What Is a Subdomain
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An extension to your domain name called a subdomain is used to organize separate parts of your website.

Let’s take www.google.com.

mail.google.com is the subdomain that Google uses for Gmail. Here, “mail” is the subdomain.

You are, however, still on Google's website despite the slight URL change. only inside a subdomain.

First, let's go through the actions of a URL and then start with some real-world examples of subdomains.

What Is a Subdomain?

An extra piece that is added to the beginning of your domain name is called a subdomain.

It is used to organize content on websites that serve a specific purpose. similar to a blog, online shop, or job website.

careers semrush
careers semrush

Although www is the most popular subdomain, numerous others may be used. (We'll discuss a few examples in the section below).

Domains typically have two other parts:

  • The top-level domain (TLD) is the domain's end, such as “.com” or “.org.”
  • The second-level domain (SLD) is the name you give your website (usually your business or brand name).

In a URL, a subdomain is placed before a second-level domain (SLD).

A file path (i.e., the section of the website you are viewing) and a protocol (such as HTTP or HTTPS) are both added to the beginning and end of a URL, respectively, to create a complete URL. 

Parts of a URL

Here’s an example.

The TLD and SLD for hotjar.com are “.com” and “hotjar“, respectively.

As a result, the subdomain is “help” in the URL help.hotjar.com. All of Hotjar's support desk content is kept there.

Help hotjar
Help hotjar

Why Use a Subdomain?

Subdomains not only organize the functions of your website but also make it simpler for visitors to access these functions.

Consider an example of a department store as a subdomain.

The city where the store is located would be the TLD. And the SLD would be the location of the shop.

Department stores, however, are huge. As a result, customers could still require help locating what they need.

Therefore, the subdomain would resemble each separate store department. Women's shoes, apparel, and accessories for the house

Every department serves a specific function and only keeps goods associated with that function.

Similar to subdomains, they work effectively when your website has a lot of content that is challenging to maintain on a single website.

A few specific use cases for subdomains include:

  • Before launching, test a fresh version of your site
  • Creating an online store
  • Creating a separate “Help” section on your site
  • Keeping your blog separate from the rest of your website
  • Assembling content from a franchise's many locales
  • Indicating a language or region

Let’s look at a few examples in action.

Subdomain Examples

There are several reasons to consider while selecting a subdomain. Here are some well-known examples:

To house all of its help center content, Squarespace uses a “support” subdomain.

support Squarespace
support Squarespace

This makes it apparent to users that this section of the website is where all support topics are located.

Another excellent example is Gymshark. They have ten or more subdomains, one for every nation they serve.

Here’s what their Canadian subdomain looks like:

ca Gymshark

You can better serve customers who live in different regions and/or speak various languages by using location-based subdomains.

Subdomains for online stores are another frequent use.

Here’s what Adele’s online store looks like:

shop Adele
shop Adele

A “shop” subdomain aids in separating a website's ecommerce functionality from its parent domain.

In this case, Adele's parent website showcases her most recent songs and tour dates.

Her online store is unique. It is the merchandise store where Adele's fans may buy her albums and memorabilia. Both the parent website and the shop page serve two unique purposes.

Lastly, let’s look at Disney’s “movies” subdomain.

movies Disney
movies Disney

Disney has distinctive brands that fit into several entertainment categories. Because of this, they either host each brand's website on a separate subdomain or design an entirely new website for each.

Disney's movies, for instance, are hosted on movies.disney.com. Live shows from Disney, however, are hosted on liveshows.disney.com.

If your parent company has separate brands, you may use a similar strategy.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories for SEO

Subdomains are seen by Google as entirely distinct websites from your domain. Search engines will thus independently crawl and index subdomains.

This indicates that any authority your site earns from backlinks won't be distributed to your domain's subdomains.

On the other hand, files in subdirectories are those that are under your main domain. Google views them as part of your site. In this way, subdirectories under your domain may exercise authority.

After the TLD, subdirectories may be detected. For instance, “blog” is the subfolder under “as-educate.com/blog“.

It is possible to use subdirectories and subfolders interchangeably since they are the same thing.

Subdomain vs subdirectory
Subdomain vs subdirectory

A subdomain should only be used when absolutely necessary. Otherwise, you run the risk of “keyword cannibalization”, i.e., competing against yourself for target keywords.

Subdomains can work well if you:

  • Want a separate “Store” section for your complicated and/or large ecommerce site (store.examplesite.com)?
  • Maintain the site for a single location of a larger franchise (chicago.examplerestaurant.com).
  • Adapt your site to a language other than your primary one (en.examplesite.com).

Remember that having a subdomain effectively necessitates doing SEO tasks for two separate sites (in the eyes of Google).

Therefore, managing a subdomain may not be within your purview if you have limited resources.

Subdirectories are often simpler to keep up with. and will be effective if you just need to divide up different pieces of content on your website.

How to Create a Subdomain

The majority of hosting providers include a way in their UI to establish a subdomain.

We'll use SiteGround as an example, but the procedure is the same no matter the platform.

To view the subdomain settings, first log in.

For SiteGround, go to “Site Tools” > “Domain” > “Subdomains” > “Create New Subdomain“.

Create New Subdomain
Create New Subdomain

In the “Name” field, enter the subdomain prefix you plan to use. such as “help,” “shop,” and “blog”.

Type a subdomain
Type the subdomain

After you type in the name of your new subdomain, click “Create“.

Now you have a new subdomain.

Create a subdomain
Create a subdomain

Note: Your subdomain may not be fully integrated into your site for a day or two.

Ahmed Samir Founder as-educate

Keep Learning with as-educate

Are you sure whether a subdomain is appropriate for your website? Consider the intended audience for each page you publish.

Is it connected to your “www” subdomain's primary content? Or does it serve a function specific to that of your main site?

It's advisable to publish on a separate subdomain (such as “blog,” “shop,” etc.) for the latter.

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