How to Point a Domain to a Hosting with cPanel

HOW TO POINT A DOMAIN TO A HOSTING WITH CPANEL

Illustration by Filip Zywica

Many of us own more than one domain. Very often we use the same domain name registrar but want to host the site with a different company. Services like godaddy.com or name.com are great to search and buy new domain names, but if you are planning to use economy hosting with godaddy  think again. Your visitor will be able to make a cup of tea before a website page finishes loading!

This article will give you a step-by-step instruction how to point one of those domains to a folder located in your hosting with cPanel.

For the purpose of this post, I assume that you already have your domains registered with one domain registrar and you have a cPanel with a multiple website hosting option with a different hosting provider.

Hosting Supporting Multiple Websites

When you sign up for the hosting, your provider sets up your main domain as per your instructions. The main domain can be found on your left hand site (screenshot below) after logging in to cPanel. Your current site probably sits on this domain.

Now, let’s assume you want to have another website. With a multiple hosting option you don’t need to buy another hosting! You can host another site within the same account by using an Addon domain.

What is an Addon domain and where its files will be placed?

Addon Domain is an additional domain on your account. Its files are located in a folder (e.g. “bluestilton.com”) within “public_html” folder of you main domain.

The public_html folder is the root (or web root) of your main domain name (when a user browses your maindomain.com site, they really browse files within public_html).

Example:
You have just bought a domain name bluestilton.com that you want to add to your current hosting account as an addon, with your main domain called mymain.com. A user browsing to your site will see ‘bluestilton.com’ in the URL, but in fact will be browsing a specific folder under main domain, so all the bluestilton.com files will sit under a subfolder similar to /public_html/ bluestilton.com / (unless you specified otherwise).

Step 1. Create an Addon domain in cPanel

In order to create an addon domain, login in to the cPanel and go to Domains section. Click on “Addon domains”. The below page will load:

Add On domain- cPanel view

In ’New domain name” part, type the name of the domain you under which you want to host your new website, co in our example bluestilton.com. The other fields will be automatically filled in. I would suggest to leave them as they are as it follows best practice. Then just create a password (repeat it twice) and hit “Add domain”.

After a few seconds, the new domain should be shown in your list of Addon domains, e.g.

addon domain in cpanel

Step 2. Change nameservers of your new domain

Now it’s time to change the nameserver of the domain name you have just set up.

When you set up your hosting account, in your welcome email, your hosting provider would have also included the nameservers.

They will look something like:
NS1.EXAMPLE.COM
NS2.EXAMPLE.COM

You need to replace the nameservers of your ‘bluestilton.com’ at your domain registrar with two name servers provided by the hosting company.

Now, this bit is tricky, as I don’t know which company you use to buy domains. Since a GoDaddy is one of the most popular registrar, I will show how to change the nameservers at their example:

Log in to your Godaddy account, then click on My Account and the ‘Domains’ section, then search for the domain you want to point to new hosting (i.e. change the name servers). Click ‘Launch” on the right hand site:

domain launching godaddy

Then a new window will pop up like this one (screenshot):

namservers

Go to the Nameserver sections and click “Manage”. Choose “custom option”. In the first line copy and paste the first nameserver from the email: NS1.EXAMPLE.COM and in the second line NS1.EXAMPLE.COM and save changes.

Note: After making that change, there might be 24-48 hours of DNS propagation time during which your website and email may not be available.

Now, congratulate yourself- you did another great job! Have a good sleep and visit your site the next day. Your new website should be available under your ‘bluestilton.com’ url.

Mags Sikora

I'm Mags, an SEO Consultant, London