What are Subdomains? Definition and Examples

What are subdomains?

The portion of a domain preceding the primary domain name and domain extension is called a subdomain. They can assist you in structuring your website. For example, docs.themeisle.com In this URL, docs is the subdomain.

In this article, we’ll provide a more thorough response to your query, outline the benefits of using subdomains, and demonstrate how to do so.

Let’s dive in…

Subdomains explained in more detail

You need first be familiar with the structure of a URL in order to provide a more thorough response to the question “what are subdomains”! Let’s look at BonsaiTrends’s URL.

This URL consists of two sections:

  • A protocol (https:) is a set of guidelines that a browser follows to send a request to the server.
  • The domain, bonsaitrends.com, or URL to the main website. A domain consists of two parts:
  •  the TLD (top level domain) which is the .com part (or another domain extension), and
  • the SLD (second level domain), bonsaitrends, the name that you buy from a domain registrar.

A subdomain contains a second name before the SLD. For instance, if the Themeisle blog was hosted on https://blog.bonsaitrends.com, the blog would be the subdomain.

What purpose does a subdomain serve?

It’s usual practice to logically divide a website into sections using subdomains. A subdomain can be used to start a forum (forum.yoursite.com), a career site (careers.yoursite.com), or a customer support service (support.yoursite.com). Subdomains can also be used to establish blogs with various themes. For instance, the sports news blog sbnation.com. For certain teams on various subdomains, it employs blogs like weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com and theshortfuse.sbnation.com.

Other uses of subdomains include:

Create multilingual websites in multiple languages (en.yoursite.com).
Make a mobile-friendly website (m.yoursite.com).
Create a web of unrelated websites. How to register for a WordPress.com account, for instance, and how to set up a blog on a subdomain (yourblog.wordpress.com).
Subdomains allow for creative expression. You can also direct a subdomain to a certain section or page on your website.

For instance, you may host your contact form at hireme.yourname.com if you have a personal portfolio website.

A wildcard subdomain: what is it?
A “catch-all” subdomain is what a wildcard is basically. Without having to individually set up each subdomain, you can build a huge number of them.

For example, if you wanted to create a WordPress multisite network, you could use a wildcard subdomain so that each network site can get its own subdomain (like WordPress.com).

A wildcard subdomain is represented by an asterisk. For example, *.yoursite.com.

How to create a subdomain

You can quickly buy a domain name from one of the many available domain hosting providers. We recommend Bluehost. Bluehost also offers website hosting at $2.75/mo. where you get free domain for a year.

Once you buy a domain, you also buy the rights for subdomains within it. Broadly, these are the steps that you must follow to create a subdomain:

  • Come up with the name of the subdomain, enter it as a record in your DNS settings.
  • Redirect to the server that hosts your subdomain.

When you are entering a record in your DNS settings, you would notice that www.yoursite.com points to yoursite.com. This essentially makes www a subdomain too!

Most hosts give you user-friendly tools to help you accomplish this.

While the actual usage may vary slightly based on your host or registrar, here are the how-to guides to creating subdomains for the most popular registrars and web hosts.

  • Hover
  • GoDaddy
  • SiteGround
  • OVH


Note – you’ll create subdomains at the service that manages your domain’s DNS settings. Usually, this is your web host, but it can also be your domain registrar, depending on your configuration.

Final thoughts on subdomains

To recap, a subdomain is the portion of a URL that comes before the “main” domain name and the domain extension. For example, docs.themeisle.com.

Subdomains can help you divide your website into logical parts or create separate sites, for example a separate blog for each sports team.


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