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I run WordPress-Multisite for several sites. Each of these sites resolve under a single domain, e.g. example.com/foo/, example.com/bar/. I also have domain names for these e.g. foo.com, bar.com which are currently redirects, so if a user hits foo.com, they are redirected (301) to example.com/foo/.

My question is, should it be the other way around? Should I use the dedicated domain names directly? What are the pros/cons of putting multiple sites under a single domain vs their own dedicated domains?

I guess I'm asking with SEO and findability in mind.

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2 Answers 2

It depends on the content of each of these sites. If they do not have anything in common and are targeted at different audiences, it's much better to use specific domain names for each, in term of SEO but also for the sake of clarity.

But if they all describe a different aspect of something that they have in common, in other words, if these content types are complementary, your current structure is suitable.

The only Pro side of keeping them all in the same domain space i guess is cutting down on your yearly DNS cost. At 10 USD / domain (more or less), if you have a 1000 websites, that makes a difference °-)

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If all the sites you want to run can come under one banner conceptually and logically, it is better if you buy just one domain and put the rest as its sub-folders. This is possible if the marketplace of the websites are related. For example if your main site sells cakes and the other small sites sell cheese cakes and marble cakes, they can certainly be merged under the site that sells cakes. On the other hand, if main site sells cakes, and the other sites sell perfumes and hand lotions, they cannot come under one site.

One domain should preferentially represent just one marketplace. If there are sub marketplaces, they can come under the hood of one domain. If you have different niches, you should better purchase entirely different domains for that. Good Luck!

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