The Step by Step Guide on How to Purchase and Setup a Domain Name with Hostgator

We are using Hostgator as an example to setup a website domain. Go to:

How to Purchase a Domain Name

hostgator domain search

Type in the domain name you wish to register and select a TLD (Top Level Domain). For example: ".com", ".net", ".co".

Click "Search" to check for domain name availability, and you will get one of the two results:

  • " is available" in green checkmark OR 

hostgator domain name available


  • " is unavailable" in red X mark

hostgator domain name unavailable

If the domain you want is available, awesome! Now you can proceed to compare Top Level Domain (TLD) pricing in the table below the search bar. Different TLD may be priced differently, and you can choose to purchase more than one TLD for the domain name of your choice as long as they are available.

If the domain you want is unavailable, just keep trying. Remember, even if the domain is not available in ".com", other TLD may still be available, such as ".space", ".org", ".net". So explore your options.

When you have chosen a domain, choose a "Price" before adding it to cart. There are 3 pricing tiers available for each TLD. Price depends on the number of years you want to commit to the initial purchase. You can choose to register the domain between 1 to 3 years, and decide on the renewal after the expiration.

hostgator register options

Add the selections to cart and repeat the above steps for more domain names or variations of TLD you wish to purchase. If you need help at any point, click on "Walk Me Through" at the bottom right of the screen to connect to Support.

Once you are ready to check out, click on "View Cart". You will see a summary of total charges for the purchase.

In addition, you will see the following:

  • "Domain Privacy Protection" is an optional add-on at an additional cost. This protects your personal or company information associated with the domain by making it hidden from public domain lookup sites such as WhoIs. For example, information about your address will be hidden from the public
  • 24/7 daily live support is provided by Hostgator for free which is an added bonus. The great news is that their support team is usually very responsive
  • Coupon codes are often floating around on their website to save you some money

hostgator confirm purchase


Click "Complete Order" to finalize. You will be prompted to input payment information.

host gator check out complete

After checkout completion, Hostgator will confirm your order as "Success" in the message window below. You should also receive an email confirmation shortly. Click "Hide" to exit out of the message window. There will be a summary table of domains you now own.

hostgator order success

We are almost done. There are just a few extra steps to make sure that your domain is properly set up. Refer to the following summary of the purchased domain. On the right most column "Privacy", you will find a shield icon indicating the status of "Domain Privacy Protection". If you have purchased this add-on, the icon should be shown as active.

hostgator my domain accounts

To manually activate privacy setting, click on the shield icon and select "On" within the "Domain Privacy" popup. If you did not purchase the privacy protection in domain checkout, you will be invoiced within the account. Domain Privacy will show a comparison preview of how your information will display to the public through WhoIs pages. Click "Save Domain Privacy" to finish.

hostgator domain privacy

Great! Now you are the proud new owner of a website domain.

Assign Domain Name to Hosting

If you have not yet purchased web hosting, refer to our guide on how to set up hosting for your new website. You can always come back to finish the following steps later.

If you already have hosting, you will need to assign the new domain name to the web hosting service. We have chosen Hostgator again for this example.
From your domain summary page, click on the hyperlinked name of your website under the leftmost column "Domain". Go to tab "Name Servers"

In the option "To point this domain to an existing hosting account", select from the drop down menu the hosting account you want to link the new domain name to. This option is only available if you have a hosting account setup with HostGator.

hostgator add name server to domain

If your hosting is with any company, you will need to find the DNS name server within the account page. This normally should be in the confirmation email when you sign up with any website hosting providers. If you have a CPanel installed, you can find the DNS name server there as well. Click "Save Name Servers" to complete.

Next, Log into CPanel. This is Hostgator’s user control platform if you choose to utilize their hosting service.

Find the "Files" section and look for "File Manager"

hostgator joomla file manager

A popup called "File Manager Directory Selection" will appear

hostgator joomla file manager directory

Choose the "Web Root (public_html/www)" option and click "Go"

You will then be directed to a new page called "File Manager". If you use a CMS (Content Management System) such as Joomla or WordPress, this is the place to upload all the files.

Add a Second Domain Name to Hosting

When you are adding a second domain to the hosting account, start by logging into the CPanel. Scroll down the main control menu and click on "Addon Domains" under section "Domains".

hostgator c panel add on domain

Under "Create an Addon Domain", enter fields for the following:

  • "New Domain Name": This is your website address
  • "Subdomain Name/FTP Username": This is basically your account name
  • Make sure you choose high strength password. You can use the "password generator" option to create a "100/100" strength password.
  • Click "Add Domain" to finish.

hostgator c panel enter new domain add

Confirmation highlighted in green will appear in the message window "Addon Domain Additions". Your addon domain and FTP account have been created. Click "Go Back".

hostgator add on new domain successful

You are done! Now, start optimizing your website for search.

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