Do I need a domain name to host with BlueHost/HostMonster? Must I register it with BlueHost?
Yes, you will need a domain name. You can either register a new domain name directly with them when you sign up, or you can use an existing domain name registered elsewhere.
Does BlueHost/HostMonster provides free domain registration? Do I need to pay for my "free" domain name when I renew my account?
Your domain name will be FREE for the first year only. You will have to renew it at $11.95/year on next year.
Do I need to transfer my domain name to BlueHost?
No. All you need to do is to change the DNS settings of that domain name. Of course you can transfer the domain name over if you want. Read my article on domain hosting if you are confused with domain name and web hosting.
Can I get a another FREE domain name if I already have my own domain name to sign up with?
Yes! If you use an existing domain name on sign up, you will be given a FREE domain coupon to register for a new domain name of your choice later. You can also use it to transfer your existing domain name to BlueHost and have it extended for another year. Only 1 coupon is given and you won't get another coupon on your second and third year even if you pay for 36 months of hosting. Domain renewal will cost $11.95/year each after that.
The following screen shows that I still have 1 free coupon to use since I signup with an existing domain name.
What domain name extensions can I register with BlueHost/HostMonster?
You can register .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz and .us.
Can I host international domain names, e.g. .uk, .jp, .ws, etc. with BlueHost/HostMonster? Can I register one with them?
Yes, you can use any domains that you owned as long as you are able to change the domain's DNS servers settings to BlueHost or HostMonster. Although you can host international domain names with them, you cannot register a new one with them. You have to register it with the government authorized registrar and change the DNS settings to point to BlueHost or HostMonster.
What is BlueHost DNS nameservers settings?
What is HostMonster DNS settings?
Do I own my domain name if I register it with BlueHost/HostMonster?
Yes, you own the complete rights to your domain name when you register it with BlueHost/HostMonster. You are the rightful owner of the domain name. But just like putting money into a bank account, if the bank goes bankrupt, we will still able to get our money back but it will be quite troublesome. That's why we want our domain name to be registered with a reputable company such as BlueHost or HostMonster, just like we will only deposit our money in a reputable bank.
How many domains can I host with BlueHost/HostMonster? What is BlueHost domain pricing?
You can host UNLIMITED domain names with BlueHost/HostMonster. They don't charge you anything for "hosting" the domain name but you still need to pay for the registration. You can register a new domain for $11.95 through BlueHost or you can register it with any other registrar and change the DNS servers settings to point to BlueHost/HostMonster. Different domain registrars offer different pricing.
If I register a domain name with BlueHost/HostMonster, can I host it with another web host?
Yes! All you need to do is to change the DNS settings of that domain to the new settings (usually but not always - ns1.hostname.com, ns2.hostname.com). But why do you want to do that if BlueHost can host everything for you for free?
What are primary domain and addon domains?
Primary domain is the main domain that you setup the account with. Addon domains are extra domain names that you want to host under the same account. Technically, there can only be one primary domain but you can have unlimited addon domains.
Can I setup different email accounts with each addon domain?
Yes, you can setup unlimited email accounts with all your addon domains hosted under the same account. You can also setup email accounts on all your subdomains.
What is a subdomain?
A subdomain is an extension to the front of your domain name, separated by the '.' symbol. A subdomain is created to serve another website. For example, yahoo.com setup a subdomain mail.yahoo.com to act as their email service website.
Can I setup sub domain on my addon domain?
Yes, you can setup sub domain on your addon domain the same way you setup a sub domain with your primary domain. You can even setup subdomain on a subdomain!
Can I change my primary domain later? How much does it cost?
Yes, you can change your primary domain to another domain and it is free. For example, if you prefer one of your add-on domain to be your primary domain later, you can ask them to do it for you. But I strongly encourage you to pick the right primary domain name to begin with.
How do I choose a good primary domain?
Based on my experience and the way files and directories are organized, I would recommend the use of a "holder" domain as the primary domain. The holder domain is not your content site. You setup all your content sites as addon domains. This 2-level organization (1) a holder -> (2)content sites is more organized compared to (1) primary content site -> (2) more content sites.
Another advantage is if you want to migrate your websites from a web host to another web host, it is far more easy to migrate an add-on domain compare to a primary domain because you don't need to affect other websites in your old account. If you migrate a primary domain, you will affect everything that "lives" on it (i.e. all the add-ons) because the primary domain is the "root".
So it is a good idea to use your FREE BlueHost domain name registration to register a new holder domain especially if you already have an existing domain name to use.
