If you are planning on doing any type of affiliate marketing online, you will eventually be tasked with the job of setting up your own domain(s). Understanding the different types of domains and how they are used is just as important as understanding domain hosting options and domain registration. One of the most common questions I hear regarding the different types of domains is: What is the difference between a subdomain, a parked domain, and an add-on domain? The remainder of this post explains the different types of domains.
Subdomains (or Sub-domains) are domains that are part (or subsets) of your primary domain. For example, if you have installed forums on your website in a separate sub-directory, called ‘forums’, you can make the directory ‘forums’ into a sub-domain, simply by choosing this option from your Control Panel. As a result, you will then be able to access this subdomain by using the format forums.mysite.com. It provides a cleaner looking domain to navigate to versus the alternative, which would be www.mysite.com/forums/.
Parked Domains are undeveloped domains that are forwarded to other domains or to parking companies. Parked domains that are forwarded allow the visitor to be directed somwhere else. Usually visitors are re-directed to a primary domain, however occasionally parked domains may be forwarded to a parking company like Sedo that allow domain holders to earn revenue from parked domains by automatically displaying parking pages on the domain. Parking pages are display ads relevant to the domain name itself that are provided by the parking company.
Add-On Domains are domains that are totally separate from the main domain, but that are hosted under the same hosting plan as the original domain – usually for a single price. Add-on domains allow for the developer to maintain two completely separate, developed websites, that are independent from each other except for the fact that they are under the same hosting plan. Advantages of add on domains are that some companies, such as HostGator and BlueHost, allow for unlimited add-on domains. (Note: I recently added a review of HostGator web hosting so you can get more details about what they actually offer). Essentially you can host unlimited domains for one price because once you have purchased your original hosting package from one of these companies, you can then select to add-on as many domains as you want – and develop them – without being charged additional fees to host more than one domain. To implement Add-On domains the following must be true: 1) Your web hosting company must provide this service, 2) You must purchase a totally new domain from a Registrar (i.e. GoDaddy) to be used as an add-on domain. (Note: This is different from a sub-domain in that a subdomain can be created from a subdirectory under your primary domain and is NOT a totally separate domain). 3) You must select the option, within your Control Panel under your primary domain, to set-up the new domain as an Add-On domain.
As you can see, understanding the different types of domains, including Subdomains, Parked Domains, and Add-On Domains is important because, depending on your needs, you may implement one, two, or even all three types of domains in your online marketing efforts.