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Looking For Multiple Domain Web Hosting?

Jun 3, 2008
Getting hosting for multiple domains used to be quite difficult, and many webmasters, including me, ended up with single domains scattered around various hosts. Now, many of the top hosting services offer multiple domain web hosting as an option. This means you can create a set number, or an unlimited number of sites under one hosting plan, for a set monthly price. Often this price is little more than the cost of hosting a single site.

Sometimes, people really want multiple domain pointing - the hosting of many domains which simply redirect to the one important domain with content. We will also give a source for this below.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hosting many domains on one host, under one plan? Let's look at the advantages first.

Advantages of multiple domain web hosting

1. Price

The price is the main attraction for most people. For one reasonable monthly payment, you get to host a set number, or an unlimited number, of domains. If you pay an annual fee, the cost for all your hosting is fixed for the year.

2. Marketing

If you have an idea for a web site, it takes only a few minutes to buy a suitable domain (better to buy this from a separate domain registrar) and then set up a new site on the multiple domain web hosting service. You can implement web marketing ideas quickly, and respond to trends and seasonal demand with no extra cost, except that of the domain name. If you are involved in affiliate marketing, you can create a site for each product area, or even a site dedicated to selling the products from your favorite merchant. You don't need to load up a single web site with multiple product lines, confusing the search engine spiders, and confusing your customers as to what your site is about.

3. Maintenance

You only have one host to visit to do all your site maintenance. Once you have learned how to install a blog, or a forum, or a shopping cart, you can do it again on your other sites much more easily.

Disadvantages of multiple domain web hosting

1. Single IP address

You will usually have all your sites under the same IP address, usually shared with others; depending on who you believe, this may mean the search engines discount link value. In other words, any high PR site you manage to get may not pass on link juice to other sites on the same server. If other sites on the same server are considered spammy, your site may suffer by IP address association.

2. Down time affects all your sites at once

If your host goes down due to hardware failure, or for maintenance, all your sites are not available at the same time. If you are earning your living from your sites, this could be very bad news.

3. Unlimited bandwidth

Why should this be a problem? Not all multi-site hosting services offer this, but it is generally agreed in the hosting industry that offering unlimited bandwidth is not a viable business model long term, since all bandwidth has to be paid for eventually. If all your sites are on one multiple hosting service and that service collapses due to financial problems, you are in trouble. However, this is your call.
About the Author
To see which multiple domain web hosting services we recommend, and for a service which allows multiple domain pointing, see our multiple domain web hosting page. Don Break writes about hosting and how to choose the best possible host.
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