Understanding the Differences Between cPanel Accounts and Addon Domains

Knowing the subtle differences between addon domains and cPanel accounts can be confusing. If you’re not sure which option to use or which ones you may already have configured, we’ll help clear up the distinctions.

In this article we’ll cover:

The Ability to Create cPanel Accounts

First off, we need to make the most important distinction: can you make new cPanel accounts? This depends on your hosting package.

All of our hosting packages let you host multiple websites. The difference comes in how these websites are configured to work. For example, on our business class hosting, you have only one cPanel account to manage all of your websites. And you can add more websites to your cPanel using addon domains.

For reseller, VPS, and dedicated accounts, you not only have access to unlimited addon domains, but you can actually create individual cPanel accounts.

Bear in mind, cPanel account creation is no longer unlimited, but priced depending on usage.

Remember, every cPanel account has a “primary domain” that may or may not act as a website. Addon domains will be configured to work properly only under that primary domain.

So, if you’re on reseller, VPS, or dedicated, you could actually have a different cPanel for every one of your websites. And you would create each cPanel using the advanced Web Host Manager interface. Or, you can actually automate account creation using WHMCS. Likewise, if you change your mind down the road, you convert addon domains to cPanel accounts in WHM.

Limitations of Addon Domains

Addon domains let you host a completely separate website within a single cPanel. Depending on your hosting account, you can create unlimited addon domains. Whether or not this is preferable to creating individual cPanel accounts depends on how you prefer to have your sites organized.

Whenever you create an addon, a subdomain of your primary domain is created to manage to the addon. You’ll also have a root directory where you can add files (and which you can also customize). If you have a lot of addons, these extras directories and file trees can get cumbersome. That’s why, for many users who manage more than a hundred websites, creating individual cPanel accounts proves to be ideal.

Christopher Maiorana

Christopher Maiorana joined the InMotion community team in 2015 and regularly dispenses tips and tricks in the Support Center, Community Q&A, and the InMotion Hosting Blog.

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