cPanel control panel has been very popular with most web hosts. However, the one thing you must be careful about cPanel is “choosing the primary domain name”.
Domain Structure in cPanel Hosting
In cPanel hosting, you basically host a primary domain name on your account. That becomes your hosting account’s root. Any additional domains you wanted to host can be added as “addon domains” in the cPanel. Addon domains are nothing but subdomains of the primary domain.
Say, for example, your primary domain is MyFirstDomain.comIf you wanted to host another domain MySecondDomain.com on your hosting account, it would actually create a subdomain MySecondDomain.MyFirstDomain.com internally.
You would also need to keep your 2nd domain files in a sub directory created under MyFirstDomain.com directory.
Having said that, here are some points to remember while choosing your primary domain name (Usually, you need to decide this while purchasing the hosting account):
- If you are not planning to host multiple accounts in the cPanel, ignore the rest of this article!
- If you have plans to host multiple domains in the cPanel, choose the one that does not need much scripting and htaccess rules. Say, a domain where you wanted to keep some plain html or php files only. Especially, choose the one where you do not need to install CMS like WordPress or forum scripts like PHPBB. Believe me, it does give headache when you have WP or PHPBB installed in root domain and you again go for similar scripts in the addon domains. (i.e. in the subdirectories)
- Choose a small domain name as primary. That will keep the subdomain names smaller too.
- The domain that you are not gonna let expire
Almost all webhosts allow changing the cPanel primary domain name. In fact, HostGator had been charging extra for this and you were needed to fill a support request. I believe they have made it free these days. And, you can do it yourself via the billing control panel. (Just realized, StableHost also allows the name change via its billing control panel.)
However, there are additional steps to be taken to ensure a smooth change in the primary domain name. And it’s always advisable to choose the primary name properly in order to avoid the need for a change later.