Change a domain name

Change my domain name

Is your business evolving, or you’re perhaps launching a new brand? Your domain name should adapt with you!
We recommend that you follow these steps for changing your domain name to help you with your web projects.

What do I need to do to change my domain name?

It’s normal for your business to grow when you encounter greater opportunities online. However, it is important that your online identity remains consistent with your business activity. Why? To maintain your reputation and keep the trust of your customers. There are several ways you can optimise this:

Back up your website

Before you start changing your domain name, you will need to make a copy of your website files. Backup methods may vary depending on the hosting plan you are using, but they are all generally similar.

Here are the steps to perform a manual backup of your site:

  • Create a folder called “Backup” on your computer.
  • Log in to your website via FTP
  • Use an FTP client (e.g. FileZilla) to access the root of your website, where you will find all of your website’s elements, such as administrator files, content and configurations.
  • Copy these files to your “Backup” folder.

Our advice: if your website is already hosted by OVHcloud, we offer a detailed guide on exporting your website. Content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, PrestaShop, Joomla! and Drupal also offer simplified methods for performing backups via plugins and extensions.

Change your domain name

You cannot change your domain name after you have registered it. Once purchased, it is stored in Domain Name System (DNS) databases and can no longer be modified. Existing domain names can only be transferred between different owners.

To change your domain name, you will need to purchase a new one and link it to your website.

Choose a new domain name

At OVHcloud, we have a wide range of domain names available, with more than 800 generic, geographical and innovative extensions to help you customise your name. Unleash your creativity and create your company’s online image the way you want it. Make sure your domain name is readable, and easy for your visitors to spell and memorise. These elements are important for appearing trustworthy in the eyes of your customers, and for the SEO of your website.

Already have an idea? Check the availability of your domain name in our search bar. If it is available, you can then purchase your domain name and it will appear in your Control Panel. You can then link it to your various services (web hosting, servers and infrastructures).

If it isn’t available, there are several options:

  • You could try a different extensions that would suit your use.
  • You can find information on the current owner of the domain via our Whois service, then try to get in touch if they have provided contact information. If possible, you can then transfer the domain name ownership.
  • You can buy this domain on our aftermarket if it is marked as “available for purchase”.

Our advice : high value-added domain names are available on our aftermarket. These short, easy-to-remember names have an excellent reputation and are a real advantage when launching a new brand or business, giving you more visibility and better SEO.

You can also create subdomains. This is a strategy we recommend when you want to expand your business. Let’s take the example of a company with the domain name “”. The owner provides gardening tips on their blog. Following its success, they decide to open an online store and recruit some staff. They can therefore create the following sub-domains: “” and “”.

This decision means that the owner can:

  • Manage different websites or activities separately, but on a single hosting plan with a single entry point
  • Easily set up multisite management
  • Optimise their organic SEO for each subdomain, as they are each considered individual websites by search engines.

Our advice: a multisite strategy with subdomains requires more resources from your server. We recommend taking a look at our various web hosting plans before you start setting up your domain hierarchy.

Redirect your old content to your new domain name

Once you have reserved your new domain name, you just need to add the redirections to it from your old pages. This procedure involves redirecting all requests made from an old URL to the new domain name. To do this, you will need to use a 301 redirection.

Enter the following lines of code into a .htaccess file. They will then redirect the user if they use a URL linked to the old domain.

1 #Redirect the old domain name.

2 RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^(?:www\.)?old-domain\.com [NC]

3 RewriteRule ^/?(.*)$1 [L,R=301]

Our advice: If your domain is already hosted with OVHcloud, we offer a detailed guide on redirecting domain names. Don’t forget to update your email addresses, too. To help your customers find their way around, be sure to update the contact information on your website.

Tell Google and other search engines about your domain name change

After a redirection, search engines consider your web site to be brand new. They will therefore give it a low ranking after this stage. In Google’s case, you need to inform it of your domain name change via the Google Search Console.

Do the following:

  • Open the ‘Change of address’ tool in the console menu.
  • Follow the instructions that appear. Recommendations are provided throughout the verification process.
  • Once all of these verifications have been completed, the console will display “Migrating” on the various content.
  • Once the migration is complete, you can delete your old pages.

After these steps have been completed, the search engine will gradually take the changes into account.

Our range of popular extensions

Here are some examples of extensions you can use for your domains and subdomains. Check out our complete catalogue for even more choice.

All domain extensions

$10.99 /year
Find out more
$8.49 /year
Find out more
$3.19 /year
Find out more
$20.90 $3.74 /year
Find out more

Why change my domain name?

