Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked Domains

Learn the difference between using subdomains, addon domains and domain aliases.

Subdomains, Addon Domains And Domain AliasesThis tutorial is part of our WordPress installation tutorial series, where we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog with no coding skills required.

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In our WordPress installation tutorials, we show you how to install a WordPress site or blog on your own domain name.

Typically, you will want to install WordPress either in the ‘root’ directory of your server (i.e. what visitors see when they type in your domain address – e.g. www.mydomain.com) or in a subfolder of your domain (e.g. www.mydomain.com/blog).

Depending on your needs and your digital business strategy, you may also decide to do things like:

  • Register multiple domain names for different products or services,
  • Set up different websites with identical content,
  • Publish different content in separate areas of your existing domain,
  • Redirect visitors from other web pages or domain names to specific web pages on a new website,
  • Ensure that visitors who misspell or hyphenate your web address can still reach (e.g. my-domain-name.com vs mydomainname.com)
  • etc.

Various different domain configurations can be set up inside your webhosting control panel.

Tip

You should already be familiar with the following tutorials:

In addition to the comprehensive step-by-step tutorials in the WordPress installation training module, we also suggest watching the video tutorials listed in the WordPress Installation Video Tutorials section.

Let’s take a look then, at some of the main domain types you will probably want to use and learn more about.

Subdomains, Addon Domains, And Domain Name Aliases

Subdomains

Subdomains are used to divide your primary website into different sections.

Each section or subdomain is then seen as a completely separate area of your website.

This is useful if, for example, you have an English language website and you want to create a separate Spanish-language version of your site using the same “root” domain.

Your English-speaking visitors would visit your website by typing in your regular domain web address (e.g. http://yourdomain.com), and your Spanish-speaking visitors would access the Spanish version of your site by typing something like http://spanish.yourdomain.com.

As described in the official cPanel documentation site …

“Use subdomains to create memorable URLs for different content areas of your site. For example, you can create a subdomain for your blog that is accessible through blog.example.com and www.example.com/blog”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Subdomains

Addon Domains

Addon domains are used when you want to add a new domain name to your existing hosting account instead of paying for new hosting.

The cPanel documentation site describes addon domains as follows …

“Addon Domains are additional websites that are hosted on your account. Each addon domain has its own files and will appear as a separate website to your visitors.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Addon Domains

Parked Domains

There is also another type of domain called a parked domain (also called an alias). Aliases point visitors to other domains while displaying the parked domain URL on the visitor’s browser.

Once again, if we refer to the official cPanel documentation …

“Domain Aliases allow you to point additional domain names to your existing hosting account. This allows users to reach your website if they enter the pointed domain URL in their browsers.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Parked Domains

Redirects

“Redirects allow you to make a specific web page redirect to another page and display the contents of that page. This allows you to make a page with a long URL accessible through a page with a shorter, more memorable URL.”

Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net

Redirects can be set up to point visitors from one URL to a different URL in the same domain, or to redirect visitors from web pages on a domain name that you are no longer promoting to pages on a new website.

This is useful if, for example, you have great content on an old website that you want to duplicate on your new website or content with updated references.

Redirects

You can also inform search engines whether to treat the redirection as permanent or temporary.

Using Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked Domains

This tutorial provides more information on the difference between addon domains, subdomains, and domain aliases, and shows you how to set these up in your webhosting control panel.

Addon Domains

An addon domain makes it possible to host two or more sites with two or more domains on the same hosting account. Addon domains are useful if you want to register and promote another domain name but don’t want to pay the additional cost of having another web hosting account. In this case, (if your web hosting company allows it), the best solution would be to create an addon domain.

An addon domain, therefore, is just like having a separate website. You host or point your addon domain to a folder in the public_html folder of your main domain name. Like your main domain, you will need to register your addon domain and set the nameservers for the addon domain to point to the same nameserver as your main domain name.

