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I've been working on a website that sells a variety of mobility and health related products. The website has around 15,000 pages in total, but the brand is soon to launch a new service for money-related services (under the same brand). My question is, should we buy a brand new domain name (brandname-money.com), or should we host it under a subdomain (money.brandname.com).

Both of these websites will be using completely different CMS and layouts, so I've been more inclined to go towards the subdomain route - although I've not often seen subdomains rank that well.

An example of a website that I've seen making use of subdomains is the UK brand ASDA. They have:

  • groceries.asda.com
  • direct.asda.com
  • money.asda.com

I understand that a subfolder would ideally be the best way, but it wouldn't be a good user experience for somebody to land on a subfolder with a completely different layout, CMS etc. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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The answer has to be seen in business context rather than technical. Technically it is possible to have subdomain almost like an independent domain with its own hosting, cms, tracking etc. For me, advantages of using subdomain are

  • provides better value from already existing branding
  • looks more legitimate eg money.asda.com is much more legitimate to me than asda-money.com as it could have been anybody other than ASDA as well
  • possibility or at least lesser work in integrating back end, database (depends on use case though)

You may also want to consider other factors like management, consistency, brand messaging etc.

  • We ended up opting for the subdomain and it's working well for us. SEO doesn't seem to be an issue at the moment either! – Liam McArthur Mar 27 '17 at 16:00
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In you case, you have products from two different category. It is much better to have separate top level domain. Related to SEO,

  1. Both domain will rank in different keywords related to the product.
  2. Should any error happen on one CMS (that is often happen during development or redesign phase) the other product web site rank wont be effected.
  3. It will be easier to manage its macro data, schema markup, etc.

Later on you could create a company/brand website that is about the brand/corporation, not the product. This brand website will be useful for stakeholder, intranet, collaboration portal for staff and suppliers. Also to strengthen and unified the brand image.

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