What is a Subdomain

Hosting Encyclopedia » Domain Terms » What is a Subdomain

In the Domain Name System, a subdomain is a domain that is part of a larger domain. In that sense, every domain except the root domain is a subdomain. Many websites hosting providers offer free subdomains of their own domains that can be used with paid or free website hosting plans. But what is a subdomain, really? For example, wikipedia.org is a subdomain of the .org domain and en.wikipedia.org is a subdomain of the wikipedia.org domain. The technique of using words which are more easily remembered than the abstract numbers that represent a host’s address on a computer network, goes back to the ARPANET era, before the mass adoption of the Internet as we know it today.


Why You May Need a Subdomain

What is a subdomain’s most common use? Most of the subdomains are used for hierarchical organization of the content within a website. Let’s say you’re a website owner and you want to separate the parts of your website. Giving them different subdomains is useful. For example, if differentiation is needed for multiple services offered by your site. Let’s say, the website is of a university (e.g. university.edu) that may have a subdomain for each one of its faculties (e.g. faculty-of-law.university.edufaculty-of-history.university.edu, etc.), or a business website could feature several subdomains designated to multiple departments – sales.businessname.commarketing.businessname.comsupport.businessname.com and so on. It makes for a cleaner and easy to remember website structure.

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