What is an Addon Domain, and How to Create One in cPanel

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When you want to manage multiple domains from one hosting account, you’ll need to set up addon domains. These domain share the resources of your primary domain but direct visitors to a separate website with its own directory. When a user types in the address of your addon domain, they’re taken to that website and see only that domain in the address bar of their browser.

For example, if your existing domain is mysite.com, you can create an addon domain such as mynewsite.com and access it in one of three ways:

  • www.mynewsite.com
  • mysite.com/mynewsite
  • mynewsite.mysite.com

Each addon domain has a dedicated area for file storage and features domain-specific email accounts. You can also set up subdomains within your addon domain for particular purposes such as a blog hosted at mynewsite.com/blog.

Before creating an addon domain, make sure that your host supports this feature. Also keep in mind that all addon domains draw from the same bandwidth as and share file storage space with your primary domain. Be sure that you have enough space and bandwidth to handle the traffic from multiple websites.

Creating an Add-On Domain in cPanel

The cPanel dashboard has a simple tool for setting up and managing addon domains. In order to use this tool, the domain that you want must be registered either through your existing hosting provider or a domain registration service. You’ll have to change the nameservers for that domain so that they point to the account where the files for your addon domain are hosted. The service where you registered your domain should have a tutorial on how to do this, and the nameservers are available from your web host.

Set Up Your Addon Domain

Once your new domain is registered, log in to your hosting account. On the cPanel dashboard, scroll down to the “Domains” heading. Click on “Addon Domains,” which looks like a globe with a yellow “WWW” and a green plus sign printed across it.

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You’ll be taken to the Addon Domains screen where you’ll see a “Create an Addon Domain” area.

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In the New Domain Name box, type the name of the domain you registered for your addon. cPanel will automatically fill in the fields for Subdomain or FTP Username and Document Root. You can either leave these the way they are or create your own custom settings.

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Adjust Settings and Create a Password

If you wish to have a different username than the one assigned by cPanel, enter it manually in the Subdomain or FTP Username box. This will be the name that you use to access your FTP account to upload and manage files for your addon domain.

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Next, choose a password. cPanel has a meter to gauge how strong your password is and won’t let you use anything with a strength of less than 20. This built-in security measure is meant to ensure the safety of your files and other information associated with your domain.

If you have a difficult time creating a strong password, use the password generator. This will give you a password of the right length and with the correct balance of letters, numbers and random characters to qualify as “very strong.”

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Create Your Domain

After you’ve filled out all the fields, click the “Add Domain” button to submit the information for your addon domain.

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The new domain should appear in the Addon Domains list in the lower half of the page. If you ever need to change the settings or direct the domain to point to a different location, return to this area and click on the appropriate link.

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There may be a short delay following creation before the domain becomes fully functional. Check with your domain registrar to find out how long it takes for nameserver switches to take effect.

Addon domains expand the functionality of your hosting account by allowing you to create and manage multiple websites from a single cPanel dashboard. Every domain that you add has access to the same features such as WordPress installations and e-commerce tools. If you require more domains in the future, simply repeat the steps above to set it up and manage all associated administrative functions.

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