On shared web hosting, are all subdomains like foo.example.com and bar.example.com always hosted on the same server (same IP address)?

2 Answers 2


They typically are. They're usually subdirectories within the root web directory or one level below that. Some hosts even let you choose where in your directory structure to put them.

  • Ok thanks and what about example.com? In which subdirectory is it? Is it directly in root web directory?
    – Zistoloen
    Apr 17, 2013 at 11:44
  • That is your main website so it's in your root web directory
    – John Conde
    Apr 17, 2013 at 11:45

Rather late, but this question came up in the sidebar and the accepted answer is not really correct.

Subdomains, as far as the Internet is concerned, are completely separate from each other. a.example.com and b.example.com can be hosted on the same server, on a different server, or on a different continent. It's just a question of how the DNS is set up. I have a few cases where the production www.example.com is at the provider and the new.example.com runs from the server on my desk.

How a provider sets up the file structure is entirely up to them. example.com/foo/ and example.com/bar/ is common, as is domains/foo.example.com/ and domains/bar.example.com/.

If you have VPS (virtual private server) with root access you can set it up any way you feel like, it's just a matter of putting the correct path in the webserver's config file.

  • While technically incorrect, it is functionally correct for the way most people view and acquire hosting. Yes, you can use DNS to have multiple servers handle the subdomains. But the average Joe gets a hosting account on a shared server and sets everything up there till he reads answers like this and starts thinking. Apr 27, 2014 at 17:44

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