This question may have been too technical for the Web Hosting forum, so I'll try asking it over here in the technical forum:
I currently have 3 different sites on different host accounts. Each site has additional domain names parked on them. Just variations on the name (if the site is "mydomain.com", the parks are "mydomain.net", "my-domain.com", and "my-domain.net"). I don't care if they are real parks (showing the alternate name in the browser) or just redirects to the the primary name.
I'm thinking about combining these into one Pro-Phase account at MidPhase, which I believe allows up to 4 sites/domains. But additional "domain pointers" are $2/month. That seems a bit much to add half a dozen lines of text per domain to a DNS server. (my current host charged a one time $20 fee per park) That would mean paying an extra $18/month for 8 parks.
The domain names are all registered with netsol (don't want to change that), and from what I can see they allow me to edit the DNS records there. (not just point to a new DNS server, but actually edit the record on their DNS server) They also have URL forwarding for $12/year, which is 1/2 what MidPhase is asking.
I'm thinking that my best option is to pay MidPhase for a static IP address at a $15 one time fee and then change the A-records on the netsol DNS server to point to that IP. I'm assuming I would have to buy 3 IPs for the 3 sites (haven't asked MidPhase about that yet). But since netsol allows DNS edits for free, that would end up with a one time $45 fee for the static IPs. That beats the $216/year for the MidPhase pointers, or the $108/year for the netsol URL forwarding.
I'm not clear about Cnames, so don't know if that would allow me to use a single static IP and alias the other 2 sites on the same server. (and if so, will they still have the individual domain names when somebody browses to one?)
Any other ideas on parking 9 additional domain names on top of the 3 main names in an account like this? Does my method seem like the best & cheapest way to go? Any potential problems?
Your method sounds like the best way to go. It might not work if MidPhase makes the default virtual hosts for your IPs go to a control panel or something similar, instead of to your websites. If your websites are the defaults, though, I don't see any problems. CNAME records are functionally equivalent to A records, with the difference that they allow you to enter a hostname instead of an IP address (there's more going on behind the scenes than that, though). There's no benefit to using CNAMEs in this case.