What is a subdomain – Forbes Advisor


Subdomains are a type of domain that is part of another domain. For example, if you’ve ever read a WordPress blog, you might have noticed that the domain (or URL) is the dot blog name worddpress.com (blogname.wordpress.com). In this case, wordpress.com is the domain and blogname.wordpress.com is the subdomain. Subdomains can be used for a number of reasons, from prototyping sites to using two different themes.

Follow us to learn more about what exactly a subdomain is, as well as when to use a subdomain, its impact on search engine optimization, and how to set one up through your domain name registrar or your host.

Definition of subdomain

A subdomain is an extension or addition to your business domain name. Subdomains are used to organize different functional parts of the website.

Let’s say you have a yoursite.com domain name. You can have subdomains like blog.yoursite.com or store.yoursite.com so that your store and blog can be designed, organized, and optimized independently of your main website. As you add different functions to your domain website, you can use new subdomains to separate them from the main website.

Domain name and subdomain URLs are treated as separate entities, which brings us to the question of how a subdomain appears in the domain URL.

Structure of a subdomain

The subdomain is added before your domain name to create a new URL. Once this URL is created, it can have its own pages like any website.

Characteristics and parameters of a subdomain

Here is some important information to know about a subdomain:

  • A domain can have up to 500 subdomains
  • You can create multiple levels of subdomains such as store.product.yoursite.com, test.forum.yoursite.com, etc.
  • Each subdomain can be up to 255 characters, but for multi-level subdomains, each level can only be 63 characters

How to create a subdomain

The process for setting up a subdomain will vary slightly depending on where your subdomain is registered. However, generally, the process of creating a subdomain will look like this:

Here’s how to set up a subdomain:

  • Go to your domain name registrar or hosting provider (eg Bluehost or DreamHost)
  • Select domains in your account dashboard
  • Search and select subdomains
  • Create your new subdomain

For more information, see your domain registrar or web hosting provider‘s help center for step-by-step instructions on creating a subdomain. Also, your provider should be able to help you further through support if you run into any issues along the way.

Subdomain vs subdirectory

There is some confusion between subdomains and subdirectories, and rightly so. Both are apparently very similar, but each has a different structure, site organization, and SEO impact. A subdirectory uses folders under the main domain name to organize your website content. A key difference is that subdomains are treated as separate websites and do not inherit any domain authority from the parent website. Its SEO must be built from scratch.

Subdomains vs subdirectories at a glance:

  • Subdomain : blog.yoursite.com
  • Sub folder : yoursite.com/blog

Subdirectories and subdomains have their own pros and cons, and ultimately it’s up to you to decide what your website needs.


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