When we sign up for a hosting service, generally we are allowed with the feature of having multiple sub-domains, parked and addon domains that are linked to our account. If we are not familiar with managing our hosting accounts, then we get easily confused between these concepts as they slightly differ in functionality and settings. The difference among them is clearly visible when we login to our hosting accounts and manage our websites through a web based user interface called cpanel. In order to make it easier for our readers,
we have brought together the basic concepts on these three topics:
A sub-domain is a part of the main domain at a lower level, with little alteration to the domain name but comes under the same DNS hierarchy. For instance, if www.website.com is the main domain of your website, then www.pictures.website.com or www.blog.website.com are considered as sub-domains under the same domain name. Sub-domains share the same parent folder and search engines consider them as separate websites. It becomes really tough to put the entire content on a single folder for webmasters while creating the websites. Hence they distribute the content and categorize the information under unique sub domains, so that it becomes easy to organize the website with different functionality. Now-a-days, most of the hosting providers are offering unlimited sub-domains to their users unless it is a low end or free hosting plan. By signing into the account, and accessing through control panel, the users are allowed to create, delete or edit the sub-domains as per their requirement.
Parked domains are usually created to reserve the domain names for later use. Generally people create multiple domains and point it to the same website as that of the main domain, so that it can be protected under their name, preventing other users from registering the same domain name. In fact, they are also used for monetizing purpose by placing advertisements on these parked pages, so that people can make some extra income whenever an online visitor comes to the page and clicks on one of these ads. Some hosting services may provide their users with free parking domains up to certain limit, where in-exchange they take certain amount of percentage from their earnings that are made through parked page advertisements.
Addon domains are bit different from the above domain types because they point to different website names under the same hosting account. Once the user sets up an account for a certain domain name, the hosting providers allow users to create multiple functional addon domains under the same account sharing the same control panel. This means the users can configure several websites with different domain names under the same host. Based on the hosting plan, the service provider will control the number of domains that can be created for a particular hosting account. Even though add-on domains are different in terms of functionality, when they are created in the cpanel, the host server treats it as sub domain and automatically displays it as a sub-root under the main domain directory.
Remember, before creating all these additional types of domains that are mentioned above, first it is mandatory to have a hosting account with the service provider. Unless you have an account set up in the cpanel for a certain primary domain, it is not possible to work on various domain options.