Subdomain or subdirectory? Learn to choose right from the start! – WAU
The first step in creating a blog or website is choosing the name the page will take. The possibility of naming a website helps – a lot! – in memorizing and popularizing a brand, product or business.
In addition, this step is very important for a long-term SEO strategy. At this point, it is common to search for domain, subdomain and subdirectories.
Understanding each of these options is essential to ensure a healthy digital strategy with scalable growth potential.
And, if you have doubts about what is best for your blog’s SEO, the use of a domain, subdomain or subdirectory, continue with us to understand:
- What is a domain?
- What is a subdomain?
- What is a subdirectory?
- What are the differences between domain, subdomain and subdirectory?
What is a domain?
The website or blog is a virtual property and, like a physical space, has an address to be found. This direction to locate it is what we call the domain.
Example: www. (Sitename). (Extension).
The domain represents the registration and the name on which the website is located, that is, the address of a page, composed of “www” (short for World Wide Web), added to the name of the chosen website (here in lean format, without spaces) and an extension, which can indicate the business area and country of location.
These extensions are known as Top Level Domains (TLDs), they are separated into three different categories. Are they:
- Generic TLDs, or international domains: .com, .net, .org, .int, .arpa, .biz, .info, .name and .pro. They operate without a sponsoring organization, that is, they have few domain restrictions;
- Generic sponsored TLDs: .edu, .gov, .mil, .aero, .coop, .museum, .jobs, .mobi, .travel, .tel, .cat and .asia. Used when the domain represents the area or community of the website in question;
- Two-letter TLDs: encodings for more than 250 official countries and territories (.br for London and .be for Belgium, for example).
There are several extensions with different functions, but in general, they serve to indicate which segment of the site.
Once the domain is chosen, it is necessary to register it with a company in the industry, which works as a representative of the international bodies that control this registration.
That way, you get that “address” that, from then on, will only direct to your page. This service is usually paid for.
To ensure that the user actually finds your site, even if there is a typo, there are parked domains. These are duplicate domains with different extensions.
For example, if the main domain is www.nomedosite.com, the parked could be www.nomedosite.com.br.
This link would direct the user to the main domain providing the same experience. This strategy allows your page to have a unique name and be found under different circumstances.
In addition, it allows more results in Google searches, since, although similar, they will be two different domains with potential for ranking.
What is a subdomain?
Now that we understand the domain issue, understanding subdomains is much easier.
Expanding on what we learn at school, the sub is actually a prefix that means below, below.
In other words: it is the domain that is divided into smaller parts, all within the same range. They are often used to branch the page in very specific areas.
That is: if you have a website www.nomedosite.com.br, this is your domain. The subdomain could be www.blog.nomedosite.com.br, or even www.suporte.nomedosite.com.br.
Thus, you identify the addresses very clearly for those who are going to browse your page at no cost beyond the acquisition of the domain.
The biggest advantage of the subdomain is the independence of the main site. This gives you the autonomy to edit the design, develop a specific approach and achieve multiple ranking.
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What is a subdirectory?
Finally, we have the subdirectories. Basically, they are folders within the main domain and serve as categories within the site.
This segmentation is identified after the domain and extensions, for example: www.nomedosite.com.br/blog or www.nomedosite.com.br/contato.
Like the subdomain, the subdirectory allows for separation according to different themes.
The big difference is Google’s identification of these pages. For search engines, subdomains are separate identities from the site.
On the other hand, the subdirectory is understood as a part of the main domain. Therefore, if the site already has a robust structure, the subdirectory will also have backlinks, traffic and a certain authority.
What are the differences between domain, subdomain and subdirectory?
So, from what we saw on the subject, there are some very clear differences between the domain and the subdomain.
The most basic is that involving search engines (such as Google, Yahoo! etc.).
Typically, whoever does an internet search has a number of results to choose from. Domains or subdomains, when different, may or may not appear (since they are not linked in the same umbrella).
Subdomains – even though they have an intrinsic link to the main site name – are seen as different sites. Google interprets the subdomain as a different website than the main one.
That way, keyword cannibalism between the subdomain and the primary would not happen.
On the other hand, the subdirectories belong to the main domain. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the repetition of keywords on the pages of the website to avoid competition within the website itself.
Another difference is in terms of costs. While the domains must all be registered and maintained (overwhelmingly involving fees), subdomains and subdirectories do not involve these registration and maintenance processes as they are part of the same website.
Choose the best for your blog’s SEO
At first glance it may even seem that the most logical choice would be to use the subdomain. Only it is not so.
In fact, to appear in search results, the subdomain requires a robust content strategy to boost its authority in search engines, since they are not considered part of the same site.
That is, if your company’s goal to use the blog is to attract more visitors to the main domain, perhaps the best investment is in subdirectories.
But if we consider a long-term strategy with scalable growth, subdomains are worth considering.
This is because, when investing in different subdomains (with great SEO jobs separately), you can double or triple the chances of being found by search engines.
As well? When doing content production jobs, links to social networks and other techniques on different subdomains, you offer more sites to present results from search terms.
It is essential to think and outline the objectives of your investment in Content Marketing and, from there, plan your efforts to achieve everything that has been proposed.
The domains, subdomains and subdirectories have clear advantages, disadvantages and differences, serving different purposes and paths. If you are still unsure, we suggest doing some tests.
Yes, it will be a lot of work, but from that it becomes easier to understand, in practice, everything that a domain, a subdomain or a subdirectory can do to conquer the market and its clientele.
At the WAU Stage, you can create your WordPress blog in less than three minutes. Validate in practice the best strategy for your company!