What exactly is a subdomain?

On your main domain, you can create multiple subdomains or child domains. Subdomains are used to organize and navigate your website’s various sections. A subdomain is a part of your main domain name that is separate from it.

Consider the following scenario:


You can use any text as your subdomain, but it should be simple to type and remember. †storeâ€TM is the subdomain, †yourwebsiteâ€TM is the primary domain, and â€.comâ€TM is the top level domain (TLD) in this example.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common subdomain uses. Subdomains are used for a variety of reasons by businesses.

Subdomain Use Cases

Developers frequently test new plugins and updates on a subdomain staging site before making them public. A subdomain is most commonly used to create a testing or staging version of a website.

Because eCommerce sites are typically more complex to set up, companies often want a separate subdomain to handle transactions. A subdomain is also commonly used to create an online eCommerce store.

Companies have also used subdomains to create mobile websites (m.yoursite.com), location-specific sites (uk.yoursite.com), and website sub-sections.

You can install WordPress on your subdomain and have it function independently of your main website.

Subdomains such as †guest.yourwebsite.com,â€TM †user.yourwebsite.com,â€TM and others can be used to serve a specific group of users on your site. Users can create custom websites using website builder platforms such as WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and others.

Subdomains can help you organize your content more effectively on your website. The SEO of your main website is unaffected by the proper use of a subdomain. When in doubt, however, we advise keeping everything on the same domain and avoiding using a subdomain for public sites.

What Is a Subdomain and How Do I Make One?

In your domain registrar or WordPress hosting account, you can easily create a subdomain. In this example, we’ll use Bluehost to create a subdomain, but the process is the same across all platforms.

Then, on the left, select the “Domains” tab. This will bring up a submenu with a variety of options. You must first log into your Bluehost account in order to create a subdomain.

Now, on the list, select the â€Subdomains†tab.

Your domain name can be found in the right-hand field. If your web hosting account only has one domain, you won’t need to make any changes. We only have one domain in our example, â€yourdomain.org.†If you have more than one domain, the drop-down menu will show them all.

We’ll use the word â€demo†in this example. You can enter anything you want, such as a blog, gallery, or store. Then, in the field on the right, type a name for your new subdomain.

Click the â€Create†button after you’ve typed in the name for your subdomain.

Your subdomain address will now appear in the domain name’s address bar. It changed from “yourdomain.com” to â€demo.yourdomain.com†in our example. You’ll notice that the home folder field for your new subdomain automatically fills in with your new subdomain’s name. Your new subdomain will appear at the bottom of the screen right away.

Congratulations on your achievement! You’ve just made your very first subdomain.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories: Which is Better for SEO?

Subdomains and subdirectories are treated differently by search engines. Let’s examine why this is so, and how using a subdomain versus a subdirectory affects SEO.

This means that each subdomain must be crawled and indexed separately by search engines. Google and other search engines treat subdomains as if they were a separate website.

It’s important to keep in mind that the “link juice” generated by backlinks to your main site isn’t shared between your domain and subdomains. It’s just as difficult to get page rank for keywords for a subdomain as it is for a separate website.

Only use subdomains if you have a compelling reason to do so. Subdomains can be used to rank for different keywords, target a specific market, reach a different location, or serve a different language than your main website.

Files under your primary domain are found in subdirectories. Subdirectories are not treated as separate sites by Google or other search engines, so “link juice” and SEO are shared between your domain and subdirectories.

Subdirectories will help you rank your website faster than a subdomain for bloggers, startups, and small businesses with limited time and resources.

Additional Resources

  • How to Transfer WordPress to a New Domain Effortlessly (Without Losing SEO)
  • Step-by-Step Instructions for Installing WordPress in a Subdirectory
  • 14 Tips and Tools for Choosing the Best Domain Name
  • (Explained) What’s the Difference Between a Domain Name and Web Hosting?
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