Since I own a couple Web hosting business and am a web guy as well, I’m frequently asked the question what is the difference between an add-on domain versus a regular domain.
This sounds confusing already I know because most people think of a domain as being the name of the website and not the location, so many would assume that an add-on domain would be the same as a sub domain which adds a new wrinkle. Let me clarify that before proceeding.
A domain name of course is for example frankdeardurff.com a SUB domain would be like blog.frankdeardurff.com it is looked at by some as a separate site and there are some strategies using sub domains, but to be clear a sub domain and add-on domains are totally different.
To further clarify a domain or domain name or sometimes called the host name is the name that is associated to a server (hosting) via a number called an IP address.
An add-on domain is simply a domain name set to use the same space as another domain. For example I could log in to where I bought my domain deardurff.com and give it the same settings (name servers) as the first domain frankdeardurff.com.
But for the add-on site to become active you have to login to the control panel (cpanel) for the first domain (frankdeardurff.com in this case) click on the add-on domain icon and add the deardurff.com domain name there.
All this really does is add a folder under the parent domain and points the add-on domain to that folder. no one coming to either site will be able to tell the difference as both sites will look as their own website. This just gives you the ability to put more domains in one spot.
There are some advantages and disadvantages of course. The advantage would be that this is quite useful if you are limited on your hosting budget and want to have multiple websites. You will of course need to make sure your hosting allows add-ons and if their is a limit to the number of add-ons you can use.
Some of the disadvantages are the fact that it shares the resources of the parent domain, so if you are limited on storage space this could affect this. Something I don’t like about add on domains is the fact if you want to move the parent domain to a different server all of the add-on domains have to go with it.
Imagine you have a website set up as an add-on domain and somebody buys your site, it is real difficult to separate the different sites.
Of course my hosting company does allow add-on domains plus I offer hosting packages that allow for multiple individual sites so that each site would have it’s on cpanel access.
You can check out my hosting plans at That One Hosting