If your main domain name is called domainname.com and your addon domain name is called addondomain.com , then you could access your addon domain in one of the following ways:

  • addondomain.com
  • domainname.com/addondomain
  • addondomain.domainname.com

Benefits Of Using Addon Domains

One of the main benefits of using addon domains is that it helps to optimize your web hosting space. The addon domain uses the same space and bandwidth as your main account and has its own CGI and FTP access, as well as its own email accounts and web statistics, but it doesn’t have its own cPanel (web hosting manager) account.

Summarizing then, the benefits of using addon domains include:

  • Since typing addondomain.com into your web browser displays that exact domain name in the address bar, it’s like having a completely separate website.
  • You can create multiple domains and websites on the same web hosting account.
  • You save money and web space by using one web hosting account instead of having to purchase separate hosting accounts.
  • Your addon domain shares the same resources as your main domain name (i.e. disk space and bandwidth).
  • Your addon domain will have its own FTP access, site stats, and cgi-bin.
  • You can access your addon domain using different website addresses.

Subdomains

A subdomain uses your existing domain name. It is a subfolder of your main domain name and does not have its own separate domain name. So, for example, if your domain name is mydomainname.com and you install a blog inside a folder of that domain name called blog, then your blog would be located in a subdomain called mydomainname.com/blog.

A different variation of a subdomain that is also commonly used is blog.mydomainname.com. For example, you can access many of your Google accounts by typing in the subdomain myaccount.google.com into your web browser …

An example of a subdomain

(An example of a subdomain)

Parked Domains

A parked domain is a domain that is registered but does not have a web hosting account – it simply points to an existing domain. It is an additional domain you own that redirects all visitors to the domain name it is “parked” on top of. If a visitor types in the address of a parked domain name into their browser, they will be redirected to the main domain name and will see exactly the same page they would get if they had typed in the main domain name address.

In other words, it’s like building multiple identical websites using different domain names, but only having to maintain one.

Practical Tip

A parked domain name is useful if you own a “domain name family” (e.g. domain.com, domain.net, domain.org, domain.co.uk), or similar / related domains, but you only want to build and promote a single domain name (i.e. one website).

Similarly, if you plan to build a global brand but are just starting out, you can initially point domains that you have registered with different country extensions (e.g. .au, .za, .ru, etc.) to your main website so that all visitors can access the same content until you are ready to expand and create different websites for each country.

Note: Your parked domain needs to be registered and pointing to the same nameservers as your existing domain name.

Comparing Addon vs Alias Domains

If you’re trying to decide what kind of domain configuration you should use, here’s a quick guide:

  • If you want to use different domain names to show the same content as your existing website, choose a domain name alias.
  • If you want to add a new domain name that shows different website content or uses different e-mail addresses as your existing website, choose an addon domain.

The screenshot below provides an additional comparison of Addon vs Alias (Parked) domains …

Addon vs Alias Domains

(Addon vs Alias Domains – Source: https://documentation.cpanel.net)

How To Create Addon Domains, Subdomains & Parked Domains In cPanel: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Log into your cPanel account …

cPanel Login Screen

How To Create Subdomains

Scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section and click on the ‘Subdomains’ link …

cPanel: Domains - Subdomains

(cPanel: Domains – Subdomains)

Adding a subdomain will create a new section in your website using any prefix you choose (e.g. “support”, “documentation”, etc …).

Type in the name of your subdomain in the ‘Subdomain’ field, then click the blank field in the ‘Document Root:’ section. cPanel will automatically fill this section with the correct path information for your subdomain.

Click the ‘Create’ button when you’re done …

How to create subdomains

(Creating a subdomain)

Your new subdomain will be set up …

Subdomain setup confirmation

(Subdomain setup confirmation)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to create subdomains …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

You can also remove subdomains using the cPanel Subdomains feature.

