What Is a Subdomain and When to Use It?

Written by Web Hosting Expert

What Is a Subdomain and When to Use It?

Domains are the core of the digital world. They serve as addresses for websites and are therefore essential to any website that exists. Currently, there are over 367 million registered domains, out of which 170 million are registered under the .com and .net extensions. An integral part of a domain is a subdomain, which is why we will explore what they are, when to use them, how to create them, and much more in this article.

What Is a Subdomain?

A subdomain allows you to create multiple websites using one domain. It enables website owners to separate their content and organize it better. So, if you want to separate your blog or online store from the rest of your website, you can use subdomains to achieve this.

The complete domain name has two parts: the TLD or top-level domain, the .com or .net or any other extension, and the SLD or second-level domain, the brand or business name.

The subdomain is located before the SLD, and the most common one is World Wide Web or www. where the website's home and other essential pages are located.

When you add an HTTP or HTTPS to this at the beginning, you get the complete URL of your website.

More subdomain examples:

  • blog.websitename.com – this subdomain is used to separate the website's blog from its homepage. Most websites do this because their www. subdomains focus on the products or services they sell, and they want to have a blog that doesn't necessarily post product-related articles only
subdomain example
  • support.website.com – websites use this subdomain to separate their customer support site from their homepage so that the customer support options and content are better organized and easier to navigate
subdomain example - google
  • en.website.com – this subdomain specifies the language in which the website's content is written in. It's used by companies that cater to customers from different countries, and they provide their content in multiple languages. en. is used for websites written in English, es. is for Spanish, fr. is for French, etc.
subdomain example - wiki

What Is a Subdomain Used For?

Subdomains are used for organizing your website's content and its numerous functions more efficiently.

By separating your content and features with subdomains, you make it easier for your customers to navigate your website and find what they are looking for easily and quickly. Having a website that is easy to navigate is quite important, seeing as around 38% of customers will leave a website if it has a poor and confusing layout.

Subdomains are also used for:

Subdomain vs. Subdirectory

One of the main differences between a subdomain and a subdirectory is that subdirectories put the page name that you want to separate at the end of your website's URL. So, if you're going to separate your blog from your homepage, your website's URL will look different depending on what you use:

  • Subdomain – blog.website.com
  • Subdirectory – website.com/blog

In general, subdomains are preferred to subdirectories because they create separate websites for the content they contain, while subdirectories do not and only act as pathways within your website.

For example, subdomains are better than subdirectories if:

  • you want to create an online store for your existing website
  • you want to create a blog for your existing website

Generally, these two types of websites have specific content and distinct functionality compared to the website's homepage, and as subdomains, they operate as separate websites alongside the main website. You can achieve this by using subdirectories as well. However, subdomains are preferred because of their SEO benefits which we'll discuss a bit later.

How to Create Subdomains?

1. Come up with a suitable name

Before you do anything, you need to think of a name that is most appropriate to the content and section of your website you want to separate. It's always good to use one word if you can, like blog, support, events, forum, store, shop, etc. This will keep your URL short and clean, and it will look good in the address bar

2. Access and log into your cPanel

After you've settled on a name, log into the file manager that your hosting provider offers, which in most cases is the cPanel. Once you've logged in, find the Subdomains or Add Subdomains icon to proceed. The icon's name can vary depending on the provider you use

access your subdomain in cpanel

3. Enter your subdomain in cPanel

After clicking on the subdomain icon, you can type in the subdomain name you've settled on and create the subdomain. When doing this, make sure that you also type in your primary domain correctly

create a subdomain

4. Make a new DNS record

The next step is to add a new DNS or domain name system record. Go to the DNS function, click on it and choose "add," or whatever similar command appears. Here, you decide what you want your subdomain to be connected to, like an IP address, server name, etc. After this, add the new DNS record

Make a new DNS record –

5. Create your subdomain

After adding the new DNS record, click on the "create" or other similar icon and wait for your subdomain to resolve. Usually, it takes from 30 minutes to 24 hours for your subdomain to become functional

6. Create a website on your subdomain

After your subdomain becomes functional, you can set up a website on it. For example, you can create a WordPress website for your blog, shop, forum, or whatever you need. However, make sure that the name of your subdomain matches the purpose of the website you set up on it and the content it will contain

Does a Subdomain Affect SEO?

Subdomains affect SEO both positively and negatively

First, the positives. Search engines like Google view subdomains as individual websites, which means that you'll be able to increase your overall traffic on your primary website by adding the traffic from the subdomain. Also, subdomains allow you to set up backlinks to your primary domain. This is highly beneficial because having more backlinks can increase the authority of your primary domain and make it more reliable in customers' eyes.

However, if you use the same keyword for both your primary domain and subdomains, you dilute the keyword because you are ranking for it on both domain and subdomain. So, when creating subdomains, make sure to pay attention to the keywords you use and not spread them too much between your own domains and subdomains.

The Bottom Line

Subdomains are a great way to make your website more organized and appealing to customers. They allow you to set up separate websites for content you want to create and enable it to have its own space on the Internet. You can also take advantage of SEO benefits if you create subdomains, which is always a good thing that can significantly increase your success and online presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a domain name?

A domain name is the name of your website. A domain name is a word or a phrase that people enter in their browsers in order to be taken to a certain website on the Internet.

What makes a certain domain valuable?

Valuable domains are usually memorable, easy to spell, pronounce, and short.

What is a top-level domain?

A top-level domain is the last part of the domain name, so it’s everything that goes after the final dot in the domain name.

How much does a domain cost monthly?

Usually, domain names cost from $0.99 to $12 per month. However, at Verpex, we offer a free domain name with our hosting packages.

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