August 14, 2022

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Everyone describes the Domain Name System (DNS) as the Internet’s phone book, but did you...

Everyone describes the Domain Name System (DNS) as the Internet’s phone book, but did you know it has a leg up on your run-of-the-mill address book? Unlike phone books that only tell you a person’s primary contact details, it gives you much more. They can metaphorically also tell you a contact’s smartphone number and social media handles, for instance.

The DNS tells you what subdomains (i.e., contact details that may not be in a phone book) fall under a particular domain (i.e., a person’s primary contact details typically seen in a phone book). What are subdomains, though? And why do website owners use them?

What Is a Subdomain?

A subdomain refers to an additional string/s placed before a domain name (i.e., your corporate site’s main URL) to describe a specific page on a site. An example would be:


                                                   ↑                        ↑                      ↑

                                           subdomain    primary domain        TLD

Typing the sample subdomain above into your browser takes you directly to the organization’s blog. You don’t have to pass through its homepage and click a link to its blog on the navigation pane.

5 Reasons Why Website Owners Use Subdomains

The primary reason for subdomain usage is to logically separate a site into sections. That way, people can search for something in particular about a company, like a product. They don’t have to go through many pages before getting to where they want to go on a website. But there are more specific reasons for using subdomains.

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1. Localize

You should know that 1.5 billion people speak English worldwide. However if your organization wishes to succeed, you should consider that more than half of global consumers only buy from websites that use their local languages, making localization critical.

Using a subdomain for each localized page is the way to go because you certainly don’t want translations to get mixed in with English on a single webpage. The world’s most popular websites like Wikipedia use subdomains like fr[.]wikipedia[.]org for French speakers.

2. Go Mobile

More than 6 billion people use smartphones worldwide, and each adult spends an average of two-and-a-half hours daily on their gadgets. If you want to tap even a portion of that population for marketing, you need to join the mobility bandwagon by creating a mobile version of your company’s site. You can use a subdomain like m[.]companyname[.]com. This allows you to improve your visitors’ user experience and your page load speed, which in turn may increase your conversion rates.

3. Add More Website Functions

Remember when we said that using subdomains keeps your site organized? Think of it this way. Let’s say your corporate website didn’t have an e-commerce page, but now that you’ve established your brand, it may be time to widen your horizon. You can launch a store page without cluttering the site using a subdomain like store[.]companyname[.]com. Any potential customer thus just needs to type that into his browser and start filling his cart. To safeguard consumer data, you can even encrypt all the data on it, giving customers an additional layer of security.

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4. Test Before You Publish

No software is truly bug-free even after they go to market. The same is true for any website. Plus, stats say 30,000 sites get hacked daily. That’s why testing is a must to ensure its security and to guarantee it works as designed.

A dedicated staging subdomain for testing site pages before going live may be in order. You can create something like staging[.]companyname[.]com.

5. Don’t Let Your SEO Ranking Suffer

When it comes to marketing, your website’s search ranking matters and a high search ranking depends on a site’s domain reputability, among other factors.

Did you know that websites that get hacked get their reputations soiled? However, the damage doesn’t have to affect all the pages on your site. And it won’t, or at least the reputational damage will be lessened if you use subdomains. How? Using subdomains is like having two different pages, if one page’s reputation gets soiled, the other pages won’t suffer the same fate. So if you’re worried about threats to your subdomains and want to track their security, you can rely on subdomain monitoring solutions like that provided by WhoisXML API.

Choosing to use or not to use subdomains, of course, depends on what your website is for. If you decide to go for it, though, your organization can reap the benefits featured here.