Your current domain name is no longer suitable

If you made a syntax error in your previous domain name, or simply want to change it, it’s a good idea to find a new one. It is also possible that the top-level domain (TLD) originally chosen is not the most relevant for your customers. If the one you wanted was not available when you bought it, you can take the main component and simply change its extension. For example, you can change your domain name from “” to “”.

Your business has evolved

If your company has changed its name, it makes sense to update your domain name. And if your business has grown, you can optimise your online image. If you are developing new brands, ensure that they receive organic SEO by using unique domain names suited to them. If you would like to set up your business abroad, choosing an appropriate geographical extension will be beneficial for your local SEO ranking. To expand your business in Germany, for example, choose the .de extension.

Your questions answered

What is a domain name?

A domain name works like a home address. It is assigned to a server that hosts your website, so that it can be recognised other than by its IP address. It allows users to find you on the Internet by entering a URL into a search engine.
Domain names are owned and administered by regulatory authorities. In the UK, the regulatory authority responsible for administering country-code top-level domain names (ccTLDs) is called Nominet UK. At a global level, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for managing both domain names and IP addresses.
Usually, to reserve a domain name, you need to request one from a domain name registrar. This process requires several steps. As a registrar, OVHcloud is simplifying the steps to help you get your business off the ground quickly. We also offer web hosting solutions, as well as a free SSL certificate to make your website accessible in HTTPS.

What makes a good domain name?

To improve your SEO ranking on the internet, your domain name must:

  • be as short as possible
  • be easy to read and remember
  • reflect the identity of your online activity

Our time is precious. If internet users do not immediately understand the purpose of your website, they will leave and go elsewhere.

How do I get a domain name?

To obtain a domain name, use our search bar at the top of the page. Enter a specific domain name or a name idea. An “Available” or “Unavailable” comment will appear, along with suggested extensions. Choose the combination you like and place your order from your control panel.
Already built your online brand? You can transfer your domain name to OVHcloud using our simple procedure.


Why transfer my domain name to OVHcloud?

Our domain name transfer procedure is free of charge. You only pay for renewal for the following year. Transferring your domain name to OVHcloud gives you a number of advantages, including a free 10MB web hosting plan, a 5 GB email account, simplified DNS management, and protection against fraudulent domain name transfer and cache poisoning.

How do I transfer my domain name to OVHcloud?

Follow these steps to submit your transfer request:

  • unlock the domain name and retrieve the transfer code
  • request the domain transfer
  • reply to the confirmation emails

From this stage, you must allow a maximum of five days for the old registry to receive and accept the transfer request. Then, allow another five days for the transfer to take effect.

If you need help transferring your domain name to OVHcloud, please refer to our detailed guide.

Please note:before submitting your transfer request, please ensure that your domain name is not already in its redemption or deletion period. It must also be active, more than 60 days away from its expiry date, and have been created for more than 60 days. The email addresses for your admin and technical contacts must be visible in the Whois service. The security codes will be sent to you via these email addresses.

How long does it take to transfer a domain name?

The average transfer time for your domain name is 5 days. It may take up to 10 days, depending on the response time of your previous domain name registrar.

How do I renew my domain name?

You can renew your domain name at any time from your Control Panel, for a period of one year or more. You can also enable the automatic renewal option, so you don’t have to worry about its expiry date.

Why buy a domain name?

You must have a domain name before you begin building your website. This is how an internet user finds you via search engines. That’s why you need to create a website address that is simple and easy to remember. Don’t forget that you can create as many domain names as you want, and then link them to your hosting service using DNS redirections.

How do I know if a domain name is available?

You can do this in several steps. First of all, you can use our Whois service. This will tell you if the domain name you entered is already owned by another user. You can also enter it in our search bar. The domain may list one of the following statuses:

  • domain name available for registration: you can place your order
  • domain name unavailable for registration: the name has already been reserved
  • domain name transferable: you can transfer it from your current domain name registrar to OVHcloud.
  • domain name available for purchase: you can buy it from our aftermarket.

What is the difference between a migration and a 301 redirect?

Migration is the process of moving your data and content from one site to another. It is a comprehensive process involving several steps. We generally migrate if we want to switch to a more modern website, whether we change our domain name or our entire server.
As for a 301 Redirect, as the name suggests, the visitor is permanently redirected to the new URL. The domain name you entered in the browser bar will be replaced by the new domain name. This allows you to preserve the history of the site for the benefit of your new URL. The more accurate this redirect is, the more your new content will retain its SEO potential.