Last updated: 28 November 2023

cPanel’s Domains page is used to manage addon domains, subdomains and aliases. The interface has replaced the separate Addon Domains, Subdomains and Parked Domains sections.

Most users find the interface somewhat confusing, as it is not immediately clear what type of domains are listed on the page. In this article I first explain the difference between the type of domains, and I then explain how to create different types of domains.

The main domain

On a brand new cPanel account you should see just one domain. That domain is the “main”, or “primary” domain. This domain can’t be removed.

A table that lists all domains managed via a cPanel account. The image shows a table with domain information. As this is a new account it only lists the main domain (
The Domain page on a newly created cPanel account.

Information on the Domains page

The table with information about domains has five columns:

  • Domain shows the name of the domain. For the primary domain it also shows the label Main Domain. As we will see shortly, other types of domain don’t get a handy label like that.
  • Document Root is the website directory for a domain. On cPanel servers, the default document root is public_html. This is where website files are kept.
  • Redirects To shows whether or not the domain redirects to another domain.
  • Force HTTPS Redirect can be used to redirect website traffic from HTTP to HTTPS.
  • Actions provides quick links for specific tasks, such as creating an email address for a domain.

Next, let’s briefly look at how to create different types of domains.

Alias domains

An alias is a domain that shows the content of another domain. For instance, my main domain is, and perhaps I also own the domain If I want to show the same content as then I can add it as an alias. This type of domain is also known as a “parked domain”.

Whether or not you can create an alias depends on your hosting plan. Most of our shared hosting plans don’t include aliases, but they can be added as an addon product.

To add an alias domain, start by clicking the Create A New Domain button. You should then see this form:

Every type of domain is created using the same form, and the first field is always the field where you enter the domain. Here, I have enter, which is going to be an alias. There is checkbox that can be ticked if the domain should share the document root with the main domain. In this case,, that box it ticked, as the alias should show the content of the main domain.

The Domain field is self-explanatory; this is where you enter the domain you want to add. The only thing to be aware of is that you should not enter the protocol (i.e. https://) and the www subdomain.

Next up is the Document Root field. This is a common source of confusion. By default, the Share document root checkbox is ticked. With that option, the new domain uses the same website directory as the main domain. In other words, the main domain and the new domain would show the same content. So, with the box checked cPanel creates an alias, which is the option we want.

Aliases on the Domains page

After adding the domain you are returned to the main Domains page, which now shows two domains:

Another image of the Domains page. It now shows and The latter domain is an alias, because it has the same document root as the main domain.

The main thing to note is that and share the same document root. So, they are one and the same website, but they use different domains. And we also know that is the main domain. That tells us that is an alias of (and not the other way round).

When you create an alias you often also want to add a redirect, so that the alias redirects to the main domain. My article about aliases in cPanel talks about that in more detail.

Addon domain

Next, let’s add an addon domain. You use this option if you to want to manage multiple domains via you cPanel account. Whether or not you can host multiple domains again depends on the hosting plan. For instance, our “Power” plan allows one additional domain, while the “Power Extra” plan lets you host up to 10 domains. You can compare the hosting plans on our Web Hosting page.

To create an addon domain you enter the domain and untick the Share document root option. That is because the addon domain should be independent from the main website. It therefore needs its own document root.

Another image of the form used to create domain. Here, I add, which is going to be a separate website. Because it is separate from the main domain it should not share the document root with the main domain.

When you untick the box the form asks you what subdomain should be created. This is another source of confusion. You are creating an addon domain, so why would you want a subdomain? The reason has to do with the odd way in which cPanel creates addon domains. In the background, it creates a subdomain and it then adds an alias.

To illustrate, the above image shows that I am adding as an addon domain. When I unticked Share document root, cPanel automatically offered to create the subdomain When I click Submit cPanel quietly creates the alias for the domain

Addon domains on the Domains page

The Domain page doesn’t list the subdomain and alias. Instead, it simply lists the addon domain. You can tell it is an addon domain because the domain has its own document root (public_html/

On the Domains page you can identify addon domain by looking at the Document Root field. Here, the domain has its own document root. As it is not a subdomain it can only be an addon domain.


A subdomain is an independent section of a domain. For instance, you want to host a git repository for your domain then you can create a subdomain such as

Like addon domains, subdomains have their own document root. When you create a subdomain the Share document root is therefore automatically unticked. Cpanel also automatically suggests a location for the document root.

Here, I create a subdomain. When you enter a subdomain, cPanel knows the domain should not share the document root with the main domain. So, you can simply enter the subdomain and hit the Submit button.

And there we have it: the subdomain has been created:

The Domains page now shows four domains. You can deduce that is a subdomain by looking at the domain name itself. Also, as subdomains always have their own document root it is fairly easy to spot a subdomain.

How to recognise types of domains

As mentioned, the Domains page doesn’t show if a domain is an addon domain, alias or subdomain. However, you can tell what types of domains are listed on the page by looking at the document root and the domain name itself:

  • The primary domain is easy to spot, as it has the label “Main Domain”. It also always uses public_html as the document root.
  • Aliases always share the document root with the main domain. The document root of is public_html, and it therefore can only be an alias.
  • Addon domains always have their own document root (because they are independent from the main domain).
  • Subdomains are an independent section of the main domain, so you can recognise a subdomain by looking at the name itself. Like addon domains, a subdomain always has its own document root.