What is a Subdomain?

    December 13, 2004

When you have yourself a pie, chances are you are not going to want to eat the whole thing yourself. Instead you will divide the pie into several pieces so that it is easier to manage and everybody can get some. Think of a Web hosting account in the same way. You might want to have a section of it devoted to your blog. You might want another section of it to be devoted to your favorite links. With or without subdomains this can be done. However, with subdomains the process is so much easier to navigate.

Now I will save you the horrible trouble of what goes on during the Web hosting server side of this. Trust me, it is nothing exciting and probably nothing you need to worry about just yet. Most of you should know by now that when you create a new folder inside your Web hosting account, the directory for it should look something like this:

Without Subdomain: http://www.yoursite.com/blog

Now that is all fine and dandy, but it might be a little hard to remember. Now what if you got a different address that pointed at that same exact spot, but was easier to remember? Try this on for size:

With Subdomain: http://blog.yoursite.com

Did you see what happened? We dropped the “www” and put in “blog”. Now that this is up there, you can drop the use of “/blog” at the end. This my friends is a subdomain.

How can you create one of these beauties on your own? Well, your Web hosting company should have provided you with a control panel when signing up for your Web hosting account. If they did, you should have a setting somewhere in there telling you how you can get it done. It differs from control panel to control panel, so I will leave that much as homework for you.

In effect you are telling the server that “http://blog.yoursite.com” points to your “blog” folder. This can be done with any folder that is inside your root or home directory. Now how would a folder look if it was inside the blog folder? Like this:

Without Subdomain: http://www.yoursite.com/blog/mitchrules

With Subdomain: http://blog.yoursite.com/mitchrules

Now why would you want to use subdomains? For easier navigation and organization. The shorter you are able to make a URL, the more likely a visitor is going to remember it and come back.

Mitch Keeler is a guy who likes to help people out in his own charismatic and odd way. Instead of showing somebody how to do something, he much more enjoys having people see the problem and the solution through his own eyes. Mitch has worked as an article and content writer for various Web sites around the globe.

Mitch Keeler is also a former Customer Service Director and Customer Service Manager for a large Web hosting company. Please feel free to contact Mitch or look over his impressive resume of accomplishments.