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What is Subdomain? How It Works

What is a subdomain and how it works? This is the question which one my clients have asked me recently. When you are new in the industry it takes time to understand the related nitty-gritty. However, it doesn’t take much to get familiar with this concept. With that in mind, in this post, I will walk you through what exactly a subdomain is and how does it work. Let’s get to it!

When when you create a website  with website builders or say when you visit a website, maybe you haven’t noticed but the URL changes every time depending on your position on the site at a given point of time. For instance when you visit websitebuilderfacts through websitebuilderfacts.com to access the services and software offered. However, while you are reading this post, you are present at websitebuilderfacts.com/website-tutorials in order to access the blogs given there. Now, you can see that the URL changes slightly but you are of course, still present on the WebsiteBuilderFacts official website.

Do you know you can use a single domain name to set up multiple websites? Yes, I am saying separate pages of a website. In fact, a completely new website altogether running on the same domain. How is that possible? Well, it is possible with the help of a subdomain and subdirectory. However, both methods give you the same results. But I will show you the subdomain side since it offers a more streamlined approach. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get ahead with it.

What is Subdomain?

What is Subdomain

Domains are arranged in a simple tree structure or hierarchy called domain name system (DNS). However, it starts with top-level domains (TLD) such as .com, .org. They are further categorized into domains and subdomains. A subdomain as the name suggests is an additional segment of the main domain. It is created in order to organize and move around the different sections of the main website. The number of subdomains can vary with the need and requirements. That being said, for all distinct pages of your website, you can have distinct subdomains.

If I simply put, the subdomain is nothing but a prefix attached to your main domain name. Subdomains are quite similar to an add on domain and generally created to differentiate the different sections of the website.

Use of Subdomain

Well, a subdomain is used to render distinct resources within a single domain name. Generally, the resource is present on a different server. There is no limitation on the number of subdomains you can have for your website. Oftentimes subdomains are used to avoid confusion and create an organized way to navigate through the website.

For instance, say you are defining your address to your friend. The top-level domain would be the city you live in and the second-level domain would be your house number. However, if your address involves more details such as street number or apartment building and so then you need to define more subdomains to specify the address in a more clear manner.

Likewise, if you wish to include more features to your main website such as a blog, a store, etc. you may use subdomains to your main domain so that you can easily segregate the specific segments over your website. While on the other hand, you can also use subdomains to circumscribe the content present on your website. For example, if you are running a blog website and you want to extend it then you can make use of subdomains. That way you can make it more clear and easily understood.

Difference Between Domain and Subdomain

It is important that you should know the difference between subdomain and domain. Well, the smaller version is the subdomain and the main version is the domain name. However, the subdomain needs a domain name for its existence. Whereas on the other hand, the domain name does not need a subdomain for its existence.

A domain name is the essence of your brand. And a subdomain is more of a technical thing that is there to simplify the process. Having a subdomain is a matter of choice. There are organizations that prefer to have an entirely different domain name for their different projects. Whereas, there are companies that choose to have a subdomain instead. So, in the end, it’s all about preference or needs.

How to Create a Subdomain?

Now that you know what a subdomain is. It’s time to learn how it works or how to set up a subdomain or how to create a subdomain for your website. But before you can actually create a subdomain, you will have to have the main domain. If you haven’t created one yet, then you need to create that now. However, choosing a domain name is a crucial aspect in regard to website creation. Because it’s going to be an online identity for the rest of the time. While you can change it later but it may affect your credibility as well as your reliability.

No matter what you want to create a subdomain for, you can easily do that with the help of your web hosting provider. With that in mind, Bluehost, SiteGround, Kinsta, etc. are some of the best web hosting providers present out there. However, there are tons of other web hosting providers available to choose from but not every web host provider is capable of providing you the best subdomain facilities as these can.

Generally, you are required to do the following thing in order to create a subdomain. By following these step by step instructions, you will be able to create a subdomain through your web host provider.

Step 1: Log in to Your cPanel

How to Create Subdomain

First thing first, you need to go to the homepage of your cPanel. However, you should be able to find this on your web host provider’s dashboard.

On your homepage, you should be able to see several options associated with different sections present out there serving discrete purposes such as administration and server maintenance. However, you need to find the one labeled Domains.

Step 2: Enter Your Subdomain

Now navigate to Subdomains or Add Subdomains. Add your preferred Subdomain such as a blog or anything that you want. Make sure your primary domain name is selected too.

Step 3: Add Your Domain Name System

Once you have successfully created a domain, you need to add a domain name system or server name.

Step 4: Set Up Your Website on Your Subdomain

Now you are ready with a working subdomain, the final step is to put everything in a working state. Your subdomain should now be working flawlessly to serve all the intended purposes.

Should You Use Subdomain

There is no limitation on the number of subdomains you can have for your domains. Basically, the concept of a subdomain eliminates the confusion and makes everything simple and clear for users. Moreover, it helps maintain the online brand with ease. And the other eminent benefit of having subdomains is to save money, save time, etc. Of course, when you think of having a new domain name, it includes a lot of money that, of course, can easily be saved with subdomains. Check out website vs blog.

However, using a subdomain is a matter of choice, nothing binds you to use a subdomain for your main domain. Use it when you want to provide various different resources under the same domain name. You may also read how much does domain name cost.

Final Thoughts on Subdomain and It’s Working

I hope this post has helped you understand the concept of what is subdomain and how it works for your website. The domain name ecosystem has plenty of things clubbed together. However, it can be a little challenging for newbies to get familiar with this entire environment. And that’s where this guide can help you and enable you to get through it flawlessly. It is suggested that beginners should take out some time to get used to with subdomains and how it works. And once you have got a hold on the technicalities of domain name and subdomain, you will be able to handle everything that comes to your way. You can go through how much does website cost.

However, there is no such rule that defines the use of the subdomain. Because the benefit of subdomain can vary from company to company. For some, it may outrun any potential SEO practices. Furthermore, there can be chances when subdomains don’t show any tangible resultants. Of course, in such situations, there isn’t any advantage of redesigning the domain structure. But, every website has its own requirements and scope so, the need to have a subdomain depends on that. If you have any queries or confusion feel free to drop me a message below in the comments.