Monthly Archives: January 2019

Reseller hosting vs Addon Domains - cPanel

Reseller Web Hosting – Reseller Hosting vs cPanel Addon Domains

When to choose reseller hosting over addon domains

Reseller web hosting and shared web hosting plans often include cPanel for managing your websites & domains. When you have multiple domains, you must decide on whether reseller hosting or a shared web hosting plan is a better fit.


Reseller Web Hosting

  • master dashboard to control multiple cPanel accounts
  • ability to create multiple cPanel accounts
  • each cPanel account has a separate login; username & password
  • resources are allocated to each cPanel (memory, cpu, processes etc)

Shared Web Hosting

  • single cPanel login
  • uses “addon domains” (directories) for additional domains
  • no separate login for websites
  • resources are shared among all websites on the account


When do we recommend using a reseller web hosting plan?

If you have more than a few domains that you’d like to host, we recommend a reseller hosting plan to keep each domain isolated via their own cPanel account. The two biggest issues with addon domains are the use of resources such as memory, cpu & processes and then security concerns. Addon domains within cPanel are not inherently insecure, but since the directories reside under the same system user, there is no isolation between them. Unfortunately, this means if for example, a WordPress website becomes compromised, it can potentially spread to other addon domains.

While the addon domains & security does pose a risk to other websites residing on the same hosting plan, we do not see a higher ratio of compromised websites simply due to the fact that addon domains are being used. As long as the website(s) being hosted on the addon domains (and parent cPanel account) are properly secured, we see no issues with using addon domains.


Are you a web agency or providing website hosting services to customers?

If you’re providing website hosting services to customers or are hosting a large number of websites (from a web agency for example), we most definitely recommend using a reseller hosting account over a shared account with addon domains. There’s a few reasons for this, the main three being security, resources & accessibility. Having each domain on its own cPanel means that there is also a separate login.

You certainly would not want to have addon domains in this case as you would have to provide the same username/password to each customer in order for them to access anything within cPanel (which we HIGHLY do not recommend). Additionally, keeping each customer isolated from one another will ensure that in the event one site becomes compromised, it does not affect another customer site.

Lastly, resources are assigned per cPanel account, so having each website on its own cPanel means the resources are not being shared by any other account/website except for what resides on that cPanel account.

With addon domains (on a single shared web hosting account), if your cPanel account has 1GB of RAM available to it and you have 10 domains/websites via addon domains, all 10 of those websites are going to have to share that 1GB of RAM. With busy websites, this means contention, each website will fight one another for resources.


When to use addon domains?

If you have a shared web hosting account and would like to simply add a few personal or hobby type sites, we most definitely recommend addon domains for this. The concept of addon domains from cPanel is good however, when the websites being hosted using addon domains are customer websites or are busy sites, we don’t recommend using addon domains. Addon domains are another option that can be used for staging sites also, but we recommend using subdomains for that.


Are your sites income based or monetized sites?

If your websites are generating any type of income, we recommend that you at least host them on separate accounts. This could be a reseller hosting plan OR separate shared hosting plans if you don’t plan to add more sites over time. Shared hosting accounts can always be moved into a reseller account down the road if you add more accounts.

The biggest reasons we recommend multiple shared hosting cPanel accounts or a reseller account when you have multiple sites that are monetized is both performance and security.

If one of your monetized sites becomes compromised (let’s say a WordPress exploit from a bad plugin) and it spreads to your other site (via an addon domain), there’s a possibility that the platform being used for monetizing the site could pull the site from their platform. In instances like this, we feel the risk is simply too high and increases the possibility that the issue could interfere with the income being generated.


Steps to Consider When Migrating to Another Web Hosting Provider

We’ve migrated thousands of websites for new customers transitioning from other web hosting providers and we realize many people worry this will be a difficult and confusing task. Can things go wrong? Of course. But if done correctly, it can be a low stress process and there are rarely problems that cannot be corrected. With a proper migration you will not lose any data and experience little to no downtime.

For the migration process to be as stress-free as possible, we recommend you (1) have full access to the account with your current hosting provider or a full backup of your website, and (2) plan enough time for a smooth migration.

Migrating to Another Web Hosting Provider

STEP 1: Create an account with your new web host and set a migration window. We recommend you sign up with your new hosting provider thirty days before your existing plan expires and then initiate the migration process at least seven days prior. This allows plenty of time to correct any unforeseen issues that may arise. Your new web host will need time to evaluate the migration to determine what steps need to be completed by them and you, and when these steps should be executed. Do not cancel your existing plan until you and your new web host provider verify that the migration was successful.

STEP 2: Make a full backup of your website and download it locally. While every good web hosting provider offers regular backups of your data, it is a best practice to retain offsite backups of your content on your own storage space, preferably on a local drive that you own and control.

STEP 3: Ensure you have access to all accounts associated with your web hosting. This includes your DNS records. Many people choose to separate their DNS from hosting. If you’ve done this, be sure you can access and change your DNS records to complete the migration.

STEP 4: Perform the migration. This will either be a cPanel to cPanel migration or a manual migration (see details below). If your new hosting provider offers free migrations, you simply provide login information and they will perform the migration for you.

STEP 5: Verify functionality on new host. Verify your site is now functioning correctly with the new host.

STEP 6: Update DNS records. Update your current DNS records to point to your new hosting provider. Full DNS propagation may take up to 48 hours, which means some users may be accessing your site at your old host while others may be accessing the site at your new host during this time. You can use many online tools such as to check if DNS propagation has completed.

STEP 7: Cancel your old hosting provider. This step is optional. At this point your website is fully running on with your new host. With respect to the website you just migrated, there is no need to keep the account active with your old provider.

cPanel to cPanel Migration

If your previous web hosting provider uses cPanel, migration is simple and straightforward. This is why most users stick with a cPanel-based web hosting provider. To migrate, create a cPanel backup with your current web hosting provider, download it locally, and restore it to your cPanel account with your new web host.

For a detailed explanation read our Knowledge Base article, “How to Create a Full cPanel Backup of your Website” or view the video below.


  • Do not unzip or modify the archive file using an unsupported software, such as the Windows default archive management utility. Doing so might corrupt the entire backup file.
  • Do not make changes to your site or upload new content once you have initiated a migration request. During the migration process, once a full cPanel backup is generated, changes made on the older server’s copy of the site will not be reflected once the website has been restored with the new host. Example: If your site is an ecommerce store and DNS has not fully propagated there is a chance a someone will connect to the store at the old host and make a purchase. This purchase will not be present on the new site since it is recorded in the database on the old host. Work with your new provider to map out the proper migration plan.

Non-cPanel Migrations

If your current web hosting provider does not use cPanel, migrations can be trickier since file and directory structure as well as standard terminology and management rules tend to vary from one control panel to another. In this case, the best and safest way is to migrate the website manually, as opposed to the entire user account at once. The manual migration involves copying the website files and database backup to your local machine and uploading it to the new account. Providing your new host access to your old host’s account so they can do the migration is the best way to do this.

For static websites, migrating to another web hosting provider often only entails copying the files from one server to another, generally by means of SFTP (secure file transfer protocol), using something like FileZilla or SCP (secure copy protocol), using a tool like Putty or WinSCP. In other words, all you need to do is download your HTML, CSS and other public_html files, and then upload them all to the new hosting provider.

For websites that are dynamic in nature and running via a CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, there are specialized extensions and plugins available that can make the task easier. For instance, WordPress users can make use of plugins such as UpDraft Plus to backup their sites, and then restore them via SFTP to the new server. All in One WP Migration is another such plugin.

UpdraftPlus Manager

UpdraftPlus Manager

While migrating to another web hosting provider by means of such backup plugins is very easy, the only thing that needs to be taken care of is the database. Often, there might be conflicts or clashes with the records of an existing database on the new server. It is, therefore, a good idea to migrate to a brand new and fresh hosting account. Furthermore, make sure that the PHP and MySQL versions on the new server are the same as the ones currently being used by your WordPress or Drupal website.

For example, if your existing server is running on PHP 5.x and the new server has PHP 7.x, there may be compatibility issues when attempting to clone or migrate using an automated plugin. It is wiser to upgrade to the same versions of MySQL and PHP and then attempt the migration.

Email and DNS (Domain Name Server) Settings

When migrating to another web hosting provider by means of a full cPanel export, all email configuration including forwarding settings are automatically migrated. However, when doing the migration manually, that is, using a WordPress or Drupal extension or by means of SFTP, email rules need to be migrated separately. You will need to work with your web hosting provider to better comprehend the best possible way to migrate email configuration.

At this point it is safe to change the DNS records to those specified by the new web host. It is worth repeating that you should ensure that your website content is still available on the older server — this means you should have two copies of your data, one on the older web hosting provider and the other one on the newer hosting provider. This way, should there be any delay in domain name propagation, your website will still be accessible to visitors and search engine crawlers on the older server. In other words, there will be no “server not found” error messages. 

In addition, you should refrain from making changes to your site at both providers until you are certain that the domain name has fully propagated.


As can be seen, migrating to another web hosting provider is not as tricky or complicated as it might sound. For cPanel users, life is rather easy. For other control panel users as well, there are plugins and tools available that can help get the job done in a lesser amount of time.

We’ve migrated thousands of websites and provide free migrations when you sign up. If you have any questions we’re here to help.