What is the difference between a parked domain and an addon domain?
Addon domain creates a different folder in your main hosting account which can be used to host a totally different website than your primary domain. A parked domain (or sometimes called domain pointer) will simply point to your primary domain which means you just give your primary domain another name.
Let's say there are 2 domains, Bill.com and Gates.com. If Gates.com is a parked domain, it will show the same contents as Bill.com, giving Bill.com a second name. On the other hand, if Gates.com is an addon domain, it will be another website, maybe a wrought iron gates manufacturer website that has nothing to do with Microsoft's Bill.com.
What is a domain pointer?
It should refer to domain "parking" as well. But sometimes people refer it as domain "forwarding".
What is domain forwarding?
Domain forwarding has the same meaning as domain redirecting. Both phases will be used interchangeably in our discussions below.
Can I redirect a domain/address to another domain/address with BlueHost/HostMonster?
You can easily redirect/forward an address to another address. You can even forward it to a domain/address that is not yours. For example, redirecting Yoursite.com/google.html to Google.com.
What exactly is the difference between "redirecting" and "parking"?
When you redirect/forward a domain, Bill.com will refresh to Gates.com and you will now see Gates.com showing in your browser address bar. On the other hand, if it is parked domain, typing Bill.com or Gates.com will load the same site BUT the address will remain the same in the address bar depending on which name you type in.
Redirect = jump from one place to another. Parking = 2 names for the same place.
Can I "park" a domain to an addon domain?
Since there is only 1 primary domain and many addon domains, we will often want to "park" a domain to an addon domain. Remember that parking means giving a domain another name (instead of jumping from one to another). We can do that by adding the new domain as an addon domain but link it to the same folder of the old domain. Now the new domain is "parked" to the old domain.
addon domain -> folder
Bill.com -> /bill/
Gates.com -> /bill/
What is domain alias?
Domain alias is the same as domain parking, i.e. giving a domain another name. However, the term is not used in CPanel (BlueHost/HostMonster's control panel) and so you may only encounter it somewhere else.
What is domain masking?
Similar to domain "parking", to give an existing domain another name. So far, we are concern with parking a domain name to another domain that we own. Domain masking also means "parking" to a domain/website that we don't own! You may want to load Google.com but in the address bar still showing MyFunnyWebsite.com. There are many reasons why people want to do that but most reasons are not "pretty" [i.e. making your visitors to believe a website is yours but actually it is not].
If I cancel my hosting account half way, what happen to my domain name? Can I get a refund?
If you cancel your account within the first 3 days, you can get a full refund, because the domain authority allows us to "unregister" a domain name within the first 3 days. However, if you cancel your account after that period, the domain can no longer be unregister and so you will need to pay $11.95 for it (deducted from the refund) but you will own the domain name for 1 year. You can easily host it with another website by simply changing the DNS settings to your new host. You can also transfer it away.
How do I manage my domain names with BlueHost/HostMonster?
You will have a "Domain Manager" to manage all your domain name in one place. In the domain manager, you can register new domain name, transfer a domain name, redirect a domain name and more.
How do I transfer my domain name to BlueHost/HostMonster?
You can do that in BlueHost/HostMonser's domain manager. You must have control to your domain name in your old registrar. You will need to generate a "secret code" from the old registrar and enter that secret code into BlueHost and BlueHost will take care of everything. It will usually take 5 days for a transfer to complete.
Can I transfer my domain name from BlueHost/HostMonster to another registrar?
Yes, you do it the same way as above but in a reverse direction. Get the "secret code" from BlueHost/HostMonster and enter it to your new registrar.
What is domain privacy and does BlueHost/HostMonster offer it? How much does it cost?
BlueHost domain privacy service cost $9.95/year per domain name. With domain privacy turn on, your personal registration information (address, phone number, email address, etc.) will be shielded from a domain whois search. The service is optional and you can always turn it off if you want (on each domain basis).
A domain with BlueHost domain privacy turn on will show the following information when people do a whois search on it. Anyone who want to contact the owner must now go through PrivacyProtect.org, who is of course BlueHost/HostMonster.
Domain Admin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
P.O. Box 97
Note - All Postal Mails Rejected, visit Privacyprotect.org
Can I modify specific domain DNS settings, i.e. zone files, cName and ARecord?
Yes, but these are advance settings for advanced user when they want to accomplish complicated configuration such as hosting the website with BlueHost but receiving/sending the emails with another web host. For geeks only.