subdomain or subdirectory

What Is A Subdomain?

A subdomain name is an information appended to the beginning of the website’s domain name. It enables websites to categorize content for a specific purpose from the rest, such as a blog or an online store.

Let’s explain this in more detail.

A domain name usually has the top-level domain (TLD) and the second-level domain (SLD). The top-level domain (TLD) is the extension, such as.com or.org, and the second-level domain (SLD) is the distinctive part of the domain name, usually a business or brand name.

For example,

  • blog.yourwebsite.com
  • store.yourwebsite.com

In this case, the subdomains are ‘store’ and ‘blog.” The second-level domain (SLD) is ‘your website,’ The top-level domain is ‘.com’ (TLD). You may use any text as your subdomain, as long as it’s simple to type and remember.

When Should You Use A Subdomain

Subdomains are ideal for use as testbeds for any website updates before they go live. There are a few instances where maintaining a subdomain structure is beneficial, including:

  • Specifying various departments

When you wish to split a specific department in your organization from the main domain, you may create subdomains—for example, support.yourwebsite.com or hr.yourwebsite.com.

  • Specifying languages or regions

If you have a multilingual or multi-regional website, keeping the corresponding regions or languages separate from the main domain might make sense.

For example, spanish.yourwebsite.com or asia.yourwebsite.com might make sense.

  • Blog

You may want to separate your blog from the main website. In that case, you could create a subdomain like blog.yourwebsite.com.

  • Store

Many websites choose to have their eCommerce section as a subdomain. If you decide to do the same for your business, you could create store.yourwebsite.com or shop.yourwebsite.com.

  • Events

You might want to establish a subdomain for event-related activities like announcements and updates for upcoming events—for instance, event.yourwebsite.com.

  • Mobile

It was common practice (before websites were responsive to screen sizes) to build a mobile version and upload it to a subdomain, usually mob.yourwebsite.com or mobile.yourwebsite.com.

This is good for people who visit your website on a mobile web browser instead of through the mobile app.

How To Set Up A Subdomain In cPanel

Creating a subdomain can be completed in five simple steps:

  1. Give your subdomain a name
  2. Log into your cPanel account
  3. Navigate to your subdomain
  4. Create a new DNS entry
  5. Click Create and wait for your subdomain to resolve

Step 1: Give your subdomain a name

First, come up with a subdomain name that matches the portion of the site you’re working on the best. Blog, store, shop, support, assistance, and events are examples of popular subdomains.

Step 2: Log into your cPanel account

Log into your hosting provider’s file manager, which is most likely cPanel, to start creating your subdomain.

Step 3: Navigate to your subdomain

You’ll want to go to Subdomains or Add Subdomains at this point. You can now start entering your desired subdomain. Make sure your top domain name is also selected before adding the subdomain.

Step 4: Create a new DNS entry

When the domain is created, you’ll need to add a new domain name system (DNS) record. Select Add from the DNS drop-down menu (or a similar command). The first step is to choose an IP address, a server name, or a wildcard domain for your subdomain to connect to.

Step 5: Click Create and wait for your subdomain to resolve

Finally, click Create or something similar to wait for your subdomain to resolve. Anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours will be needed to get your subdomain up and running on your site.

Related article: How to Create a Subdomain in cPanel

What Is A Subdirectory? 

A subdirectory is a subsection of the primary domain name (a folder or category). Subdirectories are another way that aids in the consolidation of several sites into a single domain.

Subdirectories, also known as subfolders, arrange websites and their pages into a directory of folders, similar to how files on a computer are organized.

An example of a subdirectory URL is yourwebsite.com/blog or exabytes.sg/blog.

When Should You Use A Subdirectory (Subfolder)?

The subdirectory, like the subdomain, allows for division into different sections. The significant distinction is in how Google recognizes these pages. In the case of search engines:

  • Subdomains have their own identities apart from the website
  • Subdirectories are seen as part of the same primary domain

Subdirectories, like subdomains, can be used to build web pages such as events, departments, blogs, and stores. Subdirectories are also helpful for small websites that don’t have a lot of content.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories: What Does Google Say?

In a video, Google’s John Mueller stated that using subdomains or subdirectories is fine for Google web search.

He also said that while Google search engines must learn to crawl [subdomains] independently, this is just a formality for the first few days.

We can’t claim with certainty that subdirectories are better for SEO than subdomains, or vice versa.

It’s not as straightforward as that. However, we need to know where the different suggestions come from and compare them to what Google says.

Subdomain vs Subdirectory: Impact on SEO

When it came to their influence on SEO, subdomains, and subdirectories were once on par. In actuality, Matt Cutts, a Google representative, stated in 2012 that they were “roughly equivalent” and that Google considered them to be one domain.

This viewpoint, however, looks to be changing.

Domain metrics are now kept separately from subdomain analytics by search engines. As a result, webmasters should keep link-worthy content (for example, blogs) in subdirectories rather than subdomains.

As a result, yourwebsite.com/blog is preferable to blog.yourwebsite.com. The only exception is when language-specific web pages are required; subdomains are still preferable.

Webmasters used to like subdomains because they could pack them with the keywords they wanted to rank for in the search engines.

The purpose was to use their main domain and subdomain sites to load the search engine results pages (SERPs) with the provided keyword.

On the other hand, Google discovered this flaw and cracked down on the practice.

Google consolidates the search results and only displays one domain per search result. Attempting this approach by stuffing subdomains with keywords may result in a Google penalty.

In a Nutshell

Choosing a subdomain may appear to be a straightforward process at first, but it isn’t. Because subdomains are not considered part of the same domain site, they require a solid content strategy to appear in SERPs and establish brand authority with search engines.

As a result, if your company’s content marketing strategy aims to increase traffic to the main domain, subdirectories may be the best investment.

On the other hand, subdomains are worth considering if you want a long-term strategy with scalability.

The reason for this is that investing in different subdomains (along with good SEO) increases your chances of being found by search engines by two or three times.

The reason is simple: You can make different sites based on multiple keywords by creating content with social media links and other strategies on different subdomains.

Startup with a domain for your business website, choose suitable top level domain name, and get domain registration check first before proceeding to web hosting and server.

Recommended .SG domain for localized small businesses to boost your online presence easily.

Related article:

What happens when a domain expires?

How to transfer domain name the right way

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