When you are starting an Shopify store it can be hard to come up with a store name. More difficult still is finding a domain name when the one you had in mind has been taken. Usually you have already started a store by this stage. You therefore may be wondering if it is possible to change your domain name once you have already registered and assigned on to your store. Having run multiple stores over the years, I would like to share with you some important insights on the topic here with you today.
So, can you change your shopify domain name? Yes; it is possible to change your domain name at any time. To do this, you will just need to purchase a new domain, add the new domain and assign it to your store in Shopify, update the CNAME records and verify pwnership. The process only takes between 5-10 minutes.
I know what its like, when you are starting your new store your mind goes blank. Unless you have really thought about your name and your brand ahead of time, its easy to panic and choose a brand/domain name you no longer like in a couple of months.
Thankfully, its easier than ever to change your domain name. I’d like to share with you how to do this as well as some other considerations.
How to Remove Shopify From URL
If you have just signed up with Shopify, then first and foremost, your store will have a shopify URL.
This will be tied onto the name of the store that you entered during the sign up process.
It will look something like this:
Of course “myshopifystore” will be replaced with the name you called your store.
While you can technically sell under this domain, its not great for branding and does not look good for acquiring customers. Its also, not great for your general brand image.
As such, you are going to want to use a custom domain, and one that you register with a domain provider. You will need to set this as your ‘primary domain’.
The primary domain is the domain name that customers see in the address bar while they browse your online store.
So by default, “myshopifystore.myshopify.com” would be your primary domain.
To an assign a primary domain, and manage your domains in general, you simply need to navigate to Online Store> Domains when you are in your Shopify Admin.
Where To Buy A Domain Name From
When you first sign up for Shopify, you will run through the setup steps to build your store and get all of the technical settings and aspects in place.
One of the steps is to purchase a domain from Shopify themselves. This will cost you $14, but the perks of purchasing it here is that it will be automatically assigned and run ‘live’ on your store.
In all honesty, you are paying for the convenience here. A lot of store owners generally decide to purchase the domain from Shopify thinking its too complicated to purchase a domain and set it up from anywhere else. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and you can save over $6 dollars (or more if its time for renewal) by shopping elsewhere. I’ll explain how to do this in the section below.
There are hundreds of online domain registrars, some are great, others not so much.
Personally, I have had excellent results with Namecheap and use them for all my domain needs. They have a 24/7 and excellent support team who can help you if you were to experience any issues or need any help with assigning your domain to your Shopify store. Plus the general interface is very easy to use unlike others (that I have used in the past).
But as the name suggests, its their pricing that stands out.
At Namecheap, you can purchase a domain for just $8.91 (through my link). This is literally half the price as it would be if you decided to purchase the very same domain on the Shopify platform ($14).
I suggest you purchase your new domain there. Trust me when I say you will not find a cheaper or better registrar for this.
How To Change Your Shopify Domain Name
Once you have purchased your domain you will just need to run through some steps to set it up. This will differ depending on whether you bought the domain through Shopify or an external registrar like Namecheap.
If you purchased your domain through Shopify it will be known as a Shopify Managed Domain.
To assign this to your store, in replace of your current no longer required one, you just need to navigate to Online Store>Domains in your Shopify admin.
From there in the Primary Domain section, click ‘change primary domain’.
You then just need to select the new domain your purchased and click save.
If you purchase a domain from an external provider, like Namecheap, you will have to follow these four steps:
- Purchase the domain
- Add the new domain
- Update CNAME record
- Verify the new domain
- Set your new domain as a primary domain (the process above)
You will start out by buying the domain, running through the checkout process and ensuring it is listed in your account at the domain registrar.
You would then need to navigate to your Shopify Admin (in a new tab/browser) and then Online Store> Domains.
Click “Connect existing domain” and then enter the domain you just purchased in the field presented. Once done click next.
Onto step two, next you need to update the CNAME record in your registrar account to point to Shopify.
You will need to go to your domain registrar account, and navigate to the interface that lists your registered domains.
Find the newly purchased one you want to assign to your shopify store and click on a button that takes you to the “domain settings”.
From here, you need to:
- Add a new record with “@” or “A”
- Now, add the Shopify’s IP address (220.127.116.11 ) in the field
- Save the newly added “A” record
Secondly, from the same interface, you need to add the CNAME record to point the domain to Shopify.
- Find the existing CNAME record and update the record that lists “WWW” to “shops.myshopify.com”
- Save the CNAME Record
All that is left now is to verify your domain and make it the primary domain.
To verify, you just need to navigate back to Shopify and click the button “verify connection”:
Verification can take up to 48 hours, so do not be concerned if you do not see your domain listed in your Shopify Admin area straight away. To double check you have added the records correctly you can always talk to your domain registrar’s customer support team who can check for you on your behalf.
The last step is to make the domain the primary one for your store. You just need to follow the process steps discussed above:
That’s it. Your new domain will be assigned.
Your store can be immediately accessed at your new domain by your customers!
What Do Do With Your Old Domain Name
Now that you have a new domain in place, you may also now be wondering what to do with your old and no longer required domain.
- If it was a .myshopify.com URL there is nothing you need to do.
- If it was a domain you purchased from Shopify, then you can let it expire. Just make sure it is not set to automatically renew
- If the domain is hosted at an external provider, you can reassign the domain to another website, let it sit (and save it for another time or as an investment – just be sure to keep an eye on the renewal date and price) or finally you can sell it.
- There are plenty of online marketplaces like Flippa, whereby you can sell your unwanted domain. In some cases, depending on the domain and how unique and in demand it will be, you can fetch a high price.
With Shopify it is easy to get a new domain and assign it to your store. So if you do not currently like your store name or URL, go ahead and get it changed. It only takes a few minutes and with providers like Namecheap you can get it done very cost-effectively.