When you visit a website, you may notice the URL in the search bar changes slightly based on your location on the site or which web page you’re on at a given point in time.
For example, you can visit hubspot.com to view and access the tools and services offered. You can also visit blog.hubspot.com to access the particular section of the website that hosts the blog content in order to find the tips, tricks, or explanations you need. Although the URL changes slightly, you’re still on HubSpot’s website.
In this article, we’ll look at the part of the URL that does change — known as the subdomain — and why that is.
What is a subdomain name?
A subdomain name is additional information added to the beginning of a website’s domain name. It allows you to separate and organize content for a specific function — such as a blog or an online store — from the rest of your website.
A domain name typically has two parts: The top-level domain (TLD) is the extension, such as .com or .org, and the second-level domain (SLD) is the unique part of the domain name, such as a business or brand name. In the hubspot.com example, .com is the TLD and hubspot is the SLD.
Then, separate a section of your site with a subdomain name: blog.hubspot.com or shop.yourdomain.com.
What is a subdomain used for?
Subdomains make it simple for you to organize the various functions of your website, while also making it easier for users to find and use these different functions.
Think about it this way: If you’re hosting a party, you need to provide guests with your address. The TLD would be the city you live in while the SLD would be your number and street name.
If you live in an apartment building, you need to get even more specific so your guests know which apartment to come to. Your apartment number would be the subdomain name— a specific section of the greater building that's dedicated to your living space.
If you plan to add more functions to your website, such as a store or a forum, you might add a subdomain to your domain to help separate these sections of eCommerce or content from your main website.
You can also use subdomains to create localized content. For example, if you run a restaurant chain with multiple locations, customers can visit yourrestaurant.com for all-encompassing content. Or, customers looking for the menu at your Nashville location could get the information they're looking for via the subdomain for that restaurant location, nashville.yourrestaurant.com.
If you’re looking to create a subdomain and need a little inspiration for what that could look like on your website, you might refer to the example we mentioned above on HubSpot’s website. Located on the hubspot.com domain lives the HubSpot Blog thanks to the subdomain name blog.hubspot.com.
By separating the HubSpot Blog from the rest of the website, it makes it very obvious to visitors where they’re located on the site as a whole. This is helpful considering HubSpot’s website exists to teach visitors about the product line and how the software can help solve their pain points.
The HubSpot Blog landing page includes a multitude of marketing, sales, and service articles that don’t necessarily relate back to the actual products HubSpot sells. So separating the two from each other with a subdomain keeps the site organized in a way that makes it easy to understand and navigate for visitors based on their needs.
Another example of what subdomains are useful for includes your customer support page. For example, wordpress.com has an extensive amount of information regarding the support they offer users, so they have a subdomain support.wordpress.com dedicated to those details.
Now let’s take a look at how you can go about creating a subdomain on your website.
How to Create a Subdomain
Login to your cPanel.
Navigate to and enter your subdomain.
Click Create and wait for your subdomain to resolve.
No matter what you want to use your subdomain for (blog, customer support, help page, or online store) you’ll be able to create one with the help of your web hosting provider.
Now you’ll want to navigate to Subdomains or Add Subdomains. Here you can begin to enter your subdomain of choice. Add the subdomain, such as blog, and be sure your primary domain name is selected as well.
Once the domain is created, you’ll need to add domain name system or server (DNS). Navigate to DNS and select Add (or a similar command). Select what you want your subdomain to connect to, whether it’s an IP address, an IP address connected to the destination hostname, a server name, or a wildcard (catch-all) domain.
4. Click Create and wait for your subdomain to resolve.
Lastly, click Create, or a similar commend, and wait for your subdomain to resolve.
It typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours for your subdomain to be implemented and functional on your website.
Add a subdomain to your site
By implementing subdomains on your website, you can create separate sections of content and services for your website without having to create new domain names for each part of your business. Subdomains will also make it easier for users to find what they need, all in one place. If you have varying components of your brand, subdomains could help you with the organization of and navigation to these parts of your business.
Originally published Feb 13, 2020 5:21:29 PM, updated February 13 2020