04/27/2015 Jim Hill

Using cPanel to Point a Dev Subdomain

Cpanel Image - full width
Cpanel Image - full width

CPanel® provides companies with a very easy means of “parking” a temporary (or permanent) sub-domain on top of a main URL that can be used to complete the development process of a a web site.   This is a very handy feature for cPanel users because it allows the assignment of a URL that can be used for testing the web site prior to the full production launch. In order to test a new site with a dev sub-domain URL just complete the following steps.  If you run into an issue please post it as a comment and we will attempt to help you. 

Note: You will need access to your DNS control panel. For the purposes of this article we are using an offsite DNS server. If you are using the DNS server provided on the same host as your web site just change the DNS records there.  When using that method when you park the sub-domain on top of the primary domain the required DNS record is created automatically.

Establish a Dev Sub-domain on Top of a Primary Domain using cPanel


1. First, if you are using an offsite DNS server, visit that facility and add the appropriate DNS record either as a CNAME or A record.  By doing this first you give the DNS servers time to propagate the addition of the new record. 

DNS A record

2. Verify that the package assigned to your cPanel account has assigned sufficient privileges to create a subdomain. This is required to park the sub-domain in cPanel. To do this, first log into your WMH® control panel and edit the package which was applied to the domain.  Raise the value for “Max Parked Domains” to some number above zero.  In the image below we have set this to a value of 5 which would allow us to park five sub-domains on top of the main domain.  Once you modify the package you will need to apply it by selecting “Modify / Upgrade Multiple Accounts,” then select the account and package, then select Apply.  Be careful because this will change all of the accounts that are using this package! If necessary you could create a new package just for that cPanel account, increase the sub-domain limit on that new package, and then apply that package to just that cPanel account.

max parked domains

3. Once you have your main root level web site ready for viewing on the server (in our example it is domain.com) that will be hosting the production web site, log into your cPanel account. Navigate to the “Parked Domains” function located under the “Domains” section of cPanel. 

parked domain cpanel

4. Add the appropriate DNS subdomain name you plan to use for your development testing. In our case we are using dev.domain.com.  Yo must include the full domain name including the “example.com” ending.  The Ajax validation message will indicate a green checkbox if all is well. Otherwise be sure that you are entering the proper ending of the URL to match the main URL of your web site.  

add subdomain

5. If all went well you will receive a success message:

 successfully added parked domain

6. Visit your new sub-domain to make sure it is now parked on your main URL. 

visit new dev page

Congratulations – You Have Parked a Subdomain on Top of Your Primary Domain!  

Once you have completed your development work you can remove the parking assignment and then just publish your main URL on your DNS control panel.  

Visit the cPanel home page to find out more about the features of the excellent server control panel.  cPanel and WHM are registered trademarks of cPanel, Inc.  #CPANEL #WHM #JOOMLA #WORDPRESS #UFCINC #TUTORIAL #HOSTING


Jim Hill

In my role at User Friendly Consulting I handle security operations, desktop and server administration, and digital marketing. We leverage the Microsoft 365 enterprise suite in order to provide maximum efficiency and security for our employees. My primary work is developing and implement digital marketing programs as well as control the IT infrastructure for the company.  I love the area of digital security and the adoption of secure practices, email delivery, and Office 365 security and configuration.  My background is mechanical engineering and information technology. I began my career as an engineer at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn and then transitioned into the IT field in 1998. My first work with computers was with finite element analysis on a Macintosh computer where I wrote a program to analyze stress on a flat plate for my senior design project. I began working at User Friendly Consulting in 1998 in various capacities but have landed in a role

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