What Is a Subdomain?

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The word “domain” is one we all know. A website’s name is what we call a domain name. A subdomain, however, is what other websites located under the same main website are known as.

When you’re done reading this article, you’ll know exactly what a subdomain is and what it can be used for.

What Is a Subdomain?

A subdomain is a website that shares the same domain as another website. The primary purpose of this setup is to provide an alternative web address for specific content on the other site.

For example, if you have a website at www.example.com, then your subdomains would be something like blog.example.com or support.example.com

A subdomain is typically used to create a space on the web for different purposes, such as blogs and forums, but it has other uses, too.

What Are Subdomains Used For?

Business man hand pointing at search bar on virtual screen.

Subdomains allow you to create different content on your website. Some of the most common uses for subdomains include:

  • Offering alternative content on your site, such as what’s available in different languages.
  • To demarcate sections of a website that contain different content (support, portal, etc.).
  • To add extra organization to websites. For example, if you have a website about books and want to add online courses on what it takes to become an author, you can create a subdomain for that instead of creating a whole new website.

Advantages of Using a Subdomain

There are many advantages of using a subdomain.

One main one is that you can put up different web content for each part of the website, making it easy to remember. Alternatively, you can continue using your established branding across each subdomain.

Another advantage is that you can use a subdomain for anything, such as sales or support pages, without having to worry about what they’ll do to your main domain—they’re completely separate.

A third reason would be SEO purposes because each page on the website has a unique title and description in Google’s eyes. If you’re running a niche website, adding a subdomain won’t affect your authority.

Downsides of Subdomains

Perhaps the biggest downside of using subdomains is that they all require separate hosting plans. In other words, if you want to add a new subdomain, then you have to pay your hosting provider for extra hosting space. This can get pretty pricey if you have multiple subdomains. Your existing plan may have a subdomain allowance, so it’s worth checking before switching providers.

Another downside is that they can be time-consuming to manage as you have more than one website, meaning it’s harder to update and maintain.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories

There’s a big difference between subdomains and subdirectories. A subdirectory lives inside another directory, which means that they’re not considered separate websites by themselves.

So if your website’s domain is example.com, then example.com/subdirectory would be what we call a subdirectory since it’s a section of the main website.

Related: Reasons Why You Should Consider Domain Privacy Protection

In contrast, a subdomain would be something like subdomain.example.com. In this case, the entire subdomain is a separate website from example.com.

Subdomain and subdirectories are both great ways to organize your website. Subdomains are highly customizable but are expensive, as they require separate hosting plans.

Subdirectories, on the other hand, are not as customizable as subdomains. Because they’re folders on your website, they don’t require any additional hosting.

Organize Your Website How You Want With Subdomains

Whether you want to offer extra content, create a new section for your website or add an additional layer of organization, subdomains come in handy.

They require extra hosting, but if that doesn’t bother you, then go ahead and use them as much as you like.


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