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Understanding Primary, Parked and AddOn Domains

This article was posted in: Web Hosting

This article will help you to assign additional websites/domain names to your cPanel account either as a Parked or Addon domain. Firstly, it is important to understand the difference between the two and how they relate to your primary domain. This article assumes you are already logged into a cPanel account.

Primary Domains

This is the main domain for your cPanel account. This domain can only be changed by raising a support request to our staff.

Your primary domain is served from the public_html/ folder within your home directory. Your home directory is the directory you see when you first connect using FTP.

e.g. a file located in your home directory at public_html/mypage.html would be served to the world as http://mydomain/mypage.html

PLEASE DO NOT upload your website into the top level directory of your home directory unless you know exactly what you are doing. It usually won't work, and creates a mess!

Parked Domains

To add a Parked/Alias domain, simply click the Aliases icon in cPanel (older versions of cPanel will show this icon as Parked Domains)

In terms of serving web pages, a parked domain is essentially an alias for your primary domain. Once you park a domain on your cPanel account, then both your primary domain, and the parked domain will open the same website, serviced from your public_html/ directory.

e.g. a file located in your home directory at public_html/mypage.html would be served to the world as both



Note : Parked domains are treated separately in terms of email handling - i.e. fred@myprimarydomain is a completely different mailbox account to fred@myparkeddomain

Addon Domains

When you create an Addon domain, you are in effect setting up a new additional virtual host, which means your new domain will have it's own website address of http://myaddondomain

To add an Addon domain, click the Addon Domains icon in cPanel.

New Domain Name : Enter the new Addon domain here (don't include the www - the system will automatically work with www as well once you're finished).

Subdomain/FTP Username : cPanel creates a subdomain and an FTP account for the Addon domain. The example shown would create a subdomain called myaddondomain.myprimarydomain - this is primarily to allow the statistics software to function correctly. An FTP account will also be created (if you tick the Create an FTP account... tick box) with a login username of myaddondomain@myprimarydomain and a password matching the one you set in the Password fields.

Document Root : This is where you want to keep the files for your addon website. This is normally a subdirectory of your public_html/ directory, and by default it uses the domain name you are adding as the name of that directory, e.g. public_html/ - however, you can chose any directory name you like.

IMPORTANT NOTE - if you are going to host several websites, then it is a good idea to place the document root at the top level, so instead of the Document Root (below) saying public_html/ it would simply say - This avoids a number of problems that can arise from the use of mod_rewrite in your primary domain.

The the above example /public_html/ would be served to the world as

IMPORTANT : If you are adding a handful of domains with the same basic name (e.g.,, etc) then you might get a message saying that the Subdomain or FTP User already exists. This is because cPanel will, by default, try to use the first part of the domain name for the Subdomain/FTP username, so you will have to change the default to something else for each of your domains.

Note : Addon domains are treated separately in terms of email handling - i.e. you can maintain mailboxes for all of your domains entirely independently.