What is a subdomain and how to create a subdomain?

DomainsCategory
10 min read
Alex Neri

If you have a large amount of content for your website, subdomains are a great way to organize your website and content. You can use subdomains to create different sections of your website, or to create different versions of your site for different countries or languages. Some organizations even use subdomains for different services, such as logins, dashboards, and administration panels.

Register for your subdomain with GoDaddy

Creating a subdomain is easy, and only takes a few minutes. In this article, we'll show you how to create a subdomain and explain what they are.

What is a subdomain?

A subdomain is an additional part to your main domain name. For example, if your website is www.example.com, a subdomain could be blog.example.com. Subdomains are created to organize and navigate to different sections of your website.

Even the ‘www’ part of the website can be considered a subdomain.

Generally, you can create a subdomain by adding a DNS record for the desired subdomain name on your root domain that points to the IP address of your server or hosting account. Once you've added the DNS record, you can create a new folder for the subdomain on your server, upload your website files there, and point the subdomain to the folder.

What is the purpose of a subdomain? Why use a subdomain?

There are a few different types of subdomains that can be useful for organizations and businesses. Since a subdomain is a second-level domain that is part of a larger domain, it can be used to segment content or as an alias for another website. For example, the "www" subdomain is commonly used to point to a website's main page.

Examples of subdomain

Common examples of subdomains include:

  • blog: Used to host a blog separately from the rest of the website. This is common for businesses that want to have a blog but don't want it on their main website.
  • support: Used to provide customer support or technical assistance. This is often used by software companies to offer help documentation and FAQs.
  • shop: Used when setting up an online store separate from the rest of the website.
  • admin: Used for administration panels for websites that have multiple users, services, etc.
  • ecommerce: Used when you have an ecommerce store or online store that is separate from your main company website.

How to find or spot a subdomain of a website?

How to search for your subdomain on Google?

To find a subdomain of a website, you can use the "site:" command in Google search. For example, if you want to find the subdomain of , let’s say, Godaddy, you would type "site:godaddy.org" into Google. This will show you all of the pages on the GoDaddy website that are indexed by Google.

If you want to find a specific subdomain, you can add the subdomain to the "site:" command. For example, if you want to find the blog subdomain of Wikipedia, you would type "site:blog.wikipedia.org" into Google.

Or, you know, you can enter a string of text before the main naked URL of a website, such as “login.google.com” or “shop.godaddy.com”. This is another way of exploring websites on your own!

Adding a typical subdomain to a URL works, as finding content is important for most people. More often than not, adding blog, sites, images, or admin to a root domain usually works.

How to create a subdomain?

How to create a subdomain?

If you have a website and want to create a new subdomain, there are a few steps you need to follow.

Creating a subdomain is straightforward, especially if you know how to create a domain!

The following are the general steps on how to create a subdomain:

Step 1: Determine what kind of subdomain it is

You need to decide what your subdomain will be. This can be anything from "blog" to "shop" to anything else you can think of.

Step 2: Create the subdomain

Once you have your subdomain name, you need to add it to your domain. You can do this by going into your domain's control panel and adding the subdomain there. This step will vary from domain registrar to registrar, but usually involves the following:

  1. Login your domain registrar.
  2. Open the primary domain you want to add a subdomain to.
  3. Open your DNS records.
  4. Click add record.
  5. In the type field, enter or select one of the following:
    • A record: The target is an IPv4 address where the subdomain will redirect to.
    • AAAA record: the target is an IPv6 address where the subdomain will redirect to.
    • CNAME: the target is a canonical domain name where the subdomain will point to. This is usually used for specific services, such as URL shortening services or hosted services i.e. Google Workspace.
    • TXT: This is usually used for domain ownership verification, such as when adding a domain for use in Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace.I have covered the most commonly-used ones. For more information, see List of DNS record types on Wikipedia.

