Sub-domains – What are they and how do they work

In order to understand what a sub-domain is, you need to start at the beginning. More specifically, at the top…

A top-level domain (TLD) is the main location for your website, the bit at the end of a website address (URL) such as .com, .co.uk, .org, .net and so on. In front of that you have the second-level, the name of the site usually.

For my domain, designermagic.co.uk, the top-level is .co.uk and the second-level is designermagic. The website is organised by putting different files (pages, graphics etc) into folders and the folders are used to help people find information or content quickly.

Sub-domains are the next-level of a domain name, so they will go before the rest of the website address. Let’s say you own a large website selling music and want to make it easy for people to remember the URL to their favourite content. In this example, the site might be called www.yourmusicshop.com and you want to create sub-domains for electronica, ambient, jazz, industrial, funk, soul etc. The sub-domain addresses would be something like www.ambient.yourmusicshop.com.

Careful use of sub-domains can help your marketing and SEO and they can be of great help, particularly to larger websites for managing content.

Do bear in mind when picking sub-domains; you want to make life easier for people. It is not a good idea to pick long or overly-complicated sub-domains such as www.ambientandelectronicamusic.yourmusicshop.com.

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