If you are a beginner and entering into the world of SEO, you initially get to hear many words that sound alien. Say, for example, you will hear about numerous terms when you are searching for a domain name. And one of those terms is Subdomain. Well, as a beginner, I used to think what are subdomains? What is the difference between a domain and subdomain? And so on. But, before it gets more confusing, allow us to explain to you all that you need to understand about Subdomains. Let’s get started.
What Are Subdomains?
The subdomain is nothing but an add-on for your domain name. To be precise, subdomains are separate parts of your website that work under the same domain. To create a subdomain, it is necessary for you to have a primary domain name. As the name suggests, the subdomain is a part of the domain and hence it is impossible to add a subdomain without a domain.
An example of the above illustration would look something like when you are creating a website on WordPress and you choose the free option, the address of your site will look something like xyz.wordpress.com. It implies that your website is a subdomain of WordPress.
Or your primary domain name is sharethisarticle.com. While you can add a subdomain to that domain called alsocomment.sharethisarticle.com.
So subdomains give you the liberty of starting an entirely fresh and new website while using the same domain name. In addition, you can also create an unlimited number of subdomains for every domain you own. Now that we got the answer to What are Subdomains? Let’s take a glance at what is a domain and the difference between the two.
What is a Domain?
A domain name is the address of your website. Without the domain name, it is practically impossible for visitors to access your website.
Before the domain names were invented, you needed to type in the IP Address of any site to access it. Needless to say, it was very difficult to remember a series of random numbers to get access to content. Nowadays, that difficult series of numbers is replaced by a domain name. So, instead of typing complicated numbers like 12.684.16.3, now you have to type the domain name of any site to access it. This invention made it easier for everyone to get access to content easily.
While you select a domain name, you don’t just have to come up with a unique name that has not been taken but also choose the extension for your domain (.com, .net, .in, .org).
So, as of now, we have understood the meaning of domain and subdomain. Now, we can go through many other aspects of the same. Let’s go!
When Do We Use A Subdomain?
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons to use a subdomain. However, we came up with the most common reasons for which a subdomain is used.
1. To Create a Support Page or Site Resource
If your website needs a large support, documentation, or tutorial section, in that case, a subdomain may be useful for you. When you are putting out a large amount of content and it is becoming difficult to manage and organize your website, then the subdomain can be quite handy.
For example, you will find a separate section at Google that uses a subdomain i.e. support.google.com.
2. To Host a Company Blog
In some cases, website owners may want to differentiate their company blog from the rest of their site. Normally, when your website isn’t equipped enough to effectively and efficiently manage a blog.
E.g., if your main website is built with the purpose of getting people to download your application. But you are looking to create a company blog for content marketing purposes. In this case, it will be a huge problem if you have to redesign the whole framework and start from scratch. So, using a subdomain here makes perfect sense. Just create the subdomain of your domain and then you can easily install a CMS like WordPress on your new subdomain. After the creation of a subdomain, your sole aim must be to make the design of your domain and subdomain as close as possible.
If you are thinking that this is a “cheap” practice, let me tell you that many huge companies use this trick.
An example of this is Grammarly. If you go on the homepage of Grammarly, it will display the address as grammarly.com. Whereas when you log into the Grammarly editor, you will see the address as app.grammarly.com. Needless to explain the logic behind it!
3. To Create an E-Commerce Store
Now, as we all know that eCommerce stores hold much sensitive information like financial data, contact details, addresses, etc. And hence, it requires more strict security guidelines and protocols to protect that information. This may also require you to install a particular software or/and even upgrade your SSL certificate.
You might not require this across the rest of your site. And hence, you can use a subdomain instead of the primary domain for your eCommerce site such as shop.primarydomain.com.
This will also allow you to design a high converting storefront. You can also pick a specific eCommerce for that subdomain and it will create the impression which otherwise could not be created. Instead of making your site look messy after hacking everything together on the primary domain itself, a subdomain is a great option.
4. To Redesign Your Site
When you are doing a website redesign, it will be quite handy to be able to see the live version of it. To be able to do this, you will have to create a subdomain that will allow you to build a new website entirely from scratch.
By using this trick, you will be able to add links, videos, images, and more to see how your site works in real-time. You can also send traffic to your subdomain to see how users interact with your new site. As it will be quite beneficial to gain real-time user feedback, it will help you to avoid mistakes and launching a site that doesn’t fulfill their needs and meet their expectations.
When you are done with the redesigning stuff and you are ready to make your site live, transfer the redesigned site to your primary domain. Moreover, you can also password protect the subdomain that you are using to redesign your site so that the viewer won’t see your unfinished task accidentally.
5. To Test New Products And Features
Do you have an amazing idea in your mind about your website or a product that you think will rock or something like that? But you don’t want to take a risk? A subdomain allows you to do all the aforementioned things and many more.
When you create a subdomain, you are providing yourself a blank slate. You have a new website without even setting up your domain. Here, you can see if the idea in your mind works or not. If it does, add this section to your existing site and if it does not, leave it. A subdomain is something that gives you creative freedom without causing any trouble to your visitor’s experience. I think the reasons are enough to convince you to use a subdomain. Let’s now understand how to create a subdomain.
How To Create A Subdomain?
1. Login To Your Control Panel
When you log in to your control panel, you will see many options there. Such as Website Builder, File Manager, Website Essentials, etc. Locate the subdomains option and click on it. Once you click on the subdomain option, you will need to select the domain where you wish to add a subdomain. Now enter your subdomain and click on Create. And it was as simple as that!
Now that we have understood the process of the creation of a subdomain, here are some important things that you need to know about Subdomains.
2. Subdomain vs Subfolder
You already know what a subdomain is. But a subfolder is a little bit different. While a subdomain you create an entirely fresh website, with the subfolder, you can add a folder to your existing domain.
That means, instead of creating a new subdomain for your article as article.myblog.com, you can create a subfolder as myblog.com/article.
A subfolder is also an easy way to organize your site. While you think of subdomain as creating a new website on the same domain, think of subfolder as creating categories for your blogs and blog posts. For example, if you have a sports website, you can add categories by creating subfolders for each sport. And each page will operate as its own sports page putting out information about that specific sport.
3. Domain, Subdomains, and URL Structure
Now that we have understood what domain and subdomain are, let’s explore how they work together.
Your URL structure should be something that you take into consideration while you are building your website. With the wrong URL structure, it will be much more difficult for your site to rank on the search engines. Moreover, it will make it harder for the visitors to navigate your site.
For example, you want to start a new blog. You have three options to choose from in front of you.
- Create an entirely new domain
- Use a subdomain
- Use a subfolder
If you choose the first option, you will have to register a new domain name and build an entirely new website. And if you are creating a blog that is a part of your existing website, then it is not worth utilizing an entirely new domain. So, the first option is eliminated.
Now, we have two options left. We are either going to host our blog on a subdomain or use a subfolder.
If we choose a subdomain, we will have the liberty to design the layout of the blog, select a new CMS, and many more facilities.
And the third option is the subfolder. A subfolder helps to organize your site and make it simpler for the users to navigate different topics. In terms of SEO, this option will be the best. Overall, the option you choose will depend upon your needs and expectations.
Hopefully, you have understood everything you need to know about domain and subdomain. One thing to remember while selecting a domain name is that you need to research before selecting one. As the domain name will matter a lot on your branding and image in the market.
I hope this article bought some value to you. And if it did, send this to your friends who might need it. Feel free to comment your thoughts down, the comment box is yours! Thank you for going through this article. Bye!