Step 3: Configure DNS

Most of the time this step is not necessary if your hosting provider helps you centrally manage your domains, websites, and accounts. Sometimes however, you will have to do some last-mile configuration or setup. Usually, when pointing a subdomain to a server, service, or folder on your webserver, you will need to set up the website/service/folder for it. For example, if you point a subdomain to a folder, you will need to upload or create a web page for it, such as index.html. Sometimes, a website builder can do the trick. Make sure to check out your web hosting provider’s features!

Once DNS is set up, you'll be able to access your subdomain by going to its URL (for example, asia.godaddy.com/).

Domain vs subdomain

A domain is the unique address of a website. A subdomain is a child domain that is part of a larger domain. For example, if you have a website called with a main site on www.example.com, the ‘www’ part is the subdomain. The main domain or TLD is example.com.

Protip: Domains are the parent, subdomains can be considered the child.

Domain names are important because they are how people find your website on the Internet. A good domain name is short, easy to remember, and descriptive of what your website is about. (related: Make an impression: choosing a domain name for your blog) Subdomains can be used to organize different sections of your website or to create separate websites that are all under one main domain. This is also useful for SEO purposes, as domains can be an integral part in determining a site’s content.

If you're not sure which one to use for your next project, think about whether or not you need a separate website or if you can just add a new section to your existing site. If it's the latter, then a subdomain might be the way to go.

Subdomain vs subdirectory

When it comes to building a website or a service, you have a few different options for organizing your content. One way to do this is by using subdomains and subdirectories. Both of these can be helpful in organizing your site, but they work in different ways.

A subdomain is a separate section of your website that has its own domain name. Typically, if you have a website for your business, you might have a subdomain for your blog. The blog would then have its own URL. One such example is for GoDaddy: We have www.godaddy.com as the main website, and then we have the blog (at least, for the Asia region) as asia.godaddy.com/blog/. This can be helpful if you want to keep your blog separate from the rest of your site.

A subdirectory is simply a folder within your main domain. So, using the same example, if yourbusiness.com is your main domain, you could have a blog folder within that domain.

Okay, in a very amazing turn of events, you might notice something unique. If you take a look at where this blog is on, it is both on a subdomain and a folder!

how to identify a subdomain and its folder

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about subdomains

Does a subdomain need to be registered?

A subdomain is a second-level domain that is part of a larger domain. It can be used to create a separate website that is hosted on the same server as the main domain. A subdomain does not need to be registered, but it can be if you want to have full control over it. You can also create a subdirectory on your website which acts like a mini-website within your main website. This does not need to be registered either, but it can give your website more structure and help visitors find what they are looking for.

Does every website address should have a subdomain part?

A domain is the main address of a website. The subdomain is a subdivision of the domain that can be used to organize different sections of the website. For example, if you have a website for your business, you might have a www subdomain for the main website, and then create subdomains for different departments within the company, like marketing.companyname.com or support.companyname.com.

Not every website needs a subdomain, but it can be helpful in organizing your website into different sections. If you have a lot of content on your website, using subdomains can help visitors find what they're looking for more easily. Subdomains can also be used to create separate websites that are still connected to your main domain.

How to point your subdomain to another server?

You may have a website that's ready for a subdomain, but don't know how to point it to another server. Subdomains can also be used for this purpose.

There are two ways to point a subdomain to another server: using an A record or CNAME record. An A record points the subdomain to an IP address, while a CNAME record points the subdomain to another domain name.

See ‘How to create subdomain’ section of this article.

How does DNS subdomain work?

Like any domain, subdomains function the same as other top-level domains with a domain record pointing to a target. Usually, when a browser or a service visits the target subdomain or domain, the request goes to a DNS server, where the target server or service can be found and the visitor’s request will be redirected to the target server or service.

In all aspects, the subdomain functions like a full-fledged domain, with added more added letters and an extra dot.

Subdomain in a nutshell

Subdomains are a great way to organize information and services– from simple setups such as a blog section for a main website, to complex setups such as single-sign-on portals and administrative panels for large organizations or applications. The possibilities are endless! So get out there and make full use of subdomains on your websites. Good luck and as always, see you in the next one!