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Sub-Domains vs. Sub-Directories: Which is Right for Your Business Website?


An image showing showing a domain extension.

When it comes to setting up a website for your business, one of the decisions you will have to make is whether to use a sub-domain or a sub-directory. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. In this blog post, we will explain the differences between these two options and help you decide which one is best for your business.


What is a sub-domain?


A sub-domain is essentially a "child" domain that exists within the main domain of your website. For example, if you have a website at mybusiness.com, then one of your sub-domains might be blog.mybusiness.com or support.mybusiness.com. This allows you to create separate sections for different aspects of your business without having to set up an entirely new website altogether, making it a more affordable and practical option for many businesses.


What are the benefits of using a sub-domain?


One major benefit of using a sub-domain is that it is often cheaper and easier than setting up a full-fledged website with its domain name and hosting plan, especially if all you need is another section or two on your main website. Another benefit is that sub-domains can help improve the overall user experience of your website by providing a more focused and organized layout for different aspects of your business.


However, there are also some potential drawbacks to using a sub-domain. For one thing, it may not be as visible in search results as an independent domain name, which could negatively impact your visibility online and affect how many visitors you get to your site. Additionally, sub-domains do not have the same level of technical support or customer service offered with other hosting plans, so if something goes wrong with your site it might be difficult to find someone who can help fix the issue right away.


What are sub-directories?


A sub-directory, on the other hand, is a section of your website that exists under the main domain name. For example, if you looking to have your website in different countries and your domain is mybuisiness.com, sub-directories such as mybusiness.com/us, mybusiness.com/uk and so on will be created.

The main benefit of using sub-directories is that it gives you more flexibility when it comes to setting up your website since you can have as many sections or pages under your domain name as you like. Additionally, sub-directories are generally considered to be more visible in search results than sub-domains, which makes them a better option for businesses that want to improve their online presence and increase traffic to their site.


However, there may also be some potential downsides associated with using sub-directories for your website, including higher costs due to the need for additional hosting plans or services and increased technical complexity. Additionally, the more sub-directories you have on your site, the more difficult it can be to manage and maintain all of them effectively.


What are the benefits of Sub-Domains vs. Sub-Directories?


Ultimately, whether you choose to use a sub-domain or a sub-directory will depend on your specific business needs and goals.

There is a big difference in overall cost and labour time associated with the two options, so it is important to consider your budget and technical expertise when making a decision.


Benefits of Sub-Domains:

  • Can help improve user experience by providing focused, organized sections for different aspects of your business

  • More visibility in search results compared to sub-domains

Benefits of Sub-Directories:

  • Greater flexibility when it comes to setting up your website

  • Better visibility in search results compared to sub-domains

  • Higher potential for increased traffic and engagement on your site as a result of improved SEO rankings

Ultimately, the choice between using a sub-domain or a sub-directory depends on your specific needs and goals as a business. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, so it is important to carefully consider all factors before making a decision that is right for your website and business.


Breaking down the costs of Sub-Domains vs. Sub-Directories.


One major cost consideration for using sub-domains or sub-directories is the price of hosting.

Sub-domains usually come included with your primary domain name and hosting plan, while setting up a separate sub-directory will typically require purchasing additional hosting services or plans.

In addition to technical costs, there are also other factors to consider when choosing between these two options. For example, if you want to create highly targeted sections or pages for different aspects of your business, then a sub-domain may be a better choice since it allows you more flexibility in terms of layout and organization.


However, if you need greater control over every aspect of your website and technical support when things go wrong with your site, then using a sub-directory may be the better option.


This issue with your new and existing CMS.


A reminder that you will also need to have a look at your new or existing CMS as you may need to make certain technical changes to make sure that your sub-directory or sub-domain is properly configured and working as intended.


CMS platforms like WordPress can easily set up sub-directories or sub-domains, so you should be able to make any necessary technical updates and changes relatively quickly.


But ultimately, the decision between using a sub-domain or a sub-directory is something that depends on your specific business needs and goals. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, so it is important to carefully consider all factors before making a decision that is right for your website and business.


The cons of Sub-Domains vs. Sub-Directories


While sub-domains and sub-directories both have their benefits, there are also some potential downsides to consider when making your decision. For example, using a subdomain can result in technical issues or increased complexity with your website if it is not properly configured or maintained.


Additionally, setting up additional hosting plans and services for a subdirectory can be more costly than just purchasing basic hosting for a single domain name.

Overall, the choice between using a sub-domain or a sub-directory depends on your specific needs and goals as a business. Both options have their advantages and drawbacks, so it is important to carefully consider all factors before making a decision that is right for your website and business.


If you need help deciding which option is best for your business website, or if you need assistance setting up a subdomain or subdirectory, we can help.


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