Subdomains are a smaller part of a larger domain. The Domain Name System (DNS) is all about hierarchy. Everything starts with a Top Level Domain (TLD) like .com, .org, .net, or, in our case, .me. After that, we have the next step in domain names, like google.com, facebook.com, or for us, domain.me. After that, we start with subdomains, like calendar.google.com, plus.google.com, or blog.yourwebsite.me. So now you know…
People occasionally refer to subdomains as third-level domains. The logic behind this is that .me is first-level domain, yourwebsite.me is second level-domain and blog.yourwebsite.me becomes third-level domain.
One can use subdomains as hostnames, or a service provided by a number of machines in a cluster. You will find some websites that use different subdomains to point to different server clusters. For example, www.yourwebsite.com can point to one server cluster (or data canter), but you might also have www2.yourdomain.me that points to a second server cluster or a second datacenter.
Website Forbegginers.info explains another potential use of subdomains:
“Subdomains are sometimes used to identify individual computers, each having an IP address of its own. In that case, the term “machine name” is sometimes used instead of “subdomain”.
A company could have two servers called “marketing.somefirm.com” and “accounting.somefirm.com”, for example. The two computers would serve different departments, and contain different information.”
Instead of organizing your website with subdomains, you might opt to use subfolders. What’s the difference? Your links will be blog.yourwebsite.me if you are using subdomains or www.youwebsite.me/blog if you are using subfolders.
If you opt to use subdomains, your visitors will still be able to reach the subdomain by typing www.yourwebsite.me/blog, but they will automatically be redirected to the subdomain.
This is a difficult question and there is no definite answer. It all depends on your website and the content you use. You can find a great explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of both uses at Whitefireseo.com. They talked to Alan Bleiweiss and he explaned the main differences between subdomains and subfolder with SEO (Search Engine Optimization):
“[I]f you have limited resources for ongoing SEO, it’s usually better to stick with subfolders. The ability to consistently provide new content and drive links across a generalized self-contained domain usually requires less effort. This is because every quality page in every subfolder adds to the reater good. Where this becomes less true is when you try to go too wide with high level related topics, or intent.
Subdomains, when properly optimized, and provided with ongoing efforts, can, by nature, receive more ranking value simply because they have a much tighter topical focus than a site that spreads itself out over many topics. This is counter-weighed by the fact that a self-contained domain gets its highest topical focus value boosted by adding more highly related content within the site, especially as those additional areas/sections of the site themselves get a boost.”
Have you used subdomains before?
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