FAQ: What is the difference between add-on, parked, and sub-domains?

One great thing about Bluehost is that you can host as many domains on one account as you like. And along with these unlimited domain names, there are various ways to use these domains on your account: as add-ons, parked, or sub-domains. However, our support team receives a lot of calls seeking to understand the difference between these domain types. So, to set the record straight for anyone who’s curious, here’s a clean-cut breakdown.

Primary Domain

This is the domain name assigned as your account’s “main” domain. It’s the domain you use to log into your account, as well as to identify your account to Bluehost representatives. There can only be one Primary domain name at a time on a given hosting account.

Parked Domain

Any domain set as a “parked” domain serves to point to the same content and website as your primary domain. This is helpful if you have one website but wish to have multiple domains point to it. For example, mycookiestore.com might be your primary domain, but you might also wish to register mycookiestore.net, mycookiestore.org, mycookiestore.biz, etc… and point them all to the same website.

Add-On Domain

This is any domain hosted and managed from your main hosting account, but that is linked to a separate website than your primary domain. Content and files for a separate website are stored in a unique folder within your public_html folder. Use domains as “add-ons” when you wish to create a completely separate website on your account with its own domain name, apart from the primary domain name.


Subdomains are based on prefixes added before a given domain name. They are a great way to organize your site or create sub-websites that while different, still make sense to include under the same domain. For example, we’ve set our bluehost blog to be accessible via blog.bluehost.com. We also set our webmail to be accessible via mail.buehost.com. You can create as many sub-domains as you wish for any of your domain names.
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to use your domain names with Bluehost. All of your domains on your account can always be managed from your domain manager. We work hard to make our domain manager super simple to use and completely full-featured. From there you can not only purchase or renew domains, but you can change how they are assigned to your account.

And if you’ve ever been curious how to transfer a domain, we’ll have a post about that soon!

(Update: How To Transfer A Domain)