Did you know that a domain name can have up to 500 subdomains?
If you spend your days like me — browsing through hundreds of websites, you’ve probably noticed the URL changes in your browser, depending on your location or the web page you’re viewing. So, what is a subdomain? It’s the URL part that changes.
Let’s start with the basics and explore every aspect of a subdomain to learn more.
Simply put, a domain name is your website’s address. That’s what you type in a browser to visit a site like Google.com or Facebook.com.
When it comes to subdomain vs domain, the latter was invented to solve a growing problem. The internet is a complex computer network identified by IP addresses. A typical IP address looks like this: 66.348.66.1. Now, imagine remembering such long strings of numbers to access any site. Luckily, domain names solve that problem.
When you enter a domain name in the search bar, it first sends a request to a global network of servers, forming what we call the Domain Name System (DNS). The servers’ purpose is to find the domain name servers managed by hosting companies like Bluehost and forward the request to grant you access to the site. Also, you can purchase domain names via website builders. For example, you can check the Gator’s pricing plan to see how much it costs.
Subdomains are essentially domain name extensions that help navigate or organize different website sections. Most site owners use them to divert traffic to a different address of the same site, like blogs, forums, or support pages.
Suppose you own a website that sells books — isellbooks.com. To understand subdomains, you should first know about the URL anatomy.
https://isellbooks.com contains three parts:
A subdomain contains a name before the SLD. For instance, you can create blog.isellbooks.com to share tips and guides for your subscribers or forum.isellbooks.com to build a reading community.
Subdomains work similarly to domains. The only difference is that subdomains separate a website logically into sections or for location-based access. When we enter a URL into a browser, the DNS translates the subdomain’s name to its IP address to locate its name server and eventually loads the particular website section on your screen.
Subdomains are typically used by:
Developers use subdomains to make a staging or testing version of websites to try out new plugins and updates before deploying any changes on the main site. It’s a smart way to minimize downtime and proactively test performance.
What is a subdomain used for by organizations? Perhaps, the most popular use is to help online businesses and ecommerce stores organize their content more efficiently. Modern sites have a more complex setup than traditional ones, so subdomains help organizations create sub-sections, location-specific sites, and mobile sites.
Internet service providers use subdomains to supply web services by enabling independent administration by clients who don’t own any domains. That can help users save costs and outsource accountability to the providers while paying for their services.
Subdomains make it incredibly simple for users to organize website business functions. Here are the top use cases:
Ecommerce stores can use subdomains to organize their value offerings. For example, they can create a subdomain for their latest releases or best-sellers.
Subdomains are excellent for improving search ranking and traffic in different locations. For example, GoDaddy changes its subdomain based on where I search web hosting services.
Subdomains are an incredible tool for creating support or landing pages. They help streamline your site hierarchy and draw more traffic from multiple locations.
Global businesses operating globally can use subdomains to create versions of their websites in local languages without relying on translation APIs that are prone to malfunction.
Thousands of websites apply subdomains to set up their online communities and manage traffic accordingly.
You can create subdomains with the help of a web hosting provider, like Bluehost or GoDaddy. Although the method varies from company to company, the general process remains the same. Here’s how to create a subdomain:
Subfolders are used as extensions of the main root domain but set up differently on servers. Unlike subdomains, they don’t require server partitioning and can be housed on the same web server and linked to the domain. Using my earlier example, isellbooks.com, if you were to add a subfolder instead of a subdomain, it would appear as isellbooks.com/store.
The following are the most popular examples:
To sum up, a subdomain is a prefix that comes before the main domain name and the domain extension on a URL. It’s incredibly effective for dividing and organizing ecommerce stores or business websites in category, location, language, or function.
So, whether you’re looking to set up a web page for your best-selling products or a blog section, you now know what to do. Even if you don’t need subdomains right away, at least you now know what they are.
A subdomain is an additional part or section of a parent website that organizes the content and manages traffic. A popular subdomain example is news.google.com.
The subdomain’s purpose is to break down your online value offerings into specified sections, like blog, store, shop, or forum. That can help improve navigation and website analytics.
Regular domains use standard URLs like yourwebsite.com. In contrast, subdomains add a prefix before the main domain name and extension to redirect traffic to a specific section, device, or location. Examples include blog.yourwebsite.com, uk.yourwebsite.com, or mobile.yourwebsite.com.
What is a subdomain? A subdomain is simply the word that comes before the website’s main domain name and extension. It can be anything from a blog to news, support, shop, store, forum, or event. It looks like shop.yourwebsite.com.