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Convert cPanel Account to Addon Domain

Carlos Alberto Umanzor Arguedas shared this idea 5 years ago
Open Discussion

As a hosting administrator I would like to convert a normal cPanel account into an addon domain of an existing cPanel account while keeping files (optional) and email accounts (optional)

Replies (19)

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Both directions are important to us. From primary to addon and from addon to primary :)

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This would most likely be the ability to move a domain from its own cPanel account to become an addon of another. The opposite has been completed for cPanel 56.


There could be some complications. What if the account to merge has addons/parks of its own? Park domains should migrate, and addons should migrate as well. Once those are moved, the main domain can move. Its just a matter of the mechanics of the merge.


I am thinking that the account should be backed up first so that the process can be reverted.

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6

Has this driven any attention? It would be great to be able to convert addon domains to independent accounts and vice versa. Some clients sometimes have two accounts and want to merge everything ot the same thing the other way round.

Could we please have some feedback for this feature request?

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5

It happens to me all the time. Like one client has two hosting providers, then they want to merge everything to one provider. So, using the copy / transfer tool you get the account on your server but in separate accounts :(

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7

Voted! With the recent cpanel pricing change, we've been more motivated to convert cpanel accounts to addon domains but it's a rather cumbersome task. Let us know if this can be applied soon.

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10

Also voting for this, for the same reason. I had each of my domains set up on separate accounts for security purposes, but with the new pricing changes, that's no longer practical. If cPanel can implement this feature, the merge process I'm currently undertaking would go a whole lot faster.

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10

The same applies to me, however, it seems that with the new pricing system it’s against cPanel’s interest to build such an add on.

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10

With the recent price changes, we have plenty of requests from our clients to migrate full cpanel accounts into addon domains of another cpanel account.


This is rather a lot of work and this feature would be very useful.

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15

The recent price changes make this necessary for small resellers with between 30 and 45 accounts otherwise reselling is not viable. I have several of my own domains which could easily become addons to the primary domain. The purpose of my domains is to promote hosting. I find the recent price increases and charge bands impossible to sustain unless I reduce my own accounts.

The new pricing model will force many of us to rethink the viability of cPanel hosting.

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As a hosting administrator I would like to convert a normal cPanel account into an addon domain of an existing cPanel account while keeping files and email accounts in-tact.

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5

This is still on our radar, but there are some technical limitations to overcome to make this more feasible. Some projects we have on near future roadmaps make this much more feasible in the long term. Stay tuned and we will update as we have more information.


Dustin (he/him)

Product Owner

@dustinscherer

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This is good to hear, but do note the comments throughout this. There is a fair amount of cPanel frustration (not limited to just this one issue).

You mention other projects affecting this positively... Would that include the Transfer Tool? It seems like a lot of this is already built into the Transfer Tool. Am I correct? On the other hand, I seem to remember that TT cannot deal with addon domains, correct? That should be addressed, if so, because moving accounts with addon domains will become more of an issue as we acquire the ability to easily migrate accounts to addons.

So my question/concern is about migrating addon domains in inside WHM (this feature request), and also about addon domains being handled by the TT between WHM accounts and if the same interface/functionality could be used for both.

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Transfer Tool handles addon domains just fine, so that shouldn't be a concern.

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Good to know. I think I must have been remembering the limitation about the experimental Restricted Restore option.


What's frustrating is that handling addon domains has been well explored and documented, including cPanel's very comprehensive tutorial on how to manually migrate an account to an addon domain, and yet for years this feature remains undone.


My use case scenario is that often a user has multiple accounts and finds they don't need the resources and functionality afforded to each account separately, and they want to combine the accounts. This is a pain to due manually, and it doesn't have to be. Please move this up in priority.

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9

Years have passed and this feature is still to be implemented....

I get it that this is not the first priority for cPanel since they charge per account.... but come on .... so many people have been asking for this....

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3

My employer is a web host that does not use CPanel. I'm happy to keep giving CPanel money, but this and other requests are years old and haven't even been touched. If this is the priority users are getting, I have 0 problem moving my sites to my employer and letting them basically pay me to host them.

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4

At the very least, we should be given more information on why these limitations are not being resolved more quickly so you can move forward on this request. We're left completely in the dark until this just "shows up" one day - hopefully.

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2

I would be useful even to have a half-baked version of this, only the hosting files. I would be fine to recreate emails, ftp and other stuff.

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2

Yeah someone needs to just build a third party script to do this. Anyone that knows how to work with cpanel/whm Linux programs should be able to do a half baked version pretty easily. I know why cpanel won’t. It’s bc this encourages to easily have less cpanel account setup, therefore less revenue for them.

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2

Not without including email, at least. The whole thing shouldn't be *that* tough for cPanel to make happen.


