Changing a DoOO User's Primary Domain - Top-Level & Subdomains

Co-authored by Meredith Fierro & Lauren Hanks.

A very common support request we get from DoOO admins is for assistance with changing the primary domain in a user's account and moving their website data from originaldomain.com to newdomain.com. Perhaps the user picked a specific URL for a project, but their site grew beyond the original project, or maybe they just want to create a more personal domain. This guide will walk you through changing the primary domain both in the case that the user is switching between subdomains, or switching to a top-level domain (from another top-level domain or from a subdomain).

And remember, f you have any trouble along the way, please reach out to our Support team and we would be happy to help!

Changing a Primary Domain - Top-Level Domains

Our hypothetical request: Please change originaldomain.com to newdomain.com for user x. Their email is userx@gmail.com.

Before you begin:

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  • Make sure newdomain.com is actually available to register. Sometimes requests come in to change a domain, but the user hasn’t checked whether or not the domain is available. It will save you tons of steps to check now, as opposed to doing all of the work & then being greeted with a nice big error. The easiest way to check is by going to whois.com. Search the new domain that the user is wanting. If it says the domain is available to register, you’re good to go.
  • Visit originaldomain.com in your browser to have an idea of what the website looks like. After you change the domain, you’ll be able to double check that the site looks identical in the new location.

Step One: Check Domain isn’t Being Used Already

If the domain is already added to the account as an addon domain or an alias, it will need to be removed before it can be made the primary domain.

Changing_Primary_TLD_2.png

Step Two: Finding the Server

Figure out where originaldomain.com is located. While you could go into WHMCS & do a user search and then go to product tab to find out, a quicker (and more fun) way to locate the domain is by SSH via terminal. This option assumes you’ve previously added SSH keys.

ssh root@originaldomain.com

^Press enter. It will ask if you wish to continue connecting. Once you’re in, you’ll see:

root@server [~]#

Boom!

Step Three: Adjustments on the Server

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Log into the appropriate server. Search “List” from the left-hand sidebar and click List Accounts.

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Search for originaldomain.com.

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Click the plus sign next the account to expand your menu options. Click Modify Account.

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Type in newdomain.com. Click Save.

Step Four: Adjustments in WHMCS User Profile

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Go to the user’s account in WHMCS and click on the Product/Services tab.

Type newdomain.com into the Domain blank and click Save Changes

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Go to the Domains Tab. Type newdomain.com into the Domain blank and click Save Changes.

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Now you’ll see that the nameservers are missing. This is because the domain hasn’t actually been registered. To fix this, run the Register module.

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You’ll be directed to another page where the nameservers should populate automatically. Click yes to continue with the registration.

Step Five: Syncing

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As a final step to make sure all systems & accounts are aligned, I like to run the Change Password Module under the Products/Services tab. This syncs the Client Area Portal with cPanel to give the user a smooth transition into the cPanel dash.

Troubleshooting errors: Sometimes you’ll receive an error that looks like “ A DNS entry for “peterswhitehouse.com” already exists. You must remove this DNS entry from all servers in the DNS cluster to proceed.”

This means the domain is somewhere in the Reclaim Hosting infrastructure. Most of the time the domain is in an account as an addon domain. You’ll need to remove the addon domain from the cPanel account before proceeding. This is done in the ‘Addon Domain’ section under ‘Domains’.

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Step Six: Fixing Any cPanel Subdomains

Lastly, if the account has subdomains they won’t be automatically changed with the primary domain. To update subdomains, follow this guide on using a search and replace command to fix the old URLs.

Changing a Primary Domain - Subdomains

Step One: Remove Domain from cPanel if Necessary

If the subdomain is already added to the account as an addon domain or an alias, it will need to be removed before it can be made the primary domain.

Changing_Primary_Subdomain_1.png

Step Two: Adjustments on the Server

To start, you’ll want to login into your server in WHM.

Search “List” from the left-hand sidebar and click List Accounts.

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Search for originaldomain.com.

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Click the plus sign next the account to expand your menu options. Click Modify Account.

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Type in newdomain.com. Click Save.

Changing_Primary_Subdomain_5.png

Step Three: Adjustments in WHMCS user Profile

Once the changes have been saved on the server, You’ll want to go to the user’s WHMCS Profile. Then Click Product/Services. Type newdomain.com into the Domain blank and click Save Changes. 

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Once that’s done confirm that the existing content loads on the new domain name.

Step Four: Fixing Any cPanel Subdomains

Lastly, if the account has subdomains they won’t be automatically changed with the primary domain. To update subdomains, follow this guide on using a search and replace command to fix the old URLs.

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