How to Add Another Domain to Hostgator

I was helping someone restore their blog the other day. They had tried to add a new domain to their Hostgator account and the result wasn’t pretty.

Their existing blog (the primary domain for their Hostgator account) was suddenly not available at all. In any guise.

We couldn’t navigate to it as a visitor and we couldn’t log in to the Admin screens as the blog owner.

After accessing her account via FTP and poking around a bit, it became clear that the only solution was to wipe the slate clean and start again.

She had installed her new blog over the top of the old one

Having got everything working again it seemed like a good idea to write a post on how to add another domain to a Hostgator account.

So here goes…

Setting up your new domain

Step 1: Get yourself a new domain

Enter the domain name you want into the box at the top of your Hostgator Control Panel and click ‘Go’ (circled below):

You’ll be presented with a screen offering various TLDs (Top Level Domains:  .com, .net, etc.) for the domain name you’ve entered.

Select the TLDs you want, the number of years you want to pay for, create your password and pay.

Step 2: Manage your new domain

You’ll shortly receive an email from Registry Rocket – the company that manages domain names for Hostgator.

You’ll need to access your domain and change the name servers.  So click the link they give you and login in using the domain name you just bought and the password you set up.

Step 3: Set the Name Servers

Copy the name server details for your account from the bottom left of your cPanel screen (circled below), 1 at a time:

Paste your name server details, one on each row, into the first two name server fields in the Registry Rocket screen – (circled below):

Save your changes, and you’re done for setting your name servers (sometimes referred to as DNS).

Step 4: Create the new domain in Hostgator

Go back to your Hostgator cPanel screen, go to the Domains area and click ‘Addon Domains’ (circled below):

You’ll come to this screen:

Add the domain you just bought into the New Domain Name field. The next two fields will be populated automatically so all you need to do is set a password.

You can use the same password you set up originally, or change it if you prefer. The password you enter here is the one you’ll need to set up in your email client (Outlook, Thunderbird or whatever you use) to get your email.

Then click ‘Add Domain’ and you’re done.

Managing your new domain

When you click File Manager you’ll now see your new domain as a folder underneath the public_html folder. You’ll see the same when you access your site files via FTP.

Initially it may look a little confusing because all the files and folders for the first domain you set up also sit under ‘public_html’.

New domains you add sit under the ‘public_html’ folder as well, and they get mixed up with the files and folders of your first domain.

So you need to be careful to ensure when you upload files to your new domain that you’re uploading them to the correct place.

They must go into the new folder, which will be be named, or whatever name and TLD you chose.

Follow exactly the same process to add 3rd and subsequent domains and it will soon become less confusing, because each new domain you add will sit in its own folder under ‘public_html’.

It’s only the first domain you added (the one you opened your Hostgator account with) where the files and folders are mixed in with the other domains.

As soon as you’ve set up your new domain in Hostgator you can upload files to it, but you won’t be able to access it for anything up to 48 hours.

This is the time it takes for all the elements on the Internet to be updated with the details of your new domain.

If I need to clarify anything leave a question in the comments below!

What do you think?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lionel Dec 25, 2009 @ 20:11

    How to Add another Domain to Hostgator was very interesting. The information came just at the right time as I wanted to set up another domain with Hostgator. Thank you for taking the time to share it with us, it’s really appreciated.

    • Martin Dec 26, 2009 @ 8:13

      You’re welcome,



  • Kwin Jan 11, 2010 @ 1:04

    Thanks Martin for this! I wished that I had known these steps prior to messing up my blog…and of course remembering to backup!
    Please clarify “New domains you add sit under the ‘public_html’ folder as well, and they get mixed up with the files and folders of your first domain.”
    Give example of how they get mixed up with the files and folders of your first domain. I want to avoid uploading to the wrong file/folder.
    It would be great to see instructions on how to manage files in HG cPanel, like some common activities one might do involving a blog/ website. Thanks again.

    • Martin Jan 11, 2010 @ 7:01

      Hi Kwin,

      You’re welcome!

      When I say mixed in with the other files and folders I mean that your new domain will appear as another folder under public_html.

      The only difference is that it will have the TLD (e.g. .com) in the filename as well – e.g. Apart from that it will look exactly the same as the other folders.

      So you need to be careful to upload your files to the correct folder.