I hear the thoughts behind why cPanel isn't in a hurry but think this request pre-dates that issue, and I suspect in the majority of situations this would have only minimal impact on cPanel revenue. (Addon domains share resources, and access, and logging is different too, I think. So there are reasons why users, and hosts would do this more as an exception than the rule.)


I would be glad to beta test anything... and help get it fully baked.

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No it isn't hard because the most backend part already exists.


It's possible to do most important parts via script using WHMAPI. Basically just need to pkgacct without pack it (like incremental backups) the entire account you want to merge, terminate it, than read all need info (list of mails, domains, document roots, ftps, mail dirs in homedir, passwd and shadow files, filters, mailman accounts an so on) then using these lists recreate all them in some order (create additional domains first than, mail accounts and inside the other account you want to merge with it, recreated all related info about mails like filters, aliases, copy passwd, shadow, mailmans, etc) via WHMAPI and in the end copy the homedir related data like /etc and /mail folders (they are currently already separated by domain), copy subdomains and additional domains content to their new document_roots, and restore the databases).


The only problems I can think that may give some trouble is the new document_root of the public_html that can broke some absolute dir systems but this normally can be fixed by the site developer easily (most systems and frameworks usually put these location configurable in some config files).


It's not something too hard to do. The entire bases to cPanel do this already exists. It's more a question of interest from cPanel (that not exists once this will diminish their income) and to do an interface to it in WHM or even in cPanel (import a pkgacct).

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IMHO, this isn't about income, it's about development priorities. The downside with this approach is backups. Yes, moving a cPanel account to a sub-account will consolidate accounts but, backup and restores (especially for email accounts) is now a problem.

We list the pros and cons to customers who ask if we can host multiple websites on one account. We say yes... but... And they lay out that scenario.

I think this request is a low priority for their dev group. We often get requests to go the other way. A sub-account to a full cPanel account due to wanting to separate web properties for multi-company groups. They buy/sell these other companies all the time and being able to peel them off cleanly is more of a concern than a small hosting fee.

If you have customers wanting to consolidate domains under one account, they're probably being cheap and not worth all the time it will take to move this stuff around.

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This method I described is suboptimal. It's just to describe that's possible to do even with simple shell script using WHMAPI and pkgacct. But cPanel be easily with most improved methods using their PERL API directly, writing all nescessary info in some temporary database file and moving homedir contents instead of copy zeroing the time and IO consumption in most cases.


About interest. The most costumers I currently see requiring this kind of merge are resellers and VPS/Cloud costumers wanting to diminish their license costs. I rarely see this for any other reason.

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@WebJIVE Well said. I agree with your thoughts on this and using addon domains. I still think it makes sense to add it even with the limitations because when it has to be done it can be a royal pain (and yes, firing the customer is also an option, but not always).


@Yuri Yep, you nailed about which customers are most common with a use-case for this.

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Another way to look at WHY customers should have a hosting account vs sub-accounts. One site gets hacked, all the rest are now accessible by the hackers meaning they could trash a LOT of sites then you're in a bad place with restores.

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4

Howdy,


We do hear you and we understand the desire for this. I personally organize my own domains / accounts this way within my production servers and during a switch from server providers recently this would have been immensely helpful.


Bit of Background:

For those familiar with the original convert-addon-to-account tool, the original reasoning behind that is that it was encouraging behavior that put people in more vulnerable positions, especially where they didn't know the risks associated with having multiple Wordpress installations, some of which did not get updated regularly. With WPTK doing a great job of keeping sites up to date, and us observing better user patterns around domain deployment the risk for server administrators is definitely lower.


Why can't we do this now?

We currently have two large ongoing projects that would make any changes we made in this area high risk, specifically work we are doing on High Availability and work we are doing on the Team Manager for cPanel.


Stay tuned folks! We're working constantly on getting more transparency into our roadmaps and this feature site is as important to us as it is to y'all!


Dustin Scherer (he/him) | Product Owner | @dustinscherer

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Thank you, @cPanelDustin, for the details. Transparency = good!!!

Just curious: I thought addon domains were handled fine by the Transfer Tool. Why did they pose an issue when migrating?


Team Manager for cPanel = yay! I don't give clients cPanel access because I do all their management. Sometimes this is met with resistance, so now I will have an option to give them what they want without giving them too much access.

Do keep us posted!

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Everyone is bringing up a lot of interesting points about this long-desired function.

And while many might say that it would seem to only benefit hosts that are trying to cut license costs, in my particular case this potential feature would be a huge help in many other aspects.


