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What Is a Subdomain and When Should You Use One?

(Last Updated On: January 20, 2021)

If you’ve solely owned your area or web site for a brief period of time, you won’t be aware of what a subdomain is and its use relating to organizing. You’re in all probability extra aware of the extra conventional approach of organizing web sites, which is thru subdirectories.

While subdirectories can definitely be helpful, they don’t supply you a similar quantity of freedom and flexibility as a subdomain does. You may even arrange a entire totally different web site beneath your area and have every one serve various functions, corresponding to an e-commerce website and a weblog for the product you promote. 

What is a Subdomain?

So what’s a subdomain precisely? Well, it’s something that goes earlier than your fundamental URL and area title. Let’s say your URL is instance.com. Well, should you added ‘weblog’ in entrance, making it  weblog.instance.com, then the weblog is the subdomain. 

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This can get a little complicated should you aren’t aware of how URLs work. You see, the ‘.com’ portion of the URL is what’s known as a Top-Level-Domain or TLD, and the ‘instance’ half is the Second-Level-Domain or SLD. As such, a subdomain is a sub-section of the SLD, which is the area you buy from a area registrar.

Everything you need to know about what is a subdomains

Subdomain vs Subdirectory

On the opposite hand, subdirectories put that additional bit on the finish of the URL as an alternative of the beginning. Using the above URL instance, a subdirectory would seem like instance.com/weblog with that weblog on the finish being a subdirectory. 

The greatest approach to consider it’s that the subdirectory is like a folder inside your exhausting drive, whereas a subdomain is one other exhausting drive in your laptop, together with your laptop itself being your area.

Subdomain Uses

So when contemplating a subdomain vs. a subdirectory, why select a subdomain?

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For starters, it’s significantly better for search engine optimisation, and there are undoubtedly supreme subdomain search engine optimisation greatest practices. Subdomains are additionally nice for e-commerce options if you wish to have a digital retailer to enhance your website, corresponding to store.steampowered.com, one of the crucial well-known retailer subdomains. 

Subdomains are additionally nice to be used as test-beds for any modifications to your web site earlier than rolling them out. Another possibility is to make use of a subdomain for the mobile version of your site, corresponding to m.youtube.com. Similarly, you need to use subdomains to divide your person bases, corresponding to visitor.instance.com and person.instance.com. When it involves subdomain naming, you’ve got countless prospects.

You ought to know that a number of subdomains might damage your web site efficiency should you’re utilizing subpar internet hosting options. Hosting Canada‘s 2020 hosting report reviews and analyzes the best Canadian web hosting services this previous 12 months, all of which let you arrange a number of subdomains with none points.

How to Create a Subdomain

Creating a subdomain varies relying on which area registrar or host you employ. In this instance, we’ll use HostPapa for reference.

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  1. First, log into HostPapa’s shopper space.
  2. Next, search for an icon that claims ‘domains.’
  3. Click that, and choose ‘subdomains’ from the follow-up display.
  4. Finally, add your subdomain title to the ‘retailer’ subject. Below, you’ll see a preview subject that may showcase what your subdomain will seem like when it’s reside.
  5. Click ‘create subdomain.’ 

There you’ve got it – creating a subdomain is sort of easy.

Learn when should you use a subdomain

Subdomain Impact on search engine optimisation

One query that tends to come back up a lot relating to subdomains is how they have an effect on search engine optimisation and what subdomain search engine optimisation greatest practices are. In the day of the large Google engine, that’s essential. So how does Google deal with subdomains? 

Well, in keeping with Google, subdomains are handled the identical as subdirectories. That signifies that if Site A makes use of subdomains and Site B makes use of subdirectories, they each would rank the identical for key phrases assuming they’d equivalent content material, proper? Well, not a lot.

As it seems, Google treats subdomains as totally different and other than the basis area or SLD. So in case you are making an attempt to rank for a particular key phrase however unfold that key phrase throughout an SLD and subdomain, you dilute that key phrase. Therefore, utilizing a subdomain is definitely dangerous for search engine optimisation.

So then, why this entire article, and why even convey it up?

Simply put, subdomains nonetheless supply a great amount of worth past any search engine optimisation points you would possibly run into.

Take the above instance of retailer.steampowered.com, which is owned by a firm named Valve. While it was initially a sport growth firm, their main enterprise now has develop into the digital distribution of video games by means of their retailer. Having that subdomain separates them from their regular firm web site and makes it simpler for them to market their two companies individually: digital distribution and sport growth.

Another glorious possibility for subdomains is to make use of them for increasing into international markets the place you won’t essentially be utilizing the identical key phrases or the identical language. This additionally helps separate customers between totally different languages and makes group a lot simpler for you on the back-end.

Conclusion

So what’s the takeaway relating to subdomains? Well, merely put, except you’re a medium-sized enterprise (or larger) that’s beginning to increase its merchandise and market, then you definitely’re in all probability higher off utilizing subdirectories.

Primary effort ought to all the time be on the key phrases and search engine optimisation of your root area, which supplies you total increased area authority. Compare that with distributing that authority over a number of subdomains as properly, and you possibly can see that it’s not a nice search engine optimisation technique should you’re simply beginning.

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