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  5. Guide to Changing Your Website’s Domain Name

Guide to Changing Your Website’s Domain Name

What if you don't like the domain name that you chose for your website? What if your domain name is too long, inaccurate, or has old references that no longer reflect the site; can you change it? This article will cover what domain changes you can make, domain tasting, the HostGator refund policy, as well as what results might occur if you do change your domain name.

For help purchasing a new domain name be sure to check out this help-guide here: How to Register a Domain Name

This article contains:

  • Can you Change a Domain?
  • How Do I Change the Primary Domain Name on My Account
  • Is Domain Tasting allowed?
  • I Just Registered a Domain Name, and Want to Change or Cancel It
  • Will changing my name affect my website files?
  • HostGator Domain Registration Refund Policy
  • Hosting with Domain Registration - 45 Day Refund Policy

First things First, Can you Change a Domain?

If you are dissatisfied with the domain name you previously registered, you are welcome to register a new name that you prefer and change the domain name within the control panel or console of the tool used to build the website. In doing so, you will own both names. If you no longer wish to keep the original domain name, simply let it expire naturally and then remove it from your account.

HostGator is happy to assist you in changing the primary domain for your account if you require assistance in this area, but there may be other steps required depending on how you built your website. Before contacting us to make the change, please be sure to read: 

Please see the sections below for additional resources, information, and our full policies:

What About Refunds?

HostGator is held by a strict standard set forth by the governing body of domain names known as ICANN. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers sets the rules for whether or not a domain can be refunded by companies. In doing so, they restrict registrar’s abilities to refund domains after they have been purchased. This is for several reasons, but most importantly, to prevent frowned-upon habits known as “Domain Tasting.”

What is Domain Tasting?

Domain tasting, also known as “domain kiting,” or “domain sniping,” is the frowned-upon practice of registering new domain names solely to for the ability to test the marketing power and capability of that domain name.

Using advanced metrics, certain people can quickly determine if a domain name is undesirable, and then the owner attempts to reverse the domain purchase. You can see why this practice could be easily taken advantage of by people who know what they are doing, so for simplicity, when you purchase a domain, you own it for the time frame agreed to upon checkout.

Is Domain Tasting allowed?

You may do whatever you want with the domain names you register within your HostGator account; however, HostGator will not provide any refund for domain name purchases of any kind.

The reason for this is primarily due to the policies created by ICANN, in which they seek to prevent domain tasting, kiting, and sniping. Since ICANN has set a hard limit on the number of domain registrations that can be reversed by any given registrar, this also means we can only unregister a domain name under the most severe circumstances. Even then, you will not be refunded the cost of the domain.

I Just Registered a Domain Name, and Want to Change/Cancel It

In most situations, once you purchase a domain name and the order is processed, it is yours for the duration of time agreed to upon registration and cannot be canceled or reversed except with the following exception:

If there is a legitimate trademark issue or copyright violation with the domain that has been recently registered, you can request that HostGator unregister the offending domain name. This is solely for the purposes of avoiding further or continued litigation; however, no refund will occur for taking this action.

Will changing my name affect my website files?

This will depend on how the website was built and what tools are being used. If you are using WordPress for your website editor, for example, there is a lot of information working on the back end, such as page URLs and database configurations that need to be addressed before you can begin using the new domain name on your account. This is often referred to as a URL name change and can be performed by anyone who understands the process.

If you have chosen to keep the old domain name, you could always forward the second domain to the original, thus eliminating the need for a URL name change while utilizing both avenues of traffic; however, this is not recommended for SEO reasons. For more information on how to forward a domain name to another checkout: ResellerClub - Domain Forwarding

Other editors may allow you to swap out the domain name for you with no detriment or additional actions required. If you have questions in regards to whether or not you can easily change the domain name on your website, you can always reach out to support who may be able to guide you further on how to proceed with replacing your domain name. 

HostGator Domain Registration Refund Policy

Per the Terms of Service agreed to upon sign up, all domain name registrations occurring within your HostGator Customer Portal, including domain renewals, and domain name transfers, are non-refundable. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Hosting and Domain Registration - 45 Day Refund Policy

In rare cases, domain name refunds may be considered if they were ordered in conjunction with a hosting package. Your eligibility for a domain refund is not guaranteed and will be determined at the time of cancellation by contacting support.

Eligible refund requests for .com, .net. and .org domain names made within the 45-day money-back guarantee period will have the common market value (the current renewal price of that respective domain name), subtracted for those TLDs.

Unfortunately, any ccTLD domain name purchases made are non-refundable under this policy.

For more information on the complete details of our money-back guarantee, please refer to section six of HostGator's Terms of Service: https://www.hostgator.com/tos.