I work at a university and the IT here uses a subdomain for every sub-entity like https://professor.department.faculty.university.tld, which I find highly unusual.

I actually would like a path for a project like https://university.tld/entity/project but they insist on the sub-sub-subdomains. They don't really give a reason. Searching on my own, I only found that a possible negative impact on SEO might speak against stacking subdomains.

Are there other reasons?

Are there reasons for going with stacked subdomains despite it rarely being seen?

  • 2
    "Should I use stacked subdomains" - You don't actually state the scenario in which you want to use "stacked subdomains". There may be technical reasons why the university in question has used subdomains in this way.
    – MrWhite
    Aug 23 '18 at 16:08
  • You're right, sorry. The scenario is actually the other way round. I'd prefer a path, but IT insists in stacking subdomains. They don't give me information why, that's why I asked here.
    – Seul
    Aug 27 '18 at 8:20


I suspect that it is simply for user readability - a domain breadcrumb trail if you like.

While I believe it is technically okay, I agree it is a very odd choice and sounds complicated to manage - and may not be that user friendly (unexpected url pattern).

Off the top of my head, some avoidable potential problems this setup leads to could include:

  1. Security: Requires a wildcard certification to easily manage security;

  2. Will make switching platforms (if/when that were to happen) complicated;

  3. May also lend itself to longer-than-necessary uris (depending on the names of professors, faculties, filenames etc).

I would have thought a more appropriate structure might be <faculty>.uni.tld or something like that.

Anyway, I am sure you are aware of those reservations - good luck!

  • Thanks! I clarified the original question, what I meant: "stacked subdomains can be bad for SEO. Any reasons against stacked subdomains apart from this."
    – Seul
    Aug 23 '18 at 8:59
  • @Seul - Not that I can think of.
    – TBB
    Aug 23 '18 at 9:02
  • Hey @Seul - I am assuming that the uni has a wildcard cert. If it is multi domain (a list) or standard per domain [extremely unlikely for a uni], then there could a 'cost' in the extra effort of setting up SSLs when new subdomains are added.
    – TBB
    Aug 23 '18 at 9:11

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