A subdomain is a part of your main domain name that is separate from it. Subdomains are used to organize and navigate your website’s various sections. On your main domain, you can create multiple subdomains or child domains.

Consider the following scenario:

store.yourwebsite.com

In this case, the subdomain is ‘store,’ the primary domain is ‘yourwebsite,’ and the top level domain is ‘.com’ (TLD). You can use any text as your subdomain, as long as it’s simple to type and remember.

What exactly is a subdomain?

Subdomains are used for a variety of reasons by businesses. Let’s take a look at some of the most common subdomain uses.

Subdomain Use Cases

A subdomain is most commonly used to create a testing or staging version of a website. Developers frequently test new plugins and updates on a subdomain staging site before making them public.

A subdomain is also commonly used to create an online eCommerce store. Because eCommerce sites are typically more complex to set up, companies often want a separate subdomain to handle transactions.

Companies have also used subdomains to create mobile websites (m.yoursite.com), location-specific sites (uk.yoursite.com), and website sub-sections.

You can install WordPress on your subdomain and have it function independently of your main website.

Subdomains such as ‘guest.yourwebsite.com,’ ‘user.yourwebsite.com,’ and others can be used to serve a specific group of users on your site. Users can create custom websites using website builder platforms such as WordPress.com, Blogger.com, and others.

Subdomains can help you organize your content more effectively on your website. The SEO of your main website is unaffected by the proper use of subdomains. When in doubt, however, we advise keeping everything in the same domain and avoiding using subdomains for public sites.

What Is a Subdomain and How Do I Make One?

In your domain registrar or WordPress hosting account, you can easily create a subdomain. In this example, we’ll use Bluehost to create a subdomain, but the process is the same across all platforms.

You must first log in to your Bluehost account in order to create subdomains. Then, on the left, select the “Domains” tab. This will bring up a submenu with a variety of options.

Make a Subdomain

On the list, select the “Subdomains” tab.

Subdomain 2 should be created.

Your domain name can be found in the right-hand field. If your web hosting account only has one domain, you won’t need to make any changes. If you have more than one domain, the drop-down menu will show them all. We only have one domain in our example, “yourdomain.org.”

Then, in the field on the right, type a name for your new subdomain. You can enter anything you want, such as a blog, gallery, or store. We’ll use the term “demo” in this example.

After you’ve typed in your subdomain’s name, click the “Create” button.

Subdomain 3 should be created.

Your new subdomain will appear at the bottom of the screen right away. Your subdomain address will now appear in the domain name’s address bar. It went from “yourdomain.com” to “demo.yourdomain.com” in our example. You’ll notice that the home folder field for your new subdomain automatically fills in with your new subdomain’s name.

Congratulations! Your first subdomain has just been created.

Subdomain 4 should be created.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories: Which is Better for SEO?

Subdomains and subdirectories are treated differently by search engines. Let’s take a look at why this is so, and how using subdomains versus a subdirectory affects SEO.

When it comes to SEO, there's a difference between a subdomain and a subdirectory.

Google and other search engines treat subdomains as if they were separate websites. This means that each subdomain must be crawled and indexed separately by search engines.

Remember that the “link juice” generated by backlinks to your main site is not shared between your domain and subdomains. It’s just as difficult to get page rank for keywords for a subdomain as it is for a separate website.

Only use subdomains if you have a compelling reason to do so. Subdomains can be used to rank for different keywords, target a specific market, reach a different location, or serve a different language than your main website.

Files under your primary domain are found in subdirectories. Subdirectories are not treated as separate sites by Google or other search engines, so “link juice” and SEO are shared between your domain and subdirectories.

Subdirectories will help you rank your website faster than subdomains for bloggers, startups, and small businesses with limited time and resources.