Have Multiple Domains? Here’s How to Save Time and Money
Not every webmaster only owns one single domain, operating just one website.
Often website owners own multiple domains and host many different sites.
Sometimes these sites can be related or about the same subject, but not always. In many cases, website owners could operate sites on a variety of different subjects.
Managing Multiple Domains Via a Single Admin Panel
Managing all of these websites and all of the different hosting packages can be difficult and expensive.
That is why many website owners choose to host packages that offer multiple domain hosting options.
This option allows you to host all of your different domain names with a single hosting provider.
Then you can access all of your sites through a single administration interface, instead of having a separate admin panel for each one.
A Warning About “Unlimited” Bandwidth and Storage
Once you sign up for a hosting account that allows multiple domain hosting and you have configured all of your websites under one account, your work is still not done.
You may have the capability to host as many domain names as you want on your new account. However, that doesn’t mean you necessarily have the resources to accommodate all those domains and sites.
All hosting accounts, including those that allow for multiple domain hosting, have a limit on how much bandwidth and storage space you can access and use.
In fact, many companies that claim to offer unlimited bandwidth and storage have restrictions hidden in their Terms of Service that limit your use of their server space and resources.
Estimate Your Bandwidth, Storage, and Capacity Needs First
So, before you begin loading up all your domains and releasing them to the world, you need to estimate your needs, then check with your provider to make sure you’ll have enough bandwidth, storage space, and server capacity to support the load you will be placed on the server.
If you don’t, you could quickly find yourself out of space for the month. This would in turn force you to purchase additional resources or make some quick changes to keep your sites online.
Basics of Multiple Domain Hosting?
Each web host will have a different way of handling multiple domain names. Some providers will offer you the ability to host an unlimited number of domains. Others will restrict the number of sites you can host unless you upgrade your account.
Beyond choosing the web host that’ll let you host the number of domains you require, there are some other features you should look out for:
- The ability to add multiple IP addresses
- Unlimited email accounts to go with each of your domains
- Easy add-on domain management from within cPanel
- Either cPanel control panel, or another beginner-friendly option
- Adding a subdomain to an existing domain name
- Parked domain management for domains you’re not building out yet
- Domain alias for having multiple URLs point to a single website
- Free or paid SSL certificate availability for selling products online
Of course, this feature list isn’t conclusive, but simply a guideline for finding the best and most flexible web host for hosting multiple domain names.
What Else Should I Think About?
When looking for the perfect host provider, you need to take into account how many sites you’ll be building out as well.
If you’re only building out one or two sites, but want to park a dozen or so domain names, then you won’t require as much bandwidth and storage initially as you would if you were actually building out websites for every single domain name in your arsenal.
Note that if you plan on building out a site that sells products online, like an e-commerce site, then you will need an SSL certificate for each such site.
Features to Look for in Multiple Domain Hosting
When you are searching for the right type of hosting account for your domain names, you will be faced with many different choices.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when choosing the best multiple domains hosting providers for you.
- Number of Domains
Let’s look at each of these three features in further detail.
Number of Domains
Different hosting providers allow different numbers of domains. You will find some that limit the number to just a few and others that are unlimited.
Examine your needs and how many you believe you are going to need not only today but also in the future.
All of your different websites will be using bandwidth and will be tallied together for your account.
If even one of your sites has a heavy month, you could end up having to purchase more bandwidth.
Try to estimate as best you can how much bandwidth you will need and then watch your usage closely to be sure you don’t go over those restrictions.
Each website will take up space on the server. The more sites you have, the more space you will take up on the server.
Look carefully at the size of your site’s files before choosing a hosting provider so you can ensure that you have plenty of space on your hosting account to store all the files.
Choosing the Right Host Plan for Your Multiple Domain Needs
Type of Plan
Easiest of all available options to use; generally the least expensive
Not as secure as other options; may have stricter limits placed on bandwidth and other resources
VPS (Virtual Private Server)
Offers greater security, may offer additional speed enhancements
More expensive than shared hosting plans
Greatest security and performance enhancements
Most expensive plans
Beyond analyzing hosts based upon the number of domains, overall bandwidth, and storage, you’ll also have to choose between the types of hosting available.
Getting a shared hosting plan will be the cheapest and most beginner-friendly option. However, if you’re a more advanced user, then you might want to look for VPS host or even dedicated hosting. It all depends upon the goals of the sites you’re building.
For instance, if you’re managing a handful of resource-intensive sites, then you’ll probably outgrow a shared hosting package rather quickly. If you do want to begin with shared hosting, just make sure the host you choose makes it easy to scale your account as your website portfolio, resource needs, and traffic levels grow.
What Type of Control Panel Should I Choose?
The final consideration you’ll want to keep in mind is which control panel the host is currently using for server and site management. Some control panels are easier to use than others, and choosing a host with the wrong control panel will only make managing multiple domains all the more difficult.
One of the most popular control panels is cPanel, which is very beginner-friendly, while still packing a lot of features.
If you want to quickly manage multiple sites with the same settings, then you might also have the ability to use WHM. (It’s a product in the cPanel family.)
Managing Your Domain Names
Some hosts like Namecheap are primarily domain name registrars who also offer to host.
Using a provider who offers both will help to simplify the sign-up and domain management process.
Since you’ll only be dealing with a single host, instead of a separate registrar and web host, you’ll only need one online portal to manage everything related to your website.
This won’t be the right setup for everyone. Registrars that have added hosting as a service usually won’t be able to provide you with the high-quality hosting you need. However, for people just looking to park their domains somewhere, it could be a solid fit.
If you end up getting your hosting and registering multiple top-level domains at different providers, then you’re going to need to forward your nameservers to your hosting account.
