What Is a Subdomain? Definition, Examples, and How one can Set One Up

  • December 31, 2022
  • elkenz
  • 7 min read

A subdomain is an extension of your area identify used to prepare separate components of your web site.

Let’s take www.google.com.

Google makes use of a subdomain for Gmail—mail.google.com. The subdomain right here is “mail.”

Regardless of the slight URL change, you’re nonetheless on Google’s web site. Simply on a subdomain.

Let’s begin by protecting the anatomy of a URL, plus some examples of subdomains in motion.

What Is a Subdomain?

A subdomain is an extra piece of data added to the start of your area identify.

It’s used to prepare content material that serves a selected operate on a web site. Like an internet retailer, weblog, or careers web page.

Semrush careers page

The commonest subdomain is www, however there are lots of others that can be utilized. (We’ll cowl some examples within the subsequent part).

Domains sometimes have two different components:

  1. The highest-level area (TLD) is the tip of your area (like “.com” or “.org”)
  2. The second-level area (SLD) is what you select to name your website (normally your online business or model identify)

A subdomain comes earlier than a second-level area (SLD) in a URL. 

Add a protocol to the start (like HTTP or HTTPS) and a file path to the tip (i.e., what a part of the location you’re visiting) and you’ve got a full URL:

parts of URL

Right here’s an instance.

The TLD for hotjar.com is “.com”and the SLD is “hotjar.” 

So, “assist” within the URL assist.hotjar.com is the subdomain. It’s the place Hotjar shops all their helpdesk content material.

Hotjar’s helpdesk subdomain example

Why Use a Subdomain?

Along with organizing capabilities of your web site, subdomains additionally make it simpler for customers to search out these capabilities.

Take into consideration a subdomain like a division retailer. 

The TLD could be town the shop is positioned. And the SLD could be the shop’s handle. 

However malls are huge. So consumers should want extra help discovering what they want.

So the subdomain could be like the person division throughout the retailer. Girls’s clothes, residence decor, footwear, and so forth.

Every division has a selected operate and solely homes merchandise associated to that operate.

Subdomains are related—they work nicely when your web site has a lot of content material that’s tough to handle on one web site.

A couple of particular use instances for subdomains embrace:

  • Testing a brand new model of your website earlier than it launches
  • Creating an internet retailer
  • Making a separate “assist” part of your website
  • Separating your weblog from the remainder of your web site
  • Organizing content material from totally different areas of a franchise
  • Denoting language or area

Let’s have a look at a couple of examples in motion.

Subdomain Examples

There are a number of totally different causes you might select a subdomain. Listed here are a couple of common ones:

Squarespace makes use of a “assist” subdomain to accommodate all of its assist middle content material.

Squarespace support subdomain

This makes it clear to customers that every one assist subjects are housed on this part of the web site.

Gymshark is one other good instance. They’ve 10+ subdomains—one for every nation they serve.

Right here’s what their Canadian subdomain appears like:

The list of countries in which GymShark is based with the website each country page having its own subdomain 

Location-based subdomains help you higher cater to clients who reside in numerous areas and/or converse totally different languages.

Ecommerce retailer subdomains are one other widespread use case.

Right here’s what Adele’s on-line retailer appears like:

Adele’s online store built on a shop subdomain

A “store” subdomain helps separate the ecommerce portion of a web site from its mother or father area. 

On this instance from Adele, her mother or father web site options her newest music and tour schedule.

Her ecommerce retailer is totally different. It’s the place the place her followers should buy Adele’s merchandise and albums. The store web page and mother or father web site perform two distinct roles. 

Lastly, let’s have a look at Disney’s “motion pictures” subdomain.

Disney’s subdomain for Disney movies

Disney has distinct manufacturers that fall into totally different classes of leisure. That’s why they both host every model’s web site on separate subdomains or create new web sites for every altogether. 

For instance, Disney’s motion pictures are hosted on motion pictures.disney.com. However Disney’s reside reveals are hosted on liveshows.disney.com. 

You need to use an identical technique when you’ve got separate manufacturers related together with your mother or father firm. 

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories for search engine optimisation

Google views subdomains as fully separate web sites out of your area. So serps will crawl and index subdomains individually.

This implies any authority your website earns from backlinks will not be shared between your area and your subdomains. 

Subdirectories, however, are information that exist below your main area. Google views these as part of your website. So authority might be handed out of your area to subdirectories.

Subdirectories are discovered instantly after the TLD. For instance, the subdirectory in “semrush.com/weblog” is “weblog.”

Subdirectories and subfolders are the identical factor and can be utilized interchangeably.

subdomain vs subdirectory

You need to solely use a subdomain if there’s a superb cause. In any other case you threat cannibalizing key phrases (i.e., competing in opposition to your self for goal key phrases).

Subdomains can work nicely in case you:

  • Have a big and/or complicated ecommerce website and desire a separate “retailer” part (retailer.examplesite.com)
  • Run the location for one location of a bigger franchise (chicago.examplerestaurant.com)
  • Cater to a language apart from that of your fundamental website (en.examplesite.com

Remember that having a subdomain primarily requires you to carry out search engine optimisation duties for 2 separate websites (within the eyes of Google).

So when you’ve got restricted assets, sustaining a subdomain could also be out of your scope.

Subdirectories are typically simpler to keep up. And can work nicely in case you merely must separate distinct sections of content material in your website.

Professional tip: Learn our information to subdomains vs. subdirectories to be taught extra.

How one can Create a Subdomain

Most internet hosting suppliers present a approach to create a subdomain inside their interface.

We’ll use the internet hosting supplier SiteGround for instance, however the course of is analogous throughout platforms.

First log in and entry the subdomain settings.

For SiteGround, go to “Web site Instruments” > “Area” > “Subdomains” > “Create New Subdomain.”

SiteGround create new subdomain guidance

Kind the subdomain prefix you intend to make use of within the “Title” subject. Like “store,” “weblog,” “assist,” and so forth.

SiteGround create new blog subdomain

After you sort within the identify of your new subdomain, click on “Create.”

Now you’ve gotten a brand new subdomain.

new subdomain created

Observe: It will possibly take as much as a day or two in your subdomain to be absolutely applied in your website.

Audit Your Subdomains with Semrush

You possibly can audit particular subdomains utilizing Semrush’s Web site Audit device.

First, enter your area into the search bar and hit “Begin Audit.”

site audit tool

A pop-up will seem the place you’ll be able to configure your audit settings. Click on the edit button beside the Crawl scope subject.

site audit settings

Change your area identify to the subdomain URL (e.g., assist.yourdomain.com). Then hit “Replace.”

site audit tool configuration for crawl scope

Slim down your scope utilizing the non-obligatory objects on the left aspect of the pop-up window.

Whenever you’re completed, hit “Begin Web site Audit.”

The Web site Audit device outcomes provides you with a abstract of how your subdomain is doing. And what you are able to do to make it higher.

Professional tip: There are a selection of Semrush instruments that help you analyze on the subdomain degree. Aside from Web site Audit, this consists of Visitors Analytics, Place Monitoring, and the Area Analytics toolset.

Maintain Studying

Undecided whether or not a subdomain is true in your web site? Take into consideration the purpose of every web page you publish.

Is it associated to the primary content material in your “www” subdomain? Or does it have a selected objective exterior of your fundamental website?

With the latter, it’s greatest to publish on a separate subdomain (like “weblog,” “store,” and so forth.).

Able to continue learning extra? Check out these associated assets:

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