cPanel’s Domains page lists all domains on your account, including aliases, addon domains and subdomains. You can also use the interface to create and manage domains. The main things you can do are:

  • Add an alias, addon domain or subdomain.
  • Remove an alias, addon domain or subdomain.
  • Force website traffic to be redirected to HTTPS. This option is only available if you got a SSL certificate for a domain.

It is worth noting that the Domains page doesn’t do anything that can’t be done elsewhere in cPanel. It simply combines all domain-related sections in a single interface.

Aliases, addon domains, subdomains and redirects

Aliases, addons domains, subdomains and redirects are discussed in detail in other articles. However, here is a brief summary of what they are:

  • Aliases or parked domains displays the content of another domain.
  • An addon domain is an additional domain on your cPanel account. Addon domains are independent from your primary domain.
  • Subdomains are child-domains, such as shop.example.net or dev.example.net.
  • Redirects sends traffic for one URL to another URL. You can redirect a whole domain (for instance, you can redirect example.com to example.net) or individual pages.

Domains list

The main Domains page lists all domains on your account. In the below screenshot we got only one domain: example.net.

The 'Domains' interface lists all domains under a cPanel account.
Image: cPanel’s Domains page.

For each domain you can see the following information:

  • Document Root is the location where the website files are stored. Clicking on the link opens cPanel’s file Manager.
  • Redirects To shows if the domain redirects to another domain (and if so which domain).
  • Force HTTPS Redirect can be set to ‘On’ or ‘Off’. Setting the option to ‘On’ will redirect traffic from http://example.net to https://example.net. This option is disabled if a domain doesn’t have an SSL certificate.
  • The Action column provides links to the more options for managing the domain.

Adding a domain alias

You can add a domain via the Create a new domain button. The new domain can be either an alias or an addon domain, depending on whether or not the Share document root checkbox is ticked.

An alias always shares the document root of the main domain, while an addon domain always has its own directory for website files. You can therefore create an alias by leaving the checkbox ticked. The below screenshot shows how to create the alias example.com.

Adding a domain alias via the 'Domains' interface.
Image: creating an alias (by leaving the checkbox ticked).

After hitting the Submit button you should see a Success message. The notification doesn’t explicitly say that the new domain is an alias. However, you can tell by looking at the information about the domain: example.com has the same document root as the main domain. In other words, the domain example.com will show the content of the domain example.net.

Adding a domain alias via the 'Domains' interface.
Image: the domain example.com has been added as an alias.

Adding an addon domain

To create an addon domain you need to untick the Share document root checkbox. By default, the addon domain’s document root will be a subdirectory in the public_html directory. You can change the directory but there will rarely be a need to do so.

Adding an addon domain via the 'Domains' interface.
Image: creating the addon domain example.co.uk

When you create an addon domain cPanel automatically creates a subdomain. The subdomain is created because an addon domain is simply a subdomain with an alias. It seems a little odd but it is how cPanel works its magic in the background.

Adding a subdomain

To create a subdomain you simply enter the name in the Domain field. When you add a subdomain the Share document root checkbox is not ticked by default. You can tick the box, in which case the subdomain would be an alias. In most cases, though, you will want the create an independent subdomain.

Creating a subdomain via the 'Domains' interface.
Image: creating the subdomain shop.example.net

In the above screenshot we are creating the subdomain shop.example.net. The subdomain’s document root is automatically created. Again, you can change the name of the directory where the website files will be stored but the default option (the name of the subdomain) is sensible.

Managing domain settings

You can click the Manage button to view basic information about a domain. In the below screenshot you can see various details about the domain example.co.uk.

Managing the new example.co.uk domain.
Image: managing the example.co.uk domain.

The page is mainly a summary of the domain. You can change the document root, but that is about it. However, there are a few quick links to other cPanel pages that might be useful:

  • Create an email address opens the Email interface
  • Modify the zones opens the Zone editor
  • Modify the redirects takes you the Redirects page

Final thoughs

The Domains page is relatively new cPanel feature. While some people find it convenient to have a single page for any type of domain, others find the interface rather confusing. The main thing to remember is that you don’t have to use the Domains page. There is nothing wrong with creating an addon domain via the Addon Domains page. Similarly, it is perfectly fine to create a subdomain via the Subdomains section.

If you are new to the various types of domains then it is useful to try to understand the information shown on the page. It is a good place to learn about domains.