This is usually the recommended course of action, especially when you’re purchasing multiple domains.
Managing your DNS server isn’t very technical. Typically you’ll be able to get a better deal as you’ll be able to purchase your domains and hosting separately.
How to Add Multiple Domains Via Your Hosting Account
If you have cPanel access via your host account, then adding domains will be easy. If you’re using a basic shared host, then login to your control panel.
cPanel add-on domain menu. Just fill in the blanks and click the blue button. Easy.
Next, you’ll either search or scroll down until you see a section called Addon Domains. This is where you’ll be doing the work of adding more domains to your hosting account. Here you’ll also be able to do things like:
- Create subdomains
- Implement parked domains
- Set up URL redirects.
On the following screen simply enter your domain name, specify a password and you’re all set. You can now start building out your new website on the same hosting account.
How do I Create a Domain-Based Email Address?
You may also want to create a domain-based email address. (Note: The number of email addresses you can create may be limited by your hosting company.)
Adding an email address is similar to the addon domain process above.
To add an email address to your new domain navigate to a section called Email Accounts from within your control panel.
On the following screen, you’ll simply enter the prefix to your new email and select the domain name you’d like the email address to be associated with.
How to Set Up Email Forwarding in cPanel
You can also set up email accounts to be forwarded to other, more actively managed accounts for each of your domains through cPanel through the Domain Forwarder menu.
cPanel’s email account forwarding menu.
Summary: Key Points on Multiple Domain Hosting
So, what is the real purpose of multiple domain hosting? Let’s take a closer look.
Saves time and money
If you are setting out to create a network of websites, one of the best options to consider is a hosting package that offers multiple domain hosting.
Whether you want to host just a couple of sites or fifty, having one single location to manage them can save you time and money in the long run.
Research your bandwidth and storage needs
Make sure whatever hosting package you choose is equipped to handle the extra storage and bandwidth that these multiple sites will cause.
Otherwise, you could find all your sites offline until you purchase more resources from your hosting provider.
My Top 3 Host Recommendations
Finally, I will take you through my top three choices for best hosts that allow multiple domain hosting.
If you’re looking for multiple domains shared hosting, then Bluehost is a great choice. It’s high-performing and incredibly inexpensive for everything you’re getting.
With Bluehost, you’ll get all the disk space and bandwidth you need, plus advanced level features to ensure your sites load quickly. If the price is your main concern, then go with Bluehost.
InMotion not only provides solid shared multiple domain hosting but also multiple domain VPS hosting. If you know that you’re going to need more than a shared hosting plan can offer, then go with VPS hosting right from the start.
You’ll also enjoy access to enterprise-level cPanel and WHM for easy site management, as well as greater amounts of site storage and bandwidth. Plus, you’ll have advanced cloud infrastructure and SSDs for optimal site performance.
Another great choice for multiple domain hosting is HostGator. It utilizes cPanel and WHM for site management. The inexpensive shared hosting plans are easily accessible to total beginners. Additionally, you’ll be able to add an unlimited amount of domains with the basic shared hosting plan.
Of course, site performance will suffer if every single domain you manage has a high-traffic site attached to it. However, the ability to include unlimited domains for a low monthly price is a nice option to have.
Benefits of Multiple Domain Hosting
Choosing to utilize multiple domain hosting offers many benefits over operating separate hosting accounts for each domain and website that you operate. Here are three to consider:
- Simplicity of Expansion
First, while multiple domain hosting packages are often more expensive than packages that only allow the hosting of one website, even after setting up and operating two domain names you will find that you will save money over paying for several different hosting accounts for each website.
When you use multiple domain hosting, you will have one admin interface for all of your websites. This will save time when you make changes to your account while making it easier for you to remember how you access all of your websites.
Simplicity of Expansion
As your web presence grows, so will your hosting needs. With multiple domain hosting, you can divide and organize your content so it is easier for your visitors to search and find.
In truth, you can truly simplify the entire process of managing your domains while also saving a little money in the process simply by choosing a hosting provider that allows multiple domain hosting.
Other features in Specialty
- DDoS Protection
- Domain Name
- Streaming Audio/Video
- Green Hosting
- Unlimited Sites
Multiple Domain hosting Frequently Asked Questions
Is it possible to host more than one website from one hosting account?
Absolutely. With the right type of hosting account, you can host as many websites as your particular hosting package will allow. Be sure to check with your hosting provider before you begin hosting more than one domain.
What is Multiple Domain Hosting?
To put it simply, multiple domain hosting is the ability to host more than one domain, and sometimes many domains, from one single hosting account.
Do my domains share resources on multiple domain hosting packages?
Yes. All of your domains will be lumped together when your hosting provider tallies your total storage and bandwidth. So, if you go over your allotted amount, you could face an outage of multiple sites. Before you begin hosting more than one domain on your account, be sure you have enough storage and bandwidth to meet the increased load.
Are there limits on multiple domain hosting?
Sometimes. It all depends on your hosting provider and what type of plan you have with them. In some cases, there are no limits to the number of actual websites, but there may be other limits such as storage limitations and bandwidth that you must consider.
Is it cheaper to host multiple domains on one hosting account?
In most cases, yes. Even if you purchase the cheapest shared hosting plans, you will find that for a few dollars more on one of those accounts you can actually host multiple domains saving you money every month.
Is it better to host on one hosting account?
Better is a relative term. It all comes down to how you work. In many cases, it will be easier to manage all your domains from one interface. But there are cases where maintaining multiple hosting accounts could work to your advantage as well.
About Kevin Wood
Kevin got his start as a web developer. Now he spends his time as a technical writer and poet. His main interests are technology and human potential. When he’s not diving headfirst into technical topics, you can find him scrawling lines of poetry and getting lost in the woods.