An Addon Domain is a domain name that is added to an account with a webhost that is not the one you signed up under originally. An Addon Domain functions in the same way any other domain. It gives us a way to refer to internet addresses in a way we (mere humans) can understand rather than having to resort to numeric addresses. In the example to the left, number 1 is the main domain while numbers 2 and 3 are Addon Domains.
The first thing you need to understand about domains* is that they can (and usually are) purchased separately from a hosting account. A single business or individual may have one or dozens of domains registered. A web hosting account may have several domains associated with it. One domain is listed as a master domain for accounting and service use when you signup for a hosting account and all the others associated with that account are referred to as addon domains. Software on the computer running the web server is able to distinguish between these domains and route visitors to them.
An Addon Domain can be setup from within your control panel**. The Addon Domain will appear as a totally separate domain from your primary domain. You can manage multiple domains in an account from the same control panel, however. You can assign Â email addresses to the domain, create forwarders for those email addresses, and more the same way you do for your main domain on the account. Incoming traffic will not be able to distinguish between a regular domain and an Addon Domain when they visit your websites.
There are some things to be aware of when creating an Addon Domain:
- there are no negative effects on SEO caused by Addon Domains unless you tie them to questionable sites or content,
- an Addon Domain cannot have its own unique IP address***, it will always have the same IP as the primary domain,
- you can create multiple domains/websites on the same web hosting account,
- you can save money and web space by using one hosting account with Addon Domains instead of several hosting accounts,
- the Addon Domain shares all the resources (disk space, bandwidth…) available to the main site,
- the Addon Domain can be configured to have its own FTP manager, site stats and cgi-bin directory,
- you can upload all pages, images, scripts, forums to your Addon Domain directory,
- you can access your Addon Domain using several web site addresses depending on how your account is setup, such as,
- you can promote several web sites within one hosting account with their own unique set of keywords,
- Addon Domains are generally placed in subdirectories under what is called the site root****.
When choosing a web hosting service, be sure toÂ ask if they allow add-on domains. This will give you Â more flexibility to utilize your web hosting space shouldÂ you need to create Addon Domains in the future. Some services allow you to have *unlimited* domains on a single account, but if you experience a surge in traffic, have too many databases in use, or fail to protect your siteagainst malware, your account may be limited or terminated. Since your account’s main domain will share resources with Addon Domains you may get into a difficult position sooner than you may expect.
Once you setup a couple of Addon Domains, most of this will come easily to you. If you have questions, I encourage you to leave them in the comment section below.
* A domain is the name you register for a website that is in a form that humans can readily identify.
** The term control panel refers to the software on the web server used to manage the files and databases associated with a single account. The most widely used are cPanel and Plesk.
*** The Internet Protocol(IP) address is a series of numbers used to identify places on the internet in a form similar to 345.67.347.912. In the case of a single user’s account on a shared system, all of the user’s sites have a shared IP address.
**** A site’s root is where the files for the main domain reside.