What on Earth is an Addon Domain?

Before you created your own website, you could carry on in blissful ignorance of the fact that there even are different types of domains. And now, look what’s become of you. Scouring the internet for answers to questions like “What do I need to know before registering a domain name?” and “What on earth is an addon domain?”

Not to worry. By the time you finish reading this guide, you’ll be able to gab away about addon domains with the best of them.

Before we get to what an addon domain is, let’s make sure we’ve got a handle on the basics:

What is a domain?

A domain (or “domain name”) is the address of a website. It usually starts with “www” and ends with an extension like “.com”, “.org”, or “.co.uk”. Domain names stand in for Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which computers use to recognise websites. Every website that has a domain name started out with only an IP address.

The domain name makes it easy for humans like me and you to remember our favourite websites, because IP addresses are typically made up of numbers and dots, like this:

Thanks to domain names, you don’t have to care one bit about IP addresses, and when you create your own website, your visitors will be able to find you more than once without asking questions like, “Was it one, one, one, three dot seven, or one, two, one, dot three, seven?”

Now, for the question you really need answered:

What is an addon domain?

An addondomain is a domain name that you add to your web hosting account even though it’s not the domain name you originally registered. Because it’s a fully functional domain, an addon domain is hosted in its own directory with the main hosting account. (It’s like having multiple web hosting packages under the same control panel.)

With an addon domain, you can create email addresses and do everything you can do with your primary domain.

It’s just that the files in an addon domain share the same control panel and server as the files of a primary domain.

If that sounds confusing, this might clear things up: One single web hosting account can have several domains under it. For signup and accounting purposes, one domain will be listed as the master domain (or primary domain). Every other domain associated with this web hosting account will be an addon domain.

Addon domains make it possible to manage multiple domains under one account using the same control panel, and the best part is that your visitors won’t be able to tell which of your domains are your primary domain and which are your addon domains.

Why you might want an addon domain

Here are some reasons you might want an addon domain:

1. They’re convenient.

With an addon domain, you can maintain multiple websites that, though appearing to be completely separate, can be modified through the same control panel, file manager, and FTP access.

2. You get more out of your hosting account.

When you use an addon domain, you can create multiple websites under multiple domain names without having to sign up for multiple web hosting accounts.

3. They’re great for beginners.

If you’re new to creating websites, and you want to try your hand at making lots of them, it’s unlikely that you’ll have enough web traffic to make it worth it to get multiple hosting services. Addon domains give you a nice, low-risk environment in which to experiment with making websites.

4. They save you money.

Because you don’t have to sign up for a new hosting account when you create an addon domain, this is a great way to save money, especially when you’re just starting out.

Four Things to know before getting an addon domain

1. An addon domain will not have its own unique IP address. The IP address of an addon domain will always be the same as that of the primary domain.

2. Your addon domains will share all the resources available to the primary domain. (These resources include storage space and bandwidth.)

3. As long as you don’t use your addon domains for anything dodgy, your SEO won’t suffer just because you use addon domains.

4. You can set up your addon domain to have its own site stats, FTP manager, and cgi-bin directory.

The Takeaway

An addon domain is a great way to save money on web hosting accounts. If you want to create multiple websites without buying extra web hosting or using different control panels, look into getting addon domains to get more websites for your money!