Example reasons:

1. I run my own dedicated servers but I used to give a few certain clients WHM Reseller accounts / access just to give them a bit more control and to shave a few hours of support off the list each week, but that really became impractical for my situation, and I found myself with clients that had created a bunch of separate cPanel accounts for sites that were really just theirs and should have been under just one or two accounts. They were clients who didn't really require a reseller account and didn't know the first thing about it anyway, so the result when I started phasing-out those resellers has been countless hours of manual migration work to get their 5 WordPress (or whatever) sites consolidated into just Addon Domains under their one necessary cPanel account.

2. I host several web designers who are "absorbing" their individual cPanel accounts into just one main one where they manage everything for their design clients. They're doing this to retain their design clients while being able to stay hosted with me, rather than having their customers "poached" by other design firms who just put everything under one main account to begin with - something that is attractive to both my clients and theirs.

3. Sometimes a "reseller" simply wants to close shop to offering services after many years but still keep most of their sites going, and among the dozen or so sites they were handling, more than half of them they still want to manage without having to pay for separate hosting accounts, and in order for me to retain their business they need me to consolidate for them as a normal cPanel account with Addon Domains instead of a Reseller with multiple cPanel accounts. Again this comes back to the same issue of either eating the time & cost of doing the manual migrations to make it happen for them, or risk losing the important client entirely.

4. Even for myself, since I go way back to the days of where the number of cPanel accounts on a given server didn't matter, I too had set up separate cPanel accounts for my own projects / sites that could and should now just be merged and handled under one. I'm now stalled on many projects for fear of the migration from cPanel account to Addon Domain is so time-consuming.

5. Fairly frequently I have a regular hosting customer with more than one cPanel hosting account with me, and they come to me asking if everything can be merged, or else they'll consider moving elsewhere to simplify their lives. They're being given promised by bigger hosts that it can simply just be magically done (and often those hosts do not deliver on that, but it doesn't matter after your customer has taken the time and expense to switch away). This feature would actually help me SAVE / RETAIN customers that I have otherwise lost.


The list goes on, but the point is this - not everyone has the same reason for wanting or needing this feature - but clearly all of us here in this request have at least one reason. In my case, there are many reasons that this ability would make a huge difference.

Even just the thought of being able to convert existing cPanel account sites into Addon Domains (and vice-versa, which exists and was obviously a huge step in the right direction for all of us) has more value than just convenience. It gives POWER to do things that normally we either have to eat the cost of or have to charge for if we don't want to lose money or clients.

Just imagine the sheer power of being able to say to your client, no matter the circumstance - "Yes, we can do that easily and at no extra charge".

There's a reason this feature request gets a lot of attention and so many of us are still hoping for it, and it is equally as good as the reason we hoped for the ability to convert an Addon to it's own cPanel account. Seriously.

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PS - One other great reason I forgot - sometimes we host a small partnership company, let's say two web developers, and then that company splits and one partner gets half the clients and vice-versa. Yep... have run into that more than once. This is about making easy transitions for these kinds of situations and customer retention, instead of customer sticker-shock if we charge or lost revenue hours if we do these for free to keep the client.

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I've been following this topic and would like to add my 2c ....

We only host web sites for web design clients and would like this feature for ease of use and for good housekeeping. From time to time a client has a new web site designed and no longer requires our hosting but we continue to host the domain and maintain the DNS. In these cases, we end up with a CPanel account which ONLY has DNS info, nothing else - no web site or emails. We would prefer to move the account to a dedicated Add-on account, which we reserve for hosted DNS or simple web-forwarding domains and the like.

Up until now we do it manually ... copy the existing DNS, delete the Account, re-add as a Add-on, re-add the DNS. This is a pain and needs great care, especially when domain has huge number of DNS entries. A simple "convert-account-to-addon" feature would be great.

I vote for this feature.

Will.

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Good points. I almost think the dns fix for this would be another feature add where we could add a "dns only user" kinda thing in whm. Ie. a screen where you could see and manage, add, convert cpanel accounts into dns only accounts without having to term the cpanel account and re-add the zones manually.

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+1 :)

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I would definitely love to see this feature as well - we have to perform this from time to time manually as well, and would rather have some sort of a wizard to handle it internally and reliably.

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This is so important. I implore cPanel to look at this seriously and make it happen. It's such a laborious task that could be solved so easily with automation.

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I mean you do know why converting an account to an addon is so laborious and difficult....and why cpanel won't make this easy... right? Since their license update a while ago with cost per cpanel account, adding this feature would enable tons of users to downsize their cpanel accounts very quickly with a click of a button into addon domains, cutting into cpanel's revenue greatly. So i don't expect them to ever add this feature unless they decide to charge per addon or limit addon domains per cpanel account or something. we have to think realistically about this.

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I agree. CPanel are dragging their feet on this request as it is obviously not in their interest to offer it, for the reasons allwebnow has stated. Bear in mind that the original feature request was 8 years ago!

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