Avoid Hyphens If Possible
If your domain name is two words , you may want to separate the words with a hyphen for readability: www.example-site.com. But, keep in mind that use of hyphens also strongly correlates with spammy behavior and decreases domain name readability and memorability. For that reason, generally, no more than one hyphen should be used .
What Is A Subdirectory
Finally, we have subdirectories, which are folders within the main domain, that is, categories within the website.
In the URL address, the category is positioned after the domain and extensions and is preceded by a slash symbol, as in the examples below:
Like subdomain, the subdirectory allows for separation according to different sections.
The big difference is about how Google identifies these pages. For search engines:
- subdomains are separate identities from the website
- subdirectories are seen as the same main domain.
Therefore, if the website already has a robust structure, the subdirectory will also have backlinks, traffic, and authority.
What Is A Wildcard Subdomain
A wildcard is basically a catch-all subdomain. It lets you create tons of subdomains without having to manually set up each one.
A wildcard subdomain is represented by an asterisk. For example, *.yoursite.com.
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Its An Ongoing Debate In The Seo World Between Subdomains And Subdirectories Which Is Better
Here, youll find:
- The difference between subdomains and subdirectories
- How each factors into your overall SEO
- The difference in their URLs
- Expert advice for deciding where to host your blog
When youre creating a marketing plan, some aspects are clear.
You should leverage organic and paid avenues, you should probably be on social media, and you should keep tabs on how your business presents online, from meta descriptions to customer reviews.
But then there are more hotly debated topics. How long should proper SEO take? Is it worth it to try to go viral on social media? Should you host your blog on a subdomain or a subdirectory?
Your time is valuable, so lets tackle that last question with help from one of HawkSEMs lead strategists, Yara Askar.
Whats The Difference Between A Subdomain And A Subdirectory
As Yara explains, a subdomain is a child domain of the root or parent directory domain. A subdirectory works like a root directory subfolder.
While a subdomain is a child domain, its treated as a separate entity from the main parent domain. The subdomain is still associated with the root directory. However, itll have a separate content strategy, analytics and tracking tools, and a different backend site.
Basically, any domain authority a root domain holds such as backlinks wont carry over to the subdomain. A subdirectory, on the other hand, lives within the root domain. It benefits from the root domain SEO equity and can add to the overall website SEO value.
Google doesnt technically favor one over the other when it comes to subdomains vs. subdirectories.
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Subdomains Explained In More Detail
This URL contains two parts:
- A protocol is a set of guidelines that a browser follows to send a request to the server.
- The domain, themeisle.com, or URL to the main website. A domain consists of two parts:
- the TLD which is the .com part , and
- the SLD , themeisle, the name that you buy from a domain registrar.
A subdomain contains a second name before the SLD. For instance, if the Themeisle blog was hosted on https://blog.themeisle.com, the blog would be the subdomain.
Restrict Subdomain Access To Addon Domains
Each Addon Domain requires a subdomain. Using mod_rewrite, you can stop people from using the addon domain as a subdomain of the primary domain.
Put this in the .htaccess file located at the subdomains folder, changing the subdomain, primarydomain.com, and addondomain.com:
RewriteEngine OnRewriteCond % ^subdomain.primarydomain.com$ RewriteCond % ^www.subdomain.primarydomain.com$ RewriteCond % ^addondomain.com$RewriteCond % ^/$RewriteRule ^$ http://www.addondomain.com/
For further assistance, you may contact our Chat Support or Phone Support via 888-401-4678. You may also refer to our Knowledge Base articles to help answer common questions and guide you through various setup, configuration, and troubleshooting steps.
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What Is A Domain
To have a website that lives on the internet, youre going to need a domain name. Without a domain name, theres no way for visitors to access your website!
Before domain names were invented, you needed to type in the IP address for a given website to access it. Today, domain names act as a placeholder for the complex string of numbers known as an IP address. So, instead of typing in a series of numbers like 188.8.131.52 you type in hostgator.com into your browser.
This makes things much easier and makes the consumer internet much more user-friendly.
When youre trying to find the perfect domain name, youll not only have to come up with the perfect domain name, but youll need to choose a domain extension as well.
This is the .com, .net, .org portion of a domain name. The domain name extension you choose will influence how your visitors perceive your domain, so choose wisely.
Does The Domain Extension Affect Seo
The domain extension, commonly referred to as the Top-Level Domain , generally isn’t considered a Google ranking factor, except in the area of International SEO. In this case, having a specific country code top-level domains can indicate to search engines which country your content is targeted at.
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How Do Subdomains And Subdirectories Affect Blogs
Subdomains make perfect sense in some instances. For example, when a company has a niche industry, audience, or keyword they want to target thats different from their root or main targets.
This also applies if the subdomain is intended to represent a completely different business or division from the root domain, such as a SaaS company that also runs an online vendor marketplace.
In most cases, however, sites target the same audience with their blogs as they would with the root domain. Their content strategy is also likely intended to serve the same business. In that case, its best to host a blog as a subdirectory.
Hosting your blog as a subdirectory can allow you to:
- Increase organic traffic to the root domain
- Organize content in a way that makes it easy for bots to manage and crawl
- Optimize the content on the site without having pages compete with each other
- Streamline analytics by housing all metrics on a single domain
Subdomains can be useful for blogs if theres a large content campaign that is slated to receive a lot of traffic and thus requires its own hierarchy path.
