Bloggers and website owners in general hosting their sites on Hostgator may want to know how to add more domains onto their account as they build more websites. Given our sites are also hosted with Hostgator, we can take you through this process.
The process of adding new domains to your Hostgator account is very quick and easy and is done through your cPanel and the Addon Domains option. It usually takes just a couple of minutes. We will take you through all the steps involved in more detail below.
Here are a quick summary of the steps to add more domains:
- Login to your HostGator cPanel and go to Addon Domains
- Enter the URL of your new domain without the http/www prefix and Add
- Login to your domain registrar and find the website you want to add
- Find DNS Settings/Manage DNS and select Change.
- Enter your host’s nameservers into the two boxes and click Save
- Your domain is now routed though HostGator’s nameservers and is ready
Being able to do this of course assumes you have at least the middle “Baby” plan, which allows for unlimited domains. If you have only the entry level single domain “Hatchling” plan, you will need to upgrade.
Click here to check Hostgator pricing if you are not currently signed up with them. See also the early part of this tutorial for a run down of how to sign up to the Hostgator service and add your very first domain from scratch. This post covers installing additional domains after your first one.
Let’s run through each step in more detail.
A Step By Step Illustrated Guide to Adding Another Domain to Hostgator
Step 1 – Login to your Hostgator cPanel. If you can’t remember your login and password, then go back to the initial email you got from billing@hostgator when you first signed up with them, saying “Thank you for choosing Hostgator”. This will have your login details, as long as you haven’t changed them.
Step 2 – Once in your cPanel, go to Addon Domains. It’s usually near the top
Step 3 – When the Addon Domains page loads, simply enter the URL of your new domain in the top box. Just enter it in a simple “newdomain.com” format; you don’t need to put the http/www prefixes.
The other boxes will autofill as you enter so you don’t need to worry about them.
The box at the bottom to create an FTP account is option, you don’t need to tick it if you don’t want to.
See this article for more on using FTP protocols. It’s more a specialist troubleshooting step, where setting up FTP allows someone to remotely access that particular domain only (and not the other ones) to help fix certain problems. In reality, most people probably won’t have to use it, but you can set it up if you want.
Once you’ve successfully added the new domain, a screen will come up telling you. You’ve sorted everything from the host side, now it’s time to go over to the domain registrar side to complete the process.
Step 4 – Login in to your domain registrar account – where you bought the domain. Most often, this will be GoDaddy. Your domains are usually listed right there (or else find your Domains page). Click on the little setting dot icon for the domain you want to use and click Manage DNS/DNS Settings.
Step 5 – A Nameservers Screen comes up. Click Change
Step 6 – Now go and retrieve your HostGator Nameservers, either from your cPanel, or by opening up the email from Hostgator titled “Your Account Info”, when you first signed up with them. It’ll be right near the billing email we mentioned above. This contains two nameservers.
On your Domain registrar settings page, switch to “I’ll use my own nameservers” and copy and paste these two nameservers from the Hostgator email into the two boxes that appear in your DNS page.
Click Save. Your domain has now been repointed from your registrar’s servers to your host’s, so everything runs through them now.
Be aware though, that it can take anything up to 24 hours for these changes to fully take effect all around the world. In reality, it usually happens very quickly though; I’ve never had to wait more than a few minutes but it can take a while for DNS changes to “propogate” around the world, in technical jargon.
For users that prefer a visual demonstration of this process, see the video below.
Once this has been done, you are ready to install WordPress, and get up and running actually creating the website on this newly installed domain.
Bonus Step #1 – Installing WordPress
Once you’ve connected your new domain to Hostgator, to actually be able to start building your website, you need to install WordPress. Most hosts have made this very easy, but let’s do a quick run through of the steps.
- Login to your Hostgator cPanel again and find WordPress Installer, near the top of your screen under Popular Links.
- Select the domain your want to install WordPress on from the dropdown box. Leave the directory box empty and click Next.
- Fill in the boxes for the Blog Name, Admin User, Name, and email address. The Admin user is what you will login to the WordPress site as.
- Leave the “Automatically create a new database for this installation” box ticked, tick the terms and conditions box and click Install.
- Once installed a new page will load with your login, password and button to click to go to your login page. Make a note of these details; they are sent to your email and you can always change them later.
- Open the login page in a new tab or window to keep your login and password displayed.
- The default WordPress login page for a site is always http://sitename.com/wp-admin. Once the login link takes you to the WordPress login page for your site, you know that the DNS servers have been repointed and you are ready to log into your new website and get started!
- See our Themes page for putting a nice theme on this newly installed site.
- See our Site Setup Checklist for some first things to do on a newly installed website.
Bonus Step #2 – Enabling SSL On Your New Domain
We’ve included this because it’s another best practice step – all sites should be running SSL now, even if they aren’t taking transactions, just for general security and ranking.
Therefore it’s a good thing to get out the way as soon as you add a new domain.
Here are the steps for this:
- To get Hostgator to enable SSL on your site you need to login to the Customer/Billing portal, which is a separate account from the cPanel with it’s own email address and login.
- Again Hostgator will have sent these details to you when you first signed up with them. Look for an email from billing with a link to the billing portal and a separate username and password.
- Login with these details and click on the Support tab at the top. Click continue to Live Chat.
- Enter your name and username email you just used to log in click through the drop downs menus to open up a live chat. Most people adding new sites will be using Shared Hosting.
- Explain that you want SSL installing on a new domain you just added to your account and they will take it from there!
- Live Chat will ask you a few security questions, such as name, email, primary domain (the very first domain you added when you first signed up to their services) and then add SSL to your site. It should only take a few minutes to become active in most cases.
- You site should now have the secure green padlock right away. To back this up you can install and activate the free Really Simple SSL plugin to force all visitors to redirect to the https secure version of your site.