Deleting Subdomains

To delete a subdomain, go to the Subdomains > Modify a Subdomain section, locate the item you would like to delete and click Remove

Removing a subdomain

(How to delete subdomains)

If you are sure that you want to permanently remove the subdomain, click on the ‘Delete Subdomain’ button …

Confirm subdomain deletion

(Confirm subdomain deletion)

The subdomain will be deleted …

Confirmation of permanent Subdomain deletion

(Confirmation of Subdomain removal)

How To Create Addon Domains

Scroll down to the ‘Domains’ area and click on Addon Domains

cPanel: Domains - Addon Domains

(cPanel: Domains – Addon Domains)

Enter your domain name in the ‘New Domain Name’ field (no http:// or www is required). Note: cPanel will automatically complete the “Subdomain/FTP Username:” and “Document Root:” fields.

Click the ‘Add Domain’ button to create your addon domain …

How To Create an addon domain in cPanel

(How To Create an addon domain in cPanel)

Your addon domain will be set up …

Addon domain created - confirmation message

(Addon domain setup confirmation)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to set up addon domains …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

You can also remove addon domains using the cPanel Addon Domains function.

How To Delete Addon Domains

To delete addon domains, go to Addon Domains > Modify Addon Domain, then locate the addon domain you want to delete and click Remove

Deleting an addon domain

(Deleting addon domains)

If you are sure that you want to permanently remove the addon domain, click on the ‘Remove’ button …

Click 'Remove' button to confirm deletion

(Click ‘Remove’ button to confirm deletion)

The addon domain will be removed …

Confirmation of addon domain removal

(Confirmation of permanent addon domain deletion)

Creating Parked Domains

To “park” a domain on top of another domain, first make sure that the domain’s nameservers have been set up correctly (see this tutorial for more information about setting up nameservers).

Log into your cPanel admin area and scroll down to the ‘Domains’ section. Click on Aliases

Domains - Aliases

(Domains – Aliases)

Note: In some versions of cPanel, the ‘aliases’ feature will be listed as Parked Domains

Domains - Parked Domains

(Domains – Parked Domains)

Type in the name of the domain you want to park on top of your existing domain and click on the Add Domain button to create a new domain alias …

Creating a parked domain in cPanel

(Creating a parked domain)

A new parked domain will be created …

Parked domain created - confirmation message

(Parked domain setup confirmation)

Important Info

You can have multiple parked domain names on your existing domain. For example, this site is built on WPCompendium.org. We have also registered the domains WPCompendium.com, WPCompendium.net, and WPCompendium.info, and parked these on top of this domain. To see how parked domains work, just type in any of the parked domain names into your web browser (e.g. type in WPCompendium.com) 

You can have multiple parked domain names on your existing domain

(You can have multiple parked domain names)

You can also easily remove a domain alias using the Parked Domains feature.

Deleting A Parked Domain

To remove your domain alias, go to Aliases > Remove Aliases, select the item to be deleted and click Remove

Removing a parked domain

(How to remove a parked domain)

You will be asked to confirm your deletion …

Click 'Remove Alias' button to confirm deletion

(Confirm alias deletion)

Your alias will be permanently removed …

Confirmation of alias removal

(Confirmation of permanent alias deletion)

Note: If you get an error message, make sure that your hosting setup allows you to create domain aliases …

Contact your web host if you get error messages

(Contact your web host if you get error messages)

Useful Information

If you have not set up your domain nameservers correctly, you will get an error message when you try to perform the above tasks …

Don't forget to set up your DNS servers!

(Don’t forget to set up your DNS servers to avoid errors!)

See this tutorial if you need help setting up nameservers for your domains.

Congratulations! Now you know how to create subdomains, addon domains, and domain aliases.

Subdomains, Addon Domains And Domain Aliases

Learn How To Register A Domain Name

Learn How To Set Up Webhosting

Learn How To Set Up Domain Nameservers

Learn How To Create An Email Account

Back To WordPress Installation Tutorials Index

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as Subdomains, Addon Domains And Parked Domains.