Domain vs Subdomain vs Subdirectory – What are they and how can they can help you?

If you’re in this post, you probably already know what are domains, but what are Subdomains and Subdirectories and how they work? In this post we’ll cover this epic discussion of Domain vs Subdomain vs Subdirectory by providing you with all the definitions and examples to make it more clear for you, we’ll also show you how to create them and why to use them for better SEO practices.

What are they? Check the Definitions

Here no one is left behind, so for that, let’s make it clear and show you the definition for all of those terms so you can better understand of what are we talking about and how you can use that to help your online business.

What is a Domain?

A Domain or also called TLD (called Top Level Domain), is the name you are going to register your website under, so its URL will contain your Domain name and the extension like .com, .org or any other extension available.

In my case, my domain name is britzzlink and the extension is .com, this way my URL is https://britzzlink.com/ but it could have any name you wish, unless already registered by another person.

What is a Subdomain?

A Subdomain is a section of your Website, and you can usually recognize it with its structure, because they have a keyword or category before the TLD name. For example, if you have a Website and want to have a Blog section as a Subdomain, your blog URL would look like https://blog.yourdomain.com/

Subdomains can be considered like a hole new website because its structure can be totally different from the TLD, so you can have Subdirectories within your Subdomain.

Don’t worry, this will all look more clear after you read all the definitions and examples. It all seems complicated but they are not, so just trust me and keep up with the post.

Why using a Subdomain?

Subdomains a great way to organize your website if you create content in more than one specific niche, this way you’re basically telling Google or any other search engine that you’re creating this different URL because it is on a different context.

For SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it is a great deal to use Subdomains if you have a website that talks about different niches and content, because the search engines will kind that consider it as another complete different website, although is in the same domain name.

Search engines tend to like ranking niche websites better than more general websites that talks about multiple niches and subjects. You can probably ask me, so why are still huge websites like Wikipedia or CNN that talk about multiple niches that are ranked on top of search results?

Well, that happens because they have so many links helping them rank higher, but if you’re just getting started you won’t have all those links, so you’ll have better chances by having a niche website.

Another advantage of using Subdomains, is that you can use them as a way to create backlinks to your TLD and that will help you in the process of ranking better on search engines.

What is a Subdirectory?

A Subdirectory or Subfolder is a pathway within your TLD, it is basically a page in your website, and it is easily identified looking to a URL because they contain keywords or category after your TLD name separated by a slash symbol.

Let’s say you have a website but this time, you want to create a blog section as a Subdirectory within your TLD. This way your blog URL would look like https://yourdomain.com/blog/

Why using a Subdirectory?

A Subdirectory is a better solution when it comes to SEO when you have a website that is focused in only one niche, that because Google likes ranking niche websites as we said before.

When you talk about one specific niche only and uses Subdirectory, google will notice that your entire domain and subdirectories within that domain talk about one specific subject and therefore will improve your chances of ranking as a trustworthy source of that specific niche.

Subdirectories are a great way to organize your website and your content within your website, so make sure you use them. If you want to learn more about SEO, Click Here and check out our blog post on SEO for beginners.

You can also have Subdirectories within a Subdomain, that because a Subdomain is almost like a different website, so when you organize the content within the Subdomain, you can also create Subdirectories.

Let’s say you have a blog about cars, and within your blog you talk about different model and types of cars, so let’s say you’re talking about a Mustang, and want to create a subdirectory whithin your Subdomain blog, so your URL would look like this https://blog.yourdomain.com/mustang

Did you get the big picture? If not leave your question in the comment section of the Blog and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Domain vs Subdomain vs Subdirectory – How to register or create each one?

How to register a Domain?

To register a Domain is super simple, all you need to do is go to a company that provides that services like GoDaddy, Namecheap or in case you want to register a domain and get webhosting from the same place I would recommend you get it at Siteground.

Once you get into one of the websites mentioned above, you just look for the domain name and extension you want, and if it is not taken by another person, you can register that for you.

We have a full tutorial on how to register your first domain name, so Click Here and check out our step by step free tutorial. Or if you prefer we have a full step by step tutorial on how to create a functional E-Commerce Website in only 1 hour and be ready to sell your branded products.

How to create a Subdomain?

To create a Subdomain, you’ll need to go to the company you’ve registered your Domain, annd from there you’ll be able to create the Subdomain.

Since I always recommend my readers to choose Siteground, GoDaddy or Namecheap, I’ll teach you guys how to create a Subdomain on those 3 platforms.

Creating a Subdomain with Sitegroud

If you have your domain hosted in Siteground, it is super simple to create a Subdomain, and that goes even when you have registered the domain somewhere else but they are hosted in Siteground.

If you go to your Siteground dashboard, you can simply click in the upper bar on Websites, select the Domain you want to work with in case you host multiple domains, which is my case, and click on Site Tools, like the image below.

Domain vs Subdomain vs Subdirectory - Siteground dashboard, path to create subdomain

After get to the site tools, you’ll need to click on the left sidebar at Domain, then into the Subdomains section. From there you’ll just need to write down the keyword or category you want to name your Subdomain and click on the create button.

Domain vs Subdomain vs Subdirectory - Siteground Site Tools, creating Subdomain

How to create a Subdirectory?

If you have a WordPress Website, it is super simple to create a Subdirectory, and you can simply do that by adding a new page to you site, and you can organize your content by separating them into those different pages within your TLD.

From your WordPress dashboard, you can click on the left sidebar under Pages, and click on Add New, just like illustrated in the image below.

Domain vs Subdomain vs Subdirectory - Creating a Subdirectory in WordPress dashboard by clicking on the Add New Page section

Conclusion

As you saw, it is super simple to create all of them, Domain, Subdomain and Subdirectory. The main point here is that you know how to use them, so if you have a niche website, focus on Subdirectories and you’ll have the best chances to rank on search engines. If you cover multiple niches and subjects, you should think about using Subdomains if you want the best results in SEO.

Post Cover Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash