I am planning to have my own website and would like to ask some questions regarding about the organization (I don't know if this is the right term for it) of domain names. Let me give an example:

If I have a domain named “www.joe.com” but is planning to have different websites or categories for my varied interests but would still retain the “joe” name on my domain, would it be better to have a sub-domain instead? Is that it? Is this what would turn out:

www.joe.com = my main site
bookworm.joe.com = a blog for my love of books
travel.joe.com = a blog for my travel experience
food.joe.com = a blog for my love of food and cuisine

I also notice that there are other websites that are like this: (this is just an example, but you get the idea)

www.personname.com = main site
www.personname.com/blog = a blog for his site ( is this a subdomain now)

Everytime you go to the www.personname.com, you are then redirected to the www.personname.com/blog address. Is it safe to say that the blog address is a sub-domain and for blogging only and then the www.personname.com is the main site? What is the difference of this approach compared to the first example I've given above?



It completely depends on your SEO preferences.

What you're referring to is 'sub-domains' and 'sub-directories' whereby a sub-domain would be blog.joe.com and a sub-directory would be joe.com/blog

Google considers sub domains as completely different websites meaning if you rank well for joe.com you won't necessarily rank for blog.joe.com, sub-directories do receive 'link juice' from their parent domain.

The benefit of using sub-domains is that Google will only show 2-3 results in search from each website and as your sub-domain is considered a completely different website you can rank twice as many times, therefor dominating the search results. It also allows you to target varied keywords without diluting content.

My advice would be to use sub-directories, that way any SEO effort/links pointing to your site will benefit the entire site, they're a lot easier to manage too.

  • Do you think by going to the "sub-directories" route, I might also be able to save cost? Since, it's just one domain and the other interests are considered as sub-directories on that domain only. If I go to the "sub-domain" route, therefore I might have to pay for each sub-domain. Is that right? – Panoy Aug 3 '12 at 14:39
  • How about the structure of the stackexchange website? It's obvious that it's on a "sub-domain" style right? – Panoy Aug 3 '12 at 14:41
  • @Panoy You don't have to pay for subdomains of joe.com. If you are, find a web host that doesn't charge. – Anthony Hatzopoulos Aug 3 '12 at 21:58
  • The reason why I'm considering on using sub-domains is that maybe, just maybe, I can use different themes on them. I'll be using Wordpress, so if I choose on using sub-directories, can I still choose a different theme compared to the theme in the index/main site? I'll be using different themes for different categories of my interests. It's just the themes that bother me as I have no know-how of Wordpress yet. – Panoy Aug 4 '12 at 5:58
  • You can have a different theme for each sub directory as well as sub domain... you can even have a different theme for each page! it just depends on where you install each instance of wordpress. I'll be happy to help with that if you get stuck – Double Clicked Aug 6 '12 at 8:12

Personally I would say typing in the root folder has become much more popular and very easy. You would have to create a subdomain in your cpanel versus just typing in domain.com/blog and also search engines usually list the folder location such as domain.com/blog/post

Also I would just starting out with one site and if you sections become very popular then create sub-sites or rather child-sites within the main frame. Also this would be much easier to maintain in the beginning. Kind of like StackExchange which branched off into multiple forums, versus just starting with multiple forums. You have to test the water first and see what works best. Some ideas might take off and some won't.

  • How about the structure of the stackexchange website? It's obvious that it's on a "sub-domain" style right? – Panoy Aug 4 '12 at 6:01

This comes mainly down to SEO. If you current site joe.com has quite a bit of traffic it is best to stick with that domain as it will have higher search engine rankings and it may be harder to get a new site up there.

The difference if you go completely by sub-domain then it is treated like a new domain by Google and will have the same problems as a new one. While redirecting to a sub-directory will make your SEO go to your already owned domain. So I would recommend redirecting to a sub-directory.

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