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Utilising Addon Domains to Host Multiple Domains Under a Single Account

April 14th, 2015

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Often we are asked by customers whether or not they need to purchase a new account in order to host an extra website or two. Depending on the type of hosting account you have with us, you may be surprised to hear that the answer is usually “no”. If you have our “Standard” or higher shared hosting plan, and have available disk space or bandwidth, you are able to utilise what are known as ‘Addon Domains’ to host multiple domain names under a single account.

What is an addon domain?
An addon domain is essentially an extra domain that is added on to your account and hosted under your main domain name. It is called an addon domain because it does not take the place of your main hosting account name, it is just an addition to it.

Addon domains allow you to host extra, or additional domains, under a single hosting account. There are, however, some restrictions which we will detail towards the end of this article.

How do I use/add an addon domain?
cPanel makes adding and managing your addon domains very simple. Simply login to cPanel and navigate to the ‘Addon Domains’ option:

Addon Domain Option

Addon Domain Option

After clicking this option you will be presented with the following screen. Please note that we have pre-filled some of these options and will explain them below:

Addon Domain Screen

Addon Domain Screen

Please take a second to familiarise yourself with this page. The “New Domain Name” field is the name of the additional domain that you wish to add hosting to. If, for example, you have a second domain name called myseconddomain.tld and wish to use add hosting for it, you would enter that domain name here.

The “Subdomain or FTP Username” field will be automatically generated by cPanel based on the “New Domain Name” field that you enter. You can change this if you wish but we recommend leaving it as the default. This username will be used for you to access FTP only. It cannot and will not be used to login to cPanel (more details on this restriction in the article).

“Document Root” is the path on the server where the files for this domain name will be stored. Typically this is in a sub-folder within your main account, named after the domain name itself. We recommend leaving this as the default, but you may change it if you wish.

The “Password” is the password used for accessing this account via FTP.

After clicking ‘Add Domain’, please allow a few seconds for our servers to create the necessary entries for this account to become active. Once you have been presented with the success screen, the account is now ready to use. If your domain name is not pointing to our nameservers, this would be the ideal time to update them. After the nameservers have been changed to ours, and DNS has propagated, you can begin adding content to your site.

Are there any restrictions or limitations with addon domains?
Addon domains are intended to be used to host multiple domains under the same single account. Because of this, you do not receive a separate cPanel username and password to login to each addon domain. This is fine if your purpose is to host several of your own domains under a single account, but of course means that you cannot use addon domains to provide hosting to others and give them their own cPanel login details.

Another potential drawback to addon domains is that all of your addon domains exist under the same directory structure and exist within the same quota as the main account. Not only can this make navigating your directories more complicated (particularly if you have a lot of addon domains, because you will have a lot more directories to go through), it also means that you are far more likely to consume all of your disk space if it’s spread out across multiple websites. As long as you have enough disk space on your account, though, this should not be a concern.

Finally, it should be noted that addon domains cannot (currently) be converted to standalone separate accounts in the future if required. While this is possible by manually removing the addon domain, manually creating the new account, and then manually restoring the content that existed previously – there is currently no way to automatically do this.

Addon domains are a fantastic way to use your existing hosting account to host additional sites, without further expense, albeit with some limitations. For an average user though, this could be and often is a great way to save money and get the most out of your existing hosting account.

What do you think?