Host several sites on one server

This article is part of HostGator’s Web Pros Series. In this series, we feature articles from our team of experts here at HostGator. Our Product Managers, Linux Administrators, Marketers, and Tech Support engineers share their best tips for getting the most out of your website. 

As your business or blog project grows, you may start asking if you can host more than one site on your server—and whether it’s a good idea. The answers to those questions depend on a couple of things: your hosting plan, the kinds of sites you want to host, and your resources and know-how for managing lots of sites.  

Let’s start by looking at your options for hosting multiple sites on different hosting plans.  

Hosting multiple websites with a shared hosting plan 

You can have more than one website on your HostGator shared hosting plan, if you keep a couple of things in mind.  

  1. You get one cPanel for all your sites. That means you’ll be managing all your websites through one login. That’s all good if you own all the sites yourself. But if you’re hosting sites for other people, they’ll be able to access the entire cPanel—including the other sites on your plan—when they log in.  
  1. You get unlimited storage with a shared plan, which means you can host a lot of sites. However, there’s a limit to the number of inodes you can have on your shared plan. An inode is a data structure that stores data for every directory and file on your websites. A site that has tons of media files or that deals with tons of email may use up your shared plan’s inodes, leaving your other sites without enough to work right. 
  1. Shared hosting has 3 plan options: Hatchling, Baby and Business. Baby and Business let you host as many sites as you like. The Hatchling plan is limited to one site. 

Hosting multiple sites on a shared plan can work for you if you’re managing your own websites, don’t mind using one cPanel for all of them, and don’t have sites that are so data-heavy they’ll use up all your inodes.  

How can you add sites to your shared hosting plan? Start by registering your new domain and linking it with the nameservers assigned to your account. You can find those in your welcome email. Then let Josh walk you through his HostGator How-To on adding domains to your cPanel.  

WordPress hosting for multiple websites 

If you’re a fan of our managed WordPress hosting, you can add a second site to our Standard plan and up to three sites on our Business plan. This can be a great option if you’re running sites that don’t get more than 100,000 unique visitors per month and if you want the convenience of one-click WordPress installs and a ton of free template options.  

How can you add sites to your managed WordPress plan? Log in to your Customer Portal to see your dashboard. Select Manage Package, and then select Create a blog. In the WordPress URL field, add your domain name. Then add your website’s title in the Blog Title box, select Add Blog, and you should see a “success” message at the top of your dashboard.  

Note that it can take about half an hour for the installation to finish. We’ll email you when it’s done. You can find details for all these steps and more resources in our Optimized WordPress knowledge base

Reseller hosting: built for managing multiple sites 

Looking to resell hosting or manage sites for a bunch of clients? Reseller hosting is a better choice than a shared hosting plan. 

Why? One big reason is security. With reseller hosting, you can create a cPanel for every site you’re hosting on your plan. That way, each of your clients can log in to their website, and only their website, instead of the shared cPanel for all the sites you manage.  

And you? You get control over all cPanel creation and management through WHM, so you can see all the sites you manage in one spot. Not familiar with WHM? Check out our Web Host Manager explainer

Another reason reseller hosting rocks for handling multiple sites is that you get to decide how much space and bandwidth each site can use. That lets you give bigger sites more resources while keeping smaller sites running smoothly.  

Good to know: Because reseller hosting happens on shared servers, it’s possible that some of your sites could exceed their given resources. That could cause restrictions to kick in, but only for the site associated with the cPanel that’s over its limit—another reason it’s a good idea to give each site its own cPanel.  

See how easy it is to set up a reseller account with our Reseller Startup Guide

Dedicated hosting for serious multiple site management 

The ultimate option for hosting lots of sites is a dedicated server plan. Dedicated hosting gives you the resources to host hundreds of sites on your server—even sites that use a lot of resources, like eCommerce with huge product catalogs and high order volume and lots of email.  

Like with reseller hosting, you can create a cPanel for every site on your dedicated server, manage them all with WHM and allocate resources to different sites the way you want to.  

Good to know: When you have a dedicated server, you’re in charge of monitoring its performance. This is one reason—along with the fact that you may be hosting a whole lot of sites—that we recommend dedicated hosting plans for customers who have a full-time web administrator to keep an eye on things.  

Interested in a dedicated hosting plan? Check out our Dedicated Server Getting Started Guide

Any hosting plans that you can’t (or shouldn’t) host more than one site on? 

There are a few plans that won’t work for hosting more than one site. For example, Gator Site Builder, Shared Hatchling and WordPress Starter plans support one website per account.  

At the Pro level, it’s technically possible to host multiple sites on a VPS (virtual private server), but because VPSs are designed as sandbox environments without big memory resources, it’s not recommended.  

What if you need to move existing sites to a new server? 

First, know that if you’re upgrading your hosting plan but not changing the type of hosting, you probably don’t need to migrate your sites. If, on the other hand, you’re going from Reseller to Dedicated or Shared to Reseller, you’ll need to migrate.  

We’re ready to help. We offer a set number of free migrations within 30 days after you buy a new hosting plan. You can see your website migration options here.  

Ready to start running multiple websites or manage them better? Find the perfect HostGator hosting plan for your goals. 

Natasha is a Tier III Web Advisor at HostGator. She has been working in web hosting and the tech industry for over 7 years. In her free time she enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons and spoiling her 4 cats.