Subdomains are something that a lot of website owners and administrators know about – but maybe don’t know what they are, or what they’re used for!
Well, don’t worry, as they’re not as complex or difficult to understand as they might seem! We’ll tell you what you need to know with this easy guide!
What Is A Subdomain?
Subdomains are essential components to many websites and online services – and they provide a great way of both separating different services and websites,while keeping them all under the same overall banner, so to speak.
There are two types of domain to think about here – top-level domains (TLD), and sub-level domains (SLD), which are also called subdomains.
Very simply put, a subdomain is just another part of your top-level domain name.
Let’s say you have the domain name happydogs.com, for instance If you feel like you could do with a more granular approach to organizing your site content, then with use of subdomains, you can break down your site into smaller chunks, while still keeping them all under the same general domain.
So, you could have your site forums at forums.happydogs.com, your webstore at store.happydogs.com, and so on.
You could also have all images on your site under the subdomain images.happydogs.com, videos under videos.happydogs.com – really, you could subdivide your web content as much as you like using subdomains!
Many site owners and administrators organize their websites like this.
It can make it easier to compartmentalize the website for users, as well as allowing the owner of the website to essentially create multiple websites that are all part of a group under the top-level domain.
Subdomains take a little bit of setting up, and of course some planning before deployment. Having too many can make more work than you need, for both those running the sites and those using them!
Sometimes it’s better to keep things simple, and taking an approach to subdomains that’s too granular can make things harder than they need to be.
However, used correctly, they can make the whole process of managing your web presence much easier!
You can essentially use subdomains to separate and help you manage whole different aspects of your web presence and technology, and treat each one as entirely different projects if need be, while still keeping them all under the same overall domain.
Once used, they can help website owners separate and organize their web content better, which of course helps the users of their sites too!
Why Would You Use A Subdomain?
One great way to think about using subdomains is to look at how successful websites use them! After all, if you’re going to learn, why not learn from the best?
For example, let’s look at Google – after all, they’re easily one of the biggest tech companies in the world, and they know almost everything there is to know about the web!
The top-level domain for Google is google.com. No matter which one of Google’s services you’re using, it will always go through google.com.
However, Google has hundreds of different web products – and yet their main webpage is renowned for its simplicity. You won’t find hundreds of links on there to all of Google’s products – just a nice, clean web search box and a few buttons.
Google’s product pages are their own websites – so, just because they’re under the top-level domain google.com, they can still be treated as independent entities. These different services don’t even have to be hosted on the same servers as each other – but using the google.com top-level domain groups them all together.
Each of these products uses subdomains – for example, docs.google.com, mail.google.com, drive.google.com, and many more. This keeps them separate, allowing Google to create entirely different experiences for the users of each product.
However, they all remain under the TLD google.com, keeping them under the same brand identity!
Using subdomains to separate your products and services like this helps you to treat each thing as its own separate product, while still keeping the overall identity of your branding across all your different sites, services, and projects.
And it can help you compartmentalize your content and projects, making life a lot easier for creators and administrators if done correctly!
How Can You Create Subdomains?
Typically, you can only create and manage subdomains if you’re using dedicated hosting for your website. If you’re using one of the many more simple online blogging or content platforms, then you might well not be able to create subdomains easily, or at all.
However, for most users of these platforms, it isn’t too much of an issue – and if it becomes one, then it just means that it’s time to look into dedicated hosting!
The process of setting up a subdomain is slightly different for each web hosting provider, as each of them can have their own system set up in place for it.
If you’re unsure of what to do at any step of the process, then of course the first thing you should do is speak to your web hosting provider for advice!
They’ll know all the ins and outs of their system, and will be able to help you set up subdomains with ease. And, of course, if you’re paying for a dedicated server, you’re also paying for support – so make sure to get what you’re paying for if you ever need help with your web hosting by asking the support staff!
Usually, however, it’ll be a relatively simple process. For example, if you’re using cPanel to manage your web server, you’ll simply have to go to Domains > Subdomains from the main menu.
Here, you’ll be able to set up subdomains. If you’re using a different administration interface, then the menu options might be slightly different, but they should hopefully be easy to find.
And of course, remember to ask your hosting provider for assistance if you need it – they can save you hours of difficulty, and it’s what you’re paying for anyway!
Subdomains can be a great way of compartmentalizing your projects and web content – as long as you use them correctly, and don’t overuse them! Hopefully this guide has helped to clear them up for you!
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