Domain vs. Subdomain

When you get ready to set up a professional blog, one of the first decisions you will need to make is if you want to use a domain, subdomain, or a free option, such as

I recommend treating a blog just like any other website, especially when it comes to the hosting. Some hosting companies allow you to host a multiple number of domains and subdomains on the same account, without increasing your fees. Check with your web host.

For the highest level of benefits from blogging, personally I use either a subdomain or a separate domain all together, based on the primary focus of the blog. is a last resort when there are no other options.

I don’t use free blogging options for the same reason I don’t use free hosting options for a professional website. I want to have full control.

For those that do not understand subdomains and how to decide if you should use a subdomain or a separate domain for blogging . . .

When the URL looks like the following, it is a domain.

When the URL looks like the following, it is a subdomain of the domain.

When the URL looks like the following, it is a directory (folder) within the domain.

When the URL looks like the following, it is a page within a directory (folder) of the domain.

There are times when subdomains are necessary to keep large domains from becoming mass confusion within their navigation and various websites. For example, Yahoo has multiple subdomains to keep their very different services (and websites) straight.

And so on …

The most common time we see a possible need for a subdomain with small business owners is for their blogs, but this decision should be based specifically on the main focus of the blog.

So, when should you use a domain vs. subdomain?

If it varies very far from the focus of the domain, use another domain. If it is a natural subtopic of your domain, a subdomain is fine.

For examples:

My primary blog varies quite a ways from the primary purpose of my main business site and has a specific focus on website development training, so I used a separate domain.

My digital photo tips blog is a natural subtopic of my photo gallery site, so I used a subdomain, but I could have gone either way.

My personal blog that has nothing to do with my business is a separate domain.

My main business site really surrounds everything involving small business owners, so the Ask Cricket project became a natural subdomain of the main business site.

I could go on and on, but I think you are starting to understand how I make the decision for the debatable topic of domain vs. subdomain.



J. Cricket Walker

Small Business Marketing Consultant and SEO Training Specialist
Copyright © 2008 J. Walker of GNC Web Creations All Rights Reserved

  1. mike

    J. you damn right in your write up. i am currently having a reasonable traffic blog but honestly, think it might just hit its peak as my main domain is in fact, unrelated and pretty much inactive. partly due to branding, which i thought is hurting the growth. i was thinking of moving to a main domain but is torn between migrating to the current one or a new domain that i am holding on to. decision. decision. constant deliberation is the name of the game for me right now. sigh.

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