Starting a website can be quite daunting if you’re not technically savvy to navigate the hosting arena. Luckily, things have gotten a little easier due to the high usability of web hosting with cPanel, which helps you manage your site with little to no web developer knowledge. If you’ve chosen a shared hosting account as a fledgling business owner and want to take advantage of hosting multiple websites on your account but don’t know how then this is the tutorial for you. It will show you define a few key terms to understand before registering multiple domains for your website(s).
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Why register multiple domain names?
The advantage of hosting multiple websites on a shared account are endless. You may be in a specific niche that has branches that require one major website as the umbrella and other websites that come underneath.
For example, let’s take a freelance writer. Every freelancer needs a website to showcase their services, client testimonials, display their portfolios, have an interface to either book services or a contact form to inquire further and of course a blog. But a freelancer my name their business and perhaps need another webpage at the domain www.yourname.com to showcase their other talents as a writer, sell courses, or launch a coaching business.
Both websites can be connected to each other by way of using one shared hosting account and hosting multiple websites on it. This is super convenient and keeps everything in one place for ease of use. While this is just an example, there is a myriad of ways you can utilise multiple domains for your business through your shared hosting account.
The number of domains you can host on your shared plan depends on the package you chose. From basic shared hosting, you can host at least 2 domains and at the highest tier unlimited domains.
It is well to remember that the only limitation placed on shared hosting environments are the server resources like hard disk space, CPU usage, RAM and bandwidth.
Ready to learn how to do this? Great! Let’s dive in.
Hosting definitions You Need to Know
Before we can get into how to add multiple domains or websites to your shared hosting account, we need to outline some technical definitions first.
Your name server is the address of the computer server where you host your website. Computers communicate with each other on the internet through number addresses called IP or internet protocol addresses. An IP address looks like this 104.841.311.24.1, and for humans operating and routing servers, that can be quite difficult. So those IP addresses are given a nameserver to help to identify the server. A website typically has two name servers. Your name server will look something like this:
When you sign up for your shared hosting account your hosting provider will give you the name of your nameservers. These are especially important for rerouting a domain purchased from another registrar or hosting company.
2. Parked Domains
Domain parking refers to the act of buying a domain name but you wish to use it at a later date. You may decide to rerouting a domain to a different website but you don’t connect it to any web services like email or hosting. In reality you ‘park’ it for later use – either pointing it to a website’s landing page or holding page. For example, if you purchased various TLDs of your branded domain name and want them to all redirect to the main website. Thus, www.yourbrand.com may be the main website and you would like to redirect www.yourbrand.net, www.yourbrand.uk.
3. Addon Domains
With an addon domain, you create an additional website which contains its unique content. As a new website, you are required to register a new domain name to enable you to host it. You can setup your addon domain from your cPanel.
You host your main domain yourdomain1.com and with your addon domain yourdomain2.com you will host that as well. Therefore, you’re required to register yourdomain2.com with your hosting provider and then add it as an addon domain under the same hosting account at yourdomain1.com.
In cPanel the document root would be /home/username/public_html/yourdomain2.com (in this case), the addon domain will then look and function as an independent site to end users while running on an account under another website.
There are 3 ways of setting up and accessing an addon domain:
As the prefix sub suggest this is not a new domain name. While it is a second website with its unique content, it will always carry the name of the parent or main domain.
For example, your website’s main domain yourdomain.com would have a subdomain like this subdomain.yourdomain.com or website2.yourdomain.com.
The subdomain’s document root would be /home/username/public_hmtl (can vary). The content will be loaded from this directory’s location when yourdomain.com is accessed in a browser.
An additional example, you may launch a WordPress installation in a subdirectory blog (/home/username/public_html/blog), which will be accessed at blog.yourdomain.com. You can access your website’s content at yourdomain.com/blog or blog.yourdomain.com.
The great thing about using subdomains is that you can have as many of them as you like, depending on the hosting plan you have. Examples of subdomains help.yourdomain.com, portfolio.yourdomain.com, about.yourdomain.com, etc.
Subdomains are easy to set up in your cPanel. You can definately use it to help boost your SEO as well.
6 Key Advantages of Addon Domains
One of the best ways to capitalise on your website’s resources is to explore the use of addon domains within your shared hosting package.
Addon domains provide a great solution and save time generating new ideas. Using addon domains allows you the freedom of having an independent website within the same hosting account.
To help you decide if this is a solution for you, we’ve highlighted the advantages of using addon domains.
- With the same hosting account, you can create numerous domains and websites with unique content.
- It enables you to save money using a single hosting account as compared to several hosting accounts.
- With add-on domains, you have the same hosting resources, such as disk space, bandwidth, etc. like the main website.
- The addon domain has an independent FTP manager, website statistics and storage created by default. Also, you can upload different posts, pages, images and forums to your addon domain directory.
- You can access the addon domain using various web site addresses or extensions.
- To gain the SEO benefits of addon domains, you can easily promote several sites from the single hosting account. Plus you’ll have the full benefits of different sets of keywords for optimisation.