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I am looking into buying a domain, the ultimate goal would be to have multiple sub domains related to the main domain.

For example, I want to buy a domain named - www.example.com, and for that domain, I should be able to create sub domains, such as one.example.com, two.example.com, and three.example.com.

Would I need to pay for these subdomains?

Another great example could be - www.stackexchange.com, with sub domains as math.stackexchange.com, anime.stackexchange.com, and webapps.stackexchange.com.

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There are really two questions here, since "paying for a domain" really involves both registering the domain and hosting the domain (and any subdomains).

As to the first question, the registrar will only charge for registering the domain (example.com) and does not charge for subdomains. So your $10-ish per year fee for the domain itself covers an infinite number of subdomains.

As to the second, it varies by host. Some hosts do not charge extra for subdomains, while others do. Yet others don't directly charge for subdomains but do have limits on how many websites you can set up. So, check with your host, or look for one that enables you to set up as many subdomains as you need.

Finally, also keep in mind that if you want to add an SSL certificate to your site to make it more secure, you'll either need a wildcard certificate (covers every subdomain of example.com) or a separate certificate for every subdomain (www.example.com, one.example.com, and two.example.com are all separate). As long as your host supports Let's Encrypt certificates and doesn't charge for installation that shouldn't be much of an issue, but since some hosts do charge it's something to consider.

  • 3
    Great answer addressing multiple possible costs. On the SSL side, it can be possible to get a single subject alternative name (SAN) certificate that lists multiple subdomains in one certificate. Again it depends on the certificate vendor, some charge more for that type of certificate. – Stephen Ostermiller Apr 19 '18 at 15:49
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Your registrar should allow you to setup multiple subdomains, usually this is unlimited. It should not cost extra money to setup subdomains with your registrar unless you have a registrar that charges you for this.

Your webhosting company may count subdomains as individual domains when hosting. Depending on your webhost and webhosting plan, you may have a service that allows you to host unlimited domains.

  • The registrar is not necessarily the DNS hosting provider. These are separate jobs, but they can be done by the same entity, yes. – Patrick Mevzek Apr 21 '18 at 18:18

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