Subdomain vs. Subdirectory: Which is better for SEO

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If you’re a blogger or you have a website, you might be heard of these teams Subdomain and Subdirectory or Subfolder.

You might have faced some challenges in order to understand the whole idea and some concepts. But, in this comprehensive blog post, we will make it as simple as possible.

Living in the 21 century will going to keep you involved all the time in technology. Even if you are not an expert in this field you will find yourself in daily contact with computer systems and networks.

Accordingly, you might hear a lot of new terms relevant to this sector like Domain, Subdomain, Subdirectory, etc. More explanation will be helpful to keep you coping.

We are going to define all those terms, give examples, and make a comparison between them that shows the advantages of the preferred choice in the business and other activities.

Whether you are a beginner or a professional in this field, this article will help you to raise your knowledge. So, what is Subdomain vs Subdirectory?

Read also what is Uptime?

What is a Subdomain?

A Subdomain is a branch from the main Domain. It is an additional part of your main domain name that is added before the website Domain name.

The importance of the Subdomain rises from the that it has a role in the separation, organization, and navigation of the contents to different specific sections like blogs or online stores from the rest of the website.

So, creating subdomains will help you to organize and sail to different parts of your main domain.

So your website can be divided and structured logically into other parts that are called subdomains. Example services.hostingengines.com

A subdomain has its own content management system, analytics tool, template, and more. And you can have many subdomains within your domain.

What is a Subdirectory “Subfolder”?

A Subdirectory is a Directory that is contained inside another Directory known as a Root Directory or Parent Directory to differentiate it. it’s usually addressed after the root directory or domain name.

So, the Subdirectory is an extension of the Directory and it can be considered a subfolder. For Example, hostingengines.com is the main or root directory, and hostingengines.com/services is the subdirectory or subfolder.

Subdirectories are a suitable way to organize related parts of the content found on the website.

Subdirectories have several uses and advantages regarding the SEO aims:

  1. The subdirectory will make you focus on making a single website optimized. This will help you minimize the completion with yourself with a subdomain that may look fresher than your main domain. 
  2. Adding more content and blog posts will make your site more visited by the users. Additionally, this will make the SEO authority passed to your primary source.
  3. Users will have an easy move between your blog posts and new features or products.
  4. Lastly, when you want to check your website’s performance on platforms, rather than having two points to look at, the data will be consolidated for the whole site.

When do I need to use a Subdomain?

The Subdomain is used when the content is unique and distinct from the rest content on the website.

So, when you plan to create a totally different interface for your services, eCommerce, or anything but you want to associate it with your main domain, but has its own CMS, themes, data, and analytics. You can go with Subdomain.

Uses of subdomains:

  • Support: When you want to add customer support services, subdomains are suitable for this mission. Instead of making the main site the area of the support, it’s better for the structure to have a subdomain.
  • Events: If your site serves any kind of events, it would be a great idea if you separate this part of your site into a subdomain. This will help in differentiating between the normal and regular products from the events.
  • Different Regions: Using subdomains is a great idea when you have multiple regions to serve. This includes national or international regions.
  • Blogs: Subdomains are very useful in blogging. Many sites prefer to have their blog as a subdomain when they have a content large campaign that is enough to have to have its own growth path.  The subdomain is also useful for the blog if you want to address a specific authority.

When do I need to use a Subdirectory?

  • Different Regions: You can use subdirectories for different regions as well when you want to offer different languages and currencies for different countries
  • Blogs: You can also use blogs as a subdirectory. In fact, it’s a good idea to host your blog on a subdirectory, so if any article gains some authority, the authority will be passed to the main domain name.

What are the main differences between Subdomains and Subdirectories?

On the website, many Subdomains can be established from the root Domain that contains different types of information and details regarding the basic content.

The structure of a Subdomain is flat at the top (arranged horizontally), and all the Subdomains are on the same level.

So the Subdomain is associated with the root directory but it has a separate management system, template, and analytical tools.

On the other hand, the Subdirectories are pathways arranged hierarchal within the website. So we can say that the Subdirectories are levels in the Domain and they branch off from the domain they belong to it. 

How do Subdomains and Subdirectories affect SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that aims to make your site better for search engines. (SEO) assist you to improve your ranking and increase traffic to your website.

When users type their keywords and press the search icon, the articles that contain similar keywords will rise to help the user to select among them.

The strategy through which the Subdirectory is working tends to concentrate the keywords into a single Domain while the Subdomain strategy is spreading the keywords across many subdomains.

Accordingly, the Subdirectory strategy gives better Root Domain Authority.

Which is better: Subdomain or Subdirectory?

The Subdirectory is better than the Subdomain.

The Authority of the site is based on the links and traffic. Hence the Subdirectory will take the Authority from the existing Domain while the Subdomain will not inherit the Domain Authority of the existing Domain.

Another point needs to be clarified; using a Subdomain on your website makes your URL structure looks bigger.

Also, domains require separate website management accounts and that means more time to be spent maintaining the websites.      

What should I use for my website: Subdomain or Subdirectory?

The answer depends on your type of business.

Overall, subdomains are used for businesses that need multiple entities, while Subdomains are suitable for small business owners who want to build their authority from scratch.

Read also, what is CDN?

Subdomain vs. Subdirectory: The Conclusion:

From the previous information, we knew that the Subdomain is a child of the parent domain and they are sometimes used for hosting separate websites such as eCommerce stores, and multiple Subdomains can be created from the main domain.

The Subdomain is always sitting before the root domain in the URL and the Subdirectory is always set after.

If you want to give your domain name more authority, go with a subdirectory.

Subdirectories may upgrade the site’s ranking. Google usually looks at all the different pages of a subdirectory site as part of a whole.

Read also, what is web hosting?

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