Do you use your subdomains? Why?

Community Forums Forums General Discussion Do you use your subdomains? Why?

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Fabio 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #81523

    Fabio
    Participant
    Post count: 178

    Hi there,
    I have noticed that many big sites like cnet for example use subdomains for different parts of their site. One subdomain for reviews, one for news, etc.

    I realize their website is huge and probably subdomains help them keep things organized. But is there any other reason why someone should want to use subdomains?

    Thanks
    Fabio

    #81538

    RobG
    Participant
    Post count: 1050

    You can also setu a sub domain for demos websites if you like testing out themes and other codes..


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    RobGoss WordPress Developer
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    #81575

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1091

    Bigger sites like that also probably use them to keep content management of them with separate business divisions, and to possibly make a few distributed DNS tricks easier. There may also be an advantage with multi-langauge sites too, but I haven’t played a lot with that.

    I use them mostly as demo or testing sites, but I sometimes set up subdomains for store or shop, too. I’m also planning a small network of sites that will have separate subdomains for sections, because they will be vastly different sites, but all connected by a common main theme.


    #81581

    Susan
    Moderator
    Post count: 8972

    I use mine for demo sites. In the new year, I plan on having two blogs on my site, and am planning on using a subdomain to make that easier to manage.


    Susan @ Graphically Designing I offer theme customizations I tweet!
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    #81583

    RobG
    Participant
    Post count: 1050

    I think there are many ways to get the most out of subdomain if it’s something that might help maintain your content good points


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    #81635

    AC
    Blocked
    Post count: 7712

    I agree with Summer. The larger sites have too much content to manage. If all of the content were housed in one database – if the site were to be hacked – their entire site could go down. Separate domains – possibly only one area would be affected. It’s much easier to manage content in separate subdomains and… most big companies like that have more than one person or a team of people who manage the content. It would be too much to have a bunch of people updating on one domain.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  AC. Reason: fix a sentence
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 3 weeks ago by  AC. Reason: fix a sentence
    #81713

    Fabio
    Participant
    Post count: 178

    Thanks everybody for the answers.
    I did suspect it mostly was for management and security reasons.

    I was also wondering in terms of SEO, shouldn’t be a disadvantage to have separated subdomains for each section of the site?

    What I mean is, if I have a 20years old authority site about gardening and publish an article about “how to grow veggies” from my main domain, I would expect it to rank higher or at least faster then if I create a new subdomain and publish it from there. Since the subdomain is supposed to be a brand new, virgin, no-one-cares-about site, I would expect it to take way longer to rank.

    Unless the network of links between main site and subdomain gives it a very quick start which makes the article published on the subdomain rank as fast and as well as if it was published in the main domain.

    Any idea?

    @ Summer
    “I’m also planning a small network of sites that will have separate subdomains for sections, because they will be vastly different sites, but all connected by a common main theme.”

    Do you mean a network made of subdomains under the same domain? Or a network or different domains?

    Thanks!
    Fabio

    #81768

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1091

    Yes, it’s going to be a single common domain, with a few handfuls of subdomains implemented to make up the “network”.

    As for adding a subdomain to a site that has a high rank because of its age, I’m not sure it would be treated as a brand-new site, since it shares the domain name, and in theory if its content is linked from the main site, and content from the main site is also linked from the subdomain, having that connection to an authority site would help immensely.

    The one big example I can think of is how quickly sites like sports.yahoo.com and finance.yahoo.com became ranking sites back in the day. IMO, it was also a nightmare navigating between those sites, but that was a choice Yahoo made, and their being in bed with ABC News only seems to be making navigation even more tiresome.

    So if you do go that route, don’t make navigating back and forth between the different sections/subdomains a PITA :)


    #81771

    Fabio
    Participant
    Post count: 178

    How do you make sure it doesn’t become a PITA?
    But why did you go the subdomain route and not the “a domain for each site” route?
    Is it for SEO, brand or other?

    #81984

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1091

    Just don’t make navigation a PITA :) Seriously, look at the Yahoo News subsites, and realize how impossible it is to get back to the main News site without having to type in news.yahoo.com… you can get to the separate “main” sections (sometimes), but if you’re reading an article from their main news site, and you click on another article, and that article bounces you over to either Good Morning America or ABC News or even their video news, it’s freaking IMPOSSIBLE to get back to where you were. On some of those sites, even the back button loops you back to the page you’re on… insanity.

    As for my project, a good number of the sites will be ones recovered from the dead, so they don’t have a home per se, no domains to speak of. Having them be subdomains of the larger collective is the way to go. I’m not building a network of blogs and selling space on a Multisite setup, so having only one domain to keep track of instead of 10 or 20 or 30 makes my life easier.

    Now it might actually turn out to be a good way to build up a brand, but that’s not my primary goal for it right now… I still have to finish building the main site :)


    #82028

    Fabio
    Participant
    Post count: 178

    Hmmm…. very interesting stuff to discover on the last day of the year…

    I’m actually about to create a network myself and am thinking between the subdomain option and the “many domains” option.

    Before starting this thread I was for the “many domains” one but now I don’t know anymore.

    Thing is that if my main domain will help the subdomains grow faster, why should I use a totally new domain and start from scratch? On the other hand I could also link my main domain to my the new domain and probably still help it grow.

    I agree with you that having all subdomains under one brand would make my life easier at least in terms of branding, management etc…

    Interesting decision to make :)

    Anyways, what do you mean by “selling space on a Multisite setup”?

    Thanks Summer and happy 2014 mate!

    #82050

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1091

    Sites like WordPress.com, where anyone can sign up for a mydomain.wordpress.com site, are Multisite setups, even the ones where people map their domain names onto their sites. I think a few other blog hosting sites run Multisite, but I don’t know off the top of my head what the others are. But, they all offer space, some free, some minimal cost, some enterprise level costs, all depending on your website’s resource needs.

    If you browse the forums at wpmudev.org, you’ll see topics and threads from people who run Multisite setups to generate income streams, and are using a lot of the WPMU tools to offer ecommerce and other options to their customers. And yes, you’ll see some stuff over there from me, but not for Multisite use :)

    It’s funny, I used to think that the success of wordpress.com was one reason that Google made the old blogsearch feature appear to not work for any results outside of blogspot.com blogs.


    #82198

    Fabio
    Participant
    Post count: 178

    Ah right, yeah I am not into that either (for now at least… you never know).
    I also noticed that googleblog search was pretty funny :) Geez… do they still have it?

    Anyways,
    when do you think a network of subdomains would work better than a network of domains and viceversa?
    This is very interesting as I do see lots of management/branding/ranking advantages in the subdomains route, but so I see them in the brand new domains route…

    I would like to hear your crazy thoughts about this. I’m looking for that bottom line…. you know?

    #82235

    Summer
    Participant
    Post count: 1091

    I think they dropped the blogsearch dashboard widget in WP 3.8 because it had been sketchy for so long.

    My crazy thoughts are mostly confined to specific niche networks or potential networks. I think it’s easier to create a go-to site or network of sites when you’ve got a clear focus (or even a microfocus) for your niche topic. So for me, the niche isn’t the brand… the brand is the topic being focused on, and the conversations or collections of thoughts are the layers that build up my little corner of that.

    I have no idea at the moment if that even makes sense… I’m exhausted, and long overdue for bed, with another long day of physical work ahead of me :)


    #82237

    Fabio
    Participant
    Post count: 178

    hmmm, not much sense to me…
    Thanks anyways, and have fun tomorrow then :)

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