extenuating circumstances depending on the complexity or nature of the website in question.  When in doubt, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance.  In cases where there are no website files to actually move though, this is an incredibly fast and straight-forward process.

If you have any questions about this process, please leave us a comment and we’ll be happy to clarify.  Additionally, if you have any basic technical issues that you would like addressed as part of our “Snappy’s ProTips” series, please leave us a comment as well.

Posted in

Tips and Tricks
Comments
  • Simon

    Good to see this sort of tip. I suggest another edifying topic could be ‘a trip around cPanel.’ (Broken into suitable parts). Skip the affiliate ones, but an introduction might go: “did you know that you can do xxxxx by using the zzzzz icon?”

    Or, “ever wondered how to do xxxxx? Using the zzzz icon makes the task easy. Just click . . . . “

    • http://blog.hostgator.com HostGator

      Thank you, Simon. Are there ant particular pats of cPanel that you’d like for us to address first? Or anything in there you found particularly interesting that you think others would benefit form hearing about, specifically?

      • Simon

        Well, have you ever considered that some things there are (almost) self-explanatory, while others are not? My best guess for “Legacy File Manager” is that it’s an old version of the contemporary file manager. [Did I get close? ;) ]

        But what about “Web disk?” Something one uses for cloud computing? No? Perhaps if I order one, it gets sent to me, along with a web-disk drive to put it in? No?

        Oh, well . . .

        Get the idea?

  • Famat

    Thanks Brother for this tip. i have looking for a way of changing my Primary domain, i think this will really help. http://www.fuoye.edu.ng

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