What is a subdomain?28-07-2023 - Blogs
What is a subdomain?
We have previously looked at what a domain is – so the next question is – what is a subdomain? It is part of an overall domain name that acts as a “subcategory” or a “subdivision”, of the primary domain. Subdomains are often used to organize and structure content on websites, and can help differentiate different sections of a website, or indicate different services and features.
Usually a domain name consists of 3 parts; subdomain, domain name and top level domain.
If we imagine that we have the website “blog.example.com”, then “blog” is the subdomain, “example” is the domain name and “com” is the top-level domain.
So if you have the page “blog.example.com”, then the subdomain here will be a dedicated blog section that is separate from the main site, which is “example.com”.
It can also be used if the site exists with different language versions. The English version of the page might be called “en.example.com” for example, the French version of the page might be called “fr.example.com”, and so on…..
When should you use a subdomain?
So when should one actually make use of it? Let’s say you are a serious photographer who owns a shop where you sell all the necessary equipment for photography enthusiasts. In addition to offering exclusive cameras and accessories, you also hold workshops in your store every Sunday afternoon. These courses allow people to learn how to take great photos and use advanced image processing programs.
As a dedicated photographer, you value your art and are always interested in showing off your clients and your own amazing images. But you may be aware that your website cannot handle the amount of photos that you take yourself and want to share with your visitors – but at the same time also the information/booking system about your workshops. To avoid overloading your site and ensure a more organized and structured presentation, you may consider using a subdomain.
You could then, for example, create a subdomain, focusing on your workshops, where information, pictures and bookings – are gathered in one place. For this you could, for example, make use of: “course.fotomagic.com” or “academy.fotomagic.com”.
Examples of uses for a subdomain
You have the option of creating a large number of subdomains, in fact the only limit is your imagination!. Below we have tried to present some of the most widespread examples:
One way to take advantage of a subdomain is to have a seperate one for each different language. If your website is aimed at a large international market, you can separate your website so that each department/language gets its “own” website – without actually having several different websites.
Mobile devices / Web Applications
Another option could be to create it specifically for the mobile version of your page – here you see e.g. often see the use of “.app”.
If you have a page with a certain amount of traffic, it usually makes sense to create a test/staging page where only selected people have access. In this test environment, you can test new plugins or make changes to your website before they are published. This allows you to test and experiment with new features until you are satisfied and ready to implement the changes.
Most often it makes sense to put it on “staging.mysite.com”, “test.mysite.com” or “dev.mysite.com” – instead of having to buy a completely new domain where you can have your test environment.
Highlight important information
It could also be that you had a specific event where you wanted to have a place where all information about this was gathered.
Highlight parts of your content
If you have recently published new content or presented a new product and want to market it extra, you can benefit from creating a subdomain. This will allow you to create a landing page that stands out for this specific product.
The difference between subdomain and subfolders
What is the difference between a subdomain and a subfolder? From an SEO perspective, Google perceives a subdomain as a separate and independent page, and will therefore crawl and index each subdomain separately. It is therefore important to ensure that you SEO-optimize your subdomains to generate the desired online traffic.
A subfolder, on the other hand, is a subdivision of your website where files are stored under your primary domain. These subfolders are not separate from your domain, but are used to organize the content and show users how the website’s structure is built. Google does not see a subfolder as a separate website, and therefore the SEO optimization work is shared between your domain and your subfolders.
A subfodler on the other hand follows this format: domain.com/subfolder/.
How to create a subdomain?
This is a question that is a little more difficult to answer, because it basically depends on which web host you use and where you have your DNS. Although you will often find some similarity between the different web hosts and DNS services, it will never be exactly the same. Fortunately, the vast majority of web hosts today have made really good guides that explain how to create subdomains with them.