Create A Separate Site For Mobile
A subdomain can also be utilized to provide a more mobile-friendly experience for your site visitors. Search engines like Google can recognize the type of device a searcher is using, and will serve the version of your website that gives them the best user experience. You can create separate versions of your website that cater to mobile, and even more specifically, to each screen size.
This adaptive approach gives users a unique experience, catered specifically to the type of device theyre currently using. Each of these different layouts have their own specific subdomain. Providing a mobile-friendly subdomain is a must in todays world, where more users are conducting searches on smartphones than on other devices.
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Bottom Line: What Is A Subdomain
Subdomains are a part of a primary domain. Businesses use subdomains in addition to their small business website for a number of reasons, but the most common is to create a separate extension of their main site that has a different set of functionalities, and with that, a different audience. Since subdomains use its own WordPress account, businesses can use another WordPress theme.
Subdomains are generally available for free, and if youre using a web hosting provider, such as Bluehost, you can get free subdomains that automatically connect to web hosting and WordPress, eliminating the need to manually connect the three. For this reason, if you dont already have web hosting, we recommend choosing a top web hosting company, such as Bluehost, which is feature-rich and low cost with plans starting at under $3 per month.
Gtld: Generic Top Level Domain
A gTLD is essentially a top-level domain that doesnt rely on a country code. Many gTLDs are intended for a specific use-case, such as .edu which is aimed at educational institutions. That said, you dont have to meet any specific criteria to register a gTLD, which is why a .com domain might not necessarily be used for commercial purposes.
Other examples of gTLDs include .mil , .gov , .org , and .net, which was originally designed for internet service providers but is now used more widely.
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What Is A Subdomain And How Does It Work
In spite of its low entry barrier, the internet is a mighty complex territory filled with technical jargon that at times may sound eerily similar to Klingon. Building a strong online presence starts in a fairly straightforward manner – simply create a website and purchase a domain name. However, things get more complicated once you want to grow your site, improve your performance and come across new terms such as subdomain.
If you know what is a domain, you may already have a general idea of what a subdomain is, based on the obviousness of its name. However, there are several technical layers youll need to take into account in order to decide whether you want to use one on your site. This introductory guide will allow you to understand not only what is a subdomain, but also when it makes sense to create one and how it impacts your sites performance.
Subdomain: A Detailed Explainer
A subdomain makes it possible to divide your website into other areas. The name of the subdomain is placed in front of the domain name and separated from it with a period. The following picture illustrates this:
In the example above, photos is the subdomain of the primary domain example. In this way, website owners could create an independent page with photos from events or other content to differentiate their online presence.
Register a domain name
Build your brand on a great domain, including SSL and a personal consultant!
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Don’t Sweat Over Domain Age
The notion that the age of a domain is an important SEO ranking factor is a myth. When asked about domain registration length, Google’s Matt Cutts said, “To the best of my knowledge, no search engine has ever confirmed that they use length of registration as a factor in scoring. If a company is asserting that as a fact, that would be troubling. The primary reason to renew a domain would be if it’s your main domain, you plan to keep it for a while, or you’d prefer the convenience of renewing so that you don’t need to stress about your domain expiring.”
What does matter to Google are things like how long itâs been since your site was first crawled or since the first inbound link was recorded. Even so, though, Matt Cutts assures that “the difference between a domain that’s six months old and one year old is really not that big at all.”
Ideal To Manage A Great Deal Of Content
If you have an excessive amount of content on a topic related to your business, it would be great to have a subdomain. You can treat it as a standalone site. But make sure you have enough quality content that can generate significant traffic. Otherwise creating a subdomain wont give any results you are looking for.
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In Closing: How Domains And Subdomains Work Together
As you can see the domain name ecosystem has a ton of different moving pieces. Taking the time to understand how it all fits together does take more time, but itll give you a leg up on the rest of your competition.
Hopefully, by now, you have a better understanding of how domain names and subdomains work, as well as the situations when youll use a domain or subdomain.
To put things simply, youll need a domain name whenever you want to create a website thats accessible via the internet. Subdomains are an extension of your primary domain name and are used for site organization or redesign purposes, or even to host your blog or eCommerce store.
Whenever youre choosing a new domain name make sure you do you research, as a great domain name is a crucial part of your online brand. Once youre done brainstorming the perfect domain name, see if its available for your new project right here at HostGator.
Core Generic Supporting Domains
People are often confused when they hear that a core domain is actually a subdomain. In his DDD books, Eric Evans refers to them as Core Domains, but he also refers to them as subdomains. Confusing much?
When you view domains and subdomains as fuzzy, and subdomains also as domains, using core domain and core subdomain interchangeably doesnt really matter. Its fuzzy but not ambiguous.
Core Domain sounds better, Core Subdomain emphasises that there is a higher-level domain to which this belongs.
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What Is A Subdomain Used For
A subdomain is commonly used to logically separate a website into sections. You can use a subdomain to launch a career site , a forum or for customer support . You may use subdomains to create blogs of different themes too. For instance, sbnation.com is a sports news blog. However, it uses blogs like weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com and theshortfuse.sbnation.com for specific teams on different subdomains.
Some other uses of subdomains are:
- Create different language versions of a website .
- Create a mobile version of a website .
- Set up a network of unrelated sites. For example, how you can sign up for a WordPress.com account and create your own blog on a subdomain .
You can get creative with subdomains. You may point a subdomain to a section or a single page in your website too.
For example, if you have a personal portfolio site, you could host your contact form at hireme.yourname.com.